Compose Carolina: Summer Music Series

UNC Department of Music and Carolina Performing Arts were thrilled to co-host Compose Carolina this summer, a weekly livestream concert series highlighting UNC student and alumni musicians’ original compositions, with conversations led by UNC Department of Music faculty members.

Each week, we welcomed a new Carolina composer, including alumni Eliana Fishbeyn, Noah Balamucki, and Christian Cail and students David Green, Alex McKeveny, and James Larkins, who explored the theme “Looking Forward”—from the literal to the metaphorical—through the debut of their original composition and live program notes. They were joined in conversation by UNC Department of Music professors Allen Anderson, Stephen Anderson, and Lee Weisert.

Explore all Compose Carolina episodes below, or check out the full series playlist on YouTube.

Compose Carolina with Eliana Fishbeyn

On our first-ever episode of Compose Carolina, alumna Eliana Fishbeyn shared her composition Quiet Resistance, a jazz piece inspired by her grandmother and a friend’s dissertation and played by a big band ensemble at the Manhattan School of Music.

Eliana was joined by UNC Department of Music professor Stephen Anderson for live program notes. This livestream originally aired on Friday, June 26 at noon EST.

Compose Carolina with Noah Balamucki

The second episode of Compose Carolina featured UNC Department of Music alumnus Noah Balamucki and his fellow NYU graduate student Fadi Khoury as they debuted their original work “Fall and Take Flight.” The two film composers said they were inspired in part by the legendary musical scores of “Star Trek” and 1980s sci-fi film “Escape From New York.”

Noah and Fadi were joined by UNC Department of Music professor and faculty chair Allen Anderson for live program notes. This livestream originally aired on Thursday, July 2 at noon EST.

Compose Carolina with Christian Cail

To create his composition inspired by philosophy, history, and fate, UNC alumnus Christian Cail wrote down musical textures and melodic ideas on notecards, tossed them in the air, and wrote an original piece in the order he picked them up. Even cooler? The piece features a choral section in which every vocal part is sung by Christian himself.

Christian was joined by UNC Department of Music professor and faculty chair Allen Anderson for live program notes. This livestream originally aired on Friday, July 10 at noon EST.

Compose Carolina with David Green

Our fourth episode of Compose Carolina was our first to feature current UNC students, specifically composer David Green and cellist James Larkins.

David is a double major with the UNC Department of Music and Russian Language and Culture. A classically trained pianist, his compositions draw inspiration from 20th century trends and late romanticism.

Of his original composition Overture in F for Cello and Piano David says, “Each theme and motif I explore is derived from the introductory material preceding the entrance of the first theme; the introduction therefore serves as a sort of Brahmsian foreshadowing of everything that follows.”

David was joined by UNC Department of Music professor Stephen Anderson for live program notes, and by fellow UNC student James Larkins, who contributed to the piece. This livestream originally aired on Friday, July 17 at noon EST.

Compose Carolina with Alex McKeveny

Our fifth episode of Compose Carolina featured rising UNC junior and classical pianist Alex McKeveny. Alex wrote and performed the 10-minute beauty An Introduction and Rondo to What Lies Ahead which “explores the myriad and conflicting emotions of apprehension and anticipation I feel as I look forward with the hope of a better tomorrow.”

Alex was joined by UNC Department of Music Professor Lee Weisert for live program notes. This livestream originally aired on Friday, July 24 at noon EST.

Compose Carolina with james larkins

A stunning new octet for cello and electronics by UNC student James Larkins wrapped up our Compose Carolina summer music series on Friday, July 31 at noon EST.

James wrote the octet “as a means of developing ideas about structuring music from the smallest scale to the largest through a fractal form,” and explores the theme of Looking Forward both structurally and sonically throughout the piece. James was joined by Professor Lee Weisert for live program notes.

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