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a veil of liquid diamonds

Castle of our Skins highlights the legacy of Jeffrey Mumford in its inaugural "Black Composer Concert Series."

The Latest Update

Jeffrey speaks to students at The Boston Conservatory

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Student tickets are discounted to $10 for tomorrow’s a veil of liquid diamonds performance, 7:30pm at Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center.

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COOS in the NEWS!

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

“If you’re more curious about each other, maybe you’re more tolerant of each other and there’s greater social harmony. Maybe that’s too lofty, but I hope that people come away with a greater appreciation, and then translate that into their daily interactions.”


Read the full article in the BOSTON GLOBE here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2016/09/21/creating-spotlight-for-black-composers/IlGiFm6PoVWIicXnfCJLxN/story.html

Composer Gratitude

Posted on September 16, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

A message from Anthony Green, composer-in-residence of Castle of our Skins:

When Ashleigh Gordon and I started Castle of our Skins, we were embarrassed when we realized how many Black composers we did not know. Composers such as Alvin Singleton, Valerie Capers, Olly Wilson, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Eleanor Alberga, and many others were composers that never came across our collective experiences. And this is where the state of Classical music is at today. Ashe and I grew up performing and studying Classical music in some of the best schools in the USA. Additionally, I am an avid concert-goer, averaging at least 5 concerts and recitals a month during my studies. Yet – despite quality of music, contributions to music, and a myriad of accomplishments – the music and lives of Black composers are typically not studied along with their non-Black counterparts, and soloists and ensembles often overlook the works of Black composers in their programming. On an educational level, name a class that discusses thematic transformation in the work “Troubled Water” by Margaret Bonds, or the use of serialism in the works of Ed Bland. Furthermore, tell me a course that discusses American composers that also includes Black composers? Perhaps they exist, but they are too few. And besides Castle of our Skins and its members, please name 10 soloists and ensembles whose season includes a work by a Black composer?

With that said, the discovery of the life and music of Jeffrey Mumford was truly a soul-soothing gift for Ashleigh and me. On a personal level, I immediately wished that I could have come across Mr. Mumford and his work earlier in my studies. But as the saying goes, “better late than never.” Since reaching out to him, he has been such a mentor and help to us. In a recent interview, he encouraged the current and next generation of African-American and Black composers and performers around the world to create a community and be a voice for change. With Castle of our Skins, Ashleigh and I are doing just that. It is our honor to have our future portrait concert feature the complex, atmospheric compositions of one of our biggest advocates and mentors, Jeffrey Mumford.

In short, thank you, Mr. Mumford, for all of your work and everything that you do. You are truly an inspiration, and I hope that I can one day inspire future generations of composers in the way that you have done!

(Please also read 5 Questions to Jeffrey Mumford on the I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Blog!)

We’re excited!

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Hear us 9/24 and join in the excitement!

Tix/dets: www.CastleSkins.org


Sound Energy in action

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Sound Energy Trio (minus one) working hard on Jeffrey Mumford’s “8 aspects of appreciation” duo. Don’t miss out on the performance, 9/24 at Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center. More info: www.CastleSkins.org

Press Release

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Get ready for COOS’s “a veil of liquid diamonds” concert 9/24 in Boston! Press Release

Hot off the press!

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Sound the alarms and spread the news! a veil of liquid diamonds is coming to Boston next month!

Music is In!

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Castle of our Skins Concert Series

Excited to have received all the scores for our September 24th Jeffrey Mumford portrait concert in Boston! Even more excited to get underway at learning them this weekend at our Sound Energy retreat in Tanglewood. 


At the heart of what Castle of our Skins  – COOS for short – does is education: educating young audiences about Black history; educating a multigenerational and multicultural community about Black culture; educating any and everyone we can get our hands on about the achievements Black artists have contributed (and continue to contribute) today. COOS is about fostering cultural curiosity and celebrating Black artistry through music. We intend to do just that with our inaugural “Black Composer Concert Series” featuring the kaleidoscopic works of Jeffrey Mumford.

Rich in color, depth and sonic variety, the music of Jeffrey Mumford is simultaneously dense and transparent. An evening’s length of music will reveal the subtleties and complexities of his writing. Highlighting his extensive string repertoire, the program will feature solo and chamber works with the composer’s very presence an added bonus into his unique world of sound and color.

The program will include:

eight aspects of appreciation II (2001) for violin + cello

revisiting variazioni elegiaci (2001) for viola solo

in soft echoes . . . a world awaits  (2008) string trio

8 musings revisiting memories (2005) violin solo

a veil of liquid diamonds (1999) string quartet

Project Media

in soft echoes…a world awaits
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Select movements recorded by Sound Energy (www.Sound-Energy.org) string trio (Micah Ringham, violin; Ashleigh Gordon, viola; Ben Swartz, viola). Sound Energy will perform “in soft echoes…a world awaits” along with other Jeffrey Mumford string solo and chamber works as part of this inaugural Black Composer Portrait concert series.

Coleridge Taylor Perkinson’s “Calvary” String Quartet No. 1, Mov’t 3
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Performed live by members of the COOS Collective: Castle of our Skins’ flexible chamber ensemble.

Violist Ashleigh Gordon will perform Mumford’s solo viola work “revisiting variazioni elegiaci” as well as chamber works with collaborating artists of both Sound Energy and the COOS Collective as part of this inaugural Black Composer Portrait concert series.

****Music begins at minute 00:50****

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Jeffrey Mumford’s “wending” performed by violist Wendy Richman, is a prime example of Mumford’s ability to create a rich palette of color with a single instrument. While this work will not be performed in this inaugural series, his solo viola work “revisiting variazioni elegiaci” will by violist Ashleigh Gordon.

Start and End Dates



Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center, Boston, Massachusetts

9 updates
Last update on September 23, 2016

Project Created By

Boston, Massachusetts
Born out of the desire to foster cultural curiosity, Castle of our Skins celebrates black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, Castle of our Skins invites exploration into black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present.  Castle of our Skins (COOS) designs interactive educational programs examining different aspects and figures in black…

In Collaboration With

Oberlin, Ohio
Associate Artistic Director, Castle of our Skins
Artistic Director, Castle of our Skins
Boston, Massachusetts
Performing Ensemble
Boston, Massachusetts


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