Author Archives: David

Jessica Bowers

Mezzo soprano Jessica Bowers has performed with Utah Opera, Anchorage Opera, Opera Boston, Caramoor International Festival, Central City Opera, and Ohio Light Opera. Roles include Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, The Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Queen in John Harbison’s A Full Moon in March, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann, Mrs. Peachum in Three-Penny Opera, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Old Lady in Candide. She has performed recitals with Poetica Musica, Sonora Trio, and she plays regularly with guitarist Oren Fader as The Bowers Fader Duo. Recently she has performed with The Theater for the New City, The Sonora Trio, Litha Symphony Orchestra, Soft Series, and Composers Concordance. In the winter of 2018, she will sing the world premiere of Emily Brontë – Through life and death, a chainless soul, a monodrama written for her by Akemi Naito, at Tenri Cultural Institute. She will also sing with The Satori Ensemble in Bethlehem, PA.

For more information, please visit

Biophonic Beats @ Pine Box Rock Shop [2018.01.27]

l’Ao brings Biophonic Beats, for gated benjolin and trombone, to Pine Box Rock Shop. Come out for beats and vegan treats.

Biophonic Beats is a simulacrum of the interlocking sonic umwelten created by different species vocalizing non-human animals. In any given environment, the sounds created by an individual species will shift and adapt to changes in the soundscape. The shifting, adaptive texture of Biophonic Beats is derived from the manufactured human rituals of communal dance; re-imagining anthropophony as biophony.

Saturday, January 27, 2018, 9:30pm
Pine Box Rock Shop
12 Grattan St. Brooklyn, NY 11206

Toy Piano Resident Artist Outreach [2018.01.03]

l’Ao will be unveiling our new performance piece, Biophonic Beats, as part of our residency at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve for the 2018 Florida International Toy Piano Festival.

Biophonic Beats is a simulacrum of the interlocking sonic umwelten created by different species vocalizing non-human animals. In any given environment, the sounds created by an individual species will shift and adapt to changes in the soundscape. The shifting, adaptive texture of Biophonic Beats is derived from the manufactured human rituals of communal dance; re-imagining anthropophony as biophony.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 6 PM
James Weldon Johnson Branch Library
1059 18th Ave S, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33705


Trappist–1 is composed to activate the acoustic properties of the performance space. We create ringing clouds of sound that resonate with the room. These clouds fade into silences, allowing for the interpenetration of the sonic environment, here the groaning of the barge, the roar of passing helicopters, and the too-familiar coughing of audience members. These sounds are picked up by our microphones and processed by our system, becoming enmeshed in the performance.



Star typeultra-cool red dwarf star
Alternate names: 2MASS J23062928-0502285
Constellation: Aquarius
Right ascension: 23h 06m 29.283s
Declination: −05° 02′ 28.59″
Distance: 40 light years (12 parsecs)

  • Trappist–1 b – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~0.8 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 1.51087 Earth days (0.004 Earth years)
  • Trappist–1 c – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~1.63 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 2.4218 Earth days (0.007 Earth years)
  • Trappist–1 d – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~0.33 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 4.0498 Earth days (0.011 Earth years)
  • Trappist–1 e – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~0.24 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 6.0995 Earth days (0.017 Earth years)
  • Trappist–1 f – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~0.36 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 9.2064 Earth days (0.025 Earth years)
  • Trappist–1 g – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~0.566 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 12.3528 Earth days (0.033 Earth years)
  • Trappist–1 h – sub-Earth type (mass smaller than Earth, likely a rocky planet)
    • Mass: ~0.086 Earth Mass
    • Orbital Period: 18.7662 Earth days (0.051 Earth years)

Kelson Productions


Kelson Productions provides audiovisual and production management services for live events of all kinds, for clients in education, industry, theater, fashion, non-profit, and the arts. Whether it’s a live concert, a gala dinner, a panel discussion, a fashion show, an address by a world leader–our teams of managers, designers, and technicians work together to ensure that the technical elements of your event run smoothly, on time, and on budget.

