Civitella and Assisi, Italy

July 17

Arrived at the Civitella Ranieri castle near Perugia, Italy yesterday afternoon and spent last night and spending tonight here. Have great memories from last summer’s residency – was extremely productive and I made some great friends. Had the pleasure of meeting many of the current group and enjoyed meeting them as well. After tonight I am in the hands of the Suono Sacro music festival in Assisi where I conducted the premiere of my new work Ascension tonight at the Sala San Gregorio. Was a very nice evening with an enthusiastic crowd and wonderful performers. Has been a great month in Italy…

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Elba, Italy

July 14

New work for the Bugallo Williams piano duo complete and a new work for violin and string orchestra for Jennifer Choi in progress – extremely productive place on the island of Elba…

July 4

Incredibly productive time here on the island of Elba – already have a third of the new work for two pianos set – ca 10 minutes to go

July 2

26 hours later, 2 planes, 2 trains, and a ferry and I am here – gorgeous place – pictures to come – already int the the duo piano work…

June 30

On my way to Italy and my artist’s residency at the Casa Zia Lina on the island of Elba. Looking forward to working on the two piano work for the Bugallo Wiliams Duo while there. Should be finally arrive tomorrow Tuesday afternoon Italy time…

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Just sent the new chamber work to the NESG ensemble in Spain. Now starting some sketches for the new work I am writing for the Bugallo – Williams piano duo. Have a residency during the first part of July at the Casa Zia Lina in Elba, Italy to work on it in earnest but figure I can use my last 4-5 days at the MacDowell Colony to get started. Enjoying playing around inside the Steinway in my studio.

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On the Road – blogging from my travels

Almost finished my pentimento – still need a few adjustments to the dynamics, etc., tomorrow – do parts on Monday – send to NESG ensemble in Spain Tuesday – love the MacDowell Colony!

May 24, 2014

 

The new work for the Madrid based NESG chamber ensemble is coming along very nicely. Although all of the members are excellent performers I was very taken by the bass clarinetist and the percussionist so decided to use an older work for bass clarinet and percussion as the underlying structure for the new work for alto flute, bass clarinet, percussion (mostly vibes and marimba), and piano. I recalled from my time at the Civitella Ranieri center in Perugia last summer that starting in the 15th century some painters would paint over or rearrange materials from earlier paintings so have taken this as the process for the new work. In essence recreating and painting over the older work with new materials and adjustments but not so much that the older work is not somewhat still recognizable at different moments throughout the new composition. The term for this technique is pentimento, the title for the new piece. Notwithstanding the intricacies involved, I am confident that in the 2 weeks left here at the MacDowell Colony I will be able to complete the work.

May 19, 2014

 

New 14 minute work completed for the Suono Sacro ensemble in Italy and in their hands. Now working on a new piece for the Nuevo Ensemble de Segovia for premiere in November in Spain. Love the MacDowell Colony…

May 15, 2014

 

I had a chance to visit Mr and Mrs MacDowell’s grave today – about a 5 minute walk away. How lucky we are that they have left such an incredible place for those of us in the arts…New work for Assisi is almost done. I can move on to starting one of my other works being premiered this coming concert season later this week…

May 12, 2014

 

I was wrong it’s a 13:30 long work for flute, harp, and string quintet in my sketches and it happens to be on it’s way into my computer. Amazing how fast I can write when I have so much unobstructed time and with Leonard Bernstein’s autograph on the wall of the studio – guess I should take a photo of it so I have it with me going forward???

May 7, 2014

 

There’s a 12 minute work for string quintet, harp, and flute buried in my sketches. Just need to keep digging it out.

