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Our 2nd Annual Emerging Composers Concert
NEW WORKS NEW VOICES
Join Aural Compass Projects for New Works, New Voices: a concert featuring works by the five winners from our 2nd annual Emerging Composers Competition. This competition encouraged emerging composers to engage in and consider art songs in a culturally meaningful way. Applicants were asked to compose music that would explore their values and social principles while highlighting underrepresented themes in the classical music industry.
Sopranos Carami Hilaire, Rachel Mikol, mezzo-soprano Heather Jones, along with pianist Michael Lewis and cellist Rocío Díaz de Cossío, will be performing works by our winners Charlie Carroll, Anruo Cheng, Zach Gulaboff Davis, Jane Kozhevnikova, and Daniel De Togni.
Join us for an evening of heartfelt music-making!
Click the APPLE to see the program:
New Works, New Voices (2021)
Marcus Norris: Block Party | Emerging Composer Competition (2020) Winner
"Block Party takes a light-hearted view at social values through the lens of a young woman’s dating life. Written during the pandemic of 2020, the story unfolds in a way unique to our time. As always, I tried to make it as unapologetically authentic as possible. The song is written in unapologetically Black musical style, with lyrics in an unapologetically Black vernacular, telling a story in an unapologetically Black tone." - Marcus Norris, composer and lyricist Performed at New Works, New Voices on October 29, 2021 at Opera America in NYC Aural Compass Projects Nia Drummond, soprano Michael Lewis, piano
Steven Crino: I Think We Are Called | Emerging Composer Competition (2020) Winner
I Think We Are Called is taken from a larger work entitled Friends House. "‘Friends House’ was commissioned by The Podcast Opera Company, a company interested in musical storytelling that merges the genres of podcasts and opera into something unique. The story for this production takes us to a fictitious Quaker commune, and chronicles their search to find a new roommate for their house. Through their search, we see the challenges of living together, the value of community, and are left to contemplate questions about how and why we choose the communities we are part of. I was drawn to this subject matter because I feel that now more than ever we have to find new ways to create community amidst unprecedented times of social isolation. In addition to the relevance of this topic to the current state of the world, I was drawn to this project because I grew up in a town that was founded by Quakers, and although I was not raised Quaker, this gave me the opportunity to explore and learn more about this community around me." - Steven Crino, composer Performed at New Works, New Voices on October 29, 2021 at Opera America in NYC Aural Compass Projects Sydney Anderson, soprano Michael Lewis, piano
Minato Sakamoto: Climbing High | Emerging Composer Competition (2020) Winner
"The year of 2020 reminded us of how deeply racial injustice is embedded in the U.S. society. Disappointingly, however, Asian representation rarely became a topic of discussion despite our increased awareness of racial inequalities. My piece is composed of three songs on the same ancient Chinese poem, Climbing High by Du Fu (712-770), in Japanese, Chinese, and English. This piece, thus, suggests rich artistic potentials in Asian traditions from which American new music can benefit. While the songs in Japanese and English (No.1 and No.3) stem from the images invoked in the poem, the song in Mandarin (No.2) reflects two non-semantic considerations—the form of Tang-dynasty poems and the sound of the poem. Whenever listening to ancient Chinese poems, I imagine a classroom of first-graders in China as they messily and spontaneously recite ancient poems by rote with little ability (or encouragement) to appreciate their deeper significance. The fusion of quotations from Stravinsky and Hanon at the beginning of No.2 represents such a scene." -Minato Sakamoto, composer Performed at New Works, New Voices on October 29, 2021 at Opera America in NYC Aural Compass Projects Hsin-Mei Tracy Chang, soprano Michael Lewis, piano 0:00 I. (Japanese) 3:25 II. (Chinese) 4:40 III. (English)
Juan Calderon: Six Songs for Soprano and Guitar | Emerging Composer Competition (2020) Winner
"I discovered Octavio Gamboa when I read his poem “El Paisaje” amidst other Colombian poets in a collection while I was living in Miami in 2006. I found his poetry very musical and suitable for singing. In 2014, guitarist Nilko Andreas asked me for a song for soprano and guitar, so I set the one poem I had to music. The project did not pan out but in December 2017 I had the opportunity to record the music I had written in Bogotá with local performers. As talk usually goes among musicians, the idea for a song cycle was brought up and I thought it was something worth pursuing. The writing process brought me to use various ideas for solo guitar I had shelved out over the past few years and to bring new ones which fit the character and imagery of a particular poem. Finding published books or manuscripts of his poems proved fruitless, even though there is a park named after him in my hometown. In the end, I found a website done by his family which contained some of his most popular poems along with helpful biographical notes. It turned out that he was a huge fan of classical music, especially Beethoven. In the end it seems we had a spiritual connection through art." - Juan Calderon, composer Performed at New Works, New Voices on October 29, 2021 at Opera America in NYC Aural Compass Projects Vanessa Becerra, soprano Juan Calderon, guitar 0:00 I. El Paisaje 2:39 II. Si tu me lo preguntas 5:26 III. Para vencer la soledad 8:42 IV. Futuro 10:45 V. Final 14:03 VI. Con el silencio estoy en harmonia
Keaton Garrett: I Find No Peace | Emerging Composer Competition (2020) Winner
"I Find No Peace is a set of three character pieces, each based on a single line of a poem of the same name by Sir Thomas Wyatt. The idea for this piece comes from the song Preface by FKA Twigs, which itself is a miniature using only the line "I love another, and thus I hate myself." I wanted to create a small collection of character pieces for voice, violin, and piano using other lines from this poem that I felt were particularly moving. The first uses the title as its text, and is a juxtaposition of relentlessly active music that tries to find peace in small sections of static wondering music. The second involves various wind sounds that the voice sings over, evoking wind chimes from my backyard. The last movement is a fixation on the words "I love another, and thus I hate myself."" -Keaton Garrett, composer Performed at New Works, New Voices on October 29, 2021 at Opera America in NYC Aural Compass Projects Sydney Anderson, soprano Adrianne Munden-Dixon, violin Michael Lewis, piano