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Intern Spotlight: Justin Lamb

It’s summer, and that means we’ve been joined by some wonderful interns! Today’s Intern Spotlight shines on Justin Lamb. We were lucky to snag Justin in between his two years at the Eastman School of Music, where he’s now wrapping up a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Justin, and best wishes for finishing school!


Where are you from?

Greenville, SC

What is one thing about yourself that you’d want everyone to know?

I’m an avid fan of napping and waking up very confused, eating so much that it hurts, and Spikeball, but probably not in that order.

Give us a link to something about you.

Here’s a link to a performance video on my YouTube channel and here’s a link to an album full of percussion arrangements of John Psathas music that I took part in while at Furman University with my professor Dr. Omar Carmenates and some other cool cats. You can read more about what I’m up to at my website: jlambmusic.com

What are you up to these days?

Currently entering the second and final year of my MM degree in percussion at Eastman!

 

When did you intern with TCP?

May 28-June 14, 2019

How did you connect with TCP?

I heard about the internship through Andrew Bockman and Noel Holloway who were interns the previous year. The Arts Leadership Program at Eastman helped me connect with Sean.

Did you gain anything from the internship that you’d like to share?

While at TCP, I learned about many different things that are encompassed in the field of arts administration and it’s hard to describe this all in a concise manner here. But, the biggest takeaway was seeing how the group manages the artistic side of their work (rehearsing, performing, working with composers, etc.) with their administrative duties (development, budgeting, planning, booking, etc.). They were all very organized and efficient at what they do. Also, I learned some pretty cool extended techniques using electronic toothbrushes.

What else did you do while interning with TCP?

I went to Andy’s Jazz Club and Kingston Mines, went to a Cubs game at Wrigley, saw an outdoor concert downtown featuring the L&M Duo with live dance and painting (and incidentally met Marc Mellits there as well), went to a ~Nois concert at Constellation, and ate too much food. Also watched season 4 of Black Mirror on Netflix which really messed me up. Oh yeah and the L&M Duo concert was interrupted by ~500 naked bicyclists riding through downtown which was quite amusing.

Did you leave a legacy or mark on the organization that you’re particularly proud of?

I wouldn’t say I left a legacy or mark on the organization per se, but I did create a fairly fleshed out database of percussion quartets by underrepresented composers that will hopefully be helpful in the future for both TCP (and myself).

Favorite memory from the internship?

Colin (studio manager), Thomas (another TCP intern), and I were tasked to build a stand for a giant bell (~300lbs) from Burma. After we finished building the stand, we hung the bell and got to hit it. That moment was quite fulfilling to say the least.

 

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Well I took a cartoon character personality test and got Fred Flintstone…? Yabba-Dabba-Do!

A funny or embarrassing story from the internship? 

Thomas and I were packing up instruments for a recording session the next day with Augusta Read Thomas & TCP at the Symphony Center. We saw a marimba in the middle of the room and just assumed that it needed to be packed up, without really thinking about it. We realized we had one too many marimbas on the truck the next day… whoops. But, everything was okay because TCP was leaving for Notre Dame the following day and would have needed the marimba packed any way. Crisis avoided.

A GIF or YouTube link that sums up your experience with TCP?

This is definitely one of my favorite videos ever. Not entirely related to my experience with TCP, but I did find myself sneezing an abnormal amount while in Chicago.

 


Our intern can experience every part of TCP’s organization, from visiting recording sessions to writing grants and everything in between. If you’re interesting in learning more about an internship with Third Coast, please contact Sean Connors at [email protected].

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Detailed Program Notes for “Currents 2019”: Give Us the Night – Amanda Feery

Amanda’s  Website:  https://www.amanda-feery.com/

Listen to some of her music:

“Pushing Air” – her epic orchestral work

Square Pushers” – vocal quintet for written our pals Quince

Amanda Feery is an Irish composer working with acoustic, electronic, and improvised music. Much of her inspiration comes from literature, folklore, and the natural world. Collaborators include Alarm Will Sound, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Amatis Trio, Crash Ensemble, Ensemble Mise-en, Bearthoven, RTÉ ConTempo Quartet, Chamber Choir Ireland, Mivos Quartet, Dither, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Orkest de Eriprijs, This is How We Fly, Lisa Moore, Michelle O’Rourke, and Paul Roe. Future projects include works for flautist Lina Andonovska, {Trés}, and a collaboration with Irish filmmaker Tadhg O’Sullivan, on a cinematic ode to the moon. She recently completed her doctorate at Princeton University, and now resides in Dublin.

