One year ago today I went on stage in the Kasser Theatre at Montclair State University in New Jersey to perform Barstow by Harry Partch. I was joined on stage by Jonathan Evers, Devon Yasamune Toyotomi, Liam Sheehy, and Mike Deering. Barstow was performed that evening alongside several other works for Harry’s instruments. This was the final performance on the original set of instruments at Montclair before they were moved to University of Washington last November. For many years I had dreamed of performing Harry’s music, and this performance was an amazing opportunity and experience. Although I am glad that the instruments are at a supportive institution, I am sad that I can’t just hop on a train to enjoy their presence. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to perform Barstow and other works by Harry again in the future.
I received word yesterday that the composer and pianist David Ward-Steinman has died. Dr. Ward-Steinman was a teacher of mine at San Diego State University and one of the first people who encouraged me to compose music. My first memories of him was walking into his office and showing him some early, early works of mine (works I’d never let anyone know about today). “The fugue is better than the prelude,” he said before urging me to submit them both in my portfolio for entrance into SDSU’s composition program.
Today the news broke that Furious 7 raked in over $380 million worldwide during its opening weekend. When I first heard that Universal Pictures would be making a seventh film in the series during Superbowl IL (I had forgotten that Paul Walker had died in an automobile accident back in 2013 when the movie was still in production), my immediate reaction to the trailer was to start laughing. When a film series reaches part seven, I expect only the worst.