Well. It’s been two and half years since the last post in the News section. Where has the time gone? I won’t venture to answer that question in too much detail. But a brief dispatch is in order.
My heart goes out to everyone, everywhere, whether you’re out of work (like me), enduring physical isolation, ill yourself or close to someone who is, or on the front lines of mitigating the crisis (or some combination of these). At the risk of sounding trite, I marvel at the ability of humans to support each other in new and creative ways, and to rapidly adapt. This, at least, has been encouraging to witness (our endangerment at the hands of callous, incompetent people in power notwithstanding).
I’m sure you’re well aware that as an industry the performing arts have been devastated. Music communities are devising strategies to respond to these circumstances, one of which has been to try, like everyone else, to move online. As far as online performing, we’ll see whether I can swing that, but in the meantime I will be giving an online workshop, Arranging for Songwriters, through School of Musical Traditions. And I continue to be available to give lessons online for double bass, bass guitar, beginner-to-intermediate cello, beginner guitar, music theory, arranging, and composition. Message me in the “Contact” section or send an email to [email protected] to get in touch.
In other news, an album I recorded on has recently been released, Sarah LeMieux’s Jazz for the End of the World, available here. I met vocalist/guitarist/songwriter/composer Sarah LeMieux at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where we were both earning an MFA in music composition (I still am; she’s graduated). Along with another VCFA grad, pianist Aaron Wyanski, as well as Connecticut-based drummer Andy Chatfield, we recorded an album back in December of standards (and one original of Sarah’s). Much of the album has a “dystopian” element, as Sarah put it, straying into darker and stranger territory than is typical for Great American Songbook material. Even the more straight-ahead tracks have an air of apocalyptic ennui. It all feels more than a little uncanny given the state of the world at the moment of the album’s release. In any case, it was a pleasure to be part of and I hope you’ll buy a copy and listen. And here’s an overdubbed quarantine version of the one original on the album, Sarah’s “Goodbye Paris.”
Other than these happenings, I’m working on the final (thesis) composition for my MFA, a piece for the vocal quartet Quince Ensemble. If we’re out of the woods with the Coronavirus by August, it will be premiered then (and live-streamed) at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, VT. If you’re interested in hearing other work I’ve done for that program, might I recommend Kairos, a work for string quartet performed by none other than my good friends Invoke.
Oh, and my fiancée Arianna and I adopted a cat, pictured above in my studio in a rare moment of calm.