News and Updates
I'm on a brief respite here in scenic Michigan before continuing my East Coast "tour." That means a quick and sloppy update:
1) I recently presented a paper about my experiences and discoveries performing with Mimi (Multimodal Interaction for Musical Improvisation) at the International Symposium of Performance Science in Toronto. Despite my presentation being somewhat off-the-beaten-path for the conference, I was really pleased to find a very engaged and intelligent audience that asked great questions and provided valuable feedback. The presentations I attended were very interesting as well, including a keynote by Roger Kneebone looking at surgery as performance (!).
2) Coming up very soon is a concert on 9/12 in NYC that I'm very proud to be a part of: Echoes of Experience, associated with artist Quintan Ana Wikswo's Prophecy of Place exhibition at the Yeshiva University Museum. The concert also features composers Veronika Krausas, Pamela Madsen and Anne LeBerge, performances by Andrew Tholl, Nadia Francavilla and Andrew Miller, and choreography by Alexandra Shilling.
3) Finally, People Inside Electronics, the concert series I direct with Aron Kallay, is returning to Los Angeles on 9/17. I'm really excited about this one because we're working with one of my favorite LA chamber ensembles, the Eclipse Quartet. We also set up a Kickstarter fund to help cover our production costs, and as of today we're 108% funded! (But you can still donate until Friday if you want.)
Blocking the Exits, a recent collaboration with video artist Christopher O'Leary, is currently on display as part of the Speculative exhibit at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). Here are some brief video excerpts:
Chris asked me to create some music/sound design to accompany his video project, a vision of the apocalypse comprised entirely of still photographs that have been animated through morphing algorithms. It was a pleasure to work with Chris; his images are so evocative that when he showed them to me I had almost immediate sonic "images" come to mind. There's a mesmerizing, disassociative slowness to the progression of images as well, which inspired a similar graduality in the sonic accompaniment. Each musical vignette follows a very simple, drawn-out process from beginning to end (e.g. high to low, sparse to dense, etc.). Usually when I'm working on a composition I feel compelled to disrupt that kind of process, or complicate it with another process, but in this case it seemed to fit the mood and theme of the project to doggedly pursue it to the bitter end, and to view the apocalpyse not as a bang or a flash or a burst, but as an ongoing, inevitable, eternal moment.
Speculative is on display at LACE (6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028) until August 28th.
The premiere of my chamber opera Light and Power (which met its funding goal and then some -- thanks everybody!) was a composer's dream come true in many ways. I was especially gratified by the reviews in Miss Music Nerd and the Boston-Musical Intelligencer, which wrote:
"Schankler’s music is extraordinarily eclectic–where traditional operatic roles may have themes or motifs associated with characters, Schankler attached entire musical idioms to them... All of the music was masterfully composed."
The reviews also rightly praise the cast, players and crew. I was impressed over and over again by their brillance and commitment, especially the tireless efforts of fearless Juventas music director Lidiya Yankovskaya. (Watching the entire run of shows was a rare treat, because after my initial abject terror on the first night, I was able to relax a little bit and actually enjoy the little details and nuances that everyone brought to the stage!)
Chelsea Beatty as Nikola Tesla
Juventas New Music Ensemble has started a Kickstarter project for their production of Light and Power, a new chamber opera by me and librettist Jillian Burcar. This means you can donate directly to have an immediate positive effect on the production. I'm impressed and enthused by the outpouring of support so far -- they are about 1/3 to their $8000 goal with about three weeks left! But obviously there is still a long ways to go. Juventas has an amazing track record: over the past five years, they have performed over 130 works by more than 90 composers from around the world, including 35 world premieres and 6 new operas.
(Juventas Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya and Core Musicians)
Thanks for bearing with me through this blatant self-promotion.
As a new resident artist of the interdisciplinary arts organization Catalysis Projects, I've been contributing to their very interesting blog, where artists of all stripes write about everything from literature to perception of time to sex work. My latest post is a short collision of thoughts about the intersection of speech and music, through the eyes & ears of 19th/20th-century composer Leoš Janácek: