I composed a new, expanded version of Noir for the Georgia Tech Concert orchestra under the direction of Andrea Pérez Muksi. It was premiered September 26, 2023 and featured jazz saxophonist Daniel Juárez and electric guitarist Nat Condit-Schultz.
Click HERE to listen to the entire 9-minute recording from the premiere.
For this new version, the piece has been extended to feature both the sax and electric guitar, along with giving the orchestra a more prominent role in various sections. Furthermore, I grew up listening to a lot of progressive rock, and wanted to incorporate more of that stylistic influence into this new composition.
The tenor sax melody at the beginning is originally from my art song composition, Nightingale (2011). In 2013, I decided to create an instrumental jazz version, which I titled Noir referencing the dark and mysterious atmosphere throughout. The chamber jazz version was premiered at the 2013 Rochester Fringe Festival, and the 2014 big band version was the winner of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra Contest and performed at the Ear Shot Festival featuring alto saxophonist Grace Kelly.
Tasos Peltekis and Olivia Yokers perform Jennifer Bellor’s “Echo” from “A Smile and a Sigh”
Gorgeous performance of “Echo” from my song cycle, “A Smile and a Sigh,” at the Nextet concert on September 18th! There is a short video clip on my Instagram page, and if you want to hear the entire performance, click HERE to access the video.
Olivia and Tasos will be recording the entire song cycle for release on my new album (release date TBD 2024).
Excited to be one of the composition faculty members at the Alba Music Festival Composition program. The festival is currently accepting applications for the May 2024 program featuring SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Aaron Jay Kernis, and faculty also including Erich Stem, Carl Schimmel, and J Anthony Allen. The application is free, open to composers of any nationality and stage of career, and some (limited) financial aid is available. To learn more, and to make an application, visit the program website: https://www.albacomposition.com/
Score and parts completed and sent! Just finished my piece Noir for tenor sax, electric guitar, and orchestra and really excited about this new version of the piece. Originally for big band, Chaowen Ting and the Georgia Tech Orchestras commissioned me to create this new version, which will be premiered by the Georgia Tech Concert Orchestra and members of the jazz ensemble on September 26. The piece will feature guest jazz tenor sax soloist Daniel Juárez and electric guitarist Nat Condit-Shultz. Andrea Pérez Muksi will be conducting the performance.
If you are interested in programming Noir for your orchestra after the premiere, send me a message! email@example.com
My composition Ballad of a Wanderer was performed at the 55th International Horn Symposium in Montreal on July 28, 2023. Click HERE for a link to the program. For more information about the piece, click HERE.
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I love devoting the month of June to composition projects, website updates, completing other items I haven’t gotten to all year, along with setting new personal goals. I just finished giving my website a little makeover, and I’m excited to share about current projects! Here is a short list of pieces I’m currently working on that are due later this summer. I also added a page CURRENT PROJECTS that I plan to update regularly. This page includes current commissions that need to be done, like, now-ish or in a month or so; large-scale “dream” composition projects still in the planning stages; and new recording and music video projects.
SUMMER COMPOSITIONPROJECTS with upcoming deadlines
Cuatro Canciones De Las Ultimas Horas (2023) (Four Songs Of The Las Hours) song cycle for bass and piano
Commissioned by Norman Espinoza, I set four sonnets by Pablo Neruda for Norman to perform with piano. Recently completed back in May, Norman is learning these songs over the summer and he will record them early Fall 2023. Premiere and Release dates TBA.
Noir (2023) – New version for jazz tenor sax, electric guitar, and orchestra
Commissioned by Chaowen Ting, Director of Orchestras at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I am working on a new version of Noir for this new instrumentation. The score and parts are due end of July/early August. Premiere is September 26, 2023.
Indigo Nocturne (2023) for alto saxophone and piano
Commissioned by saxophonist Shawna Pennock, I am creating a new version of Indigo Nocturne specifically for alto saxophone and piano so she can perform the piece at various recitals in the future. Piece will be completed by end of June 2023.
A Smile and a Sigh (2020, 2023) song cycle for soprano and electric guitar
I am revisiting the original version of these songs for soprano and electric guitar in order for them to be recorded and premiered early Fall 2023. I am working with guitarist Tasos Peltekis on the guitar parts this summer. The new recording will be released Fall 2023 featuring Tasos and soprano Olivia Yokers. The premiere will take place September 18, 2023 at the UNLV Nextet series concert.
In addition to my composition projects this summer, one of my goals is to create and share keyboard improvisation videos. One of my favorite activities at home is improvising at my piano and antique pump organ. Improvising gives me happiness and serenity. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to share one of my improvisations on Instagram and Facebook. After receiving some really kind feedback on my first video, I decide this would be one of my new long term projects. I look forward to creating and sharing more improvisations in the coming weeks and cannot wait to communicate more musical ideas with all of you. I hope you enjoy listening!
Carousel is inspired by the piece Alone in Kyoto by the french band Air which was featured in the Sophia Coppola Film, Lost in Translation. Scarlett Johansson’s character is exploring the Heian Shrine by herself to the sounds of electronic music, plucked piano and guitar. Carousel features rhythmic pizzicato strings in all four parts with bowed solos in the violins and cellos. The constant driving pizzicatos evoke the feeling of being on a mysterious carousel.
Total playing time is under 5 mins and is Level 4.
Carousel was premiered by the Las Vegas Youth Chamber Orchestra on May 1, 2023, conducted by Tim Warren.