My plague piece + film students = a zombie movie!

A few years ago, I wrote a seventeen-minute-long orchestra piece named 1348 after the worst year of the bubonic plague that wiped out nearly one-third of Europe’s population and nearly one-half of England’s. In many ways, I could see parallels between that time and ours.
Unsurprisingly, this rather dark piece has had a difficult time finding a performance. But Dr. Patrick Miles and Dr. Leslie DeBauche at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point stepped up to remedy this. This spring, Dr. DeBauche’s film class made a zombie movie to go along with the seven movements of 1348. A zombie movie! I was thrilled. The final performance, which took place on April 23, 2014, was a screening of the film with the university orchestra, conducted by Maestro Miles, playing 1348 as a live soundtrack.

Old Friends

At the taping of Carl Kassell’s final Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me episode a couple of days ago, I ran into my old friend Amy Dickinson, a writer and frequent panelist on the show. And seeing Amy reminded me of the radio piece that sparked our friendship: her terrific July 2002 All Things Considered report on a nostalgic summer symphony of mine called The Blue Chevrolet.
You can hear the radio segment, which my mom basically stole out from under me, here: Blue Chevrolet NPR Story. If you’d like to listen to the third movement of the Blue Chevrolet symphony, you can stream it here: The Blue Chevrolet – Movement III: The Detour, The Argument, and Finally, The Map.