Artist Delegation to Cuba: American Composers Forum at the Havana Contemporary Music Festival

After some time to reflect, I just want to say that my trip to Cuba with the American Composers Forum was one of the most fun and insightful, fulfilling and gnarliest experiences I’ve had as a composer and musician. It was an honor and a privilege to have been given this opportunity and I am so grateful to have met and worked with the members of Ensemble Third Sound (Thank you to Sooyun Kim, Michael Nicolas, and Karen Kim!) as well as the other fantastic composers and the ever-supportive patrons. I loved the late-nights, the warm conversation, and the even warmer weather. And most of all, my thanks to the hospitality and the generosity of the country that is Cuba and the city that is Havana—you’re crazy, I like you.


NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas writes an account of the Third Sound concert which saw the premiere of my piece Inexpressible v. 2 !

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN contributing editors Larry and Arlene Dunn give their experience of the concert and the trip!


Festival Musica 2015 & OPHELIA

2015-10-03 12.09.50

From September 26 to October 3, I participated in the 2015 edition of the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France as a participant of the Academy created and overseen by my former mentor Philippe Manoury. Philippe and I go way back to my undergraduate years at UC San Diego but I hadn’t seen him since 2006. I won’t bore you with the boring details of my trip, suffice to say that I thoroughly loved Strasbourg and met some awesome locals (you know who you are 😉 ) in addition to my talented colleagues in the academy. I was able to work closely with the amazing Ensemble Linea, directed by Jean-Philippe Wurtz, who rehearsed and performed by piece OPHELIA. Her heart is a clock for ten musicians. I was also able to spend some time with Philippe and the other composer-in-residence Hanspeter Kyburz, a Swiss composer of colorful and dramatic music.

One of the best parts of the festival was being able to room and hang with my good friend Ricardo Eizirik, an amazing multimedia artist and composer whom I met at the Impuls Academy in Graz, Austria three years ago now. Since then, I’ve been able to see him and hang at music festivals in Europe and it was a pleasure and a surprise to see him at Musica.

IMG_0723At the final concert of the academy, I was named “Academy Laureate” and granted a commission by the festival for a new work to be premiered at next year’s festival. I am extremely honored and grateful to have been given this opportunity and I’m so stoked to return to Strasbourg.


REVIEW: “If only after you then me,” Duo Cortona, Resonant Bodies 2015

Here’s another review of Night Three of the Resonant Bodies Festival by Bruce Hodges of Seen & Heard International. My piece  If only after you then me gets some words:

Later they emerged, as from corners of a boxing ring, for the stark, often angry If only after you then me by Amadeus Regucera, using a raw assemblage compiled from William S. Burroughs, Jean Genet, George Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. As the two musicians stood facing each other, in front of lamps that evoked a police interrogation, their outbursts bore the harshness of unresolvable pain.

You can read the whole review here.

Thank you, Duo Cortona! (…and Alex Ross)

So it’s been awhile and I’m going to try to be more diligent about these news updates.(Honestly, it’s easier to do it on Facebook but alas, many of my friends quit the site or never had a profile—this is for you, _____!) On September 11, a sobering date, I witnessed the premiere of my piece If only after you then me at Roulette in Brooklyn on Night 3 of the 2015 edition of the Resonant Bodies Festival. The performance was given by the fantastic and virtuosic Rachel Calloway and Ari Streisfeld, also known as Duo Cortona. This trip east also marks the VERY FIRST TIME I HAD BEEN TO NEW YORK CITY. Yes, it’s true; why? — because I’d never had the occasion or reason to go…until now. The performance was a high-intensity showcase which was received well (hoots! hollers!) by both the audience and the performers. I am truly grateful.

Check out Duo Cortona here.
Check out the Resonant Bodies Festival here.

