4.29.20 A year ago today... (almost)
A year ago (minus a day) on the other side of the world, a workshopped version of my Recurring Dream: Second Fantasy, for viola and piano, was performed as part of the Intimacy of Creativity conference in Hong Kong. The trip was a true roller-coaster, with some of the most delicious food, most beautiful vistas, and most emotionally difficult experiences of my recent career. The premise of the conference was that we would submit a previously-composed piece that would undergo revision as part of the application process, and then undergo further revision at the conference as part of a series of semi-public workshops. The piece I submitted was one of my oldest works, the Fantasy for viola and piano (2009). I received notice I had made it to the final round, and received feedback to turn the start-and-stop sectional work into a piece of continuous flow, with a roughly-two-week turnaround. In 5 days of manic activity, I ended up composing, essentially, a new work, basing it upon some of the most significant aspects of the original Fantasy, hence, the recurring dream.
I was not completely satisfied with the work as performed in Hong Kong, so I do not consider that performance to be the premiere. For me (and for the history of the work), that would take place this past summer here in the Mid-Atlantic: first at the concert Milestones: Music from a Decade of Friendship in Baltimore, and then at the New Music DC 2019 Conference, September 14-15, 2019 at the Catholic University of America. I had the privilege of performing the finalized piece with longtime friend and collaboration Christopher Lowry, a very gifted violist and composer who went to Vanderbilt with me, and has been a true champion of the 2009 Fantasy, recording it on his album: The Viola in the 21st Century, and performing it nationally and internationally. Since the piece is dedicated to him, it was only fitting he should give the true premiere.
You can watch a video of the New Music DC 2019 conference performance below on YouTube.
For comparison between the second fantasy and the first, you can listen to a recording of the 2009 work as performed on my album Notes To Loved Ones: Music for Strings and Piano!
The time in Hong Kong was truly memorable, so much dense life happening there, incredible vistas and food. Since we are all very much homebound these days, I am including in this post a few of the better pictures from that trip. Even if we can't (and shouldn't) get out much, we can at least do it secondhand. When it is safe again, I would love to go back, and very much intend to!
It was so important that Doug came over and experienced that exciting region with me; sharing support in low points and sharing the joy of the many high points!
I hope you are keeping safe and healthy and modeling better behavior than the Vice President. Viruses are above politics, but nothing is beneath our current leadership, it seems. I implore you, please cover your face for yours and other's protection if you leave your home. Yet again, please check in on the artists in your network - they are no doubt doing creative things in this time to continue to deliver art out into the world and continuing to fill it with beauty in a time in which beauty is as important to our mental health as wearing a mask is to our physical health.
Please be safe and be well,