NWEAMO 2021 Part One

Note: After release, each piece will be continuously available on the NWEAMO website.

Introduction to NWEAMO 2021

by George Pittas

Complete YouTube Playlist of
NWEAMO 2021 Part One

Or choose individual pieces from selections below.


List of 2021 Artists


Julie Arlene Spencer composer/vocalist/
videographer Avi Béla Spencer-Blume composer/videographer/producer

EXTR^CLUSION” is a story of breaking out of the “Seclusion of hours and the inversion of days (that) sing still and slowly” during these pandemic times, and being carried “forward in a common wakelit haze” seemingly randomly, “but not really.”

Composition for Drumset

Jeffrey Mosier – composer, performer, and cinematography

*This video contains some sudden flashes of bright colors.Composition for Drumset alternates between unexpected/unpredictable rhythms, styles and sounds, and regular grooves or dance rhythms. Each section features improvisation within a framework of verbal instructions.The audio recording from Jeffrey’s 2018 live performance at Center for New Music in San Francisco, thanks to Riley Nicholson.


Scott Johnson – composer
Daniel C. Dennett – text and voice
Kasia Nalewajka – video
Alarm Will Sound – performance

“Winners” is a movement from the evening length work “Mind Out of Matter”. In music based on the sampled voice of philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, this piece explores his ideas on the origins and evolution of religion and supernatural belief – which, despite the compassionate intentions of most of their adherents, have in fact been responsible for much cruelty to outsiders. Our altruistic impulses are better understood as innate human drives, growing from our nature as a cooperative social species. Imaginative supernatural beliefs also grow from our grouped nature, as explanatory memes which can take on a Darwinian life of their own, regardless of their accuracy.

Feed Two Birds With One Seed

Nakul Tiruviluamala: Composer/Songwriter/Lyricist/Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer
Nichole DiGangi: Singer/Songwriter/Lyricist
Christy Huynh: Lyricist
Justin Joyce: Typewriter

This piece explores mental health, bigotry, and violence. The main character’s murderous and manic tendencies are explored during the first half of the piece. Later in the piece, another character emphasizes the need for nonviolence and inclusivity. This character can either be interpreted as the killer’s girlfriend, or their alter ego. The typewriter symbolizes the killer’s primary weapon, as their hatred festered through online chatrooms. The killer in the piece is very loosely based on the Poway synagogue shooter, a musician who released a manifesto glorifying white supremacy. As the project develops, the killer’s white supremacist tendencies will be further examined.


Michael Couper, composer
Kevin Travers, lead animator

Transcend represents a perpetual goal of thriving in a world which assaults from all directions. In the first part, Chaos, stressors and gloomy situations fight for attention, constantly shifting focus and making it difficult for the saxophonist to find space for itself. In the second part, Comfort, frustration with all the noise gives way to a desire to disconnect and shut everything out, seeking tranquility and the comfort of the familiar. Finally, in the third part, Clarity, the saxophonist learns to navigate life’s challenges with grace, positivity, and humor. Unable to simply ignore all that is going wrong in the world, it instead takes ownership of the things it can affect and is unencumbered by the things it cannot. Transcend was commissioned by the Mimesis Ensemble and is dedicated to my muse, Cameron Cheung

Kid In The Park

Ricky Ian Gordon — composer
Langston Hughes — poet
Nicole Cabell — soprano
Sergei Kvitko — filmmaker
Damian Hudson — actor

“Kid in the Park” was originally written for a song cycle of ten Langston Hughes settings called “Genius Child.” I did a recording of my Langston Hughes settings called “Silver Rain,” with Nicole Cabell, the Cardiff Singer of the World award winner, for Blue Griffin Records, and the producer Sergei Kvitko made this video for promotional purposes.

Bird as Prophet

Martin Bresnick — composer
Elly Toyoda — violin
Lisa Moore — piano

Bird as Prophet is the last in a series of twelve pieces entitled Opere della Musica Povera (Works of a Poor Music). The title Bird as Prophet refers to a piano miniature of the same name from the Waldszenen of Robert Schumann. Bird as Prophet’s combination of simple programmatic suggestiveness and abstract patterning seeks to recapture the vivid, oracular, but finally enigmatic spirit of Schumann’s (and Charlie Parker’s) remarkable musical prophecies.

Commissioned by and dedicated to the Rosa/Laurent (violin/piano) Duo.

Hollar Down To Your Girl

Raya Yarbrough

Artifacts of Grace gave Yarbrough a long-desired opportunity to step away from her musical roots in pop and jazz, and write for a classical string quintet. Strings appealed to her because of their inherent ability to create harmonically lush, intricate tones, as well as abrasive, percussive colors. Through Yarbrough’s unique musical arranging sensibilities, her ensemble (Paul Cartwright, Sharon Jackson, Zach Dellinger, Adrienne Woods, and Ian Walker) is alternately staccato, swinging, languid and emotional. Far from being a sound bed, Yarbrough’s strings are an essential, narrative voice, interwoven with the emotions she felt in Douglas’ visual work.

Moonlight Beach Chaconne

Joseph Martin Waters – composer
Pei-Chun Tsai – violin
Michael Brown – marimba
Todd rewoldt – saxophone

Based on J. S. Bach:
Chaconne from Partita for Violin No. 2

A violin concerto featuring Pei-Chun Tsai. It is remotely based on J.S. Bach’s masterful Chaconne, from his Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 in D minor (BWV 1004). To create the work I gathered the triple and quadruple stops from a 33 measure section in the middle of the 15 minute work, where Bach’s instruction to the performer is simply to improvise…
I infused these chords into sacred rhythms brought from Nigeria via the slave trade to Cuba where they evolved into the rhythms of Cuban jazz and salsa. Here they are in their original form, animating Bach’s ingeniously straight forward harmonic progression.
Over this quickly moving syncopated landscape I spun my own slow arching melodies that float above like a jetliner over mountains. The video is a dreamscape and my first attempt at creating a visual video complement to my music.
It was a steep learning curve and in more ways than I can know is naive, certainly from the standpoint of artists who work in moving visual forms… but it was enormously challenging and equally fun to put together… and illuminated my music for me in countless ways…

So I hope you can overlook the many omissions in terms of color balance, lighting, framing, editing etc. and will enjoy it for what it is: a composer’s go at making a film … my hope is that it embodies a perspective that is essentially musical … Jozefius Jan. 26, 2021.

Pei-Chun Tsai, from Tainan, Taiwan, is two-time first-prize winner of the Taiwan National Violin Competition.
She has performed in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. Pei-Chun has participated in many music festivals in the United States and Europe.

After receiving Bachelor and Masters degrees in violin performance from The Juilliard School, she earned her Doctorate in Musical Arts from the City University of New York. Pei-Chun is the founder and director of the Campanile Music Festival at San Diego State University where she curates innovative residencies of visiting artists from across the country.

Recent guests include the Formosa Quartet and Brooklyn Rider. Pei-Chun has been a member of the San Diego Symphony since 2006. As a violin lecturer at San Diego State University, Pei-Chun performs with the San Diego State University Chamber Orchestra regularly and has performed Moonlight Beach Chaconne with this ensemble in collaboration with SDSU choral department at Bread and Salt in Barrio Logan in 2019. 

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