So Wednesday June 16th, 48 Hour Film Fest St. Louis held their awards ceremony. The film I scored, CUT, received four awards! Sadly, none for music. They received awards for editing, writing, use of line, and 2nd place overall. Though I must say it is an honor to be nominated.
Anyway, some exciting news! My reed quintet, Aftershock, is receiving its world premiere this year in Tuscan, AZ. The group, Outlaw Quintet, will be giving the world premiere performance. The performance doesn't have a date yet, but it will be late September or early October. The piece was inspired by how I processed the Pulse Nightclub shooting, how I dealt with no longer feeling safe in my own skin being an open gay man, being reminded that there is still a certain level of exposure I have being open even in today's modern world. The piece will be paired with an arrangement of Sia's "The Greatest" since the subject matter is related.
I will I'll keep you all updated. :)
Hey so I know I don't update this much, but I thought this was worth the post. I was recently commissioned to write my first film score for the 48 Hour Film Fest in St. Louis, MO, my hometown! It was an exciting and stressful two days but I just received word that the film, CUT, was placed in the Top 10 and thus will be receiving an award for something this Wednesday. I have no idea for what but a chance is there that it might be for music. :) I won't be there for the award ceremony unfortunately but I am excited to see how it goes and I'll update as soon as I know!
I was perusing the Zodiac Music Festival and Academy webpage for pictures and info on the festival for a presentation I'm giving on the organization for the Composition Forum at UMKC. I happened across their videos section and noticed they had featured my piece, Forest Rituals, on their website! I found the YouTube link too! Enjoy! (Note: I've made some major changes to the piece and expect to get a performance here in the US this year!)
I was interviewed recently by the Johnson County Library for their Listen Local section. Many thanks to Brian Voell for reaching out to me and for his patience in my getting back to his questions. 😄
Not a huge update, but I decided to start a Facebook page for both composition and a performance based posts. You can access it through clicking on the new Facebook icon on my social media buttons. :)
So a few weeks ago I was accepted to the Zodiac Festival in Valdeblore France. This is an amazing opportunity for me as it's the first time I have really won something and my first time abroad. Which means my first time on a plane (which I am, admittedly, very nervous about). This opportunity comes with a commission for a piece: a trio for flute, cello, and piano.
UMKC has offered to cover a portion of the travel and I am receiving donations from my GoFundMe page.
Today I had the excellent opportunity to present TWO short opera scenes through the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Words + Music program, headed by Linda Ade Brand. The collaboration is between the LOKC, Coterie Theater's Young Playwrites Roundtable, and the UMKC Conservatory of Music's composition department. Last year, I had one scene, Collection!, which was well recovered by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo.
This year, the masterclass was led by Susan and Ed Kander, vets of the LOKC and Ed being one of the co-founders of the organization. I had the unique chance to present two scenes, Tony's Birthday, with text by Analiese Schroeder, and Nighttime, with text by Meredith McKnight. Both were vastly difference in mood and genre, and that's why I picked them. They showed the extremes of my composition style: the serious and the irreverent.
Tony's Birthday is about a squire, Stephen, who is trying to teach his liege, Prince Tony, who just turned 18, how to woo a maiden to be his wife. After a few failed attempts and a bad example on behalf of the squire, they go to the square to find other women to test Prince Tony's skills on. Susan pointed out that the scene didn't feel over and Analiese and I agreed, so we will be collaborating on a Tony, Part II.
Nighttime, the second scene I wrote, deals with two people, or whatever they are (Angsty young adults? A person and their split personality? Spirits? Angels? Parallel Universal Entities? All were suggestions by various people involved!). The scene opens with the character, simply referred to as Not Bold in the libretto, smoking and her friend, Bold, joins her, drunk. They talk about troubles at the apartment and about how Bold has insomnia and how Not Bold feels guilty about some past, or current, troubles. After a reconciliation, they just muse at the starry sky and end with a line found in the stage directions that we had to include, "The world has turned out to be enough."
The scene was so ethereal and mysterious that I had to get my hands on it and set it. We chose Countertenor (me) and Soprano (LaTeesha Jackson) to sing the roles of Bold and Not Bold, who were simply identified as Boy and Girl in the score. Susan loved the pieces and, in particular, the musical gestures and structure I chose.
Overall, I was pleased and very honored by the praise and critique I received. I cannot wait to perform it at the Coterie May 1st, then at the UMKC Composers Workshop and then finally the 2016 KC Fringe Festival. But, for now, I'm celebrating with a good book, some good tv, and some wholly deserved gelato. 🎹🎬🍦📖
Hey everybody! I have some updates for you. So I have expanded my piece, Polarity, into a three movement work. It is now called, "Concerning Beauty...." and it is based around the question, "What makes art beautiful?" There are three movements, each named after some aspect that I feel makes a great piece of art. They are: Polarity, Meaning, and Awareness. This piece received its premier at Logan Jungman's August recital and will be played again at the October 6th Guild Concert.
In other news, I submitted for a few contests. I sadly did not win two of them. However I still haven't heard about the third and I am hopeful that I may be selected for this last one.
I may have an opportunity to have my string quartet read next semester too. I am working on a performance of one movement next month. I am so excited for these potential opportunities. I will try to keep you all updated on things.
OH WAIT! I almost forgot! I finally got the audio for my cello solo, "Wandering About The Edge," which is a tribute to my former violin teacher, Ms. Ona Glee Horn, who passed away in August 2015. She was a cellist and I was able to attain her instrument and get it to school for the performance, where it was performed very well by cellist, Adee Dancy. I have the audio on my SoundCloud!
Since my last update, I have had a few updates to share.
Firstly, I am home for the summer and enjoying my stay in the country. I find that it helps with the creative process and lets the imagination flow with ideas. I am currently working on an orchestral piece, meant for a competition. In addition to that, I am going to expand Polarity into a three movement work, and a little special something for my friends and fellow composers, Logan Jungman and Stephen Ahrens.
Secondly, my piece, Adagio, will be performed by Patti Wolf at The Dark Room wine bar and photo gallery as part of the first inaugeral First Tuesday Composers Club. The meeting is July 7th at 7:30 pm. I'm so happy to have the opportunity to have my music played again for my colleagues here in St. Louis.
I hope that I will be able to offer more posts in the coming weeks. :)