My three weeks at Copland House have passed with the usual flash of residencies around the world. The opening weeks seem slow—each hour of quiet and solitude sinking in as we slowly remember there was a world before the internet and the constant interruption of e-mail. Then, little by little, the pace speeds up until—all at once and without warning—there are two or three days left. Time to repack! But where am I bound?
In this case, the answer is Oberlin, Ohio, where I will spend a week recording my portrait CD for Albany Records. The musicians are travelling from near and far. Tony Arnold, the star soprano with whom I have been blessed to work from the beginning on my Sandburg Songs, will be finishing up her teaching and performances at Tanglewood. Members of Zohn Collective will be hitting the road (or air?) from Chicago, Cincinnati, Lexington, Nashville, Seattle, Georgia (the state), and Germany (the country). Let’s not forget my own diversion-filled round-trip from Hong Kong! Meanwhile, the intrepid conductor Tim Weiss will be at coming home to Oberlin Conservatory immediately following his work at Aspen. How lucky am I to have found a time and place that works for all of us?
While my work Celebrations was included in a recent CD of contemporary kayagŭm compositions in Korea, this Albany CD will be the first devoted solely to my work. Thus, I am excited and—I’ll admit here if you promise not to tell anyone—a bit overwhelmed about the task before me. With rehearsals and recording sessions fairly nonstop for the following week, my ears will be used to their max. But I trust that with these musicians the effort will be worth it!