After participating in eight (YES, 8!) music festivals this summer, I have many current and future projects to continue my madness!
How I love the work I do: my students and fellow faculty members at the University of Oregon are a constant source of inspiration. This term I also have the opportunity to work with some very special guests who will travel to Oregon. Matt Albert (eighth blackbird former violinist) and Jeff Zeigler (Kronos Quartet former cellist) will visit in November to record two more works for my David Lang album, and David Riley will keep us on our toes with his magnificent piano chops during the session! A big thank you to Brian McWhorter, who has been producing all of these Lang pieces for me. Days after the Lang session ends, flutist Mary Stolper will travel from Chicago to perform a solo flute recital, on which I get to make a couple of cameo appearances. And in early November, when beatboxing flutist Greg Pattillo is passing through town with his Project Trio, the U of O flute studio will certainly be gleaning what we can from his concert! AND, I am super excited to be performing with Orchestra Next, the Oregon Symphony, the Eugene Symphony and the Oregon Wind Quintet this Autumn.
Duo Damiana is a huge highlight of my life these days: Dieter Hennings and I had a fabulous time on our last tour, to Kentucky and Tennessee. And another tour awaits us, in March of 2015, when we head to Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The flute and guitar world will never be the same now that we are here!
Summer is in full swing: festivals galore! I am participating in 7 festivals: Nief Norf (Greenville SC, May 30-June 7), Flute Extremes (Eugene OR, June 19-22), Oregon Bach Festival Composer Symposium (Eugene OR, June 29-July 5), U of O Band Camp (Eugene OR, July 14-18), National Flute Association Convention (Chicago IL, Aug 7-10), Britt Festival (Jacksonville OR, Aug 11-17), and last but not least the Sunriver Festival (Sunriver OR, Aug 18-20). What an inspirational time of year- superb weather, exciting colleagues and students, fantastic music. Life certainly is a blast!
I am excited to have the opportunity to play some crazy and fun spectral music with the fabulous Seattle Symphony on May 16! Here are details:
[untitled] series: Professor Bad Trip
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Grisey: Périodes from Les espaces acoustiques (“Acoustic Spaces”)
Tristan Murail: L’esprit des dunes (“Spirit of the Dunes”) [1994 version]
Romitelli: Professor Bad Trip, Lesson 2
Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (“Song of the Youths”), Electronic Music
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.