The Guerrilla Composers Guild concerts were awesome. If you missed them, you can check out a review of the first concert here, and listen to the recording of my string trio below and on my Sounds page.

[Vijay Chalasani, Crystal Pascucci, and Chris Whitley performing. Nick Benavides and Zach Miley recording.]

I will be spending the holidays in upstate New York, experiencing my first white Christmas since I was five. I continue to make my way through Jan Swafford’s monumental new Beethoven biography, which so far, has already been tremendously illuminating. I am also finally getting back to some fiction, having just taken a detour to engross myself in some thoughts on poetry, in preparation for the numerous projects coming up next year involving poetry.

2015 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year, but I shall save details on everything for later. For the moment, I shall bid adieu for the rest of the year as I head out to enjoy a welcome change of scenery.

Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year

Spent Thanksgiving with the family in Orlando. It is always great to get some distance and perspective on things. Not to mention spending time with the folks. The year is winding down, but there is more going on than ever.

The Mobius Trio return from their East Coast tour, playing my piece, Initial Darkness, among other works. The boys had a blast over there and I have heard nothing but awesome reviews. Hopefully a recording of some sort will be forthcoming in 2015, so keep an ear out for that.

I am very excited for my new string trio to be premiered by the Guerrilla Composers Guild. Vijay Chalasani, Chris Whitley, and Crystal Pascucci are ripping it to shreds. Entitled I Smoke My Pipe, there will be two performances, one in San Francisco and one in Oakland. Also on the program will be music by GCG co-founders Nick Benavides and Danny Clay. (Both of whom have just updated their websites and they look amazing. Check them out!)

I just finished up two pieces for the Left Coast Ensemble’s Intersection 2015 workshop. Both short works written specifically for the participants. One is for clarinet, viola, and piano entitled Firefly Reflections. The other for flute, violin, and cello, entitled in the moonlight there were flowers.

I have a tendency, whenever I am in need of a title or two, to just pick up the nearest book of haikus and use something from the first couple that catch my eye. So far this has worked remarkably well, as the titles it has produced have had a fitting resonance with the emotional quality of the works in question.

Some electronic work of mine may surface sometime over the next couple of months. Keep an eye on this space and I will be sure to let you know when and where.

As mentioned before, I am working on a new song set with the poetry of J.L. Nowak. Again, another artist very much worth your time to take a look at. I will be setting her work Frames, which will include a visual component.

Lastly, a teaser of more work that will be coming up in later in 2015, check out the poetry of Roy Doughty.

Have a wonderful holiday season and I hope to see you at some of the shows coming up.

UPDATE: check out the interview I did with the Guerrilla Composers Guild about the upcoming show here!

If you are in the NYC area this week, keep and eye and ear out for the astounding Mobius Trio. They will be doing a short tour of the area, playing some absolutely fantastic music, included my own Initial Darkness (Radio Edit). More information can be found on my events page.

I have also been putting up small pieces and sketches under the title Short Takes on my soundcloud page. These are short clips that are either discarded from some other works, or their own stand alone little microcosm. Keep an ear there as well as they should update once or twice a week for a little while.

More projects are coming down the chute, which I will update about as appropriate, but I am most excited to be starting on a new song set for the soprano Jill Morgan Brenner.

Having two premieres within 24 hours was amazing, exhilarating, and tiring. Both Areon Flutes and the Mobius Trio did awesome amazing jobs on all of the music that they played this weekend. Unbeknownst to me at the time, on Saturday night when Areon was premiering Spirals Slinkies Staircases (as well as, among other things, recapping a decade-old gem by Noah Luna), Mobius was premiering a new work by the awesome Santiago Gutierrez Bolio, which they then recapped the following day at their concert at C4NM. At that concert on Sunday, Mobius opened with a three year old piece by Danny Clay before moving on to the Radio Edit of my new piece for them, Initial Darkness. They closed the concert with another new work, Infinite Earths, by the astounding Mario Godoy.

Those stories are a very tiny testaments to one of the things that make these groups awesome, especially from a composer’s perspective, which is that they will continue to perform pieces. It is already a tired lament in the new music community that far too often pieces get premieres, and then no second performance. Fighting this was one of the main impetuses behind the founding of the Fifth Floor Collective (of which I had a small part in, and who also had a concert last night in Boston). But groups like Mobius and Areon bring a very special dedication to the music that they ask for and perform. This goes all the way through their entire preparation (Santiago mentioned to me yesterday, after sound check, at his awe that everything that Mobius was spending time to checking and setting up, was all in service to giving the best performance possible of these works), to continue to perform the works, sometimes even for years.

I am very fortunate that Areon and Mobius will both continue to perform the works I have written for them throughout this season. Mobius is making a small tour to the NYC area, I’ve posted the shows where they are planning on playing Initial Darkness. Areon as well will be playing some cool shows later this season, and I will be posting those dates once I have confirmation. Every musician knows that performance of works only continue to get better with time and practice, as was very clearly evident this weekend by the performances of Noah’s and Danny’s music. I am excited that these pieces will get a life outside of this past weekend and I look forward to seeing all of the nuanced ways in which they change and grow over the season.

Looking ahead, there will be news about a new work I have written for the Guerrilla Composers Guild, and if you don’t already, keep an ear out on Music from Other Minds.

Areon 10:11:14 Mobius 10:12:14

This week is very exciting. I will have two premieres on back to back nights in the Bay Area on October 11th and 12th.

First up is my new piece for Areon Flutes entitled Spirals Slinkies Staircases. This was a commission as part of the group’s monumental tenth season and I am very honored to be taking a part in it. They will be playing the piece this Saturday, October 11 at Trinity Chamber Concerts.

The following day the Mobius Trio will be premiering my new piece for them, on three electric guitars, Initial Darkness. That will be taking place on Sunday, October 12 at 5pm at the Center for New Music.

I am very excited to be working with both of these groups and can’t wait for all of the music making this week.

Here is some of what I have been up to and what is about to start consuming my life.

Last month I took part in a performance of Vexations over in Berkeley. You can check out the write up here.

I just finished Waves for six guitars. This will hopefully be premiered at SFCM sometime next calendar year. It was partially inspired by Reuben Margolin‘s work.

I am working on Piano Piece I, which will be the second piece in the series, following last year’s Piano Piece VI. Once PPI is finished, PPV will be underway.

I am writing an oboe and bassoon duet for the wonderful Kris King and Sydne Sullivan entitled …on all sides of ours lives. We will be recording this on the 10th and premiering it on Sydne’s recital on the following day.

Today I met with The Living Earth Show to start on the piece that I will be writing for them for the April 2, 2013 concert at SFCM, I watch the fire as the days echo away. I’m stoked to be working with awesome people and musicians on this project.

New Keys just performed IV at their fall concert and did an awesome job with it. I will be writing a two piano eight hands piece for them for the spring.

I am going to start work on a new orchestra piece, the emotional impetus behind which came from my work at the SFCM Archives.

And lastly, I will be doing an installation at the Hot Air Festival this year which I am totally stoked about. I am excited to branch out from a strict concert setting for my work. It is an option that I have thought about exploring and I look forward to my first venture with it.