My Awarded Projects
The Poe Project: Embedded and Buried Alive
What might Edgar Allan Poe write if he were alive today? Four inspired writers have answered with two chilling works for the opera stage.Created By: American Lyric Theater (ALT)
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Jeff MyersNew York, NY
The music of Jeff Myers (b.1977) has been called “Striking…and harmonically rich” by the New York Times and “…brilliant and powerful…” by The Classical Voice of New England. He was recently hailed as a “gifted young composer” by New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini for the Fort Worth Opera staging of his opera Buried Alive. Myers’ music has been played by many well known luminaries of the classical music world. His The Angry Birds of Kauai was commissioned, premiered and recorded by Grammy award winning violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Cory Smythe (see ‘In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores’ album). Other notable collaborators/commissioners include New York City Opera (Maren of Vardø at VOX 2011), Beth Morrison Projects, Orchestre National de Lorraine (after Escher), Ann Arbor Symphony (Liberation), New World Symphony (Roaring Fork), University of Michigan Symphonic Band (Organum-Tambura), Transit (Makassar Strait), JACK Quartet (dopamine and Requiem Aeternam), PRISM Quartet (Tidtu), pianist Ralph van Raat (Three Sketches), violinist Yuki Numata Resnick (Metamorphosis, Six Sketches and Kulintang Suite), pipa virtuoso Yang Jing (Turtle and Rat, from her ‘Elements’ album), hornist Laura Klock and tenor William Hite.
He has collaborated with librettist Royce Vavrek on two operas (The Hunger Art and Maren of Vardø) and librettist Quincy Long on a one-act opera (Buried Alive) for American Lyric Theater (premiered at Fargo-Moorhead Opera in 2014). Recent projects have been inspired by island themes. This project–“Book of Islands”–includes E—- (for loadbang ensemble), He mele no kane (for soprano Rachel Schutz and pianist Jon Korth), The Hula-Pa-ipu (for One Quiet Plunge), Wizard Island (for Music in the American Wild), the song cycle Islands of Death (for Duo Cortona), and a new orchestra commission for Gulf Coast Symphony inspired by natural disasters. Myers’ music has been played at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Library of Congress, Disney Concert Hall, Kimmel Center, Darmstadt, Het Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Bard College, Institute for Advanced Study, Le Poisson Rouge and many others at home and abroad. He has received awards from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, and ASCAP, as well as fellowships from the Yale Institute for Musical Theater, Aspen Festival, Tanglewood, Festival Acanthes, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and grants from the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, NYSCA, MetLife, Con Edison, Ivar Mikashoff Foundation, Meir Rimon Foundation, Puffin Foundation and The Fromm Foundation. He served as composition faculty at the University of Hawai‘i in 2011-2012. He holds degrees from University of Michigan, the Eastman School, and San José State University. He currently resides in New York City as a freelance composer and music engraver.
dopamine for string quartet
dopamine was written for the JACK Quartet. It uses scordatura (retuning) and natural harmonics on the all the instruments to obtain precise microtonal notes and chords. The title refers to a hormone and neurotransmitter which occurs in humans and some mammals. Dopamine is typically associated with the pleasure system; people with higher dopamine levels tend to seek out more pleasurable activities and vice versa. Dopamine is also associated with creativity and the generation of new ideas.
Requiem Aeternam for soprano and string quartet
Premiere performance by Rachel Calloway and JACK Quartet at Trinity Church in 2015. Written after the sudden death of my sister-in-law, this requiem explores grief and dying through the lens of several authors (Rumi, Petrarch, Frida Schanz, Henri Michaux, Oscar Wilde) in different musical styles.
The Angry Birds of Kauai
The Angry Birds of Kauai was inspired by the multitudes of birds that squawk and sing in cacophony every morning on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The melodies and gestures imitate the rapid birdsong banter that they accomplish when they call, respond and furiously compete for mates. This work was created specifically for Hilary Hahn’s ‘In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores’ online contest. It was subsequently awarded the Grand Prize and was performed and recorded by Hilary Hahn in 2013. Her ‘encores’ album won a Grammy in 2015.