Fall projects

This week has been a big week.

Last Sunday I finished the first draft of my piece for the SFU Ascension dance show coming up in December.  With five other composers, I joined this year’s “house band” – an ensemble of flute, alto sax, double bass and percussion – for the first reading session.  My choreographer, Madeline de Shield is digging my music and decided that she would finish her choreography and then we’d meet to discuss what tweaks I’d need to make.

I also finished the penultimate draft of my brass trio, completing the fourth movement for a reading session on Thursday morning.  In addition to consulting with my composition mentor, Owen Underhill, about the score, I ran the french horn parts by Steve Denroche, who has been a part of the stellar workshop trio at SFU, and the trumpet parts by a few of my trumpet pals via email.  I’ve really enjoyed writing for this instrumentation and will definitely write more for it, perhaps even adding a short additional movement for my current piece, which is called Where Three Are Gathered.

As is often the case, due to my composition mania, the ink was still drying on new pieces and I couldn’t wait to start in on my next idea.  In this case, it’s an open-form, structured improv piece for an unspecified ensemble, ideally, of at least eight musicians (simultaneously playing two alternate versions or “streams” of the piece) and an ensemble of voices (possibly the audience).  It is intended to be an interactive performance, at least in its current state.  The core material is related to the Balinese “Kecak”or “Ketjak” – “monkey chant.”  I’m planning to workshop/premiere this at my World Music class’s Festival of Ideas next Tuesday.  On Thursday afternoon I worked on some of it with my regular improv group.

On top of all that I finished my application to the University of Miami for the M.Mus program in Studio Jazz Writing.

Now I need to focus on finishing up papers and other assignments.  Crazy that the semester will be done in a couple weeks!


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