The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of musical adventures. Yesterday, we tracked my string arrangements for singer/songwriter Clinton Curtis' next album in the beautiful St. George's Episcopal Chapel in Manhattan- I can't wait for people to hear this music... the songs are super deep, and Clinton gave me free rein to be creative with my writing. I was checking out a lot of Haydn, Bjork, and Randy Newman to prepare, and worked very hard on the music. I also recently recorded some duet improvisations with bassist (and pie-maker) extraordinaire Aryeh Kobrinsky that he intends to release in some form or another. I wrote a new clarinet duet that Aaron Irwin and I will record- Aaron actually gave me the idea to make a whole book of duets... we'll see where that goes! Recent gigs with Dustin Carlson, Bette Smith, a musical production of "Caroline, or Change," and more have been reminding me of why I moved to NYC in the first place. I'm so happy to be making diverse music with colleagues from so many backgrounds, challenging me to be open-minded, flexible... and practice more!
On that note, I have been practicing soprano saxophone more than anything else because tomorrow I'm leaving for London to kick off a seven-week tour with Mark Morris Dance Company's newest production, a ballet called "Pepperland" by one of my biggest heroes, Ethan Iverson. The touring band is so ridiculously great- Ethan on piano, Rob Schwimmer on theremin, Colin Fowler on harpsichord, Jacob Garchik on trombone, and Vinnie Sperazza on drum set. Needless to say, I'm honored (and a bit nervous) to be involved! Ethan's score is hard to describe (I really hope there will be a recording in the future so you can hear it). The source material is the classic Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," but the aesthetic is kind of baroque classical meets dixieland meets avant-garde improvisation meets tongue-in-cheek-Stravinskian-dissonance.