Students without Sleep

Tomorrow night my string quartet Concord Spiral is being premiered by Contemporaneous, the remarkable new-music ensemble of Bard students run by Dylan Mattingly and David Bloom that’s not connected with Bard, they just do it. They give several concerts a year here, and tour from Hudson to NYC. This concert’s at 8 PM at the Bard Chapel, and also includes world premieres by Ryan Chase and William Zuckerman.

And I’m still on a high from my residency at Central Michigan University, who on Tuesday presented the best-performed one-composer concert of my music I’ve ever had. It was nice being back in the midwest, the vibe less snobbish, the students more eager to learn – though perhaps one can’t generalize just from CMU. It’s a subject for when I have time to write more, which I may not for a few more weeks.



  1. Alex Marté says

    This post reminded me of errata I had meant to list back in your Sept. 26 post for both “Concord Spiral” and “Hudson Spiral”. Since the premiere of “Concord Spiral” is tomorrow, I hope I’m not being presumptuous in doing this!

    Concord Spiral:

    m. 34 – viola should have a slur from the F to the G
    m. 41 – 2nd violin should have an A-flat, not an A (same goes for m. 46 – viola should have a B-flat, not a B; m. 51 – cello should have a C, not a C-sharp)
    m. 61 – 2nd violin’s and viola’s first beat shouldn’t have the staccato-tenuto; beat 4 should. (same goes for viola and cello in m. 67, and cello in m. 72)
    m. 69 – viola and cello have a staccato-tenuto added to beat 4, when it didn’t appear before in the 1st and 2nd violins.

    Hudson Spiral:

    m. 84 – 1st violin’s whole note A-flat should be a dotted half note, followed by a quarter rest, then the quarter note.
    m. 105 – viola is missing the staccato-tenuto on beat 5
    m. 122 – 2nd violin is missing the slur and staccato-tenuto on beat 5, and the slur on beat 4 of the next bar.
    m. 146 – slurs in viola, 2nd violin, and 1st violin are not supposed to be there (slur wasn’t in cello statement)

    KG replies: Thanks for the help! I can’t imagine what your motivation was. In your second correction in Concord, though, it’s m. 41 that’s in error, not the others.

    • Alex Marté says

      Well, the spiral concept intrigued me so much, I immediately put both of them into my notation software so I could hear them. I have tried my own hand at it, using the raga Shivaranjani.

      About “Concord”, you’re absolutely right. I mistakenly put in a G-flat for the last triplet in m. 36 for the 1st violin, so when I did the transposition in the consecutive statements, those respective notes were screwed up. What’s still in error in m. 41, though? Seems like if you ignore my mistake in m. 36 for the 1st violin, the notes are fine the way they are in your score.

      KG replies: I meant the error is in m. 36, the first occurrence.

      • Alex Marté says

        Gotcha. What was the error?

        KG replies: The Gb in m. 36 is the error. It should have been G.

        • Alex Marté says

          Yeah, the G is in your score. So, my mistake I acknowledged in the second comment box was what you were talking about. Man, I hate conversing like this. Anyway… good thing the only errors in “Concord” had to do with articulation.

          Hope the performance goes well!

  2. says

    Extremely excited to premiere “Concord Spiral” tonight Kyle!

    Also should mention, we are repeating this show in Woodstock at 7:00 PM at the Colony Café the next night, Saturday April 2nd, for anybody looking to come but who can’t make it tonight.

    @Alex, thanks for the notes, we’ll fix that A flat!

    Nobody should miss this premiere, I can say first hand that the piece is absolutely fantastic!

    Thanks for the kind words and life-changing music, Kyle!

  3. says

    There’s a lot of really interesting new music happening at Midwest schools, as evidenced by groups like the GVSU ensemble. I look forward to hearing more about your experience in Central Michigan.