Alexandra Ottaway

CD RELEASES

Alexandra Ottaway

BIOGRAPHY
COMPOSITIONS
CDs
VIDEOS
NEWS POST

While I hinted at it in the Mass, that the USA bore some responsibility for September 11, Catherine Hoover recently lamented the loss of Iraqi and Afghani life from the retaliatory war in her Mass; and Claire Danes' character Carrie on Homeland(SHO) voiced her belief that America went psycho after September 11.“And I think it’s longer.” As Rob Reiner said on All In the Family by Norman Lear.

In other news there’s a lot of talk of harassment coming out(10/17) and I’m not putting that out here but I did realize I forgot to mention my very influential and extremely formative female teachers, Hadassah Sahr at Columbia Teachers College and Haesook Rhee of Manhattan School of Music. Hadassah let me perform Boulez in a master class and knowing I wanted to compose let me explore piano literature without making me practice too much(I was more acaedmically focused then). Haesook drilled me extensively and enforced my playing more deeply into the keys which laid the groundwork for a good decade. Why would I have left them out? I’d already listed quite a few teachers, all of whom I was very blessed to have met and studied with. Thank you thank you thank you, teachers everywhere! I am sorry for not mentioning them before!

By the end of 2015 I'd made a Garageband CD, The Sound Album 2015. If you feel like copy-and-pasting this into your browser you can listen to it free on Soundcloud.om(Please do:)

If you have or want to subscribe to Apple Music it is also here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/the-sound-album-2015/idpl.668d5c2544ce4d53a03b64b4f4e35d7e

I had news in the end of April '14 that my CD, Tetrahedron Dreams, went live online. If you search "AlexandraOttaway.com: Music"it should come up!

Also at Navona: While the first four chamber pieces are beautiful, I fear people will want to jump to the part where I sing some nearly impossible pieces under very difficult conditions and it doesn't sound as much like Whitney Houston, whose voice I love, as in the 2011 recital of "Merlin Études" but album is here(please copy and paste the link):

http://www.navonarecords.com/tetrahedrondreams/

I sang in recitals for some years while studying Soprano with Justina Golden. With her, and Jerry Noble accompanying, I sang 3 of the Merlin Etudes, in 2011 way before 2014's Tetrahedron Dreams(the 2011 live performance is obviously fresher as you can see and hear, here:

http://www.alexandraottaway.com/blog/2014/06/what-merlin-%C3%A9tudes-3-5-8-can-sound-like-with-jerry-noble-accompanying-.html

And the video below is "From The Little Sphinx", John Duke's setting of the Edna St. Vincent Millay poem:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9hw9ynovnldo3vl/MVI_0485.MOVBut really medium voice is more my thing, I finally see that now. In Classical or Early Music: , 2d Soprano.**

From '92-'02, I taught general music and played for adult choruses as well as for the The New Amsterdam Boys Choir(Tomoko Kamawukai arranged my Mass et. al.), and played piano in chamber music from 2000-2007 while writing for some of those ensembles.***

Ottaway's Composition teachers were Lawrence Widdoes of Juilliard, Max Lifschitz of Columbia, Nils Vigeland at Manhattan, Dana McCurdy at IAR and Vassar, Keith Fitch and Jerry Noble. Her brilliant(partly because he would always put critiques in the positive when I think it would've been much easier to have put them in the negative:) former piano teacher is Joseph Smith.

The late Morris Borenstein had started me on the path of serious music("We go to Ravel") and did not want credit. I was supposed to credit his arch-nemesis, as a joke, but in the 00's when i played him the piano version of opening of the Thuille Sextet and sang the Fr. Hrn. part, he was like, "You know Brian Zeger gives me some credit!" I was never going to be as fine as Brian Zeger was/is but sure OK!***

Thanks for reading!

Merlin's Bag of Tricks

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 0:01:54

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Description: Our cat was very sick at 14 yo but got treated and wildly rejuvenated for at least a year more and counting!

Sound

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 0:02:46

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: electronic and computer works

Description: Song from 1998, redone on GarageBand after the original cassette got lost. Was originally done in Digital Performer, the one that isn't ProTools. Based on an idea voiced by Wynton Marsalis at a Jazz for Kids lecture-demo, where he said that a consistent and beautiful sound quality is more important than exactly which pitches we play, when performing Jazz.

Sound Album of 2015

Year: 2015

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: electronic and computer works, piano, solo voice(s) with piano, solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: any female voice, electronics, piano

Publisher: A 2011 Mac laptop that still had internal disc drive

Publisher website: https://alexandraottaway.com

Zen Sutras

Year: 2012

Duration (in minutes): 0:18:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: concertos

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: These are the Four Vows and other Zen Chant-texts: Sutras set to minimal
(for the most part) instrumentation. From Solos to SATB to SSAATTBB.
From very simple almost monotone to bi- and atonal and/or mixed.
Released on the album Tetrahedron Dreams, Navona.

