After iWeb officially went “kaput!” my desire to build a new artist website lingered, until, finally, 6 months later, I turned my attention on the task full throttle. What has emerged is bigger and badder than any of the digital representations before it. I would be honored should you like to partake. Please enjoy!
This is my one minute composition “Glass Half Full” performed by Parhelion Trio, June 2012 at St. Mark’s Church in Jackson Heights, NY. This was an official selection of the 15 Minutes of Fame Competition run by Vox Novus. Come hear this and much more music on September 15 at 4 pm, 2012 at Church in the Gardens, Forest Hills, NY — free admission.
I want to say something profound. Isn’t that what graduation speeches attempt to do? …to find a clever way of saying, “look how far we’ve come, just wait and see how far we’ll go.” Trying to be profound is like trying to win the Nobel Prize – if it’s the recognition you want, then you probably don’t deserve it. But I want to say something that matters. I’ll try my best to avoid the usual clichés but I make no promises.
Friend of the show Sunny Knable stops by to talk about his new album American Variations (available at http://centaurrecords.com/) and is forced to play a score of soothing bedding music while discussing highly inappropriate things with Adam and Vance. Featuring music by Kingsley Flood, Sunny Knable and Wamii G. Bodega.
Over 5 years ago, I moved to New York City without much idea of what I was looking for when I got here. I had spent 23 years in Sacramento, and while I had gotten a good education at CSU Sacramento, I had the sensation of being a “Big Fish in a Little Pond.” Well, NYC corrected my state of mind in a less than a New York minute. So began my journey into adulthood.
In that confusing post-graduate time, I did a lot of soul searching. My musical interests pulled me in different directions while my career became focused on piano: I worked as a ballet accompanist, a church musician, a children’s musician, a private teacher, a keyboardist in pop/rock groups, as a background jazz player, and as a pianist in several classical concerts. I was proud that I could make a living in NYC as a musician, but I was creatively unsettled. As time went on, a persistent thought began to creep into my consciousness – that I could not do everything and do it well. I would have to pick one path to trod.
In retrospect, things have a way of seeming obvious, but at the time, I could not see that the one element in my life that was unfaltering was my passion to compose. In 2006, before I left for NYC, my former piano professor, Richard Cionco, commissioned me to compose a solo piano work for him. It was a huge honor for me and a vote of confidence from one of the best performers I have ever known. A year later, I emerged with a composition, American Variations, a 27 minute piano piece that explores the many sides of being American, which Richard has subsequently performed across the US and abroad. It was his idea that I should put together a recording based around this large work.
As years went by, I began to amass some my finest compositions from various commissions and opportunities that had arisen. Tamara Kurdatze asked me to compose a piano quintet to debut at Carnegie Hall, which turned into my thorny and virtuosic Bartok in Brooklyn. D’Vorah Bailey asked me to rearrange my song cycle on Langston Hughes poetry, Harlem Cycle, for her to sing at the National Arts Club. In 2009, I won the Iron Composers Competition, run by ANALOG ARTS, which gave me Grimm’s Hood, a four-minute piece I wrote in 5 hours.
It is this music and more that comprises my debut CD “American Variations”on Centaur Records. It was be presented in concert on January 26th, 2012 at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, NYC. This recording marks a milestone for my journey as a composer thus far. It can be purchased at: http://centaurrecords.com/
For more info:
My friend and community activist Celeste Balducci writes about Jackson Heights talent and events going on. She includes my recent show coming up, the CD release of “American Variations” on Centaur Records. Check it out!
Remember Sunny Knable? He was the California-born composer who was able to do what he loved every day. Play piano. Find out what he’s been up to below!
Q. When we did the first interview you were going to school and juggling lots of jobs, what have you been up to since then?
“Grimm’s Hood” is from my debut album “American Variations” on Centaur Records. This ensemble, for 2 trumpets, piano and percussion, was assigned to me as part of the Iron Composers Competition in 2009, run by ANALOG ARTS. The Finalists were gathered in the morning, told which ensemble they’d be writing for, and to incorporate the “secret ingredient” of Grimm’s Little Red Riding Hood. We then were given 5 hours to write a piece of music — but after 5 hours, I hadn’t finished yet, and took a penalty by continuing on for another hour. The piece was completed, practiced, rehearsed and then performed in front of a live audience with a judges panel, broadcasting live on the radio. I was lucky enough to be scored high enough so that my penalty didn’t matter, and I won! I am now proudly including this track on my CD, which was released on Thursday, January 26th, 2012 at 8 pm, at Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Center, NYC.
To purchase the CD, search “Sunny Knable” at: http://centaurrecords.com/
For more information, visit sunnyknable.com