I’m happy to announce that my wind ensemble work Undertow won the Frederick Fennell prize from ASCAP/CBDNA! This is an exciting development which I hope will see the piece reaching new ears. The piece will be performed by a prominent ensemble and featured at an upcoming conference.
Undertow is a work in three continuous movements and takes inspiration for its special orchestrational colors from the Atlantic Ocean. Early inspiration for the piece came from Debussy’s La Mer, but Undertow features a darker perspective on bodies
of water – one in which the natural violence of the ocean is put into sharp relief. The piece makes heavy use of microcanonic effects, wherein many instruments play the same material but begin at slightly different times. The effect is one that evokes the tumbling shape of waves or of swirling eddies.
Look forward to more updates soon!
On May 22nd, the St. John’s Episcopal church choir and organist Meg Harper premiered Nathan’s “O felix anima.” The work is a setting of text from Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum and was featured on the first concert of the Portsmouth, NH church’s “Concerts on the Hill” series. The series benefits the new choir school at St. John’s. Recording forthcoming!
Meg Harper, the organist of the premiere, is a champion of new organ music and is considering movements of Nathan’s “Potpourri” for organ for an upcoming performance.
It’s no secret that I’m a voracious consumer of video games and the culture surrounding them. My compositions often feature material inspired by video game soundtracks and so my ears perk up when a new and noteworthy game makes its way onto the scene. Undertale, by Toby Fox, is a game I recently finished exploring and it was such a great experience that I felt I simply had to acknowledge it here. Not only is the story and meta-narrative of Undertale very compelling, but the music is also exciting, hilarious, and delightfully retro.
The content of the game not only comments wittily on the conventions of RPG games, but also cleverly starts a dialogue on the gamer’s relation and attachment to fiction and fictional characters. It’s so lovingly well-crafted, with every detail considered, that you’ll surely find yourself enraptured. Check the game out on Steam for Mac or Windows!
Needless to say, playing Undertale was inspiring. I’m sure I’ll have it to credit for some compositional ideas to come in the near future! Thanks, Toby!
A portion of Nathan’s Potpourri for organ will be featured during an exciting 4pm Pipedreams Live! event at IU today, 2/13/16, in Auer Hall. Nick Quardokus, for whom the piece was composed, will be playing four of the twelve movements of Potpourri as a preview/teaser before the work’s full premiere on 4/13/16.
Michael Barone will be providing witty and insightful commentary during the event and so it should be a great time! The event is free and open to the public, so please drop by, Bloomingtonians!