My concert — my reemergence as a composer — is just one week away. April 14.
7:30 PM at the Mansion, the warm and intimate performance space at Strathmore, the big performing arts center outside Washington, DC. For those in the area, get tickets here. Some still available!
I've been in a whirlwind, preparing for this. I'm composer, producer, promoter, music director. The guy in charge of rehearsals, and printing a program booklet (I need one bigger than Strathmore provides). Arranging a video recording. FIguring out how the performane will work in the space.
And so much more.
That's why I haven't been blogging. It's not just that everything for the concert takes time. It also takes over my mental space. My music runs through my head. Details of rehearsals come into my mind. Places in the music where I should direct the musicians, telling them what to work on, and how they might work on it. And then other places which I'm sure the musicians will figure out on their own, simply by playing and singing the music until they know what's inside it.
And soon I'm going to start crowdfunding, which maybe sounds crazy, since the event is upon us.
But in fact I always knew I'd fund the performance myself, out of savings, whether I raised money or not. So why does it matter whether the concert already has happened? I'd still like to reimburse myeslf. And the music — my work as a composer — still has whatever value my friends, colleagues, readers, anyone who knows me might want to put on it.
Stay tuned for the start of my Indiegogo campaign.
And about the music…
There's much I could say about the performance. But here's a precis of the program (which I wrote for Indiegogo, but might not use). The links take you to performances of some of the music:
The program divides into three parts.
A song, two opera excerpts, and a lyrical – but also intimate – short string quartet. All tied together because And of course because the oong and the quartet were both written for my wife, and end the same way.
Darker pieces, mostly less melodic than those in part one. Two solo piano work, one of them based on tabloid newspaper photos, taken in the 1940s, by the cult photographer Weegee. Car crashes, fires, fleeting love, a killing. The second piano piece – in which the pianist also plays a drum – is based on sometimes searing, and sometimes oddly comforting prose poems by Anne Carson. Between the piano works comes something for electric cello, made from floating fragments that can't quite cohere.
just a single string quartet. Half an hour long. Variations on a Mahler theme. EAch one in a different musical style, offering tributes to music, literature, and films I love. Elvis, Webern, Proust. With many silences: The music doesn't find its meaning till the final chord.
Here's the full program listing.
The concert can't be streamed. But we're making audio and video recordings, which I'll put online and link to here.
More to come. Including — dearest to my heart — a long life as a composer (performances, commissions) in future years.
Original Content: Just one week away