I’m proud to be premiering “Embrace”, the new electric violin concerto by Kenji Bunch on April 6 with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra in Vermont. It was co-comissioned by 10 orchestras through an organization called the Orchestra Engagement Lab whose mission is to strengthen orchestras’ connections within their communities. The hope is that each commissioning orchestra will use this piece to construct a broader work of some kind involving members of the local communities with the theme “My Family”. The piece coalesces on stage like a flash mob with orchestra members entering one by one from the audience and from various locations in the hall. I will be bringing this project to kids in schools, people in community centers, prisons, and anyone else who wants to weigh in on their thoughts about family, and then incorporate their words and artwork into the performance of the concerto, either within it, or possibly surrounding it. It’s all a giant experiment. It’s a joyful, beautiful work with plenty of room for me to improvise and rock out.
The Nashville Symphony and I performed the NY premier of a major new electric violin concerto, “The Palmian Chord Ryddle”, by legendary composer Terry Riley in Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 12, 2012 on the closing concert of the 2012 Spring for Music Festival. Known as “the father of Minimalism”, Riley is one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. He changed the course of music history with his seminal 1964 work, “In C” which set the stage for composers such as John Adams, Phillip Glass, Steve Reich and even Pete Townsend of the rock band The Who, who paid homage to Riley with the synthesizer intro to the hit song, “Baba O’Riley”, (better known as “Teenage Wasteland.”)
The main feature of my upcoming recording is a chamber version of my 2nd violin concerto, “Between the Kiss and the Chaos”. This is a 5 movement work, each movement based on an iconic masterpiece of visual art. The arrangement is for string quartet and electric violin and I’m thrilled to have recorded it with the Calder Quartet. It will be released by Delos/Naxos Records later this year.
This collaboration with puppeteer, singer, artist Brian Hull is a work in progress which will result in a 90 min puppet opera, with live video and a live musical ensemble including myself, string quartet and percussion.