Wendy Richman’s vox*viola project

Singing violist Wendy Richman

My dear friend and collaborator, singing violist Wendy Richman has undertaken a campaign to fund her first solo album, vox*viola. Consisting of pieces for singing violist by Lou Bunk, Christian Carey, Jason Eckardt, Stephen Gorbos, Jose-Luis Hurtado, Everette Minchew, Arlene Sierra, David Smooke, and Ken Uenothe recording will be released via ICE’s TUNDRA imprint on New Focus Recordings

Wendy first premiered my piece, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, a Yeats setting, in 2010 at a show that Kay and I presented at Bushwick Starr Theatre in Brooklyn. I selected the text because it was one of the readings at Kay’s and my wedding. In fact, the composition was a first anniversary present to Kay. It is inscribed:

Dearest Kay,

They say that the proper gift for a first wedding anniversary is paper. I hope you don’t mind that mine includes notes. 

All my love,

C

Wendy has been a true champion of the piece, and has since performed it in Ohio and Alabama. Other champions need mentioning: Mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen and violist John Yuan have performed Cloths of Heaven as a duo and Megan and mezzo-soprano Ellen Broen have also performed a voice-piano version with pianists Graeme Burgan and Jonathan Palmer Lakeland. Megan has even switched roles and performed it in a higher key with a violinist.

 

All of this to say that Wendy’s commission sparked my inspiration, and gave impetus to a piece of mine that has had a larger life than many, and that makes me all the more grateful to her. I am thrilled that she will be recording the piece and am excited by the works that are alongside it on the program; many are by close friends which makes this project feel particularly close-knit. She has made an IndieGoGo page for her funding campaign for the recording. You can check it out here.

 

Performances this week

A couple performances of my work as we move into March.

On Monday, February 27th, singing violist Wendy Richman performed my voice/viola piece “Cloths of Heaven” in Birmingham, Alabama at the Alabama Viola Society’s “Violapalooza” concert at Highlands United Methodist Church. The SoundCloud embed below is of her performance of the piece at Oberlin College in 2016.

Violist Wendy Richman
Violist Wendy Richman
Christ Congregation, Princeton, New Jersey.
Christ Congregation,
Princeton, New Jersey.

On Sunday, March 5th, “Add One More Seat to the Table” will be sung at Christ Congregation in Princeton. It is a hymn that Kay Mitchell and I co-authored. I am grateful to Music Director Joanne Hardgrove and the choir for presenting it during the 10 AM service.

The recording of the hymn embedded below was made by the Wesley Choir of Wesley United Methodist Church in Vienna, VA., directed by Gareth Hayes Bond.