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February 12, 2018

Concept Lab is Sunday, February 18 in Manhattan

My new series Concept Lab is a home for experimentation, works in progress and the destruction of boundaries.  The first one will be this Sunday, the 18th at Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan.  It’s a great program, details below!

Concept Lab is an exciting new music series featuring finished works, works in progress, improvised works and collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects in all stages of completion.

Run as a collective, Concept Lab is a showcase of the newest of the new and an exciting sneak preview of mainstays on the upcoming New York performance scene.

Sunday, February 18, 6:00 PM
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street
$10 (includes a drink ticket)



Mei Trio
Fresh off of a sold-out performance at LPR, the Mei Trio comes to Concept Lab with a short set of works by Nino Rota, James Romig, Fernando Arruda and Seth Boustead inspired by nature, specifically trees, birdsong and fractals.

Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music by Ryan Homsey and Joseph Cernatori
Collaborators Ryan Homsey (composer) and Joseph Cermatori (librettist) will workshop selected instrumental excerpts from their opera in development, currently titled Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music, based off of the 1810 short story of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist.

A legend and a mystery set during the Protestant reformation, the story follows four brothers who lose their wits under obscure circumstances while attempting to deface a local cathedral. Homsey’s musical language draws influence from various forms of 16th-century polyphony and contemporary post-minimalism.

Together, he and Cermatori will discuss the project and present sketches of material from several significant moments of it in performance, to be performed by Concept’s Lab musical team.
Distress by Seth Boustead
Distress is part of a larger work called Fire and Fury which features musical accompaniments to the dramatic audio book reading of the infamous Trump administration tell-all.  This movement, Distress, is a provocative, hilarious look at Steve Bannon’s pre-Breitbart “career.”
Eric Tanguy’s Sonate pour violon & violoncelle
Irene Fitzgerald-Cherry and Talia Dicker will perform the second movement of this work originally written for and premiered by Renaud and Gauthier Capuçon in 2003. In this movement, marked Dolce, the violin and cello lines expand and contract from a base note, weaving around each other in almost palindromic fashion and sometimes stopping to meet on C.
Kumbhaka by Will Rowe
Kumbhaka is the space between inhale and exhale. This is the concept I sought to embody in this new piece for oboe and piano, written for Grant Luhmann. The teleology of the piece is very static, meant to encapsulate and expand a moment rather than take the listener to a destination. The warbly textures allow the sounds to hang in time and space until that moment has run its course, and that static tension can resolve in an exhale.

ergo by Grant Luhman
In this piece a new, strange, and sometimes- uncomfortable common ground is created between the piano and English horn by preparing the piano with fifteen strong magnets placed at specific points (harmonic nodes) along certain strings while the English horn utilizes a variety of unusual techniques that are designed to match the modified timbre of the piano.

Notes prepared with a magnet gain a transparent bell-like quality similar to a flute or violin harmonic and produce a different pitch than what is played on the keyboard.  The character of the movement is free and somewhat improvisatory, as if both players are learning this language together for the first time and discovering how to communicate with each other.

The mood is distant, quiet, and subdued throughout, perhaps like an elegy in a language nobody remembers.
Labyrinth by Stanislav Fridman
This solo piano work explores the idea of underground spaces through mysterious sonorities, sonic shadings representing the contrast between dark and light, and a frequent claustrophobic heaviness.

Hristina Blagoeva – flute
Talia Dicker – cello
Irene Fitzgerald-Cherry – violin
Joenne Dumitrascu – violin
Stanislav Fridman – piano
Grant Luhman – oboe and English horn
Miles Massicotte – piano

February 11, 2018

My New Cosmic Milk Show Features Fire, Fury and the Flaming Lips



I’ve been doing a periodic solo show called the Cosmic Milk With Seth Boustead that primarily features performances of my music but is also a place for me to show off some different parts of my personality, including my sense of humor and, in this case at least, my ability to play pop music on the piano.

Here’s the official description. See you there!


Composer, pianist and radio host Seth Boustead performs a new installment in his Cosmic Milk series featuring an ambitious piano arrangement of the entire iconic Flaming Lips album Yoshimi Battles Pink Robots.

The evening also includes music by Boustead inspired by Barcelona architecture, a certain audio book by Michael Wolff and – why not? – a water nymph.

“Boustead crafts music that is at once lyrical and whimsical,” said someone from the New York Times once.

“Boustead has a penchant for crafting dark, angsty scores,” said the Onions A/V club a while back.

“I don’t know where the sun beams end and the starlight begins, it’s all a mystery,” said Wayne Coyne in 2002.

