“Can’t Take You Anywhere” (except to SPLICE Festival IV

On October 24th, a video of Dr. Stephen Marotto performing “Can’t Take Your Anywhere,” my solo for amplified cello and triggered fixed media was included on SPLICE Festival IV here. This particular festival was originally going to be held in Georgia until it became clear it would work better as an online event. I definitely recommend getting involved with any of SPLICE’s upcoming projects.

This video is from Marotto’s premiere of the work at SPLICE Institute in 2019, however, we’ve had the opportunity or almost had the opportunity to perform “Can’t Take You Anywhere” a handful of times since. Marotto visited Illinois in February and played it on a solo recital concert at University of Illinois, at SLATE Arts and Performance Gallery in Chicago, and selected for and played at NSEME. It was scheduled on the 2020 SEAMUS Conference in March, but of course, you really couldn’t take anything any place at that time. (University of Virginia made an online exhibit of all the works that were scheduled to be performed that can be visited here).

College Music Society National Conference

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present my paper “Revisiting the Music Box-Like Foundations of Rebecca Saunders’ Compositions” at College Music Society’s National Conference. I continue to be especially interested in her music and am looking forward to continuing to research about it.

DuoTube presented at New Music Gathering 2020

At this June’s New Music Gathering, Robin Meiksins and I presented about DuoTube, YouTube as a collaboration space, and our experiences presenting it. We had initially intended to present it as part of an event NMG called YouTube party where we would have worked with Portland area artists to show audience members how to play the piece, then perform it together and talk about it.

In the virtual format, Robin and I stuck to sharing about the experiences we have had sharing DuoTube and also played it together. While I plan to do a more extensive discussion about those performance and presentation experiences at some point soon, being able to share an indeterminate work can jump right into has been a special experience. It’s been played by people ranging from the high school age summer music camp class I taught, to recital halls full of professors and graduate students at conferences, by electronic music ensembles, to people passing by a UIUC community concert we’re about to do and join in. While it is imperfectly accessible (needs a computer and access to internet), it’s been eye-opening for me about how to welcome people to different aspects of contemporary music.

I deeply appreciate Robin Meiksins as my collaborator on this project. DuoTube was inspired by her wonderful YouTube channel and her drive to make YouTube a performance space.

New Collaborations with All Score Urbana

This July has been a month of collaborative energy thanks to the number of projects All Score Urbana has been supporting. In this version of All Score, I was joined by teaching artists DuoMotive (Michelle Li and Mike McAndrew), Nick Ortiz, and Chris Raymond.

This week we started sharing some of the compositions people have been making with us on All Score’s Facebook page. Getting to support different musical ideas people have is so much fun.

Premiere of Illinois String Academy Composers’ “Joyous Hippopotamus”

On November 22, 2019, Sisters Akousmatica‘s Moonah Community Radio Festival broadcast a collaborative work by the composition students I teach at Illinois String Academy from Moonah, Tasmania, Australia. I’m very proud of the students’ teamwork during the recording, imagining, and realizing “Joyous Hippopotamus.” Take a listen at 41:41 in this broadcast recording.

I highly recommend exploring the entire festival’s recordings and the works they commissioned for it. I particularly enjoyed how often they engaged with people at Moonah Arts Centre with so many warm, interesting conversations.

Link and Video (choose one) for Playing DuoTube at Electronic Music Midwest 2019

For everyone at Electronic Music Midwest who are participating in DuoTube, Click here or use the video below as your interactive instrument. I recommend pressing play, pausing it and allowing it to buffer a bit before using it in rehearsal or performance. Thanks for joining in on the fun!