On 10, May 2018 | In News | By joel
A terrific and well-deserved review in today’s Washington Post for ModernMedieval Trio Of Voices, and all of us living composers, including my latest piece All Things Are Set Ablaze!
“The largest, most ambitious work was Joel Phillip Friedman’s “All Things Are Set Ablaze,” during which the singers accompanied themselves on triangle, drum and tambourine, providing an earthy undergirding for more abstract elements in a diverse yet cohesive work of considerable power.”
The review HERE.
I’m pleased to announce TWO World Premieres with the National Chamber Ensemble! 1st my “fierce little viola piece” When The World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes debuts… as a violin piece thanks to virtuoso & NCE Artistic Director Leo Sushansky. Next will be the premiere of a new trio arrangement (clarinet, piano, and percussion) of the popular 2nd movement from my piece Elastic Band “Pure Happenchance,” created specially for Leo’s ensemble. “Pure Happenchance” will feature clarinet star Julian Milkis, the only student and protege of jazz great Benny Goodman, stellar local pianist Carlos Cesar Rodriguez, and Leland Nakamura, drums. The program also includes works by Claude Bolling and Sam Post.
What do you get if you mix 1 composer (Joel Phillip Friedman) with 1 stellar vocal trio (ModernMedieval Trio Of Voices) with 1 prescient mystic, visionary, and polymath (Hildegard von Bingen) in 1 storied museum (National Museum of Women In the Arts)? 1 very special program – The Living Word – featuring works by Hildegard herself, Caroline Shaw, Caleb Burhans, Daniel Thomas Davis, Jaqueline Horner-Kwiatek, and the world premiere of my All Things Are Set Ablaze! The program is repeated the following night, May 10th, at the Virginia Arts Festival. Here’s my description of the piece:
“I imagine a modern Hildegard von Bingen, rising up and returning to tell us “you have lost your way and face destruction, listen to me now…or face the consequences.” She warns, in her own words: “All Things Are Set Ablaze… From Me!” My invented Hildegard is a mixture of the real and prescient woman of many enormous talents and startling visions, Wagner’s Valkyriewarrior Brünnhilde, the future prophesying Oracle of Delphi, and perhaps even a badass Wonder Woman. Most of the words I set are Hildegard’s own, in English translations by Medieval Latin scholars Nathaniel Campbell and Barbara Newman. If Hildegard’s writings initially had…a slightly different context… they do speak with potent currency today. I have added some non-Hildegard text: short cautionary Latin fragments (e.g. “Monitum… Praedictum… Ignifer… Audi me” – “A warning… Foretelling…Fire-bearing… Listen to me!), as well as, fittingly, a single line from Wagner’s opera Die Walküre– the famous Valkyrie war cry (“Hojotoho! hojotoho! heiaha! Heiaha!”). If Hildegard were to return today I imagine she would identify with Brünnhilde and join her singing those spirited words! You will hear All Things Are Set Ablazestarting at its middle, slower section. The opening music returns at the end, so you will get to hear some of that. The work has been trimmed to be proportional with the rest of the program.”
On April 24th I returned to my old workplace Swarthmore College – where I was Visiting Associate Professor from 2002-2006 – to be a guest lecturer in my dear friend Dr. Barbara Milewski’s 20th Century Seminar. The talk “Revolution in April: The Beatles, April 6, 1966″ was a deep dive into the the landmark session that initiated the historic recording of Tomorrow Never Knows on the Revolver Album. We discussed:
- World music
- Spirituality, LSD & the Counterculture
- The European Avant-garde
I had a wonderful time doing my annual Beatles’ Intensive at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program the weekend of April 7-8! Great seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and digging DEEP into tech and how it influenced their songwriting and recordings. What a blast! This was a totally new class WSP 74 Revolution: The Beatles’ Innovative Studio Years (1965–1967). A splendid time was guaranteed for all!
The week has finally arrived! Come here some of the most gifted young string players in the world during the 2018 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players (JIC). Out of nearly 200 applicants from 16 countries, 30 semi-finalists ranging in age from 14 to 17 were chosen to compete for $67,000 in prize money in Washington, DC. Semi-finalists are citizens of Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. And, all the semi-finalists will be playing my new piece Johansen. Judges for the 2018 JIC are world-renowned musicians: violinist Chee-Yun, violist Timothy Deighton, and cellist Peter Stumpf. Collaborative pianists are the renowned artists Akira Eguchi and Eri Kang.
Public events, are free and open to the public, and will take place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 15–17, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Semi-Finals are on Thursday and Friday and Finals are on Saturday. Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street, NW (8th and H Streets), near the Chinatown/Gallery Place Metro. www.fmmcfoundation.org
On 30, Jan 2018 | In News | By joel
I had a very productive time at the Hermitage Artists Retreat mid-December finishing All Things Are Set Ablaze which was commissioned by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek for her new ensemble ModernMedieval Trio of Voices (Martha Cluver & Eliza Bagg, sopranos; Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo-soprano) and is based on the writings of famed German abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath Hildegard von Bingen. Wonderful fellow artists, fantastic staff, and a lovely locale made all of the hard work… easy. Sort of. I’m looking forward to my next stay at Hermitage!
On 05, Dec 2017 | In News | By joel
Tomorrow night (8 pm) my *very* short, whimsical 2 piano piece “Habits & Collars” will be premiered by Catholic University faculty Ivo L. Kalchev & Francesca T. Hurst on a concert featuring a complete performance of Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood), Op 15 for solo piano, alongside Scenes from Catholic University, a newly-composed set of pieces by students and faculty of the composition division and themed around familiar vignettes from the campus of The Catholic University of America. It’ll be a fun evening! Reception to follow in the lower lobby. Free and open to the public.
Please call 202-319-5414 or email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Ward Hall, 620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington D.C.