5.6.21 Another Katie-versary! Celebrating Katie Procell and album project announcement
Today, now 4 years ago, I was seated at An Die Musik in Baltimore as soprano Katie Procell performed one of my favorite obscure pieces: Olivier Messiaen's titanic Harawi: Chants de l'amour et de la mort. From that incredible concert, which I went to on a whim, has grown a friendship and a creative working relationship that is nearly unparalleled in my life (with only maybe my exchange with John Hitchens and friendship with Chris Lowry contending as different but equally valuable and sustained collaborative experiences).
This is my second Procell appreciation post, but since I have already penned an ode to Katie's amazing musical, organizational, and dramatic talents, I'd like to spend this space here talking about ways you can continue to support this incredible artist, and our plans to work together this summer!
As I have mentioned before, Katie is a pioneering member of the Virtual Opera Collective Experiment (VOCE). This collective is generating COVID-safe, online performance opportunities for classical performing artists in the cratered gig economy that so many artists have had to scrape by during. While there is some good news about the continued rise in rates of vaccination, we have not seen the full ramifications of COVID's closure upon performance venues and opportunities for performing artists in the face-to-face world. The future of the freelance artist in a country with the barest minimum of social supports is still very unclear. So undertakings like VOCE continue to be important, even as many of us in the United States are actually getting haircuts and venturing back out of our homes (and into each others'). You can donate to support VOCE and the artists who make it happen.
Katie is also exploring a new livestreaming gig service for performing artists called Sessions Live. It's another way to creative opportunities to perform (though I confess, I don't know much more about how it works than that!), but you can visit her page, join her "crew" (which is, I think, like following on twitter), which increases her rank on the platform and increases her reach, and is another place to see her artistry take flight!
So - YAY Katie! And at the end of this post I've embedded many of her amazing performances, but soon there will be so much more of her to hear, because...
We're working on an album!
ahem. Actually, it's technically a double album, spaced out over two years, but all the recording is happening this summer! With the first album being a spotlight of Katie's vocal and interpretive brilliance, this project will record the nearly three hours of music for voices that I have written since 2015. The second album will contain other works for soprano as well as works for lower voice parts. There are just so many works for soprano, and that's in large part because of the joy of working with Katie. I'm very excited that my music will be her album debut, and I'm honored by the team of, in total, 20 performers who have signed on to bring my music to life, including an entire 50 minutes of unheard vocal music composed since COVID become part of our daily experience. So, stay tuned for lots of wonderful stuff connected to that project to crop up during and at the end of the summer. We're looking at a release period of Spring 2022 for the first album, Spring 2023 for the second. You'll be the first to know as music gets recorded and as details solidify like, you know, the title.
But before you hear a whole talented team, including Katie, perform my music from sessions this summer, you can hear her performing it (and the music of other composers as well) right here and right now with this video archive of her recorded performances on my concerts!
Alberto Ginastera - String Quartet No. 3 (1973)
Gabriela Lena Frank - Iberian Songs (2016)
If They Delight, for Soprano & Piano (2015/2017) - 2019 performance
If They Delight, for Soprano & Piano (2015/2017) - 2018 performance
Brava, Katie! Brava!