Since July, I have written two new big band charts, an orchestral tribute to my late best friend, a classical guitar solo suite of nocturnes, and a tango for four hands, one piano. In addition to new works of my own, I have been working on new music for an upcoming video game release (stay tuned for details on that), and an orchestration project for Dutch composer, Willem van Twillert, my second such project with him. And last, I have written a sister art song to my The House With Nobody In It, a setting of the Joyce Kilmer poem. The new art song is a setting of his most famous poem, Trees. I also penned a children’s chorus version of Trees for my son’s school, Joyce Kilmer Elementary School. Hopefully they will adopt it as their own.
The two new big band charts, an arrangement of Shenandoah, and an arrangment of one of my earliest compositions, Chorale, bring my big band chart count to nineteen, many of which have been performed and/or recorded. I am making plans now for a new CD of my big band music. Stay tuned for more on that in the coming months. Requiem aeternam is an orchestral work that I wrote in tribute to my late best friend David Lamb, who passed away in March of this year. He and I were best friends for more than 40 years, and we shared many great times together. Rest in peace, my friend.
The classical guitar suite was written for my new friend and guitarist, Tom Torrisi, whom I met at the Mostly Modern Festival this past June in Saratoga Springs, New York. He asked me for a set of nocturnes, and I delvered to him Chants de la nuit, a three song set, which he will premiere on November 10, 2018 at First Grace Episcopal Church in Massapequa, New York, which is out on Long Island. Plays are in the works to add a theme and variations to the set later this year.
In early October, PARMA Recordings asked me for a work for piano-four-hands-one-piano in the form of a tango. I just happened to have a tango that I wrote a few years ago, which is a movement in the String Quartet No. 2. I transformed it into a piece for piano-four-hands and titled it Cuatro en uno (Four In One). I am hopeful that it makes the cut for an upcoming CD release of piano works for four hands.
I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the video game until its release date, which is sometime in the next few months. However, I can say that I have been working on several orchestral cues for the game, which will be somewhat like MineCraft on steroids for adults. Stay tuned!
As for the orchestration projects, last year I was commissioned by PARAM Recordings to write an orchestration of a wind ensemble work written by Dutch composer, Willem van Twillert. His work, Branches of Singularity, was recorded in Ouloumuc, Czech Republic and released on a CD earlier this year. Willem contacted me a couple months ago to write an orchestration of a new work of his for chorus and organ. The piece, entitled Rust vinden in verwondering (Find Peace in Wondering) is scheduled for its premiere in March 2019, and he is hopeful for a recording date with PARMA sometime in the Summer of 2019.
The new art song Trees was written as the second of what will become a four-song cycle based on Kilmer poems, which will include Trees, The House With Nobody In It, The Apartment House and Mount Houvenkopf, all poems that Kilmer penned while living in my current hometown of Mahwah, New Jersey. Kilmer was also a resident of Mahwah until his death in 1918. He was killed on July 30, 1918 during the Second Battle of Marne of World War II.
And finally, I am very happy to announce that my work A Christmas Celebration was selected by the Athens (Greece) Philharmonia for a tour through China in 2019. It was originally written for wind ensemble and recorded by the Moravian Philharmonia Winds and Percussion in June 2015, and then released on the DASHING CD on the Ansonica (PARMA) label in September 2016. I chose to write an orchestral transcription of the piece so that the entire orchestra may play it on tour, rather than just the winds and percussion. That transcription is available on my Orchestral Music page.