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Blog Archive



Joan La Barbara Begins 70th Birthday Celebration at Roulette

Now in her 70th year, Joan La Barbara has continued her life's work of composition, collaboration, and performance, and shows no signs of slowing. 2017 has already seen La Barbara performing at ISSUE Project Room, music directing a new production of Robert Ashley's Dust, touring with the "Music for Merce" celebration in Minneapolis and Chicago, and overseeing performances of her piece A Murmuration for Chibok, commissioned by the Young People's Chorus of New York City and performed at the 30th annual Bang on a Can Marathon

To continue this multi-faceted year, La Barbara will premiere her new song cycle, The Wanderlusting of Joseph C., performed by the composer herself alongside Ne(x)tworks at Roulette in Brookyln, NY. This new song cycle explores Joseph Cornell's concept of "wanderlusting"—which articulates both the desire to wander and the desire to lust—with text by Vietnamese-American writer Monique Truong. 

Check out a recent interview with Red Bull Music Academy below. 

Douglas J. Cuomo's "Arjuna's Dilemma" at the Dallas Opera

(photo: "Arjuna's Dilemma" at One World Theatre Nepal, 2016; © Eric Garrison)

Douglas J. Cuomo's Arjuna's Dilemma is a truly unique opera, which combines the tradition of operatic performance with North Indian singers and instrumentalists to recount a harrowing moment from the Bhagavad Gita, where the eponymous Arjuna must grapple with conscience and duty in a time of civil war, leading to his search of self-knowedge in a rapidly changing world.

Recorded on Innova in 2008 and recently performed in Nepal (the first opera ever to be performed in that country), Arjuna's Dilemma has just had its Texas premiere in a visually-enhanced concert performance with the Dallas Opera. The performance, led by Dallas Opera Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement, starred Tony Boutté, Humayun Khan and a female vocal quartet of Katrina Galka, Audra Methvin, Alyssa Martin and Lindsay Ammann.

Cuomo has composed a Choral Suite from this opera, featuring seven movements from the opera scored for SATB chorus, solo violin, and piano, which is avalable on PSNY. Also available is the aria Four-Armed Form, for tenor and piano.

Sound American Releases Alex Mincek Portrait Album "Torrent"

On April 26th, Sound American releases a new album, Torrent, featuring the music of Alex Mincek—the composer's first solo album since 2011's self-titled release on Carrier Records. Torrent collects recordings of several new works for ensemble alongside extensive interviews and wrtitings on Mincek into a 28-page art-object, and is the first of Sound American's "Young Composer Portrait series".

Torrent includes recordings of several works performed by members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and the Mivos Quartet. These works were all composed in the past seven years, and include Pendulum VII, which is available from PSNY. Check out an excerpt below: 

In a special issue devoted to the music of Alex Mincek, Sound American offers several interviews between Mincek, the Wet Ink ensemble, Nate Wooley, and Jeremiah Cymerman. On the works collected and recorded on Torrent, Eric Wubbels notes:

"Each piece is a balance between objects and ideas that have been thoroughly tested and developed in previous pieces and new, exploratory, or experimental ideas (sounds, objects, forms). In any given piece, if the new ideas work well, they might find their way into the next piece, and so on... As a result, I see a kind of slow evolution and refreshing of the musical language within a style that maintains a strong profile and internal consistency."

For more critical analysis of Mincek's recent work, check out George Grella's long-form article on Mincek in Music and Literature, which describes him as "on the outside, looking out."

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