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Jack Van Zandt

30 June 2020 Comments Off on Jack Van Zandt July Letter from LA Views: 441 CE News

Jack Van Zandt July Letter from LA

We are delighted to hear news about an upcoming piano work premiere and other projects from Jack Van Zandt, in the following report from Los Angeles.

“The governor of California is gradually lifting the lockdown requirements here even though the pandemic continues. Very strict guidelines have been issued for the reopening of film and TV production including score recording, concerts are off the menu for many months yet, and in-person California college and university music classes are cancelled through the end of the year while teaching will continue online.

In response to the situation, composers and performers are teaming up and creating projects that can be performed and distributed via the web. This is making for some very interesting projects that get off the ground much quicker than the glacial pace of the old analog concert world, another advantage to the new way of working for all of us.

One such that I have been commissioned to participate in is American-resident Italian pianist Lorenzo Marasso’s Invention Project. Marasso has recorded all 15 of the 2-part Inventions and the additional 15 associated 3-part Sinfonias of Bach. He has commissioned 15 composers to choose one of these pairs and write short pieces that reflect them in some way. I chose the final #15 B minor combo for my piece. They are two of my favorites of the set and I love the key of B minor. It was only after I chose them that I realized I was going to be closing the project with my music, a scary responsibility having to follow Bach and all my great colleagues!

I have written a 2 minute Invenzione Meccanica and separate final 45-second “Coda,” since my music is closing the entire project. Marasso will be live streaming the whole project— each Bach pair followed by a new piece, — on You Tube and Facebook on Sunday 26 July at 6pm Pacific Time.

I have been planning for some time to write a major set of “Geometric, Mathematical and Mechanical Inventions” for piano, so this piece for Lorenzo Marasso will become the first in this new set of pieces I will work on in the coming months. Thanks for the opportunity Lorenzo!

The Invention Project also features Composers Edition’s Jeffrey Holmes and Michael Finissy. See Lorenzo Marasso in conversation with Composers Edition’s Késia Decoté about the project here.

I have recorded the Aether movement for viola and electronics from my set of viola etudes Stoicheia with UK-based Carmen Flores of the Villiers Quartet. We are currently co-producing a video for it, which will be released on my You Tube channel during July.

I have just released a demo recording of the opening fugue of my large scale work, …my way is in the sand flowing…A Requiem in Memory of My Mother for 8-part chorus and large orchestra. I worked on this labor of love for 20 years and it is now available for its first performance. It is under consideration by a couple of conductors, but of course the situation has hampered the effort for now. It would be great to hear from anyone who might like to take on the challenge of it once we get back to having live concerts again.

Wishing all my friends and colleagues, wherever you are, the very best during our continued fight against Covid 19 and the centuries old scourge of bigotry, racism and discrimination. May we soon be rid of these in our music community and everywhere else on Earth. The world is changing for the better quickly, but we must remain vigilant and stay active to make these changes real and permanent.”

Jack Van Zandt

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