I’ve been lucky this semester at school and even luckier professionally. The November 17th performance of my violin and viola duet came off great and I was very impressed with Nick Baker and Faith Jones’ performance; they brought a very theatrical life to my work. I had a last minute title change. The duet is now called Turbine, which seems to be a much better fit for the piece. Supposedly, there is a John Mackey piece with the same name. Not to worry, there is very little chance of anyone programming a violin and viola duet on the same concert as a wind ensemble piece, so neither of us will be showing up to the same party wearing the same sport-coat/ blue jean combination!
Likewise, I am ecstatic about the premiere of A Short Movement for Piano and Percussion at the Menil Collection. Luke Hubley and Makiko Hirata played beautifully and really made the piece their own. The work was written to highlight the intimacy of the performance space, which was a Museum corridor. On exhibit was a collection of collage pieces by Kurt Schwitters. To highlight the artwork, I assembled a collage of my own, using Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no. 1 (performed by Luke on marimba) and a collage of Schwitters’ own Ur Sonate, which he recorded in 1932. The Ur Sonate collage was created by myself, which meant reassembling the disjunct and bizarre syllables of Schwitters’ work into something a bit more condensed and slightly minimalist. The original was written very musically and had quite a bit of interesting motivic development, so I had a relatively easy job of cutting and chopping. The resulting collage proved to be more of a crowd-pleaser than I could ever have expected.
Next at bat: Nobody is Looking: for electric guitar and tape (December 10), New Collection (November 29), and a quartet piece for the Soli ensemble.
Also: Hip-Hop collaboration.