Saturday, February 17 7:30 PM
Chopin Theater
1543 W. Division St.

February 1, 2018

ACM’s ‘In Stereo’ Concert is Monday Night

In Stereo posterACM’s new series in Chicago, Live at the Davis, continues with a concert of electro-acoustic music performed in a movie theater in surround sound.  I worked hard to find an eclectic mix of electronic music that would be experimental but also fun, in some cases even funny but always groundbreaking.

The show features music by Angelica Negrón, Steven Snowden, Kyong Mee Choi, Kaija Saariaho and the U.S. premiere of a stunning work by Tansy Davies.

More info here!

January 7, 2018

The First ‘Live at LPR’ is January 31

Relevant Tones postcardMy new live broadcast series at Manhattan’s famed venue Le Poisson Rouge begins on Wednesday, January 31!  We’ll kick it off with a fabulous concert featuring pianist Jenny Lin playing selections from her upcoming album release The Complete Piano Etudes of Philip Glass.

This will be Philip’s 81st birthday, and Jenny’s birthday as well coincidentally, and she’ll be playing live on my radio program Relevant Tones which is celebrating its sixth anniversary in January so it’s birthdays all around.

In addition to the live syndicated radio broadcast we’ll also be live streaming to a huge coalition of Facebook pages. Yay, the future!

The show is January 31st at 7:00 at LPR.


December 9, 2017

Saturday Puzzle Fever

IMG_20171212_123233295Something huge happened to me today.  Big, the absolute biggest.

I finished a Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle for the first time ever.

The time was this afternoon, the place my dining room table.  Soft music played, I believe it was Chet Baker.

Upon writing in the last letter a single tear formed in my eye, swelled for a moment and then fell ever so slowly upon the paper.

Time stood still.

It was amazing.

November 14, 2017

Pas de Deux with Dancers

My piece for violin and cello Pas de Deux will be performed this Sunday at the Secret Theater in Queens as part of a program called “Fractals in the Dark.”

The piece will be played by Talia Dicker and Irene Fitzgerald-Cherry and there will be dancers too!  I didn’t envision dancers when I wrote the music so I’m curious…

October 14, 2017

Late Night at National Sawdust: Steven Stucky Portrait is Friday

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 11.47.41 AMOur last Late Night at National Sawdust event is a compelling portrait of the music of Steven Stucky as part of an exciting album release party for Open  G Records’ new release of previously unrecorded chamber music.

We’ll hear the Sonata for Violin and Piano and the Piano Quintet alongside a work by Christopher Stark, a longtime student of Stucky. The program will be broadcast live on my radio program Relevant Tones.

National Sawdust
70 N. 6th Street


October 12, 2017

Concept Lab is this Sunday

Concept LabI’m starting a new series in New York called Concept Lab that is, well I don’t quite know what it is yet, but it’s going to be interesting. I’ve been producing concerts for a long time and I’m looking for something a bit less polished, more raw, with the chance to try out things in progress, open up the process and make some mistakes along the way and generally work in a less controlled environment.

And so Concept Lab!  The first one will be this Sunday at 3:00 at Spectrum in Brooklyn.  I’ve got a great cast of composers and performers contributing and we’ll take it from there.

Spectrum is now in Brooklyn at 70 Flushing Ave.

September 13, 2017

Late Night at National Sawdust: Stucky Portrait is October 20

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 2.24.28 PMThe final Late Night at National Sawdust concert of this year will be October 20 at 9:30 PM and is a portrait of one my favorite 20th century composers: Steven Stucky.

Here’s the info!

Late Night at National Sawdust: Steven Stucky Portrait

Open G Records and Access Contemporary Music team up for the final Late Night at National Sawdust concert of 2017: an intimate portrait of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Steven Stucky.   Stucky was one of the country’s most prolific and most performed composers, a talented educator and an indispensible part of twentieth century classical music.

Late Night at National Sawdust is a quarterly live taping of Relevant Tones, a contemporary music podcast hosted by Seth Boustead that will also be broadcast in real time on the nationally syndicated WFMT Radio Network and on WKCR in New York. Live radio has never been so intimate.

The broadcast will be preceded by the Discovery Series, a process-oriented exploration of musical creativity led by composer/pianist Jeremy Gill. Three composers have been chosen from a pool of more than five hundred and will be announced by October 1.

September 3, 2017

‘The Numinous’ to be Performed September 12

My piece ‘The Numinous’ inspired by the works of C.G. Jung will be performed on Tuesday, September 12 as part of ACM’s Into the Mystic concert at the Davis Theater.


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