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Soundweavers

Soundweavers

By Soundweavers
A bi-weekly podcast, Soundweavers explores the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. Through dialogue, trialogue—and sometimes even tetralogue—with guest artists and ensembles, we delve into what it means to present contemporary and traditional classical, jazz, and folk music in today’s ever-shifting gig economy.
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1.2 WindSync

Soundweavers

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1.21 Eira Lynn Jones
Harpist Eira Lynn Jones joins us to chat about her work with the Juniper Project, a flute and harp duo that performs and records not only the most virtuosic repertoire, but also the approachable repertoire that they enjoy coaching. We speak about Eira’s work as a composer of chamber music, as well as her connection to the Music in Hospitals program. Eira shares some of her background as someone who “did everything backwards”, having gone from a full-time orchestral position to a freelancer’s career. Welsh harpist EIRA LYNN JONES is a versatile musician, who has a passion for creativity and originality. Her eclectic career ranges from orchestral work, recordings and commissions to chamber music collaborations.  She is known equally for her committed, dynamic playing and her innovative, dedicated teaching. While a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, Eira won numerous awards, including a Guinness Foundation Scholarship and an I.S.M. Performer Award, resulting in her BBC Radio 3 debut on the ‘Young Musicians’ series. Further studies with Kathleen Bride at the Manhattan School of Music in New York led to a Masters Degree. Invited to join the Manhattan Contemporary Music Ensemble, she premiered new works for harp, which ignited her interest in researching unusual and varied repertoire.  She did indeed take her harp to the party; to Carnegie Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre of Performing Arts and Creativity, and even to the top of the Empire State Building! On returning to the UK she was appointed Principal Harp with Northern Ballet Theatre. She now regularly freelances with the UK's leading orchestras, including Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. As soloist, she has performed Debussy Danses with Manchester Camerata and Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with Northern Chamber Orchestra. Eira is also widely recognised as one of the UK's leading harp teachers. As Head of Harp at the RNCM she loves inspiring young musicians, receiving many invitations to run workshops worldwide, including USA, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Sweden and Iceland. She achieved notable success with her solo album ‘... from within’, which is a mix of classical and folk pieces on both pedal harp and clarsach:  "I love the album ... a diversity of music, a very accomplished technique, and your heart coming through" (Alan Stivell). From performing at the Hollywood Bowl to under the much loved “Dippy” dinosaur at the Natural History Museum;  from appearing in Coronation Street to playing for HRH Prince of Wales in Spain; from recording with the heavy metal band “Venom” to accompanying Kiri te Kanawa; from directing the music of John Cage for 20 harps to leading the RNCM Young Harps Project, Eira approaches each project with passion, and is a true ambassador for this most magical of instruments. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Eira Lynn Jones, please visit her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
44:22
June 9, 2021
1.20 Cast Chat
In this cast chat, the team amplifies the conversations from the Disruption. Action. Change. series hosted by the Eastman School of Music Institute for Music Leadership and the University of Michigan EXCEL lab. We discuss the politicization of ADEI work, centering human narratives as a way of connecting human experiences, repositioning Black musics as the basis for American music in curricula and programming, investigating the role of capitalism in upholding systems of oppression, self-educating in the use of appropriate—and current—language and concepts, and using our privileges to shield and to support our colleagues who don’t benefit from the same privileges. To view the transcript go here. To learn more about the resources mentioned in the podcast, visit Disruption. Action. Change. Series webpage, Adam Neely, Music Theory and White Supremacy, Classically Black Podcast, and Equality/Equity/Liberation Cartoon.
