June 25th, 2016
UNREMEMBERED will tour Holland in March 2017 as part of the Netherlands Cross-Linx Festival. Shara Nova, D.M. Stith, and Padma Newsome will give six performances of the cycle with the Rotterdam-based Doelen Ensemble. We’re honored and excited to join the 15-year tradition of this genre-defying festival.
You can read more about it here.
June 8th, 2016
Check out this wonderful Wall Street Journal feature on New Amsterdam Records, the Brooklyn-based record label that Sarah co-Artistic Directs with William Brittelle and Judd Greenstein. Marvel at how they stay afloat on sweat, blood, and determination — and think about donating to the upcoming fundraiser for their related non-profit, New Amsterdam Presents!
June 2nd, 2016
Delighted to announce that the U.S. premiere of UNREMEMBERED will take place in March 2017 with Shara Nova (formerly Worden), Padma Newsome, D.M. Stith, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at the SPCO’s acclaimed series, Liquid Music, curated by Kate Nordstrum. We can’t think of a more fitting place for Unremembered to have its American premiere than Kate’s boundary-less, forward-thinking Liquid Music, and we’re very excited to work with conductor Mischa Santora and the spectacular musicians of the SPCO.
Look for more U.S. and European 2017 performances of Unremembered to be announced in the coming months.
Here is an article about the Liquid Music season.
May 12th, 2016
Filmmaker Mark DeChiazza created a beautiful 3-minute trailer for HIRAETH, Sarah’s 29-minute new work for full orchestra, which was co-commissioned by North Carolina Symphony and Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and is accompanied by a film by Mark. The piece is about notions of home, family, and letting go. You can watch the trailer here.
May 10th, 2016
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has made a beautiful video performance of its premiere of Sarah’s Something for the Dark, which premiered April 14-16, 2016 under the baton of the wonderful Giancarlo Guerrero.
You can watch it here.
May 9th, 2016
Photo by Willy Somma
I Care If You Listen asked five questions of Sarah — about Hiraeth, writing orchestral music, and how Penelope changed the course of her music. Here’s a sample:
Q: How did the autobiographical aspect of the Hiraeth commission affect the way you wrote the music?
A: It’s funny, I tend to think of all my music as autobiographical, as it’s all informed by my life experience and genetic makeup. But I did find that this commission created a uniquely personal, more intensely autobiographical writing space inside my head. I called upon specific childhood memories to trigger musical ideas, which is something I don’t usually do. I’d take a walk and think about the time my brother and cousin and I were down by the train tracks [in Salisbury] when I was 8 and my brother said something funny — how it felt when the train whooshed by, how my cousin’s laugh sounded, how the air smelled — and I’d hear a melodic idea. And then I’d work with that material while thinking about my Dad’s funeral, and I’d hear the material in a new light, conceive of it in a new way harmonically or rhythmically. So it was a process of summoning those memory-ideas and then layering and juxtaposing them in varying ways, the way memory does, the way grief does.
Check out the whole interview.
May 9th, 2016
The Central Jersey US 1 newspaper conducted this interview with Sarah about her 29-minute orchestral work, Hiraeth — written on notions of home and family — which the Princeton Symphony Orchestra will premiere, accompanied by a film by Mark DeChiazza, in mid-May.
May 5th, 2016
The composer, age 10.
In anticipation of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s May premiere of her 29-minute multimedia orchestral work, Hiraeth — written on notions of home — Sarah wrote an essay about her musical awakening in Princeton, where she was born and raised.
“…A lot is made of the importance of role models, particularly for girls and young women in highly male-dominated fields, and rightly so. Role models inspire and embolden; they give us the audacity to dream. When I was young and writing music, I’d never heard of a female composer, not even Clara Schumann or Fanny Mendelssohn. In all of my composition studies — undergraduate and graduate, festivals and masterclasses — I never had the opportunity to study with a woman; there were none on the faculty.
But I did have the experience of playing in an orchestra under Gail Edwards, and growing up with the example of Portia Sonnenfeld. There I saw women at the helm of orchestras, commanding that most unwieldy musical behemoth with grace and aplomb. Their place on the podium seemed so natural, so perfectly in line with the way things should be, that I blissfully had no idea female conductors were a rarity. Their example inspired me then, it inspired me throughout my composition studies (when I was sometimes the only female in the program), and it inspires me today.”
You can read the whole essay here.
April 30th, 2016
We’re thrilled that Opera America has awarded a grant to Sarah, Beth Morrison Projects, and Opera Cabal, to develop an opera together with poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows. The opera (working title: The Living Light) is about medieval visionary/composer/polymath/abbess Hildegard von Bingen.
Here is the press release. Watch this space for more about the opera in the months to come.
April 28th, 2016
We were honored to learn that musicologist and critic Will Robin featured Sarah’s Something for the Dark–which recently premiered with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra–in his Symphomania Redux, a 24-hr marathon of orchestral music composed since 2000, on Q2 Music.
You can read more about it here.