I have been busy these last few months: premieres of Winter Songs, Piranha and Eating Variations, a lot going on with my group, the American Modern Ensemble, and much more. But I am back, and I promise to be much better about contributing to the new music blogosphere. Recently I had the pleasure of attending the recent award presentations for both BMI and ASCAP. It was both exciting and humbling to meet so many young, talented composers, and in particular, to hear excerpts of pieces at the ASCAP ceremony. It is always wonderful to mingle with the amazing luminaries in attendance, but it was the young composers that got me excited. Perhaps it is their optimism and fresh outlook, but I find it comforting to know that they are creating so many great works.
In other news, my plans this summer are to work on—and hopefully finish—an orchestral work I started two summers ago while in residence at the Copland House. This is tentatively called Journey of a Dragonfly, but will probably be shortened to Dragonfly in order to avoid comparison with Flight of the Bumblebee. Or, maybe I will just keep the name and weather the storm. If anyone out there has suggestions, let me know. Maybe I will set up a survey.
I also plan on composing a scene for a new opera I will be working on called Invisible Child. What else? I will be working on a new commission for the Volti choir in San Francisco, to be premiered next spring. If you do now know about Volti, you should: they are one of only a handful of choirs in the United States that focus on new music, and the are quite amazing. Bob Geary is an enlightened, dedicated director, and he and composer/advisor Mark Winges have worked together for many years, creating a true oasis for modern choral works and composers. I should note that Winges is also a gifted composer and he writes some of the most adventurous choral music I can think of. If you are an arts organization or patron who loves new music, and particularly if you are in the San Francisco Bay area, you should be donating to this organization.