Transient Canvas performs “Right now, in a second” in Providence and Somerville this week

/ February 26th, 2017 / No Comments

I am pleased to announce that Transient Canvas have added Right now, in a second to their programs at the Music Mansion at 88 Meeting Street in Providence on Friday, March 3 at 8pm and to their Equilibrium Concert Series performance on Saturday, March 4 at 8 pm at Third Life Studio in Somerville.

Spring 2017 Performances

/ February 17th, 2017 / No Comments

I am pleased to announce two performances of my music this spring:

The Charles River Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Matthew Marsit, will be premiering all three movements of my wind ensemble piece Circles Circling on Sunday, March 12 at 3 pm at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library at 33 Marrett Road in Lexington. This concert is free and open to the public.

Equilibrium Concert Series will present my solo viola piece Avanc as part of their commissioning project concert on Saturday, April 15, 8 pm at the New School of Music, 25 Lowell St, Cambridge. It’s a short walk from Harvard Square.

In the meantime, a recording of my Christmas choral piece, Ebeneezer’s Carol, is now available to listen to on soundcloud.

I also have a video of The Fourth Wall and Elisabeth Halliday performing the first section of my theater piece Vassal of the Sun at Neil Parsons’ masters recital at the Boston Conservatory on January 28.

 

Charles River Wind Ensemble premieres Circles Circling, part 1

/ April 23rd, 2016 / No Comments

I have the honor of being commissioned to write Circles Circling, a three movement piece for the Charles River Wind Ensemble. The first movement will be premiered on their “Boston, You’re My Home” program on Sunday, May 15 at 3pm at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library in Lexington, 33 Marrett Road (At the intersection of Route 2A and Massachusetts Avenue) (http://www.monh.org/visits-tours/getting-here/). This concert is free and includes works by Michael Gandolfi, Charles Ives, and John Mackey.

My inspiration for Circles Circling comes from two antiphons by Hildegard von Bingen: O Virtus Sapientie, an antiphon on the virtue of wisdom, and Sed Diabolus, which describes the Devil mocking and seeking to disrupt creation. I translate O Virtus Sapientie’s repeated imagery of circles and wings moving between heaven and earth into undulating, swirling rhythmic figures that provide a shifting momentum over which a glacial wave of melody emerges and crests.

I hope that you can attend this concert and hear the premiere of one of the most expansive works I have undertaken performed by the amazingly dedicated members of Charles River Wind Ensemble. For more information, check out the Charles River Wind Ensemble website.

Vassal of the Sun Preview Video

/ March 13th, 2016 / No Comments

For those of you who missed The Fourth Wall and soprano Elisabeth Halliday‘s  preview performance of my hybrid arts piece Vassal of the Sun presented by Equilibrium Concert Series at Green Street Studios in Cambridge, MA, I have a video of the full performance available on youtube:

VASSAL OF THE SUN

(text from Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

The Whale turns and turns him to it, – how slowly, but how steadfastly,
his homage-rendering and invoking brow, with his last dying motions.
He too worships fire; most faithful, broad, baronial vassal of the sun! –

Oh, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul;
for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal.
calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm.

Oh that these too-favoring eyes should see these too-favoring sights.
Look! here, far water-locked; beyond all hum of human weal or woe;
in these most candid and impartial seas; here, too, life dies sunwards full of faith.

Oh! time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed.
No more. This lovely light, it lights not me;
all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can [nevermore] enjoy.

“Oh, high aspiring, rainbowed jet! – that one strivest, this one jettest all in vain!
In vain, oh whale, dost thou seek intercedings with yon all-quickening sun,
that only calls forth life, but gives it not again.

Oh, busy weaver! unseen weaver! – pause! – one word! – whither flows the fabric? Speak, weaver! – stay thy hand! –

The weaver-god, he weaves; and by that weaving is he deafened,
that he hears no mortal voice;
and by that humming, we, too, are deafened;
and only when we escape it shall we hear the thousand voices that speak through it.

Vassal of the Sun Preview in Cambridge, MA, Feb 26

/ February 9th, 2016 / No Comments

Equilibrium Concert Series will The Fourth Wall and special guest, soprano Elisabeth Halliday, back to Green Street Studios, 185 Green Street, Cambridge, MA, on Friday, February 26 at 8 pm for a special preview of myVassal of the Sun, a hybrid arts setting of text from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Aaron Jay Myers’ Chrysopoeia and interdisciplinary works by Brett Abigana, Jen Baker, Miguel Bareilles, Ramon Castillo, Luigi Morleo, Erik Satie, and Baljinder Sekhon, as well as Elizabeth Halliday’s performance of MeMarie by Richard Cameron-Wolfe will also be featured on the program.

Tickets are $10 general admission and are sold at the door.

Here’s a photo from the performance of the 1st verse at the New Music Gathering at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD on January 8, and a sample of music from verses 1, 3, and 4. The full text follows at the end of this post.

VassalV1NMG2016

It’s not every musical ensemble that earns praise for their “deft choreography.” (Allan Kozinn, The Wall Street Journal). The Fourth Wall is no ordinary ensemble. Part new music group, part circus troupe, The Fourth Wall brings an unprecedented physicality to instrumental musicianship. Blending music, theatre, and dance into a new hybrid art form, The Fourth Wall offers a glimpse into their creative process in a preview performance of the daring new chamber opera Vassal of the Sun.

“Their musicianship would be impressive if they just stood still and stared at their music stands and their acrobatics would impress if they never saw an instrument, but together they make stage magic.” – Carl F. Gauze, Archikulture Digest

Vassal of the Sun uses text from Moby Dick, sea chantey melody, dance, and acrobatics to explore themes of mortality, striving, and loss central to Herman Melville‘s novel. Stefanie Lubkowski’s music for Vassal of the Sun uses Elisabeth Halliday’s versatile voice and the depth and variety inherent in The Fourth Wall’s unique instrumentation to evoke both the rich mystery of the ocean and the spareness of a life at sea. Throughout the piece, the musicians manipulate custom made circular stage elements that recall the presence of waves, the hull of a ship, and the ribs of a whale and lend an undulating visual counterpoint to the flow of the music, evoking the watery and ethereal realms depicted in Melville’s prose. Vassal of the Sun exhibits an elegant balance of music, text, and physical storytelling that engages audiences in a unique way.

Vassal of the Sun

(text from Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

The Whale turns and turns him to it, – how slowly, but how steadfastly,
his homage-rendering and invoking brow, with his last dying motions.
He too worships fire; most faithful, broad, baronial vassal of the sun! –

Oh, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul;
for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal.
calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm.

Oh that these too-favoring eyes should see these too-favoring sights.
Look! here, far water-locked; beyond all hum of human weal or woe;
in these most candid and impartial seas; here, too, life dies sunwards full of faith.

Oh! time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed.
No more. This lovely light, it lights not me;
all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can [nevermore] enjoy.

“Oh, high aspiring, rainbowed jet! – that one strivest, this one jettest all in vain!
In vain, oh whale, dost thou seek intercedings with yon all-quickening sun,
that only calls forth life, but gives it not again.

Oh, busy weaver! unseen weaver! – pause! – one word! – whither flows the fabric? Speak, weaver! – stay thy hand! –

The weaver-god, he weaves; and by that weaving is he deafened,
that he hears no mortal voice;
and by that humming, we, too, are deafened;
and only when we escape it shall we hear the thousand voices that speak through it.