I am delighted to officially announce that Canadian harpsichordist and pianist Wesley Shen has commissioned a work for solo harpsichord, to be premiered in 2019. The work is graciously commissioned on behalf of the Canada Arts Council.
Wesley and I have been in touch now for several years to make this project happen, and the collective planning for a work such as this has been a huge process. Contrary to popular thought, there is a massive collection of works written for the instrument in the 20th-21st centuries. However, composing for harpsichord in a way that actually captures the psychology of the instrument is extremely challenging. More on this in a post to come.
The working title of the piece is:
[ξ]-φορμιγχ-ξυσμα [m. spagna/κυριε εκεκραξα]
[ksi]-formigx-ksisma [motet spagna/kyrie ekekraksa]
As many of you know, for the past two years I've been quietly studying Byzantine and traditional Greek music (in addition of composing harsh, inaccessible chaosmusik), and have had the pleasure of taking classes in the Hellenic Studies Department at Columbia. I'm proud to announce that these undertakings have culminated in my heading to Thessaloniki this coming Fall to conduct research at the University of Macedonia as a Fulbright Research Fellow. I will be working with the talented ethnomusicologist, Eleni Kallimopoulou - my research will be centered around documenting traditional mainland Greek folk forms (post-Ottoman), and examining issues of national identity in modern Greek classical composition. Greece's Fulbright program is the oldest in Europe (1948) and the second oldest in the world (Phillipines) - It is an honor to receive this funding, especially at a time when the United States seems to be prioritizing other interests.
Matti Pulkki and I are super pumped to announce that we've been commissioned by the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) for a new large-scale solo work for accordion. Founded in 1938, the AAA has commissioned works by composers such as Cowell, Foss, and Krenek. Matti will be performing the work at various venues in Helsinki and New York; and as part of the grant, he will lecture in NYC on contemporary accordion composition and the role of accordion in Scandinavian (though primarily Finnish) art music.
I met Matti at the 2016 Darmstadt IMD, and am so happy to have met such a wonderful friend and intellectually-stimulating performer. Below is a video of Matti performing Lothar Klein's Esercizi along with various press materials:
I had the pleasure of being invited to the inaugural year of Longleash trio's Loretto Project. The project aims to immerse three young composers in a week for masterclasses, lessons, performances at the historic Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Kentucky. More information can be consulted on Longleash's website, and a gratuitous writeup by the Lebanon Enterprise features some of my smoking banter.
I am excited to officially announce that I have been commissioned by the American Guild of Organists to write a piece for solo organ for my good friend Alex Meszler.
The commission is a result of the AGO's first annual student composition competition.
Listen to Alex perform V. Sortie from Messiaen's Messe de la Pentacote.
Listen to Alex play some (somewhat) recent organ music:
The new year (2015) has arrived (somewhat bumpily) with a new website. Feel free to drop by every once in a while.
Several projects are in the works.
I. A piece for orchestra, to be performed this Spring.
II. A piece for solo organ, commissioned by the American Guild of Organists (also to be premiered this Spring).
III. A piece for solo piano (Spring).
IV. Revision/expansion of several pieces (ALSO SPRING, PROBABLY).
See you this Spring.
- George K.