Over the summer I composed a scene with Canadian playwright Ken Gass, founder and Artistic Director of the Factory Theater in Toronto, called Betty Box Office. Ken was a joy to collaborate with – he crafted a perfectly imagined comic scene including a dream sequence, murder by pencil stabbing, and a seduction dance number that morphed from high baroque to gospel waltz! We’re planning a new opera for Tapestry New Opera, the leading Canadian organization for developing new opera and musical theater.
Composers & the Voice 2008 culminates in 6 scenes, presented october 3 & 4 at AOP’s home base, the South Oxford Space. Included on this program will be about 25 minutes of Love/Hate, the new one act chamber opera I’m composing for AOP and ODC Theater. The librettist for Love/Hate is my dear friend & longtime musical collaborator, Rob Bailis. Here’s Rob’s description…
Three recent arias composed for AOP’s Composers & the Voice project (see below for more info about aop) will be performed:May 8 at AOP’s home base The South Oxford Space 138 South Oxford St, Brooklyn, NY
May 9 at The Laurie Beechman Theater
West Bank Cafe
407 W 42nd Street
New York City, NY 10036
Another aria on “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” was selected for the annual Whitman Birthday Bash organized by Greg Trupiano and the Walt Whitman Project.7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Theater Ten Ten, 1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street
Composers and the Voice
I was having breakfast with my buddy Rachael last October, when Steven Osgood called to see if i wanted to participate in Composers & the Voice for 2008. Ask Rachael – I’m pretty sure I yelled yes!!! into my cappuccino foam. AOP is a driving force behind the revitalization of contemporary opera in the United States, supporting the commissioning, development and presentation of new American opera.
Composers & the Voice is a year-long AOP workshop which let’s me write for up-and-coming young singers engaged at fancy places like the met and city opera. Over the Summer I’ll be writing a one act opera called Love/Hate (obsessive relationships, what else?) to a very funny libretto by my very clever friend Rob Bailis, to be performed in New York this Fall, and at ODC theater in 2010.
The Paul Dresher Ensemble with Thomas Glenn
Paul Dresher, one of my favorite bay area composers, recently announced a commission for me to compose a new work for the Dresher Ensemble. What i’ve got planned is a dramatic song cycle for my favorite rock star tenor, Thomas Glenn. Thomas created the role of physicist Robert Wilson in the world premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic. He reprised the role at the Netherlands Opera in 2007, and will do so at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera of New York in 2008, as well as the English National Opera in 2009. The new piece will premiere and tour with the Dresher Ensemble in 2010.
Santa Clara University
In September I was hired to teach at Santa Clara University. This is an ideal position – composition and jazz piano. Actually, the music department was anticipating two hires, but after our initial conversations they extended the offer to combine both positions. My new students and colleagues are great, and…the campus is beautiful – it’s a giant garden!
Thank You ACF, ODC and Hewlett Foundation
Hooray (and whew) for arts money. The American Composers Forum helped twice this year – through their Subito grant they supported my travel to new york for the AOP workshops. And their Northern California Commissioning Project provided support for the Paul Dresher commission. Thanks ACF, you people are visionary (i think)! I was also fortunate enough to receive support for the composition and performance of my second book of concert arias, from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, through the ODC Director’s Fund. We’re planning a concert of the Jack Perla song book at Theater Artaud, stayed tuned for details.
For a few years now, Srinka and i have been working on a methodology for automated generation of pedagogical music arrangements. This grew out of years of teaching private lessons and observing my students’ desire to play their favorite music (not mine). About a year ago we codified the principles and procedures and applied for a patent, and a couple of months ago we heard back from the U.S. patent office. The majority of our claims have been granted, thanks in no small part to our super-awesome attorney Noel Kivlin, and also thanks to the indispensable brain of good friend (and former piano student, and patent attorney) Matt Rainey.
2007, and Q1 & 2, 2008 were banner years for Music Without Walls, both artistically and commercially. On the commercial side, revenues increased about 60% over the previous year. We completed a wide array of children’s interactive, adult educational and broadcast projects for clients including Crayola, Fisher Price, Duetsch, Direct TV, Scholastic, Binary Labs, MGA, Livescribe, Leapfrog, and several independent interactive media developers. Our work with Binary Labs on “Totally Stumped” won two industry awards. Ben Bernstein came on board as all around resourceful business partner. He’s been a great addition to MWW’s activities, building the client base, helping with production and post-production, and keeping me laughing and somewhat sane. You should hear our dora & diego demo – in harmony, in spanish.