Composers Now began the Creative Residencies initiative to provide composers with access to the invaluable resources of time, space, and inspiring natural surroundings. Composers Now Creative Residencies are awarded through a careful nomination process open to organizations that have participated in the annual festival, and a jury process by rotating panels from our Board of Directors, Board of Advisors and Distinguished Mentors Council.
The initiative launched with great success in November 2014 as a collaborative program between Composers Now and the Pocantico Center, with Mari Kimura and Aruán Ortiz as the first awarded composers. In 2015, the Pocantico residencies expanded to include artistic collaborations through the Asian Cultural Council. Creative Residents Jin Hi Kim and Peter Van Zandt Lane were partnered with Chinese librettist Ji Chao and Brooklyn-based choreographer Kate Ladenheim, respectively. In 2016, Composers Now selected Tonia Ko and Sasha Zamler-Carhart as the two Creative Residents at the Pocantico Center. Their artistic collaborators through the ACC are composer Yasuno Miyauchi and choreographer Thanh Phuong Ngo, respectively. The jury were members of the Composers Now Board of Advisors and Distinguished Mentors Council, Steven Burke, Rufus Reid and Dalit Warshaw.
The Composers Now Creative Residencies initiative expanded in 2015 when the Civitella Ranieri Foundation invited Composers Now to create an Affiliated Fellowship. Composers Now selected Jane Rigler and Darcy James Argue as the first composer awardees. Each composer receives a six-week residency at the Foundation's center in the Umbria region of Italy in addition to travel, room and board. Residencies will take place in 2016 and 2017. The alternates during this first round of Affiliated Fellowships at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation are Miho Hazama and Tatiana Catanzaro. The jury were members of the Composers Now Board of Advisors and Distinguished Mentors Council Eve Beglarian, Gustavo Casenave and Donal Fox.
"Civitella Ranieri has a long tradition of Affiliated Fellowships, but this is our first exclusively dedicated to music and composition. We look forward to the candidates Composers Now will identify, and to welcoming them to Civitella in the coming years."
- Dana Prescott, Executive Director, Civitella Ranieri Foundation
Jane Rigler is a composer, flutist, educator and producer. Her compositions include solo acoustic pieces inspired by language to complex interactive electronic works that pay homage to communities, language and the sounds of the environment, whether they be the natural world, animals or people and machines. Her work, While You Sleep, is a documentation CD that includes a sound installation made at the Chihan'an Art Project residency in Ohito, Japan in 2013. Her book, The Vocalization of the Flute, demonstrates new and ancient methods of singing-while-playing the flute. Her latest CD, Rarefactions, was released in fall 2015 on the Neuma Records label. During a Harvestworks residency, also in 2015, she created an interactive piece in collaboration with composer Elizabeth Hoffman.
Read Jane's reflections on her time at Civitella Ranieri:
"There are no words to express how deeply appreciative I am for this time, this magic place, this gift of integrity. The sounds, the textures, the light, the flavors, the camaraderie filled my days with a new sense of hope that we can all support each other's artistic vision to create a more harmonious world for all."
Darcy James Argue is a Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based jazz composer and bandleader. He is best known for his work with his 18-piece ensemble, Secret Society, with which he has released two GRAMMY-nominated albums and toured nationally and internationally. Argue has received commissions from the Danish Big Band, The West Point Jazz Knights, The Jazz Gallery and the Jerome Foundation, and fellowships from New Music USA and the MacDowell Colony, among others. In addition to Secret Society, he has composed works for chamber duo and string quartet, art songs for Newspeak and created arrangements for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His CDs are available on the New Amsterdam Records label.
Miho Hazama, originally from Tokyo, is a New York-based composer, arranger and pianist. She draws on many different musical sources to create her own highly distinctive, original voice. Her debut CD, Journey to Journey, scored for a 13-piece chamber orchestra, was released to great acclaim in 2012. In 2015, Miho received the BMI Foundation's 16th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Award, and her second CD was released on the Sunnyside Records label, following a launch concert at the Jazz Standard.
