After that, this.

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The Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Aaron Rosenberg

It’s been almost a year and a half since I last posted, and that’s too long.

My ten weeks at The Banff Centre were great. I got the bulk of my trio composed there, and the remainder during last summer. Its premiere will be June 26, 2016 in Darmstadt. I hope to be there for that!

Last summer was financially the most disastrous time of my life. I could barely pay rent.  However, in September I started teaching Music Theory at Middlesex Community College in addition to my UMass Lowell teaching, and last August I began teaching piano lessons at the Music Academy of Chelmsford. This past spring semester was my busiest yet, with around 22 piano students, plus four college courses, two at each college. I’m hoping I have enough saved to last me through this summer. But also, I’m an adjunct. So, probably not.

On May 3, a couple of great musicians—Dennis Shafer and Jason Felitto—performed my Misty Valley Chickens for soprano sax and double bass at a Middlesex faculty composers concert. Here is a youtube video of that performance. I also played my piano piece Animus Semotus. The audio quality isn’t as good for that one because it’s the original video audio.

It was a real pleasure getting to know Dennis and Jason, as well as Dennis’s wife, Norma, who is a poet.  Here she is:

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Norma holding a baby (Zara), with me in the background enjoying cake.

This photo was shot at Outpost 186 on May 2, where Dennis and Jason offered to play Chickens as a run-through performance, and where I also played Animus on an upright. The rest of that evening was dedicated to some audience participation pieces and graphic score music.  A very hip evening, and such great connections and nice people! In fact, for my (extremely tardy) Kickstarter rewards—piano character pieces composed to honor my biggest backers—Norma may be adding some poetry. Stay tuned, and apologies to those patient patrons still awaiting their music. It’s coming.

Again, another summer with enough time to compose. My good friend and composer Simon Hutchinson is in town for a couple of months at the end of June. We’ll be trading ideas and music, which is always a pleasure. Things are looking up!

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