European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group
Information Regarding COVID-19

Our New York City office remains closed to protect the health and safety of all of our employees. During this time, we are doing everything possible to minimize disruptions to our daily operations. All employees are working remotely and remain fully contactable. If you have had to cancel or postpone a performance of a work from our catalogue, or are considering live streaming performances or streaming archival material, we are prepared to assist you in facilitating changes. Please direct all questions or concerns to rental@eamdc.com.

Please note:

  • All materials from canceled or completed performances should be returned to our Verona, New Jersey library only.
  • Please do not return materials to our New York office. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for lost materials that are returned to our New York office while it is closed. If materials are lost, we will have to charge the full replacement value.

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On Feeling Like a Bored Teenager with Kate Soper

"What should I do today?" This question, typically asked by a bored teenager in the doldrums of summer, is not one that many composers have the ability to ask themselves: in normal times, daily responsibilities, social engagements, work, rehearsals, and performances occupy much of their time. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, many more people have found themselves in this state of mind. And for Kate Soper, a combination of social isolation and the grief of losing the texture of everyday life has led to a renewed sense of creativity, pushing her to create new kinds of work that otherwise would have remained unrealized. While Soper continues to work on long-term projects that have been temporarily paused—including her opera The Romance of the Roseshe has also begun work on an ambitious array of new projects, often written for herself (or multiples of herself), and taking advantage of the virtuality afforded by platforms such as YouTube and Zoom. 

Soper's new opera, The Romance of the Rose, was scheduled to premiere in April 2020, during the first peak of the pandemic. But rather than entirely pausing its development during a year of physical distancing, Soper and her collaborators have continued to think of new ways to work on and with its materials. This has led Soper and collaborator Josh Modney to re-think the way they work together, trading audio and video recordings, and editing together new kinds of performances. Soper has produced a new kind of remote, collaborative workshop performance—here, an excerpt from Act II. 

Soper's work with video began early on in the pandemic with a series of "Unwritten Operas"—short, speculative operatic interpretations of novels, performed and recorded by Soper at home. The series began with her setting of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, and has continued with eleven other books by Anne Rice, Shakespeare, Apollinaire, and Douglas Adams, among others. 

During the Summer of 2020, Soper created SYRINX—a five-part video series that follows a woman with a mysterious vocal ailment. In SYRINX, Soper weaves together a dramatic fabric from the voice, technology, nature, and identity, inhabiting multiple roles and exploring spaces both real and virtual. 

Looking forward to a time when live performance is again possible, Soper has also begun to reimagine some of her existing works for performance by reduced numbers of people, working together a "solo set" that she can perform without the necessity of other musicians. Included in this collection is "Here to Me from Krete," from her opera Here Be Sirensa work whose original forces included three sopranos and piano, and which Soper has also arranged as a suite.

Even as Soper has explored video and other modes of working virtually, she reports desperately missing live music. Even as vaccinations and social distancing help stop the spread of COVID, she reflects: "many people have gone through a lot of trauma in the past year. Everyone has something to grieve, and so many have been isolated. What kinds of things will they want to see, hear, and experience?" 

Working Remotely with Katherine Young

"When does music happen if it's online?" For the past year, Katherine Young, like many other composers and musicians, has been wondering about the "liveness" of music when it cannot happen in a single physical space—but rather is fostered in multiple virtual spaces, often well beyond the moment of its performance. As an improviser as well as a composer, Young is attuned to the relational dynamics of music in real time, and her music, improvised, collaborated, and composed, often explores these dynamics in striking ways. During the past year, Young has explored many different modalities of working remotely that seek out new possibilities for asynchronous collaboration with fellow performers, commissioners, and ensembles. 

Although Young hasn't played music in person since March 2020, she has performed several streaming concerts—although, as she notes, the technology changes all the time. Several projects on which Young has been working for years have continued to evolve in the new landscape—often, Young notes, with surprising new possibilities afforded by working online. One example of this is Young's contribution to Long Beach Opera's "2020 Songbook" project, for which she composed a song that sets poetry by Chicago-based poet A. Martinez. Working on this project allowed Young to connect with many of the other composers who were also commissioned—a sense of virtual presence and community that Young says would not otherwise be possible for people so physically distant from each other. 

Young has also continued to work with violinist Olivia di Prato on her "I, A.M. – Artist Mother" project, in which di Prato has commissioned fellow artists who are also mothers to make improvisations and compositions that explore motherhood. Young says that unlike a traditional commission, for this work she has been receiving field recordings with di Prato, creating sequences in DAW software, and sending them back to di Prato to add more layers; working in this remote epistolary fashion, Young has created both a written score and fixed electronics. 

Young has also been working remotely with the saxophonist Patrick Statler on a new solo work for saxophone and electronics, commissioned with support from the Goethe Institut. For this work, Young and Statler have been working on a collaborative project in the DAW software Reaper, sharing audio files, arrangements, and other ideas back and forth. Young is also working on solo works for piano and accordion—possibly all of which could become a collection of solo works, or an ensemble piece for similar instrumentation. 

Young is also planning on a new kind of "live" performance that maintains social distance through the windows and speakers of a gallery in Chicago. For several years, Young has been developing a collaborative installation and improvisation performance, BoundaryMind, with violinist Linda Jankowska; it was set to premiere in May 2020 at Chicago's 6018 North. While the full performance will eventually happen once social distancing is not necessary, Young says that BoundaryMind will see a modified performance at Chicago's Roman Susan gallery, with visuals displayed in the gallery's window, and sound coming from speakers facing the street. 

Listening to Social (and Musical) Distance with Wang Lu

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to make live concerts with large audiences impossible, musicians and composers are faced with a unique opportunity to think carefully about the sociality of composition, performance, and listening: since sound can travel through physical space (and digital space), what can music mean, or do, in a time of social distance?

Wang Lu is a composer whose work has explored ideas of the distances of time, memory, and place—often evoking, recreating, altering, manifesting places and times from her own distant memories. The titular work on her recently-released album, An Atlas of Time, maps and remembers sound and space from her own past: the opening melody of a children’s television broadcast is reincarnated in the strangeness of the present; fragments of the ambitiously trans-historical "Internationale" struggle among instruments responding to its insistent reemergence. In this sense, Wang’s pre-COVID music was already exploring ideas of “social distance”: a kind of musical sociality between people that connects them through time and space. 

During the COVID era, Wang has had the opportunity to stage this kind of “distant musical sociality” through a residency as a Vanguard Young Composer in Residence at Chicago Opera Theater: a paradoxical residency that is at once physically present yet also largely virtual. The experience of working with music and theater is new to Wang, who says that it has changed the way she thinks about her role as the composer: not only is she working with performers and conductors, but now also a director and a dramaturg, all of whom increase the complexity of composing in musical time. Wang reflects: “Now I have to think about dramatic action, movement, breathing, how much time and space a person needs to express themselves… and to translate that into Sibelius, with its insistent metronome—it’s hard to translate time!”  

One example of how Wang is navigating this new dynamic is a series of four art songs she has composed for the singers of the Chicago Opera Theater—who, she reports, have been living in a “pod” and quarantining before rehearsals in order to continue their craft. In “The Everlasting Voices”, sung by bass-baritone Keanon Kyles, Wang translates the senses of time, distance, and memory she has developed in her works for chamber ensembles into a composition for a single voice—from extremely dense polyphony to the simple, modal writing of an a capella voce.  

Wang also brought this sense of a personal unfolding of time to her new work Like Clockwork, which was commissioned and premiered by the Seattle Modern Orchestra—entirely remotely. For this work, written with Beethoven’s 250th birthyear in mind, Wang created a score that includes guided improvisation, asking five performers to record themselves at home, listening to recordings of each other as they improvise, remembering what role Beethoven’s music played in their own musical development. “Some repertoire might be right on your fingertips, memories in your hands from training… each gesture moves through the next like a clock—it’s what retains a sense of time, clock and calendar.” In Like Clockwork, Wang meditates on her own memories: “like walking through an old conservatory building in china, where all of the practice rooms leak sound”, creating a spatial memory. 

In June 2021, Wang is scheduled to premiere a new work for The Crossing: a socially-distanced, outdoor performance for 24 singers, each equipped with their own personal microphone and speaker, allowing them to stand in a 170-foot-diameter circle. A concentric circle inside will contain loudspeakers, and inside that circle, pods of audience members will listen in the round. Wang says that this work, which will set poems from Forrest Gander’s 2018 Be With, will continue to explore topics of distance, connection, and mourning. “Intricate rhythm of response isn’t possible with physical distance. But like ‘mountain songs’ sung by distant lovers across valleys, with communication across physical distance, it makes private relationships become uniquely public.” 

 

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