The last two months have been an absolute whirlwind. I had two awesome projects with thingNY in New York and great mini-tours with The World/Inferno Friendship Society and Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests, lost my violin on a train and miraculously got it back, hosted and performed at Home Audio, vacationed in Barcelona and Zurich, then spent two weeks in Lucerne putting the final touches on NOMOZART, the exhilarating music and movement show I’ve been developing with LUCERNE FESTIVAL – Young Performance that premieres this Sunday. But it doesn’t stop there – next week I travel to Frankfurt to perform a new project, then to Prague for an improv concert, and finally to China for ten days with my family, including my first visit to the village where my grandfather was born. In October, I’m back in New York for the three-week run of Daniel Fay and Andrew Livingston’s puppet show Point Pleasant, The Legend of the Mothman. Details below!
Since March, I’ve had three trips to Switzerland to develop a 55-minute music and movement show for preteens called NOMOZART, premiering this Sunday, September 10th at 11am and 3pm at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. In the show, we explore the theme of “identity” by playing a wide range of music from classical to disco to Balkan to swing to a modern piece by me – and we dance as well. Plus I get to use my violin as a tennis racket! Besides me, there’s a bassist from Texas, a trombonist from Canada, a harpist from France, a violinist from Poland, and a percussionist from Spain, all alumni of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY, directed by Egyptian choreographer Maged Mohamed, a former company member of the Bavarian State Ballet Munich. Watch the excellent trailer for the show here. The 11am (5am Eastern) show on Sunday will be streamed live on Facebook here, and I believe that link will stay active for a few days afterward. If you’re in Switzerland, hurry and get a ticket for the 3pm show, as the 11am show is sold out. It’s been a very inspiring show to create, and I hope you’ll check it out in some way!
On Monday I travel to Frankfurt for four days developing a short, brand-new staged music piece with trombonist Berk Schneider of Mobile Beats Ensemble. We’ll perform the result next Thursday at ATELIERFRANKFURT in a show we’re calling “Musik aus einem wissenschaftlichen Abend” (Music from a Scientific Evening) that will also include some of my solo music for violin and electronics, Berk’s arrangements for violin, trombone, and electronics of songs from Schubert’s Winterreise, and pieces organized by Mobile Beats’ sound director Lennart Scheuren including Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music. Frankfurters, come out!
Next Friday I go to Prague for a couple days of sightseeing followed by a concert of improvisations on Sunday, September 17 at Skautský institut with my old flutist friend Andrea La Rose (formerly of thingNY) and new acquaintance Darrell Jonsson, who will be joining us on a Moog MG-1 synth. I’m looking forward to an evening of surprises!
After my trip to China and a brief stop in Boston, I arrive back in New York on October 1 and go directly into rehearsals for Point Pleasant, The Legend of the Mothman. This is the puppet show I initially helped workshop at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn and further developed at Figurteatret i Nordland in northern Norway last year, now getting its premiere run in New York at HERE Arts Center. The music in the show is by my longstanding collaborator in thingNY, Andrew Livingston, and he and I are the sole musicians performing. The show includes a mix of bunraku puppetry, live video feed of figures moving on model landscapes, and filmed sequences. The story is based on eyewitness accounts of eerie events in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the late ’60s, including sightings of a large winged man with glowing red eyes and other paranormal occurrences. There are 17 performances in all, please come to one!
Looking further ahead, the 20th anniversary of The World/Inferno Friendship Society’s annual Hallowmas show this Halloween should be pretty awesome. In November I return to HERE Arts Center for the world premiere run of Paul Pinto’s Thomas Paine in Violence, starring renowned avant-garde vocalist Joan La Barbara. Later that month, I’m back in Germany and Switzerland for my second set of shows with the Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI accompanying Swiss band Hildegard Lernt Fliegen, including a concert in the stunning new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. And plenty of plans for 2018 are under way, including a NOMOZART tour in March to Luxembourg and several cities in Switzerland!