Greetings from Southern California, where autumn and cooler temperatures have arrived. This is California’s climate at its best! It has been a very busy summer for me with new recordings, new music and many projects moving forward towards completion. Also, I was thrilled and honored to be invited to join the composition faculty at California Institute for the Arts (CalArts) this term to teach weekly individual composition lessons to undergrad and grad students.
The twice postponed 2020 Tenth Anniversary Hear Now Festival of New Music by Los Angeles Composers is now the 2021 festival that has been video recorded for free streaming on YouTube in seven concerts over two weekends beginning September 26. My miniature song cycle with texts in Spanish by Jorge Luis Borges, “El Oro de los Tigres” (published by Composers Edition), will be streamed in the concert on Saturday October 2 at 7 pm Pacific Time and will be available for viewing anytime after that. Links for this and the other concerts can be found at: hearnowmusicfestival.com/hear-now-2021. “El Oro de los Tigres” is performed for the festival concert by Kirsten Wiest, soprano; Brian Walsh, clarinet; Alison Bjorkedal, harp; Cecilia Tsan, cello; conducted by Anthony Parnther.
My song cycle with texts by Percy Shelley, “A Chaos of Light and Motion,” (published by Composers Edition) finally got its studio recording over the summer and will appear on my joint CD project with soprano Stacey Fraser next year, along with four songs in French by Kurt Weill that I have arranged for soprano with saxophone/clarinet, harp, piano, violin, viola and double bass; and another work that will be announced soon.
Also in preparation for publication in October is the piece I wrote in 2019 on commission from Aaron Copland House for their What’s the Score? program, “Vanishing Point,” for the Pasadena High School combined wind ensemble and string orchestra. This will be the first in a series of my works for amateur, high school and university large wind and mixed ensembles, orchestras and chamber groups to be published by CE in the coming years.
I wish all of my CE family and friends Good Health and Good Wishes for a better, Covid-free year ahead.
Jack Van Zandt