• Peter Dayton

12.17.20 Snow, Solstice Sounds on Monday, and Show Plans!

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Dear Friends,


I hope you are all continuing to stay safe, healthy, and as sane as possible in the daily chaos that is 2020 America. As we continue to live through Trump's slow-motion coup d'état, as COVID-19 deaths skyrocket and we learn more about how gross negligence (and mass death) was always the plan of the administration, it is so hard to keep spirits bright. I'd like to share a few updates about my music as well as about some ways you can add some artistic experiences to your virtual/streaming calendar over the next few weeks.


Virtual Solstice Solace Special

I'm so grateful to everyone who tuned into my last holiday piano special, and here I am with another! Doug and I are hunkered down in Baltimore through all of the winter holidays, and hopefully a vaccine and continued safe practices on the other side means that we can have holiday celebrations with loved ones again in the future. While I'm sure many people are deciding to gather, I know that there are plenty of other people who will be spending these weeks in their own homes. On Monday, December 21, from 8pm to a little after 9pm, I will be back at the keys, playing from my repertoire the Christmas classics I would be playing at home, as well as plenty of other pieces. I'm trying out a new (and better) sound setup, so if you liked the music from last time, you can hear it in even better fidelity this time! You can use this link to set yourself a reminder (or watch the video when it comes time), or you can just return to this blog post and use this embedded video right here.

Music for Theatre: Healthy Holly's Hidden Hideaway opens in January!


I am so pleased to announce that I am a guest artist working with Baltimore's amazing Single Carrot Theatre on an exciting new theatrical experience, coming to your PHONE in January 2021! Healthy Holly's Hidden Hideaway is a zany interactive mystery where you help some of disgraced former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh's erstwhile cronies search for the money she made off of a children's book series "Healthy Holly" (only 500 or so books have been found, despite at least 50,000 books sold to the University of Maryland Medical System, of which Pugh was a board member at the time). From the comfort of your home, you will get phone calls from Maryland’s most nefarious characters and honorable heroes as they rely on you in a race to find the secret location of Baltimore's removed Confederate Monuments and chase missing cash from the Healthy Holly books.


or the production, I am writing some of the music you will hear in the background of the some of the scenes, as well as the phone-line waiting music as you choose your own adventure through your phone. It's a zany, classically Single Carrot piece of theatre presented in a COVID-conscious medium! The show runs from January 13-February 15, 2021. Get your tickets today!

Persephone in Winter

I've continued work on the Persephone song cycle (for brilliant soprano Jessica Ng) that has been my creative companion through the fall and winter of this year and now a 4th movement is complete! Using recent Nobel Prize laureate Louise Glück's poem Persephone the Wanderer, this particular movement has been a particular challenge: my first attempt at accompanied narration. While there are sung portions, the majority of this (fairly long and discursive) poem is spoken over the instrumental ensemble's independent music. A fascinating challenge. A major thank-you to my longtime friend and colleague Garrett Groesbeck for some of the inspiration for this movement, and, as always, thank you to Amy Nam for her continued consultation on harp idioms throughout this project!

One more movement to write, and I'm looking forward to digging into Jordi Alonso's text! I delighted in working with his writing for my Sappho piece Entwine Our Tongues: Sapphic Fragments, and I have no doubt it will help round out this substantial song cycle perfectly.

GA Senate Runoffs Plug


The Senate Runoffs take place on January 5th, so you won't be hearing about this much more, but it will mean the difference between a functional legislature where we can begin to claw our way out of the pit that Republican governance has gleefully dug for this country. There is still time with the Georgia Senate Runoffs to donate to the organizations that are enfranchising voters in Georgia.

What a time to be alive, eh, folks (if you have been spared by the horrors of Republican ignorance and misinformation, white supremacist violence, and exploitative capitalism). After all, for nearly 300,000 Americans, this is no longer a time to be alive. I hope we can still make something of this broken country. Maybe, with the returning light on the other side of the year's darkest day, we will be able to work, push, lobby, protest, and vote our way to returning light back to the American people. Please continue to stay safe, distance, and believe in facts and science.


-Peter


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