• Judith as Faculty

    Judith will serve as faculty at New Music on the Point, June 2-9, with Juraj Kojs as Interim-Artistic Director, and a terrific group of performers and composers. We will all be involved in performance, improvising, composing and collaborating. There will be rich interactions with the environment – both as inspiration and performance venues, as well as musical experiments incorporating the natural environment.

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  • Mariola

    Instrumentation: Viola & Marimba
    Duration: 9:00
    Commission:  Piedmont Duo/University of Virginia
    Premiere: 3/26/2024, Old Cabell Auditorium, University of Virginia
    Charlottesville, VA
    Performers: Ayn Balija (viola), I-Jen Fang (marimba)

    View Score | Purchase Music

    Program Note:
    The Piedmont Duo’s innovative combination of viola and marimba inspired the title Mariola, which delightfully combines their names and also refers to a hardy shrub that grows in the Southwest of the US and can handle extremely dry conditions. It overcomes them to blossom in the summer with delicate white flowers. This provided a rich metaphor for the compositional process, from pushing ideas into shape to their gradual flourishing. The piece begins with the intensity of seeds taking root and growing. The harmonic anchor gradually changes, ultimately rising a major second as the plants reach the light, culminating in a stratsopheric registral and timbral close. I am delighted that my colleagues and dear friends Ayn Balija and I-Jen Fang, the founders of the innovative Piedmont Duo, not only spearheaded this project, but also enthusiastically collaborated in exploring the marvelous range of their instruments.―JS

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  • Canta la Sal

    Juventas New Music Ensemble:
    Anne Howarth, horn; Thomas Barth, cello; Julia Scott Carey, piano

    Instrumentation: Cello, Horn & Piano
    Duration: 10:35
    Commission: Anne Howarth, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, with additional support from the Meir Rimon Commissinoing Assistance Program of the IHS.
    Premiere: 01/27/2024, Multicultural Arts Center; Cambridge, MA
    Performers: Members of the Juventas New Music Ensemble

    View Score | Purchase Music  

    Program Note:

    The title Canta la Sal is drawn from Pablo Neruda’s profound poem Oda A La Sal. What drew me to that source was a conversation with hornist Anne Howarth in the initial stages of the commissioning of this trio for horn, cello and piano. For Anne, salt touches on a fundamental aspect of life – we cannot exist without it. And it touches on deep emotion – tears, laughter. It likewise resonated for me, and as I continued thinking about  and delving into the topic, I came across Neruda’s powerful ode. It  encompasses the basic nature of salt – on the flats, in deep mines; the sounds of salt on the flats in the Chilean desert; its use to flavor our food and enable life, as well as the fantastic leap from its place in our mouths to the enormity of the ocean. There are wonderful images, of the singing salt, of the mountain of buried light, the transparent cathedral, the crystal of the sea. These images and metaphors infuse the harmonic, rhythmic  and timbral trajectories of the trio. I am grateful to the multiple partners who commissioned this piece: Anne Howarth, who spearheaded it;  the Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program of the International Horn Society.  ―JS

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  • Kevin Lawence Performs Rising on the Wings of Dawn

    Judith was guest composer at the UNCSA. Her visit started with a colloquium for the composition seminar focused on her compositional design process and transformative timbral approach.  Next, outstanding violinist Kevin Lawrence performed Rising on the Wings of Dawn as the capstone of his touring of this program both in NC and Utah. His recital, with the excellent pianist Dmitri Shteinberg,  featured a wonderfully diverse group of pieces by Copland, Price and Walton as well as Shatin in the beautiful recital hall of the School of the Arts

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  • Piedmont Duo Commissions Mariola

    The terrific Piedmont Duo, with violist Ayn Balija and percussionist I-Jen Fang, has commissioned Mariola. The title combines the names of the two instruments, and is the name of a hardy southwestern shrub that survives and thrives in very dry conditions. Just so, music thrives in surprising nooks and crannies!  Mariola  is part of a project promoting and recording the music of women composers, in particular those associated with the UVA Music Department, and will be premiered on March 22, 2024  in Old Cabell Auditorium at 8:00 p.m.

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  • Denise Von Glahn’s Chapter on Ice Becomes Water Published

    Musicologist Denise Von Glahn’s Chapter Relational Capacities, Musical Ecologies: Judith Shatin’s Ice Becomes Water, has been published in Sounds, Ecologies, Musics,  ed. by Aaron S. Allen and Jeff Todd Titon  and published by Oxford University Press. Her analysis is rich and captures a great deal about the  music and its context.

