Ching Juhl made some terrific videos of my recent concert at the DiMenna Center in New York. The concert, which I performed with the Elaris Duo, was a benefit for Sandy Hook Promise.
I wrote the first piece, On The Death of Our Young, in the wake of the horrible shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school. “Grief fills the room up of my absent child.”
Here I am playing it with Steven Elisha:
Also on the concert was my piece Meditation I, inspired by Dogen Zenji’s Mountains and Rivers Sutra. It’s inscribed, “water is nothing but the pure form of water, just as it is.”
This piece is included on the soundtrack to the Mountains and Rivers: Mystical Realism of Zen Master Dogen DVD, by John Daido Loori Roshi, available at: http://monasterystore.org/mountains-and-rivers-dvd. It has also been released on Margaret Mills’ CD Meditations and Overtones and on Helen Callus’s CD Lament Amid Silence, both of which are available on my recordings page.
On May 2 at 7:30 pm, The Elaris Duo (Larisa Elisha, violin, and Steven Elisha, cello) will perform a benefit concert of my music, along with pieces by Schulhoff and Kodaly in New York. All of the proceeds from the concert will go to Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit set up after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Sandy Hook Promise’s mission is national — to protect children from gun violence so no other parent experiences the loss of their child by engaging and empowering parents and communities with targeted prevention programs in the areas of mental wellness early-identification & intervention, social & emotional development and firearm safety & security. More information on their programs is available at SandyHookPromise.org.
As for the concert, I will be joining the Elaris Duo on piano to perform a special preview of my piece An Offering: For The Families of Newtown.They will be premiering Shifting Spirits, for violin and cello, and I will also perform some of my piano works.
I just received a lovely review from music critic Daniel Kepl on BravoCalifornia.com. About Twelfth Night, Daniel says:
[Twelfth Night] brought audiences at both Santa Barbara performances spontaneously to their feet in salute. Feigin’s magical score is key to that exhuberant response. Both sophisticated and playful, it pays subtle quasi-motivic homage to seveal opera composers of the past 300 years, each marinated in a distinctly Feiginesque harmonic sauce. Composed in the neoclassic nomenclature of Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress, with nods to Mozart (pithy vocal ensembles), Richard Strauss (bravura coloratura arias), Wagner (Feigin’s magnificent command of orchestration, especially his intoxicating use of French horn and woodwind riffs), with additional harmonic references to Mendelssohn (the opening chords of the opera), as well as Mahler and Britten, Twelfth Night stretched historic imagination as well as the technical capabilities of UCSB’s young singers and orchestra. Everyone involved clearly revelled in the opportunity.
Having seen both UCSB performances – I was not alone in wanting to experience this glittering masterpiece a second time – there is but one piece of advice to pass along to opera producers around the world: book this fresh and artistically satisfying opera at your earliest opportunity. It’s a sleeper that deserves to be in the repertory of major opera houses.
He also praised the work of my collaborators Benjamin Brecher, David Grabarkewitz, Brent Wilson, and all of the singers and musicians involved in the production.