Beginning of Summer News

Happy May!

It’s the season of being out of touch, so I thought I’d write and let you know the news from Mike-land.

The big news is that  after a year as a visitor in Ithaca, I’ve been asked to stay at Cornell as Director of Percussion.  I’m excited to explore great music with unbelievable colleagues and interesting students, and can’t wait to get started.

I’m celebrating with a performance at Mayfest, Cornell’s summer international chamber music festival.  On May 20th at 8pm, I’ll be playing William Kraft’s Encounters IX with master saxophonist James Spinazzola, and Iannis Xenakis’ canonical percussion solo Psappha as part of an eclectic concert in the Rem Koolhaas-designed Milstein Hall.  (If you’re interested, there’s a great time-lapse video of the building’s construction here).  The rest of the program features music by C.P.E. Bach, J.S. Bach, Schnittke, Kagel, and Cornelius, and is sure to be stupendous.  If you’re in the area, check out all of the concerts from the 19th to the 23rd.  Artistic directors Xak Bjerken and Miri Yampolsky have put together an a great series chock full of wonderful music and musicians.  Ticket information is available on the Mayfest website.

What’s new with New Morse Code?  After a busy few weeks of performing in Brooklyn and Jersey City, we’re heading up to Hannah’s home town of Geneva to kick off Geoff Herd’s Geneva Music Festival.  We’ll be playing a program of new and recent works inspired by text, including Martin Bresnick’s Songs of the Mouse People, Tonia Ko’s Hush, and other works by Robert Honstein, Andy Akiho and Osvaldo Golijov. It’s June 10th at 7pm, and is shaping up to have all the requirements for a great evening: scenic location, wine, flowerpots, and marimbas.  We’ll also be giving an interactive performance for all ages at the Geneva Community Center’s Pat Collins Black Box Theatre on Saturday, June 8th at 6pm.  Stay tuned to our website for updates: we’ve got a lot of great new music and events coming up!

Lastly, at the end of June I’m excited to be taking part in the premiere of personal inspiration and bucatini aficionado Martin Bresnick’s new chamber opera, My Friend’s Story, at New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas on June 19th and 20th.  Inspired by Chekhov’s short story, “Terror,” My Friend’s Story has got an all-star cast and artistic team and is not to be missed!  More information and tickets are available here.

Enjoy the beginning of the summer, and I hope to see you sometime soon,