Thursday, May 26, 2016

composer FAIL #93

So I am serious about having you guys send me your composer cat pictures. You can email me via my website. Or send me a PM.

Due to my age, I cannot apply for this again, which is unfortunate. Oh well. Onward.

Monday, May 16, 2016

composer FAIL #92

Guys! Send me your cat pictures. I am serious.
Guys. I am so close to a hundred FAILs and this is actually exciting. What should I do to celebrate a hundred fails? Eat tacos? Bake a cake? Have a martini?

(Of course I remember that maybe my original goal was to obtain one hundred composer FAILs before I turned thirty. Oops.)

Yes, guess what: I wasn't chosen.

Hm. Should I apply again?

Monday, May 9, 2016

how to write for beginning band

That's my music on the stands!
Tonight (and tomorrow, and the next day) the sixth grade kiddos at Mason Intermediate School under the direction of Micah Ewing will be world-premiering my piece "Last Stage to Red Rock."

I'm kind of excited. The kiddos are excited.

(One kid thought my piece sounds evil.)

But HEY, I finished the piece. And I wrote a piece that was both challenging and fun to play.

So, obviously I'm now an expert on writing Grade 1 band music (no, no I'm not), so I will give you some tips.

First, eat something.

Second, here are some guidelines the director gave me.

Monday, May 2, 2016

composer FAIL #91 (and a call for composer cats?)

Susie Ling's composer cat Archer. (I wonder if I should have a call for pictures of composers' pets…)

I'm up to 91 of these failures.

I should have a celebration at 100.


(Also I need to post these immediately after I receive them: I'm starting to forget how/why/what I submitted.)

Monday, April 25, 2016

composer FAIL #90

Thanks to my friend Hajnal Pivnick, these dudes (as part of the Face the Music) had two coachings with Kronos Quartet and two performances of works by me, a premiere by Wu Man, and Elena Kats-Chernin.

With friends (and kid quartets) like these, who needs acceptance letters?

Monday, April 18, 2016

university of toledo scrapbook

So the University of Toledo had me over as their guest composer as part of their CoCA Unboxed 2016 Festival. To prove it, they created a ridiculously huge poster.

All in all, they were the best hosts, the students are wonderful, and I had some really great performances of my work. Here are some photos.

A quick note about the University of Toledo's Women's Chorus: two-thirds of them are freshmen, and they sang the crap out of Prisoner of Conscience. If you look at the libretto, you would know it took courage to sing this piece. In other words, I don't think I would have sung this piece when I was a freshman.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

rip steven stucky

Honestly, I never thought I'd be writing this blog post anytime soon, and I'm sure I can honestly say all of us are in shock to hear that Steven Stucky is dead.

At 66.

From brain cancer.

(which can go f*ck itself if you want my honest opinion).

I can't claim that I've studied with Stucky nor can I claim that I had a direct relationship with him, but I can say this: he was the first "big" composer I met.

I met Steven Stucky in high school (yes—high school) thanks to a most-excellent conductor Christopher Russell who taught classes at the then-named Orange County High School of the Arts. Stucky was our guest composer who visited our symphonic lit class and presented his music.

And again, I never studied with the guy, but he had a profound (albeit indirect) upbringing as a composer. And everyone is right when they say he was the most generous and kind human being on this planet.

So, I will honor Steven Stucky in the best way I know how: