New Music Open Mic

As a new curator at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, I am starting a New Music Open Mic show. Often, I have a piece or two that could be ready for performance but I don't have a chance to add it to a recital or other program. If you are in the same boat, I hope you will join me at the New Music Open Mic!

The first show will be on June 18, 2015. You can read more about it here.

Adopt a Composer! and help me make my next CD

UPDATE Dec 22, 2014: Thank you to everyone who helped me get to 115% of my original goal!! Although we didn't get to $4000, I'm still looking into finding an excellent illustrator willing to make the album art. Stay tuned! And thank you again! 

UPDATE Dec 5, 2014: Thank you to the 100 most good looking and intelligent people who backed my project! We are over the initial goal of $3000! AND we have 11 more days to go! So if you haven't backed the project, there's still time! I also have a stretch goal: If I can raise $1000 more, I can hire a real graphic designer to design the cover, instead of doing it myself. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. XOXO!

I am raising funds to pay the composers who wrote the pieces on my next album. The six composers (Gregory C. BrownEli FieldsteelDouglas LaustsenEmma O'HalloranIsaac Schankler, and Tina Tallon) have collaborated with me to come up with some excellent rewards for those who contribute.

You can be a part of this next album for just a $2 pledge:

Get your name on the cover of my next album! Any pledge over $2 = your name in the CD cover art!

Read more about my Kickstarter project and make a pledge.

As you may already know, Kickstarter projects will only get funded if the project meets its goal. In this case, my goal is to raise $3000 by December 16th. 

If you can give $2, please do so. If you can give more, you can get some really fun rewards. I would appreciate your involvement in the making of my next album. Thank you for your consideration. If you cannot make a pledge I would really appreciate it if you could share my Kickstarter project with your friends. The link: http://kck.st/1uq5nJ0


This fundraiser will cover a part of the commissioning fees and mechanical licenses that I will pay directly to the composers.

Input-Output is my third solo album project. It will include these newly written works:

  • Pheromone for flute, piano, and electronics (2014) by Isaac Schankler*

  • Pencilled Wings for flute, piano, and stereo playback (2014) by Emma O'Halloran*

  • Fractus III: Aerophoneme for flute and quadraphonic electronic sound (2011/2012) by Eli Fieldsteel

  • New work for flute and electronics (2014) by Douglas Laustsen*

  • Huge White Canvas [working title] for flute and elecronics (2014) by Gregory C. Brown*

  • New work for piccolo and live electronics (2014) by Tina Tallon*

*commissioned for this record

Pianist Jacob Abela and I already premiered and recorded the O'Halloran and Schankler in July 2014. Videos of the premieres:

Between February and June 2015, I will perform and record the other 4 pieces.  

I expect to complete the mastering process for Input-Output in June 2015 and release the album in the Fall of 2015.

WHY ADOPT?

"Sponsor a composer" just didn't sound as good. :)

Kong Must Dead: Follow Me

Ben Hjertmann, a Banglewood friend, has a band called Kong Must Dead. I recorded a few measures of music for this song on alto flute. Unfortunately I couldn't be there for this live performance but you can still hear my alto flute sounds in the opening of the song. Enjoy!

Kong Must Dead Live at Constellation Chicago, 1/26/14 from Psychopomp, CA music and lyrics by Ben Hjertmann Personnel (this song only) Live Band: Ben Hjertmann, voice Owen Davis, drums Stuart Seale, piano & keyboard Jessica Ling, violin Chris Fisher-Lochhead, viola Ben Willis, bass Brendon Randall-Myers, guitar Andy Junk, banjo & ukelele Pre-Recorded: Meerenai Shim, alto flute Luke Gullickson, piano Video courtesy of Peter Ferry. One thousand thanks, Peter!

2012 Call for Scores Wrap Up

To the 172 composers who answered my 2012 call for scores and sent me compositions for one flutist, thank you very much! Also, thank you for waiting over 1 year for me to get back to you. I feel terrible that I wasn't able to get through all the scores until now. (I was expecting about 30 submissions so once I got over 70 or so, I could't keep up and sort of put my head in the sand for a while!)