 

Give Us the Night was written for Third Coast Percussion’s Emerging Composers Partnership program. So far, Amanda has traveled the farthest to take part in our partnership, coming all the way from Dublin to workshop ideas with us in our Chicago studio.  Here we are having way too much fun picking out small quirky sounds for what would eventually become Peter’s part:

 

When Amanda first shared some of the ideas for her piece that she wanted to try out with us, she described the experience of walking down a street at night and hearing the muted music of a party going on inside a house or a bar in the distance.  Suddenly, the door swings open as someone enters or exits and you get a brief window into the musical world that otherwise seemed veiled and impenetrable.  We experimented with all sorts of things to try to achieve this effect, including covering drums with towels and then suddenly removing them to change from a muted sound to something more present.

Amanda’s thoughts on the work:

“I imagined Give Us The Night as a short film. We come upon the exterior of an abandoned space where faint remnants of disco patterns begin to filter through. Muddy kicks and corroded bells covered in webs eventually come into focus, and it is revealed that this supposedly abandoned space is teeming with revellers. The inspiration for the piece comes from exploring abandoned nightclub spaces on a U.S. road-trip. I was fascinated by the atmosphere of these spaces. They go beyond existing as a physical space; their walls have stories to tell.

“The piece particularly explores patterns, timbres, and harmonies from early house music, a style that has its origins in Chicago and Detroit. What interests me most about these now defunct spaces, is that they were some of the most inclusive, non-segregated, LGBTQ+-friendly spaces in the U.S. We are losing this in our current underground night-spaces—losing ways of listening and moving, losing a feeling of community in order for these spaces to be replaced by coffee chains, unaffordable apartments, and luxury hotels.”

 

Special thanks to Culture Ireland for their generous support of this project!

 

 

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Detailed Program Notes for “Currents 2019”: Half Light – Taylor Rankin

Check out Half Light by Taylor Rankin performed by the composer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-SWhsOgaiQ

Listen to more of Taylor’s music here: 

http://www.taylorjoshuarankin.com/listen

http://www.taylorjoshuarankin.com/composer-bioworks

Some thoughts about Half Light:

Third Coast got to know composer Taylor Joshua Rankin through Denison University’s TUTTI Festival hosted by our friend Ching-chu Hu, an incredibly unique new music festival in which absolutely ever single composer who has a work on the festival attends and the Denison students performing most of the works have the incredible opportunity of interacting in person with the composer of each piece they are playing. Taylor’s piece Half Light was selected through a very competitive call-for-scores process for TCP to perform on the festival. We became both giant fans Denison, Ching-chu, and Taylor in the same week 🙂 

Taylor is a young, dynamic artist whose work is influenced by American and European minimalism, art-rock, and electronic. Commended by Grammy-award winning Bay Area composer Mason Bates for having “a great ear harmony and texture”, he stands out as an exceptional artist of his craft.  His work has been played by many groups including Friction Quartet, Redshift Ensemble, and the NYU Marimba Ensemble. 

The term minimalist often refers to anything that has been reduced to its essentials. Combined with the artistic compositional techniques of art-rock and the tools of electronic music, Taylor has forged a distinct sound for his work. Aspects of his compositional works like instrumentation and harmonic detail reflect the features of these artistic movements.

Half Light features an extensive use of electronics and sampled sounds. Various samples including the buzzing of cicadas, the sound of rain falling, and differently tuned harmonicas create a sense of immersion into the unique character of the piece. Taylor recommends listening while driving fast or while walking down a wooded trail.  TCP recommends coming to our Currents show on Sunday to hear us open the concert with this jam! 

 

Notes by TCP intern Thomas Levine, June 2019

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Announcing our 2019/20 Emerging Composers Partnership collaborators!

Please join us in congratulating Robyn Jacob and Andys Skordis, the composers selected for our 2019/20 Emerging Composers Partnership! We look forward to collaborating with both Robyn and Andys to create new works by each, which will be premiered next season. Read more about these outstanding music-makers below and click their names above to hear some of their music.

We received 109 applications this year! The remarkable variety and depth of creativity displayed by all of the proposals was truly inspiring, and we have no doubt that adventurous music in our field is alive and well! Thank you to everyone who submitted music and ideas this year.

Applications for the next round of submissions to the Emerging Composers Partnership (projects to be completed in the 2020/21 season) will open on August 1 and will close on October 31, 2019. 

Robyn Jacob is a pianist, singer, composer and educator who lives and works on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver BC). She has been striving for beauty that defies category in Canada and internationally with her avant-pop project Only A Visitor, who released their second full length album Technicolour Education in early 2019. Committed to writing and performing avant-garde music, recent composition projects explore writing for voice and small ensemble, and balancing between the pop and new music realms. As a music educator she believes in discovery through teaching, and learning through discovery, and has taught youth workshops on free improvisation and deep listening.

Since 2012 she has been part of the multi-disciplinary arts collective Publik Secrets, currently artists in residence at the Hadden Park Field House with the City of Vancouver. In 2013 she toured Bali with Gamelan Gita Asmara, and has since been co-directing Gamelan Bike Bike. For four years she was host of The Rib on CiTR 101.9FM, a show dedicated to the dissemination of local experimental musical talent. Robyn has received a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of British Columbia, and has completed three residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She has been teaching music and piano privately for over 10 years.

