Strange Beautiful Music 10

New Music Detroit’s 10th annual contemporary music marathon is coming up in late September.  I’ll be playing Steve Reich’s masterwork, Music for 18 Musicians with members of New Music Detroit, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and other distinguished musicians from the region.

There’s a great lineup of artists for the full three day series of concerts:

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Roots & Rhizomes

In July 2017, I was a member of the Root & Rhizomes Percussion Residency (Steven Schick & Claire Chase, artistic directors) at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.  The course featured two weeks of rehearsals, presentations, and performances as well as quality time hiking and socializing with some fantastic artists.

L to R: Colin Malloy, NP, Jess Tsang, and Vivian Fung.

In the first week the ensemble pictured above gave the Canadian premiere of Vivian Fung’s wild, complex, and theatrical work, The Voices Inside My Head.  We had a lot of fun preparing and performing the piece.

The same concert featured a complete outdoor performance of John Luther Adams’ evening-length percussion work, Strange and Sacred Noise.  I’ve wanted to play the piece for a long time and was elated to be a part of this performance.

In week number two, the percussion residents and members of the Pianist-Composer Collective worked on the music of Michael Pisaro with Mr. Pisaro and percussionist Greg Stuart.  The focus and aesthetic of the performances were greatly enhanced by their coaching and input.  I performed on fields have ears (4), a 27 minute work featuring a quiet, but powerfully present sonic landscape that slowly transforms over the duration of the work.  The concert of Pisaro’s music closed with ricefall (1), a tactile and profound work in which the performers drop rice at varying intensities on their chosen instruments.

The residency included meetings and coaching with some incredible artists including (in no particular order): Steven Schick, Nicolas Hodges, Aiyun Huang, Vivian Fung, John Luther Adams, Phyllis Chen, Cory Smythe, Craig Taborn, Sarah Hennies, Michael Pisaro, and Greg Stuart.

The residency featured a couple of informal cabaret concerts of new and established repertoire.  For these concerts, I led a performance of music by Jordan Nobles and performed with Zeca Lacerda on a performance of Alone In A Room by Stuart Saunders Smith.

No post about a Banff residency would be complete without a couple of images of the gorgeous surrounding topography.

Mt. Rundle

View of Banff and surrounding area as seen from the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

Thank you to the Banff Centre and its faculty, artists, and staff for an enriching and memorable experience.

nief norf Summer Festival 2017

This last June, I was a Composition Fellow at the 2017 nief norf Summer Festival.  Performers at the festival performed two of my recent compositions.  Percussionists Jon Clancy, Stephen Downing, Alex Richard, and Ike Van De Vate gave the first performance of my in-the-round percussion quartet, Revolution Summer.

For the festival, I composed New Winds for mixed chamber ensemble.  The players sounded great and were lots of fun to work with.  From L to R: Qiuchen Wang (percussion), Brianna Matzke (piano), Andy Bliss (nnSF Artistic Director), Will Yager (bass), Kyle Young (guitar), NP (composer/conductor), Riley Leitch (trombone), and Kays Ishaq (percussion).

I greatly enjoyed working with composers Christopher Adler, Marc Mellits, and Nina C. Young on the New Winds score prior to its performance.

The festival featured two weeks of stellar performances including the final marathon concert that concluded with Reich’s Drumming led by Russell Hartenberger.  For this concert, I performed in works by Philip Glass and Pauline Oliverios.

Kudos once again to the fantastic faculty, composers, performers, and staff that made this yearly festival possible.