I tried to go about posting day-by-day on my experiences with The Midwest Clinic this year, but with so much going on, it seemed better to do a bigger recap at the end of the week.
First off, I have to say my heart is so full right now. So many fantastic concerts, clinics, booths, and more happened at the conference this week. It was both an honor and a thrill to be a part of it all, to be able to meet and reconnect with so many people at the conference. I can say with absolute certainty it's changed my thinking as a composer and musician, and it's certainly opened me up to many things to think about.
Not only was this my first time at The Midwest Clinic this year, but I also had the opportunity to EXHIBIT new music with six other composers of the Millennium Composers Initiative. This also meant I met a number of these people in person for the first time as well (the majority of this composer collective had been formed online as its members are based around the world), specifically because of this conference. Again - what a huge honor. And what a wonderful week.
I previously posted about my first day at the conference, so I'll do my best to recap my experiences for the other days during The Midwest Clinic.
This week, I'm in Chicago with hundreds of others attending this year's Midwest Clinic conference in Chicago. This is my first time ever attending this prestigious conference, and I'm thrilled to not only be here for it this year, but to also have the opportunity to exhibit with six other composers in the Millennium Composers Initiative, a new collective that started this year.
My first day was to get registered for the conference and set up the exhibition booth for MCI with my good pal Duncan Petersen-Jones. He's finishing up his Master's degree at the University of Michigan this year and is also a REALLY good bagpiper. McCormick Place (the venue for Midwest) is unbelievably gorgeous. There's a reason this conference has been hosted here for so long.
Today, I've had a chance to meet four of the seven composers (including myself) whom attendees will get to meet over the next few days at the conference. One of them, Harrison J. Collins, will be having his piece "O rose of May" premiered at the Stoneman Douglas HS Wind Symphony on Thursday (his piece was part of the same consortium I was involved in this year that included "The Great River Rapid Chase"). The other two I met were Kevin Day and Quinn Mason, whom I'm collaborating with on our new consortium we just opened up.
It's been a LONG time since I've been to Chicago - last time was many years ago when I was a kid - and I've completely forgotten how gorgeous this city is. And nothing beats a good deep-dish pizza right at the heart of it all.
I'm so excited to meet all of the attendees this year at Midwest! I'm excited to share more about MCI and what we do as a new initiative. And, I'm excited to see everything happening over the next few days at this conference.
If you're reading this and are attending Midwest Clinic this year, I'll be at Booth #1927. Be sure to stop by and check it out!!
Next week is the annual Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago!! It's my first time going to this major conference and, needless to say, I'm so excited to be able to have the opportunity to meet new people, reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and exhibit a portion of my catalog at the Millennium Composers Initiative with some of the group's other members.
Attendees going to the conference this year - you can find me at these events in the schedule below (note that non-exhibition events are subject to change depending on various circumstances). At the very least, come meet me and my colleagues at Booth #1927 to learn more about the initiative! You can also follow the hashtags #mciatmidwest2018 and #mciatmidwestclinic2018 for all of MCI's updates next week.
I'm hoping to document most of my experiences at Midwest next week, so be on the lookout for new blog posts coming soon!
The _____ Experiment is a Michigan-based chamber trio that I've worked with for some time now. Ever since their professional debut around a year ago, the forefront of their goals concentrated on commissioning composers to write new works for their unique instrumentation - clarinet, saxophone, and harp. While duets exist for the combinations of this group, not many trios do. The culmination of these efforts over the past year can be best summed up in their biggest project to date - an upcoming debut album highlighting works written by some of the composers they've collaborated with.
I've been fortunate to have contributed three new pieces to The _____ Experiment's fast-growing repertoire. When they approached me about including these works in their album project, I was just as equally thrilled as the day we first began to collaborate. Although I had previously mixed an EP of entirely electronic music with a recording engineer a few years ago, this was truly my first-ever professional recording experience with live musicians [not including the recording sessions I've had with professional musicians in an academic setting at New York University]. Hence, during one weekend in August, I returned back to Michigan for two intense, but rewarding, days of recording the three pieces I've written for The _____ Experiment - INFERNO 7.0, Conversations, and Antikythera.
