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    Thursday
    Sep182014

    New chamber work

    I've just put down the first draft of a new work for Cygnus Ensemble entitled At Sixes and Sevens.  It's a suite of five movements for two winds, two guitars, and two strings.  It's a whirlwind of a piece, with much virituosity and subtle metric interplay. I am looking forward to editing and putting the final touches on it.  I hope to hear it premiered by the ensemeble in the next year in NY.

    After this project, I'm embarking on a set of meditations for baroque violin and archlute for Rebecca Harris and Richard Stone, of Tempesta di Mare.  Each movement will be inspired by a quote from various mystical writings - Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Yeates' A Vision, Rumi, etc.  I'm hoping to do a total 180 from the previous piece, working in a foggier, more suspended atmosphere.  The piece will be on a concert with the Biber Biblical Sonatas and a work by WCU alum Dan Shapiro. 

    Farther out on the horizon is the exciting O Antiphons project with Choral Arts Philadelphia.  My contribution will be a setting of O Sapientiae.  This will be premiered near Christmas, 2015.

    Saturday
    Jun142014

    Recording new lute music

    I'm about to record two of my lute works for my upcoming composition CD this coming week:  Lute Suite no. 1 "Noematique" and DisOrders for Archlute (2013/14).  I'll be recording at Dreamflower Studios in NYC, with engineer Jeremy Tressler and producer and guitarist extrordinaire William Anderson.  As these pieces crystalize in my ears and fingers, I keep thinking just how deeply the repertoire of the lute has affected my sense of rhythm, sonority, and gesture.  And I also like the results of my more updated harmonic language on the archlute - it's quite exotic and sonorous.  Fingers crossed that no one gets a crazy idea to use their leaf blowers or mowers at odd hours!

    Thursday
    Jun052014

    Bloomberg News Article on WCU

    Here's an article I was interviewed for from Bloomberg News that discusses the so-called "Secession Legislation" that would allow West Chester University become state-related.

    Sunday
    May182014

    An interesting story on Marc Wolf and the Furious Artisans Label

    Click here to read a Fanfare Magazine profile of Furious Artisans.  I'm working on putting out a CD of my music with them.

    Friday
    Feb072014

    This week I'm performing in the Feast of the Pheasant at the Newberry Consort in Chicago.  (Have a listen to this little L'homme arme setting).  Some poetic accounts survive and director David Douglass has sewn together a truly fine program with images, speaking, and great music.  On board are Ellen Hargis, Shira Kammen (vielle, harp), Tom Zajac (sackbut, douçaine, recorder, kitchen sink), yours truly singing countertenor and playing lute and gittern, and the amazing Rachel Barton Pine on rebec and voice.  

    Among the best works on the program are Busnoys' Regina Coeli, Dufay's marvellous motet Ecclesie Militantis, and many fine chansons by Dufay and Binchois.  

    It's a pleasure to work on this repertoire - my third concert of 15th c. rep. this season.  The admixture of what we today think of as separate domains, i.e., counterpoint and harmony - is truly satisfying.  Rhythmically, there's a residue of the late 14th century floating here and there - especially in the contratenor parts (a middle/low or middle/high part against the primary pair of tenor and cantus).  And there's enough virtuosity to go around for

    The text of the Feast is interesting. I need to dig into its symbolism.  To me, it seems like the primary account is full of encoded memory images.  These fantastic descriptions remind me of rhetoric manuals from ancient Rome and of the Ciceronian memory system.  It would be interesting to know what relationships are being uncovered by, say, green striped cloth, or of a woman thrashing birds out of a tree for someone to eat.  I bet someone has written about this and I'll soon know more.