This is my 50th weekly column for NewMusicBox, thereby marking the completion of one full year writing in this forum. And it’s been an extraordinarily eventful year for me. When I began writing, I had recently begun spending significant time and energy improvising publicly on toy piano; these adventures have continued and have allowed me to work with many incredible musicians. I also had set in motion plans to form a new experimental music ensemble, League of the Unsound Sound. We completed our first season in March and now I’m looking forward to our second season, which will bring many changes (more on the first season and plans for the second in future columns). I had not expected to embark on my largest composition to date, but am happy to report the completion of my work and delivery of the score and parts on the non-opera, with our first ensemble rehearsal scheduled for this weekend. I also had not expected to be traveling quite so very often. For me, these journeys always seem to take a physical toll, and yet I am energized by the personal connections made with amazing performers and composers in Winston-Salem, Fredonia, and other places. (I’ve also found that trips seem to beget more trips; I am looking forward to many upcoming sojourns in the year ahead.)
I’ve found the experience of airing my thoughts in this forum to be enjoyable and humbling. It’s been fun to explore many of your webpages and to get to know the music of composers who were new to me (yes, whenever I get a chance, I follow the links you post in the comment sections). I’ve learned a great deal from your responses and have often found myself questioning the basic assumptions that I initially brought to these opinion pieces. Through our exchanges, I feel that I’ve come to know some of you quite well and appreciate your welcoming me into your community.
Many of my plans for the coming year have begun to solidify, including more composing, performing, and traveling. I look forward to sharing the fruits of these intellectual and physical journeys with you and to exchanging more ideas in the year ahead.