May 5, 2014

 

I knew there were mountains around here there’s just so much forest it’s hard to see them – found a spot where you can see them while on my 30 minute walk today. I have about 8 minutes worth of sketches that I feel good about so far for a 12 – 15 minute piece. Amazing what being able to spend focused time on your creative work instead of a million other things can do for you…

May 3, 2014

 

Lots of sketching going on already. Easy to do at a beautiful place like the MacDowell Colony and the great Watson studio I am in…

April 30, 2014

 

Finally made it – I am in Watson a self contained studio. Beautiful surroundings – looking forward to getting to work…

April 28, 2014

 

At the Miami airport starting my day long trip to the MacDowell Colony where I will be for the next 5 weeks -writing a new piece for the Assisi based Ensemble Suono Sacro.

April 28, 2014

 

Getting ready for the long trip back to Miami. Had a great time in Szczecin, Poland this week. Lovely city very nice people and a rich cultural history.

April 13, 2014

 

Great performance of my work the Distant Wind for clarinet and orchestra last night by the Philharmonic orchestra in the city of Stettin, Poland and soloist Wojciech Mrozek. It was a pleasure conducting my work in the city’s main theatre in front of a full house as part of the clarinet festival taking place here this week – wonderful orchestra and great soloist. This morning I will be lecturing about my work for the music students at the University of the Arts in town and am very much looking forward to it.

April 12, 2014

 

At the Newark airport – next flt to Berlin then by train to Stetin, Poland. Looking forward to conducting my work for clarinet and full orchestra there – performance on Friday night with soloist Wojciech Mrozek and the orchestra from Stetin as part of the clarinet festival being held in that city.

April 8, 2014

 

Couldn’t be prouder to have seen the participation of former FIU students and my colleagues at the SEAMUS conference held at Wesleyan University over the last 4 days. Former students Nayla Mehdi, Max Tfirn, Nelson Prieto, Carlos, and my colleagues Jason Calloway and Jacob Sudol’s participation, make me extremely proud not to mention for a great FIU representation. I also want to thank former FIU faculty colleague and friend Paula Matthusen and co-host Ron Kuivila for organizing a great conference. It was great to be here.

March 30, 2014

 

At the SEAMUS National Conference being held at Wesleyan University in Connecticut https://seamus.conference.wesleyan.edu/. My work la catedral de cristal is on tomorrow’s 1:00 PM concert and I am looking forward to running the sound and presenting the work. I have already heard some wonderful works by Paul Koonce, Judith Shatin, John Gibson, Elizabeth Hoffman, among others. Great to see many old and new friends as well.

March 28, 2014

 

In Vienna as the ISCM World New Music Days Festival continues after a week in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia – fascinating symposium this morning on Intercultural Modernity and Contemporary Music with discussions by Sebastian Kiefer and Sandeep Bhagwati – continues tomorrow morning with friend and colleague Kyle Gann and Heekyung Lee – more concerts later this afternoon and tonight.

November 12, 2013

 

In Bratislava, Slovakia since Friday at the ISCM World Music Days. The hotel is right next to the Danube. Tomorrow it’s on to Vienna until Friday for the remainder of the Festival. Great concerts, colleagues, and general assembly meetings.

November 10, 2013

 

In Kosice, Slovakia at the ISCM World Music Days representing the Miami Section at FIU. Today was the first of 5 general assembly meetings taking place over the next 9 days first in Kosice then in Bratislava and lastly in Vienna, Austria. Lots to discuss and consider. It’s quite an organization and mission. Very much enjoy working with my colleagues from around the world and hearing all of the music being presented.

November 6, 2013

 

My presentation this morning was very well received especially the collaborative video works I created with Jacek J. Kolasinski and John Stuart. Chris and Fernando’s presentations and performances as well as maestro Kropfl’s were really wonderful. Tomorrow more presentations and concerts plus continued discussions with my counterparts at the National University for the Arts (IUNA) regarding possible future exchanges of students and faculty…

September 28, 2013

 

In Buenos Aires and the music and technology conference being held at the IUNA, the National Institute for the Arts here. My colleagues from Stanford Chris Chafe and Fernando Lopez Lezcano (among others) are here and it has been great to see them. I do my presentation on my music with computer (going back 25 years) tomorrow at 11:00 AM – I am including everything from my early tape and instrument works to recent interdisciplinary collaborative works with video – should be fun. I follow Francisco Kropfl one of the most important (if not the most) pioneer of electro acoustic music in all of the Americas. Will be great to hear his presentation. Back home early Monday…

