Though there are never guarantees in life, this spring seems particularly "tentative" for everyone in the music community. That said, I am happy to have a lot of music to learn in the next few months - both for Quince residencies, and for several solo performances planned in May and beyond! This spring will be especially Babbitt-y, as I will finally FINALLY present the long-planned program of Milton Babbitt's treble voice/piano works with pianist Augustus Arnone on Sunday, May 29 in NYC (details on my schedule page).
This continues on a Babbitt-heavy end of 2021, which saw the publication of my first professional article - "Breaking Babb: Discovery and Process in Learning Philomel", co-authored with master screecher Tony Arnold. Within, Tony and I discuss some of the practical considerations one may encounter when singing the monster 1964 work for voice and tapes. . .what is the nature of "time"? How do we conjure the correct pitches out of thin air? What's it like singing a duet with an extinct instrument (the RCA Mark II)? Click the link to find out!
It is unbelievably invigorating to get the chance to perform for live audiences again! The hoops of testing and masks and distancing are truly minimal compared to the energy that the live audience brings to a concert-space. Last week, I had the fortune of performing at Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, alongside my Quince colleague (and dear friend) Kayleigh Butcher. We presented duos and solos by a number of our favorite composers, and my world premiere of Kari Watson's invocations I received glowing words from Chicago Classical Review:
"Kari Watson’s solo Intonations I — heard here in its world premiere — also provided the greatest revelation of Quince’s offerings, in which Pearse was totally at home in the piece’s soaring glissandi, microtonal modulations, and seamlessly integrated extended techniques alike. - Landon Hegedus, Chicago Classical Review
Next up: back to Switzerland to perform and record with my Damselfly Trio-mates!
This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of presenting my fourth annual birthday salon - since 2018, I have presented a show on or around my birthday, where I sing and play some of my favorite new and old songs. This year, that included works by LJ White, Gilda Lyons, Angélica Negrón, Olivia Kieffer, and Betsy Jolas (among others), and premieres of new animal songs by Stacey Barelos and Jason Belcher! Though by no means studio-perfect performances, I enjoyed presenting every work on the program.
This year, any free-will donations are being forwarded to the West End Church in memory of a dear friend who passed recently - generous friends have helped me raise over $200 to honor Adam's memory.
The salon experience is always more fun "live", which I hope to return to next year. For now, please enjoy this archived video of the event!
For nearly 10 months now, I've been teaching mostly online. While this has its drawbacks (being able to accompany my students in real time...I'll never take that for granted again!), this period means I'm teaching my students to be even more self-reliant earlier in their careers. I don't think this is a bad thing - for 167+ hours per week, my students are their own teachers. The more they know and are curious about what resources exist, and how to find what works for them, the better off they'll be as singers, as musicians, and as humans.
I started pulling together a few of my favorite voice resources in a new tab above ("Student Resources"). I'll be building it out a bit in the coming weeks. . .some of my favorite resources for both skill and knowledge-building in the realm of singing.
If you have resources you particularly enjoy - share them with me! I'm only one person, and it's a great big internet. . .
I recently learned of an artist-led philanthropic initiative, and I'm so moved by the generosity of this varied group of performers that I am joining Beyond Artists. In addition to my ongoing monthly support of Planned Parenthood, I choose to support Black Lives Matter in the fight to right hundreds of years of racial injustice in the US. I also support weird art-making in the Midwest by supporting organizations that promote, program, and present weird music and fairly compensate their artists - Omaha Under the Radar and Outpost New Music, among others!
On Saturday, May 16, at 7p central US time, I'll be celebrating my birthday with a little salon concert, performed in my home!
You're invited - click on Birthday Salon sometime around 7p this Saturday! I'll be streaming via Twitch, as it allows me a few more options for text display. . .we'll see how it goes.
Texts and translations can be found here:
Salon Program texts/translations
I've been doing my best to keep busy during this unexpected hiatus from normal life...I have finally gotten the chance to edit and share some of the soundscape recordings I made throughout 2019, and I decided to share them here on my site under the new Soundscapes tab. If you want to sonically visit Pickwick or other places I've been with me, take a listen!
Now that I'm getting settled into my two offices (HFA 257 and PAC 249a, respectively), I'm delighted to share that I have joined the teaching faculties at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire AND Winona State University in Minnesota! Just ~70 miles door-to-door, it is a BEAUTIFUL commute through the Driftless Region.
I have suddenly (and gratefully) found myself in charge of 37 singers, all together - thus, I have a LOT of repertoire to choose. . .wish me luck.
I've been editing a ton of recordings - both for myself and for Damselfly Trio - it's easier than I expected!
First up: I wanted to share the live performance recording of my first Sketchbook for The Unbearable Lightness of Being - at SPLICE Festival 2018 (held last year at my alma mater, BGSU). I started a special soundcloud page just for my self-accompanied stuff. . .trying to keep organized.
It has been quite the Fall season, so far - highlights included Damselfly's wonderful tours of North Carolina, Ireland, and Northern Ireland, a (successful!) defense of my dissertation on Roger Reynolds' Sketchbook for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Quince's fall tours of Omaha, Oregon, and the Library of Congress, a guest appearance with Ensemble Dal Niente, and a Splice Festival performance of the Reynolds, I am finally home for a bit - just in time for the first snows of the season.
Speaking of. . .up next, Quince performs Morton Feldman's chilly Three Voices at Areté Gallery, Brooklyn, on Saturday, 12/1. Ticket info is here!