Born in Brazil, the music of composer Tatiana Catanzaro has been played at the best known Brazilian festivals including Festival Música Nova and Bienal de Música Contemporânea do Rio de Janeiro, and in France at the Royaumont and Acenthes Festivals and by ensembles including Itinéraire and Alternance. She received a Commande d'État from the French Government and her music is available on CDs by Projeto Petrobrás in Brazil.
Located in a fifteenth century castle in the Umbria region of Italy, Civitella Ranieri Center is a workplace for international composers, writers, and visual artists. Since 1995, Civitella has hosted more than six hundred Fellows and Director's Guests. In keeping with the spirit of its founder, Ursula Corning, and the tradition of hospitality and support for the arts that she established at the castle, the center enables its Fellows to pursue their work and to exchange ideas in a unique and inspiring setting. Resident composers have included Pauline Oliveros, Martin Bresnick, Everett Bradley, Chen Yi and Gabriela Ortiz.
"The Pocantico Center is a magical, auspicious, contemplative, joyous, and productive place to be creative. The culmination of my work with Composers Now and Asian Cultural Council has impacted on my creativity beyond my own expectations. Through their connection I collaborated with a new artist I had never met in my life and yet produced an amazing new project together."
- Jin Hi Kim, 2015 Composers Now Creative Resident at the Pocantico Center
Sasha Zamler-Carhart is a French composer, singer, and early music scholar. The Italian musicologist Andrea Friggi called his work "zany, strange, austere medieval American French music," and Toulouse-based Radio Mon Pais declared "he walks in the footsteps of Olivier Messiaen." Much of Zamler-Carhart's output involves long works with religious themes. He has written several operas and currently is exploring film as a new medium. Sasha is the singer and founder of the New York-based experimental Byzantine jazz improvisation trio Zamler-Carhart/Rauh/Greenberg and has recorded two CDs of medieval music with Netherlands-based Ascoli Ensemble of which he also serves as artistic director. Zamler-Carhart was a professor of medieval music and Latin at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague.
Sasha Zamler-Carhart will collaborate with choreographer Thanh Phuong Ngo during the residency. Thanh Phuong Ngo is an enormously talented choreographer and dance artist poised to have a substantial impact on the field of contemporary dance in Vietnam. Phuong grew up in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in a family of ballet artists and Vietnamese traditional dancers. In 2004, she was introduced to modern and contemporary dance when she received a scholarship to attend the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany. Phuong returned to Vietnam in 2008 after receiving her M.A. in choreography and toured briefly with the Paris-based choreographer Ea Sola's ensemble. In 2010, she joined Arabesque, HCMC's leading contemporary dance group and found Open Stage Project. Since then, Phuong has seized every possible opportunity to stretch intellectually and further her development as an artist. In 2012, she received the Best Choreography award at the International Modern Dance competition in Korea. She has had the chance to work in Japan, Singapore, Korea, and Cleveland, Ohio. Recipient of a 2016 6-month grant from the Asian Cultural Council (ACC), she began her stay in the US as a participant in the International Choreographers Residency Program at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina.
Watch their video here.
The music of Tonia Ko has been described as "stunningly smart" and "experiment-gone-right" (New Haven Independent). Reviewing a new work for solo piano, a New York Times critic stated "her captivating score plays musical games of sound and color." Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ko's work has been performance by the New York Youth Symphony, Flux Quartet, New Morse Code, orkest de ereprijs, Eastman Wind Ensemble and at festivals including nief-norf, Aspen, Tanglewood and Santa Fe Chamber Music. Tonia has received recognition from BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Copland House. Her parallel explorations in visual arts have inspired interdisciplinary projects, including work for bubble wrap entitled Breath, Contained and a musical for Perry Chiu Experimental Theatre. Ko is currently a doctoral candidate at Cornell University and Composer-in-Residence with Young Concert Artists.
During the residency, Tonia Ko will collaborate with composer Yasuno Miyauchi, a highly original composer whose music takes as its inspiration the human body, traditional music, and a range of elements from the natural world. After studying classical and modern music composition at Tokyo Gakugei University, Ms. Miyauchi went on to study media art, computer music, and algorithmic composition at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Gifu, Japan. Over time, she has developed a unique composition and performance style that allows her performers' interactions with each other and with the audience to guide the outcome of each performance. She is the founder and artistic director of Tsumugine, an all-female performance group active in many theaters and alternative spaces. Ms. Miyauchi is strongly influenced by the pioneering work of Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros. She is a recipient of a 2016 6-month grant from the ACC.
