All posts by Elizabeth

Sexy Brazilian music with 8 cellos, oh yeah!

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be singing the soprano solo in Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5, with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County on February 12, as part of the Laguna Beach Music Festival.

This exquisite piece of music was written by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, for cello choir and soprano. The 2 movements, Ária (Cantilena)and Dança (Martelo), are set to Portuguese lyrics. One of the most remarkable characteristics of this work, is the setting of the soprano voice HUMMING during parts for the Cantilena, over the choir of cellos.

I’ve performed this piece only once in the past, with Pacific Lutheran University’s cello choir. It is steamy, and joyful. I hope you will join me at the concert! Tickets can be found on the Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s website: http://tickets.philharmonicsociety.org/single/eventDetail.aspx?p=14210

 

 

Yes, there are 6 women attached by one massive piece of blue hair.

Akhnaten at Los Angeles Opera

I made my LA Opera big-stage debut as a daughter of Akhnaten this month. The time-bending score by Philip Glass found perfection in the setting by London director Phelim McDermott.

From the very first day of rehearsal, we knew it would be incredible. We began by exploring a new way of moving across the stage – called “molding” by Phelim – which increased intensity of energy while slowing down the body. Add to that juggling, choreographed by Sean Gandini (who also taught me how to juggle), and this production was a brilliant amalgamation of ancient Egypt, Hollywood, and Cirque du Soleil.

I was especially happy to sing with two other Curtis alumni – J’nai Bridges (who graduated in the same class as me), and Michele Hemmings. (picture below)

Curtis Girls in Akhnaten

Did I mention that we all had blue or gold mani-pedis?

Also, there was this enormous hair-piece-wig-thing that connected Akhnaten’s daughters. Our page to stage said, “would the 6 daughters please come to Stage Left to be fitted with the Hectapus”… and yes, I giggled every single night.

Yes, there are 6 women attached by one massive piece of blue hair.
Yes, there are 6 women attached by one massive piece of blue hair.

I wish

Akhnaten Bows

Song Cycle: The History of Video Games

Audio preview of SONG CYCLE: THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES

I couldn’t be more proud as I write this.

Yesterday, “Song Cycle: The History of Video Games” was released on iTunes and Loudr. It will soon be available on Spotify and Amazon as well.
I am the creative director of this album. I also produced all of the tracks, arranged one, and sang on several. And I guided the making of sheet music – so now all of these songs can be performed live.
26 songs now exist, merging the worlds of classical and video game music. Each song is for voice and piano, and covers an iconic video game tune. Some of the games represented include Tetris, World of Warcraft, Angry Birds, Mario, Pokémon, etc…
If you want more information about the album, here’s a website link:
If anyone wants to perform these songs, let me know. The sheet music is currently being licensed, and songs will be published once licenses are in place.
A year ago, I hadn’t released a single thing on iTunes. If you’d have told me I’d be the creative director of an entire album, I would have laughed, and said it was impossible. Life moves faster than our daily eye can observe, and I feel incredibly lucky to be a small part of it.

Hollywood Bowl + LA Phil

Last night, I made my Hollywood Bowl AND Los Angeles Philharmonic debut!

I gotta say, this place was shnazzy. Super fancy soloist dressing rooms, and they also had a snack/tea spread to die for. Add to that 5 of the best young singers I know (3 of us who were in the LA Opera YAP program at some point), and then also add the chauffeur who drove us everywhere… this was truly STAR treatment!

Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy was conducted by Mirga, a lively and delightful young female conductor. She made the rehearsals so easy and fun! The music was fairly easy too (in my part), so this was honestly one of the most relaxed and enjoyable gigs I’ve ever done.

My dressing room:

Fancy Dressing Room!

How we see y’all:The Bowl - as we see it

And your lovely singers:

Rafael, me, Janai, Colin, Kevin, and Peabody
Rafael, me, Janai, Colin, Kevin, and Peabody

Cinematic Cover Song? Check.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an opportunity to compose a “cinematic” sounding cover song.

Mind you, I don’t normally do covers of pop songs.

But, there was this one song, which I remember haunting me as I grew up. “Endessly”, by Muse.  I always had wanted a more melodic, and surreal version of it.

So I made it.

2 Piano Cues

I recorded and produced these two lovely piano pieces.  They are among my favorite songs I played as a child.

The part I’m most proud of, is that this isn’t a simple recording of a live performance. I didn’t mic my piano. Rather, I performed the pieces on my midi keyboard, then edited the files and spread them across 3 different sample piano tracks. Then I put a different eq and reverb on each track, to make various frequencies shine. Then I mixed them all together, and slipped-in a couple of finishing plug-ins. I know that’s a lot of jargon, but you get the drift.

It’s incredible what musical training and software capabilities can now create together. I’ve been playing the piano for 26 years, of which 15 were dedicated to intense lessons and competitions. And I can’t tell the difference between a live recording and the mp3s below.

Deborah Voigt International Voice Competition

This past weekend I was invited to Florida, to sing in the Deborah Voigt International Voice Competition. From a pool of hundreds of applicants, only 33 were invited to participate in the live rounds.

Singers from around the globe gathered at Vero Beach Opera, where we went through a challenging performance schedule, eventually cutting it down to the final 8 contestants. It’s my huge honor to say that I made it until the very end, and was rewarded with the Louis Lawson Award.

During the competition, I sang through a selection of repertoire in French, Italian, and Russian, including arias from La Traviata (Verdi), Roméo et Juliette (Gounod), and Don Giovanni (Mozart).

Sending out a huge thanks to Vero Beach Opera for hosting the competition, and to my wonderful hosts- who not only were supportive, but celebrated with me the next day by paddle boarding on wild rivers nearby.

Magniibots: Global Game Jam 2016

My good friend and founder of Drop Pod Games, Samuel Hum, sent me a note in January asking if I’d like to join his team for Global Game Jam. Obviously, I said yes. (This is the same guy that I’ve loved working with on projects like Roshamboroo and Saplings)

The results: a fun and intriguing game called Magniibots, which was so good, we’re targeting a Steam release for later this year.

I didn’t get to actually be on site with the team, but I did jam with them from my home studio. Posting a snippet of the audio below:

SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed

Whelp. You can now find my music on iTunes. And Loudr. :-)

Last year, I joined a group of video game musicians, called the Materia Collective. Together, we released a massive six-disc collection of covers from Final Fantasy VIII. I worked on three of these, and you can find all of them on iTunes.

The one I personally worked hardest on is an all-vocal cover of Under Her Control (renamed, smartly, Under Her Vocal Control). I arranged, recorded, and produced this all in my home studio. ALSO, I made my very first music video, so you can watch it on YouTube:

I also created a new age, all-vocal cover of Blue Sky, which really challenged my production skills and pushed my to consider how ELSE the voice could reach new heights.

The last song I worked on was in collaboration with John Robert Matz, an extremely talented composer, musician, and voice-over artist based in Chicago. We had a ridiculously fun time reworking the Galbadian National Anthem to include lyrics and a full choir singing. He did all of the production (which is 90% of the work!), and I’m very grateful for his expertise. It’s TERRIBLY funny – so don’t miss Galbadia, My Home.

LA OPERA: Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist

I am now in the MOST enviable position for all young singers in the world.

At LA Opera, Placido Domingo himself selects a small number of young singers, and he and the staff mentor and coach them for a period of 1-3 years. To have been selected for this program is not only a huge honor, but also the greatest opportunity yet of my operatic career.

Over the next years, I’ll be learning from the living legends of opera, and occasionally (eek!) even performing with them.  In addition to regular repertoire, I’ll also be focusing on the Russian repertoire and language (a particular passion of mine).

Also- this means I get to LIVE in Los Angeles, the capitol of the entertainment industry. I  look forward to understanding what makes LA Opera a thriving company, focused on both classical and modern opera today.

Photo from my first concert in December:

Photo by Alma Guzman
Photo by Alma Guzman