composer

Archive for the Research Category

Fair Trade String Trio Premieres Field Guide

Fair Trade String Trio Premieres Field Guide

The Fair Trade String Trio (Ashley Windle, Hannah Levinson, and Jeanette Stenson) will be premiering my newest piece, Field Guide, on July 20 through 26 on their second Pacific Northwest tour, with concerts in Vancouver BC, Victoria BC, Bellingham WA, and Portland OR. More details of the concerts can be found on their websiteField Guide is based on the songs of three birds which can be found in the Western US, the horned lark, the greater sage grouse, and the Western meadowlark. Though these birds aren’t currently endangered, they depend on the wild land of the US National Parks and Forests — and are one of the many, many reasons why we all need to be working to preserve these lands.

Composer in the Tabloids

Composer in the Tabloids

The Sunday Mail/Daily Record did a story about my research on seal vocalizations! Thank you Sunday Mail and Heather Greenaway for the lovely coverage of my work!

My piece Seal Songs, based on the Selkie legend, was originally written for the Voice Factory Youth Choir and the Paragon Ensemble, conducted by Mark Evans, and premiered in Glasgow and Skye in 2011. Seal Songs received its US premiere by the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Trinity Youth Chorus in June, 2017. I’m currently conducting research on seal vocalizations with Prof Vincent Janik and Alex Carroll at St Andrews University, and will be writing a new piece based on my research, to be performed by the St Andrews New Music Ensemble, conducted by Bede Williams, in February 2018.

Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Glasgow

Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Glasgow

I am so happy to be starting my dream job as Athenaeum Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow. I’ll be doing a mix of research, composition, and a little bit of teaching. Upcoming projects here include interdisciplinary research on seal vocalizations with Prof. Vincent Janik at St Andrews University and writing a piece based on my research to be performed by the St Andrews New Music Ensemble conducted by Bede Williams, a new piece for the Fair Trade String Trio, and a set of spring wassailing songs with newly written poetry by American composer and poet Forrest Pierce.

Premiere of Seven Duos for Birds and Strings

Premiere of Seven Duos for Birds and Strings

I wrote Seven Duos for Birds and Strings in 2011-2012, when I was composer-in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany. The piece explores the ways different species of birds might sing their songs together, ranging from unintended overlapping to hocketing so tight that it sounds like only one bird singing.

Seven Duos was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts for violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel and violist Dan Sweaney. For a variety of reasons, the piece did not receive its premiere until November 28, 2014, when Annette-Barbara and Dan performed it at the International Viola Congress. I’m glad they waited, because this year the Congress was in Porto, Portugal, and I was able to attend! They gave a fantastic performance, and I had a great time visiting Porto as well.

Hermit thrushes sing songs based on the overtone series!

Hermit thrushes sing songs based on the overtone series!

For the past several years, I’ve been researching the song of the hermit thrush together with Bruno Gingras, Dominik Endres, and Tecumseh Fitch. We found that its songs follow the overtone series! Our resulting paper was published in the Procedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences on November 18. Some good press coverage of our research can be found in Smithsonian Magazine and Huffington Post, and on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks.

Upcoming Events

Recent Posts