I am quite excited for my 2014 summer plans, which actually begin 3 weeks prior to the “official” beginning of summer.
First, I will be on the faculty of the nief-norf Summer Festival in South Carolina, which runs from May 27-June 7. The nief-norf Summer Festival (nnSF) is an interdisciplinary summer music festival, bringing together dozens of performers, composers, and scholars to collaborate on the performance, creation, and discussion of contemporary solo and chamber music. The nnSF offers a think-tank environment on the beautiful campus of Furman University (Greenville, SC) and presents inspiring and devoted performances of modern music, aiming to encourage both appreciation and support for live music and contemporary art.
Once I return to Eugene, I will have a couple of weeks to prepare for the second annual Flute Extremes (FluX) workshop on the campus of the University of Oregon. Where the worlds of Baroque and modern flutes, flute playing, and flute music come together, FluX is open to players of either modern or Baroque flute, and to those who play both instruments. FluX focuses on music from the 18th-, 20th-, and 21st-centuries. Baroque flutists will work on the traditional repertoire for the instrument (and in-depth historical performance practices) as well as explore its ever-expanding repertoire of modern music. Modern players will focus on the current repertoire for their instrument as well as discover the parallel performance practices in Baroque music.
The Oregon Bach Festival descends on Eugene, Oregon each year, and this summer I am fortunate to be a mentor and performer at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, to be held from June 30-July 5. My Duo Damiana partner, guitarist Dieter Hennings, and the string quartet of Fear No Music will be joining me for this festival.
I will be an active participant at the upcoming National Flute Association Convention, which will be held in Chicago from August 7-10. I am excited to be judging the biennial Arts Venture Competition, which is designed to reward new thinking and viable, innovative ideas with a $2,000 award for the winner. The NFA Annual Convention will include four-15 minute presentations by competition finalists summarizing their proposed projects. Finalists’ projects will demonstrate creativity, added value to the flute community, and potential for success.
What a season! An absolute high-point of my career to-date has been to tour Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s cantata titled “Comala” with a fabulous group of musicians (and friends!) as well as with Push Physical Theater. We visited Atlanta, GA and then traveled to Mexico to play in Guadalajara and Guanajuato. I do hope we can stage another performance of this fascinating work soon!
Soon after the tour ended I was on stage performing a set of Haiku for flute and piano by Michael Fiday, who was a guest at the University of Oregon for a few days. Flutists take note- this is a piece to get your hands on!
Nov 2-9 takes me to Indiana University, DePaul University, University of Illinois and to the Chicago Flute Club Festival for solo performances, masterclasses and a concert to honor my Oberlin professor Michael Debost.
I am counting the days until my next project begins, because I get to work with some of my all-time favorite musician friends: percussionist Stuart Gerber, soprano Tony Arnold, guitarist Dieter Hennings, conductor Timothy Weiss and composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. Stuart and Ricardo have worked to get onto one stage the people listed above playing alongside members of Bent Frequency and the Push Ensemble. We will begin our tour in Atlanta, then head to Guadalajara and Guanajuato Mexico.
Ricardo’s opera, Comala, is based on the novel Pedro Páramo, by the great Mexican author Juan Rulfo. Comala does not encompass the entire novel, but only relates the part that Juan Preciado plays in the complex and multi-dimensional story. Juan Preciado is the legitimate son of Pedro Páramo. He guides the reader, narrating in the first person, until death surprises him midway through the novel. From that point on, he becomes a peaceful spectator, in the “chorus” of the dead, as the story continues to unfold without him. In Pedro Páramo, the orderly flux of time has been derailed, and the borders between past, present, life, and afterlife have dissolved. Therefore, the dead and the living interact continuously. In Comala, the living characters (Juan Preciado, Donis and Donis’ sister) express themselves in normal speech, while the dead characters (Doloritas, Eduviges Dyada, Damiana Cisneros, the ghost of a battered man) sing. The idea behind this is that the living act under the pressure of time, and seek immediate communication, whereas the dead, free from the bonds of time, reflect endlessly in song.