Hans Tutschku’s nighttime songs from afar

An excerpt from my review of Tutschku’s two-night concert series at Music and Literature: “Beneath the tension between machine and human in Tutschku’s compositions lies a confrontation of human with human—something we rarely admit is more uncomfortable and uncertain than the cool steel against flesh that nighttime songs from afar makes explicit. Next to friends and facing strangers on the Turrell’s squared marble benches, the audience held camaraderie while the work unfolded layer after layer of new experience.” Read it in its entirety here.

ATLAS

Ever since getting my hands on a very bad video of its world premiere here in Houston in 1991, I have dreamed of seeing Meredith Monk’s opera ATLAS for myself. Imagine my joy, then, when I saw that the LA Philharmonic will be reviving it at the end of their season in June 2019. What is a year, when I feel I’ve been waiting a lifetime.

ENGL 397: Capturing Music at Rice

I’m teaching a course this semester on music, writing, and culture in Houston, sponsored by the wonderful Humanities Research Center here at Rice University. After four concerts and five excellent guest speakers, the course culminated with a visit from The New Yorker’s Alex Ross last week. You can read about it on the English department website if you like, but in summary, it was a brilliant visit full of Catherisms, Wagnerisms and other favorite things.

And for the last concert of the semester, Ars Lyrica’s “Italian Sirens,” my students competed in a writing competition hosted by ALH. You can read the winning piece on ALH’s website.

Hurricane Harvey

Yesterday I saw blue sky for the first time in days, and it was a moment of relief, but Harvey will be lingering in Houston for years to come. Among the many traumatic images and stories of suffering, my thoughts are with the Houston Theater District–Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, the Alley–that has experienced devastating flooding and loss. It’s a massive blow to our rich, artistic community.

Frank Morgan, comeback legend

At the MFAH this weekend, Sound of Redemption, a documentary about jazz legend Frank Morgan, is making its Houston premiere. His story is about great music as much as it is about overcoming great odds. I had the pleasure of speaking with his sister, Angela, in an interview you can read at Houstonia Magazine.