Sunday, April 27, 2014

Composition #4 - April

For this month's piece I've set a scene from my multi-media opera extravaganza Inanna's Dance. The ancient Sumerian tale chronicles the goddess and queen of Heaven and Earth Inanna's journey to the underworld. In this part she contemplates and eventually accepts the calling to venture into the darkness of the shadow world. Hers is a symbolic journey of the self to wholeness.

                   "From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below
                     From the Great Above the goddess opened her ear to the Great Below
                     From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below"
                     (Wolkstein and Kramer)

I wanted the music in this scene to reflect an inner meditative state. The predominant motive throughout is a descending half step. I can't wait to see what illustrator and Inanna collaborator Ryan Hartley Smith comes up with for this section!

I've put all of my scores from my composition-a-month challenge up here:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Composition #3 - March

I have another composer participating in my composition-a-month challenge! Composer and frequent Blind Ear collaborator Adam Reifsteck wrote a piece for Righteous Girls. The link is up on his website:  Fragmented Fractals for flute and piano. Thanks, Adam, for contributing to this craziness!

My composition this month is a piece for soprano saxophone, cello, and piano, commissioned by the fabulous Bohemian Trio. The thing I love most about this group is their ability to really play inside of a rhythm. Their performances are always a dynamic blend of jazz, Latin, and contemporary music. I was thrilled to be able to write in a 'jazzier' voice for this piece.

LBD (little black dress) opens with a 6/4 5/4 ostinato in the piano. I wanted to experiment with keeping a grounded line upon which the cello and sax could have a shifting rhythmic counterpoint. The entire feel of the piece is slinky and slightly flirty. Here's the ostinato pattern:

The first two pages of the score are below. I'll be uploading the complete scores from my composition-a-month challenge on my website. Check back in a few days for the link!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Composition #2 - February

This composition-a-month post is a little different. Since February is the shortest month, and also because this has been a long time in the works, I've dedicated this post to a new Blind Ear collaboration. My composition for this month is a set up loops for New York Polyphony. We decided to experiment with the Kyrie from The Tournai Mass for our collaboration. It will be the first time that Blind Ear is working with a vocal ensemble, so we all agreed that it would be best to start with something that the singers already knew. I changed the length of some of the phrases to make the loops compatible with each other. I think the biggest challenge with using our software will be finding space for the singers to breathe. As we're mixing the music live, we'll have to be aware of each individual's phrase since they won't necessarily sync up rhythmically. Our first rehearsal is in March and I'm looking forward to hearing how this will all come together! Here is the first page of the score to the Kyrie, and the loops that I've extracted:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Some photos from Blind Ear Music and Sandbox Percussion's performance at TEDxGowanus last month. The video will be out soon!
Ian David RosenbaumVictor Caccese, Jonathan Allen, and Terry Sweeney of Sandbox Percussion with Jakub Ciupinski

Jakub Ciupinski and Cristina Spinei
Jakub CiupinskiIan David Rosenbaum, Cristina Spinei, Victor Caccese, Jonathan Allen, and Terry Sweeney.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Composition #1 - January

I've created a challenge for myself to compose one new work every month in 2014. My first piece, Music for an Imaginary Dance, was commissioned by the Écouter Ensemble for their exciting Project Three. I had been writing and rewriting this piece for a while and finally was able to devote an entire month to editing and shaping it. I finished just in time for it to qualify for my January composition. I can't wait to hear Écouter perform it! Here is a sneak peak:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Meet Me Under The Clock

The video from MuSE Sounds of Arts Festival 2013 is up! For this year's performance I was asked to write a piece for cello and marimba that is inspired by a place in New York. I chose Grand Central for it's swirling energy. It has always been one of my favorite spots. Meet Me Under The Clock is an observation of the commotion at Grand Central from a stationary point, the world-famous clock. This piece is dedicated to my sister.