Monthly Archives: August 2014

Melomanie CD Release Party, includes Nobility of Women

MelomanieCDReleaseMélomanie’s new CD Excursions is about to be released, with my dance-suite sextet for Baroque instruments, The Nobility of Women on it; the release party/concert is Saturday, September 13th, in Wilmington. All the edits have been finished for about two weeks, and I’m delighted by how it all came out. A special treat for me is that my daughter Priscilla Herreid joins Mélomanie on Baroque oboe.

I’m honored to be included with the composers Roberto Pace, Ingrid Arauco, Jennifer Margaret Barker, and Sergio Roberto de Oliveira on this project, with, of course, the wonderful players of Mélomanie. They bring their energetic and beautiful sound to everything they do, whether it’s in their concerts of “provocative pairings of early & contemporary music,” or in this all-contemporary CD Excursions. Thanks to Tracy, Kim, and everyone at Mélomanie!

New work for The Crossing finished

earthriseThe Consolation of Apollo, SATB and percussion, 35′. Finished it last night, and still liked it this morning, which doesn’t always happen, but whether that’s a good sign or not, I have a few days before the deadline to oil some of the bearings.

The performances are in Princeton on October 10th and 11th, and in Philadelphia on October 12th. It is being paired with The Little Match Girl Passion, David Lang’s Pulitzer-winning work from a couple years ago. We’re using some of the percussion called for in the Lang work, and, significantly, the context of Christmas.

Full program notes later, but the spine of this work is the December 24th broadcast by the crew of Apollo 8, as they rounded the far side of the moon and became the first people to see the entire Earth. Their photos are sometimes called “Earthrise.” With these are interspersed selections from The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, who considers Apollo, the mythical charioteer of the sun, our place in creation, and our chance for happiness.

That 1968 Christmas Eve broadcast famously (and in some quarters, infamously) included the recitation by the astronauts of the first few verses of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth….” This text is mixed together with the prosaic chatter among the crew and Houston as they position the craft for what are now the iconic photos of Earth.

I can hardly wait for this.

The Consolation of Apollo is made possible by a commission from Eric Owens.

Lyric Fest Composer in Residence

artwork by Laura Pritchard

artwork by Laura Pritchard

I’ve attended their concerts for years, so I’m excited to be a part of Lyric Fest’s upcoming season as Composer in Residence!

A Shakespeare trio, a choral work with audience participation, a large song cycle using new poems inspired by new paintings, and lecturing on Lieder are all part of my 2014-15 residency with Philadelphia’s Lyric Fest, which for more than ten years has been bringing imaginative art song performances to the aficionado and newcomer alike.

More details about each of the concerts are here, and their brand-new brochure is linked here. Lyric Fest is a unique musical offering, equally noted for scholarship and entertainment, presenting artists of national and international stature in the intimate setting of song. Critics call Lyric Fest “compulsively enterprising” and “an irresistible mix of high art and humane feeling… as entertaining as a well managed party.”

I hope to greet you at one of the concerts. My deep thanks to Suzanne DuPlantis, Laura Ward, and everyone at Lyric Fest for this wonderful opportunity!

Nice and Easy

niceandeasy…is how Parma Recordings blogger Chris Robinson describes Where Flames a Word, from The Crossing’s Parma CD It Is Time, in amassing his featured Spotify playlist. Thanks, Parma, and much love to The Crossing! I can never get over how good they sound.

(Y’know, I forgot I had those glasses, and didn’t remember my hair being that straight, but that Reebok endorsement contract looks pret-ty smart right now.)

Secondary Impressions on Now Is the Time

VoltiTurnPageThey come in twos on Now Is the Time, Saturday, August 9th at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. Joan Tower responded to Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man with numerous Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman; we’ll hear No. 2. Eric McIntyre doubles down on impressionism with Secondary Impressions for saxophone and piano, and Kronos performs the Quartet No. 2 of Philip Glass.

William Hawley’s Two Motets on Roman poets, sung by Volti, separates the last two instrumental works, the Four Fanfares for Two Trumpets by Andrew Rindfleisch and John Novacek’s Three Rags for Two Pianos.

from John Novacek: Three Rags for Two Pianos 

PROGRAM:
Joan Tower: Fanfare No. 2 for the Uncommon Woman
Eric McIntyre: Secondary Impressions
Philip Glass: Quartet No. 2, Company
Andrew Rindfleisch: Four Fanfares for Two Trumpets
William Hawley: Two Motets
John Novacek: Three Rags for Two Pianos

Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI! Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith brings you Now Is the Time, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream. Just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM-HD2, or find all the frequencies here, from the Jersey Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Delaware.

Electronic Fantasy on Now Is the Time

KucharzPastelsIt’s sound, brand-new and fantastical, on Now Is the Time, Saturday, August 2nd at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. Mason Bates intersects electronica pop rhythm with indigenous percussion in Stereo Is King, while Prism by Charles Peck combines a percussion quartet with an electronic touch-pad instrument of his own invention, at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Violin mashes into a surprisingly romantic Fantasy for Violin and Electronics by James Aikman, Barton McLean unleashes the hounds in Demons of the Night, and up in Woodstock, David van Tieghem wrote, recorded, and produced the quirky Waiting for the Gizmo—No. 1. Ambient Pastels of Larry Kucharz waft through the rest of the program.

from Mason Bates: Stereo Is King 

PROGRAM:
Mason Bates: Stereo Is King
Larry Kucharz: Pastel 7606
Charles Peck: Prism
James Aikman: Fantasy for Violin and Electronics
Barton McLean: Demons of the Night
Larry Kucharz: Pastel 0902
David van Tieghem: Waiting for the Gizmo—No. 1

Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI! Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith brings you Now Is the Time, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream. Just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM-HD2, or find all the frequencies here, from the Jersey Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Delaware.