I received many fantastic pieces. Almost all of the 172+ pieces (because many composers sent me more than 1 piece) were really great but I was looking for pieces that will fit certain types of programs and projects I had in mind. Numerous well-written compositions were not selected. Many worthy and excellent composers were not (yet) commissioned - mainly because I do not have the funds! I chose 45 composers/pieces to perform, commission, or record. Some composers I have put on my commission wish-list (for, you know, when I win the lottery...) Some notable outcomes from the call for scores:

  • I recorded Jay C. Batzner's "Mercurial" for flute and tape and David E. Farrell's "moonwave" for solo flute on my last album, The Art of Noise.
  • My flute and percussion duo (A/B Duo) is commissioning a piece from Andrea La Rose.
  • I am commissioning a piece for flute plus effects from Doug Laustsen
  • I am planning a solo flute and electronics tour of the US (6 cities, so far) for February 2015 with some of the pieces I received through this call for scores. I'm very excited about this tour.  I am working on finding funding for this right now so I hope it works out. (I may just take this show on tour no matter what! - you know, hitchhike from city to city and wash dishes in any restaurant that'll take me, busk/beg on street corners - until I slowly make it to the next show…)
  • I will slowly work in the rest of the pieces I chose into my repertoire and start performing them later this year. 

Thank you again composers for writing cool stuff for us performers! 

PS. A/B Duo has a call for scores going on right now (accepting scores until March 10, 2014) if you're interested. My percussionist Chris Jones is in charge of this one so I promise it will be run efficiently and on time!

2013: The "Make it Work" Year

My last meal in Brooklyn: Vegan pizza slices from Vinnie's Pizzeria.

My last meal in Brooklyn: Vegan pizza slices from Vinnie's Pizzeria.

I'm at JFK waiting to get on a flight back home after the 2nd A/B Duo tour of the year. I am pretty exhausted. It's been an eventful year. I'm tired but I can't be happier with how things turned out in 2013. So much has happened that I need to look at my calendar to see what I did January-June of this year. 

 

January

Photo by Steve Scap.

Photo by Steve Scap.

I closed my private teaching studio and said goodbye to my fantastic students. (I hope they are all doing well with their new teachers.) I flew to Chicago to rehearse with Chris Jones, my percussionist half of the A/B Duo, and to perform Flight of the Bleeper Bird at the Green Mill in Chicago. Also took A/B Duo promo photos during one of the coldest weeks of the Chicago winter.

 

February 

Started a day job in IT auditing with some ex-coworkers from KPMG (an old day job) who started their own boutique firm. Performed at Rockage2.0 (a music and video gaming show) in San Jose.  It was the first time I've played a rock show as part of the main act (not in a backing orchestra) in about 10 years and it was beyond exhilarating! A few days later I flew to Jacksonville, FL for the first A/B Duo mini-tour.

 

March-April

My 2nd album. Listen to all of it  here .

My 2nd album. Listen to all of it here.

Spent all my time (the tiny bit of time I had left after the day job and personal time) dealing with the release of my second solo album: designing the album artwork, managing the CD manufacturing and distribution, and dealing with PR. My album was released on April 4th. It was so much hard work but artistically very rewarding. Got some great reviews over the year from: 

Tiny Cartridge

Sequenza 21

The Flute View

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN

It also made the Avant Music News "Pick of the Week" alongside new albums by Pat Metheny and Anthony Braxton!

 

May 

Much needed vacation sandwiched in between more day job madness. 

 

June

Performed "To Committee" in Daniel Felsenfeld's chamber music show at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Then a trip to Iowa State University for the Andover Educators conference. 

 

July

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By July it became clear to me that Lucy my dog no longer saw me as her primary caretaker. She started favoring my husband over me and I barely saw my husband and dog between day job and travel/practice.  A minor but lingering health issue also complicated matters.  Then came the life changing time at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival.

 

August

Right after "Banglewood" I flew to Chicago for A/B Duo rehearsals and business. Took a 30 hour trip to New Orleans to premiere (with pianist Erica Sipes) Daniel Felsenfeld's "The Low Chamber" for contrabass flute and piano at the National Flute Association's Annual Convention.  

 

September

I quit my day job. I had to prioritize the important things in my life: my family and performing music. Money and IT auditing didn't make my list of important things so I had to quit my day job even though I loved my coworkers and my firm. The new season of A/B Duo activities started with a whirlwind weekend of a concert in San Francisco and recording our first EP. 

 

October

A trip to Chicago to play with the Anaphora Ensemble: a concert at UW Oshkosh and live radio broadcast from WFMT. Mixing, artwork, mastering, distribution and general preparation for the A/B Duo EP release.  

