Monday, December 2, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
…since I moved far, far away from my hometown of Los Angeles (county), explaining to my parents that I was moving to Vermont (and not Vermont Avenue like they were hoping) to do things like assemble a few part-time musical (and nonmusical) jobs and experience snow for the first time. Now I'm back here to research my upcoming Honeymooner's-style sitcom opera about Ron and Nancy Reagan by visiting The Shrine of Trickledown (1) and swinging by the Warner Bros. Archives at USC.
I've only been back a few hours, and city hasn't changed much. There are more train stations, there is still a downtown, and all my favorite places still have their parking spaces.
And now I live in Ohio. I've lived there for the past six years, and now that this trip to Los Angeles truly feels like a visit, I'm wondering if I morphed into a Midwesterner.
I suppose being a Midwestern composer isn't so bad…
1. Hat tip to Stephen Hartke; I am certainly not witty enough to invent a nickname like that.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
This week I should probably chat about my lovely trip down to North Carolina where I saw white squirrels and waterfalls and Miller Asbill and his students, but unfortunately I need to postpone that blog post and substitute it with another blog post I should have written two weeks ago. Why? Regrettably I either need to be grading that pile of orchestration projects or thinking about OWU's Music Day or not be watching a silly science fiction drama on Netflix.
So, here is the film entitled Highway Hearing, produced by Dow Chemicals, about this local community and its debate to construct an interstate highway close by their town. The debate gets heated (many townsfolk are against it) until a Miss Helen Rathburn speaks up and encourage everyone to think how the interstate will benefit their children. Because only a woman can be sensitive and caring enough to think of the wee ones.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Greetings from Charlotte, North Carolina where I will be attending a music theory nerd conference for the first time as a professor person and meeting up with Miller Asbill and his students at Brevard College. I am quite excited to meet Miller since we've been talking about a future project for, oh, I dunno, about a year now and I'm thrilled that this project is finally going to happen.
Since this week I'm on the road (or on a plane), I was going to share with you some YouTube videos about driving the Interstate except that I attended a fantastic recital at Memorial Hall featuring Kelley O’Connor, Jessica Rivera, and Robert Spano this past weekend as part of the Constella Festival in Cincinnati.
I was lucky enough to be sitting next to my laptop when I was asked to turn pages for the recital, and yes, I probably should have been grading orchestration projects instead, but I kind of wanted to peruse new song cycles first-hand and listen to these women sing. Let me tell you—it was awe-inspiring.
And by “awe-inspiring,” I realized I needed to Up My Game.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Last week I was at the Bowling Green New Music Festival where I caught up with friends, new music, and found myself at a fantastic place called Insomnia Cookies that had this amazing peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. You know, the ice cream cookie sandwich had been my go-to snack almost every time I went to a Dodger game in the late 1990s/early 2000s…
This year, instead of scanning the programs I crammed in my purse like last year, I thought I'd share some YouTube clips or recordings of pieces I enjoyed (if I could find them).
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Today I'll be attending the 34th Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival where I hope to soak in a whole bunch of new music and have a good time just like last year. So, considering that I'll be traveling up the I-75 for a bit,1 this post won't be long but it will show you (1) the video from Sunday's performance and (2) the link to this awesome review written by Mary Ellyn Hutton. (Why, yes I did quote Beethoven!)
1. So guess what? I completed the I-71! It happened! It was delightful and everything I hoped it would be.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
There are two things on my mind right now. One is a performance of THE BUBBLE, which will be performed this Sunday evening as part of Classical Revolution Cincinnati's Constella Edition event. Performances by the Price Hill String Quartet, Il Troubadore Klingon Music Project and the Allan Pray Ensemble will be in order. Yes, there will be a Klingon opera, so um, phasers set to stunning and what not.
If you want to preview THE BUBBLE, click here. (Yes, there's a video up! Yes, that took forever!) If you want to read a copy of the libretto, click here: you can see what I had to work with. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. You probably should read the libretto first then see the opera to understand what is going on.
The second thing on my mind is The Postseason. It is October, after all.
Sometimes when people discover that (1) I like operas and (2) I like baseball, they unfortunately conflate the two. "Have you thought about writing a baseball opera? You should write a baseball opera!" I always shake my head. I could never write an opera about baseball because, let's be honest—it's never really about baseball.
If I were to write an opera about baseball, I'd probably use with permission a story that a screenwriting friend of mine penned about a kid who lost both the Brooklyn Dodgers and his father and his determination to move out to LA to see them play their first game. Will this opera be short? No. Will it be funny? Nope. And, chances are, this opera will not be about baseball.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Let me get this straight—we're three days into October, the government shuts down, New York City Opera announced it will close, Osmo Vänskä quits, Aaron Jay Kernis resigns, and Dean Douglas Lowry died.
I guess this is why The New Yorker dubs this as "Classical Music's Hell Week." Oy.
This doom and gloom won't last forever, but this economic restructuring is sure going through a painfully uncomfortable phase.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
I feel like there are many weeks where I don't exactly know what I'm going to talk about on my blog, or worse—when I know exactly what I want to talk about but I don't. have. any. freaking. time. to take the gray matter from my white-noise-filled brain and translate it into decent prose.
Like, this week I think I finally came up with a decent idea for a piece, and it's going to be about the Interstate Highway System, and movements are going to be titled after specific routes, and I realized *I drive the (I-)711 all the freaking time* from Exit 3 to Exit 104B (or starting from Exit 8B) and it's flat and boring and lonely, and how on earth am I supposed to take my flat, boring, and lonely drive and make it all rosy and lovable for everyone to read?
And then I figured out that holy cow, I think I've driven almost the entire 71!2 I started in Louisville (when traveling from Murfreesboro, TN) and traveled as far north as almost-Cleveland.
WOW. I need to complete this Interstate! I am so close to doing so! Maybe I should drive to Cleveland!
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa wait a minute here: these are becoming a bit more frequent.
It seems as though Krispy Kremes and Butter Queens is now my most-performed piece. EVER. I'm also not going to read into the fact that I've spent less time composing this opera than other works of mine, and that these other works are performed...not as frequently.