This week I attended two student performances as a faculty jury member. The first recital was a Master's cello recital, and the second, a Doctoral violin recital. I must say, I am incredibly impressed by the depth of abilities of many of the students at Ball State. I'll be sad to see these two individuals graduate-- they are expressive and formidable players who I think are inspiring and great role models for their younger counterparts. Clearly good things are happening in the applied lesson studios of my colleagues here in Muncie! :-)
Tomorrow I am performing two new works during two different Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) concerts. The first is a 10 AM concert (!) where I will play a piece called Bene for solo viola and recording, by Salvatore LoCascio. When I heard a recording of the piece, I was immediately drawn to it. There's something haunting about it, and it sticks in my mind. It's been very interesting learning to play with a recording, as a recording is completely relentless and unforgiving. It just keeps going, no matter what! But over the last weeks I've gotten pretty well in-sync with the recording, and I'm looking forward to performing the work tomorrow. It's great that Ball State has such amazing music technology resources-- I know the technical aspects will go off without a hitch!
The other piece is a string quartet by my Ball State colleague, Amelia Kaplan, on the 2 PM concert. The other performers and I have only had a few short rehearsals to put the work together, but magically, it was (mostly) together in today's rehearsal. In the piece, (St)Ring Tones, Amelia makes use of a lot of glissandos, which I recently learned sound really neat when 4 people are doing them in opposite directions at the same time. There's this wandering quality to the work, interspersed with severe intensity, and I like it a lot, though I wish we'd had a little longer to work on it. But, alas, such is the life of a professional musician! Sometimes there just aren't enough rehearsals, so you make do with what you get. Such performances, especially of new music, require intense brain power, and I'm looking forward to our world premier of (St)Ring Tones tomorrow. Given the work we've done in the short time we've had, I think it's going to a really excellent performance.