What a year!

All of the composers from Salastina’s Sounds Local concert in April 2019. Don’t we look classy? Believe it or not, we did not coordinate — great minds think alike! Back row, from left to right: Sakari Dixon Vanderveer; Emily Webster-Zuber; Kaitlin Webster-Zuber; Derrick Spiva, Jr.; Juan Pablo Contreras; Peter Knell; Gabrielle Rosse Owens. Taking the selfie: Brian Lauritzen.

2019 was quite an amazing year! I’ve set a personal record for the amount of work that I produced, which means a lot to me since balancing composing along with other work continues to be a challenge over the years. But I am embracing the journey and cherishing progress, not perfection!

I completed six pieces last year, including an orchestra piece, The Castle Upon Crystal Shores, which I had been composing on and off since the spring of 2016. This project was the first work I began to tackle after my unintentional hiatus (called “life”) when I basically stopped writing after graduation minus jotting down a few short lines of ideas here and there that didn’t really grow into anything else. I’m pretty thrilled to have the Buffalo Philharmonic read this piece as part of the American Composers Orchestra Earshot readings at the end of this month!

Here are all of the other works that I finished last year, all of which were performed and/or recorded:

Obsidian, rippled in moonlight, gleams – a piano quintet for the Salastina Music Society

The Enigma of the Twilight Stallion – a multi-level youth orchestra piece for an El Sistema program in San Jacinto, CA

type – an open instrumentation, aleatoric piece for the PHAZE Ensemble (recording and info page coming soon)

hustle – a (traditionally-notated) groovy work for the PHAZE Ensemble

Fire Season a depiction of autumn in SoCal for the Salastina Music Society

Looking forward to all that 2020 has to offer! My next project is a work for flute and guitar for Ciyadh Wells of the Margins Guitar Collective, an organization devoted to commissioning and performing new works for classical guitar. They held their inaugural concert on December 1st of last year. Stay tuned, and subscribe to my newsletter for additional updates!

Cheers!

-Sakari


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