It’s a sad state of affairs when you can’t update your website more than once every few months (i.e. in October, then again in April!). Of course, that’s where I’ve found myself of late, as I’ve been so heavily involved with the Glass House Concerto. The project became a bit bigger than I’d intended (in a good way!), so finishing up enough of it to be performed, to say nothing of the interminable task of creating parts, proved to be a real effort.
That said, all the performance materials have been out of my hands for weeks, which has allowed me to tend to a commission for an up-and-coming Italian clarinetist (more on this to come), and to go into that freaky, delusional interval between finishing a work and the premiere. It’s an awkward time: at any moment you expect the phone to ring with pointed questions from the performers about what exactly you meant in measure 27, or if you really intended for the tempo to be that fast (the answer to the latter is always “yes”). Or worse still, the phone call that your performer has injured one appendage or another, rendering them unfit to play your piece (you’d be surprised what twisted scenarios play out in my head). Fortunately for me and my blood pressure, I haven’t heard too terribly much from Matthew Coley (who has his hands full with an insane performing schedule), or from conductor Michael Golemo. I think they’re saving all the real zingers for when I’m actually in Iowa, but that’s just me being paranoid.
I’ve been developing a special relationship with the music department at ISU ever since I was there for the premiere of *Some Assembly Required. back in 2010. Since then students at the school have performed my New Resources and Three Whitman Lullabyes, and I’m looking forward to working with many of the same hard-working folks once again. This time around I’m also giving a masterclass and taking part in the pre-concert talk. I’m also going to do my very best to blog while I’m there, since I always seem to start those sort of documentary things and then end up too busy to follow through with them. I’m going to have a fair amount of down time on this trip, so there’s no excuse for not writing a few words and uploading a pic every now and then.
I’m also going to have to renew my passport, since *Some Assembly will be performed at the end of May by the Victoria Civic Orchestra in British Columbia. Mike Keddy, the conductor who’ll lead the concert, has performed a few of my other works and wrote about a year ago asking if I had an orchestra piece with “lots of percussion.” *SAR. seemed to fit the bill nicely (the percussion part is 14 pages long!). I made some very minor edits to the work after the premiere, and I’m curious to see how they work out.