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To compose my new trio for piano, violin, and cello—"Ascent"—during ten weeks at the Banff Centre.
To compose my new trio for piano, violin, and cello—"Ascent"—during ten weeks at the Banff Centre.
29 backers pledged $3,579 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Music in video: Trail Days, by Aaron Rosenberg
     Kanae Komugi, flute    
     Blake McGee, clarinet
     Helena Kopchick and Alexander Reid, bassoons    
     Tim Clarke and Dylan Girard, trumpets    
     Matthew Ertz and Louis Olenick, trombones    
    Jerry Hui, conductor

Hello, and welcome to my Kickstarter! I'm Aaron Rosenberg, a composer living in Lowell, Massachusetts. 

I'm traveling to Alberta, Canada to compose Ascent, a trio for piano, violin, and cello. Ascent will be a response to the piano-cello-bass trio I'm currently writing, titled Suffusion, which is a reverie about nostalgia as both a consolation and a treacherous psychological quagmire. Ascent will mostly be an unrestrained rush of optimism, untethering the yearning from nostalgia while still remembering the past. The world premiere of Ascent will occur between April and September, 2014, depending on the availability of the chosen performing ensemble.

Violinist Saskia Hiersche played in the premieres of my "Crowd Scene" and Daniel Shapiro's "Children's Games" in Darmstadt.
Violinist Saskia Hiersche played in the premieres of my "Crowd Scene" and Daniel Shapiro's "Children's Games" in Darmstadt.


My compositions run the gamut from solo piano to large ensembles and embody multiple musical idioms. I typically enjoy writing for smaller forces, though this summer I composed a piece for chamber orchestra and had a blast. Below are twelve one-minute audio excerpts of my music along with abbreviated program notes. To each work's title I linked a PDF of its correlating score excerpt. Even if you don’t read music, the scores provide examples of the visual aspect of my output. 

To compose Ascent, I've been invited to participate January 5 – March 15 as a resident at The Banff Centre, “the largest arts and creativity incubator on the planet.” I do my best work in such environments, which balance precious solitude with inspiration from other artists. The Banff Centre is providing me a generous financial aid package, but a hefty balance remains. I'm attempting to raise $3,500 to cover seventy days of lodging and meals, extras like laundry and printer paper, and Kickstarter rewards. Anything raised above this amount will be applied to travel expenses for a June trip to Darmstadt for the premiere of my other trio, Suffusion. For travel to Banff, I'm applying for a separate grant from New Music USA.

I am extremely grateful for any contribution you can make. If I meet my goal, I assure you that my composing will benefit greatly! 

Finally, please see the right-hand part of this page for some cool and unique rewards, including personalized piano portraits of you composed by me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

With composer Conrad Susa, my mentor at the San Francisco Conservatory
With composer Conrad Susa, my mentor at the San Francisco Conservatory


MY MUSIC:

1Quandaries for string quartet,  movement 2, variation II: Lento
     Sweeping Romantic gestures, with moods alternating between wistful
     and ominous.
         Georgia Lewis, Megumi Stohs, violins
         Margaret Dyer, viola
         Elizabeth Lee, cello

2. Leave me here crying (ah!) for chorus
    A mood of dark anguish prevails in this English translation of the Lorca
    poem. 
         Soprano - Amy Wood, Luette Saul, Gabby McColgan, Krista Wigel  
         Alto - Katey Daniel, Garineh Avakian, Paula Arcineglia
         Tenor - Lawrence Jones, Thomas Conroy, Ben Gribble, Nathan
                    Plante
         Bass - Abraham Fabella, Vincent Peterson, Cole Thomason-Redus,
                    Bernard Crane
         Conductor - Jonathan Russell

 3. Pastorale for flute, violin, cello, and piano (winner of the Kris Getz
     award for composition for young performers)
     A jaunt through a meadow carries many promises.
         Michelle Chan, flute
         Tiffany Wu, violin
         Jeremy Lin, cello
         Sophia Yang, piano  
      

4. Two Indiscretions: I. The Vapors for piano
    Earnestness mingles with ennui. Meek protests emanate from the
    haze.
         Crystal Zimmerman, piano

5. Two Indiscretions: II. Waltzing Alone for piano
     A private dance of the interpretive sort—leaping, spinning, and
     swooning all with the utmost of (dis)grace.
         Crystal Zimmerman, piano