Things Fall Apart

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 2'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: choral, larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble, solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: any string, guitar

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: Originally published on Sibelius October 2010, updated with Djembe and guitar to represent the voices on May 6, 2011. To be released on Navona Records for voices, as sung by the NY Virtuoso Singers.

Wild Geese

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 2'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quartet, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: alto, any female voice, any low voice, any string, any voice, cello, viola, violin

Description: I did not receive permission from poet Mary Oliver to publish this but(perhaps because) I am not charging for it. The Improvox App is an electronic music processor with reverb which adds an augmented triad to vocal pitches. The Alto part is not more ambitious as knowing Oliver's distaste for being set I tread lightly.
Good poetry is already music, so I kind of get it.

Merlin Études

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 0:10:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: This time I got permission from the poet, me! Be that as it may, this is a little unusual because Études 3-8 have soprano solos. The row is from Oliver Messaien's Flute and Piano piece, Le Merle Noir. To be released on Navona.

Jakob in Blue and Jakob in a Dream

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 8 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument trio, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any woodwind, bassoon, clarinet, piano

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: When you add the third(my favorite) movement, "Jakob Flying", I call it The Jakob Trio.
My influences for this were Beethoven, Debussy, folk-rock, and a little syncopation.
Jakob in Blue can be heard on YouTube if you search there for Tetrahedron Dreams.

Radio Silence

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quartet, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, any woodwind, cello, flute, piano, violin

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: Two movements: One legato and lyrical; the other a bit jumpy but with an ending
that's very legato: almost tonal. The first is the second piece of the six minute sampler
to be found if you search Tetrahedron Dreams on YouTube.
To be released on Navona.

Mass for the New Amsterdam Boys Choir

Year: 2005

Difficulty: Low (student/pedagogical)

Category: choral

Description: This quasi-Buddhistic meditation on the September 11 WTC attacks,
was arranged by Tomoko Kamawukai, the choir's accompanist at the time.
Her Ensemble TOKI, which consists of piano, flute and cello, accompanied
and Darryl Taylor was the tenor soloist.
I also have a recording of myself singing and playing all the parts in '01-'02,
"O-Kyrie," before it was arranged.

Alexandra’s videos singing with Guitar; mostly Piano

Year: 2010-2022

Composer: Alexandra Ottaway

Description: 2 guitar and voice but most are piano/vocal w/ a few covers.

Video URL: https://vimeo.com/user25855700

Image for Video:

I was in the world premiere of Crowdsourced Star Wars by NorthamptonOpenMedia.org

Dear Friends, Last Friday I went to see this movie and it was the first time I had ever synced any music to a film which had always been kind of a dream of mine and when I had Covid-19 I somehow figured it out you know the way you do different things when you’re sick. It was a parody of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, the DIRECTOR was P. Al Williams and it was a huge laugh riot from beginning to end. My scenes were subdued in comparison but I so enjoyed this! Can’t wait to do it again next year. The people of Northampton are very resourceful, imaginative, artistic, tech -savvy, fun and hilarious. To be honest: they edited some parts of the way I synced it. And they copied my last cadence to hilarious effect a few seconds later. Terrific! I heard it is more difficult smoothing out all the different recording levels people submit as opposed to the video which I’d have thought would be harder!


The video is now on Youtube at:


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fObEZS_DTOM


My music starts at 36:42. That is the scene where my music is in the second half(Two women acting out Luke’s recruitment in Obi-Wan’s Cave and then it transitions to a board meeting on the death star and ends). A few split scenes later they use my final chord again for where Darth Vader prepares to torture Princess Leia for the location of the hidden rebel base or something.










Which is hilariously done. So the exact seconds are


37:44”, Flute and Strings, and the editors did the Spaceship transition music.


38:29 I used electronics just taken from GarageBand, added Cymbal crashes and I faded into French Horns and Tuba at


38:54 before Darth Vader walks in. They synced it differently than I did & perhaps they were right. But the really funny thing is a brief scene later at


42:53” where they take my last chord and stretch it 😂



Interesting is I happened to sit behind the young woman who played Obi-Wan in my scene and the director was sitting behind me so all of us trying to hide in the back!


I hope you get a chance to see and enjoy some of it. If you read this far thank you and many thanks to Sara Paar and Mykel for their kind patient tech support! #AboveAndBeyond









Featured Image:

BIOGRAPHY
While I hinted at it in the Mass, that the USA bore some responsibility for September 11, Catherine Hoover recently lamented the loss of Iraqi and Afghani life from the retaliatory war in her Mass; and Claire Danes' character Carrie on Homeland(SHO) voiced her belief that America went psycho after September 11.“And I think it’s longer.” As Rob Reiner said on All In the Family by Norman Lear.