Ari & Rachel performing "If only after you then me" PC: Dominica Eriksen
Ari & Rachel performing “If only after you then me”
PC: Dominica Eriksen

Ari & Rachel performing "If only after you then me" PC: Dominica Eriksen
Ari & Rachel performing “If only after you then me”
PC: Dominica Eriksen

The piece was performed again on October 18 as part of the JACK Out-of-the-Box Marathon Concert at Merkel Hall in NYC as a part of the SONiC Festival. I was so stoked to find out that New Yorker critic Alex Ross even mentioned me by name (I got two whole sentences!!) in the New Yorker magazine:

On Oct. 18, the JACK Quartet, having performed Mincek’s piece, will host a six-hour marathon, which is likely to deliver a few transitional jolts. The lineup includes Amadeus Regucera’s “if only after you then me,” for voice and violin, whose text is compiled from writings by William S. Burroughs, Jean Genet, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud, with instrumental savagery to match.

“…instrumental savagery to match!!!!” Swoon. As I write this, I smile out of disbelief and delirium (it’s been a long day…a story for another blog post). Thank you, Rachel and Ari for a fantastic opportunity and for your dedication and brilliance. Bravo, brava.


Since last we spoke…


Soooo, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything in this space — and things have been super busy! This past June, I participated in a workshop for dance and music at the Hong Kong Modern Academy. Working closely with choreographer Elysa Wendi, I developed a short piece (performed by yours truly) called Schlachtfeld (a) in which I take some of my ideas about “fully-embodied music” (an intersection of movement, sound, and space) and flesh them out, so to speak. It was an intensely inspiring and perhaps provocative process and performance, which took place at the Goethe Institut, Hong Kong. I’ll post documentation of that experience on my Projects page soon!


This past spring I was announced as one of ten composer laureates for the first Festival Musica Academy (17 Sept – 3 Oct) in Strasbourg, France, led by my former mentor Philippe Manoury. I was given the opportunity to write a new piece for the Ensemble Linea to be workshopped and performed at the festival this coming September. Festival Musica is an international contemporary music festival that was founded in 1983 and “caters to a curious public, cultured and many, eager to get acquainted with contemporary artistic expressions in all their aesthetic and geographical diversity.” Needless to say, this will be an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to participate in a few weeks. Also, the process of composing my piece – OPHELIA. Her heart is a clock. took over most of my summer and I can safely say that it is the most ambitious piece of instrumental music I’ve yet written.



Also, in two weeks, 11 September, the amazing vocalist Rachel Calloway and violinist Ari Streisfeld (of the JACK String Quartet) will premiere my piece If only after you then me (an expansion of my previous piece, litany) at the 2015 Resonant Bodies Festival in New York City, so if you’re in the area, hit up Roulette in Brooklyn on 11 Sept at 8pm to check out what promises to be a great concert — here’s the link:


I’ve some more exciting new projects to announce for 2016, so watch this space (or whatever they say).

Until next time,

I mean, it’s like, you know, whatever, dude.

Alex Ross’s “Soundcloud of the Day”

This is cool: on Friday (May 15), my string quartet obscured-distorted-redacted (2012) — premiered by the JACK String Quartet — was featured on Alex Ross’s awesome blog as “Soundcloud of the Day!” Totally rad! My friend and virtuoso percussionist Russell Greenberg — who plays as one of two “yarn(s)” and one of four in the crazy-good and outstandingly-far out ensemble Yarn/Wire — ping-ed me this morning to let me know :)

Have a listen!

Premiere Concerts: “Crave”

Stacey & Meredith during soundcheck in Mill Valley
Stacey & Meredith during sound-check in Mill Valley

As a part of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble‘s 22nd Season, flutist Stacey Pelinka and harpist Meredith Clark are premiering my new work Crave for bass flute and harp. The premiere performance was tonight at the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley and tomorrow (Dec 8), they’ll play it again at the David Gallagher Arts Pavillion in San Francisco (66 Page St). Then, a week from Monday on December 15th, they’ll play it once more as a part of the Berkeley New Music Project on the UC Berkeley campus at Hertz Hall. The info is below.