28:19
May 26, 2021
1.19 Amatis Trio
Violinist Lea Hausmann, cellist Samuel Shepherd, and pianist Mengjie Han of the Amatis Piano Trio join us to chat about scoping out chamber partners at international competitions, navigating multiple nationalities in one small ensemble, using the internet to cultivate and sustain audiences on the way to securing concerts each season, stimulating artistic growth with dialogue between performers and composers, developing innovative cross-genre and interdisciplinary projects, and the importance of reconnecting listeners with the lost wonder of youth and the human aspect of music. The Amatis Piano Trio was founded in 2014 by German violinist Lea Hausmann, British cellist Samuel Shepherd, and Dutch/Chinese pianist Mengjie Han. The three musicians met in Amsterdam, and have performed together in 33 countries around the world. The piano trio is one of the leading ensembles of its generation, exalted worldwide for their energy, insight, communication and passion. Only weeks after their formation the trio won the Audience Prize at the Grachtenfestival-Concours hosted by the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and First Prize at the International Parkhouse Award at Wigmore Hall in London, both venues that now invite them as regular artists. The 2018-19 season saw the trio selected as ECHO Rising Stars (European Concert Hall Organisation). From 2016 to 2018, the Amatis Trio was part of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and in 2018 they were invited to participate in the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland. Amatis Trio released their debut CD on cAVI Records featuring the music of Enescu, Ravel and Britten. The disc received high praise amongst critics and earned the ensemble's inclusion in the Gramophone Magazine's 'One to Watch'. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about the Amatis Trio, please visit their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
37:01
May 12, 2021
1.18 Akropolis Reed Quintet
Clarinetist and saxophonist Kari and Matt Landry of the Akropolis Reed Quintet join the Soundweavers team to discuss their approach to growing the repertoire for a new ensemble through arrangements and commissions—and their work publishing and sharing this music through their website. Kari and Matt share their excitement about forming collaborations that generate new perspectives, create new sounds, and stretch genres. They talk about teaching composition and premiering students' works through their engagement programs in Detroit. We chat about the challenges of elitism in the music world and the need to make space for meaningful, beautiful, and challenging music for untrained musicians. Kari and Matt describe the fundamental importance of organizational transparency and their strategies for succeeding as a small nonprofit. We wrap with a discussion about the need for self-reflection and commitment to your dreams in the pursuit of career success. Celebrating their 12th year and hailed by Fanfare Magazine for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality,” the Akropolis Reed Quintet was founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and has won seven national chamber music prizes including the Fischoff Gold Medal and Fischoff Educator Award. The San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Akropolis’ recent third album release, The Space Between Us, “pure gold.” A nonprofit organization supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous foundations and individuals nationwide, Akropolis delivers more than 120 annual performances and workshops. Akropolis is collaborating with BodyVox Dance on a full-length music and dance production celebrating the 1920s and the fight for suffrage. In June 2021 they will premiere a new work by Annika Socolofsky in collaboration with video artist, XUAN, celebrating diversity in small businesses around America. Their 4th album, Ghost Light, will be released on April 9, 2021 on New Focus Recordings. Akropolis’ 2019-20 season featured 10 commissions including Storm Warning, the first concerto for reed quintet and wind band by Roshanne Etezady; Homage to Paradise Valley by Jeff Scott with support from the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Fund, celebrating the history of Detroit’s razed Black neighborhoods; and Sprocket, for reed quintet and rideable percussion bicycle by Steven Snowden. Akropolis has premiered more than 100 new works by students and professionals and was selected to adjudicate and premiere the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment. Akropolis’ members are the first of any reed quintet to judge major chamber music competitions including the Fischoff Junior (2018 and 2021) and Chamber Music Yellow Springs (2019) competitions. Each June in Detroit, Akropolis presents its own 16-event festival, Together We Sound, featuring multidisciplinary collaborators, a workplace concert series, and educational outreach. Akropolis reaches more than 5,000 K-12 students annually, including a school year-long residency with students at three Detroit high schools. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about the Akropolis Quintet, please visit their website and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, and SoundCloud pages.