Watch their video here.
Jin Hi Kim is an internationally acclaimed innovative komungo (Korean 4th century fretted board zither) virtuoso and a Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition. Kim has performed as a komungo soloist in her own compositions at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art, Asia Society (NYC), Royal Festival Hall (London), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and around the world. The New York Times described a work of hers as "a gorgeously tactile piece that moved easily between an earthy folksiness and meditative refinement". She has received commissions from the American Composers Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and many others. Ms. Kim co-designed the world's only electric komungo and she creates live interactive performance pieces for the electric komungo via MIDI foot pedal control of a custom MAX/MSP program. One of these works, Digital Buddha, was featured in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the USA, including a recent performance at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
During the residency, Ms. Kim will collaborate with Chinese librettist Ji Chao of the Asian Cultural Council. Mr. Ji is a classically-trained Chinese opera librettist and playwright based in Beijing. He earned his M.A. in theater from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA) in 2014. Mr. Ji's work as a playwright and librettist often involves the difficult task of adapting classical repertoire from Chinese opera and theater into a more accessible format relevant to contemporary audiences. His most recent collaborative production in the U.S. was Paradise Interrupted, which had its world premiere at the Spoleto Festival in May 2015.
Peter Van Zandt Lane composes for wind ensemble, orchestra and chamber ensembles, often utilizing electronics alongside traditional instruments. His music has forged a unique style that is as much influenced by electronica and rock as it is connected to the traditions of modernism and minimalism. His recent ballet, HackPolitik (available now on Innova Records), was dubbed a New York Times Critic's Pick and hailed and "angular, jarring, and sophisticated . . . very compelling . . . ballet needs live music, and this one offered it at the highest level" by The Boston Musical Intelligencer. He has recently been commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the Emory Wind Ensemble, Transient Canvas and the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony. In Fall 2015, he will take up a post as Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Georgia Hodgson School of Music and Director of the Dancz Center for New Music.
Peter Van Zandt Lane will collaborate with New York-based choreographer Kate Ladenheim during the residency. Kate Ladenheim (BFA The Boston Conservatory) is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of The People Movers. She is known for creating work that is socially, politically, and culturally relevant, as well as structured, witty, and human; her work has been praised as "stunning... an interplay of oppositions... pure, unbounded physicality meeting intricate, balletic delicacy" (The Dance Enthusiast). Kate is a 2014-2015 Leimay Fellow, and the winner of the Rider University Emerging Choreographer Competition. Kate is also the founder and producer of CRAWL, a multidisciplinary, nomadic arts presenting series based in New York City.
Mari Kimura is widely admired as the inventor of "Subharmonics" and has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras including the Tokyo and Hamburg Symphonies. Her works for interactive computer and collaborations with IRCAM in Paris have won grants such as the Guggenheim Fellowship and Fromm Commission. In 2013, she inaugurated a new summer program as the Director of "Future Music Lab" at the Atlantic Music Festival and teaches Interactive Computer Music Performance at The Juilliard School. She created the interactive audio/video work Breuer Vivant during her 2014 Composers Now Creative Residency.
Aruán Ortiz has been recognized in DownBeat Magazine as "one of the most versatile and exciting pianists of his generation." Also known as a violist, he is admired for his ability to incorporate influences from classical music, Afro-Cuban rhythms and improvisation. He has written pieces for orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups and feature films. Currently recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award 2014, Aruán has produced the Music & Architecture monthly concert series in New York City, featuring some of the most forward-thinking, creative improvisers on the jazz scene.
The Pocantico Center is the venue for conferences and meetings on critical issues related to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's mission. It also serves as a community resource and offers public access through a visitation program, lectures, and cultural events, as well as support to artists and arts organizations in the greater New York City area. The RBF's stewardship of the Pocantico Historic Area includes overseeing the maintenance, care, conservation, and restoration of the historic buildings, gardens, and collections of decorative and fine art. Located 20 miles north of Manhattan in the Pocantico Historic Area, The Pocantico Center is managed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of its agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.