In summer of 2016, we traversed nearly 5000 miles spending time sharing our music and exploring the world. Our travels took us through Germany, Belgium, England, Scotland, and the United States.
First, UK welcomed us in June on the rocky beaches of Brighton, England. Our concert at the Unitarian Church was filled with fans old and new, and our gratitude goes to the Brighton College for all their help with equipment and instruments.
We swiftly made our way to Chichester for our second visit, where we spent an awesome week amongst friends and excursions, most notably to Arundel Castle (driving...) and to West Whittering (biking...16 miles!). The view of Atlantic shoreline to us seemed worthy of a Tarkovskian establishment shot - the south of England brings us more joy with each visit.
Finally, it was time for our first concert in Glasgow - thanks to many friends who helped us. We performed Lash, Ligeti, Lang, Gunn and Kapustin at the St. Stephen's Church on Bath Street. With a nice visit at the Botanical Gardens and a beer at the pub, it was time to fly back to the States.
Yale School of Music's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Attending the New Music Workshop run by Yale University was unforgettable. Our time there was passed with amazing new friends, privileged coachings by musicians like Martin Bresnik and Lisa Moore, fun food experiences thanks to chef Jim, and various discoveries with the eminent Julian Pellicano. Finally, we had the chance to play some Hannah Lash, Aaron Jay Kernis and David Lang for the composers themselves. We also premiered new works by younger composers: Zara Ali, Matthew Recio, Corey Dundee and Lisa Cheeney. Below is a video we created of Chris Salvito's solo performance of the work by David Lang that he performed for both Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the tour in Europe; as well, there is an image of the Music Shed in which we performed during the festival.
Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology's Hill House Residency
In August, faithful to the duo's mission, we were tried with the challenge of combining two unlikely worlds: Kapustin's music and the American Midwest.
These two weeks in residence at the Hill House in Mancelona, MI have been a unique opportunity, and we must warmly thank Ben Mapes, Yvonne Stephens, Brad and Amanda Kik, Doug Bedell and all the Crosshatch Program staff. Brad and Amanda believe that art can still exist in the wilderness; they believe the artists they left behind in Los Angeles could be brought into their new lives in rural Michigan through a residency program; and they believe that the environment there nurtures creativity and introspection. In the middle of the woods, out of the grasp of society, we have created two videos featuring the music of Nikolai Kapustin: Burlesque and Nearly Waltz. These two miniatures were originally written for piano and cello, but we enjoyed arranging them for our instruments.
It hasn't just been hard work: we have spent a lot of time looking at stars, getting comfortable with the darkness, kayaking, and wandering further and further West, wondering about the type of life we want to live and where the Duo will go from here. In fact, after the residency we drove as far west as we could, and we were constantly reminded of Josiah Bushnell Grinnell's words on Horace Greeley:
"Go West, young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away from our crowds of idlers and imbeciles. That, I said, is very frank advice, but it is medicine easier given than taken. It is a wide country but I do not know just where to go."