“In the 21st century, opera appears to be rather artificial unlike the movies for instance. I think it’s necessary to establish and acknowledge that artificiality. And once that’s done in a very simple way then the audience, I think, can react in a much more spontaneous and emotional way towards what’s being told.”
The Vignelli Canon10.26.13
I have always said that there are three aspects in
Design that are important to me:
Semantic, Syntactic and Pragmatic.
Let’s examine them one at the time.
Semantics, for me, is the search of the meaning of
whatever we have to design…
Mies, my great mentor said: “God is in the details.”
That is the essence of syntax: the discipline
that controls the proper use of grammar in the
construction of phrases and the articulation of a
Whatever we do, if not understood, fails to
communicate and is wasted effort.
We design things which we think are semantically
correct and syntactically consistent but if, at the
point of fruition, no one understands the result, or
the meaning of all that effort, the entire work is
useless. Sometimes it may need some explanation
but it is better when not necessary. Any artifact
should stand by itself in all its clarity.
JFund for Cadillac Moon Ensemble10.23.13
The Cosmic Hamlet9.13.13
The Cosmic Hamlet Part 1: Tides The Cosmic Hamlet Part 2: The End of the Road
Composed for the inaugural season of the Wild Shore Festival for New Music. Studio recording made by Katie Cox, flute, Eileen Mack, clarinets, Andie Springer, violin, Evelyn Farny, cello, Vicky Chow, piano, and Joe Bergen, percussion . The Première and recording of this work was made possible in part by the Composer Assistance Grant of New Music USA.
The Cosmic Hamlet is a meditation on two aspects of life in my hometown, Homer, Alaska: dynamic natural forces that determine everyday life (20-foot tides, the price of salmon, the flux of daylight), and the people—fisherman, artists, Russian Old Believers, seekers, exiles and many others—who contribute to the utterly unique culture of Homer. Each part embodies one of these aspects, forming a kind of diptych impression of the fishing village bearing the nickname “The Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea.”
New York Youth Symphony & Yale Glee Club5.15.13
Wild Shore Festival for New Music5.11.13
Scale 9 by Sean Friar
Indigenous Instruments (III.) by Steven Mackey
Make Prayers to the Raven by John Luther Adams
Lieux Retrouvés: I. Les Eaux (Places Revisited: I. The Waters) by Thomas Adès
lend/lease by David Lang
A Portrait of the Cosmic Hamlet by Conrad Winslow