Williams Symphonic Winds to perform Landscaping for Privacy

The Williams Symphonic Winds will give a concert on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. This free event is open to the public.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Olivier Messiaen, the Symphonic Winds lives up to its reputation for unusual and creative programming with a concert that explores how Messiaen and other composers construct identity through relationships with the concept of place, ranging from inhabiting celestial villages (Olivier Messiaen’s La ville d’en-Haut) to escaping busy urban centers (Eve Beglarian’s Landscaping for Privacy) to solitary landscapes (John Adams’s El Dorado). Also on the program is music by Gustav Holst, John Harbison, David Lang, Ingram Marshall and the world premiere of Jonathan Newman’s My Hands Are a City.

The Williams Symphonic Winds is a 60-member ensemble dedicated to performing the most significant music written for the chamber and large wind ensemble mediums in provocative concerts. Now in his ninth year as Music Drector, Steven Dennis Bodner has developed the ensemble’s identity as a leading proponent of the performance of new music on campus. The ensemble has commisioned and premiered a number of works by contemporary composers, including Williams faculty and alumni. Recognized as one of the premier wind ensembles in New England, the Symphonic Winds performed at the 2006 College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference. In recent years, the Symphonic Winds has been noted both for its adventurous and creative programming and for the quality of its performance, described as “heroic” and “astounding” by critic-composer Barton McLean and “amazingly good” by the composer Louis Andriessen.

for more information, go here or call the
concert hotline at 413-597-3146.

NY benefit for china earthquake relief: 15 June

a wonderful crew of NYC artists spearheaded by my dear friend and colleague, pianist Ning Yu (Mabou Mines Dollhouse, Bang on a Can All-Stars) have banded together to present a benefit concert to support victims of the earthquake in Sichuan, China.

a totally excellent group of artists at the intersection of new and world music will be performing, including flutist Marya Martin playing my piece I will not be sad in this world, with the premiere of visuals by Silk Road stalwart Kevork Mourad, with whom I just last week had a great time collaborating on a performance of Osculati Fourniture with the Maya Trio.

Other artists include Maya Beiser, Margaret Leng Tan, Derek Bermel, Huang Ruo, members of the M Shanghai String Band, Ken Thomson, NYPO musicians Duoming Ba and Qiang Tu, and the Children Singers of Third Street Music School. There will be a reception for audience members with food and wine, and music performed by the young musicians of the Stuy Jazz Trio.

the concert will be at the Church of the Ascension on Fifth Avenue at 10th Street in the Village on Sunday 15 June at 7 pm. minimum suggested donation: $25 adults, $10 children. donations support Half the Sky Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.

come if you can! donate whether you can come or not! please participate in this outpouring of support for the Chinese Earthquake survivors!

visit http://www.nybenefitforchinaearthquake.org/ to donate, make a reservation, and learn more about the event.

and please tell all your friends!!!!

Not Worth

Not Worth was commissioned by the New York City ensemble Sequitur for an evening of cabaret songs based on the theme of money. I chose and adapted a text from the Analects (Lun Yu 4.5) of Confucius.

Riches and glory,
everyone loves riches and glory.
But if you can’t get them the right way
They’re not worth winning.

Poverty and obscurity,
everyone hates poverty and obscurity.
But if you can’t get rid of them the right way
They’re not worth losing.

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Not Worth has been recorded by Sequitur with Kristin Norderval singing; the disk is called To Have and To Hold and you can buy it here.

Not Worth is part of my ongoing project A Book of Days. You can hear Karol Bennett’s excellent live performance by going to February 3rd.

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Here is a score of the piece in pdf format. I’m open to you arranging it for your ensemble; let me know what you have in mind.

For a full set of performing materials, you are warmly invited to support this very low-key way of publishing:

Osculati Fourniture

The title Osculati Fourniture comes from a mysterious query in a journal entry written by my mother, Joyce Heeney Beglarian, on 22 May 1981, while en route to Florence from Pisa. I cannot know why these two words came into her mind while riding along the autostrada, or what connection the phrase might have with shutters or Lucca, but it seems likely that the whole business has some obscure significance.

The music is a response to the gushe Zirkesh-e Salmak in the dastgah of Shur, part of the repertoire of Persian classical music. Its relation to all this is perhaps osculate in some sense.

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Osculati Fourniture is January 24th in my ongoing project A Book of Days. You can hear my performance of the piece by going to that day. In addition, there is a cool video of a performance featuring Kevork Mourad’s live drawings. The piece is dedicated with love to Yvan Greenberg, who I imagine might enjoy this little cabinet of oddities.

[and by the way, my shutter photo was taken in Pescia, not Lucca — but you get the idea…]

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Here are some performing scores:

score in C (pdf)
alto flute transposition (pdf)

When you click the paypal button below, we will send you the pre-recorded tracks needed to perform the piece. We can also supply you with a performing score in any transposition or clef you’d like.

I’m back!

I’ve been very bad about posting here for the last few months, so sorry about that! I was whamming on The Man in the Black Suit, an opera based on the Stephen King story of the same name. (I’ll tell you more about that later…) We did a residency down at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and some presentations back in NYC at PS 122, and then I headed out to Macomb, Illinois for a short composer residency at Western Illinois University, which was big fun. I’m back in NYC for a while, and one of the things on my to-do list is to make some serious inroads to updating this blog and website, so stay tuned!

Weather in Philadelphia

Marshall Taylor is going to perform Getting to Know the Weather, for baritone sax and percussion, on a Network for New Music concert on 11 November. The piece was written for him a long time ago, so it’s a pleasure he’s still doing it! Here’s a uTube video of Marshall rehearsing and talking about the piece. And go here for tickets and more information.