6. Unsaid for violin and cello
     Dialogue between a couple of all-too-familiars, whose barbs interrupt
     and overlap, a toxic exchange, both muttered and shouted.
         Avril Bondy, violin
         Gracin Dorsey, cello

 7. Three Rumi Love Songs: II. Your eyes, when they really see for mezzo
     soprano and piano
     The truth of love is charged with a sense of derangement, an
     overwhelming saturation. Both piano and singer in turn swoon and
     skulk.
         Kirsten Arbogast, mezzo-soprano
         Ben Krause, piano

8. Misty Valley Chickens for soprano sax and double bass
     At the end of a long day, the chickens of the hidden Misty Valley doze
     side by side on the sun-warmed earth, older nuzzling younger to
     sleep, bocking lullabies in hushed tones. 
         Benjamin Wheeler, double bass
         Collin Wilson, sax

 9. The Crail Family, 1910 for toy piano
     This photo appears in Virginia Huidekoper's The Early Days of Jackson
     Hole. 
My music depicts the still life of the photographic image itself,
     as well as my impressions of the workaday existence of this frontier
     family.
         Aaron Rosenberg, toy piano

10. Friend: II. Standing Lullaby for viola and piano
     My projection of the memories and dreams that fill aching hearts, a  
     reverie of those who could not fix it, and so became inured to it.
         Kate Rogers, viola
         Aaron Rosenberg, piano

 11. To Fill the Hour: II. Work for large chamber ensemble
       Amidst a texture always in flux, repeated motives combine and
       overlap, journeying from the work-day whistle-call to take up tools,
       and chugging on until the great sigh at the day's end.
           The Triptych Ensemble

 12. Crowd Scene for piano quintet
     Originally composed for a scene from the silent classic The Cabinet of
     Dr. Caligari,
this music captures the pinball experience of making one's
     way through the jostling throngs.
         Danielle Schwarz, flute
         Michael Schmidt, clarinet
         Saskia Hiersche, violin
         Alev Akcos, cello
         Björn Lehmann, piano

Composer Pauline Oliveros was a visiting guest at the University of Oregon, where she coached student composers.
Composer Pauline Oliveros was a visiting guest at the University of Oregon, where she coached student composers.

Risks and challenges

There's always the chance of illness, but I live a healthy life and besides, I had my flu shot! At the very minimum, I will be able to compose a substantial piece of music at Banff. I've little doubt of this, as I have an excellent record for follow-through.

There's a slight chance that the timeframe will change for having my trio professionally performed and recorded because I must find the right ensemble to perform the piece. I'm currently keeping my eyes open for an ensemble to perform my trio post-Banff, when it is fully tweaked. I'm hoping that I can find this group among my peers at Banff. If not, trio ensembles are plentiful, and also exist as subsets of larger ensembles, so the only risk is that I may require some additional time to find the right group to work with.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Patron Level: FERMATA BOOSTER.
    As a patron, you get your name on the patron page of the trio score and a copy of the score when it is completed. (A pdf file unless you request hard copy). You will also be invited to the premiere performance in the U.S.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Patron Level: DEFENDER OF HARMONY.
    The same rewards as Fermata Boosters, plus an MP3 of the trio once it is professionally performed and recorded. This could be at Banff, but will likely be post-Banff.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Patron Level: COUNTERPOINT HERO. The same rewards as Fermata Boosters and Defenders of Harmony, but including a recording of both Trios: "Suffusion" and "Ascent."

    Also, I will honor you with a short character composition for piano, one to two minutes in length, in homage to you and with your name in the title. I will compose a suite of character pieces for piano as my post-Banff project. This music may be based on my familiarity with you, your pet(s), your personal desire for any specific mood, impression, or scene, any combination of the above, or something you might wish that is not listed above but that is nonetheless feasible.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Patron Level: KING OF CLEFS.

    The same rewards as Fermata Boosters, Defenders of Harmony, and Counterpoint Heroes, with the following additions. Your character composition as described above is now two minutes or longer. Also, rather than just the two trios, you receive a compact disc jam-packed full of my music from as early as 1989, including some very strange and hilarious audio clips I made in the late 90s.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Patron Level: GUARDIAN OF THE GREAT STAFF. The same rewards as Fermata Boosters, Defenders of Harmony, Counterpoint Heroes, and Kings of Clefs, but with your name as dedicatee on the front title page, the patron page, and beneath the title on the first page of music of the score to "Ascent." Every effort will also be made to include your name in any concert's program notes.

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Funding period

- (30 days)