Andys Skordis is a Cypriot composer, born in Nicosia in 1983. He graduated from Berklee College of Music where he studied composition and film scoring, and pursued his post-graduate studies in composition with Richard Ayres and Wim Henderickx at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. Additionally, he studied Karnatic music with Dr. Rafael Reina and Balinese Gamelan at ISI Denpasar in Bali.

As a composer he finds inspiration in the primordial human nature, which is reflected through a contemporary methodology in his compositions. His recent works find stimulation from ceremonial and mystical happenings from around the world. These incentives are expressed as a representation of a contemporary ritual characterised by tension and mysticism in his music.

Andys has composed music ranging from opera, orchestral and chamber pieces, vocal works, Gamelan, as well as music for theatre, dance and short films. His music has been performed by professional ensembles and amateur groups worldwide, in concert halls and unconventional spaces like quarries, abandoned buildings, temples, floating stages, and so on. Additionally, he has been awarded with various prizes including the Buma Toonzetters Prize, one of the highest composition prizes in The Netherlands, and more.

Besides composing, he is currently teaching Contemporary Music through non Western techniques at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam, as well as other foundations in Europe, Asia and America. Additionally, he is the artistic director of the ensemble Patsiaoura, the music curator for Xarkis Festival and Artists Residency, a founding member of the improvisational ensemble The Brain Masturbation, and a professional collaborator with the Greek National Opera, and is involved in interdisciplinary projects and educational workshops.

Third Coast Percussion’s Emerging Composers Partnership is made possible by Louise K. Smith and the Sargent Family Foundation.

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Intern Spotlight: Charlie Mogen

It’s time for the final Intern Spotlight of 2018, featuring Charlie Mogen! Charlie worked for us in the summer of 2016, and he is now the interim professor of percussion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD. Charlie is also an intern with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series, where we will be performing on Sunday, December 9, featuring music written for us by Philip Glass and Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange). We’ve loved working with him again in preparation for our show. Find out more and get tickets here! Thanks for all your work, Charlie, and we’ll see you soon!

ABOUT YOU

Where are you from?

Sioux Falls, SD

What is one thing about yourself that you want everyone to know?

I’m generally a very easygoing person but will physically fight anybody who doesn’t think a hot dog is a sandwich.

A link to something about you (website, video, post, etc.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qTJW5Ethdo&t

This project is a few years old, but I’m still proud of how the lighting/multi-angle cameras worked out. Really dig a nice multi-media production!

What are you up to these days?

I’m the interim professor of percussion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, working for Kate Nordstrum and the SPCO’s Liquid Music Series in St. Paul, MN, and slinging coffee on the weekends. Trying to figure out my next step but feeling good about my passions and prospects!

ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP

When did you intern with TCP?

Summer 2016

How did you connect with TCP?

I had the opportunity to work with Mathew Duvall (8BB’s percussionist) the summer before at Chosen Vale, we hit it off, and I asked him about any ways to intern for/get involved with the group. I was fortunate enough to get an internship with them that also included working with TCP– the rest is history.

Did you gain anything from the internship that you’d like to share?

I was extremely impressed with how organized the “business” aspect of the group was; no group member ever hesitated to do the nitty-gritty work necessary for a well-oiled musical machine.

What else did you do while you were interning?

Other than the work with Eighth Blackbird and a single (glorious, hi Ben!) day working with Ensemble Dal Niente, I spent a good chunk of time practicing (I’m also a percussionist), got to see a few shows (Florence and My Brightest Diamond were highlights), had the opportunity to premiere a Brian Chase piece with Make Music Chicago, and ate my fair share of tacos (I lived around the block from a late-night shop in Pilsen).

Did you leave a legacy or mark on the organization that you’re particularly proud of?

My summer with the group marked an early step the Grammy nomination process, so I like to tell my friends (facetiously, of course) that I had a direct hand in TCP winning the award the following spring.

Favorite memory?

A board member hosted a shindig in her beautiful Arts District apartment after a concert one summer evening. Great food, wine, and conversation were had.

SILLY THINGS

A GIF or YouTube link that sums up your experience with TCP?

https://i.imgur.com/40IkkYH.gifv

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Probably Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants

A funny or embarrassing story from the internship?

My fellow intern (Michael Goodman) and I were tasked with putting together “scratch pads” for an Emerging Composer event with Danny Clay and we somehow managed to approach it as inefficiently as possible. I think we spent three or four hours trekking around town buying sandpaper, plastic cups, tongue depressors, etc for what amounted to an arts and crafts project. Why we didn’t just go to the nearest big-box store I have no idea.


You can intern for Third Coast Percussion any time of year! For more information about internships, contact Sean Connors: [email protected]. Happy holidays, everyone!

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