Recently I’ve been hard at work on my piece for Fireworks called “Hyper Lassus” that’s going to be premiered at the Oregon Bach Festival on July 2nd. I have to have the entire thing finished, including score and parts by May 31st (and I started it on May 10th), and even though I have a love/hate relationship with tight deadlines, the piece is actually coming very nicely. I’ve listened to as much of the group’s recordings as I could, and they definitely have a direction towards lighter, more entertaining pieces, which is cool because I’m in the mood to do just that sort of thing. Nothing too “serious”, but at the same time I don’t want to write a piece of fluff (which I feel I could never let myself do anyway). The piece is essentially for rock band, and I’m writing a rock “piece”. It’s definitely treading a fine line, and at many moments in the piece it’s really hard to say exactly what it is – is it concert music – is it rock – pop – metal – jazz? I think if just one person thinks this to themselves, I’ve succeeded with this piece on a certain level.
I’m actually taking some of that desire from the guest composer-in-residence that I’ll be working closely with, Osvaldo Golijov. His “Pasión Segun San Marcos” does just that – it’s really an impossibility to classify the piece into one specific genre, and I absolutely love music like that – I hope to achieve this with mine. I know that the first time I heard the piece, I was saying “What IS this???” the entire time – I want someone to say that about “Hyper Lassus” – hehe. Writing this piece produces a special feeling in me. I came into music school, in 1996 as a rock musician, and now, in my last year of school ten years later, I’m writing for rock band again, but this time with a world of experience and knowledge that I didn’t have before.
I’ve also decided to do my doctoral composition recital in October, which leaves me with a lot of music to write this summer. In addition to “Hyper Lassus”, I’m writing a new song cycle for guitarist Daniel Bolshoy and mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, of which I have already completed one and a half songs (but had to stop to work on the rock band piece), and then I WILL complete this cimbalom and theorbo duet for John Astaire and Kevin Kishimoto that’s been swimming around in my head for at least a year. After those are complete, I plan to write one more piano hommage – an Hommage to Mandy Morris. So, the projected program should look like this:
That’s about an hour of music, which is plenty. Hopefully the next few weeks will go as smoothly for “Hyper Lassus” as it’s been going. I’m excited about it – FINALLY I get to rock out again!