April 23, 2011

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The Ends of the Earth

Last night pianist Derek Kealii Polischuk premiered my new work “The Ends of the Earth” at Michigan State University (which is not at the end of the earth).  It’s a demanding piece, probably the most difficult piece I’ve written.  The score calls upon the performer to use some unfamiliar techniques – one movement is played almost entirely with piano hammers.  He navigated the unfamiliar territory with grace, and the premiere…

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October 24, 2010

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Shaman Ritual

I recently returned from Korea, where I was fortunate enough to attend a ‘performance’ on Jindo island of a shaman ritual called Ssitkim-gut.  This ritual for the dead is filled with singing (accompanied by percussion instruments), mourning, celebration, and drinking. We were told this may have been the last performance by the shaman (in the foreground in the first photo, with her apprentice singing behind her), who was exhausted by the end…

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