 

November

Spent some time going to more concerts in San Francisco and started to meet more local musicians in person.  Tried to figure out what to do with my life so that every day can be the way it was at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival: rehearsing, performing or listening to great music every day. 

 

December

A/B Duo tour to Chicago, Rochester and Brooklyn. Spent a few extra days in NYC to eat awesome vegan pizza, meet with old friends, and go to the Bang on a Can holiday party.

First thing I'm going to do when I get home: buy a used drum kit. I had to learn some rudimentary drum kit skills to play the 4th movement of Ivan Trevino's "Things We Dream About" and now I'm hooked. I always fantasized about becoming a rock guitarist or even playing bass in a rock band in my next life but I never even imagined that I could play the drums. I may never play drums with a rock band but at least I will have a great time by myself! 

This is the piece that made me want to learn to play the drums for real. (Disclaimer, although I play drums on this movement in live performances, all drums on the recording - and the audio in this video - are performed by Chris Jones.)


Next year, much like this year, is going to be a combination of opportunities I make for myself, luck, and an insane amount of hard work. Can't wait!  

Bang on a Can Summer Festival

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I spent 3 weeks this summer as a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival.  Attending this festival, nicknamed Banglewood, made it the best summer of my adult life.  The festival is in residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams - the perfect venue for the fun and intense three weeks of daily music making. I suspected that I would enjoy the experience but I didn't think that it would be life changing.

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The best thing about Banglewood: the people.  The faculty, made up of Bang on a Can All Stars as well as other prominent new music figures, treated the fellows as colleagues and true collaborators.  The museum staff made it easy to share our music with the audience. And most importantly, the other fellows were all amazing.  When one goes to a prestigious music festival, one expects that everyone would be really good at their main instrument/skill.  This was, of course, the case at Banglewood. The amazing part is that every fellow there was an expert or at least quite competent on at least one other musical skill whether it's proficiency playing another instrument, composing, improvising, etc.  The most unique thing about this group of fellows was that everyone there was the organizer/visionary and "bandleader" back home. Because of this, everyone had a positive, can-do attitude that led to easy collaboration and communication.

Me, Zach Herchen, Olivia Shortt, Kendra Emery, Ben Willis, and Gabe Taubman.

Me, Zach Herchen, Olivia Shortt, Kendra Emery, Ben Willis, and Gabe Taubman.

We spent every day rehearsing and performing brand new compositions or pieces written in the last few years. Every kind of contemporary music style was performed. Among other things, I performed a piece by Jacob Druckman written in the 1990s, sang some Ozzy Ozbourne with a live karaoke band made up of fellows, and premiered several composition fellows' pieces.

 It seemed as though there was an absolute-highlight-of-the-festival every day.  Every day, I would think to myself, "this is the most incredible musical thing ever - the highlight of the festival for sure!" And then the next day, I would have another mind-blowing experience.

Without fail, there was an unforgettable musical experience EVERY day of the festival.

Just a few of the mind-blowing experiences:

Nighttime visit to the Xu Bing Phoenix exhibit at Mass MoCA, with impromptu vocalization/dancing:

Exquisite Corpse piece written by all ten composition fellows and performed by fellows after one rehearsal - and I got to conduct it!

The Ableton Live presentation by faculty member Todd Reynolds, the Senegalese drumming sessions, performing "Yo Shakespeare" by Michael Gordon, playing the Schoenbeck original instruments...all unforgettable! 

I made life-long friends.  I think it's common to bond with others when you experience the same trials or difficult experience - but in this case, I think the bonds are so strong because we didn't live through a difficult experience. Rather, we experienced together the most delightful and positive experience EVER.

Here's another unforgettable moment from the last days of the festival thanks to some silly composer fellows. Ben Hjertmann and Adam Cuthbert playing the slide whistle contraption and Erik DeLuca enjoying the improvisation: 

Here's a really great montage video from the 3 week festival edited by Zach Herchen using video footage shot by Mass MoCA:

Others have written nice reviews and summaries of this summer's festival:

I miss all of my new friends terribly.  Thanks to the other fellows, faculty, and staff of Bang on a Can Summer Festival and Mass MoCA, I have a renewed sense of purpose and am more focused on making meaningful music and art everyday of my life from now on.  I want to live every day as if I was still at the festival making music with an open mind and child-like curiosity. 

With Australian Lina Andonovska, the other flutist at Banglewood this summer. 

With Australian Lina Andonovska, the other flutist at Banglewood this summer.