New work for orchestra by Gabriella Smith for Kaleidoscope
The Latest Update
Review in San Francisco Classical Voice
Performing Hexacorallia was a blast! Thank you to New Music USA for making this project possible.
Our January 22, 2019 performance at Pasadena City College’s Westerbeck Recital Hall was reviewed by Ben Kutner of the San Francisco Classical Voice! On the program were also Kaija Saariaho’s Sept Papillons, Chiayu Hsu’s Taiwan Miniatures, and Bartók’s Divertimento. Please find the review HERE.
Hexacorallia has a name
Hexacorallia (the name for the new piece) is off to a great start! If you’re curious about the first few bars, see the attached music and mp3.
We have notified Gabriella Smith about the award, and she she couldn’t wait to start! “I was so excited that I ended up writing 4 minutes of music for the piece yesterday even though I have a deadline in a few days for a different piece that I really should have been working on instead,” said Gabriella in response to the news. Sound clips will be coming as the work develops.
As part of Kaleidoscope’s 5th season (2018-2019), we will give the world premiere of a new work for orchestra by Gabriella Smith. In the words of the composer:
This will be a single-movement 30-minute work for a chamber orchestra of 30 musicians, one on a part, inspired by and roughly following the structure and trajectory of a dawn chorus, each instrument acting as a vital component of an imaginary ecosystem. This subject is particularly compelling to me not only because of my personal love of dawn choruses, but because of their use as indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem health: sound gives us access to a much bigger picture and deeper layer of understanding of what is going on around us than simply what we can see. The piece will be both a celebration of biodiversity and also a requiem for the the astonishing fall in biodiversity worthy of a mass extinction accompanying homo sapiens’ rise and spread across the globe (the anthropocene). With this project, I hope to both create a beautiful work of art inspired by structures in the natural world as well as engage the public by encouraging them to confront our collective impact and legacy.
We have performed two works already by Gabriella Smith and we’re very excited to continue our collaboration with her by commissioning a new work for us. Gabriella plans to finish this piece by the end of 2018, and we plan to perform it in the winter or spring of 2019. Her work will have three initial public performances in Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles, and at a homeless shelter in South LA. Our final performance will be professionally audio and video recorded, to share with wider audiences and encourage future performances by other orchestras. All of our public performances are free or donation based, so there is no financial barrier for anyone with any of the music we perform. This allows us to reach new and more diverse audiences who often can’t afford to attend classical concerts with traditional high ticket prices. Although a recent survey of professional orchestras in the US found that approximately 98% of the music being performed is by dead-white-men, over half of the music we programed in our 4th season (2017-2018), is by women composers and composers of color. In addition to performing the great works of the past, we feel it is equally important to continue performing and commissioning works by great living composers as much as possible. Having discovered Gabriella’s music through our 2017 call for scores, which received almost 1800 applications from composers in over 50 countries, we feel her music is some of the most original and exciting being written today. We are very excited to continue working with her and greatly appreciate New Music USA for considering supporting our work together!
Brandenburg Interstices was commissioned by the 2012 Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival as a companion piece for Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto. As a way of paying homage, I tried to incorporate Bach as naturally as possible into my wide range of other musical influences (from minimalism to blues, American folk music, Ligeti, and Xenakis, among others). I envisioned a piece that would celebrate the way in which Bach has inspired me as well as demonstrate the connections I see between Bach and my other influences.
This video is from the final performance of Kaleidoscope’s 2016-2017 season, with the west coast premiere of Kolmanskop. In the words of composer Will Healy:
“This piece is written in memory of my teacher, Steven Stucky. He and I had many discussions about the time, loss and what that meant in music, and those sections took on new meaning after his death. I want to thank him, as well as John Corigliano, Samuel Adler, and Harold Meltzer for their guidance on the piece.”
This video is from a Kickstarter we held in January 2017, which raised $73,683 from 484 people. This was the 4th highest grossing Kickstarter in the history of classical music projects and it allowed us to partially fund our 3rd season, which included 12 premieres chosen from our 2016 call for scores.
Start and End Dates
01/01/2019 — 05/31/2019
Los Angeles, California