It is always a pleasure to catch up with Jack Van Zandt’s news. Here, his most recent updates from LA and exciting projects happening this month.
Greetings everyone! I am very glad to report that things are gradually improving here in LA with many of us in our music community having received our two Covid vaccinations. So far performers who are also teachers as well as seniors have completed the process, or nearly so. Work will begin on recording projects that have been on hold for over a year in the coming months as it becomes safe to go back into the studios, though it will be some time yet before we go back to live performances in the usual venues. Many of us have converted our projects from live to online recorded performances utilizing new technology and multimedia formats, and I for one will continue to create new works and reconceive existing ones in this ‘way of the future’.
April will be a busy month for me. First up, on 17 April, San Diego clarinetist Robert Zelickman will be performing the Togaku movement from my five Become Motion etudes that are arranged for solo wind instruments, including clarinet, flute, oboe or bassoon. Togaku, subtitled ‘a sleeping tiger dreams under the light of the moon’ is for bass clarinet, and Zelickman will be performing it in a SanDiego New Music concert streaming at 7:30pm Pacific time. I will be discussing my work in the preconcert segment beginning at 6:30 pm.
My dear friend and CE composer colleague Anne LeBaron and I are to be featured together in a concert during the California State University Fullerton (CSUF) New Music Festival, under the direction of composer Pamela Madsen. On Thursday 29 April 3pm (Pacific time) there will be a panel discussion on the future of dramatic musical presentations and formats, including opera and other related and new forms. Anne and I have been planning for some time to create works, an ensemble and a production company to present our work in new, multimedia dramatic musical formats. Our company, the Beyond Opera Collective, will be participating in this concert. We will reveal more on Beyond Opera soon on the Composers Edition website. The concert will be streamed on Friday 30 April 3pm (Pacific time).
This CSUF concert will include audiovideo taped performances of my Siúil a rún, co-created with Jane Rigler, for flute, voices, Irish traditional singer and electronics; Aether for solo viola, electronics and video ( the fourth movement of my set of etudes for viola, Stoicheia); Two Character Songs from The New Frontier: As Atomic Age Opera in progress with librettist Jill Freeman, arranged for soprano and trio of piano, vibes and bass; and two arias from my full length dramatic madrigal, On the Shores of Eternity, for soprano, flute, harp, bass, cello and electronics.
Anne LeBaron’s works to be performed are two arias from her opera Crescent City, an aria from her opera in progress, LSD: Huxley’s Last Trip; a scene from her new opera This Lingering Life; and a song from her cycle Radiant Depth Unfolded : Five Settings of Rumi. The performers on some of the pieces will be partners in our Beyond Opera Collective, soprano Stacey Fraser, pianist Nadia Shpachenko, flutist/composer Jane Rigler, percussionist Yuri Inoo Myoshi, violist Carmen Flores, and bassist John Kennedy. Also featured in Siúil a rún is Irish traditional sean-nós singer Máire Ní Chéileachair.
The scores for my New Frontier character songs and the two arias from On the Shores of Eternity will be published by CE during April.
This year’s Hear Now Festival of LA Composers, postponed from last year, is planned to be streamed in late April or early May. The performance of my song cycle El Oro de los Tigres is scheduled to be recorded on Saturday April 24 but the streaming performance date is still to be announced. As soon as I have the details they will be put on the Calendar page of my website and posted on my Facebook page. You can also check the festival website for updates.
My frequent project partner soprano Stacey Fraser and I have received funding to record my Percy Shelley texted song cycle, A Chaos of Light and Motion, as well as to begin producing a videotaped multimedia version of The New Frontier: A Jazz Opera of the Atomic Age with libretto by Jill Freeman. We are hoping to begin work in May or June once everyone involved has completed their vaccinations. These productions will also come under the aegis of the Beyond Opera Collective.
I will close by wishing all of you the best of luck for the coming months in getting your vaccinations and returning to public life. Keep making music!
Jack Van Zandt
Tags: A chaos of Light and Motion, Aether, Anne LeBaron, Become Motion, Beyond Opera Collective, California State University Fullerton, Digital Dose, El Oro de los Tigres, Hear Now Festival, jack van zandt, Jane Rigler, Jill Freeman, New Music Festival California University Fullerton, On the Shores of Eternity, Pamela Madsen, Robert Zelickman, San Diego New Music, Siúil a rún, Stacey Fraser, Stoichea, The New Frontier, Togaru, Two Character Songs