Another year is roaring by since my last birthday concert! I've so enjoyed putting on these livestream concerts and as we shuttle back and forth between safer and unsafe based upon our limited response to the pandemic, these have been a reliable way to reach out to all of you and make music for you if not as much with you as I would like.
So! I will be putting on a Birthday Piano Livestream on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 ("Twosday!") that starts at 6:30pm. If you can't make it at that time, you can tune in at any time after the beginning of the broadcast!
Use the button below to go to the YouTube page and set yourself a reminder! Or you can watch the livestream from this embedded video link right here.
Recent performances and upcoming performances!
I am incredibly grateful for the recent musical performances by Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music instructors Jared Hauser (oboe) and Richard Todd (guitar) of my duo Mar de Lurín, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo (which they recorded on the album Vanderbilt Virtuosi). On January 9, 2022 they performed at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA and on February 1, 2022 at Vanderbilt University. It is an enormous honor to have them continue to carry this work forward and continue breathing live into it!
Also upcoming is a my good friend and colleague Christopher Lowry performing Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy for Viola and Piano at University of Louisiana, Lafayette on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 7pm in Ducrest-Gilfry Auditorium in Angelle Hall of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette Campus. Chris will be accompanied by pianist Richard Jeric! Thank you so much, Chris for being such a steadfast supporter of my music.
I recently learned about two very different projects by two friends and colleagues of mine and wanted to share with you all their music so you could seek it out yourselves if it fits with your interests!
Danielle Williams: "Charm Collection"
I had the pleasure of going to undergrad with Danielle at Vanderbilt University, and I am delighted to hear the kind of music she has been writing outside of the academic setting. This collection of warm, joyful love letter to Baltimore, "the Charm City," is a comforting. With folk/pop elements that remind me of singers like Joanna Newsom and Emily Smith, this EP collection of six songs is transporting and evocative. There are also mediterranean influences in some of the tracks, which I imagine come from Danielle's time studying Palestinian music and teaching music in Palestine. It's beautiful, open-hearted music. Congratulations, Danielle! You can find it on Youtube, Spotify, or iTunes.
Ian Power: "Maintenance Hums"
I got to meet Ian Power through the John Cage seminar that he taught during my master's degree at Peabody, which is an appropriate introduction to some of the sonic resonances of his album Maintenance Hums. With sound samples of every day objects, playing inside the piano and manipulating its sound in unexpected ways, and emphasis on drones and extended sequences of little-to-no change, this is an album which alternates between challenging and hypnotic. "For Current Resonance" felt like a kindred composition to John Cage's prepared piano pieces and the raw percussive minimalism of Louis Andriessen's works like the hammer sections of De Materie. "Aspirapolvere, Sega, Spettro, Tenere, Possedere" with its accordion drones and sustained periods of rich dissonance achieves a Morton Feldman like effect. While not relaxing or soothing (to me) it does send me into an interior space. "Buoy (after Laurence Crane)" has a similar sustained sound, but the effect is closer to the William Basinski "Disintegration Loops" series; this one does have a more comforting effect, though the sampled sound of a vacuum cleaner provides some surprise - the initial attack is hard to extricate from a 'noise' sound but the sustained drone sound becomes something I missed when it faded away, prompting some of the same reflection that some of Cage's works invite about the artificial dichotomy between musical sound and noise sound. This is a fascinating listening experience for those who enjoy sound exploration that pushes beyond melodic-driven music. Congratulations, Ian! You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Bandcamp.
I have not been writing very much music recently, but I have been making a lot of artwork (you can see, as an example, the preview image for the livestream) and will hopefully be back to writing more music soon. I will be sharing more of this artwork soon as I continue to put together a collection to share, but it has been an important conduit for me to envisioning the kind of world I hope for. I hope you all continue to find ways to maintain your joy in the midst of uncertainty! Please continue to take efforts to stay safe for yourself and those around you!