March Madness: “Miss Carr” premiere

Ah, I have such grand plans for this blog, so much to talk about, but oh so little time… my last post was over a year ago! Sorry!

The month of March is replete with vocal performances. Which makes me very happy, because I love working with and writing for singers. Next up is the March 19 world premiere of Miss Carr in Seven Scenes, a 25-minute song cycle/monodrama-of-sorts commissioned by the Canadian Art Song Project and written for mezzo Kristina Szabó and pianist Steven Philcox. Art song is very close to my heart—while at school in Cleveland I met many wonderful singers, got to write for many of them, and I have been singing all my life, since learning Petula Clark’s “Downtown” off the radio when I was three. Read more ›

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Looking back at 2016

As a freelance composer (and therefore a small business owner), the first task of the new year is emptying all my receipt folders into envelopes so that I start the new year fresh. And conveniently, to already be organised for tax time.

A nice thing about freelancing is that every project, large or small, gets the payoff of a sense of completion. But then I’m immediately on to the next project, and my focus is intent on the piece right in front of me. So I’m completely in the moment, and pretty soon what happened last week seems a distant memory. Read more ›

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Let Me Entertain You (at 35,000 feet)

enroute-squareFor someone whose job is largely sitting in front of manuscript paper, pencil in hand, I seem to spend a lot of time on planes. The exact number varies widely from year to year. A couple of years ago I did a lot of travelling for concerts and projects, and was on 48 different planes in a twelve-month period. So I am quite familiar with the Air Canada‘s “EnRoute” in-flight entertainment system. Read more ›

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Bridging Cultures and Centuries

Siset stoneMost of my projects over the last few years have been collaborations, which opens up my world and allows me to work creatively with artists in other disciplines. Vetta Chamber Music‘s Joan Blackman approached me early last year to be part of fantastic project: a made-in-BC answer to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons that would combine my music (a violin concerto for Vivaldi forces) with stories and spoken word by Sahtu Dene/Coast Salish storyteller Rosemary Georgeson. Read more ›

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On Being There

Tafel bowsWhen composers are first learning to a compose, it’s a given that we’ll be at most (if not all) the rehearsals, plus the concert(s). In the beginning, this is frequently because we’ve organised the entire thing ourselves: we’ve asked all the players, arranged for the hall, worked out the schedule. We might even be conducting or performing, or both. As our careers progress, we get used to being there. Read more ›

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2015 In Pictures

Okay, in practice my year works on the “concert season” year which starts in the fall, so I’m really partway through 15/16, but it’s December 31 and the end of a calendar year, so I thought I’d give a look back on events of the past twelve months, with a lot of pictures and not a lot of words, because a picture is worth… well, you know. Read more ›

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