I'm very pleased to announce that I've been awarded a grant from the Jerome Foundation's Composers Commissioning Program to create a new work for the awesome new music ensemble Newspeak. The piece, called "The Sleep Room," is a song cycle inspired by the CIA-funded MKULTRA mind control experiments that took place in Montreal between 1957 and 1964.
Obviously, this is a bit of a radical departure from my compositional comfort zone. To be perfectly honest, the prospect of writing for voices, with text, that I need to come up with myself, makes me feel completely disoriented and a bit panicky -- like I've been drugged, abducted, then dropped in the middle of a strange city where I don't speak the language. At the same time, this is a project I've wanted to pursue for a long time and I'm very excited it's finally going to happen, aided and abetted by a group of thoroughly badass musicians.
The premiere will take place in early 2011 -- watch this space for details.