Tag: residencies

Road From Heiligenstadt: A Composer’s Perspective on Surviving COVID

A masked Dalit in Forest Hills (October 2020)

I had just spent a joyous half-hour at the piano with my son, introducing to him the score of Beethoven’s First Symphony. It was a rare moment, when I was actually able to forget my now habitual caution, so necessary since the resurgence of my symptoms this past October: the need to weigh each word, to assess the value of every conversation, to allot the days of rest necessary to prepare for that next class, or Zoom meeting, or phone interview. For one brief half-hour, I was able to simply revel in the moment of allowing my voice to follow the dictates of my mind. My health was improving, as I had been on vocal rest the whole previous month: my chest pain upon speaking, a raw, knife-like soreness so singular to this virus, was waning, as were the low-grade fevers and debilitating chronic fatigue that accompanied it. But then, the familiar burn reared its head once again.

On April 4, 2020, I was diagnosed with COVID-19. I began exhibiting symptoms on March 26, and started my self-isolation at home before moving elsewhere, to maintain the health of my husband and son after they tested negative. This was before it was determined that infectiousness ends after 11 days: as my symptoms were not abating, to ensure my family’s complete safety, I remained away in quarantine for over four weeks.

This virus affects everyone differently; there can be no presumptions about what to expect. Upon diagnosis, it is futile to then neatly pencil 2-3 weeks into one’s calendar for recovery, scheduling life to resume as planned once the aforementioned time limit is hit. This disease does not answer to deadlines: it lingers, even for those fortunate enough to exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, not extreme enough for medical facilities to help. We were so fortunate to even procure tests, as none were available in the early stages of the pandemic. We were able to locate a private doctor who traveled to people’s homes to administer them, for the sum equivalent of a 13-week seminar’s pay.

I am aware that in certain ways I was blessed. Blessed with options. Blessed with the most beautiful-spirited and loving husband and son, without whom I could not have endured this: my Angels. Blessed that the virus, initially headed toward my lungs in the more dangerous “inflammatory phase” of the second week, then “seemed to change its mind,” in the words of my doctor, although—while an initial X-ray showed clear lungs—a subsequent CT chest scan revealed that they had indeed been affected.

At first, medical presumption held that my experience would be relatively light, and my symptoms were indeed mild. As for self-isolation, composers are generally quite comfortable with this status quo, even to the point of seeking it out, and so I decided to take the Romantic view: I had just been granted an unexpected artist residency! To my new quarters I brought two large pads of manuscript paper and pencils, with which to explore the beginnings of a new work, inspired by Beethoven. The piece, conceived the previous summer at MacDowell before the pandemic even began, would be an exploration of how infirmity might paradoxically inspire and enable one’s creative need. It would illustrate how isolation, induced by both society and self, could breed a passionate, yearning love for humanity, and a fierce drive to enable and universalize communication and connection through one’s art.

The following convergence of events were most likely serendipity. (That said, I do wonder if we as creators—especially at the earliest stages of writing—tend to invoke these paranormal occurrences, rendering every gift provided by the universe as creatively meaningful, no matter how trivial!) From the outset, I marveled at how my experience seemed to match Beethoven’s in certain ways. We were both exploring ideas in complete silence (not least as my temporary residence had no piano). We were both handicapped in such a way that alienated us from basic human communication: Beethoven with his encroaching deafness, I with my increasing difficulty in breathing and speaking without pain. On my first day in quarantine, I was practically certain that Beethoven’s spirit, over in Elysium, had mandated an unforeseen 12-hour break in Internet service, to ensure that I was truly internalizing his own silence! This was followed by a hail storm later that day, which began just as the “Tempest” Sonata—the very work Beethoven had completed before writing his famed “Heiligenstadt Testament”— resounded from a radio in the next room. Isolation seemed to heighten my awareness and appreciation of these mundane incidents, and the need to conjure whatever spirits necessary not only to feed my art, but to lend poetic value to an otherwise sad and pointless experience; they struck me as a heavenly gift.

But then, I entered a new, unforeseen “inflammatory stage,” far more dangerous, which I was told could last 2-4 weeks. Apparently, while improvement was possible, one also could experience setbacks, or “plateaus.” I was prescribed hydroxychloroquine, cautioned that a significant side effect could be vision loss, a terror for any composer. I elected not to take it, skeptical yet rattled by the public unfolding of Boris Johnson’s own bout with the virus, which landed him in the ICU on a ventilator after he had refused the drug.

My place of convalescence, while comfortable, was unfamiliar, and could only be reached via a steep and narrow staircase and a series of doors. In retrospect, the way into the apartment from the street entrance was not very long, but due to my vulnerable state, which included dizziness and vertigo, it seemed overwhelmingly labyrinthine. At night, as I tossed—ever-cognizant of my state of breathing even in half-sleep—I had visions of medics unable to reach me, should any emergency arise, as I would be too physically weak to toss them the keys to these various doors from my window. The prospect of losing the ability to breathe while completely alone was terrifying. I found myself h thinking of those suffering from AIDS, during the early days of the epidemic when there was so much confusion, helplessness, and fear. It was also not difficult to imagine that grim awareness of those elderly or already with pre-conditions, who find themselves being wheeled to the hospital, in complete isolation, everyone around them masked and bedecked in astronautical gear, their loved ones unable to be near them. I realized that, in addition to the actual physical havoc wrought by the virus, this was a disease of loneliness.

I went “there,” perhaps inevitably as, at this time of world-wide fear and foreboding, along with the relentless telling of somber stories, it was impossible not to. I allowed myself to imagine the various predicaments that earlier composers had faced at the end, each in their mid-forties, each an idol and inspiration: Scriabin at age 43, accidentally nicking himself during what would become his last, deadly shave; Berg, aged 46, attempting to ignore the inconvenient festering of an eventually fatal insect bite… First, the incredulity — how silly, to fall ill over such a trifle! Surely our spirits are more powerful and transcendent than this, and must prevail? Then, after a rallying of fierce determination and hope, the gradual sobering. The daze of disbelief. And, finally, the pained horror, and clarity, of… “This is it.” Submission.

I wonder if, whenever one must reconcile with such fate, there is an irony. The irony of details, that this is, after all, the way it ends: a bed, a lonely room, the lack of touch, the struggle to speak, to breathe. Or, there is another more existential irony, perhaps akin to what Haydn had felt, as he wistfully mused about how then, only then, did he truly begin to comprehend writing for woodwinds.

