Probably Helical has just been accepted into Project: Encore, a database of choral compositions that have been premiered by professional choruses and have been endorsed by a panel of internationally known conductors. You can search the database here by composer, language, voicing, or tag word. The most common tags are love, nature, and peace, though songs about death outnumber those about birth by 4:1 (not counting a requiem). Most tags have only one composition, with headings such as locomotive, insomnia, and hermetic (unfortunately, not the same piece). I’ve inaugurated a DNA category.
I was just interviewed on San Francisco’s local public radio station along with Magen Solomon, director of the San Francisco Choral Artists. You can hear us here, in the last 20-minute segment of Open Air with David Latulippe. Psychological tidbit: public speaking in front of 3000 people that you can’t see is easier than in front of 300 people that you can…
I have just been invited to give a talk at the biennial conference of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition. I will be presenting my doctoral research, a multi-university experiment to determine whether the presence of a score affects to a significant degree the music listening experience of the listener-viewer in response to unfamiliar art music. I discovered that the act of score reading affects listeners’ enjoyment of a piece, their opinion of its technical execution, and their judgment of its compositional merit, depending on the compositional grammar of the piece and the reading proficiency of the subject.
I’m just back from California and performances of my latest commission for San Francisco Choral Artists, Probably Helical. This from the review in San Francisco Classical Voice:
“Perhaps the strongest portion of a solid first half was the subsection ‘Patterns.’ It consisted of three whimsical pieces, including the premiere of Composer-Not-in-Residence Eleanor Aversa’s lustrous Probably Helical. Aversa set portions of DNA scientist Rosalind Franklin’s articles to lush harmonies, redolent of Aversa’s time in the Russian Orthodox church.”
You can read the full review here.
I am honored to have received a Subito grant from the American Composers Forum for my work with SFCA. The funds will allow me to attend the group’s rehearsals and performances and do outreach with students from local schools during my visits to California.
I am excited to announce that I have been named the 2013 Composer-Not-in-Residence for San Francisco Choral Artists. For the last several weeks I’ve been walking around Philadelphia listening to SFCA recordings on my i-pod, feeling totally inspired and very fortunate to write three new pieces for this group. In fact, I am just finishing up the one for the December concerts: a setting of Thomas Hardy’s The Darkling Thrush, incorporating melodies derived from actual field recordings. For the March concerts I will be composing a work to sing unsung biologist Rosalind Franklin, and for the June concerts I will write on the theme of superstition for the “Omens, Dreams, and Curses” concert.
My new commission responds to a work by visual artist Mie Preckler. For the past decade, Mie has created a “landscape intervention” at the I-Park Foundation entitled a Conversation with the Gravel Pit. In the early 20th century, a large swath of land in what is now I-Park was used for gravel mining. The odd bluffs, mounds, and bowls in the earth have been softened in recent decades by forest growth. Mie’s project has been to “edit” the landscape to subtly expose the strangeness of the topography once again, with each intervention site connected by trails.
I-Park is holding a tenth anniversary celebration of the project, and I have been invited to compose a work for the occasion. It will be a set of three pieces, each responding to a different place along the trail and its balance of artificial and organic. I am especially excited to be writing for flutist Amanda Baker and guitarist Daniel Corr. We will not meet in person until the premiere, but through the wonders of the internet, I will see and hear them rehearse as the project progresses, collaborating with them to improve each draft.
I will be the composer-in-residence for the May/June session at the I-Park Foundation. I-Park is a fully-funded, 450-acre woodland artist retreat/residency program in rural East Haddam, Connecticut. Each session hosts six artists selected from the fields of visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound sculpture, and moving image.
I will be using my residency to compose a work for flute choir to be premiered by Penn Flutes in Spring 2013.
What’s better for a composer than having amazing players perform her music? Performing alongside them.
On Sunday, March 25 I will be joining Min-Young Kim and Thomas Kraines of the Daedalus String Quartet in the Scherzo movement of my second piano trio. Coincidentally, I’ll be playing on the same Steinway in the same room where I composed the piece two years ago! The concert will feature the Daedalus musicians performing a variety of classical repertoire both as a quartet and with other musicians from the Penn music department. Repertoire includes Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky.
The concert is at 3pm in Rose Recital Hall, 4th floor of the Fisher-Bennett Building (34th and Walnut). Admission is free.