One of the happiest moments as a composer is discovering an orchestral piece is going to have a new performance. I was thrilled to learn that Carissa Klopoushak, who I first met at Scotia Festival of Music in 2005, is going to be performing Sapling with the Saskatoon Symphony, conducted by Eric Petkau, on March 25 at the Sid Buckwold Theatre in Saskatoon, SK. Sapling was commissioned by Calvin Dyck and the Vancouver Island Symphony in 2014, and has also been performed in an arrangement for solo violin and seven strings by Annette-Barbara Vogel and Magisterra. It’s such a delight to hear different musicians’ interpretations, and I’m really looking forward to hearing Carissa’s performance in March.
I’m just back from a recording session at Wyastone Hall in Monmouth, Wales, where violinist Harriet Mackenzie and the English Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ken Woods, recorded my piece for violin and string orchestra, falling still. They sound fantastic! Other pieces on the CD include violin concertos by Paul Patterson, David Matthews, Deborah Pritchard, and Robert Fokkens. This is my first orchestral recording, and my first time being included on a CD of British composers, so I’m extra excited about this, and really looking forward to hearing the whole thing, when it is released on Nimbus Records in April!
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.
I just finished Three Summer Pieces for the Cherry Street flute duo, commissioned by Sophia Tegart (with funding from the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation James and Lola Faust Chamber Music Grant). They’ll be recording it for CD in March, and performing it later this year. I’m really looking forward to hearing them!
An enormous thanks to Ensemble Thing, conducted by Tom Butler, with Alan McHugh, Catherine Backhouse, and Brian McBride, directed by Stasi Schaeffer, for a fantastic premiere of the fully-staged version of Jan Tait and the Bear on October 6 and 8 at the CCA in Glasgow. We received some lovely reviews from The Tempohouse, The Cusp, and Opera Scotland. We’re hoping to take it on tour next year. In the meantime, here’s a photo of Catherine Backhouse as Jan Tait and Brian MacBride as the bear, with costumes by Vicki Brown!
I’m so thrilled that Ensemble Thing, conducted by Tom Butler, will be premiering the fully staged version of Jan Tait and the Bear at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow on Oct. 6 (8 PM) and Oct. 8 (1 PM). This performance stars Alan McHugh, Catherine Backhouse, and Brian McBride, and is directed by Stasi Schaeffer, with costumes by Vicki Brown.
For a little preview, here is a trailer, with beautiful illustrations by Meilo So and animations by Jason Brown of Greenlight Creative.
Tickets are available from the CCA, in advance or at the door. I hope to see you there!
I’m really looking forward to writing a new piece for the Fair Trade String Trio (Ashley Windle, Kallie Ciechomski and Jeanette Stenson), commissioned by the Fair Trade Chamber Society. The piece will be premiered on their summer 2017 tour of the Pacific Northwest, and in New York in fall 2017.
I’m really looking forward to writing a new piece for the Cherry Street Duo (Sophia Tegart and Krista Jobson)! They will be performing this piece beginning in winter 2017, and recording it on an upcoming album of duos by women composers, with funding they were awarded from the Mu Phi Epsilon James and Lola Faust Chamber Music Scholarship.
In the 25 (!) years that I’ve been a composer, I’ve noticed a transformation from a general feeling that being a composer (or any kind of artist) was the opposite of being a business person to the expectation that all composers should be entrepreneurs, and not only that, we’re supposed to like that. I had the chance to write about this for VAN Magazine, in my article Performing Creativity: Composing in the Entrepreneurial Age.