I recently worked with artist / director Laine Rettmer on a short operetta called White Rush. The work is about a surreal meeting between Leda (from the myth Leda and the Swan) and Kurt Cobain. As they meet and sing together, they come to terms with issues surrounding how cultural mythologies propagate negative stereotypes around sexual assault and normalize it.
Leda was played by Aliana de la Guardia. And I worked closely with Tyler Adamthwaite in composing the electronic score. The performance was part of a full multimedia installation by Laine Rettmer also called White Rush at AREA Gallery in Boston.
White Rush (2018) 30′
Concept by Laine Rettmer
Book by Laine Rettmer and John Aylward
Music by John Aylward
Premiere: AREA Gallery. Boston, MA. David Guerra, gallerist
Last month I was a guest composer at the Takefu International Music Festival where I was teaching and coaching some performances of some new pieces. It was an honor to work alongside Toshio Hosokawa, the festival’s director, other guest teachers Isabel Mundry and Hitomi Kaneko, and a group of some very talented students.
Thanks to all who helped out on such an amazing premiere of Angelus Novus last week at Le Laboratoire. It was an incredible experience to work with many friends and collaborators on a piece that’s become very personal and important, both through the writing and through the collaborations and relationships it sparked. I hope if you find your way here, you’ll give the piece a listen / look.
The project was made very special by Roberta Michel, flutes; Hassan Anderson, oboe; Jennifer Choi, violin; Carlos Cordiero, clarinets; John Popham, cello; and Sam Budish, percussion. Also four special friends: Jean-Philippe Wurtz, conductor; Colin Gee, choreography and dance; Alex Posen, costumes; and Steven Taylor and Sam Okerstrom-Lang, visual / animation designers.
I’m speechless after receiving a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. This is once-in-a-lifetime support and I hope to use the time wisely for upcoming projects — the first being an ongoing commission from the Fromm Foundation, which I hope to premiere in the spring of 2018 (more on that soon!) and the second being a new ballet, Angelus Novus.
I’ll workshop part of Angelus Novus this May 19th at Le Laboratoire, Cambridge. For more on that, you can check out the event page.
I’m grateful to receive this honor and am thankful to all who have been supportive.