Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Skyere Treace" for Chamber Ensemble.

"Skyere Treace" for Chamber Ensemble.

Bil Smith Composer


Ensemble Chase
Premiere Performance: Whitney Museum of American Art
September 3, 2015

Commission from Battelle Institute 
Stony Brook, NY

"On Sharing Favors" for Alto Flute

"On Sharing Favors" for Alto Flute

From the performance notes:

  • mutations, natural or introduced, that result in partial or complete impairment or alteration of the function of the notation.
  • overexpression or ectopic expression that results in aberrant behavior of the sound or aberrant expression where the resulting notational phenotype is used to make a judgment about the normal activity of that sound

"Mock Monoliths" for Clarinet, Oboe + CounterHarp. Bil Smith Composer

"Mock Monoliths"

for Clarinet, Oboe + CounterHarp

Bil Smith Composer


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Iggy Loves Nicolas Horvath.

Iggy comes to Carnegie Hall to experience Nicolas Horvath's solo piano premiere of GlassWorks. She loves it...stays for the incredibly long concert, but scared to death about being accepted at a 'formal, classical music' concert.   Hmmmm.

She does what she, of course not Darmstadtian, but as my neighbor who asked to come along, she was a beautiful open minded soul...absorbing the music and reveling at Nicolas' delivery.  

"Drunk On The MiniBar"
A distinct colloboration Bil Smith/Iggy Azalea.

Listen On SoundCloud:

This Friday, January 9, 2015.  Nicolas Horvath...Mr. Unthinkable Marathon Piano Performer Descends On Carnegie Hall and Iggy is one fan who will not miss this.

from the NY Times..

“Marathon Man-Pianist, Nicolas Horvath,  Coming off a 22 Hour Concert in Kiev Masterminds The Concert Event of 2015 at Carnegie Hall.”

About her name. Iggy took her stage name from the name of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on, Azalea Street, where her family lives to this day in Australia.
IG's career began to flourish when her first official music video, for a song titled "Pu$$y", was uploaded on her YouTube channel.
On 27 September 2011, IG (my nickname for her) released her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Ignorant Art, saying she made it "with the intent to make people question and redefine old ideals".
And there...that last phrase caught my interest. Saying she made it “with the intent to make people question and redefine old ideals".
About her , IG stated... "It's supposed to have like, all the ridiculousness of a big-budget '90s video, but then chopped and screwed"
To define Iggy's aesthetic, non­-philosophy, by way of musical contrast, frees thought from every end. By curtailing music's specular narcis­sism, non-music(s) untethers thought from every decisional telos.

... and "Nic"

Considered to be an out-of-the-ordinary artist with an unconventional résumé, Nicolas Horvath began his music studies at the Académie de Musique Prince Rainier III de Monaco. At 16, Lawrence Foster took notice of him in a concert and, securing a three year scholarship for him from the Princess Grace Foundation, was able to invite him to the Aspen Music Festival. 

After his studies in the École Normale de Musique in Paris, he worked for three years with Bruno-Léonardo Gelber, Gérard Frémy who instilled in him a sensitivity to music of our time as well as Eric Heidsieck, Gabriel Tacchino, Nelson Delle-Vigne, Philippe Entremont and Oxana Yablonskaya. Leslie Howard got to know him and invited him to perform before the Liszt Society in the United Kingdom, dedicating to him his 23rd Etude in Black and White. Thanks to Leslie Howard, Nicolas was able to deepen and supplement his knowledge of the works of Franz Liszt..

A contemporary music enthusiast, he works for Régis Campo, Denis Levaillant, Jaan Rääts, Kazuo Missé, Thérèse Brenet, Frederick Martin... He did world premiere from more than 100 composers and he is the dedicator of more than 50 pieces (concertos, sonatas, etude, toccata, prelude...).

He performs as soloist with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte- Carlo, the Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra, The Kiev Soloists orchestra, the Nice Ensemble Instrumental and in festivals such as the Palm Beach Atlantic Piano Festival, Gabala Piano Festival, BSI Monte-Carlo Music Master, Canto XL, Palais de Tokyo 2nd Season. 

Winner of almost a dozen of international competitions, he was awarded 4th Prize and Special Franz Liszt Prize at the Yokohama International Competition which takes place in the famous Minato Mirai Hall; 2nd Prize at Fukuoka which enabled him to participate in the Nishin-Nihon Debut Recital Series; First Prize in the American Protégé which opened the doors for him to Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall...

In 2014, Nicolas Horvath will perform during a single concert, all the 5 Liszt concertos with an original theme -a world premiere- with the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leslie Howard. The release of his first cd «Franz Liszt's Christus» (first complete recording at the Hortus Editions) had a great press reception.

He is updating Terry Riley's legendary "All Night Concerts" with uncompromising avant-garde programs such as the "Night of Minimal Piano", the "Complete Philip Glass piano music" or the "Complete Erik Satie piano music including the Vexations". He also did a 35 hours solo non-stop version of the Satie's Vexations.

Nicolas is also an electroacoustic composer and enjoy to work with painters and video artists.

Forthcoming projects include the world premiere recording of LaMonte Young cult piece X for Henry Flynt for Sub Rosa, the recording of the complete Philip Glass piano music for Naxos - Grand Piano label, and the complete Erik Satie piano music for Sheva Collection.

The Concert is produced by Jasna Popovic and New York Artists Management

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Part Two: On Composers Winning Commissions

This is the second in an ongoing series of articles I am writing about obtaining commissions to write, publish and perform your compositions.

Now, do not continue if you believe the only path to become a successful composer is to starve. If you believe that you are 'selling out' if you accept commissions from very large companies (who on the surface are seemingly counterintuitive to you beliefs), this is not the article for you.

For those of you who think it is impossible to get sponsorships or funding for your composition, performances or publications of you work, let's examine a few interesting options... just opening a door here.

For the last several years I have been providing private composition lessons for the son (8 years old and very intuitive) of the CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

This same pharmaceutical company has underwritten four of my compositions and three of the performances.  How did I find this opportunity?  Simple research.

Sign up for LinkedIn.

Be a professional about looking for underwriting opportunities.

We all know the brilliant HatHut label.  If it was not for Lufthansa, they may not have ever launched. I say that, but Werner is a fairly resourceful man.  He most likely would have found another sponsor.

Look at the sponsors for the Summer Courses at Darmstadt (Hello, and thank you Merck KGaA) and reach out to the individuals who have titles like External Community Affairs Director, and Community Relations Manager.

Now as I mentioned previously, create a value proposition for them.

Ask yourself "What can you bring to them?"  Imagine you are in their role, you have a certain dollar sum to expend, and you are screening all of the possible individuals, organizations, etc. that come looking for financial support.

Now be creative...

MerckKGaA.  Drug Company.  Global Headquarters: Darmstadt, Germany.

They are a sponsor of the Summer Music Classes.  Who is also headquartered in Darmstadt who is not a sponsor?


Look at the major contemporary music concerts and festivals around the world.  All have sponsors. Ask yourself, why do they sponsor contemporary new music?

As you look at the image at the beginning of this article you are looking at an ad which will run in the Donaeuschingen Music Days Program this October.  It's one of two placed by Laboratorie New Music in the program.

Guess who paid for those ads?

More to come on this subject...

Advanced Contemporary Techniques For Clarinet by Dr. Adam Berkowitz. PDF Download

Advanced Contemporary Techniques For Clarinet by Dr. Adam Berkowitz

Link To File Here:

Cage, White Paintings and Corti's Organ

Cage makes a point when he formulates one of the fundamental lessons of his infamous composition 4'33" (a work he claimed was inspired, not coincidentally, by Rauschenberg’s White Paintings): there is no such thing as silence. Take away one sound, and there are always others— fainter, or more nuanced and neutral, or simply so regular that they have merged into the background.

Eliminate those fainter sounds and you only open onto yet others in turn: the barely perceptible shimmer of electrical circuits; the ambient hums that inhabit rooms even before we do; the respiration of space.

Continue all the way to the threshold of hearing itself. The tympanic membrane and the organ of Corti resonate with amplitudes approaching the diameter of a hydrogen atom; if the human ear were more sensitive by even a degree we would hear the crash of atoms colliding in their erratic Brownian sweeps, the constant din of fluctuations in molecular density.

But even if we could listen in a vacuum, free from the imperceptible white noise of molecular space, we would still be awash in sound.

As long as we are alive we never escape the systolic waves of the hematic ocean tiding in the nautilus turns of the ear.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Dominant Crave". The Score

"Lucas de Grom". For Three Trombones

"Lucas de Grom"

For Three Trombones

Bil Smith Composer

Commission from Southwest Airlines

"Pitching Substitution"

Recording: "The Black Flame Rinses The Second Sky" (2009-2013)

"The Black Flame Rinses The Second Sky" (2009-2013)
Double String Quartet, Orchestra, Pharmacist, Bally's Code Red, Spectral Ventriloquist, Micro-Gestural Half Life Timbre Polymodulation and Regulated Pulsaret-Width Modulation

On SoundCloud:

"...the complex score offers a language for Smith's negotiation. From the outset, a low-slung envelope snakes through and around existing obstacles, then lifts up off the ground to allow listeners to enter before twisting and turning away, pulling the ear along rather than asking the audience to stand and stare.

A dramatic vortex of spiraling ambiguities brings daylight down even into the submerged sonorities, while allowing these sonic spaces themselves to remain unflinchingly neutral, although varied in scale and dimension.
“Temental,” as Smith calls the central passage, is as internally variegated, allowing it to perform as the binding agent rather than the hieratic center that holds all the other elements of this magnificent piece together. In other words, the surface of this music —outside and in—is not an abstract plane or a transcendent core but a site of exchange between competing concerns.
Smith confounds us with neologisms (his life's other work) to depict renderings of passages within his compositions. While others merely define their work with titles, Smith augments each piece with titles within titles...a lexical panacea; a syntacticon unrealized by any other composer in time.
...the dexterity with which the performance takes on its various roles renders it materially present but momentarily elusive: No wall can be said to guard the boundary between inside and outside. Smith’s ideal emerges as a new kind of composition, sent via special delivery to a place where negotiation is urgently needed and heroism inconceivable."
Kevin O'Hare - Music Critic for "The Republican"

"Kampfschwimmer" for Mixed Ensemble


for Soprano Saxophone, Glockenspiel, Thundersheet, Slit Drum, Tenor, Violin and Viola(s).  

Bil Smith Composer

Zelophilia for Six Tuning Forks