My husband was my Knight. He would visit me each day, masked and at a distance, delivering nourishing home-cooked dinners in Tupperware. My quarters were near enough that he and my son could take daily walks to visit, calling up to me beneath my window so that we could view each other unmasked. While they maintained brave demeanors, their eyes bespoke such sadness.

My ultimate salvation was music. It was especially important to return to those native energies that had so fueled my original creative impetus, especially as there were few other pastimes that could deeply transport me for which I had energy. In particular, I had the pleasure of listening to the latest CD collection of the great thereminist Clara Rockmore, entitled Music and Memories, which features interviews and newly unearthed, astonishingly profound performances: the most notable (to my mind) are her second movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, which she plays in dialogue with herself via overdubbing, and her rendition of the Franck Sonata, both violin and cello versions combined, due to the scope of the theremin’s range. To be brought so close to Clara, one of my dearest, most profound mentors and inspirations as a musician, through her music, her lilting voice, her grace, felt to me like a resurrection or visitation, a centering, a true gift.

By June, I seemed to have recovered fully, and I enjoyed the summer and early autumn months in a state of restored health. In the ensuing months, I grasped at the blessings and even the silver linings: after all, didn’t Tolstoy claim that “illness can liberate the power of the spirit in us”? I relished every precious moment at home with my dearest ones (what paradox, that hardship can enable beauty to be experienced all the more vividly!), and welcomed a rigorous teaching schedule at the two institutions where I serve on composition faculty. In those particular days of national unrest, it was a joy and a blessing to dissociate from it all through work with my students. Every composer-professor can doubtlessly relate to the tug-of-war of energies that arises as one must balance not only time and mental space, but also the constant shifts in the way one engages with the world. (I’ve noticed, too, that teaching and composing can be unexpectedly symbiotic.) That said, convening with my students – all excellent, particularly focused and inspired – was a true balm for the spirit.

Dalit at the Piano

First premiere post-Covid: “Resurrection,” from Different Loves, at the Cell, presented by Bright Shiny Things. Sept. 9, 2020.

But then, in October, the symptoms returned, causing lecturing to be especially difficult. Each two-hour seminar seemed an Olympian feat, prompting bouts of chest pain, severe fatigue and low fevers that would last as long as 36 hours, and demanding days of recuperation. At the time, the syndrome of “long COVID”—or any awareness that there might be a long-term impact from the virus—had not yet been discovered, although COVID survivors whose onset of illness began before April 2020 (who term themselves online as “Long Haul COVID Fighters”) were describing dismaying symptoms of relapse at the seven-month marker. By November, it had come to the point where I stayed silent except for when teaching my classes. To my own family I would whisper, until I learned that doing so causes more strain. Every occasion to speak was accompanied by the prospect of danger, the dread that the chest pain will return. Increasingly, I would teach via email correspondence, and a composer colleague was on-hand for any last-minute substitution, which was increasingly necessary. I had a podcast interview scheduled, and then a pre-concert talk, that month: preparing for each necessitated a week’s vocal rest. I felt in quarantine within my own physical being.

Communicating through music, therefore, was truly my sustenance. Music has the capacity to penetrate and surmount the limitations of spoken language, a reason why I am addicted to writing it and exploring its endless capacity for emotional wisdom (all-too-often revealing and teaching new significances to the composer during, and long after, the process).

I noticed how, as a composer with a propensity for introversion, it was not very difficult to cocoon back into the safety of one’s interior existence. The repertoire I gravitated toward brought about unexpected discoveries of light. I rediscovered Liszt, specifically his Consolations and the Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses for solo piano, surprised at the spiritual depth and capacity for simplicity in both works. I loved the freedom with which Liszt alluded to liturgical texts within the piano line, almost as an invisible voice, and the joy with which he conjured different composers such as Beethoven and Palestrina; I also heard him foreshadowing Wagner, not just spiritually but in structural scope. I reconnected with Schubert, Faure, Messiaen, and both Schumanns, feeling myself able to access each composer’s spirit and intent in newly intimate ways as I myself experienced their music through ears, fingers, and mind: I was sure that the Consolations were written by Liszt as consolation for himself. I believe that one of the miracles of being a creator is to be endowed with the gift of healing oneself from within: one’s music, in the most ideal of scenarios, can take others—and the composer—through an emotional journey, even to catharsis when necessary.

So what sort of music does one write during a pandemic, and during the course of such an experience? I can liken my recent creative impulses to those I had in the year following 9/11. Some weeks after the Twin Towers fell, I flew to Israel on a Fulbright Scholarship. It was a time and place particularly rife with turmoil. At times, I found myself unsettlingly close in proximity to the latest calamity, and was also—as it happens—battling a chronic illness.

  • As for self-isolation, I decided to take the Romantic view: I had just been granted an unexpected artist residency!

    Dalit Warshaw
  • Communicating through music was truly my sustenance.

    Dalit Warshaw
  • One of the miracles of being a creator is to be endowed with the gift of healing oneself from within.

    Dalit Warshaw
  • To function as a composer in our era and society, an essential requirement—one not much mentioned—is that of basic physical health.

    Dalit Warhsaw

Did my music express tragedy? Not at all: I ended up composing works of fierce, defiant celebration, of deep and ecstatic joy. I believe that the act of composition was the most profound medicine, providing me with an overwhelming strength and invincible energy, and provoking an intense liberation of voice, tremendous self-discovery and reconnection with something deeply intuitive and visceral.

I realized, back in 2001, something I have been reacquainted with now: that Music—creating it, playing it, receiving it any way that it may be experienced—is the ultimate antidote. It is our lifeline, our “best friend,” the ultimate expression and reflection of our souls, of the best of ourselves. And then, there is the beautiful irony that what arises from the most internal and vulnerable place within us then serves to reach others, crossing barriers of language, culture, and politics, reaching people as individuals and embracing them in communal understanding and togetherness… at least for a moment.

