Eccentricities is a six-song, self-released cassette EP which emerged in the fall of 1990. I recall having 100 copies made and being satisfied with that level of dispersion; it was all I could afford in any case. In honour of the 30th anniversary, I present two of the songs here (with a third linked below).… Continue reading 90/30: Eccentricities
Iconic composer Steve Reich turns 84 today. He was recently alleged to have made some pointedly anti-Black racist remarks in the early 70s. Today is also a kind of late emergence for me; my first performance on a symphony orchestra program (albeit of a chamber work). As a child, I first heard the n-word, directed… Continue reading Black on Steve’s Birthday!
My octet for strings Linea Nigra (2015) will receive its world premiere this Saturday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm MDT, in the release of a prerecorded performance by the San Juan Symphony, conducted by music director Thomas Heuser. It will feature as part of a program entitled “Black Voices and A Ballet for Martha,” which… Continue reading Emergence: Linea Nigra in Concert
On July 17, 2020, Second Note Duo (Gabriel Costache and Will Richards) gave the world premiere of Kalimba Canon (1999). It was the final composition presented in their socially distanced, video recital A Day in the Life. Second Note contacted me a little over a month prior to the release date, and things came together… Continue reading Kalimba Canon premiere
The northern Great Lakes steel town took a big fat eraser to my Blackness. The adults had no way to acknowledge it because it exposed the cognitive dissonance of my existence in their world, and thus had no way to deal with the bullies, the rednecks and the N-wordage that swarmed around me like black… Continue reading A Juneteenth Musing
My interview for I Care If You Listen.
76, for piano (2019), is dedicated to Ashil Mistry. The opening melody comprises three pitches, and is designed so that these pitches rotate with each repetition of the rhythmic pattern. An ascending bassline and four-note chords harmonize the upper pitches, now moving in parallel thirds and fourths. The bassline is then inverted and thus descends,… Continue reading 76
As a farewell to the decade when music collections and manual selection became niche, here’s an old-fashioned segue mix. Ìfé | Bangah (Pico y Palo) Georgia Anne Muldrow | Overload Ibeyi | River D’Angelo and The Vanguard | Really Love King | Red Eye Thundercat | Them Changes Erykah Badu | Gone Baby, Don’t Be… Continue reading Twenty Tens
Layale Chaker & Sarafand Inner Rhyme Flying Lotus Flamagra Shafiq Husayn The Loop Kaytranada Bubba Anne-Sophie Mutter / John Williams Across the Stars Anderson .Paak Ventura Caroline Shaw / Attacca Quartet Orange Solange When I Get Home James Tenney Changes: 64 Studies for 6 Harps Dwight Trible Mothership Honourable mention: Marvin Gaye You’re the Man
Companion, for two pianos, was composed through late 2018 and early 2019, while the first notehead pencil sketches date to 2011. It is dedicated to my two youngest children. All of the material derives from seven-note rows: orderings of the pitches of the diatonic scale. The harmony resembles traditional tonality heard through a pandiatonic filter.… Continue reading Companion