Collaboration, and critical response is at the heart of all artistic pursuit. Therefore in my own practice I try to create as much of my work as possible in an environment of collaboration. From working with artists, writers, and choreographers to close collaboration with performers to create personalized pieces I find the art I make with others is far superior to the art I make in isolation.
Cavendish Winds are a young, exciting, expressive, and dynamic wind quintet based in London. I've had the luck and joy to work closely with them not only as a composer, but as a producer, engineer, and videographer as well as being close friends with the members of the ensemble. They've been performing my quintet By Air since June 2017, which they premiered at St Martin in the Fields, and continue to perform all over the UK. They're baller players, and wonderful folks.
Tuba-Tronics was the result of a 2014-2015 partnership with tuba player Ross Knight. The piece attempts to extend the accepted size and playing ability of the tuba by coupling dissonant multiphonics with pre-recorded electronics in one movement, and looping effects with virtuosic acrobatic playing the second. Ross and I spent nearly 6 months hashing out the finer details of the piece, which involved over 8 hours of studio time in December 2014. A link to a live recording can be found here
The collaboration with Ross was incredibly fruitful and we have plans for future projects to extend the solo tuba repertoire. Watch out!
In spring 2014 I began to work closely with visual artist Gus Fulgoni. Through an academic pairing we created an installation in the Grinnell College Natatorium Complex that was a playful take on the space. We had under a week to conceive the idea, and the execution happened in under 24 hours. What resulted was a multi-media sound, light, and spacial warping. Parts of the project are documented in the gallery, and in Gus' video found here.
Over the course of that spring Gus and I collaborated on many different experimental projects -- mainly involving me being the guy with the duct tape and the long arms.
NICK Ward: One Night only
In October of 2013 Daniel Kisslinger, a radio/media/music mind unlike any I've met in my life, approached me about doing a project. We were driving together from Grinnell, Iowa to Ann Arbor, MI and had about 8 hours in the car to hash things out. Daniel had the idea of creating a live hip-hop show centred around MC Nick Ward, from Little Rock Arkansas and a fellow student at Grinnell College. The dream was an hour-long show featuring old and new music of Nick's with my own special touches. I pulled together a 6 piece ensemble of trumpet, trombone, tenor saxophone/clarinet (myself), guitar, bass, drums, and at at times 3 MCs on stage. Though most of the ensemble was made up of Grinnell students -- many of whom are active musicians still -- we also brought out Malik Flint (twitter.com/youngblackparty) the producer and Nick's collaborator on much of the music I had arranged. After about two weeks of intense rehearsal and more months of arranging and fund-raising the show happened in February 2014. The evening included radio interviews and a panel discussion through the Grinnell College Department of Music. Below is the poster from the event created by Gus Fulgoni.
Broken LIttle Boxes
A collaboration for dance and harp trio created in tandem with choreographer Jana Prager. The project sought to explore issues of sexism and household roles for women during the 1950s in the United States through music and movement. Below is a link to the second performance of the work as part of the Check Us Out Dance Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, New York.