On the academic front, this past year’s experience has brought me uncomfortably in touch with the precariousness of the adjunct professor’s—and, indeed, the freelance artist’s—lifestyle. Having taught composition full-time at a reputable conservatory in Boston for ten years, in 2011 I had relocated to my native New York for the sake of both my musical and family life, carving for myself an active and multifaceted identity as a composer, academic, and performer (on both piano and theremin), and teaching composition at multiple institutions, along with an independent studio of private students. At the two institutions where I am currently on faculty, my students, colleagues, and department chairs could not be more understanding, flexible, and sympathetic, and for that I have been deeply grateful. That said, I discovered that there are no options in place for adjunct faculty when catastrophe hits, such as the need for paid medical leave, even during our current crisis: the system is simply not set up for such situations. To function as a composer in our era and society, an essential requirement—one not much mentioned—is that of basic physical health. One must have banks of energy in reserve supply, a surplus, and there is no room for illness in this equation. In the absence of a full-time academic position that would allow for a more flexible teaching load and manner, it occurs to me that there are so few alternatives for composers—aside from receiving a sizable grant or a large orchestra or opera commission—that don’t mandate the regular use of one’s voice.

At the time of this writing, I have mostly recovered. After some months of being able to rest my voice, my fatigue has now ebbed. Each day yields improvement, thanks to a regimen of rest, patience, an altered lifestyle, voice healing work, and a seemingly beneficial bout of Prednisone. I am lucky to have basically avoided the characteristic “brain-fog” and work as I can, passionately, while parenting a gifted sixth-grader who needs my nurturing, guidance, and energy. Composing has sustained me, kept me joyful, idealistic, and sane. This March, practically one year after my initial diagnosis, I will return to a limited amount of online teaching, and am increasingly confident I will be able to do so. With the onset of spring, I am filled with renewed hope and anticipation.

Virtual Premiere of Different Loves, A Cycle of Classical Portraits (2020-21) by Dalit Warshaw
Composed from Jan. 2020 to Jan. 2021, Different Loves explores the seven Classical Greek Loves through this seven-movement cycle of musical portraits. From friendship, to family devotion, to altruistic love, to Eros, we are taken on a journey through the spectrum of human emotion and experience, culminating in intimate and reflective self-love. The undertaking of composing and performing this work served as a spiritual antidote to the challenges of this somber time.

Artist Residencies: All Costs Considered

Perhaps the question we get most often from other artists and musicians is: “How do you make all of this financially feasible?” From our perspective, we’re more shocked so many artists and musicians make ends meet in cities where rent prices are high, and opportunities to stay out and spend money are ubiquitous. Here’s the best advice we can give on making it work: it might involve some small sacrifices along the way (translatable into a “consume less” mindset), but we’ve found our life moving from residency to residency to be inexpensive and artistically fulfilling.

We apply to all kinds of artist residencies—those that provide stipends, those that provide in-kind accommodation, and those that ask modest fees. We’re not dismissive of any of these categories of opportunities, as we take into account every aspect of the financial situation. From the cost of the residency itself, travel to the location, and the general cost of living in the country, many factors weigh in. Occasionally, we’ll run into a residency that is very expensive compared to the general cost of living in its location. As we can’t justify for ourselves those expenses, these are the only residencies that we categorically avoid.

One great resource for comparing the general cost of living for travelers is numbeo.com. The website provides continuously updated information about the cost of various items in any location, and lets you compare them to other cities. Using this, we can estimate how much we might spend on food and anything else we might need during our residency.

Perhaps we are early adopters of something that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago.

Several factors will increase the affordability of a residency. Longer residencies are typically more affordable, as the cost to travel to and from a location might be the most expensive piece of the puzzle. But lately we’re more focused on longer residencies also because we leave more deeply connected to the communities we were a part of.

It’s rare to find a residency that will pay for your travel; although there are plenty with stipends, we’ve only ever applied to one that provided travel. This is why planning residencies so that you’re moving the shortest distance is very advantageous. After being invited for one residency, consider applying to other interesting opportunities that are nearby, as traveling to those will be significantly cheaper. Beyond minimizing the distances, it goes without saying to consider all the travel options early in advance when prices are at their lowest.

It is worth mentioning that we don’t pay a phone bill; when we need to make a call, we use a Skype credit that’s very cheap, international, and paid per minute with no monthly obligations. In all our travels, we rely on WiFi for communication, and haven’t encountered any serious issues.

Possibly the most important factor is the time you give yourself in preparation for the residencies. If the residency is over a year away, it gives adequate time to find the cheapest travel options, to contact venues and universities for paid engagements, and to apply for grants.

There are so many parts of this equation that are specific to our situation, from starting out right after graduating school with no serious dependencies tying us to any particular place, to being a couple that can always share accommodation and support each other in the more taxing and difficult stretches of our journey. In this way, the financial side is an individualized process, that takes into consideration your own priorities and personal goals.

It seems to us that our ideas about a life spent traveling both access ideologies shared by many people in our generation, and take advantage of everything that technology and the internet has on offer in 2018. Perhaps we are early adopters of something that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago. Traveling has never been cheaper; it’s possible to work from anywhere in the world; and social media helps us share our music and keep in touch with others. At the same time, these choices we’re proposing address a lack of desire to own property, the unaffordability of housing, and a prioritization of sharing experiences above all.

Passepartout Duo in Germany

In this way, artist residencies represent a small sliver of things in the world that are in no way property, and are only shared. Each resident comes in with the knowledge that this place where they live will soon be passed onto another artist. Like a family home being passed from one generation to the next, layers of experiences, art, and traces left behind accumulate into a rich tapestry of culture and life.

It is a lifestyle that has led us to think about every aspect of modern living. We feel that travel proposes an alternative cartography—the map of one’s own life, that isn’t at all consistent with the map of the world. What you’ve done and where you’ve been defines you, and defines your art. At the moment, we are extremely happy to travel for music and to have met so many kind and interesting people along the way. We are lucky, and grateful for it, and hope that more people will take on opportunities of their own that help make their own worlds grow.

Artist residencies for musicians: 5 tips on the application process

Finding affordable housing and a space to do one’s work is a task on the minds of many emerging artists; artist residencies provide a solution, freeing up time and space with low or no cost to the artist. Residencies also emphasize the importance of meaningful exchanges, providing insights into local cultures, communities, institutions, and art markets. We’ve been traveling from residency to residency for about a year and have loved our experiences through these programs: they give us clear short-term and long-term deadlines; they help us stretch our collaborative muscles by working with people from many different backgrounds; and they have helped us adopt a more interdisciplinary approach to our music and practice. Here is the best advice we can give to anyone curious about applying to and pursuing residencies.

