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  • Writer's picturePeter Dayton

8.10.20 Wedding Music & Upcoming Performance

Dear Friends,

Amid everything that is happening in the world (even just in the United States), I am delighted to share with you some good news:

On August 5, 2020, Doug and I got married!

A simple courthouse affair - we'll have a more robust celebration when we can actually share hugs with friends and tear up a dance floor safely together! As Doug put it so well, "it was always real, now it's official." It has been a wonderful nearly-four years with this man whom I have dragged all over the US and across both the Atlantic and the Pacific on my many hare-brained schemes and, while the pandemic is preventing a more full-fledged celebration, it is also what precipitated our choice to get married in the first place. Especially when the Trump administration is attacking LGBT+ protections as well as trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (oh yeah, and during a pandemic that this administration has let run all but unchecked), now is not the time to be caught up by a bureaucratic roadblock in the middle of an emergency. This a time to be protected so we can protect each other.

Until we can all celebrate together again, in the meantime, string quartets and nuptial music seem to have been a theme in my compositional journey, so here are my marriage-related pieces for string quartet.


Upcoming Virtual Performance - "Try To Remember: An Hour of Standards and Classics with Peter Dayton"

On August 20th, from 7-8pm I will be improvising on jazz standards and a few film score classics as part of the Dining Out for Life series of fundraisers hosted by Baltimore-based charity Moveable Feast.

Moveable Feast is a wonderful organization that works to deliver meals to people with inadequate access to healthy, affordable food and also suffer from chronic and life-threatening illnesses. This and other Dining Out for Life fundraisers are a chance to continue supporting the wonderful work of this organization. Especially as the government's response to the economic fallout from the pandemic stalls, with Senate Republicans refusing to do anything with the House-passed HEROES act that was passed months ago, local organizations will continue to bear the brunt of our failed government response. Help us help our neighbors in need! I hope you will tune in. Click the image below to find out more about how to tune in!


More Music is Happening!

I have been very fortunate to have had several opportunities to share performances of my compositions during this pandemic, but I am also still writing more music, looking forward to the however-distant day when live, in-person performances can resume, as well as being able to work with people in close quarters, like the album I still plan to record with Katie Procell. One major announcement is having finished the first movement of the saxophone sonata, which has taken nearly the duration of the pandemic to figure out. It has been quite a challenge, but after writing close to 5 minutes of a movement that I didn't quite like, I scrapped nearly all of it except two sets of pitches and then turned this:

Into this!

Now with 3/4 movements complete, I just need to muster the reserves to write one last (though not final) movement for the piece. While the work has been quite a journey, usually trying to overcome my own insecurities of grappling with piano textures in chamber music, I am so excited to be able to share it with you when it is all completed. Between this and the setting of Desiderata, my repertoire for alto saxophone will have gone from 0 minutes to nearly 40 minutes in a single year!

While there are other projects still in the works (and I both apologize for their delay and promise I am still working on them), I also dashed off this setting for high voice and harp of (possibly) Robert's Burns's best-known poem, the one that begins, "O my luve is like a red, red rose." Written to work either on folk harp or orchestral harp, it looks like the runtime of this album of my works for soprano that I will be undertaking with Katie just keeps getting longer and longer. This little piece is dedicated to my friends Jeffrey and Jane, who invited us to several delightful Robert Burns Day celebrations.

Still more music in the works, of course. More vocal music, finishing the saxophone sonata, a large ensemble piece responding to John Hitchens's latest painting in our correspondence. The work is never finished and ain't that grand?


As another blog entry ends with the exhortation to stay safe and healthy, to continue practicing sanitizing precautions and social distancing (nearly 6 months in), I feel compelled to say that none of what we are experiencing had to be this way. Everything we are going through right now, from the chaos surrounding school reopenings, to our state of economic collapse, unemployment and poverty, to the death-count of over 160,000 is a consequence of the people that the country decided to elect into positions of national leadership or whom those elected leaders appointed. This kind of suffering is the direct result of empowering a man whose combination of astounding ignorance and sociopathic self-centeredness means that suppressing testing is favorable to more information that might lead to higher positive numbers. A man who has nepotistically empowered other incompetent and corrupt people, more concerned with their own political survival and profiteering than the literal survival of swaths of the United States population. As the free press (also opposed by this administration) has reported, the decisions of this administration (particularly Donald Trump and Jared Kushner) have been motivated by politics and self-interest alone and land somewhere between criminal neglect and bio-terrorism. And even as Trump tries to sabotage the United States Postal Service in order to cast doubt on mail-in voting and curtail his chances of losing legitimately, there has never been a more important election than this one. Hate staying inside all the time? The best thing you can do to change the length of time you'll have to keep doing that, in addition to all of the current precautions is to vote Trump out in November. For reasons ranging from racism to ignorance, heightened by international meddling and misinformation (though America has plenty of mainstream domestic sources of misinformation), to pure greed and a desire for low taxes, America elected Trump to lead us. Let the current body count and widespread suffering show this is not an error to commit twice. Once was fatal for 160,000+ Americans.


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