Last year I had the enormous pleasure of meeting the composer Michael Finnissy for the first time. Finnissy, along with composer Michael Oesterle, was leading a workshop organized by the Aventa Ensemble in Victoria. Aventa played two of his works: Casual Nudity and Mr. Punch, with soprano Helen Pridmore. Learning these pieces was a revelation for me. Music I once thought as being daunting and complex was revealed to be, in fact, intensely lyrical, gestural, and expressive. And having Michael present during the rehearsals was a real treat — he provided wonderful insights and a friendly, supportive environment.
Shortly after the workshop, violinist Müge Büyükçelen and I approached Finnissy about the possibility of a new piece for violin and flute. Finnissy agreed (a fact that still blows my mind), and just the other day I received not one but two new works in the mail: Mercy and Mankind and Sesto Libro di Gesualdo, both for flute and violin. Both pieces will be premiered in Vancouver at the Modulus Festival, presented by Music on Main, on September 27th, 2012. I suppose this means I should get my arse away from the computer and into the practise studio!