- News and Updates from Alexis C. Lamb - Composer, Percussionist, Educator
- Alexis C. Lamb - Fall 2023 Newsletter
Alexis C. Lamb - Fall 2023 Newsletter
Image description: website logo for Alexis C. Lamb, with the text “Composer // Percussionist // Educator,” surrounded by excerpted squiggles from Alexis’s “Tapestry Series” scores
Happy Fall 2023!
Welcome back to my quarterly newsletter! This summer presented many exciting music opportunities, along with some much-needed time with family, friends, and the occasional fishing trip. This edition offers the latest updates on upcoming performances, Refugia Festival-Ann Arbor, new composition releases, and an album check-in. Thanks again for staying on this journey with me!
Image description: promotional image for PASIC 2023, featuring this year’s education panel. Top row left to right: Joe Moore III, Alexis C. Lamb, Doug Perkins. Bottom row left to right: Louis Raymond-Kolker, Ivan Trevino, Andrea Venet. Photo courtesy of Percussive Arts Society.
Percussive Arts Society International Convention (Indianapolis, IN - November 8-11)
This PASIC will be one to remember! Not just one… not just two… but I have THREE performances/presentations at this upcoming conference!!! More details below:
I’m thrilled to announce that I will be presenting the Education Panel this year, along with my co-presenter, Louis Raymond-Kolker. Together, we curated a panel discussion titled “Building a Sustainable Ecosystem Between Composers, Performers, and Directors.” The panel will take place on Saturday, November 11th at 3 pm EST. Our featured panelists include the dream team of Joe Moore III, Doug Perkins, Ivan Trevino, and Andrea Venet.
In addition to being accepted to present the panel discussion, Indiana University Percussion Ensemble will be premiering a brand new percussion sextet of mine at their Thursday afternoon showcase concert. The piece is called “Lyric Dusk” and is a reflection on the midwestern summer evening soundscape, from cicadas to crickets. Indiana University performs at 2 pm EST on Thursday, November 9th in the Sagamore Ballroom.
Louis Raymond-Kolker gets another shoutout for his acceptance to present on the Combined World Showcase Concert, where he will be performing steel pan solos by Jonathan Scales and Sachelle Thomas as well as my double seconds + tenor solo, “Internal Dialogue.” Louis takes the stage on Thursday, November 9th at 10 am EST.
For those of you attending PASIC this year, I will also be selling sheet music at the Griffith Percussion booth. You can stop by to say hello and check out the newest tunes by Gary Griffith and myself (including copies of “Lyric Dusk”). Hope to see you then!
Michigan Music Teachers Association Conference (Rochester, MI - October 20)
As I mentioned in my first newsletter, I was selected as this year’s commissioned composer for the 2023 Michigan Music Teachers Association Conference and took the opportunity to write a new saxophone quartet called “Reading Seams.” University of Michigan’s own Liminal Quartet will premiere the work on October 20th at Oakland University. This was my first chamber saxophone piece, and I’m already looking forward to the next!
Album Updates: Yes, and… a collection of “percussion plus” solos
Image description: Andy P. Smith recording “Trigon” (drumset and electronics)
Image description: Louis Raymond-Kolker recording “Internal Dialogue” (double seconds and tenor pans)
Image description: logo for cmntx records, white font with charcoal grey background. Image courtesy of cmntxrecords.com.
Yes, and… is going to be on a record label!
Yes, this album has been a long time in the making, taking many unexpected scheduling turns in the process. And… the patience is paying off in ways that I didn’t expect. Yes, and… a collection of “percussion plus” solos will be released in May 2024 on cmntx records! I know I originally thought this could all come together for a June 2023 release, but it has certainly been a learning process for me in taking on such a large-scale project. This timeline gives us the necessary space to accommodate our artists’ travels, finish all tracking, and make sure every sound is at its highest quality. I want to once again thank everyone who contributed to the Indiegogo fundraiser for this album and made all of this possible. Your generosity has meant so much to me, and I cannot wait to share the record with you all. Stay tuned for more updates (including news about a secret bonus track)!
