It's been far too long since I updated this blog, since I've been busy with a lot of music! I'll condense it all as much as I can.
I think where I left off was in Russia this summer. After that, I travelled to Austria to Hotel Pupik. Pupik is an artist community in the Austrian Alps near the ruins of a castle. Hans and Eli from Newspeak, Helen, Justine, and I all travelled together. Each was coming from a different place (Japan, Germany, England, Madagascar, and Russia respectively), but we met up to pick wild mushrooms and do a joint performance. While there, we were hugely impressed by the beautiful music and art that the Pupik family produces.
After that, I travelled back to the US after 15 weeks out of the country and returned to Yale. Newspeak (now peopled by Eli on trumpet, Hans on bass, Griffin on drums, and myself on piano) began this academic year with a mission: to compose music and develop a new sound.
To do so, we travelled to Vermont in October and stayed with friends from Pupik and Eli's family. We rehearsed for hours a day and jammed with many local musicians from the Middlebury area. Special thanks go to Ron, who provided us with a wonderful rehearsal space at his house and provided me with an organ to play :)
In addition to hiking and kayaking, we wrote a series of pieces and then performed them at a local restaurant. After playing through our new songs, we opened up to a free jam session with our hosts and other friends. I even played accordina!
Then, in November, we performed these pieces at the Yale University Art Gallery. The concert, which was called "Gallery+ Newspeak" took place in the modern ceramics exhibition. We took the beautiful artwork (which included ceramic work by Ken Price and painting by Rothko) as a muse to construct musical forms based on visual art. We played all original compositions and improvisations, which included a piece I wrote inspired by Soviet history.
Following the concert, we recorded two of these pieces (Outer Space and Softie) at Yale's Sprague studio. Special thanks to Ale for running the recording and mixing the tracks. Stay tuned for the final mixes!
I'm getting back into singing and writing lyrics, so stay tuned for some samples as well.