Reading of “Symphony No. 1″ (excerpt)

Posted in performances on April 29th, 2012 by Nell

On April 27th, the New England Conservatory Philharmonia recorded a reading of the first movement from my in-progress Symphony No. 1 as part of NEC’s composers’ orchestral readings program. The recording is now available online.

This recording represents the best take from about 30 minutes of rehearsal and is not intended to be considered a polished performance, but it’s an excellent account of the piece. Following the reading session, I revised some of the orchestration and I’m in the process of completing the other four movements of the symphony. Stay tuned!

Did you know this is my third orchestral composition that’s been read and recorded by the NEC Philharmonia? Check out From the Faraway Nearby (2009) and The Sphinx and the Milk Way (2011).

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Premiere of “Sextet” in Jordan Hall – my last Tuesday Night New Music concert!

Posted in performances on April 2nd, 2012 by Nell

Monday, April 23, 8:00pm
Sextet *PREMIERE*
Performed by Zachary Boeding, oboe, Andrew Thompson, bassoon, Gregor Kaelin, trumpet, Amy Kao, harpsichord, Lisa Goddard, violin, and Elizabeth Oka, viola.
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston MA. Free admission.

Sextet for oboe, bassoon, trumpet, harpsichord, violin, and viola is a love letter to the textures and sound world of Baroque music (a subject I explored in a very different way with my recent piece for trumpet and electronics, San Marco). Although references to historical style are not continuous throughout this piece, Baroque music influenced my choice of instrumentation and certain compositional devices I utilized: hence the movement titles Canon, Ritornello, and Passacaglia.

This piece is also infused with a feeling for syncopation, groove, melody, harmony, and soloistic playing—as well as the sense of being taken on a journey through music—inherited from my favorite 1970s progressive rock bands such as Yes and Gentle Giant and contemporary indie band The Flaming Lips: hence the movement title Groove.

For this performance, Sextet is also a fond goodbye to my time as an undergraduate at New England Conservatory: this marks the 20th and final performance of my music on a Tuesday Night New Music concert, and the 28th performance of my music in Boston and at NEC since arriving here in the fall of 2008.

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