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The 30-year-old Chicago native is now settled in Brooklyn; he's one of four young composers whose work will be featured, as world premieres, in the Brooklyn Philharmonic's preview concert in October.
What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Ft. Greene, and I love it more than any place I've ever lived.
How long have you been in NY?
I grew up in Chicago, and moved to New York when I was 18 to attend Manhattan School of Music. I've lived here ever since.
What's the best venue where your work has been performed in NY?
My music has been played at Carnegie Hall a few times—and that was definitely a rush—but I have to say I was prouder to be a part of the opening concert at Issue Project Room's new space in Downtown Brooklyn. Venues like Issue Project Room and Roulette are fearless promoters of new and experimental music, and are helping to make Brooklyn one of the most exciting places in the world to be a composer.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be? Dead?
I'd love to write some music for Audra McDonald someday. She's such an incredibly versatile musician with a stunning instrument, and I really admire her sense of social responsibility—what it means to be an artist in the world today. She's really got it all. If I had a time machine, I'd be trying to figure out a way to work with Merce Cunningham.
What's next for you?
In 2012-13, I'll have new pieces premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and Boston's A Far Cry, and I'm also working on a new vocal/theatrical piece about Bradley Manning.