Reviews for Through the Mangrove Tunnels this month come from Midwest Record, which praises the album as “great stuff for when you’ve got a taste for something deep that won’t leave you cold” and the Art Music Lounge, which describes it an “interesting album, full of novel ideas” and “extremely fascinating.”
Reporter Josh Bradley declares that Lee’s recently released album, Through the Mangrove Tunnels, “perfectly captures the enigmatic essence of St. Pete’s Weedon Island”.
Toby Moisey interviews Lee about his new album, Through the Mangrove Tunnels, chatting about Lee’s memories of growing up exploring the swamps and bayous of Florida and the histories of Weedon Island. Following the interview the album is played in its entirety. The radio show airs on Smithers Community Radio CICK 93.9 and Whitehorse Community Radio CJUC 92.5.
Inspired by his experiences growing up exploring the swamps and bayous of Florida, Lee’s album-length work Through the Mangrove Tunnels features the JACK Quartet with pianist Steven Beck and drummer Russell Lacy performing eight genre-straddling movements. Ranging from ominous and eerie grooves with otherworldly flourishes to ethereal, gliding strings over pulsing drums and looping harmonies, the music evokes both the dense, swampy undergrowth of the mangroves and the expansive seascape that surrounds them.
Commissioned by the Florida State Music Teachers Association, Lee’s new work for solo cello, A certain slant of light, was premiered online as a video performance by his wife, cellist Emily Austin Smith, during a general session of the FSMTA annual conference. After his initial nomination for the award, Lee was selected as the FSMTA 2020 Commissioned Composer upon submitting a portfolio of compositions. Following the premiere, the commissioned work will be considered for recognition at the national level. A panel of composers will evaluate states’ commissioned compositions in order to select the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year.
As part of their #WHAT2020SOUNDSLIKE project, the new music piano duo HOCKET commissioned Lee to write a miniature work to be premiered online as a performance video. In commissioning 50 composers to write miniatures for their project, HOCKET aims to give composers a platform to voice their responses to the momentuous events of this year. Lee’s miniature, Dog Daze is one minute long and features piano, toy piano, and melodica in a lazy, plodding groove. Watch the video at the link below.
Invited for a residency by the Hermitage’s National Curatorial Council, Lee will spend four weeks over the next two years at the Hermitage Artist Retreat working on new projects and sharing his work with community members and fellow artists. Located on the Gulf near Sarasota, artists work in historic beach houses on the water’s edge.
Lee has been named one of the six Fellows who will participate in CULTIVATE 2020, Copland House’s acclaimed, annual emerging composers institute. An all-scholarship, intensive creative workshop and mentoring program, CULTIVATE will take place this year between June 8 and 15 at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in northern Westchester County, NY. The six Fellows will each be commissioned to write a new composition that serves as the focus of an intensive week of collective and individual daily rehearsals and workshops with Director Derek Bermel and Principal and Guest Artists from Music from Copland House. CULTIVATE concludes with a June 14 concert on Copland House’s mainstage performance series featuring the World Premieres of all the new works. A second concert brings them to Manhattan for their New York City Premieres, as part of Music from Copland House’s inaugural series at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, telecast by CUNY-TV.
Lee was nominated for consideration to be the Florida State Music Teachers Association’s 2020 Commissioned Composer, and upon submitting a portfolio of compositions, was selected for the award. His commissioned chamber work will be premiered at the 2020 FSMTA Conference, and will then be considered for recognition at the national level. A panel of composers will evaluate states’ commissioned compositions in order to select the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year.
The world premiere of Scott Lee’s striking TMC-commissioned work “Slack Tide,” a contemporary tone poem, evoked the moments when the tide is coming neither in nor out, moments both of calm and maximum tension. With its harbingers and nuances of movement, one sensed and felt the creatures of the sea lurking, floating and darting through the waters. We’ve never heard anything like it and, along with Lee’s wildly responsive audience, loved it.