Yes, and… will include performances by Malcolm Taylor, Alyssa Resh, David Degge, Britton-René Collins, Austin Shoupe, Louis Raymond-Kolker, Raychel Taylor, Andy P. Smith, and myself. Engineering by Gavin Ryan, mastering by Melissa Harris Chambers, and now a release on cmntx records!
Refugia Festival Updates
Image description: Refugia Festival logo with sound wave/hill image in shades of red, orange, blue, and green. The text "Refugia Festival” is in black in front of the logo. Logo designed by Alfredo Cabrera
The website for Refugia Festival is officially up and running! Scheduling of performances and education workshops is underway, and I am coordinating regularly with the staff at Nichols Arboretum to ensure that we have a successful pilot event. Keep an eye on the website for updates on Refugia Festival-Ann Arbor (RF-A2) throughout this fall season! RF-A2 takes place on April 20-21, 2024 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
RF-A2 is also seeking funding sources from grants and corporate sponsorships. We are looking for sponsors who align with Refugia Festival’s mission and core values, and we offer various sponsorship levels (and custom packages) with benefits increasing as the level of sponsorship increases. If your business is interested in partnering with RF-A2, or if you know of a company that may be able to help, please contact us here!
This was most certainly a productive summer! While there are still quite a few pieces that are under exclusivity, here is a snapshot of some of the music I have been creating lately that is now publicly available:
Image Description: Alexis offering an introduction before the world premiere of “Pipe Dream,” Source Song Festival, August 11, 2023. Photography by Steven Garcia
“Pipe Dream” - soprano and piano duo (written for the 2023 Source Song Festival)
Program Notes: “Pipe Dream” was written in response to Kurt Weill and Maurice Magre’s art song, “Je ne t’aime pas.” While both songs share a similar storyline of the protagonist finding it difficult to move on emotionally from an ex-lover, our female protagonist in “Pipe Dream” is madly in love with another woman, but that woman is in love with a man and does not know about the protagonist’s feelings. Our singer attempts to cast aside her love, but not without some suffering.
Learn more about “Pipe Dream” and purchase the sheet music here.
Image description: Andy P. Smith recording “Trigon” for the Yes, and… album
“Trigon” - drumset and fixed electronics (commissioned by Andy P. Smith, who also just recorded it for the Yes, and… album!)
Program Notes: Remember that Pythagorean Theorem equation your math teacher made you memorize in middle school? A2 + B2 = C2? Upon my reflections, Pythagoras has been a fascination of mine on several fronts, including for this equation as well as whole-number ratios for just intonation. Trigon incorporates the resultant whole-number combinations of a “Pythagorean triangle” from the Theorem (such as the “3/4/5” triangle) along with plucked string sounds reminiscent of the ancient, triangle-shaped harp by the same name and improvised material from the performer to create a collage of number mappings between the drumset and electronics.
I have made some incredible friends over the years, and I want to feature some of them with each quarterly letter. Cheers, friends, for all that you do!
Image description: Louis and I masked up in November 2021, ready to hear a concert at the University of Michigan
It seemed only fair this time to offer a shout-out to Louis Raymond-Kolker, considering his numerous appearances in this edition of the newsletter! Louis and I first got to know each other while he was in graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and have since collaborated on several projects, including the PASIC panel and Yes, and… album recording! Not only is Louis a phenomenal performer, specializing in steelpan, but his compositions are heartfelt and take the listener in pleasantly unexpected directions almost every time. Take a listen for yourself with Louis’s concertino for double seconds and orchestra, titled “Summer Springs.”
Louis is now teaching at High Point University and Winston-Salem State University, in addition to maintaining a variety of creative projects. Thanks for being such a great pal and inspiring collaborator, Louis, and I’ll see you again at PASIC!