Recent Posts from the Department of Music
Friday, June 26, 2015 - Saturday, June 27, 2015
Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater, and The Harlem Chamber Players will collaborate on a concert performance of the 1914 opera, Voodoo, by composer-librettist H. Lawrence Freeman (to purchase opera tickets click here). Compared to Richard Wagner by a contemporary journalist, Freeman's music - blending western classical music with American and African-American subjects and musical styles - offers a fresh perspective on the performing arts of the Harlem Renaissance.
Born and raised in Newark, NJ Tyshawn Sorey blends composition and improvisation across a variety of styles and genres. As an instrumentalist, he is known for his skillful open, groove-oriented, and through-composed forms and for his virtuosity on drums, piano, and trombone. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical forms. As a bandleader, he has released four critically acclaimed recordings. The most recent, Alloy (Pi, 2014), features a half-hour-long work and explores extremes of sonic sparseness and density. He has been selected as a Danish International Visiting Artist (2013) and for the Other Minds Residency (2012). He has lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and Hochschule fur Musik Koln, among other institutions. In 2015, he will appear with his trio at Rotterdam's North Sea Jazz Festival and NYC's Village Vanguard.
What are the creative challenges you face as an artist?
"Logically extending my musical upbringing, my creative output relies on the convergence of myriad performance traditions. This type of work, however, presents its own set of challenges. As my work synthesizes a wide spectrum of genres and, simultaneously, contests extant aesthetic constructions of place; it is a considerable undertaking to garner greater visibility for its performance and reception. I aim to carve out significantly more time for composition, practice, and promotion, activities that are all fundamental to presenting and advancing the vitality and visibility of my work. In addition, it is my hope to publish musical scores, recordings, and written literature on my music to make it more known and knowable to a wider public. Finally, I seek to contribute to creative excellence by balancing improvisation and formal structure through a body of work that is at once personal, direct, and visceral."
DMA Alumnus Jeff Talman recently published a New York Times article, "Birds of New York: A Soundscape," which traces the relationship of birds and birdsong with his artwork, including his recent sound installation at St. Paul's, "When Soaring Sings."
The article was published on June 13th in the Times "Op-Ed Opinionator-Menagerie" series online, and was featured in print in the "Week in Review" section on Sunday, June14.
You can read the full article here, which includes a sound excerpt and an animation by Lilli Carre.