Sunday, May 26, 2019

UKSUS CD out now

 Buy it!

The UKSUS CD is officially out today, available in all your favorite places, digital and physical. For you who still live in this world, I would encourage buying the object itself, a beautiful hardbound book with CD enclosed, designed by Karen Johnson. And the performers, they who bring the magic: Bryan Nies conducting, the vocally resplendent (Opera News) Laura Bohn and powerful Nikola Printz, the handsome and extravagantly transgressive tenor (Los Angeles Times) Timur Bekbosunov, Bob Ernst!, and the ensembles from the US and Austria. 

Who can forget Richard Klammer singing the Divan Song (included on the CD), here accompanying scenes from the cast featured on the CD: 

A feverish mashup of artistic and political history, commentary on vinegar and meatballs, and non sequiturs, all set to Wold’s tangy, versatile score (San Francisco Chronicle), it combines the stories of Daniil Kharms and the OBERIU with equally absurd scenes from his life in Stalin's Soviet Union. 

What is amazing about the OBERIU is that, while living in abject fear and panic under Stalin, they laughed and laughed and laughed, loved wordplay and nonsense, rejoiced in absurdity, and held onto that love and joy and laughter to very end, to their ambiguous deaths in custody of The State, the secret police, the NKVD.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

How to write music

As a composer of the day, I'm often asked by others who are envisioning a career in composition how it is done, and I typically tell them sorry, but the consanguinity of composers is a guild with many secrets. However, here I am once again on Zug 132 heading out of Pordenone, feisty and wanting to throw some carnavalean confetti of cautions to the wind so here it is, a simple flowchart to guide your new and exciting life adventure:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Rattensturm at the Little Roxie

>>> Tickets here <<< 

American premiere!  Introduced by Rattensturm composer Erling Wold.

RATTENSTURM is the latest opera by local composer Erling Wold (Certitude and Joy, A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, Queer, UKSUS), commissioned by the Klagenfurter Ensemble for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, with a libretto by Austrian writer and director Peter Wagner.  This concert film was shot over the run of sold-out shows and captures the intimate, powerful performances of Nadine Zeintl and her fellow war-loving rats, screaming and singing in delight of the gut-exploding carnage.

At the beginning of June 1918 the SMS Szent István, the splendor and pride of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, sets sail on its maiden voyage to break through the defenses at the Strait of Otranto. She had had only a few practice runs, and her crew had spent its time polishing the brand-new engines, scrubbing the decks, and putting on fat.  In their haste, they forget to open the submarine barricades, they fail to sail under cover of night, and the wet coal gives off a plume of smoke. Spotted by an Italian torpedo boat, the Szent István dies an ignominious death in an already pointless war, the tragic but inevitable outcome of the contemporary feelings of duty, sacrifice, honor, and a willing subjugation to the leaders.

Watch the trailer here:

Directed by Peter Wagner, music by Erling Wold, design by Manfred Bockelmann.  Featuring Sebastian A. M. Brummer, Martin Ganthaler, Michaela Khom, Angie Mautz, Marilene Novak, Michael Uhlir & Nadine Zeintl.  Alexei Kornienko conducting the Collegium Musicum Carinthia. 99 min. In German with English subtitles. Digital.

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