1. Finding opportunities

There are a variety of ways to dive into all of the opportunities that are on offer out there. The easiest way to start is through these three websites: transartists.org, resartis.org, and artistcommunities.org. Together, the three websites are an index of more than 1000 different institutions worldwide. These organizations also offer support to the residencies themselves, from creating listings for visibility to fiscal sponsorship in the case of Alliance of Artist Communities.

If you’re looking for a residency opportunity and can’t find at least a handful to apply for here, you’re probably not looking closely enough. There was a day when we sat down and went through every single opportunity in these databases, seeing which ones have a piano, accept musicians, and other factors that pertained to our specific situation.

At first glance, it might seem like applying to all these residencies could add up in application costs, but the truth is that the vast majority don’t have an application fee, have a very flexible application process (as they accept artists of all disciplines), and can be applied to on a rolling basis. And with hundreds of opportunities on offer, there are approaching deadlines each month. You can always check Resartis for upcoming deadlines, or start keeping a residency deadline calendar like we do. Anytime we find an opportunity, we add it to our calendar twice with the appropriate URL: once when we think we need to start working on the application, and once when it’s due. This way, you can immediately add any residencies you hear about that sound like a good fit and then not really have to think about it again until a deadline is approaching.

2. The Anti-Résumé

The headline of a New York Times opinion piece reads: “Stand Out With an Anti-Résumé for Your Next Job Application.” Monica Byrne, a writer, has created an Excel spreadsheet of every failure and rejection she’s encountered and coined the endearing term “Anti-Résumé.” Well, we’ve become pretty extreme proponents of the Anti-Résumé. We have a spreadsheet of both rejections and positive responses. It lets us keep everything in check. In our work, we have a success rate of about 1 in 2 with applications (knock on wood). It just means we have to do twice as many applications as opportunities we’re interested in. We’d encourage anyone to take this approach, to learn from the numbers, and to make their own observations about the application process. Even if our average was 1 in 5, or even 1 in 20, we could easily persevere just having the knowledge of how much work it takes to earn a single opportunity. All in all, it takes a constant regimen of looking for and applying for opportunities to travel from residency to residency.

Passepartout Duo in California

3. Turning in a strong application

In many of these cases, you’re going to be evaluated by a non-musician against a lot of other non-musicians, and we think that’s great. Our main suggestion is that, on its own, a straight-shot video of you running through your repertoire might not be super impressive to someone who doesn’t understand your instrument or new music. The video you create, and the portfolio you present, should be as representative of your ideas as the music you’re making. We’d suggest trying to reach out to designers or videographers to help make a dynamic and engaging portfolio that helps your project speak on a visual and conceptual basis, more than just on a musical one.

Making videos has been a huge part of our work as a duo, and we think it has played a big role in making our music more accessible outside of the traditional new music spheres, besides adding a collaborative and interpretative layer to the works.

Secondly, there’s an aspect of project proposals that is very important to the application process for residencies. Constantly sending in residency applications has given us a wonderful opportunity to re-codify our ensemble’s values and beliefs on a weekly and monthly basis. With each application, we try to be even more articulate in the conceptual aspects of our work; “Why are we even doing this, and why is it important and relevant to x place in the world?” Choosing a project that has a clear local and community-based proposition, while maintaining a globally accessible concept, is probably the key. If your project pertains to a specific region, you can easily propose it to many different residencies in that same area as well.

4. Building off an “anchor” opportunity and developing it further

Eventually, there comes a point where you’ve landed a great residency opportunity that makes it worth traveling halfway across the world. Maybe it’s that there’s a healthy stipend, a world-renowned artist nearby, or a friend you’d love to collaborate with. We always strive to take these opportunities and stretch them further. Our research to dig deeper is where we make the most progress in turning one opportunity into many. Once we know we’ll have a residency lined up somewhere, we look at how we can add concerts, university engagements, and other activities into the mix.

Our first suggestion is to like every Facebook page and sign up for every mailing list in that certain music scene; it’s the easiest way to see what’s going on in the world. Getting in touch with past residents is another great way to see what is going on in the local community and how the location might impact your work.

After accumulating these contacts, we’re sending emails and calling institutions; with the residency confirmed, institutions and venues will be more eager to invite you to perform or teach. We’re always looking at cost over time too, rather than just cost per engagement. That means that with this one “anchor” opportunity in place, it frees you up to take on engagements that you wouldn’t fly across the world for, per se, but that really contribute to enriching your life and add a lot of value to the whole of the trip.

This idea of building off a single residency opportunity is what will make these experiences rich and worthwhile, and you may find that a residency is usually just the start of many larger relationships with other artists and institutions.

5. Making something while you’re there (what residencies want)

Showing the work you’ve created at the residency to the local community and your hosts is also a very important part of every residency engagement. Bringing enthusiasm and a willingness to share a window into your creative process is possibly the simplest thing you can give in return for these opportunities. For composers and other people whose work doesn’t contain a necessarily performative or exhibitable element, we’d encourage you to find an engaging way of communicating your project to your hosts and the public.

It’s great to have a community engagement project, a performance, or some kind of presentation prepared for any situation. For us, creating videos that showcase our repertoire while in residence and organizing small touring “house concerts” have been some of our most fulfilling and popular approaches. Filming the repertoire can involve the collaboration of locals, and it can portray these unique places in the world. Organizing intimate concerts can help to stretch one’s ability to present and discuss musical ideas with people who might never have been aware of new music, and meeting local people can create lasting memories everywhere you go.

In the end, our approach is summed up in three words: “just do it.” There’s not really much more to it than that; we’re always trying, failing, and experimenting ourselves with a continually evolving approach. These pointers just represent some of the things we wish we more clearly knew when starting out.

Morocco, Iceland, Finland, and Cyprus: To Change and Be Changed

Before getting into the details of how we discover and apply to artist residency opportunities, we wanted to share our thoughts on some of the benefits to performers and composers of continual travel for music. The main takeaway is that every artist residency is different in its financial burden, its scope, and its circumstance; we’d like to encourage people to take on engagements of every kind, not just those which offer stipends and plentiful resources.

Marrakech, Morocco // Flexibility

Passepartout Duo in Marrakech

In April 2017, we were in residence at Dar Slimane, in a remote location outside of Marrakech, Morocco. Part of the institution’s mission is to revitalize desertified land altered by years of unsustainable agriculture, while also supporting artists in an interesting cultural environment. There are residencies of all sizes out there, and Dar Slimane represents those of the smallest size, where just a local couple is essentially hosting artists in their home. It has a completely different dynamic from those like Avaloch Farm or Banff that musicians often turn to, but one we’ve come to cherish in its own right. Small residencies are normally run by artists themselves, and they can connect you with the local community and environment in ways that huge institutions cannot. The key lesson we learned through our experience, and the one that made participating in this residency possible, was to be flexible artistically.

