Composer Updates November 2017 Edition
We feel so fortunate to we've had the opportunity to get to know 42 composers through the FNMC Composition Contest between 2014 and 2016. This year, we’ll add nine new (and two returning) composers to the group. We’ve been able to feature 38 of the 42 in composer spotlights and we’ll begin featuring the 2017 composer very soon!
But, of course, their work doesn’t stop with their first composer spotlight! They are a very productive group of individuals and we thought it would be a great idea to check in with them and share their major activities since we featured them. Today, we share the first round of composer updates. We’re sure you’ll also be pleased to see that they are busy and achieving great success (and producing more works for flute!) There are lots of premieres, recordings, awards, new positions, and other exciting projects!
Oliver Caplan (Finalist 2014, My Elephant Cloud for Pierrot ensemble)
Oliver was recently appointed the Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble, a Boston-based ensemble which focuses on supporting the work of emerging composers. The Juventas New Music Ensemble also sponsors the Boston New Music Festival. A new album of his works, entitled You Are Not Alone, will be released December 12. The album includes several chamber works: Connect All. We All Connect for soprano, horn, and piano, Love Letters for flute, clarinet, 2 violins, viola, and cello, To the Sea for 2 violins, viola, and cello, and You Are Not Alone for violin, cello, and piano.
Nicole Chamberlain (second place 2014 French Quarter for flute quartet, honorable mention 2016 for Asphyxia for flute alone, finalist 2016 for Orion’s Belt for flute trio and Three Nine Line for flute and piano)
Nicole is very excited to announce the release of an album of her flute music through MSR Classics in January 2018. The album features flutists Matthew Angelo, Nicole herself (she is a flutist and composer!) and Dr. Mary Matthews (an FNMC member!) and pianist Jessica Niles. The album will include FNMC awarded pieces Asphyxia, Three-Nine Line, and Mintaka from Orion's Belt.
Her compositions have received several awards including:
She has several new commissions that will be premiered and made available by next year:
1. Death Whistle for solo piccolo commissioned by FNMC Vice-President Dr. Elizabeth Robinson
2. Acrophobia for flute/picc, flute, and soprano saxophone commissioned by FNMC member flutist Dr. Mary Matthews, flutist Matthew Angelo, and saxophonist Alyssa Hoffert.
2. Flute, Horn, and piano work commissioned by The Kitchen Sync (FNMC member Dr. Katherine Isbell Emeneth)
3. Contrabass flute work commissioned by Beth Devlin
4. Flute and Clarinet work commissioned by PM Woodwind Project
5. Solo Alto Flute work commissioned by Kelly Mollnow Wilson
6. Flute Choir Work commissioned by Charter Oak Flute Choir of Connecticut
7. Another HUGE work including flute soloists with string orchestra is a done deal, just waiting for signed contract before I can go public.
She also recently released several pieces for publication including: Capsaicin for two flutes and cello, Unity for solo flute, and Shenanigans for flute, clarinet, and bassoon.
Andrew Davis (finalist 2015, What’s Next for flute, bassoon, and piano)
Andrew shared with us that he has recently completed a new piece for orchestra entitled, Seek. You can listen to the entire work on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/andrewdavis33/seek. Seek features a significant piccolo solo which is really beautiful! He expertly employs the lower and mid-range of the piccolo, which is such a wonderful color and one we don't often get to hear in the context of the orchestra due to scoring challenges.
Paul Elwood (finalist 2014 Marfa Lights for flute duo (doubling piccolo and alto flute)
Like many of the other composers Paul has been busy writing new works, which have been premiered all around the word! Several of the works have also been recorded and will be available on commercially released discs in the next year.
Paul also has upcoming performances and lectures scheduled at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand (Nov. 20-24) and at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia (Nov. 25-28).
Charles Halka (honorable mention, chamber music 2016 Por la Fuerza las Tierras for Pierrot ensemble)
Charles’ Por la Fuerza las Tierras (HM 2016) is achieving wide acclaim! It was also named the winner of Division 1 of the 2017 Young Composer Competition. It has been performed all over the United States this fall including:
The Odessa Philharmonic will perform Scherzo, for orchestra, alongside works by Stravinsky and Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak on November 17, 2017 in Odessa, Ukraine at Philharmonic Hall, 7:00pm.
John Moody (honorable mention newly composed category 2016, Tutti Frutti for two Virtuoso Flutti)
John was so inspired by the success and support of Tutti Frutti that he’s decided to write another work for flute! He’s currently working on a five movement piece with the current title of Canzoni for Flute and Piano. He reports that it is different in style from Tutti Frutti, but we’re sure that we will love it too! He also recently completed a new work for orchestra, entitled Eclipse.
Xingzimin Pan (honorable mention 2014 for Kaidan for flute and piano)
Xing has been focusing on choral composition. His works are being widely performed in his native country of China as well as in the US, where he has lived for many years. He is currently a PHD candidate at in music composition the University of Utah. He shared some of his recent accomplishments with us!
Dandelion, for Children’s Choir, published by Fudan University Publishing House
The newly published choral work Dandelion has been performed frequently in different cities China, as well as the US, Hungary, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Future performances will be held in Canada, Poland and Taiwan within the next two years.
Bekah Simms (winner Newly Composed category in 2015 for a relic of adolescent heat for flute, cello, and piano)
Bekah was awarded the Canadian Music Centre's Toronto Emerging Composers Award in 2017, valued at $6000, it's one of the more substantial awards in the country for composition. She was also featured in Musicworks Magazine:https://www.musicworks.ca/sound-bite/bekah-simms’-music-discomfort. Bekah was also selected, through member vote, as the commissioned composer for the first FNMC Flute Artist competition. Her new work for flute and pre-recorded sound, Skinscapes, will be performed by all of the finalists on March 3, 2017.