48:36
April 28, 2021
1.17 Kalia Vandever
Jazz trombonist and composer Kalia Vandever joins us to chat about conceptualizing her album In Bloom, funding this project through touring and crowdsourcing, identifying a recording engineer and studio, and developing her compositional voice throughout the process. We talk about her start in community education through the Herbie Hancock Institute Peer-to-Peer Program and the importance of encouraging students to connect with one another through community engagement initiatives. Kalia shares about her experience working in a historically male-dominated industry, her article “Token Girl”, and how to support women and artists of ALAANA backgrounds in professional and educational settings. And she offers strategies for developing jazz skills after being trained in a non-jazz idiom. Kalia Vandever is a trombonist, composer, and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. She released her debut album, "In Bloom" in May, 2019 which features all of her original compositions written for quartet and duo with guitar. She has toured and performed nationally with her quartet, as well as her solo project. She has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Preservation Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, The Jazz Gallery, The Blue Whale, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, SMOKE Jazz Club, the Blue Note, and the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Kalia moved from Los Angeles, CA to New York City in 2013 to study at the Juilliard School where she received her Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies. She has played with the following musicians whom she admires greatly, Ingrid Jensen, Herbie Hancock, Tyshawn Sorey, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Fabian Almazan, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Joel Ross, Maria Grand, and others. She is also known for her work as a composer and arranger. She has been commissioned to write pieces for the Tesla Quartet, Metropolis Ensemble, Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim, and more. The transcript for this episode can be found here. Resources discussed in this episode: Kalia Vandever, In Bloom Kalia Vandever, “Token Girl” Herbie Hancock Institute Peer-to-Peer Program Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy Kalia Vandever, Tesla Quartet, “Variation: Meditation” Kalia Vandever, The Westerlies, “Calling Me Back Home” For more information about Kalia Vandever, please visit her website, Instagram, and YouTube.
43:06
April 14, 2021
1.16 Pegasus Early Music
Executive Director and lutenist Deborah Fox of Pegasus Early Music joins the Soundweavers team to discuss the nature of leading an organization that curates both the repertoire and personnel for each concert. She speaks with us about the ways in which Pegasus is promoting antiracist practices in a musical style “largely written by white, male, Christian Europeans.” We chat about Pegasus Rising, the organization’s program for promoting emerging artists in early music. We also talk about Pegasus’ association with the Eastman School of Music’s Arts Leadership Program and how the organization offers meaningful internships. And we finish with a conversation about how “even operas are chamber music…” Deborah Fox is a lutenist with a span of repertoire ranging from medieval to baroque music, as a soloist, chamber music player, and baroque opera continuo. She has performed with the major early music ensembles and festivals from Newfoundland to Australia, including the Carmel Bach Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, Les Violons du Roy (Montreal), Spoleto Festival, Opera Atelier (Toronto), Pinchgut Opera (Sydney), Concert Royal (NY), Haymarket Opera and Third Coast Baroque (Chicago), and others. She received the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Early Music at London’s Guildhall School, specializing in the improvised accompaniment practices of the baroque. Her teachers have included Paul O’Dette, Pat O’Brien, and Nigel North. She has been a Teaching Artist for the Aesthetic Education Institute. She is the founder and director of Pegasus Early Music in Rochester, NY, and the director of NYS Baroque in Ithaca and Syracuse, NY. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Pegasus Early Music, please visit their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. For more information about Pegasus Rising, please visit their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information about New York State Baroque, please visit them at their website, nysbaroque.com.
40:15
March 31, 2021
1.15 Cast Chat
Rosy, Blaire, and Adam chat about the origins, purposes, and impacts of the Grammy Awards on the classical music industry; the role that the Grammys play in the evolution of classical music; the process of becoming nominating, and then winning, a Grammy award; the biases embedded in a system solely reliant on professional networks for access; and grassroots solutions emerging in response to these issues. Soundweavers explores the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. Through dialogue, trialogue—and sometimes even tetralogue—with guest artists and ensembles, we delve into what it means to present contemporary and traditional classical, jazz, and folk music in today’s ever-shifting gig economy. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Grammys, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Brittanica, “The History of the Grammy” Billboard, “How do you get a Grammy?” Anand & Watson, “Tournament Rituals in the Evolution of Fields” Cunningham, “The Nammys versus the Grammys” Powers, “The Problem with the Grammys is not a Problem We Can Fix” Owens, “Do the Grammys have a Diversity Problem” Pikus, "The Canon is Racist” New York Times, “Can the Grammys be Trusted?” Strings, “Does a Grammy Win Live up to the Hype?” The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Soundweavers, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