In other news there’s a lot of talk of harassment coming out(10/17) and I’m not putting that out here but I did realize I forgot to mention my very influential and extremely formative female teachers, Hadassah Sahr at Columbia Teachers College and Haesook Rhee of Manhattan School of Music. Hadassah let me perform Boulez in a master class and knowing I wanted to compose let me explore piano literature without making me practice too much(I was more acaedmically focused then). Haesook drilled me extensively and enforced my playing more deeply into the keys which laid the groundwork for a good decade. Why would I have left them out? I’d already listed quite a few teachers, all of whom I was very blessed to have met and studied with. Thank you thank you thank you, teachers everywhere! I am sorry for not mentioning them before!

By the end of 2015 I'd made a Garageband CD, The Sound Album 2015. If you feel like copy-and-pasting this into your browser you can listen to it free on Soundcloud.om(Please do:)

https://soundcloud.com/user-234102687

If you have or want to subscribe to Apple Music it is also here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/the-sound-album-2015/idpl.668d5c2544ce4d53a03b64b4f4e35d7e

I had news in the end of April '14 that my CD, Tetrahedron Dreams, went live online. If you search "AlexandraOttaway.com: Music"it should come up!

Also at Navona: While the first four chamber pieces are beautiful, I fear people will want to jump to the part where I sing some nearly impossible pieces under very difficult conditions and it doesn't sound as much like Whitney Houston, whose voice I love, as in the 2011 recital of "Merlin Études" but album is here(please copy and paste the link):

http://www.navonarecords.com/tetrahedrondreams/

I sang in recitals for some years while studying Soprano with Justina Golden. With her, and Jerry Noble accompanying, I sang 3 of the Merlin Etudes, in 2011 way before 2014's Tetrahedron Dreams(the 2011 live performance is obviously fresher as you can see and hear, here:

http://www.alexandraottaway.com/blog/2014/06/what-merlin-%C3%A9tudes-3-5-8-can-sound-like-with-jerry-noble-accompanying-.html

And the video below is "From The Little Sphinx", John Duke's setting of the Edna St. Vincent Millay poem:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9hw9ynovnldo3vl/MVI_0485.MOVBut really medium voice is more my thing, I finally see that now. In Classical or Early Music: , 2d Soprano.**

From '92-'02, I taught general music and played for adult choruses as well as for the The New Amsterdam Boys Choir(Tomoko Kamawukai arranged my Mass et. al.), and played piano in chamber music from 2000-2007 while writing for some of those ensembles.***

Ottaway's Composition teachers were Lawrence Widdoes of Juilliard, Max Lifschitz of Columbia, Nils Vigeland at Manhattan, Dana McCurdy at IAR and Vassar, Keith Fitch and Jerry Noble. Her brilliant(partly because he would always put critiques in the positive when I think it would've been much easier to have put them in the negative:) former piano teacher is Joseph Smith.

The late Morris Borenstein had started me on the path of serious music("We go to Ravel") and did not want credit. I was supposed to credit his arch-nemesis, as a joke, but in the 00's when i played him the piano version of opening of the Thuille Sextet and sang the Fr. Hrn. part, he was like, "You know Brian Zeger gives me some credit!" I was never going to be as fine as Brian Zeger was/is but sure OK!***

Thanks for reading!
COMPOSITIONS

Merlin's Bag of Tricks

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 0:01:54

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Description: Our cat was very sick at 14 yo but got treated and wildly rejuvenated for at least a year more and counting!

Sound

Year: 2015

Duration (in minutes): 0:02:46

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: electronic and computer works

Description: Song from 1998, redone on GarageBand after the original cassette got lost. Was originally done in Digital Performer, the one that isn't ProTools. Based on an idea voiced by Wynton Marsalis at a Jazz for Kids lecture-demo, where he said that a consistent and beautiful sound quality is more important than exactly which pitches we play, when performing Jazz.

Sound Album of 2015

Year: 2015

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: electronic and computer works, piano, solo voice(s) with piano, solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: any female voice, electronics, piano

Publisher: A 2011 Mac laptop that still had internal disc drive

Publisher website: https://alexandraottaway.com

Zen Sutras

Year: 2012

Duration (in minutes): 0:18:30

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: concertos

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: These are the Four Vows and other Zen Chant-texts: Sutras set to minimal
(for the most part) instrumentation. From Solos to SATB to SSAATTBB.
From very simple almost monotone to bi- and atonal and/or mixed.
Released on the album Tetrahedron Dreams, Navona.

Things Fall Apart

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 2'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: choral, larger chamber ensembles - more than 4 players, solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble, solo voice(s) with solo instruments

Instruments: any string, guitar

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: Originally published on Sibelius October 2010, updated with Djembe and guitar to represent the voices on May 6, 2011. To be released on Navona Records for voices, as sung by the NY Virtuoso Singers.

