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December 23, 2009 Uncategorized

The blog takes a back seat…

Since I’m not particularly consistent at actual blogging, and in recent times posts have dwindled to simple “here’s what I’m up to” (and not even that, in the last two months I’ve had two premieres and nary a word here!!), I’ve restructured the front page of my site to pull together my Twitter feed, upcoming performances, and a random photo from my Flickr page, and relegated the actual Blog to a secondary page.

And just to officially catch up:

Oklahoma State was great – the horns made me giggle with joy, and the performance was spectacular. Huge thanks to unsung hero Hunter Lewis for slogging through the unfamiliar world of Ableton Live, Joe Missal for being a great host, and of course the band, who just about blew the doors off of the hall. Which is exactly what I want. πŸ™‚

Univ. Nebraska Lincoln – went straight from Stillwater to Lincoln, where Carolyn Barber and the UNL Wind Ensemble premiered The Marbled Midnight Mile at NMEA. This was a consortium commission organized by Phi Beta Mu and administered by Jay Gilbert at Doane College, consisting of somewhere around 30 schools from across Nebraska, ranging from very small High Schools all the way up to some college groups (including UNL). As I’ve mentioned before, composing works for younger, less-experienced musicians, is in itself a daunting challenge, and doing so while still trying to keep it challenging for college-level performers makes it all the more difficult. I think it worked, though! It certainly was well-received, and I was struck by how meditative the music was – even moreso than I had expected. More on the piece coming soon. A big “thank you” to Carolyn and the UNL group for the lovely performance, and to Jay Gilbert, Phi Beta Mu, and the participating commissioners for making the project happen!

UNC Greensboro – it’s always wonderful to go to a performance and NOT have to get on an airplane. After this Fall’s crazy schedule, I appreciate it even more. So it was a delight to drive the hour over to Greensboro for John Locke and the UNCG Wind Ensemble’s performance of Ecstatic Waters. The group was fantastic, and also rocked out on some Chester Leaps In and Radiant Joy. It was sort of a career-spanning concert: Chester Leaps In is my oldest piece (that I’ll let anyone hear), dating from 1995 (the band version was created in 1997 at the urging of Eric Whitacre).

Williams College – this was a very cool, completely atypical concert. Steve Bodner has a unique program up there, and I must say, I really liked the whole program and his approach to programming. This wasn’t a “band” concert, or even a “new music” concert – it was simply a great, creative evening of music (how often will I be programmed with Andriessen, Adams, Lang, van der Aa, and Debussy all in one?!?), in a cool space (Mass MoCa). The brand new Ecstatic Moments I created for the event worked wonderfully, and I plan to release them for others to use shortly. Williamstown is also a beautiful town in one of my favorite areas of the country, so I hope I get a chance to return there… πŸ™‚

Michigan State – it’s always great to visit old friends, and working with Kevin Sedatole and the MSU Wind Symphony was a fitting finish to the semester’s travel schedule. The performance was, as always, truly excellent, and the Mahler Hammer was ridiculous. This must be the biggest Mahler Hammer ever created. I only managed to get a shot with my iPhone, but I hear there’s actual video out there of this in action…

Anyone from MSU want to hook me up?

That wraps up the Fall series of performances. The Spring looks to be even crazier – 26 scheduled performances of Ecstatic Waters so far, including the US Marine Band…