31:15
March 17, 2021
1.14 Tony Arnold
Soprano Tony Arnold joins us to chat about hopping careers from orchestral conductor to international superstar vocalist, her varied interests in how sound is made and how to harness sound to make it into something else, and the way her interests have helped in collaborations with all sorts of instrumentalists and in teaching composers how to help performers lift music off the page . We speak about how she developed the working knowledge necessary to decipher contemporary scores, the close connection between chamber music and contemporary music, and learning how to fit into the deeply intimate and idiomatic language of a string quartet with a long history that no longer required verbal communication. She shares about how her connection to George Crumb deepened on a trip to Charleston, WV and how community- and network-building play in forming long-lasting professional connections. We discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the impact of digitization on the shaping of the musical world and the importance of separating music-making from money-making as best as one can. Celebrated as a “luminary in the world of chamber music and art song” (Huffington Post), Tony Arnold is internationally acclaimed as a leading proponent of contemporary music in concert and recording, a “convincing, mesmerizing soprano” (Los Angeles Times) who “has a broader gift for conveying the poetry and nuance behind outwardly daunting contemporary scores” (Boston Globe). Her unique blend of vocal virtuosity and communicative warmth, combined with wide-ranging skills in education and leadership were recognized with the 2015 Brandeis Creative Arts Award, given in appreciation of “excellence in the arts and the lives and works of distinguished, active American artists.” Ms. Arnold’s extensive chamber music repertory includes major works written for her voice by Georges Aperghis, George Crumb, Brett Dean, Jason Eckardt, Gabriela Lena Frank, Josh Levine, George Lewis, Philippe Manoury, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Christopher Theofanidis, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and numerous others. She is a member of the intrepid International Contemporary Ensemble, and enjoys regular guest appearances with leading ensembles, presenters and festivals worldwide. With more than thirty discs to her credit, Ms. Arnold has recorded a broad segment of the modern vocal repertory with esteemed chamber music colleagues. Her recording of George Crumb’s iconic Ancient Voices of Children (Bridge) received a 2006 Grammy nomination. She is a first-prize laureate of both the Gaudeamus International and the Louise D. McMahon competitions. A graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University, Ms. Arnold was twice a fellow of the Aspen Music Festival as both a conductor and singer. She was the 2015-16 Kunkemueller Artist-In-Residence at the Boston Conservatory, and currently serves on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center. The transcript for this episode can be found here. Resources discussed in this episode: Tony Arnold sings George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children For more information about Tony Arnold, please visit her website, www.screecher.com.
45:12
March 3, 2021
1.13 Fifth House Ensemble
Melissa Ngan and Herine Coetzee Koschak of Fifth House Ensemble join us to discuss their roots in the community engagement initiatives spearheaded by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and their origins on a 36-hour road trip. They share their philosophy on the importance of relationships as the basis for developing ensemble membership and an avid listener base. We discuss the studio, social, and civic practice continuum, and how they design arts integration initiatives in collaboration with teachers and students in a way that perpetuates arts education beyond the initial residency. We chat about the Fresh Inc Festival for emerging artists and about Melissa’s video game evolution from Duck Hunt to Journey. Praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse,” the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble harnesses the collaborative spirit of chamber music to reach beyond the traditionally-perceived limits of classical music. The ensemble’s artistic, educational, and civic programs engage theater groups, video game designers, corporate innovators, and folk bands to share stories as diverse as the communities it serves. Through the ensemble’s heartfelt social and civic practice work, Fifth House has co-created artistic projects with urban neighborhoods, social service organizations, and an agricultural community to spark conversations on issues that matter. Recent projects include Broken Text, a collaboration with Raven Theatre and DJ Searchl1te inspired by multi-week residencies at the Cook County Temporary Youth Detention Center and St. Leonard’s Ministries; Voices from the Dust Bowl, a collaboration with composer Steven Snowden and bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers exploring stories from workers’ rights organizations nationwide; Nedudim, an exploration of music and cultural identity in collaboration with Baladino that engages Chicago-based organizations representing Israel, Iran, Germany and Spain, and Harvest, a year-long partnership with DePauw University and the Greencastle, IN community culminating in a Mother’s Day celebration of the people, places, and stories of Putnam County. In 2012, Fifth House launched Fresh Inc, a two-week, intensive training program for emerging composers and performers where Fifth House works with participants on building careers in music in line with their own unique vision and values. Fifth House is currently an Ensemble in Residence at the Music Institute of Chicago. The transcript for this episode can be found here. Resources discussed in this episode: Fresh Inc Festival For more information about Third Coast Percussion, please visit them at website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
