Thanks to all who helped to produce these wonderful videos of Angelus performed at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. More videos will be released soon, but for now, here are three of the ten movements — numbers 2, 3 and 4. Texts and score are available here.
This video was taken at Mechanics Hall during a recording session of the work. Thanks to all for a fabulous recording!
I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new album Angelus. You can read all about it, and order a copy here. This is a deeply personal work for me, based on my mother’s experiences as a refugee after WWII. Special thanks to the Ecce Ensemble and to Nina Guo for her amazing interpretation.
“It’s impossible to deplete the thematic and expressive density of “Angelus” in a single listening: in just over forty minutes John Aylward manages to condense with absolute originality the linguistic innovations that have evolved over more than a hundred years of avant-gardes, while never resorting to sterile twists and turns nor to exaggerations suitable only for épater le bourgeois. With the complicity of a precise and close-knit ensemble, the young composer finds here a very rare balance between the fin de siècle decadentism of the last Romantics and the irrepressible exuberance of the contemporary.”
I hope you have a chance to listen!
Hi All! Catch me here and there for the events of this fall and spring!
Tierkries. Performed at KM28. Berlin, Germany. 8:30PM. Nina Guo, soprano.
Flux, Ripple, Flutter. Performed at the Palace of Fine Arts. Mexico City, Mexico. International New Music Forum. 6PM. Don Berman, piano.
Narcissus. Distler Hall. Tufts University. Medford, MA. 8PM. Ludovico Ensemble.
Tierkreis. Treble Bass and Beer. Roslindale Beer Garden. Roslindale, MA. 7:30PM. Departure Duo.
Flux, Ripple, Flutter. National Taipei University. Taipei, Taiwan. 8PM. Don Berman, piano.
Ananke. Good Shepherd Church at Lincoln Center. New York, NY. 8PM. Ecce Ensemble.
February 22 & 23, 2020.
Abundance. An Operetta.
Laine Rettmer, Concept and Direction. AREA. 8PM. Boston, MA. USA
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.
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.