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  • For the Birds on Sophie-Justine Herr’s Album :innen Drops on 3/8/24

    Cellist Sophie-Justine Herr’s album :innen (Within) drops on 3/8/24 with a concert on March 8, International Women’s Day, in Network Seilerei in Frankfurt am Main. You can find her wonderful trailer on PASCHEN records here. Her wide-ranging repertoire includes music by Elisenda Fábregas.  (Catalonia).  Teresa Grebchenko (Poland), Young Pagh-Paan (South Korea), Kaija Saariaho (Finland), as well as Shatin’s (USA) For the Birds.  She will tour this program, with multiple concerts this season. This is the third recording of For the Birds, the first by US Cellist Madeleine Shapiro, with the second by Mexican cellist Iracema de Andrade. As birds have become increasingly decimated by climate change, building strikes and other habitat loss, it is ever more important to listen to their voices and move to protect them.

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  • Ruah, Flute-Piano Version
    Flutist Renee Siebert & Pianist Cynthia Siebert: World Premiere Performance
    Instrumentation: Flute & Piano
    Duration: 23:00
    Renee and Cynthia Siebert
    National Flute Association Convention, Kansas City, MO
              Ruah , pronounced with a guttural “h”, is a Hebrew word that translates as air, wind, or breath. In Cabalistic mysticism it also refers to the part of the soul that mediates between the body and the spirit. Both the colloquial and spiritual meanings are at work here. The images of breath and air inform  the timbral stretching of the flute’s sound, with the flutist using the voice and its breath flow in conjunction with played tones. The image of the wind is captured in the swirling lines of the first movement, marked Soaring, and in the third, titled Impassioned. The second movement, Tender,  emerges from a dynamic stillness, with far-flung registral limits, and large internal spaces. Its three-part  organization mirrors the larger-scale three movement plan of the entire piece. The final movement is a spin through space, and reflects a more tightly wound, assertive character than the first two movements. Howevr, it also refers to the preceding movements. The spiritual reference is embodied in the role of the flute as it variously springs forth from and mediates between the instruments of the ensemble.
              Ruah was composed for and is dedicated to Reneé Siebert, who premiered and the recorded it with the Prism Chamber Orchestra. Originally scored for solo flute with an additional wind quartet, brass trio and strings, an optional percussionpart was created for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, who premiered it with flutist Mehrdad Gholami and conductor Timothy Weiss. Composition of Ruah was made possible in part by an NEA Composer Fellowship and a residency at the VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts), where the flute/piano version was also created. It was premiered by Reneé and Cynthia Siebert at the NFA Convention in Kansas City in 1994. As a flutist in my early years, extensive exploration and experimentation with the instrument has informed Ruah as well as multiple other flute-focused compositions.
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  • For the Fallen on Wanchi Huang’s Imagining Worlds Album Out Now!

    Violinist Wanchi Huang’s new album, Imagining Worlds, has been released on the Navona label. I created a new version of For the Fallen, for violin and electronics fashioned from the Peace Bell in Rovereto, IT. Originally commissioned by Rovereto-based trumpeter Ivano Ascari, each of the subsequent versions has involved a reimagining based on the world of the particular instrument. The collaboration with Wanchi Huang was outstanding, and enabled me to recalibrate the timbral elements in a way that serves both the violin and the electronics. This new album also features a wonderful panaoloy of music by Adolphus Hailstork, Meira Warshauer, Jeffrey Mumford and John Corigliano.

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  • Commission for Canta la Sal for horn, cello & piano

    Canta la Sal, scored for horn, cello and piano, was inspired by initial discussions with hornist Anne Howarth followed by Pablo Neruda’s vivid poem Oda a la sal. It is a co-commission of Anne Howarth,  the Juventas Ensemble and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and is funded in part by the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program of the International Horn Society. The Neruda poem eloquently speaks of salt, its connection to the sea and to life, to its song as it is mined and as it moves through the entire chain of life. Salt is both necessary for life, and can destroy it, as in the siege of Carthage, or throughthe malfunction of our own bodies. We cry and we shed salty tears. Salt is within us and of us.   The premiere will be at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, MA on January 27, 2024.

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