Urbana Arts and Culture Grant funds All Score Urbana: Community of Song Project

Urbana Arts & Culture Program recently announced its 2021–2022 grantees, including this summer’s All Score Urbana: Community of Song project. As always, All Score Urbana seeks out grants and other funding so participants (Champaign-Urbana residents) never have to pay to participate in activity.

This summer’s opportunities will feature teaching artists ShayLyssa Alexander, Thereza Lituma, Michael McAndrew, Michaela Wright, and myself. We’ll be looking to support existing and new projects focused on a songwriting, spoken word, and related areas of expression. We have begun reaching out to other creators in the community and hope to have rich collaborations with local poets, writers, instrumentalists in addition to songwriters, spoken word artists and singers of all ages.

We are currently firming up the exact scheduling but the basic timeline is:
• We will announce specifics dates and have an online sign up form so we can best figure out how to collaborate and connect participants with what we’re offering (general curiosity, just attending concerts or workshops, or out of the box ideas are ALWAYS welcome!)
• Late June to end of July: online workshops, one on one support, and pairing participants with the singer/performer of their choice.
• Mid-September: participants deliver songs, spoken word, and other works for the teaching artists
• January or February 2021 we will be presenting the works on a virtual concert with Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center’s Sounds Like Community Concert Series.

For more information, contact me through the contact link above or at allscoreurbana@gmail.com.


University of South Florida International New Music Festival Presents DuoTube

I am very grateful to USF for staging its 2020 International New Music Festival in a safe, online way. DuoTube was selected and USF’s students did a wonderful staging of it. The link is set to play from that part of the concert, but I highly recommend watching the entire concert.

Presenting at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Symposium of Research in Music

Earlier this month I had the privilege of presenting my paper about the music of Rebecca Saunders at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Symposium of Research in Music at Indiana University.

I always appreciate an opportunity to talk about Saunders’ music and to hear about people’s experiences with it. Although I was presenting at an early hour on a Saturday, I received some wonderful follow up questions from the graduate music theory and musicology students who were running and attending the conference. I especially enjoy conferences that mix departments like this one does. I am going to make a point of staying in touch to see what they program next year. I’m sure it will be wonderful.

Nightpartches and More on Radiophrenia Glasgow

Earlier this month, Radiophrenia Glasgow presented its annual radio art festival. As part of it, they included a program I submitted and a work by my students.

On the first night of the festival (heading into their midnight) they broadcast The Cloud-Chamber of Darkness Half-Hour, a radio program I made of recent works for members of the Harry Partch Ensemble. It included ensemble member Luke Fitzpatrick performing his composition “The Tomb,” Harry Partch Ensemble and Instrumentarium Direction Charles Corey performing his “Come to Dust,” and them performing Kerrith Livengood’s “Frog Pond Translations” and my “Nightpartches.” The interstitial narration uses spooky flair as it shares information about Harry Partch, the Instrumentarium, Fitzpatrick (their resident adapted viola specialist), Corey, Livengood, and myself. (A link to the audio will be posted in the near future).

On November 14th, the students from the Illinois String Academy heard their radio art work “Joyous Hippopotamus” broadcast. We had written it in class last fall, intending to apply to Moonah Community Radio Festival and Radiophrenia Glasgow. I am very proud of their work in exploring radio art with me and I hope to continue to discuss different kinds of experimentalism with them this spring in class.

“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).

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.