September 26, 2013

 

In the beautiful town of Sandomierz, Poland. Turns out I have been asked to conduct the premiere of my work tonight after the soloist and festival organizer found out I conduct – and for no other reason than they felt the audience would enjoy it (the conductor scheduled to do it is very good). Rehearsals at 3:45 and again at 5:30 if needed – followed by the concert at 7:30 all in the town’s Cathedral. Given the level of the orchestra from Lviv and the soloist, and the fact that conducting my own work is something I enjoy and seemingly do well, it should be a great evening..

August 31, 2013

 

In Bydgoszcz at the home of virtuoso clarinetist Wojciech Mrozek and his wife. Was able to do a little sightseeing today before we head to Warsaw and visit composer conductor Krzesimir Debski. Then on to Sandomierz on Friday before the premiere on Saturday. Took a few pictures of the center of town and the new opera house in Bydgoszcz – also met with people at the university here re possible exchanges in the future and they were very receptive. So far a very nice time – very nice place and very nice people…

August 29, 2013

 

Boarding the first of 3 planes to get to Poland. Premiere on Saturday night in Sandomierz of my new work The Distant Wind II for clarinet and string orchestra. The soloist is a wonderful clarinetist Wojciech Mrozek and the conductor the excellent composer/conductor Krzesimir Debski. Should be a great concert well worth the long travel…

August 27, 2013

 

Great week in Malaga, Spain. It’s a beautiful city especially at night. The orchestra, maestro Jose Serebrier, and recording engineer Javier Monteverde, all did an excellent job with my music. I can’t wait for the master and ultimately the release. I am now in Seville for the weekend visiting the city, performers from the area, as well as my colleague from FIU Victor Uribe who is running a study abroad class from FIU. Hope to set something similar up for the School of Music for next summer in Spain or Italy. Monday I fly back to Miami after 7 weeks away – it will be back to reality.

June 14, 2013

 

Just left Italy and Civitella this morning and am in Malaga, Spain. Was an incredible 6 weeks. Made some great friends between the other fellows and the staff, and saw some beautiful Italian towns while enjoying the great food and wine. Perhaps as good I also got quite a bit of work done on my new piece for the Miami Symphony Orchestra and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Now I am looking forward to working with maestro Jose Jose Serebrier and orchestra in Malaga this week as well as engineer Javier Monteverde on the recording of 3 of my orchestral works. I know it will be very exciting…

June 10, 2013

 

Incredible day in Arezzo today – was able to see a fascinating work by Pietro Della Francesca in the Cathedral of Saint Assisi. And of course there’s Guido the father of notation – his house and statue are in town. What a beautiful city – great weather, company, and food.

June 4, 2013

 

Wonderful time earlier this week visiting Cortona. It’s a beautiful town with great Art and people not to mention the food. Will be leaving for Malaga, Spain in 9 days as the orchestra there will be recording 3 of my works. I am very much looking forward to it while at the same time hate to leave Civitella. My time here has been extremely positive, productive, and rewarding.

June 1, 2013

 

Just got back from Urbino. What a beautiful city and what great paintings in the Duke’s palace. Between the trip to San Sepulcro and today’s trip I am getting to see Piero della Francesca’s genius up close. No wonder Feldman always talked about him. My work here is also coming along great. The wonderful food, wine, ample time, and beauty of the place make it easy to be productive.

May 21, 2013

 

At Civitella! What a great place! Already working on the new piece for the Cuarteto Latinoamericano and the Miami Symphony Orchestra (for string quartet and orchestra). It’s going to be a very productive 6 weeks.

May 4, 2013

 

On the plane to JFK then to Rome and 6 weeks of writing music at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Center in Perugia – almost heaven – can’t wait to get there.

May 1, 2013

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