I’m so thrilled about this collaboration and I’m so excited to share this new work with you all. Hope to see you at one of the concerts!

Left Coast Ensemble Premieres Crave
SAN FRANCISCO Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion • Monday, December 8, 2014 8PM  buy tickets

Berkeley New Music Project/Eco Ensemble: Music by Berkeley Composers
UC BERKELEY DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC • Hertz Concert Hall Monday, December 15, 2014 8PM • Free admission


Premiering “Open”


On November 7, 2014, I participated in the concert “Dalalæða: Music for Cellos and Electronics” along with pieces by Icelandic composers Úlfur Hansson and Georg K. Hilmarsson, all performed by Celli@Berkeley. (If you’re gonna listen to the Soundcloud link, please use headphones as the mix and the piece are *extremely* subtle and delicate: thanks!) The show was part of the final season of the L@TE: Friday Nights at BAM/PFA series at the current (awesome!) Berkeley Art Museum, a Brutalist wonder that is being shuttered because it’s seismically unfit.

Mosa Tsay performing OPEN (Photo credit: Matt Lee)
Lukas Whaley-Mayda performing OPEN (Photo credit: Matt Lee)
Lukas Whaley-Mayda performing OPEN (Photo credit: Matt Lee)

The piece, for three cellos and live electronics along, was performed by cellists Mosa Tsay, Lukas Whaley-Mayda, and Kane Suga and my genius-collaborator Daniel Cullen (who controlled the live electronics in six channels via iPad) and transformed the simple score into a lush soundworld of harmonics, glitch-distortion, cathedral-reverb, and feedback. Within the resonant space of the concrete museum, the music went up and out.

I was and am deeply inspired by the abstract painting of the mid-late Twentieth century and the possibilities for human expression that they conveyed and continue to strive for whenever we experience them. For me, the project solidified in my mind on the day of my 30th birthday this past September. I had just returned from a summer in Europe, participating in music festivals and visiting friends in Iceland, Switzerland, and Germany. The piece had been commissioned by my friend, painter John Zurier, but I had not sat down with my ideas, instead allowing them to simmer while I hiked over glaciers in þórsmörk, Iceland or gallivanted through the ecstatic streets of Berlin.

Tempelhofer-Freiheit, Berlin (Summer 2014)
Tempelhofer-Freiheit, Berlin (Summer 2014)

Already in a strange time of transition as I prepare to leave the academy and graduate in May 2015, I turned 30 on September 7. That morning, on my way to lunch with my parents, I received the news that my close friend Melanie Lewis had passed away after an eight-year battle with cancer. Not knowing what to do with myself, I spent the next few hours with Barnett Newman’s series of paintings The Stations of the Cross at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. It was in these moments of shock and contemplation that Open finally took shape. I’ll miss Melanie a lot. Her voice will always be with me, encouraging me, comforting me, especially in moments of doubt and self-pity. Some of her thoughts and poetry can be found here.

Newman's "Stations of the Cross" in Washington D.C.My love for the paintings of Newman and Rothko is pretty outrageous. In an effort to articulate my ideas about the impact of the paintings, I’m writing a sprawling study on the relationship between Newman’s conception of scale and the music of Morton Feldman. There is A LOT there. I’ll post the paper as soon as I finish and get the edits in. Any input would be great! Anyways, as far as OPEN is concerned, I had a lot of fun writing it, rehearsing it, and putting together the concert with Celli, Úlfur, Georg, and John Zurier. You can check out their work below.

John Zurier       Úlfur Hansson       Georg K. Hilmarsson       Celli@Berkeley

The view of John and Nina Zurier's house from atop a hill overlooking Skagafjörður, Iceland (Summer 2014)
The view of John and Nina Zurier’s house from atop a hill overlooking Skagafjörður, Iceland (1:30am, Summer 2014)