So, I’m actually back at home in sunny Oakland, California after spending a couple of weeks after Paris in Berlin and running around Norway. During the second week of the ManiFeste Academy, I had the supreme pleasure of working with some of the soloists of the Ensemble intercontemporain on a short piece called SKRWL for chamber ensemble. The soloists — Alain Billard, clarinets; Benny Sluchin, trombone; Hidéki Nagano, piano; Claire Merlet, viola; and Pierre Strauch, cello — were outstanding to work with. They were open to trying new things, giving me suggestions for how to improve certain playing techniques, and just in general, really laid back folks to work with. Benny was especially nice to work with as my trombone part transformed from the beginning of the week to the end. I also want to give a shout-out to composer Rebecca Saunders who was a generous and thoughtful rehearsal “coach,” sitting-in on all of the young composers’ rehearsals, offering her own suggestions and helping us to efficiently run our numerous rehearsals. It really was a treat and a luxury to work with these amazing people and present a concert with them at the end of the week. Overall, my experience at the ManiFeste Academy was enriching and enjoyable…every composer should try to attend if they can.
Stay tuned for the recording of SKRWL on my SoundCloud (and on this site)!