The headline of this update should be : Mu-Xuan Will be an Artist-in-Residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France in Spring, 2014
Nevertheless, a mildly detailed and decorous report is perhaps called for, for there has been a couple of fundamental changes in my life in the past few months.
Last April, I was chosen as one of the five composers for the Protonwerk 3 award for which I was commissioned to write a ten-minute piece for the Swiss ensemble Ensemble Proton Bern. My new work, Double Jeopardy (2013) for flute, clarinet, lupophon, kontraforte, violin, violoncello, harp, and piano, was completed late last November, and will be premiered by the exuberant talents of das ensemble proton bern on Monday, February 24th (19:30) in the Dampfzentrale, Berne, Switzerland.
After living in Boston for ten years, I finally uprooted myself again and relocated to Los Angeles last September. This season (2013-14) has proven itself to be an eventful year in my young career as a composer and an advanced composition and theory student. In the new flat in Long Beach, California — ten-minute walk to the beach and surrounded by a small Mediterranean garden – shared by me and my partner, I undertake my research and analysis of Fausto Romitelli’s music, composed Double Jeopardy (2013) for das ensemble proton bern, work on Peinture, I (2013-14) – a duet piece commissioned by Transient Canvas, and my first chamber opera.
On November 13th last year, my string quartet movement Petits Quatuors : I. petite chambre (2012) was featured on composer Peter Fahey‘s “Mixtape” broadcast by New York City’s WQXR. I was honored by such inclusion as my little piece was broadcast alongside works by some of the most talented young composers whose music I respect. To hear the replay of this tape please click http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/peter-fahey/
Late last year I received an invitation from la Cité Internationale des Arts for a four-month residency in spring, 2014. Early next month – February – I will pack up my manuscript papers, favorite books, hand-me-down computer, my foot duvet and that faithful blanket which accompanied me through many frost-dusted, heart-wrenching composing nights, and again wiggle my way through numerous terminals and gasoline-smelling airplane gates. I will move into one of the dozen Paris city owned studios on 18 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville in Paris equipped with an upright, overlooking the Seine and neighboring the Notre Dame and the Marais. My substantial yet not too lengthy residency will allow me to conduct my research on Romitelli, and to continue working on my chamber opera for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, flute, horn, violin, violoncello, double bass, piano, percussion, and electronics, while spending the rest of the time being a flâneur. In late February, I will take the train to attend the premiere of Double Jeopardy (2013) in Berne, Switzerland, hopefully with a detour to Genève to visit a dear friend of mine. I will work hard, get in touch with my acquaintances in Europe, think about my friends and colleagues and enemies in Boston, miss my partner in Los Angeles, and Skype chat with my brother in Washington D.C. and with my parents in Taipei, Taiwan. All of these – work, my music, living, and the inspirations and knowledge they bring forth – all in the City of Light and in the transitions preceding and following it. I am looking forward to my new adventure!