June 20, 2020
We made it to the weekend! After dress rehearsals in the morning, performer participants had a free day until the second round of world premieres later in the evening. While the performers relaxed, composer participants gathered together via Zoom for two workshops in the afternoon. The first was led by composer Shawn Okpebholo, who talked about his life and the compositional process behind his work. Much of Okpebholo’s music education came in the form of free music lessons from the Salvation Army, and he shared this piece of his personal history with Fresh Inc composers to explain his focus on reaching underserved communities with his art and teaching. Following this time with Shawn Okpebholo, composer participants had the opportunity to participate in a workshop on music publishing led by Danny Dorff. Dorff, an expert in music engraving and notation, explained the ins-and-outs of the publishing business, including contract information, publishing new works, and about what it’s like to actually work with a publishing company.
After an afternoon of composition guest-speakers, Saturday evening ended with the second concert in the Fresh Inc World Premiere concert series. Our concert tonight was hosted by Parker and featured the very first performances of eight new works by Fresh Inc composer participants by their peers. Parker began the evening by speaking with composer participant Ben Beckman about the premiere of his piece, “For Three Corners,” a trio for trombone, piano, and double bass. Ben talked about his favorite parts of Digital Fresh Inc so far (he’s really enjoyed the nightly concert streams and the virtual interaction surrounding them), and about what it means to compose a piece meant for digital performance.
After the premiere of Ben’s piece, we heard from composer Miranda Schreiber, whose “Horn Quartet No.1” was the second world premiere of the evening and was inspired by rhythms found in Ghanian music. We also watched as Parker spoke with Ari Schwartz (who didn’t have a harp in his zoom background!) about his piece, “Atlas Chronemica,” written for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Ari explained that each instrument featured in his piece had a different tempo that evolved as the piece went on. Tonight’s concert also included works by Spencer Arias, Tamara McLeod, Tyler Kowal, Adrienne Schoenfield, and Noah Nethery.
All proceeds from this evening’s concert went to the Sphinx Foundation, a social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.