Though it may seem that this post is about testing you on your professional music acronyms, I promise that's not the case. Laurel's been a busy bee since school let out in early May.
New Music Gathering 2017
New Music Gathering (NMG) is a pretty cool 3-day conference for anyone who participates in new music. From May 11-13 we all gathered at Bowling Green State University to talk about, listen to, and dream about new projects together. You can view this year's lecture, presentation, panel, and recital schedule here. It was really cool - and not just because Steven Schick was the keynote speaker and featured guest artist.
L+M Duo performed during a concert on Saturday afternoon called Grab Bag of Awesome, featuring us as well as other chamber groups performing all kinds of music. We played our first-ever commission, Magicicicada, by Pennsylvania-based composer Rusty Banks. Though Marianne met Rusty before (actually at NMG 2016!) this was my first time chatting with him in person, and we snapped this photo right after the Grab Bag of Awesome concert finished!
The conclusion about NMG is simple: if you're into new music and meeting people that love it like you do, just go.
International Women's Brass Conference
To have never heard of IWBC, I was surprised to learn that this year's conference, held at Rowan University, was the 25th anniversary. It's by pure happenstance that I ended up there.
In March, I was a contracted pianist for the Southeast Horn Workshop, held at JMU. I accompanied a masterclass given by hornist Kristen Fowler,and found her very easy to work with. Fast-forward to early May, and Kristen emails wondering if I can play for her at IWBC, held June 7-10. It would be a quick learn of the rep, and only ONE REHEARSAL, but we did it!
The entire program was called Trauma and Triumph, and is Kristen's testimony of healing through her experience with childhood sexual assault. She wrote prose pieces that she recited before each movement of each piece - all of which were composed by women.
I only spent one day at the conference, and didn't get to see too much for the frantic search of a warm-up and practice space. An interesting talk (that I admittedly wasn't too sure about at first) was about social psychology theories at work when you're in a scenario made of 85% men and 15% women (or less). For info on that, you can check out Episode 99 of @ percussion. How's THAT for a shameless plug, hmm??
L+M Duo will close our first season in Chicago next weekend with performances at Fourth Presbyterian and Constellation. Since they are different spaces with different audiences, the programs will vary somewhat, with the Fourth Pres concert featuring some arrangements and the Constellation concert featuring a world premiere by Boston-based composer Aaron Jay Myers - a good friend from grad school.
His piece is called Yes, They are a Duplicitous Bunch, and is inspired by the current Washington administration. (spoiler alert: an artist comments on current society in his art)
The piece is relentless, syncopated, and full of energy.
If you're in Chicago, it would be awesome if you could catch one of our shows: June 23 at 4th Pres at 12:10pm (FREE), or June 25 at Constellation at 8:30pm ($10).