It was a peak experience to teach alongside Kaija Saariaho, Francesco Filidei and Martin Brody at this year’s Etchings Festival. Getting to know these wonderful people so well, under such extraordinary conditions and in an amazing part of France was really a dream. Etchings is now 11 years old and it keeps developing in beautiful ways.
Could not be happier to be one of this year’s Artist Fellows at the Massachusetts Cultural Council. I’m thrilled to be on this list along with composers I truly admire. I hope to make the work ahead deserving.
Tiergarten is a setting of three poems by Rainer Marie Rilke that are about animals, the Swan, the Panther and the Unicorn. The work is for soprano and contrabass and was written for Nina Guo and Eddie Kass. They have been performing the work this season and this particular recording is from a concert in New York this past October.
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
Grateful to be awarded the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. An incredible honor to be counted among so many brilliant composers. I’m humbled and hope to make the award count toward more good music making ahead. I’ll send along pictures from the Academy Ceremony soon!
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.