Our Creative Residencies provide composers with protected time for composing and with studio space in quiet, spacious settings. The residencies are awarded through a process of nomination by organizations participating in the annual festival and review by rotating panels of artists from our Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, and Distinguished Mentors Council.
The program launched in November 2014 in partnership with The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which provides residency accommodations at their historic estate in New York's Hudson Valley. In 2015 the Composers Now-Pocantico partnership expanded to include artists sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council in collaboration with Composers Now artists. Also in 2015, Composers Now added a residency opportunity to the program via collaboration with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, offering awarded composers a six-week residency at the Foundation's 15th-century castle in rural Umbria, Italy.
"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.
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.
"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
Week I: November 6-12, 2017
Includes Artist Salon
Erica Lindsay's compositional work ranges from those for solo instruments to orchestral works, as well as a substantial catalog of quartet to septet jazz compositions. Royal Stokes of the Jazz Times has called her "...a player of enormous gifts and a composer and arranger of striking ability." Nat Hentof has cited her compositions as "characterized by an invigorating clarity of form and direction." And, Thomas Conrad on reviewing her first recording, Dreamer, stated: "Erica Lindsay composes and arranges pieces with clear emotional center that still open evocative spaces for improvisers."
Lindsay's compositions have most recently been recorded by The Alchemy Sound Project (Further Explorations, and soon to be released, Adventures in Time and Space), The Jeff Siegel Quartet/Sextet (Live in Europe, King of Xhosa), Sumi Tonooka/Erica Lindsay Quartet (Initiation) and the Erica Lindsay Quartet (Yes, Dreamer). Two of her chamber works recently premiered by the Da Capo Chamber Players (Further Explorations, 2nd Ed. and Dance #1 for Solo Bass Clarinet) as well as readings with the American Composers Orchestra (Inner Dialogues) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Mantra - Variations for Drum Set and Orchestra). She has written scores for two off-Broadway plays (Carl Hancock-Rux's Song of Sad Young Men and John Carter's Feed the Beast) and a television theme, Tales from the Darkside.
Lindsay has worked extensively as a tenor saxophonist, including performances with Melba Liston, McCoy Tyner, Clifford Jordon, Howard Johnson, Baikida Carroll, and Oliver Lake. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Bard College where she teaches jazz composition, arranging, and improvisation.
Wangjia Zhaxi, 28, is a dance artist, choreographer, and dance educator from Tibet who is currently based in Beijing. Mr. Zhaxi was trained in Tibetan and Chinese traditional dance at Minzu University of China, where he received his bachelor's degree in 2009. In the same year, he joined Beijing LDTX, one of China's most innovative modern dance companies. Mr. Zhaxi began making his own choreography in 2012 when he created the work Quiet Place for Beijing LDTX. His artistic inspiration stems from his deep sense of nostalgia for his homeland, his reflections on his own identity, and his belief in an innate connection between humans and nature. Seeking an opportunity to deepen his craft as a dancer and choreographer, Mr. Zhaxi has applied for an ACC fellowship to spend an extended period of time in New York, where he hopes to learn from leading contemporary dance companies and practitioners while observing the latest developments in the field.
Week II: November 13-19, 2017
Includes Artist Salon
Žibuoklė Martinaitytė: "Even though her works may at first appear colorful and extravagant, in reality, they are full of existential pathos... Like an illusionist, the composer crafts an inner space filled with high tension controlled by her alone. Then one becomes the prisoner of the author, sometimes forced to float in that inner space between reality and transcendental states".(VivaVoce Magazine, 2008)
Described by WQXR as a "textural magician", Žibuoklė Martinaitytė is a New York-based Lithuanian composer whose works explore the tensions and longings of identity and place. She creates sonic environments where musical gestures emerge and disappear within transparencies and densities of sound layers. It's music that slides on the very blades of emotions.
Ms. Martinaitytė's A Thousand Doors To The World was commissioned by the Lithuanian Radio to celebrate Vilnius being named the Culture Capital of Europe in 2009. The premiere was broadcast by Euroradio to an audience of 4 million. Her US commissions include the MATA, Look & Listen, and Other Minds festivals as well as the Barlow Endowment. Žibuoklė has received residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Aaron Copland House, the Millay Colony, Harvestworks, Djerassi, and the Cité des Arts (Paris). Her recent projects include an hour-long multimedia piece "In Search of Lost Beauty," scored for piano trio, electronics, and video projections. The work invites audiences to suspend our everyday hectic worlds—to be more fully present and human.
Ami Yamasaki is a vocalist and cross-media artist from Tokyo. With primal vocals and movement, Yamasaki explores the relationship between us and our universe. Her art explores a fundamental question: "How does the world construct itself?" For her, the asking of this question is a love letter to life itself, more important than any answers that it yields. As a vocalist, Yamasaki has collaborated with psychedelic rock icon Keiji Haino, provided original music for choreographer Makoto Matsushima, and appeared in "Burning Shadow of a Man" directed by Yasunori Ikunishi.
She creates installations, performance pieces, and directs films. In 2011 Yamasaki was invited to New York by the Reanimation Library and Proteus Gowanus to participate in the opening of their Migration exhibition. She created a site-specific piece comprised of thousands of white paper feathers that cover the interior in vortex-like patterns. Yamasaki sings as she works, and the patterns she creates are a direct response to acoustic feedback she receives as each feather she applies alters the dynamics of the space. She sings, pastes, listens, and—in her own words—"little by little, the space begins to make its own music."
Jin Hi Kim, composer and komungo player
Ji Chao, librettist
Aruán Ortiz, composer, pianist and violist
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.