For the first time, we had a circumstance that necessitated leaving our instrument comfort-zone. We knew there wouldn’t be a piano on the premises, and that we would only be in residence for two weeks. Our solution was to learn and record a piece by Christopher Adler that is scored only for instruments that could all easily fit in a carry-on suitcase. The piece was great for this situation but, better yet, it was a choice that set us on a path to seek out increasingly more portable solutions. Here’s our current traveling instrumentation, as it existed in Åland a couple months ago:

Passepartout Duo's mini set-up

Our stay in Morocco represented the first time we wondered, “Should pianists only apply to residencies that provide a grand piano? Do we need to find a five-octave marimba?” Prefaced by saying that we believe there are an incredible set of residencies all offering beautiful pianos, of course our answer to these questions is no. A recurring theme in the classical music world is to “bring classical music outside of the concert hall,” but that’s not a proposition we can pursue without changing our perception of what is needed for a performance.

Our desire to continue working within situations as culturally vibrant and influential as ours in Morocco has played an important role in how we’re approaching music now. We had a bug—not having a proper instrumentation—that has now been transformed into a feature of our ensemble: being able to travel and perform anywhere. We’d encourage anyone to extend the perimeter of their comfort zone when it comes to artist residencies. Whether it’s about being away from home, having limited resources, or stretching what is financially possible, usually the good will outweigh the bad in the end and you’ll come out with inspiring experiences that would’ve otherwise never happened.

Iceland // Think big (and then make it work)

We were in northern Iceland for a residency at Listhús art space that coincided with their Skammdegi Festival. During our nine-week stay we: recorded an EP, filmed three music videos, played on the Dark Music Days Festival, were on the Radio and TV in Icelandic, had a small house concert tour, and met a dozen other inspiring artists (from the town and abroad). We were even extras on a Netflix show. By our standards, that’s a lot for nine weeks in a completely new location. It wasn’t like we were stretched to our limits either; in the dark and cold North, we had the time to be introspective, to catch up on typical admin work, and still had plenty of energy for fun and discovery within this unique place in the world.

It did come at a price, though. Not all residencies are free, and this was the most expensive one we’ve participated in. The fee and expenses of living in Iceland can sound a bit difficult to swing for most people, but an eagerness to take on this opportunity helped us to find a way to make it work.

One of the hidden benefits of distant travel as an artist is the ability to accrue funding from grants not only from your home city/country, but also abroad. Our residency proposition in Iceland opened us up to many different funding bodies in the Nordic countries that helped us to build a project across many locations and disciplines. We were able to couple the opportunity with an advantageous festival appearance that also helped offset the cost.

Grants and funding aside, we think that giving a fee per month to an arts organization that needs it, is so much more satisfying than giving that money to a landlord. Our project in the Nordic countries quickly expanded to include festival appearances, composer commissions, and residencies in Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, and Denmark. Although it took a leap of faith and a small initial investment, this larger project that accumulated support on the way would have never happened without the Listhús residency as a catalyst.

Fiskars, Finland // City Living and Quality of Life

Passepartout Duo in Fiskars

Fiskars, a small town outside Helsinki that is owned by the Fiskars company, is a true “artists’ village.” Funds from the company helped facilitate an influx of Helsinki-based artists to live and work in the vacant factory buildings. Though a town of just 600 or so permanent inhabitants, it is somehow an epicenter of arts and culture. Couple that with Finland’s incredible public education and social programs, and it’s hard to imagine a place with a higher quality of life for musicians.

It’s easy to think that media center cities like Los Angeles and Paris are the only places it’s possible to be a contemporary musician in touch with the vanguard, but traveling has shown us something different. Going to an artist residency somewhere halfway across the world will give you an outsider’s perspective on your own life and the current circumstances in which you live. It will also give you a window into another kind of lifestyle you may not have yet encountered.

The lesson we’ve learned this time is that the best place for you to choose to settle down may not be the city you grew up near and it doesn’t have to be automatically the city you went to school in; it’s possibly even somewhere you haven’t heard of yet.

Treis Elies, Cyprus // Local and global communities

We stayed in the small town of Treis Elies, Cyprus this past July as part of the Kammari Residency. Kammari was very recently started by a small group of Finnish/Cypriot artists and philosophers. With just 20 permanent residents, the town of Treis Elies represents a shift in Europe where small rural villages are losing residents and becoming uninhabited. With several young couples moving to Treis Elies from abroad, the village’s make-up is now a mix of an older Cypriot generation and a new very international one, not without clashes of lifestyles. The introduction of the artist residency has created a foundation for these two different cultures to interact on and this has drastically changed the sense of community within the village. In Treis Elies, meals and drinks are shared on a daily basis regardless of age, language, or background. In a place with a history such as Cyprus’s we felt this message was very powerful: that artist residencies propose the ability to change a cultural landscape.

La Casa del Herrero in Torralba de Ribota, Spain (population 188) is doing the very same thing: it represents one of three artist residencies in the same small village, and it contributes to building a vibrant and inclusive community there. Our experiences at these residencies were not only defined by the art we encountered, but also defined by memories of conversations shared over lunchtime backgammon and late-night barbecues in many languages. We learn about different cultures and communities in this way and often can draw parallels between them.

The people we know, and have met on the way, are what have made our experiences meaningful, more than the places we’ve been. It’s both for us and for these communities we encounter that we hope to start new discussions about art and create shared memories during our travels.

Morocco, Iceland, Finland, and Cyprus: it was a general openness toward going anywhere and an eagerness to share our music with anyone who will listen that brought us to these places. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and hope that by seeing these four examples you’re encouraged to travel somewhere not only because you want to go there, but also because you think it might expand your world, practice, or ideology in some way. Traveling somewhere new provides us with a thought-provoking invitation, applicable in both life and in new music: to change and be changed.

Get Out There: Alternative Opportunities for Composers and Performers

Most people in the new music community are familiar with the general range of opportunities for study, work, and networking available to student or emerging composers and performers, such as the many academic conferences and other events like Tanglewood, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Bang on a Can’s summer program at MassMOCA, the Banff Centre, or overseas festivals like highSCORE and Cortona Sessions.

However, before you can attend these competitive opportunities, you have to be accepted to them, and the first roadblock you encounter might be the high application fee. For example, it costs $75 to be considered for a spot at Tanglewood and $75-$100 for a spot at the Atlantic Music Festival. And with many of these events, you can further expect hefty participation fees ranging into the thousands. At this price point, you will also have correspondingly hefty figures in music leading your master classes and private lessons, as well as access to many other benefits including networking and community building within the new music world.

But there are many opportunities out there for musicians and composers that are both more affordable and more accessible. Some of these are specifically designed for musicians and composers, while others more broadly cater to creatives working in multiple media.

Below is a specially curated list of 24 low-cost (or free) opportunities in the USA and Canada which you may not have heard about before, but should definitely check out. Some are priced comparably low for the resources/experiences they are offering, some are completely free, and some go beyond free and actually offer stipends.

Many of these residencies accept applications from project partners or small teams. When researching them further, keep that in mind. It can be difficult to get affordable studio space and time for a group project, whether you’re working with an ensemble or working with artists in other media—or even with folks outside of the arts. Applying to attend a residency as part of a team that you build could be your chance to work with an ecologist or horologist or volcanologist on those wild and brilliant musical ideas you’ve been keeping on the dusty back shelf.

Not all of these residencies will work for everyone—for example, for those working full-time, year-round jobs, the lengthier events will likely not be feasible. Some are more competitive during the summer (when those in academia would be able to attend) but not as competitive in the fall/winter/spring. As with all opportunities, it’s a good idea to apply to at least a handful to increase your chances. My personal ratio of success is one residency acceptance for every five or six applications. So, check these opportunities out and enrich your musical education without adding unnecessarily to your financial burden.

(Note: Take notice especially of the deadline dates, as many come soon after the publication of this article. Make sure you also visit the website of each opportunity you apply to for the most accurate and up-to-date information.)

 

Peer-Mentored Music Workshops

Canada has in recent years become a hub for new music workshops focused on enabling peer mentoring—that is, skill/resource/talent-sharing among emerging composers and performers. They are made possible largely by the preponderance of funding opportunities for the arts at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels in Canada, in addition to those available from private funding bodies. While these grants do often require that a certain percentage of the participants are Canadian, international applicants are still very strong contenders. For example, at the 2017 Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions (see below), 50% of the participants were from outside of Canada. In other words, apply apply apply!

Montréal Contemporary Music Lab (MCML) is a ten-day performance and creation workshop exploring, celebrating, and creating bonds between performers, composers, sound artists, improvisers, and mixed/multimedia artists engaged in the act of creating new music. Formed in 2011 by seven emerging musicians in Montréal, they are a collective run entirely by and for young and emerging artists.

Deadline: March 2018 (date not posted yet)
Location: Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Application fee: $0
Residency fee: $250 CAD ($196 USD)

Toronto Creative Music Lab (TCML) is a peer-mentored, eight-day workshop for early career musicians and composers, and it’s designed to foster professional development, artistic growth, collaborative learning, and community building through workshops, rehearsals, social events, panel discussions, and performance.

Deadline: 2/1/18
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Application fee: $0
Residency fee: $157 CAD ($123 USD)

Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions (WRCMS) is a weeklong series of workshops, concerts, panels, reading sessions, and activities designed to promote and provide opportunities for emerging and early career Canadian and international performers, improvisers, and composers of contemporary music.

Deadline: 2/15/18
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Application fee: $0
Residency fee: $395 CAD ($309 USD)

 

“Master” Mentoring

There aren’t many residencies built around participants receiving mentoring from a master artist while also being more affordable and open to general applicants, so there is just one residency included here in this category. I have been grateful to attend the Atlantic Center for the Arts twice and can attest to it being world-class—it offers a wonderful community, fabulous private lodging, delicious food, and fantastic resources. It also boasts a local friendly tortoise named George (the wooden walkways are elevated above the palm forest floor so he and his friends can walk around as they please). Built in the 1970s by creative visionaries and maintained with love and generous funding from local donors, there really is no experience quite like ACA.

Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) is an innovative nonprofit artists-in-residence program. Three “Master Artists” from different disciplines determine the requirements and basic structure of their residency, and through an online application process, they each select eight “Associate Artists” to participate in the three-week program.

Recent master artists in the field of music have included Michael Bisio, Zeena Parkins, John Gibson, Derek Bermel, Natasha Barrett, and Georg Friedrich Haas. Coming up, you can apply to spend three weeks working with composer Laura Schwendinger (apply by 1/21/18) and/or composer Maria de Alvear (apply by 5/13/18). Attend as many times as you are accepted; applications go directly to each master artist rather than to a board or jury. Individual master artists also determine both what is required in their applications and how they will run their residency, so each application is different, and each residency unique.

Deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year; the next one is 1/21/18.
Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Application fee: $25
Residency fee: $900, but need-based partial scholarships are available.

 

Interdisciplinary or Collaborative

In her recent interview for the Listening to Ladies podcast, self-described New Renaissance Artist Elizabeth A. Baker emphasized the vital importance (in pursuing the goal of creative growth) of learning about the many intricate worlds of art and culture that exist outside of your specific niche. Interdisciplinary residencies are gold mines for expanding your education and getting inspiration and resources (and lifelong friends) from entirely new and unexpected directions.

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an artist-run non-profit based in Chicago. ACRE’s residency takes place each year outside of rural Steuben, Wisconsin. ACRE offers room and board with comfortable sleeping accommodations and chef-prepared meals for 14-day sessions. Set on 1000 acres, communal studio spaces compliment access to facilities including a recording studio and tech lab. Residents can choose to participate in studio visits with a variety of established artists, curators, and experienced educators, along with workshops, lectures, concerts, reading groups, critiques, and other programming throughout each session.

Deadline: 3/4/18
Location: Steuben, Wisconsin
Application fee: $0-$50 (cost rises as deadline approaches)
Residency fee: $600, but 40% of residents receive half-scholarships

EMPAC: The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is where the arts, sciences, and technology meet under one roof and breathe the same air. The EMPAC artist-in-residence program runs year-round. A residency may be used to explore a concept, to research the artistic or technical feasibility of a certain idea, to develop computer programs or specific hardware, develop part of a project, bring a work to full production scale, or document/record an existing work.

Deadline: Rolling
Location: Troy, New York
Application fee: $0
Residency fee: $0
Note: Residents cannot be full-time students.

