As the 64th Grammy awards season begins, I’m looking forward to my 2nd year as a member, and weeks of listening to all of the wonderful music that has been submitted. Everything I heard last year was pre-pandemic, but this year will reflect the response of musicians to the pandemic, and demonstrate how they persevered through these extraordinary times.
I feel deeply fortunate that a year at home, in isolation, led to more opportunities than in a normal year. This year my submissions will include 3 new albums.
AFTERWARDS, an album of string quartets performed by Camerata Philadelphia. The title track, “Afterwards, there were no more wars” is one of my many works from my MUSIC FOR PEACE PROJECT – music I imagined might be heard in a time in the future when someone, opening up the pages of a history book, might read those words. BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE.
REMEMBER is an album that assembles music composed over the years for viola – both solo and with piano. Beautifully performed by Brett Deubner and Thomas Steigerwald. The title work, Remember (5 intermezzi for the earth), reworks themes from my music for chorus and chamber ensemble, setting poems about both the glory of our planet – and the future we face if we fail to recognize our responsibilities as stewards of our only home. BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE.
TRANSFIGURATION, a COVID shutdown project, features music for 2, 3 and 4 violas, all performed and recorded by Brett Deubner, alone in a studio, while I listened on-line from home. The title work, a viola quartet, expresses my thoughts about how, whatever our human failings and limitations, we have within ourselves the possibility of transforming into something better. Encased in a hardened chrysalis, we can emerge as butterflies. TRANSFIGURATION (for 4 violas). BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION.