On October 16th at 4pm, the Songs of Ishmael, my Leviathan-sized song-cycle, were premiered at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, which commissioned the work, and where Herman Melville attended for many years of his New York life.
Performers: Molly Quinn, Nacole Palmer, Sopranos
Benedicte Jourdois, Piano
This premiere was the culmination and realization of over 4 years of work for me, and it was an amazing premiere.
I had the chance to spend the month of July on these songs, composing them while at residence at the Millay Colony in Austerlitz, New York, some 20 miles from Pittsfield, Massachussetts, where Melville finished Moby Dick (upon texts of which these songs are composed). Below, the wonderful performers after the premiere. From left to right, Molly Quinn, Nacole Palmer, Bénédicte Jourdois, and James Blachly.