Wild Geese

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 2'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quartet, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: alto, any female voice, any low voice, any string, any voice, cello, viola, violin

Description: I did not receive permission from poet Mary Oliver to publish this but(perhaps because) I am not charging for it. The Improvox App is an electronic music processor with reverb which adds an augmented triad to vocal pitches. The Alto part is not more ambitious as knowing Oliver's distaste for being set I tread lightly.
Good poetry is already music, so I kind of get it.

Merlin Études

Year: 2010

Duration (in minutes): 0:10:00

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: solo voice(s) with piano

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: This time I got permission from the poet, me! Be that as it may, this is a little unusual because Études 3-8 have soprano solos. The row is from Oliver Messaien's Flute and Piano piece, Le Merle Noir. To be released on Navona.

Jakob in Blue and Jakob in a Dream

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 8 minutes

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument trio, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any woodwind, bassoon, clarinet, piano

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: When you add the third(my favorite) movement, "Jakob Flying", I call it The Jakob Trio.
My influences for this were Beethoven, Debussy, folk-rock, and a little syncopation.
Jakob in Blue can be heard on YouTube if you search there for Tetrahedron Dreams.

Radio Silence

Year: 2007

Duration (in minutes): 4'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument quartet, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, any woodwind, cello, flute, piano, violin

Publisher: Navona Records, LLC

Description: Two movements: One legato and lyrical; the other a bit jumpy but with an ending
that's very legato: almost tonal. The first is the second piece of the six minute sampler
to be found if you search Tetrahedron Dreams on YouTube.
To be released on Navona.

Mass for the New Amsterdam Boys Choir

Year: 2005

Difficulty: Low (student/pedagogical)

Category: choral

Description: This quasi-Buddhistic meditation on the September 11 WTC attacks,
was arranged by Tomoko Kamawukai, the choir's accompanist at the time.
Her Ensemble TOKI, which consists of piano, flute and cello, accompanied
and Darryl Taylor was the tenor soloist.
I also have a recording of myself singing and playing all the parts in '01-'02,
"O-Kyrie," before it was arranged.

CDs

Voices of Earth and Air

Includes works for chorus by composers Michael C. Cunningham, Alexandra Ottaway, Carol Barnett, David Dickau, Karen A. Tarlow

Composers: Alexandra Ottaway, & others

Label: Navona Records, LLC

Product ID: NV5923

Buy URL 2: https://music.apple.com/us/album/yeats-madrigals-no-4-pity/664363410?i=664363605&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

VIDEOS

Alexandra’s videos singing with Guitar; mostly Piano

Year: 2010-2022

Composer: Alexandra Ottaway

Description: 2 guitar and voice but most are piano/vocal w/ a few covers.

Video URL: https://vimeo.com/user25855700

Image for Video:

NEWS POST

I was in the world premiere of Crowdsourced Star Wars by NorthamptonOpenMedia.org

Post Content:

Dear Friends, Last Friday I went to see this movie and it was the first time I had ever synced any music to a film which had always been kind of a dream of mine and when I had Covid-19 I somehow figured it out you know the way you do different things when you’re sick. It was a parody of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, the DIRECTOR was P. Al Williams and it was a huge laugh riot from beginning to end. My scenes were subdued in comparison but I so enjoyed this! Can’t wait to do it again next year. The people of Northampton are very resourceful, imaginative, artistic, tech -savvy, fun and hilarious. To be honest: they edited some parts of the way I synced it. And they copied my last cadence to hilarious effect a few seconds later. Terrific! I heard it is more difficult smoothing out all the different recording levels people submit as opposed to the video which I’d have thought would be harder!


The video is now on Youtube at:


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fObEZS_DTOM


My music starts at 36:42. That is the scene where my music is in the second half(Two women acting out Luke’s recruitment in Obi-Wan’s Cave and then it transitions to a board meeting on the death star and ends). A few split scenes later they use my final chord again for where Darth Vader prepares to torture Princess Leia for the location of the hidden rebel base or something.










Which is hilariously done. So the exact seconds are


37:44”, Flute and Strings, and the editors did the Spaceship transition music.


38:29 I used electronics just taken from GarageBand, added Cymbal crashes and I faded into French Horns and Tuba at


38:54 before Darth Vader walks in. They synced it differently than I did & perhaps they were right. But the really funny thing is a brief scene later at


42:53” where they take my last chord and stretch it 😂



Interesting is I happened to sit behind the young woman who played Obi-Wan in my scene and the director was sitting behind me so all of us trying to hide in the back!


I hope you get a chance to see and enjoy some of it. If you read this far thank you and many thanks to Sara Paar and Mykel for their kind patient tech support! #AboveAndBeyond









Featured Image: