Sunday, January 31, 2021

Catch it quick: Cantus concert "Alone Together" available until Jan 31


This has been a distracting month. Well, I guess all the months since the pandemic began have been unusually stressful and distracting, but January 2021 was over the top. It turns out it's difficult to work on creative projects during or in the aftermath of an anti-democratic right-wing insurrection. Add in a few personal whirlwinds (we put our little Downingtown house on the market and received 30 offers in one weekend, our beloved Dodge Magnum gave up the ghost, necessitating a quick hunt for a new (used) car, and Matt accidentally tripped over our dopey elderly cat Moonlight and broke her leg), and getting anything at all done recently has been a struggle. But to be frank, I force myself to dig down and find the motivation to put dots on parallel lines every day because I know how lucky I am to have work. COVID-19 has devastated the lives and careers of so many, and at some level, I feel my good fortune comes packaged with the responsibility to keep going, even when it's hard to focus.

So here's a quick update on the music front, beginning with an urgent alert: Cantus (ahhh I love them so much!) performed a TTBB arrangement of my Lola Ridge setting "It's strange about stars..." in a concert this week, and you have until January 31, which is today or tomorrow depending on your time zone, to watch it! The concert is called 'Alone Together' and was performed live—yes, LIVE!—at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. The singers quarantined for two weeks and were rigorously tested so they could sing together on the same stage. Here's their copy:

Cantus’ newly reimagined program Alone Together draws inspiration from their American Public Media special of the same name as well as their hugely popular ‘COVID-19 Sessions’—an online series with nearly two million views released in the early days of the pandemic. What does it mean to ‘stay connected’ in our digital age and how can we build and maintain healthy community and relationships within the context of social media and social-distance? Cantus seeks to meditate on this unique moment in history and offer music and reflections that allow us to laugh, cry, and imagine a brighter future for ourselves, our communities, and our world. Cantus shows off their trademark stylistic range with an impressive breadth of repertoire from Libby Larsen and David Lang all the way to Ingrid Michaelson and Simon & Garfunkel. This program is not to be missed.

Go check it out by clicking here! Tickets are $20, but of course it's worth it—it's Cantus.

By the way, if you're looking for the score, I've put it up on my website: It's strange about stars... (TTBB).

Speaking of January 31, I will also be appearing in a meet-the-composer series for the LA-based Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in under 24 hours. You can watch it here on Facebook:

I'm currently writing KCO a piece: a viola concerto called Treason. Yeah. It's actually a project I'd been planning since 2018, but I'm making some revisions, thanks to recent events.

June #2 video from Amy Petrongelli

The wonderful soprano Amy Petrongelli, who recorded June #1 last year, is back with another gorgeous video performance of the follow-up. This work will form part of a program with Khemia Emsemble later this spring.
June #2 by Melissa Dunphy, poem by Lauren Rile Smith.
Amy Petrongelli, voice & looper pedal
Audio/Video by Eric Dluzniewski


Gonzales Cantata organ score now available

Did you catch the Invision In Series performance of the Gonzales Cantata yet? It's still up (and it's free!), so you have a little more time. But also, I'm releasing the score of the organ arrangement I created for this show, and like most of my self-published scores, it's freely available. Find it on my website here.

A Slice of Pie score is also ready to eat

If you enjoyed the Mendelssohn Club's premiere of A Slice of Pie above, you can now download that score on my website too.

Incidentally, I often get confused inquiries about how much my sheet music costs / hey, the copy protection doesn't appear to be working on your PDFs / wait wait wait, you can't possibly be giving this sheet music away for free, can you? Last year I discussed this issue in an article by fellow composer Lisa Neher for New Music Box, so if you're curious, scroll down to the last section and check it out. In Lisa's words: "Because I love to rock the boat, I asked composer Melissa Dunphy to share her “radical” (as she puts it) approach to score distribution with me. Dunphy, best known for her social justice-inspired choral music, makes all of her self-published scores free to download on her website..."

I'll be expanding on this a little in a panel on music publishing for American Composers Orchestra on February 10. I'll try not to rant too hard, but this is an issue about which I have some strong opinions! Register to watch the panel here: ACO Professional Development Panel: Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Management for Composers 

Miss the premiere of Amendment last month? Never fear!

You can still hear the Chorosynthesis Singers premiere of my multi-movement work about voting rights, Amendment: Righting Our Wrongs, at the Facebook live link below, along with performances by the choirs of Santa Monica College:
There's also a little interview appearance beforehand!

Things are not exactly slowing down for me this spring. I have three commission premieres coming up: Grown Wild for Concord Women's Chorus (poetry by Melissa Apperson), Sailing Away for the University of Missouri University Singers (poetry by the pioneering 19th-century poet Isabel Grimes Richey, btw yes I did watch a lot of TikTok sea shanties before writing this song), and Remember the Ladies, a special commission by the Museum of the American Revolution, which sets part of the famous 1776 letter by Abigail Adams that is being exhibited there right now! That last one will be premiered virtually by my friends at PhilHarmonia in March. Stay tuned for details on all of these. I'm excited!
Abigail Adams: "Remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors."

Meanwhile, I still have a few thousand dots to put on parallel lines, because the deadlines aren't letting up until the summer at least ... and then there's the opera. And the other opera. It's a lot. Wish me luck!

Here are some photos of poor peg-legged Moonlight getting all the attention around here.


Copyright © 2021 Mormolyke Press, All rights reserved.

No comments: