The official piano reduction of my bass concerto, Inescapable, is now complete! It always amazes me how errors in the full score are never made apparent until one begins to break it down. But, just as with all revisions, all notation errors were corrected. This work should go a long way.
Well, I’m off to the Nelson-Atkins Museum for some summertime inspiration as I compose Greg Haynes’ Percussion Concerto. The work is based on the life of Sakanouye No Tamuramaro.
NewMusicBox » Commissioning Music and Stuff.
Today was another phenomenal recording session with Dominique Saunders, producing an incredible album with KC’s finest musicians!!!! MAKING MUSIC!
Until next time………..stay tuned
It doesn’t get any better than this!!!! Being in the recording studio with KC’s BEST musicians, collaborating on a stellar album project……….it’s monumental. WHO? WHERE? WHEN?……well……..all of that will be revealed in the mysterious future. Just buckle up and get yourselves prepared for a thrill!!!!! I’m honored to be involved. Stay tuned for more!!!!
Ok, ok, ok. So, I’ve settled on the subject of my percussion concerto, Sakanouye No Tamuramaro : Concerto for Percussion and Blown Instruments. Hmnnn………this guy was Japan’s 2nd shogun, and a highly revered general; not to mention that he’s supposedly the founder of the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. There’s a lot of lore and legend surrounding this guy, which is another reason why I chose him as my subject; the first reason is that I love history. There are several open-ended accounts of his life, background, etc…, that drew my attention.
Although the subject matter deals with Japanese history, the music, for double wind quintet and solo percussion, is of a different character. However, I do intend to include moments that suggest his ethnic identity; I just don’t want to keep it in that zone.
I’ve got all of my motivic ideas laid out, and I made some changes. Originally, I included a steel pan in the set-up; convinced that it would work. And, it could………BUT, I’d like to have several performances of this with the same instrumentation each time. So, I made the necessary amendments. Plus, this is a great challenge for me! I enjoy writing for orchestra so much, that having to condense my ideas down is what I need for composing a work such as this.
My workload now consists of me inputting the first notes from my hand-written sketches into Sibelius. I’m also writing a piano reduction of my bass concerto, Inescapable. I haven’t had any time to organize my drafts of Symphony No. 2, and I’m still in the middle of Symphony No. 3. Hopefully a residency with an orchestra or a handsome commission will come along to further those efforts. But for now, my earthly air-sharers, I’m back to the lab. More updates coming……..
Show #24 – Interview with Kerwin Young – Parts 1 & 2
April 19th, 2013, my birthday; the day after Public Enemy was inducted into the hallowed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ron Maskell interviewed me at the JW Marriott (L.A. Live) Hotel. Get up close with my life as a producer/composer, and overall kool dude from the hood. Hear some of my many stories.
The Midwest Chamber Ensemble and Greg Haynes (percussion) will be premiering my Percussion Concerto in November. I’m in the process of working out my thematic material; planning, etc…. I’ll post more about this as the work progresses.
Also in the works is a piano reduction of my recent bass concerto.
1. I’m seeking major orchestras to program my Symphony No. 1 (Empire of Kasuf), which is for children’s choir and orchestra.
2. I’m looking for a choir to perform my short, but sweet chorale work, “If Not the Sun”, with original text written by yours truly.
3. I can sure use an agent, and some exposure as an orchestrator or composer on a major motion picture.
For what’s it’s worth, I think I deserve it. More to come……….you can bet on that!!!
On April 8, 2013 the Kansas City Symphony performed compositions written by students from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. This is a wonderful opportunity for both the students as well as the musicians to play new works!
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance student Tyler Capp with Assistant Conductor Aram Demjianand the Kansas City Symphony performing “Clang Redux.”
From left: Kerwin Young, Tyler Capp, Nicholas Omiccioli and Jiang Yu.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance student Tyler Capp working with Kansas City Symphony on his piece, “Clang Redux.”
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance student Jiang Yu with Assistant Conductor Aram Demirjian and the Kansas City Symphony for her piece, “Dawn of Spring.”
From left: Kerwin Young and Jiang Yu from UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.
From left: Kerwin Young, Jiang Yu and Nicholas Omiccioli.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance composition student Tyler Capp chatting with Principal Trombonist Roger Oyster.
From left: Tyler Capp, Nicholas Omiccioli, Kerwin Young and Jiang Yu.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance composition student Kerwin Young listening to his piece, Symphony No. 3 “Captain Paul Cuffe and the Traveller” with Jiang Yu and Tyler Capp.
Kerwin Young and Jiang Yu.
Assistant Conductor Aram Demirjian with composition student Kerwin Young.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance composition student Kerwin Young.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance composition student Nicholas Omiccioli with Assistant Conductor Aram Demirjian and the Kansas City Symphony performing Omiccioli’s “Flourishes” for Chamber Orchestra.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance composition student Nicholas Omiccioli listening to the Kansas City Symphony under the direction of Assistant Conductor Aram Demirjian.
Principal Bassist Jeffrey Kail and UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance composition student Kerwin Young.
The induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame took place Thursday, April 18, in Los Angeles. Some of this year’s inductees included Heart, Randy Newman, Rush and Public Enemy.
Public Enemy is only the fourth hip hop band to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. And along with rappers Chuck D and Flavor Flav, a Kansas City-based composer and master’s student at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Kerwin Young, shared the spotlight.
From the neighborhood
Kerwin Young was born in New York, and grew up in Roosevelt, Long Island. Public Enemy’s lead rapper Chuck D lived just around the corner – and it was in this neighborhood that Young was introduced to their hard, hip hop sound.
“I first heard their music on a local college radio station, WBAU. That was 1986,” recalls Young. “The regular radio stations wouldn’t play their music, and some of the guys in my high school brought their music to school.”
Public Enemy’s second album, It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988), hooked Young on their music. It’s an album Rolling Stone described as “loud, obnoxious, funky, avant-garde, political, uncompromising and hilarious all at once.”
“I was like, wow, it was so much different from their first album,” says Young. “(It was) so much different from the music that was out at the time.”
“Going there with sound”
Young had been DJ-ing since his early teens and told some friends about his records; they took him to Public Enemy’s studio. And that’s where, at age 17, he met the Bomb Squad, Public Enemy’s production team, who layered sounds, music and spoken word, sirens and scratches.
“They listened to a lot of old Motown, Temptations, Sly Stone, the Beatles,Stockhausen, Sun Ra,” says Young. “(They were) just going there with sound, and seeing what they could contribute to music as a whole, to create something that paid homage to the artists they appreciated, but still could contribute something new. And that was the whole premise.”
For the next few years, Young spent time at the studio as an apprentice, “getting the guys potato chips, Chinese food,” or just watching and learning.
“I was still green, I didn’t know anything about the business,” he says. “I just wanted to make music, and make records.”
Working as a team
By 1989, he was a part of the Bomb Squad and assisted with Fear of a Black Planet, probably best known for “Fight the Power,” featured in the Spike Lee film, “Do The Right Thing.”
“We were a team that worked collectively together,” says Young. “Most of the time we’d do songs and it would be our own individual thing, but the other guys would come in and say, hey, you know, why not this, or that. It was a collaborative effort all the time.”
Young continued to produce or perform music on records – working with Public Enemy and other artists, like Ice Cube, the James Brown Band, and Mobb Deep. He’s also written music for films (“Sister Act 2,” “He Got Game,”) and for television (“New York Undercover,” “Flavor of Love 2″).
Exploring new challenges and new sounds
About a decade ago, he started composing for orchestra – and to hone this craft, he’s now studying composition at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. He earned his bachelor’s in 2012 – and he’s working on a Master of Music degree. Studying with faculty members like Chen Yi and Zhou Long, he started writing for Chinese instruments, such as the pipa and erhu.
“I’ve been able to meet other students who play some of these instruments,” says Young. “It’s a great challenge and I enjoy it.
His future plans include teaching composition and orchestration at the college level. But, for now, he says, he’s taking it slow, spending time creating – and getting his own name and his own work out there.
"Berkeley Rep scrutinized InstantEncore and the competition. We opted for IE and have no regrets. Designing our mobile site and app was affordable, collaborative, and on-time. We launched both, and we love them. We can’t wait to see what they do for the Theatre."