Update: Nutation and other things

It has been a busy ten months since my last post.  In that time I have had several ongoing projects in the works including the following:

  • a new piece, La Disparition, for sub-contrabass recorder premiering in by Antonio Politano in Laussanne, Switzerland, Fall 2016
  • a new piece for Duo Gelland, premiering in Minneapolis in April 2016
  • Kyle Hutchins will be producing an archival recording of Zusammenfluss in Spring/Summer 2016
  • Sound design and audio mixing for Hisham Bizri's film "Beneath the Wide, Wide Heaven".  This film is the result of a two-year iterative process of evolution, having existed in various prior versions.  The present cut of the film may be one of Hisham's most complex and compelling statements.  It is currently under consideration for the 2016 Court Métrage, Festival de Cannes.
  • Nutation for Flute/Clarinet duo--a commission of 113 Composers Collective--premiered this past weekend in two concerts, Feb. 5 & 7, in Minneapolis.  Here is a recording:

Zusammenfluss Recording

I have mixed a recording of an excerpt of the March 6 world premiere of Zusammenfluss, performed by Jeffery Kyle Hutchins & Neil Nanyi Qiang at Studio Z in St. Paul.  You can find the recording at Soundcloud or you can listen and view the score on the Zusammenfluss page of this site.  Enjoy!


Zusammenfluss in Minnesota

I am back in Berkeley after having attended the March 6 premiere of my new work, Zusammenfluss, for saxophonist Jefferey Kyle Hutchins and pianist Neil Nanyi Qiang at Studio Z in St. Paul, MN.  Having lived in the Bay Area these past two years it is often refreshing to return to the bitter cold of Minnesota, to wear a wool coat, to freeze for a little while, to be reminded that life is harder in those places where the weather is trying to kill you.  It was -10° F when I arrived--a good 70° colder than Berkeley--but by the time I left things had improved.  It was in the 30's, the snow was melting, there were signs of Spring and the cooped-up children of Minneapolis could be seen dragging their parents to the park to bask in the sun and slush.  It was almost enough to make me homesick for the place--almost.

As the saying goes: cold nights, warm company.  I had a great time visiting friends and preparing the premiere of Zusammenfluss with Kyle and Neil.  The piece appeared on Hutchins' March 6 program entitled Sonder which stands apart in  memory as one of the most technically challenging saxophone recitals I have ever witnessed--and that is saying something, considering my background as a classically trained saxophonist.  Sonder was a brazen display of virtuosity and endurance spanning nearly two hours of music and spoken text.  It was impeccably prepared and conceptually unified, taking as its centerpiece a reading of David Foster Wallace's essay "This is Water."  This proved a fitting counterpoint to the complexity of the program which included works by Miriama Young, Eric Wubbels as well as the world premieres of a works by Völker Heyn and myself.

As for my contribution, I felt that the premiere of Zusammenfluss went quite well.  It is a work of transcendent difficulty written to probe the expressive limits of two virtuoso performers.  The piece is unrelentingly difficult, placing extreme demands on saxophonist and pianist, alike, forcing a certain looseness of interpretation at the bound where classical technique must be momentarily abandoned and the player forced to make certain technical compromises in service of the present figure.  To a certain extent, it is a piece that can never be adequately prepared, and thus, must be delivered in the moment, almost extemporaneously, inhabiting a space somewhere between the prescribed and the practicable.  In this sense, at least, the piece resonated quite well with the words of David Foster Wallace

At any rate, it was a good premiere.  Like all premieres, it marks the beginning of a process of development.  In the coming months we will continue to refine the piece and we plan to produce a representative recording in the summer months.  For now, I am editing an excerpt--roughly 1/3 of the piece--to meet the documentation requirements of the New Music USA grant that funded the work and I will provide links to this in further posts.

Until then, I'm happy to be home.  All best, ~Jeremy



Welcome to the all-new JeremyWagner.info

Welcome to the all new JeremyWagner.info. This site is intended as a place to showcase my recent creative work and present updates on my current activities and cogitation.  Not only is it a marked aesthetic improvement over the old Google site it replaces, it also has the flexibility to present certain creative interests in a more useful and accessible format.  As such, I hope to present here deeper insights into my motivations, the nature of my creative process and thoughts on contemporary music performances.

As I was preparing the materials for this site I came to the decision to make all of my recent scores and recordings freely available.  It strikes me that there is really no good reason for me to horde these materials.  And if they may serve some useful purpose to anyone else, why should I stand in the way?  Perhaps I will reconsider this stance in the future, but for now I'd rather people look and listen than not.  Just follow the link to 'works' to explore my recent catalog, listen to recordings and download scores.  If you are interested in performing one of these works, please get in touch; I'm happy to send printed scores and parts upon request (also, I rather like attending performances of my work). 

Like all new things, this website is a work in progress, so please bear with me as I iron out the kinks.  If you have comments/suggestions please feel free to contact me.  Otherwise, thanks for visiting.  I hope to see you soon.  ~Jeremy