Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bill Bolcom in Boulder

Bill Bolcom and his wife Joan Morris just spent a couple of days in Boulder working with the CU Wind Symphony and talking with our students. It was an absolute delight to have them in town. Aside from hearing great performances of Bill’s music, there are two highlights which I will always remember…

1. Bill and Joan performed a few of their cabaret songs. For years I have heard about how wonderful they are as a duo. People rave about their concerts but I have never had the chance to attend a performance. During the Tuesday afternoon talk, they did just a few songs which were all fantastic. They were funny, marvelously inventive, touching, and performed with an inspiring amount of musicality. The first cycle was called “Minicabs” which is short for mini-cabaret-songs. I need to hunt down the score and buy a copy immediately.

2. Bill told a story about an afternoon where he and John Cage talked on the radio for 3 hours. Near the end of the time Bill started to talk about how he was at a bit of an aesthetic crisis with just too many options. John Cage told him he didn’t like arbitrary or external aesthetic divides but rather one should look within. It was a pivotal conversation for Bill and lead to the music that has defined his career.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Restarting the Blog

Its time to restart the blog. After a long hiatus, I do hope to get some regular posts going.

A lot has happened in the nearly two years since I last posted. I've had premieres with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Takacs Quartet with the University of Colorado Wind Ensemble, a chamber group at the Aspen Music Festival, the Borromeo String Quartet, and numerous choruses. I've been on leave this semester and have been to the McDowell Artist Colony and the UCross Foundation in Wyoming.

I'm currently working on a chamber opera based on the life of Miguel Hernandez as well as writing pieces for the Takacs Quartet, the Air Force Academy Band, and the Symphonic Band and combined choruses of Wheaton College.

I hope to cover many of these topics as I get this blog up and running again.

Above is a picture from the NSO Asian tour last June.