Catch us on WLRH Public Radio!
Last spring, I contacted two wonderful colleagues with a crazy idea. I wanted to create a piece for clarinet and orchestra that we could turn into a thought-provoking residency. Lucky for me, my friends tend to go along with my crazy ideas and the result was a work more moving and empowering than I could have imagined.
This April I had the pleasure of performing Joshua Burel’s Let This Darkness be a Bell Tower with the University of Alabama-Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. Radio host Dorrie Nutt at WLRH had us over for an interview and concert teaser!
Jerod Tate is a composer whose work we strongly admire and who we have established a meaningful relationship with. As of yet there is no repertoire for clarinet and piano duo based on American Indian folk sounds. This is a genre and culture that deserves to have their voices heard, and we hope to provide that through this collaboration.
*This commission has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.*
In 2015, thanks to generous funding from the Presser Foundation, I was able to visit the beautiful and hospitable country of Armenia. The people welcomed you as if you were their own, everyone eager to share their culture and yours. The food was cooked with heartfelt intent. And the music... the music, new and old, was treated with a sense of respect and admiration that I have rarely seen.
I am thankful to live in a county that supports the arts as much as it does. This summer I was awarded an Artists and Scholars grant from Montgomery County. This grant will allow me to bring in my colleagues from What Is Noise to present an educational residency program at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, MD. This collaboration with Instrumental Music Director Mr. Brendan Kelly has developed throughout the past few years. The program, entitled “Music: A Home Away From Home,” will feature works written by living composers that are representative of their homeland. Many of us have transplanted to new places and find that our ‘home’ is always a part of us, even as we establish ourselves somewhere new. At the same time, a new place can become home. The pieces we have selected for this program present that dichotomy through music.
From December to January I was the artist in Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park, which is hosted by the National Parks Arts Foundation. For the past few years, I have been working heavily with music from different cultures and lately have been experimenting with all the music that could be considered influenced by American culture. My time at Gettysburg, offered a moment of reflection where I could think about all that this country has endured for the sake of progress.
What Is Noise is absolutely thrilled to have signed with Centaur Records for the production of our debut album, Equivocal Duration. We recorded the album in Kalamazoo, MI with Gordon van Gent and the Overneath Collective. My sister Krissy Christofakis, a brilliant, creative mind, who is a visual artist disguising as an art therapist during the day, has created artwork based on each of the pieces! The album was officially released on March 1st, 2019.