On Sunday, April 3rd, the UNLV Wind Orchestra under the direction of Tom Leslie recorded my composition Bordello Nights with the jazz soloists Eric Marienthal, Colin Gordon, Mitch Forman, Kevin Axt, and Bernie Dresel. The ensemble sounded fantastic, and cannot wait to hear the finished product next year!
My new composition 898 Hildegard for chorus and orchestra commissioned by the Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus will be premiered first in Rochester, NY, and then will receive its Southwest premiere by the Las Vegas Philharmonic April 2017.
898 Hildegard was commissioned to honor the GVOC’s founder, Sister Virginia Hogan, through the verse and melody of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). The title is borrowed from the name of a planetoid in our solar system, 898 Hildegard, thus connecting civilization’s ancient cosmos with the one that it continues to discover. I used excerpts from her chants “O Vis Eternitatis” and “O Gloriosissimi Lux Vivens Angeli,” in which the text is about eternity and angels. Then, I listened to the recordings of these chants on the Hildegard Society website (www.hildegard-society.org), and transcribed the performances in order to learn how these chants are presented rhythmically. After studying the intricate details of both chants, I then intertwined the original chant material with my own variations throughout, melding it together into a through-composed composition that not only displays my compositional style, but also highlights these beautiful chants by Hildegard von Bingen.
Clarinetist Cory Tiffin premiered my composition Reste at the UNLV Nextet Concert March 14, 2016. Joining him was Luigi Ng on vibraphone, and Jae Ahn-Benton on piano. What a beautiful performance!
The French definition of reste is “to remain or stay.” It is fascinating how we may not remember activities or conversations we had yesterday or even minutes prior, but we would recall vivid details about specific events in the more distant past. As we recall these events more than once, did some details change over time, and if so, how real is this memory? I came across this quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the concept of Memory: “The very idea of truth in memory, and the attendant possibility of error, implies that we are naturally realists about the past: but this fact about us doesn’t dictate answers to questions about just how, or how often, we do remember past truly.” Relating this to my composition, the eight-note motive first played in the vibraphone and piano that continually return throughout represent the objective memories that remain with us over time that may or may not help shape our identity (i.e., the actual event versus our own perception/interpretation). The clarinet part contains fragments from the motive along with other melodic material that shapes the lines, representing the subjectivity we have when recalling past events, and how our own interpretations can creep in and re-shape the memories we have over time.
Reste will also be performed at the New Music at the Green Mill Series in Chicago May 1, 2016.
Photos from the dress rehearsal tonight! The UNLV Wind Orchestra under the direction of Tom Leslie sounds amazing, and am looking forward to the concert tomorrow! They are premiering my new piece featuring Eric Marienthal, alto sax; Colin Gordon, soprano sax; Mitch Forman, piano; Kevin Axt, bass; Bernie Dresel, drums. 7:30pm, March 10, Ham Hall!🎉🎹 🎷 🎼🎺
My new composition Reste for clarinet, vibraphone, and piano will be premiered on the UNLV Nextet Concert tomorrow at 7:30pm, Doc Rando Recital Hall featuring clarinetist Cory Tiffin with Luigi Ng playing vibes, and Jae Ahn-Benton on piano. They sound fabulous, and can’t wait to hear them tomorrow! Here is a photo of them at a rehearsal, along with the poster about the concert tomorrow: