Is it safe to come out yet?
Friday, April 23, 2021 8:06 AM
Well, nobody saw 2020 coming. So much for 20/20 vision!! Anyway — onward and upward!!
It’s been a good while since I posted anything at all here, but I have added a good bit of content to my catalog, and thusly, my website. 2020 was supposed to be the year that I recorded my art songs on a recording project for PARMA Recordings, but due to the covid outbreak and subsequent shut down of — well, the whole world — it was postponed. I have begun to put plans in motion to revive the project and am hopeful that I will be able to begin the recording process this summer. Stay tuned for details as they develop.
I have written a total 16 art songs for the project, including a couple of arias from my opera, The Bird Lady. And speaking of which, the big news is that after three+ years of writing, I have finally completed said opera. On April 15th, which I affectionately call “Get my wife back day!” because my wife is a tax accountant, I hung the last note on the tree that is The Bird Lady, a two-act chamber opera that I’ve written with writing partner and librettist Germaine Shames. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome either. You can check out the completed scores (separate for Act I and Act II) on the Opera tab above, and the arias and other art songs on the Art Songs tab. I am now working with Germaine to seek out opportunities for The Bird Lady, and we may have an opportunity to workshop it this coming fall. More on that soon!
Also added to the catalog this past year include Mirror, Mirror, a duet for violin and cello for which I was commissioned by Dan Qiao and Carolyn Regula, two incredible artists that I met at the Mostly Modern Festival in 2019. The piece, which is based completely on 12-tone row techniques, is to be recorded by the duo for their upcoming Mirror 2 Mirror recording project later this year.
New additions also include two new big band jazz arrangements — Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and a transcription of the final movement of my Kid’s Play orchestral suite. I also spent a good bit of time (since all we had in 2020 was time) cleaning up all of my existing jazz scores, as well as tightening up all the music pages of my website.
Although 2020 essentially canceled just about everything, there were some bright moments that included performances. The New York Composers Circle was able to get in one last concert before everything went into lock-down in March. On February 19, we held an organ recital with Claudia Dumschat at the Little Church Around the Corner, which featured my newly written/revised Chorale & Variations for solo organ. Turns out that my piece was the last piece of music heard live from a NYCC concert until we held a recording session in April 2021 in Bronxville, NY. I also had a solo piano piece recorded in March 2020 by Nina Siniakova, and then live-streamed on the Spread Spectrum Festival, which was broadcast live from Moscow, Russia. The videos of the performances of both the Chorale & Variations and Intervals: Three Etudes for Piano can be found on my YouTube channel. (Click the Videos tab above to be directed.)
Now I raised my glass to toast a better (and improving) 2021! With the uncertainty of what will be allowed with regard to live events for the forseeable future, all we can do is continue to write and produce music as we can and get it out there by any means possible. Stay well, my friends!
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