Last Friday night’s performance of Ecstatic Waters by UT at CBDNA was fantastic. I haven’t written anything before now because 1) I’m exhausted, and 2) I don’t really know what to say, beyond that it was fantastic, and part of an amazing week of music. Verena’s transcription of Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man was stunning, in no small part because of soprano Hila Plitmann. The Michigan State University concert the next evening was equally impressive – piece after piece of really great and thrilling music. Asphalt Cocktail rocked even harder than I thought it would (and I expected plenty of rockin’ to begin with). John made me envious (again) with his ability to lay down a complex yet satisfying groove with concert percussion and band. I *must* get me some of that. Carter Pann showed us in Concerto Logicthat he’s ridiculously talented with the piano chops, and oh yeah, he also writes some decent music (!). Ricardo Lorenz, on faculty at Michigan State, burst onto the scene with his masterful first work for band, El Muro. Finally, Bolcom’s new Symphony was impressive. I still feel a little ambivalent about some of the structural choices (the seemingly disparate clash of different musical moods and material didn’t quite rub me the right way), but it was still a hell of a piece.
There was much more to the week, but I’m exhausted, and am in no mood to attempt real reviews of the music – not my job or my area of expertise. I’m eternally indebted to Jerry Junkin and the UT Wind Ensemble for playing the hell out of Ecstatic Waters. I’m a little sad that the piece’s run at UT has come to an end, but I look forward to all the planned performances around the US next year! Mostly, though, I’m itching to get back to composing – haven’t written a note since I finished Axis Mundi last Fall. Speaking of which, the recording is coming…today!