46:26
February 17, 2021
1.12 Third Coast Percussion
Sean Connors and Peter Martin from Third Coast Percussion join Soundweavers to discuss the stages of entering, campaigning for, and winning a Grammy; their approach to successfully and consistently recording albums; coordinating the complex logistics necessary for fitting a percussion ensemble into the NPR Tiny Desk studio; building educational programs with community partners to perpetuate long-term musical engagement; strategies for improving diversity in programming; and how they use mobile apps to create new angles for interacting with albums. Third Coast Percussion is a Grammy Award-winning Chicago-based percussion quartet. For fifteen years, the ensemble has created exciting and unexpected performances that constantly redefine the classical music experience. The ensemble has been praised for “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) performances, the “rare power” (Washington Post) of their recordings, and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). Third Coast Percussion maintains a busy tour schedule, with past performances in 35 of the 50 states and Washington, DC, plus international tour dates in Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. A direct connection with the audience is at the core of all of Third Coast Percussion’s work, whether the musicians are speaking from the stage about a new piece of music, inviting the audience to play along in a concert or educational performance, or inviting their fans around the world to create new music using one of their free mobile apps. The four members of Third Coast are also accomplished teachers, and make active participation by all students the cornerstone of all their educational offerings. The quartet’s curiosity and eclectic taste have led to a series of unlikely collaborations that have produced exciting new art. The ensemble has worked with engineers at the University of Notre Dame, architects at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, dancers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and musicians from traditions ranging from the mbira music of Zimbabwe’s Shona people, to indie rockers and footwork producers, to some of the world’s leading concert musicians. Third Coast Percussion served as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center from 2013—2018, and currently serves as ensemble-in-residence at Denison University. The transcript for this episode can be found here. Resources discussed in this episode: The GRAMMYs Third Coast Percussion’s Tiny Desk Concert for NPR For more information about Third Coast Percussion, please visit them at website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
52:07
February 3, 2021
1.11 Pascal Le Bœuf
Pianist-composer Pascal le Boeuf joins the Soundweavers team to discuss how he uses composition to prioritize human connections through music and resonating with others by identifying their musical values. He chats with us about living between the realms of new music and jazz (and what does jazz really mean?) and the process of pursuing a Grammy award. We speak about embracing social engagement and using music to communicate that which needs to be conveyed, the power of empathy and communication for successful professional relationships, and the brain candy known as polyrhythms. Described as "sleek, new" and "hyper-fluent" by the New York Times, Pascal Le Boeuf is a Grammy nominated composer, pianist, and producer whose works range from modern improvised music to cross-breeding classical with production-based technology. He is widely recognized for his polyrhythmic approach to chamber music and hybridization of disparate idioms. Pascal’s latest project imaginist is a full-length album collaboration between the JACK Quartet and the Le Boeuf Brothers Quintet (co-led by Remy Le Boeuf). The 9-piece hybridized chamber ensemble was praised by the New Yorker for "clearing their own path, mixing the solid swing of the jazz tradition with hip-hop, indie rock, and the complex techniques of classical modernism". Recent projects include “Media Control” recorded by Hub New Music, “Imp in Impulse” recorded by Barbora Kolářová, “Into the Anthropocene” featuring violist Jessica Meyer and cellist Dave Eggar, “Alpha” recorded by cellist Nick Photinos (Eighth Blackbird) on New Amsterdam Records, “Transition Behavior” recorded by the Shattered Glass String Orchestra, and “Empty Promise” an award-winning short film in collaboration with Four/Ten Media, Goldfeather and Robby Bowen. The transcript for this episode can be found here. Resources discussed in this episode: Barbora Kolářová performs Imp & Impulse Imaginist | New Focus Recordings For more information about Pascal le Boeuf, please visit him at his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and iTunes. Be sure to check out Soundweavers at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
43:53
January 20, 2021
1.10 Cast Chat
