I am so, so grateful to the following:
-To all of the consortium members, artists, friends, and colleagues who have supported and advocated for this triptych, for Kevin and Quinn's outstanding music, and for my own work
-To Sean Murphy for publishing this triptych in his catalog, as well as for his continued championing and advocacy of new music and incredible composers
-To all of you who have continued to support and advocate for me and my own work throughout the years, especially through these recently, incredibly difficult and challenging times
Secondly, it is a great privilege and honor to have my own work be a part of MMP's incredible catalog!
I'm very excited to be joining this family of fantastic composers.
Finally, I am beyond grateful to both Kevin and Quinn for their wonderful friendship, for their brilliant creativity and art, for the beautiful pieces they have created for this triptych, and for the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with them on this project.
Some new projects are on the horizon, and the revision process for my symphony is going well! More to come soon about all of this.
For now, here's to a new year, new music, and better days to come.
With the 2020 Midwest Clinic virtual conference kicking off today, I have some additional exciting announcements to share with you! Check it out:
FLEX BAND/ADAPTABLE ENSEMBLE
Here's the full catalog of my adaptable ensemble works currently available. More pieces are on the way next year, including an adaptable ensemble version of The Floodgates of the Sky (I'm not sure how many parts there will be yet for this one; we'll see what works).
You'll also notice several arrangements/transcriptions listed in the adaptable ensemble link above. Keep reading this blog post for the official announcement about this section of that page.
Two other announcements. First:
Back in 2018 - 2019, I collaborated with fantastic composers Kevin Day and Quinn Mason to create a new triptych for wind ensemble that examines, from an abstract perspective, the progression of a single day. Of Day and Night was commissioned by a consortium of wind ensembles and includes Kevin's vibrant Shimmering Sunshine (Grade 4), Quinn's gorgeous Across a Golden Sky (Grade 3), and my own manic work Midnight Skyline (Grade 5).
The consortium exclusivity for this triptych officially ends this year. Kevin, Quinn, and I will have more information available soon on where these pieces will be made available to the public.
The second announcement:
The sandbox of limitless possibilities offered by adaptable ensemble music was one of a few things which reinvigorated my compositional and creative, artistic spirit throughout the turmoils and challenges of this year. Including the three arrangements of my own music, plus one new composition that I've written (also published), I am so grateful to composers Kevin Day and Harrison J. Collins for entrusting me to arrange THEIR own music for this genre. It's been quite an honor, and a delight, to work with these three fantastic pieces and create new versions of this music beloved by audiences everywhere, now suitable for practically any type of performance situation.
The adaptable ensemble versions of Kevin's pieces Dancing Fire and Havana, and Harrison's piece O rose of May, are all now available and published through Murphy Music Press, LLC, as part of their latest series of flex band/adaptable ensemble music. I am extremely grateful to Sean Murphy for publishing these arrangements of Kevin and Harrison's wonderful music, as well as for his continued championing and support of new music and incredible composers.
I look forward to 2021, and the many exciting new experiences, opportunities, and adventures ahead.
May all of you have a wonderful, safe, and restful holiday season.
It's been a little while since I've talked about this upcoming symphony... yeah, I think it's time for an update. So what's new with this piece?
Many thanks to my good friend and colleague, composer and educator Jeff Herwig, on hosting a wonderful discussion I shared with him for his new podcast Composer Disclosure. You can listen to the full podcast episode below.
Topics Jeff and I talked about include some of the Millennium Composer Initiative's recent endeavors and some of the major elements that will be used in my upcoming symphony - post-bop jazz from its 6-player combo (Emily Dierickx, Jordan VanHemert, Lillie Christie, Kevin Day, Amanda Ruzza, and Kevin Keith), fixed media, sound healing from its solo flutist (Amy Rosendall), and more.
Be sure to follow Jeff's podcast too - he's going to be interviewing some fantastic composers for his first season, including Kevin Day, Jodie Blackshaw, Randall Standridge, Julie Giroux, and JaRod Hall.
Earlier this month, the chamber music group The _____ Experiment asked me to join them for a roundtable retrospective discussion about their latest album Conversations (which I helped co-produce). All of the artists who have, and are currently part of, this group are incredible advocates and champions of new music, and I'm thrilled that they not only represented three of my chamber pieces for their album, but also honored that my work is represented with a plethora of fantastic new pieces by equally wonderful composers.
You can view the full interview below. Go purchase their album too!!
Do I even need to say what's been going on in 2020?
We all know. We've been living the nightmare, enduring it, surviving it, each in our own way. We are 6+ months into this global pandemic and crisis, with the arts continuing to be devastated and no foreseeable plan to address the long-term negative impacts of this chaos. There are short-term plans in place - some of us have been able to meet in-person and in smaller numbers, while others have gone fully virtual.
Teachers, educators, artists, composers, and more need our collective support, now more than ever. We all need to support each other equally - not some artists and groups and composers more than others. ALL OF US. EQUALLY.
So how has all of this impacted me? Well --
Like so many of us, this brutal pandemic gradually shocked me into an artistically catatonic depression for a while. At first, I created a series of Isolation Improvisations just so that I COULD write, but looking back on it, the whole experience essentially forced myself into a creative state of mind during difficult times. It ended up being unhealthy for me - something that actually drained me more than I think I would have felt had I NOT created those improvisations.
So, as we have all each accomplished in our own way, I moved through every moment of quarantine one day at a time.
This year, I've tried to find new outlets for productivity and focused my energies on finding personal, and dare I even say spiritual, balance. I've been cooking and baking much more often now (so many cookies baked this year - so. many.). I started meditating earlier this year, which has actually created a more positive, overall impact on my mental health that I would have ever thought possible. I've been reading more books and articles, learning some new technological skills, and I hope to start learning a new language by the beginning of next year.
Again, taking everything one day at a time.
Before this pandemic occurred, however, I had been developing something else - something that's absolutely now a long-term project (several years, at least).
The _____ Experiment (a chamber trio consisting of clarinet, saxophone, and harp) is a wonderful advocate and champion of new music. I am thrilled that not only three of my chamber pieces are included on their brand-new debut album Conversations, but also honored that my work is represented with a plethora of fantastic new pieces by equally wonderful composers. Thank you to The _____ Experiment for challenging me and pushing me to create music that opened my eyes to new and exciting possibilities of timbre and sound.
Conversations includes my chamber works INFERNO 7.0 (tenor saxophone, Bb clarinet, harp), ANTIKYTHERA (bass clarinet, bass saxophone), and CONVERSATIONS (Bb clarinet, harp). All three of these pieces are available to purchase and perform. The album is now available on Spotify (listen below), Apple Music, YouTube, and more.
I'm so excited to be returning to Chicago this week for the 2019 Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference with 9 of my colleagues in the Millennium Composers Initiative!! This year, Nature's Light and The Dance That Never Was will be featured at the Orchestra and Jazz New Music Reading Sessions!! In addition, a big-band arrangement I created of Kevin Day's Windy City will also be featured at the jazz session.
Here's my schedule of events for the week:
In addition, if you're attending Midwest Clinic this week - MY ENTIRE CATALOG IS 40% OFF. Stop by Booth 2008 while I'm there for the secret coupon code :)
Finally, thank you to MCI for the wonderful shout-out! The video below is of a Composer Spotlight featuring the three works that will be showcased this week. Check it out:
I hope to see you at the conference this week! Looking forward to this year's events, meeting and re-connecting with all of you, and hearing my colleagues' wonderful work.