2016/17 in review
I think for many of us this last season has been very difficult. I am just now beginning to recover my enthusiasm for tending the garden of my website. Rather than create detailed posts on all the wonderful projects and collaborations that I've been so fortunate to work on, I will list some highlights from the last ten or so months. If nothing else, I'll have a record for myself!
June 28, 2016 -- my first solo show with my looper at Spite House, thanks to a kind invitation from Bill Monto of the Spite House House Band. This was easily some of the most fun I've ever had
July 30, 2016 -- Secret Forest Show in Ravenna Park with original music by Neil Welch and John Teske. Everyone hiked into a forest glade and sat in trees and on rocks. There was a pair of violinists making birdsong off in the branches.
October 28, 2016 -- Renee Baker at the Chapel Performance Space! One of the greatest things that happened this year was getting to know Renee Baker, first by skype and then in person at this fantastic improvised show she led with so many great Seattle musicians like Beth Fleenor and James Falzone, Cliff Kimbrel-Dunn, Gretchen Yanover, Greg Campbell, Sam Boshnack and many others. I feel like Renee is the viola mentor I never had, and the creativity mentor I so need.
January 20 and 21, 2017 -- Universal Language Project featuring the music of Chris Stover, composer and trombonist from Seattle, now living in NYC till soon, when he takes a new teaching job in Arizona. This was a glorious ensemble with Brian Chin, trumpet, who directs ULP, Ben Thomas on vibes and bandoneon, Greg Campbell on percussion and horn, Paul Gabrielson on bass and Steve Treseler on saxophone and clarinet. I got to meet and perform with the beautiful vocalist Biddy Healey. Chris' music is deeply influenced by the time and research he's done on Brazilian music. Can't wait to play this stuff again.
January 27, 2017 -- Scrape at Cornish. We've been together a number of years now and this was a wonderful synopsis of much of the music we've played. Cornish honored Jim Knapp's legacy of decades of teaching, performing and composing and it was an absolutely lovely show. Gregg Belisle-Chi returned from NYC to play with us again.
February 2 and 4, 2017 -- Improvised Music Festival at the Chapel. Thank you to Steve Peters (for doing so much for all of us), but in this case for inviting me to play with so many extraordinary musicians. The incredible pianist Robin Holcomb and flutist Nicole Mitchell were my trio partners the first night, and I had a surprise invitation to join Brian Chin, Michaud Savage and Bonnie Whiting for a second group. On the Saturday concert, Bonnie, Catherine Lee and Lisa Cay Miller and I had a really memorable quartet, followed by a group with Steve Barsotti, playing homemade instruments and Douglas Ewart on woodwinds and homemade tops, with the wonderful Lori Goldston, cellist.
February 18 and 19, 2017 -- North Corner Chamber Orchestra (NOCCO). I think a lot of our hearts belong to NOCCO. It has been a fantastic season, and this particular concert was a big one for me as I got to know and work with Davida Ingram, Seattle genius conceptual artist and also with Hanna Benn, the exquisite composer who created a major new orchestral work that we premiered.Called "Sankofa", it is a love letter to her own identity as a biracial woman in America. The concert, called RESONANCE, featured music by Black American composers. We played at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and at the New Holly Gathering Hall, both new venues for us.
March 10, 11, 12, 2017 -- Aldo López-Gavilán, pianist and composer from Havana, with the Northwest Sinfonietta. I love playing and learning more about Cuban music. Aldo was a joy to work with, his music is infectiously wonderful, and I got to finally meet and play with drummer Steve Korn. And my rhythm always improves when I play Cuban music. Great week.
March 31, April 1 and 2, 2017 -- Sinfonietta again, Art for Art's Sake program with David Lockington, Spectrum Dance Theater and the Tacoma Glass Museum. David asked me to write a piece and Sinfonietta premiered it! Called "Hot Shop", it's scored for flute and piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, two horns, harp, percussion and strings. It was super fun to write and the most gratifying thing was that the musicians liked playing it. My piece wasn't choreographed but the rest of the program was and the dancers were so vivid.
April 8 and 9, 2017 -- NOCCO again, with my dear friend Sean Osborn's major new piece "Concerto for Chamber Orchestra". I am so proud of NOCCO for bringing these two new pieces into the repertoire (also Hanna Benn's Sankofa). Sean's Concerto is compelling, virtuosic and deeply satisfying to perform. We played the hilarious Haydn Symphony No. 60 with the winds hamming it up behind us, and Ben Hausmann played the pants off the Rossini La scala di seta overture.
Coming up, I'm looking forward to Jarrad Powell's Gamelan and Lou Harrison's birthday (5/13 at the Chapel), Kaley Lane-Eaton's DMA project Lily (5/2 at the Chapel), Gabriel Kahane's Crane Palimpsest with Sinfonietta (5/19-21), and Joshua Roman's Town Music at Town Hall on June 21st, hopefully ushering in summer for real.
Life is good. Also, I'm working on a new album "what Venus told me..." with Steve Layton. It is sounding good.