Rosy, Blaire, and Adam discuss the #MeToo movement’s impact on the music industry, community music schools, and higher education, and the practices and resources institutions are implementing to address power disparities that jeopardize safe environments. The cast then chats about the burgeoning use of technology in higher education, from the rapidly changing landscape of recording technologies to the methods in which students and faculty members prepare and present performance in the studio and the concert space—and the affordability and accessibility of all these “new” tools. The cast also considers the evolving approaches to coaching ensemble musicianship online and the shifting expectations and outcomes of these new methods. Soundweavers explores the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. Through dialogue, trialogue—and sometimes even tetralogue—with guest artists and ensembles, we delve into what it means to present contemporary and traditional classical, jazz, and folk music in today’s ever-shifting gig economy. Resources discussed in this episode: The BIT Collective Stephen Humphries, “Is The Music Industry Finally Facing Its #MeToo Moment?”, The Christian Science Monitor Shannon Lee, “When Will The Music Industry Have Its #MeToo Moment?”, Forbes Zoë Madonna, “Classical Music Saw a #MeToo Backlash in 2019”, The Boston Globe Helen Pidd, “Chetham’s Music Teacher Jailed for Sexually Abusing Pupil”, The Guardian Kalia Vandever, “Token Girl”, Medium “Teaching Music in the Age of COVID-19”, College Music Society International Coalition of Performing Arts: Aerosol Study The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Soundweavers, please visit them at their website, Facebook, and YouTube.
49:19
January 6, 2021
1.9 The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester
Co-Artistic Directors Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester join us to discuss strategies for effective programming, making space for young composers, building a large roster of performers, integrating jazz improvisation and classical repertoire through baroque and blues concerts, developing institutional practices to ensure a legacy, working effectively with board members, the art of balancing family with orchestra and teaching and administrative work, and streamlining priorities in a post-COVID world. The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester (SCMR) presents Chamber Music concerts featuring musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music as well as selected local and visiting artists. We perform great works of chamber music of all periods and styles. Our outreach mission reaches and teaches students of all ages and inspires chamber music’s ongoing creation through composition competitions and commissions. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
40:16
December 30, 2020
1.8 Castle of Our Skins
Ashleigh Gordon, the Artistic and Executive Director of Castle of our Skins, joins us to chat about her work leading a collective dedicated to celebrating black artistry through music. We discuss how she and co-founder Anthony Green developed COOS from individual grad school projects to a multifaceted concert presenter and educational organization. We speak about several of their initiatives, such as their Shirley Graham DuBois Creative-in-Residence Program, Beauty in Black Artistry blog, and edutainment recital and workshop series. We finish with advice on how to use one’s platform to provoke conversations on becoming ever better. Described as a “charismatic and captivating performer,” Ashleigh Gordon has recorded with Switzerland's Ensemble Proton and Germany's Ensemble Modern; performed with Grammy-award winning BMOP and Grammy-nominated A Far Cry string ensemble; and appeared at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival with the Chineke! Orchestra. Ashleigh has performed in the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls (London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern (Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong), and the 180 Degrees Festival (Bulgaria). Ashleigh is co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director, and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award and 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 "Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene. As an advocate of social change through education, Ashleigh served as viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program, a rigorous string instrumental program that provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. She has presented lectures on citizen artistry and entrepreneurship, workshops for fellow educators on Caribbean folk songs, and served as a guest panelist at the Sphinx Connect Conference and Chamber Music America Conference discussing diversity in classical music. She is an Instructor of Teaching Artistry at the Longy School of Music at Bard College. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Shirley DuBois Creative-in-Residence Program Castle of our Skins Beauty-in-Black-Artistry Blog The transcript for this episode can be found at here. For more information about Castle of our Skins, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
49:06
December 16, 2020
1.7 Amy Williams
Composer Amy Williams joins us to discuss her youth surrounded by amazing composers and performers in her living room and her early professional years embarking on crazy projects like transcribing Conlon Nancarrow’s music for piano four-hands with her duo partner Helena Bugallo. She speaks with us about collaborating closely with and tailoring commissions to specific performers and ensembles. We also chat about her role as Artistic Director of New Music on the Point, where she connects superstar performers and composers with young emerging artists, fostering collaborations lasting many years. The compositions of Amy Williams have been presented at renowned contemporary music venues in the United States, Australia, Asia and Europe, including Thailand International Composition Festival, Ars Musica (Belgium), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), Dresden New Music Days (Germany), Musikhøst (Denmark), Festival Aspekte (Austria), Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), Roulette and Bargemusic (New York), LA County Museum of Art, Piano Spheres (Los Angeles) and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Her works have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Aleph, Dal Niente, Wet Ink, Talujon, Empyrean Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, California