Double Concerto for PEP (Piano-Erhu Project: Nicole Li and Corey Hamm)
I'm very excited to be writing a new concerto for this dynamic duo! The chamber orchestral version will be premiered by PEP and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in April 2018.
New work for the Tempest Flute Ensemble
For eight flutes and cello. Although I've written often for flute, for this work I plan a significant departure from my past approaches to writing for the instrument (and ensemble-writing in general) and explore more timbral textures using a variety of extended techniques, including use of spatial elements to incorporate panning effects into the work. Premieres 2018-2019 concert season.
New work for soprano saxophone and piano
Commissioned by a small consortium of players, led by saxophonist Tyler Flowers. Premieres 2018.
NOTES ON WORKS-IN-PROGRESS (ARCHIVAL)
Northern Star for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
Blue for Arkora Music (commissioned by the Redshift Society)
For eight singers (SSAATTBB), cello and lumiphone (a microtonal glass marimba). Based on fragments taken from various Tang dynasty poems. Premieres at the Celebration Hall in Vancouver in May 18, 2017.
Bagatelles for the NuBC Collective
For flute/alto flute, cello and piano. In six movements but still in progress! Three movements that were previewed in March may be found under my "Listen" menu: 1. The Palest of Blues; 2. Rondino; 5. Elixir. The first movement is "gently blue" in a Ravel-like way, "Rondino" is a mosaic of fragments that explore two harmonies in a pseudo-rondino form (ABABA), and "Elixir" features two superballs from the local toy store, drilled and mounted on wooden sticks taken from a child's toy. (Homemade, super-bouncy rubber mallets with sticks short enough to easily move around the inside of a piano). Premieres on April 29-30, 2016.
Of Fragments and Dreams for string orchestra
Premiere: June 3, 2015 by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Anne Manson, conductor.
This will be a set of 5 brief movements for string orchestra. Also on the program is Janacek's 'manifesto on love', String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters". When initially approached to compose a new work for this concert, I was asked if Janacek's program might inspire something for my own piece. The art of letter writing is all but lost in this digital age, though I am drawn to the idea of the (hand)written word being (or formerly being) a snapshot of a specific moment, place, state of mind or emotion. I'm thinking of the volumes of journals I've scrawled since childhood, stacks of old letters from loved ones, cards and notes with particularly meaningful messages that I've saved. I find handwriting to be highly expressive of the writer's personality and voice; re-reading old entries, letters and cards triggers memories and emotions from years and even decades earlier.
The idea behind Of Fragments and Dreams is to write a collection of short movements that aren't love letters as in Janacek's work, but nonetheless musical postcards or snapshots (one composer friend joked that the modern version would be musical 'tweets') of the past, slightly tinged with nostalgia and each capturing either a fragment of a distant time, a breathtaking moment, a fleeting memory or a lost dream.
For five females: four vocalists and one speaking percussionist. A collaboration with Adam Frank on a radio play adaptation of Gertrude Stein's White Wines. My esteemed collaborator has been waiting patiently for me to clear my schedule so that we can work intensively to complete this piece. We had a great workshop last summer and were able to experiment with some interesting textures and combinations of speaking, singing, percussive noises (from singers and instruments alike). I'm excited to return to this project. It will be my first time working with text, voice and sound in a more abstract way. I'm hoping to devote much of May-June 2015 to working on this piece. [update: semi-staged live performance premieres June 5-6, 2016 at the Cultch in Vancouver!]