dharmachakramudra: premiere in la jolla


It’s unusual for my music to get performed. And even rare for me to be able to attend. But when my piece dharmachakramudra from last December was selected for this year’s soundON Festival of Modern Music in La Jolla, to be performed by members of San Diego New Music’s NOISE Ensemble, I moved mountains to make sure I was working on the West Coast this week and could take a day off from work to be in La Jolla. And I’m really glad I did.

It ended up being a very full day yesterday. After flying in from SFO and renting a car, I attended an open rehearsal of dharmachakramudra and it went well. The musicians (Mark Menzies, Franklin Cox, Morris Palter) got it. They had their own ideas about how to perform the piece, which I support. The only guidance I gave was that it be very quiet (although upon request, I was fine with upping the volume a bit) and the metronome marking did not have to be followed very strictly. After awhile, even though the musicians made it look easy, I came to the conclusion that it really is a difficult piece to pull off. The score looks pretty unremarkable, even simplistic. But it’s quiet and everything is exposed. There is no room for error, and the opening double-stop on the cello had to have provoked some angina for Franklin Cox, but he did the piece justice, as did Mark and Morris. So the performance was great, the audience was really into new music, and hey, it was in La Jolla. What’s not to like?

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla, CA

Open rehearsal :Mark Menzies, violin; Franklin Cox, cello; Morris Palter, percussion

Group discussion. From left: Matthew Burtner, Christopher Adler, dbt, Frances White, Stuart Saunders Smith,

And another nice thing was being able to finally meet some good friends in person:

With friend and composer Christian Hertzog

With new music aficionado Paul Muller