E.A.R. Unit, Dinosaur Annex, International Contemporary Ensemble, h2 Saxophone Quartet, Bent Frequency, pianists Ursula Oppens, Corey Hamm and Amy Briggs, and bassist Robert Black. Her pieces appear on the Albany, Parma, VDM (Italy), Blue Griffin, Centaur and New Ariel labels. As a member of the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Ms. Williams has performed at important new music festivals and series throughout Europe and the Americas. The Duo has recorded four critically-acclaimed CDs for Wergo (works of Nancarrow, Stravinsky, Varèse/Feldman and Kurtág), as well as appearing on the Neos and Albany labels. Ms. Williams was the recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship for 2008-2009, a Fromm Music Foundation Commission in 2009 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015-2016. Ms. Williams has taught at Bennington College and Northwestern University and is currently Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh.  She is the Artistic Director of the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont. Resources discussed in today’s episode: George Lewis, A Power Stronger than Itself The musical excerpts heard in today’s episode were composed by Conlon Nancarrow and Amy Williams and performed by the Bugallo-Williams Duo and the JACK Quartet. The transcript for today’s episode can be found here. For more information about Amy Williams, please visit her at her website.
45:52
December 2, 2020
1.6 Twelfth Day
The genre-bending violin and harp duo Twelfth Day joins us to discuss their work weaving the Scottish folk and Western classical traditions, songwriting, infusing their music with other stylistic influences, their collaborations with artists Québec to Brazil to Malawi to Mongolia, the album and EP recording process, their Routes to Roots project, writing business plans and grants, and writing music that makes you think. Why limit yourself to a label? That’s the mantra of Twelfth Day, the duo that has been challenging its broad spectrum of listeners with its genre-bending music for almost a decade. Though Twelfth Day wear their rich and varied experience with pride – their folk roots, their classical training – they are more than a simple product, an exponent of their practice. It is their inherent curiosity, their need to understand through experimentation, that compels them to reach for new ways and means. It results in music that combines their technical proficiency and deep knowledge of their instruments with their desire to make soulful, meaningful and intuitive music, that you would expect from musicians who have grown up learning music by ear; passing, trading and improvising with musicians from other genres, other cultures. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Twelfth Day’s Podcast: Figuring Out How to Be at Home Twelfth Day’s Album: Cracks in the Room Twelfth Day’s Patreon The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Twelfth Day, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and iTunes.
51:58
November 18, 2020
1.5 Cast Chat
Rosy, Blaire, and Adam discuss the immediate and lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. The cast chats about how musicians are grappling with the sudden move to remote interactions, prompting the rapid embrace of livestream concerts, recording activities, online teaching and coaching, and social media projects. They also consider the many ways in which the music world must address racial inequality, investigating how artists can strive toward a more inclusive world through programming, commissioning, and improving access to educational opportunities. The team finishes the podcast with a discussion about the ongoing #MeToo movement and its impact on the music world more broadly. Soundweavers explores the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. Through dialogue, trialogue—and sometimes even tetralogue—with guest artists and ensembles, we delve into what it means to present contemporary and traditional classical, jazz, and folk music in today’s ever-shifting gig economy. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Chamber Music Connection June in Buffalo George Lewis, “A Small Act of Curation”, on-curating.org loadbang, “George Lewis”, loadbang’s Power Chats, 29 June 2020 Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2012). Community MusicWorks Castle of our Skins fivebyfive Anthony Tommasini, “To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions,” New York Times, 16 July 2020. The BIT Collective Anastasia Tsioulcas, “Top Music School Finds Sexual Abuse Allegations from Violinist ‘Credible’” from National Public Radio on 23 September 2020. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Soundweavers, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
48:22
November 4, 2020
1.4 JACK Quartet
John Pickford Richards of the JACK Quartet joins us to discuss the evolution of the ensemble from a fledgling student group to an international powerhouse for contemporary music; navigating personnel changes; strategies for working with both new and familiar collaborators; recording over forty-one albums; managing JACK Studio for commissions, workshops, and recording projects; and approaches toward improving inclusivity with careful programming and personnel. Hailed by The New York Times as “our leading new-music foursome”, the JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment to their mission of performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. Over the past season, they have been selected as Musical America’s 2018 “Ensemble of the Year”, named to WQXR’s “19 for 19 Artists to Watch”, and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Resources discussed in today’s episode: - JACK Studio The transcript for this episode can be found at here. For more information about the JACK Quartet, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, and Vimeo.
48:51
October 21, 2020
1.3 Michael Frazier
Composer Michael Frazier joins us to discuss his compositional philosophy and methods, whether the ensemble or the idea comes first, the conflict between using specific techniques versus writing what you hear, Takemitsu’s concept of ma, repurposing different types of music, and the need to explore the many musical styles beyond traditionally European classical music. Michael also talks with us about making electronic music accessible to new audiences and incorporating novel sounds, styles, and approaches in performance. Michael Frazier is a composer of acoustic, electronic, and electroacoustic music currently residing in Rochester, New York. Frazier’s works are an amalgamation of a variety of sound worlds and aesthetic backgrounds where slowness, patience, and a focus on harmony guides his compositional approach. He received a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the University of South Florida and Master of Arts in Composition at the Eastman School of Music, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Composition. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Michael Frazier, Melic Silhouettes (Trio Alexander) The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Michael Frazier, please visit him on Soundcloud.
44:25
October 7, 2020
1.2 WindSync
Anni Hochhalter and Julian Hernandez of WindSync join us to discuss their work connecting with listeners by exploring various modes of performance beyond the traditional sit-down-and-play model learned in school. We talk about the ways in which they engage new audiences through outreach initiatives and chamber music festivals. Anni and Julian also chat about how they manage touring and scheduling while also balancing freelance careers, and the path that led them to where they are today. WindSync has established itself as a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers. The quintet eliminates the "fourth wall" between musicians and audience by often performing from memory, creating an intimate connection. This personal performance style, combined with the ensemble’s three-pronged mission of artistry, education, and community-building, lends WindSync its reputation as ”a group of virtuosos who are also wonderful people, too" (Alison Young, Classical MPR). Resources discussed in today’s episode: - Erberk Eryilmaz, Raki Havasi for Woodwind Quintet and Davul You can find the transcript for this episode here. For more information about WindSync, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
48:42
September 23, 2020
1.1 loadbang
Andy Kozar and Jeff Gavett of loadbang join Soundweavers to discuss their role in cultivating a new sonic landscape. We explore loadbang’s promotion of their eclectic instrumentation through commissions from a diverse array of emerging and established composers, their call for score competition, partnerships with a wide range of presenters and other ensembles, and their YouTube Power Chats. We also chat about Andy’s and Jeff’s approach to balancing two ensembles with other freelancing and teaching, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their work, and the musical styles bleep bloop, squeaky gate, fire in a pet shop, and space whale noises. New York City-based new music chamber group loadbang is building a new kind of music for mixed ensemble of trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice. Since their founding in 2008, they have been praised as ‘cultivated’ by The New Yorker, ‘an extra-cool new music group’ and ‘exhilarating’ by the Baltimore Sun, ‘inventive’ by the New York Times and called a 'formidable new-music force' by TimeOutNY. Creating 'a sonic world unlike any other' (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), their unique lung-powered instrumentation has provoked diverse responses from composers, resulting in a repertoire comprising an inclusive picture of composition today. Resources discussed in this episode: loadbang’s Power Chats, Longy Divergent Studio You can find the transcript for this episode here. For more information about loadbang, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
51:28
September 9, 2020
1.0 What is Soundweavers?
Founders Adam Cordle, Blaire Koerner, and Rosanna Moore discuss the launch of Soundweavers, a podcast exploring the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. This episode previews the structure of each episode and introduces the team.
21:21
August 22, 2020