Marble House Project is a multi-disciplinary artist residency program that fosters collaboration and the exchange of ideas by providing an environment for artists across disciplines to live and work side by side. With a focus on the conservation of natural resources, integration of small-scale organic food production, and the arts, residents sustain their growth by cultivating the surrounding grounds, working on their artistic vision, and forging partnerships within the community. Applications are accepted in all creative fields, including but not limited to the visual arts, writing, choreography, music composition, and performance. There are seven sessions, and each session lasts for three weeks. The residency fee includes a private bedroom, food, and studio space.

Deadline: December 2018
Location: Dorset, Vermont
Application fee: $30
Residency fee: $200
Note: Marble House offers a family-friendly session for artists attending with their children.

Omi International Center: Music Omi invites approximately a dozen musicians—composers and performers from around the globe—to come together for two and a half weeks in a unique and collaborative music-making residency program. A singular feature of the Music Omi experience is the presentation of public performances during and at the conclusion of the residency, where collaborative work can be shared with the public. Everyone accepted to Music Omi receives lodging, including a private room, and delicious meals during his or her stay.

Deadline: January 2019 (this year’s deadline was 1/2/18)
Location: Ghent, New York
Application fee: $0
Residency fee: $0

 

Focused Space/Time

Ample time and space to work on a project are immensely valuable resources. It is too easy to look at a successful artist from afar and call them a “genius,” while (in)conveniently forgetting the multitude of quiet hours they’ve spent honing their craft—not to mention forgetting the necessary, immense privilege required to even access those quiet hours. Historically, wealthy white cisgender men have been those most likely to find themselves with the leisure time and space to do things like compose masterpieces—servants and wives dumped the poo and arranged the households so the men could delve into their intellectual and creative pursuits.

These days we have residency models which, while still remaining inaccessible to many (including single parents, those who can’t afford to stop working at their jobs for extended periods, and those who cannot obtain financial resources to travel to a residency) have nevertheless gone some way toward opening up the quiet-time playing field to more participants.

The Anderson Center residency program is open to emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists, writers, composers, choreographers, interdisciplinary artists, performance artists, and translators. Each resident is provided room, board, and workspace for the length of the residency period in the historic Tower View Mansion.

Deadline: 2/15/18
Location: Red Wing, Minnesota
Application fee: $20
Residency fee: $0
Note: They also offer a residency specifically for the deaf community.

Art Farm Artist Residency program is for professionals, emerging or established, in all areas of the arts, humanities, and areas related: offering accommodations and studio space to pursue their art in exchange for a contribution of labor of 12 hours per week to help renovate and maintain Art Farm’s buildings and grounds, as well as other projects suited to skills and temperament.

Deadline: 3/1/18
Location: Marquette, Nebraska
Application fee: $20 (click on the “writers” category; this includes music-makers)
Residency fee: $0 + 12 hrs/week working on the farm

Avaloch Farm Music Institute provides a unique opportunity for chamber music and jazz ensembles (at any stage of development) to have the time and space to: work intensively on repertoire; prepare for recordings, concerts, or competitions; work with composers on commissions; and forge or reconnect to a group musical identity. The New Music Initiative brings together ensembles working with a composer or collaborator on new material during intensive farm-wide new music themed weeks. They will also accept ensemble/composer collaborations during weeks that are not designated as exclusively New Music Initiative times. Avaloch Farm Music Institute offers free living and studio accommodations, as well as all meals, as part of the residency.

Deadline: 3/15/18
Location: Boscawen, New Hampshire
Application fee: $75
Residency fee: $0

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts residency opportunities are open to national and international artists showing a strong professional working history. A variety of disciplines are accepted including, but not limited to, visual arts, media/new genre, performance, architecture, film/video, literature, interdisciplinary arts, music composition, and choreography. Artists-in-residence receive a $750 monthly stipend to help with materials, supplies, and living expenses while in residence. An unrestricted $500 travel stipend is also provided.

Deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Application fee: $40
Residency fee: $0
Note: Students are not eligible.

Blue Mountain Center, founded in 1982, provides support for writers, artists, and activists. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the center also serves as a resource for culturally based progressive movement-building. During the summer and early fall, BMC offers three month-long residency sessions. These sessions are open to creative and non-fiction writers, activists, and artists of all disciplines—including composers, filmmakers, and visual artists.

Deadline: 2/1/18
Location: Blue Mountain Lake, New York
Application fee: $25
Residency fee: $0

Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts is a non-profit organization offering time and space for artistic exploration to visual artists, writers, musicians, and composers from all backgrounds, levels of expertise, media, and genres. Residency sessions of two and four weeks are offered throughout the year, depending on availability and the applicant’s ranking in the jury process.

Deadline: 3/1/18 and 9/1/18
Location: Saratoga, Wyoming
Application fee: $40
Residency fee: $0

Djerassi Resident Artists Program offers 30-day core residencies (April-November) at no cost to the artists. National and international artists in the disciplines of media arts/new genres, visual arts, literature, choreography, and music composition are welcome. The program provides core residents with studio space, food and lodging, and local transportation.

Deadline: 3/15/18
Location: Woodside, California
Application fee: $45
Residency fee: $0
Note: Students are not eligible.

The Headlands Center for the Arts Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program awards fully sponsored residencies to approximately 45 local, national, and international artists each year. Residencies of four to ten weeks include studio space, chef-prepared meals, comfortable housing, and travel and living stipends. Artists selected for this program are at all stages in their careers and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary, social practice, and architecture.

Deadline: June 2017
Location: Sausalito, California
Application fee: $45
Residency fee: $0
Note: Students are not eligible.

Hypatia-in-the-Woods (women only): Women in the arts, academia, and entrepreneurship may apply for a residency of from one to three weeks. Nestled on several acres of Pacific Northwest second growth forest on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, the retreat center provides an ideal setting for women to find solitude and time for their creative work.

Deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year; the next one is 2/15/18.
Location: Shelton, Washington
Application fee: $20
Residency fee: $0

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts offers up to 70 juried residencies per year to working visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists from across the country and around the world. Residencies are available for stays of two to eight weeks. Each resident receives a $100 stipend per week, free housing, and a separate studio. The Center can house up to five artists of various disciplines at any given time.

Deadline: 3/1/18 and 9/1/18
Location: Nebraska City, Nebraska
Application fee: $35
Residency fee: $0

The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, as they term their residencies, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks.

Deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year; the next one is 1/15/18.
Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire
Application fee: $30
Residency fee: $0
Note: Students are not eligible.

The Millay Colony is an artists’ residency program in upstate New York offering one-month and two-week retreats to six visual artists, writers, and composers each month between April and November. Each residency includes a private bedroom and studio, as well as ample time to work in a gorgeous atmosphere.

Deadlines: 3/1/18 and 10/1/18
Location: Austerlitz, New York
Application fee: $35
Residency fee: $0

The Ucross Foundation Residency Program offers the gift of time and space to competitively selected individuals working in all artistic disciplines. The Foundation strives to provide a respectful, comfortable, and productive environment, freeing artists from the pressures and distractions of daily life. Residencies last between two and six weeks and include room, meals, and studio space.

Deadlines: 3/1/18 and 10/1/18
Location: Ucross, Wyoming
Application fee: $40
Residency fee: $0

The Wave Farm Residency Program provides artists with a valuable opportunity to concentrate on new transmission works and conduct research about the genre using the Wave Farm Study Center resource library. Transmission Art encompasses work in participatory live art or time-based art such as radio, video, light, installation, and performance, as well as a multiplicity of other practices and media, informed by an intentional use of space (often the airwaves). Wave Farm artists-in-residence receive a $700 artist stipend.

Deadlines: 2/1/18
Location: Acra, New York
Application fee: $0
Residency fee: $0
Note: Students are not eligible, but “exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for career artists who may have returned to school for postgraduate work.”

Wildacres Residency offers participants stays of one or two weeks in one of three comfortable cabins located 1/4 mile from the Wildacres conference center, where complimentary meals are available. The program has about 70 residencies available from April through October, and allows individuals the solitude and inspiration needed to begin or continue work on a project in their particular field.

Deadline: 1/15/18
Location: Little Switzerland, North Carolina
Application fee: $20
Residency fee: $0

Willapa Bay Artist Residency offers month-long, self-directed residencies to emerging and established artists, writers, scholars, singer/songwriters, and composers. The residency provides lodging, meals, and work space, at no cost, to six residents each month from March 1 through September 30 of the year.

Deadline: 7/31/18
Location: Ocean Park, Washington
Application fee: $30
Residency fee: $0

For searchable directories of hundreds of residencies, check out the Alliance of Artist Communities and the ResArtis Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies.

NYFA and EtM Announce Fellowships and Residencies to NY Composers

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the recipients and finalists of its Artists’ Fellowship Program. The organization has awarded unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, totalling $647,000 to 98 artists (including five collaborations) throughout New York State. Finalists, who do not receive a cash award, benefit from a range of other NYFA services.

A list of the fellows and finalists in the area of music/sound includes:

MUSIC / SOUND

Gordon Beeferman (New York)
Lisa Bielawa (New York)
Anthony G. Coleman (New York)
Joe Diebes (New York)
Du Yun (New York)
Jeffrey Fairbanks (Queens)
Randy Gibson (Kings)
Stephanie Griffin (New York)
Warp Trio – Joshua Henderson/Mikael Darmanie/Ju Young Lee (New York)
Sarah Hennies (Tompkins)
Molly Herron (New York)
Eli Keszler (Kings)
M. Lamar (Kings)
Qasim Ali Naqvi (Kings)
Angélica Negrón (New York)
Sam Newsome (New York)
Jeff Talman (Bronx)
Max Vernon (Kings)

Finalists

Andrew Drury (Kings)
Anthony Gatto (New York)
Scott Wollschleger (Kings)

Music / Sound Panelists

Laura Andel (Kings)
Christina Campanella (New York)
Daniel Davis (Broome)
Satoshi Kanazawa (Queens)

*Above image clockwise from top left: Du Yun, Lisa Bielawa, Randy Gibson, Molly Herron, Gordon Beeferman, and Angélica Negrón.

(More information available via the New York Foundation for the Arts)


con ed residencies

Clockwise from top left: Tidtaya Sinutoke, Kathleen Tagg, Doug Balliett, Volker Goetze, and Lea Bertucci.

Exploring the Metropolis, Inc. has announced their 2016-17 Con Edison Composers-in-Residence awardees. Five New York-based composers, covering a wide range of styles, have each been selected for a six-month residency in one of EtM’s partnering cultural or community facilities in addition to a $2,500 stipend. The list of recipients and their host facility includes:

Doug Balliett
Residency: Bloomingdale School of Music

Lea Bertucci
Residency: Queens Museum

Volker Goetze
Residency: Turtle Bay Music School

Tidtaya Sinutoke
Residency: Flushing Town Hall

Kathleen Tagg
Residency: Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Panelists were: Eve Beglarian, Domenica Fossati, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Kamala Sankaram.

(More information available via Exploring the Metropolis)

New Music USA Announces the Inaugural Impact Fund Cohort

New Music USA announces the inaugural cohort of the NYC New Music Impact Fund. The Impact Fund, a new project of New Music USA, represents the first major effort to aggregate and amplify the voice of the New York new music community online. It supports new residency relationships, provides general operating support, and leverages New Music USA’s online platform to share events and news with a growing fan base.   

THE COHORT

Sign up to stay in tune with the Impact Fund cohort and get all their latest news and events (concerts, collaborations, residencies, album release parties, and much more) in your inbox. Subscribe here!

Together, New Music USA and the Impact Fund cohort will tackle challenges facing the NYC new music community today, create a vibrant public identity for the sector, build connections and collaborations, and find innovative solutions to the need for increased performance and rehearsal space. Follow the cohort and help make new music in the city more visible and accessible for all!

About The New York City New Music Impact Fund

The New York City New Music Impact Fund is a new program, supported by a three-year, $495,000 grant from The Scherman Foundation’s Axel and Katherine Rosin Fund, that distributes general operating and residency grants to smaller new music ensembles, venues, and presenters (many of which are artist-led) and uses New Music USA’s web platform to create a home for the community and market their work in new and creative ways.

The panelists for the inaugural cohort were:

  • Patrick Castillo, composer and executive director of Hotel Elefant
  • Laura Kaminsky, composer
  • Allison Loggins-Hull, flutist and co-founder Flutronix, composer, and educator
  • Kristin Marting, artistic director of HERE
  • Ryan Muncy, saxophonist, director of institutional giving, and co-director OpenICE with ICE
  • Kathleen Supové, pianist
  • Yulun Wang, owner of Pi Records