Elisabeth and I created this blog to share each step of our Emerging Voices Project. I thought I would kick things off with the story of how we got started:
I moved to NYC over a year ago and Elisabeth, who was already living here, asked me if I wanted to do more duo work with her. We had performed two pieces by Lori Laitman ("I Never Saw Another Butterfly" and "Living in the Body") while studying at the Peabody Conservatory and performing in our experimental chamber group No Signal. Elisabeth and I quickly decided to commission a few pieces, throw in one of Laitman's works, and make a CD.
After months of off and on planning we decided to get serious and set a deadline of Summer 2011. We needed to choose a theme to tie everything together and inspire the composers. Elisabeth really took lead here and suggested using Laitman's "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" as a starting off point. The texts (and title) used in this piece come from a collection of art and poetry under the same name, written by Jewish children who lived in the concentration camp Theresienstadt. We decided to ask the composers to write music based on the themes of loss of innocence and childhood.
Now we needed to pick out the composers to commission. We limited ourselves to 3 composers so that all of the music would fit on one CD and we'd have a reasonable budget. It was hard to narrow it down to just three (believe me there's plenty of composers we wanted to include, in fact if we raise more money I'd like to add on a few "bonus" composers). In the end we asked Kathleen Bader, George Lam, and Adam Knauss if they would write for us. They all said yes and we were starting to get really excited about the project!
Since then we have been getting ready to kickoff a fundraising drive for the project. We struggled with project names for a few weeks, including a few awful ideas, before settling on the Emerging Voices Project. We spent a Sunday afternoon in Central Park taking press photos. We booked a kickoff concert in Plymouth, MA on December 19th (full details in another post). We're planning a masterclass on contemporary music at Duxbury High School (my home town!). And we hope to get the project on Kickstarter in December.
Ok that's plenty for one post. If you read all the way through you get a special badge!