My Alma Mater, Pomona College, commissioned me for a new orchestra work which I just completed. Please take a look at it here and read about the wonderful orchestra that will be performing it here. The performances are slated for November 18th (8PM) and 20th (3PM) at Bridges Hall of Music.
On the complete other end of the spectrum, I recently dug out a solo horn work which began as a collaboration between me and a friend and was sort of just thrown away (by me, not the friend) and forgotten about once it was completed. I figure that it is a good enough work to warrant being reworked and premiered, so I have done that and as of typing this I am a couple of hours from the premiere at the first Hear & Now Concert (Rice’s student-led new music ensemble). It should be a wonderful time as the horn player has really brought new and vivid life to this work. More info on that incoming.
My new work, The Hand of God, will be premiered at Barge Music in Brooklyn, NY on July 22nd (very soon!) by Ukrainian-American Grammy™ Award winning pianist Nadia Shpachenko. This work was a part of her GOAT commissioning project, funded by New Music USA, which you can read about here.
The (much too long) program note I put together for this work:
“The Hand of God” refers to an “illegal” goal made by Argentine footballer Diego Maradona during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals against England. In this work I intended to have the musical materials derive from soccer moves and trajectory mimic that of getting more proficient at those moves. While writing this work, I learned of “The Hand of God” and its anti-colonial connotations in the context of the Falklands War, and how Diego later relayed that he viewed this illegal move as “symbolic revenge” against England. This work is a loose metaphor for the journey that Diego took towards mastery of the art of football. As such the work is at times lumpy, uncomfortable, and viscous with many harsh and deeply dissonant cluster chords. But, out of that discomfort is brought a clarity, as the piece seems to “learn the trick” after much repetition. Ultimately there is a moment containing consonant chords inserted just for a moment before an extremely grand gesture finishing the work. I interpret this as both divine intervention and the feeling of finally having a breakthrough where, in the midst of learning a new skill, one actually begins to make progress.
Also on the program are New York/East Coast premieres by Pamela Z, Ian Dicke, Dana Kaufman, David Sanford, and Adam Schoenberg as well as brand new works by Christopher Cerrone, Harold Meltzer, Evan Ware, and my former teacher, Thomas Flaherty.
My work, Welcome, commissioned by the Ónix Ensamble, has enjoyed two performances on their 25th Anniversary Season. It was truly a dream to write a piece for this ensemble that is capable of doing such extraordinary feats of virtuosity. They were amazing collaborators and wonderful to get to know during the process of this collaboration. For all of my fellow chamber music enthusiasts, I would highly recommend any of their amazing albums on their website which you can access by clicking here.
To read more about this piece, please go to it’s home on my website by clicking here.
I have been selected as an associate artist under composer-pianist Timo Andres as a part of the ACA Artist-in-Residence program. I’ll be mentored by Andres at the center in New Smyrna Beach, FL from February 13th to March 5th. I’m really excited about this, as Andres is an artist I have long looked up to, and whose music I find really stirring and beautiful. You can read Andres’ residency statement here.
I’ll mostly be working on a new commission from pianist Anthony Ratinov. Check out his performances on his youtube channel here. In the wake of receiving this commission, Anthony has really wooed me both by his virtuosic playing and amazingly warm personality. Normally commissions are the fruits borne from close relationships with a performer, which is why I feel simultaneously surprised and blessed that this commission has resulted in a wonderful friendship.
“A similar, hard-to-track borrowing is to be found in Reality’s Edge by Oliver Dubon, a highly introspective piece based on a quotation from a work (Grace and Decay for guitar solo) by his first mentor in composition, Brendon Randall-Myers. Despite of the strong relationship with the author’s life story, the atmosphere of this work spans from the rock-star introduction to a more lyric and scattered mid-section, where the reminiscences of tonal poles work as attraction elements to balance a quasi-fantasia writing, that finally comes back to an exuberant, yet delicate, strumming ending.“
You can check out more information about this work at it’s page on my website here.