What has this composer done over the summer? The better question is, WHAT HAVEN'T I DONE?! Well... I haven't crashed from burnout and exhaustion, surprisingly. I haven't written my dreamlike prog-rock-influenced fanfare for wind ensemble yet [although if that's your thing, contact me and let's make it happen]. Contrastingly, I managed to somehow have an excellent vacation earlier this month with my wife. Lots of beach and sunshine.
There was also seafood. Lots. And LOTS. OF SEAFOOD.
Apart from that, lots of composing and other related projects also getting done too! So, in no particular order, here's a list of things that I've been doing this summer:
It's been a very hectic summer so far in terms of all the work I still have yet to complete. A much longer blog post will be coming in the future about some of the projects I've been working on, but in the meantime, here's a brand-new look at one of the new pieces I've written this year.
It's been a while since I've participated in this one, but I've decided to enter this year's Dallas Winds Brass Fanfare competition! This piece offers a fun and joyous tribute to the thrills of seeking adventure in familiar and/or unknown places. The title is specifically meant to be a direct reference to a quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet (and yes... technically.... to a Star Trek film. Though this wasn't intentionally done on purpose or anything).
Check out a video of the score below, and if you like what you hear, purchase information will be coming soon!
The next blog post will feature some background work on a second piece I'm composing this year - a wild and raucous work for saxophone quartet and fixed-media electronics, to be premiered by the Zenith Saxophone Quartet this fall. Stay tuned!
We are excited to announce a new consortium for THREE new pieces - not one, not two, but THREE - composed by Caleb Hammer, Josh Trentadue, and Harrison J. Collins! The three composers met each other through the formation of the Millennium Composers Initiative, becoming fast friends throughout the process. Now, they are joining forces in this consortium to bring to the forefront new music for the concert band medium. Here’s how you can participate in this exciting opportunity:
What it Costs: $90 to buy in
What You Get: Three brand new works for concert band, one from each composer.
-Trentadue: The Great River Rapid Chase (Grade 2.5)
-Hammer: Walking Through the Night (Grade 3.5)
-Collins: O rose of May (Grade 4)
Why we are doing this: We believe that every young performer in music ensembles should have the opportunity to be a part of the creation and performance of new music! Our buy-in price reflects this opportunity; although cheap in comparison to a typical consortium, we stress the idea of community and togetherness when it comes to programming and supporting new music, especially for music programs that often do not have the opportunity to participate in such endeavors.
Payment options: Check or card is accepted. A link to buy in to the consortium can be found here. Score and parts will be delivered via email in a PDF format (ZIP) by no later than September 1st, 2018, the date which the consortium will close. Payments should be mailed or paid online by December 1st 2018. Contact Caleb directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to break up the payments in separate installments (2-3 payments) between now and December 1st.
It seems like the only times I've written on this blog is to update on changes made to the website. Don't worry, though; that's going to change! In the meantime, here is one more post on just some of the news that's happening this summer:
Now for the big music-related project:
This summer, I'll be collaborating with Matthew Gibson (a DMA performance major in double bass at Michigan State University) on a newly-commissioned Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Winds! I'm really excited to begin working on this new project and add a brand-new piece to the instrument's solo repertoire, which spans back to the Classical period. Matt and I have talked about some details already (instrumentation, duration, style, and all that), but there's more waiting to be discovered that we'll be beginning to explore soon.
With that in mind, I've decided to start a blog series on the concerto as I write the piece this summer. Discussions will be anywhere from progress on the concerto to brainstorming new ideas, answering questions about the piece itself, working out any particularly tricky scenarios that may come up, and so on. New posts will appear daily to weekly, depending on my progress and how much I'm able to write in a given time period. The first post will appear sometime this week or next week as an introduction to the series. Newer posts will appear later after that, occurring on a much more regular basis.
As far as the concerto goes, there will also be a piano reduction made available that I'll be creating over the summer.
That's pretty much it for now. Be on the lookout for the first post in my new blog series soon! Time for some score-studying (and maybe a glass of wine...)
Finally, I've upgraded my workstation!! Beforehand, I've composed all of my works through computer keyboard alone (with the occasional sketch written down or coming from my mind). However, included now is a full-size weighted keyboard with MIDI capabilities, giving me the opportunity to connect a computer to it, run notation software, and write music directly from the keyboard!! This helps to make the process go much quicker and efficiently.
At least, when Mallory doesn't decide she wants to play a little number on the keyboard.
I would share the audio of the piece she played, called "Kitty Kibbles," but she holds all the copyright.