Composer Highlight: Scott Wollschleger


We have been so thrilled to work with Scott Wollschleger this year on his new piece for us, Violain! He has been an incredible collaborator, and we feel lucky to have such a great and thoughtful new piece to add to our repertoire. We played some preview performances of the piece on our California tour with great success, and after some tweaks and changes made by Scott we are ready for the world premiere performance on the permutations series on Thursday, December 14th at the DiMenna Center at 7:30pm! 


What was your process like when writing 'Violain'?

My writing process is very hands on and I played around with both instruments to find the sounds I wanted to use for this piece. A lot of the sounds are a result of very fast gestures with unusual bowing technique. In some spots I had to video myself and play it back in slow motion to see what I was doing. Once I saw what I was doing I notated the sound/gesture on staff paper and then taped that individual piece of staff paper to my wall. After some time my walls were decorated with various panels of notation. Many of the "panels" were made of self-similar sounds which made it easy to "stitch" together the various panels to create larger sections of the piece. The piece was written almost exclusively using this kind of collage technique.

Is there anything you would like the audience to know about the piece?

The title came about through a typo in the music engraving file name. The piece was going to have the boring title, "Viola and Violin". The typo-title is fitting because a great deal of the music embraces a typo aesthetic. Since the music was written by hand musical typos were common and in many places I ended up letting the mistake stay in the music because it sounded more interesting.  Also by letting some typos be I feel this gives the music an extra layer of joyful Wabi-sabi. 

What have you been listening to on repeat recently?

Galina Ustvolskaya and Phil Niblock. 

Do you have a go-to car snack recommendations for us?

In a desperate moment a few years ago I bought a bag of Combos on a road trip and discovered they're fun to eat while driving. They also last a week after being open and can be left in a hot steamy car for many hours and taste the same. You can't think to much about them while eating them or you'll feel gross. But I buy a bag any time I hit the road. 

Can you tell us something that we don't know (about you, the world, the universe, etc.)?

The world already ended. 


Check out more of Scott's work on his website!

andWeek: Thanksgiving edition


What a week, am I right?! There was so much to be thankful for, and spending time with family and friends was pretty amazing. Hannah and I took the week off from each other after the intense California trip, but boy did I miss her. I am sure she felt the same, but she hates encouraging my fancies and will never admit it!

I spent the weekend hanging with my dad, his wife Katie, my two sweet brothers, Lucio and Matteo, and their pup, Pippo in DeKalb, IL. Family came into town from all over the place for Thanksgiving dinner and my cousin’s baby shower. Many games were played, Pippo was walked, and pies were consumed.

PIE. If you know me you know that I love pie. If you want to get to know me, offer me pie and I will be yours forever. 


Pippo is a mega goofball with a tiny frame, a big personality, and an assortment of winter accessories.


Downtown DeKalb. Where all of the magic happens.


We are stuffed full of food but enjoying a brisk family pic on the back porch!


Looking forward: I CANNOT wait for the andPlay + David Bird meeting/dinner this coming week. Two of my favorite people to talk big ideas with in one place! Also, the weather is getting cooler and I have plans to whip up a batch of meyer lemon cranberry scones (yum)!


I traveled to Pittsburgh this Thanksgiving to see my family. It was a relaxing few days full of funny conversations, good food, and the constant "click" of my dad's selfie-stick. Here are a few shots from my past week!

This picture was actually taken in New York earlier this week, on my run in Inwood Hill Park. There is a turn in the path where people have discarded their Halloween pumpkins -- including this Cinderella-sized one!


My mom cooked Thanksgiving dinner this year and it was delicious. This was my first Thanksgiving as a meat-eater in a long time, so I enjoyed trying turkey again!


The day after Thanksgiving we took a family walk through Frick Park. It was a beautiful day and a perfect way to walk off that gigantic meal. 


Our walk landed us at an exhibit at The Frick Pittsburgh  where we saw their latest traveling exhibit, "Undressed: A History of Fashion in Underwear." Strange family activity, but actually pretty interesting. I'm glad women don't still wear corsets -- ouch!


My youngest brother has become quite the chef and cooked schezuan beef for our family dinner one night. I was shocked by the schezuan peppercorns that make your mouth go numb -- it was such a strange feeling, but really tasty!


Looking forward: I'm figuring out how to cook some strange vegetables I received in a farmshare this week, including a yokohama squash. Any suggestions?