Summer activities are coming to a head this month. I’m currently in the vast, anonymous suburbs of Chicago, looking forward to tomorrow’s première of my new Piano Trio. It’s a big piece, full of hustle and bustle—three voices fighting over each other to be heard—and the young musicians of Ravinia’s Steans Institute are more than up to the challenge. I’ll share some audio of the proceedings soon.
Next up, a couple of things at the Tippet Rise art center in the evocatively-named town of Fishtail, Montana. I’ll be joining Kahanes père et fils for a real grab-bag of a program; that same morning, the Dover Quartet will playing my second string quartet, Early to Rise. I am quite certain this will respresent my Montana début.
All the while, I’ve kept busy helping orchestrate a new ballet by Sufjan Stevens, which will go up early in 2019 with choreography by Justin Peck. I’ve always thought of orchestration as the “fun part” of composing. Orchestrating someone else’s music, while certainly instilling a sense of stewardship and responsibility, can also be freeing—it lets me try things that wouldn’t belong in my own pieces, because the specific musical situations just wouldn’t occur. What this means in practice is that at one particularly special juncture there will be a brief duet for piccolo and solo double bass.