10
January 2017
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Ghost Attackers VR launches in Tokyo

I had tremendous fun last month scoring my first VR game. Ghost Attackers VR (Vitei/GREE) is an arcade installation game that’s part of the brand new VR Park Tokyo in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

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The game is a two-person collaborative experience, where the primary player (a.k.a. the one with the gun) wears the VR helmet and blasts away attacking ghosts in a haunted mansion environment. A secondary player participates with a tablet, and is responsible for controlling the flashlight.

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Keeping with the game’s larger-than-life visuals, I gave the game a colorful and often-frenzied orchestral score, sometimes feeling like a mad scherzo, other times like a twisted Eastern European folk tune, and yet others like a dark gothic minuet. Here’s a quick excerpt for you.

The music is © GREE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

09
November 2016
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Guzheng concerto performed by China National Symphony Orchestra

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I’m very pleased that the Identity guzheng concerto will be performed by the China National Symphony Orchestra on November 13th in Beijing. The concerto will be included with a handful of other pieces for a concert celebrating the 150th birthday of Sun Yat-Sen. The CNSO had previously performed the concerto in 2011.

To use the piece’s full name, Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang is a concerto for guzheng and orchestra that I wrote with Chinese producer/composer Victor Cheng. Since 2010 we’ve been fortunate enough to see it performed many times both in the United States and China, including by prestigious ensembles like the San Francisco Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta.

Guzheng virtuoso Su Chang has been our soloist since the very first performance, and she’ll be returning once again for this concert.

If you’d like to hear the piece or are just curious what a guzheng sounds like, you can find the album on Amazon or iTunes. (It also appears to be available for streaming via Apple Music, but I can’t figure out how to link to it.)

15
June 2016
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“A Feast of Snacks” at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe

My stage musical A Feast of Snacks is currently running at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Feast is a collection of four short musical comedies, each about fifteen minutes in length. Most of the shows are award-winning graduates of various short play festivals around the world. Produced by Theatre Unleashed (of which I am a newly minted artist-in-residence), the production runs through late July.

Showtimes and ticket information can be found here. If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it!

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31
March 2016
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Goldstar interview

I was interviewed by Goldstar, beloved purveyor of discount live event tickets, as part of their “Inspired By” series focusing on creative types. The questions focused on live performance, as that’s Goldstar’s raison d’être .

To read my interview, just follow this handy link.

21
January 2016
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Guzheng concerto comes to Cape Cod

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I’m pleased to announce that Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang, the guzheng concerto which I wrote with Victor Cheng, recently added another US performance to its history. The Cape Symphony performed the concerto this past Saturday and Sunday, including it with a selection of pieces from or related to Asian cultures.

As with every performance of the concerto to date, Su Chang returned as soloist. The Cape Cod Times said, she “plucked the multi-stringed guzheng robustly, creating an alluring sound-world, her vibrato extracting a vocalist’s texture from the instrument”.

Our recording of the concerto is available on most digital music marketplaces, including Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes. Orchestras interested in performing the piece can visit Janen Music Publishing for more information.

27
August 2015
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In Hell’s Bright Shadow

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I was pleased to team up with fellow composer Kyle Johnson and create original music for the Syrinscape sound pack “In Hell’s Bright Shadow”. Syrinscape is the licensed provider of audio accompaniment for Paizo’s popular Pathfinder tabletop RPG. Fantasy scores are one of my favorite genres of music, and hence I had a lot of fun with this project.

27
January 2015
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The San Francisco Symphony to perform “Identity” guzheng concerto

San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year concert

The world-renowned San Francisco Symphony will perform Michael’s concerto for guzheng as part of a February Chinese New Year Concert. The concert will be conducted by Mei-Ann Chen, who also conducted the concerto last year with the Chicago Sinfonietta. Su Chang will join the Symphony as guzheng soloist.

The concert will be on February 21st, 2015. More information can be found here.

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