Asha Srinivasan (winner 2014 for Dviraag for flute and cello)
Asha is pleased to announce a newly commissioned work by Pan Pacific Ensemble. The work will be recorded in January and released on Albany Records. We look forward to hearing it!
Dana Wilson (winner 2016 for The Conjurer for solo flute and chamber wind ensemble)
Dana limited his update to news about his flute and piccolo works. Fortunately, there’s a lot of good news to share! (The Conjurer was performed by Wendy Mehne at the NFA convention this past August. He has also produced a piano reduction that is now available for purchase and performance! There is also a recording available of Conjurer!
FNMC member Christie Beard performed his piece for piccolo and piano entitled, Whispers from another time, at the NFA convention and a recording is in the works! It’s a really lovely work we’re sure our many piccolo playing members will want to check out!
He’s also pleased to share that there is a transcription of his and longing to be the singing master of my soul, originally for flute and piano, for flute and harp; there’s also now a piccolo version of the work. The flute and harp version will be recorded in the spring.
Thank you to all of the composers for sharing these updates. We love to hear about their successes and look forward to hearing (and playing) their works!
Get to Know...John Moody
Through the Composer Spotlight series, we’ve discovered that many of the pieces originated through a personal connection. Tutti Frutti (for Two-ti Virtuosi Flutti) by John Moody, is no exception. John composed it as a gift to his cousin, Turi Scilipoti, in honor of his graduation from Eastman in 2016. Tutti Frutti (for Two-ti Virtuoso Flutti) received an Honorable Mention in the Newly Composed Category in this year's FNMC Composition Competition. John was busy writing for flute in 2016, along with Tutti Frutti, he composed two other chamber pieces, Drip for woodwing quintet with piano and Falling Up for flute, oboe, synthesizer, and looper which was premiered January 9, 2017 in Spartanburg, SC.
We’re excited about two upcoming performances of Tutti Frutti! FNMC members Kallie Snyder and Sarah Jane Young will perform the complete work at the Florida Flute Convention on January 28, 2017 and Emily Nazario and Brittany Trotter will perform select movements at the Mid-South Flute Convention. Don’t worry if you won’t be able to attend one of those performances, you can listen to a great performance on his website or SoundCloud page!
Q&A with John…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
The flute is a very nimble and versatile instrument, with a beautiful tone. It is also capable of several "special effects". When I write music for the flute I try to take advantage of these attributes!
Who is/are your favorite “new music” composer/s and why?
Lately I've been listening to lots of Unsuk Chin. I think her music is fascinating - it is virtuosic and full of special effects. In spite of the dissonance in her works there seems to be an intriguing tonality present in her music that I am trying to understand. I have also always liked the music of Jacob Druckman and John Harbison.
What is/are your favorite “new music” piece/s and why?
I think Unsuk Chin's Violin Concerto is amazing - as is her Cello Concerto. Jacob Druckman's "Aureole" was the first "New Music" piece that I ever really "liked". I first heard it back in the eighties when my wife played it with the Charleston Symphony. I was totally drawn in to the music, and after the piece I thought to myself, "Oh my, I think I actually LIKED that piece of New Music!" John Harbison's "Symphony No. 2" is a wonderful piece, as well as the "Mirabai Songs" found on Dawn Upshaw's amazing debut album.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
I have a BME in Choral Music from the University of South Carolina. I took a composition class and loved it. So, I went on to get a Masters Degree in Composition from USC, then we moved up to Boston, where I got my Doctorate from Boston University. When I graduated the college composition jobs were scarce. I found a wonderful High School choral job in Spartanburg, South Carolina where I have been for the past twenty years. I have always stayed very active in composition, however. Now that my children are out of the house, I am composing much more. Along with the composition and choral music I have also been an active jazz pianist.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
I advise musicians to approach New Music with an open mind. Also, dig deep into the piece and find the music that is in there. What I love is when a great performer finds something that I didn't even think about in my music. There is this possibility for synergy that is so great in music, and when it happens the resulting performances can be truly stunning! I think this is true regardless of the genre of music. I advise the flute player to approach New Music the same way they approach any other kind of music - try to find the emotion that is hidden in those written notes, and bring it out. Strive for that synergistic experience between composer, performer and audience!
More About John…
John Moody lives in Spartanburg, SC where he teaches AP Music Theory and Music Tech at Spartanburg High School and directs the Second Presbyterian Chancel Choir. John received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina where he studied with Fred Teuber and Gordon “Dick” Goodwin, and his Doctorate from Boston University where he studied with Marjorie Merryman and John Harbison. In addition to teaching and composing John is an active jazz pianist in the upstate of South Carolina. He has received several commissions from wind ensembles, chamber ensembles and choirs. His piece, “The Open Road”, for Wind Ensemble and Jazz Piano can be found on the recording “The Speed of Heat”,by the United States Air Force Academy Band, and recently his piece “Drip” won the “Treefalls call for scores” competition, and was premiered at the November 20, 2015 “Espresso Chamber Music” concert in Spartanburg, SC.
For more information, please visit his website www.johnmoodymusic.com. It was created by his cousin Turi Scilipoti, for whom Tutti Frutti was written!
If You Liked Tutti Frutti…
Instrumentation: wind quintet and piano
Year of Composition: 2015
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, synthesizer, looper
Year of Composition: 2016
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.