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As a Hermitage Fellow in residency at the retreat for a two week period, Lee was invited to share his work with the public in an idyllic setting on the beach as part of a program entitled Sounding the Deep: Words and Music Inspired by Nature. He presented selections of Through the Mangrove Tunnels, discussing the historical context of the work and sharing insights into the compositional processes that led to its creation. Actors also performed excerpts of playwright Jessica Huang’s work as part of the program.
Consisting of two pianists and two percussionists, the quartet premiered Lee’s newest chamber work with performances at Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho. Featuring prepared piano, synthesizers, percussion, and drum set, Split Screen uses syncopated and funk-based grooves to explore the multiple realities that we find ourselves living in on a moment-to-moment basis.
After more than 30 tours taking in almost every state in the US, the German vocal quintet Amarcord paid musical tribute to the land of opportunity in an entire concert program dedicated to American composers. Lee’s elegy By What Wings, originally written for Amarcord during their 2015 Duke University residency, was performed live for the first time as part of this program at the A Cappella International Festival for Vocal Music in Leipzig, Germany.
Lee spoke to the student composers at the University of South Carolina via zoom on Friday, sharing recordings of his compositions and discussing his approach to writing music.
Lee’s piece for solo cello, A certain slant of light, was selected through an international call for scores to be included on the Contemporary Art Music Project’s (CAMP) 2022 festival. The work was performed by cellist Emily Austin Smith on the third concert of the festival at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa on Saturday.
Two of the top large student ensembles at the University of the Florida featured works by Lee in recent concerts. In November, the UF Symphony Orchestra performed Anadyr under the baton of Director Raymond Chobaz on a concert that featured the works of American composers, which also included Christopher Rouse and Michael Daugherty. On Tuesday the UF Wind Symphony under the direction of David Waybright gave the world premiere of a new transcription of Vicious Circles for Wind Ensemble on a program that also included Husa’s Music for Prague, 1968.
Lee presented a faculty composition recital consisting entirely of his chamber works at the University of Florida on Thursday. The program featured UF performance faculty, guest artists, and graduate students, and included six pieces: Between the Lines, A certain slant of light, Evasive Maneuvers, Bottom Heavy, Tourbillon, and Liftoff.
Guitarist Silviu Ciulei and clarinetist Jeffrey Brooks premiered Lee’s newest chamber work, Evasive Maneuvers, at a recital at the University of Florida on Wednesday. The piece features slinking clarinet tunes and syncopated guitar grooves that weave around each other in different streams of rhythmic activity, sometimes seemingly at odds, and sometimes coming together. Knowing Ciulei’s extensive background in flamenco, Lee incorporated a number of noisy and virtuosic flamenco guitar techniques into the piece, such as the rasgueado, which involves the rapid strumming of a note or chord with each finger in quick succession. The clarinet complements the guitar with trilling and rapid flourishes, also serving to introduce much of the melodic material throughout the piece.
Lee’s The Last Best Place opened the Bozeman Symphony’s first concert weekend of the 2021/22 season, sharing the program with Barber’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony. The work was commissioned as part of Lee’s role as the orchestra’s first-ever Composer-In-Residence, and was inspired by the city of Bozeman. The weekend included two performances with over 1,400 in the audience, along with over 1,700 viewers for the livestream.