We emphasize thorough pre-production planning and consultation, with prompt and efficient communication throughout the process.

With an extensive pool of qualified production staff, and a large stock of top-of-the-line equipment to choose from, we can provide fully scalable production services for events with audiences of all sizes — while delivering the flexibility and personal attention that your event deserves.

Kelson Productions provides technical support for Soft Series.

Tom Piercy

Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, recital and chamber music appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. He has been described by The New York Times as “Brilliant…playing with refinement and flair…evoking a panache in the contemporary works.” A versatile artist defying categorization – performing on the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby CDs and DVDs; performing with pianist Earl Wild and Frederica von Stade; working with Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE music video; playing hichiriki in Japan; recording with members of Maroon 5; premiering over 200 works composed for him; performing on Broadway and Off-Broadway, television, radio, and commercial recordings. Recordings for Albany, Capstone, DGI, Changing Tones, NJST, Tonada Records and more. More information:

Payton MacDonald

Payton MacDonald (b. 1974, Idaho Falls, Idaho) is a composer/improviser/percussionist/singer/educator. MacDonald was a founding member of new-music chamber orchestra superstars Alarm Will Sound and has also toured internationally as a solo marimbist and a member of various chamber ensembles including Galaxy Percussion, NJPE, Present Music, and Verederos. He has commissioned many works from today’s leading composers, including Charles Wuorinen, Don Freund, Elliott Sharp, and many others. And many of the world’s best ensembles have performed MacDonald’s music, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, et al. MacDonald has performed in the world’s best venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Barbican, and many more. MacDonald studied music at the University of Michigan (B.F.A.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M., D.M.A.). His composition teachers include Sydney Hodkinson, Robert Morris, Dave Rivello, Bright Sheng, and Augusta Read Thomas. His percussion teachers include John Beck and Michael Udow, and tabla with Bob Becker and Pandit Sharda Sahai. Further studies include Dhrupad vocal with the Gundecha Brothers. MacDonald has been to India many times, including for nine months as a Senior Fulbright-Nehru Fellow. The Los Angeles Times described MacDonald as an “. . . inventive, stylistically omnivorous composer and gifted performer . . .” MacDonald serves as a Full Professor of Music at William Paterson University and he is a Co-Artistic Director of SHASTRA, an organization the brings together the great music of India and the West.


[photo credit: Julianne Karr]


MOTHER will premiere at the 2018 Florida International Toy Piano Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida, where l’Ao has been selected as the 2018 Toy Piano Pioneer Artists in Residence at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.


If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.…Its substance reaches everywhere; it touches the past and prepares the future; it moves under the poles and wanders thinly in the heights of air. It can assume forms of exquisite perfection in a snowflake, or strip the living to a single shining bone cast upon the sea.
— Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey


MOTHER is a love letter to the ocean, a hand-made card from her grateful children. Life was conceived through her union with our father, the sun. This life multiplied and evolved, spreading through her depths and moving away, onto the land. Our Mother still tends to us, birthing the clouds that bring her life-nourishing water to us. She sings to us when we visit. She has never forgotten us.


MOTHER is a tribute to the ocean, which covers approximately 71% of Earth’s surface and is integral to our continuing life. We have abused the ocean, fishing to the point of extinction and dumping all manner of garbage and waste beneath its shimmering surface. It is time to meditate and reflect on her presence. It is time to renew and redefine our relationship with her. She is still our loving Mother.


“I love you,” I whispered into the ear of the ocean. “Ever since I’ve known you, I’ve loved you. I must see all of your marvels, know all of your beauty.…” And the ocean listened and snuggled still closer to me.
— Hans Hass, Diving to Adventure

Photon Ecstasy @ Pete’s Candy Store

l’Ao is presenting the New York premiere of Photon Ecstasy at Pete’s Candy Store. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we will be joined by New Renaissance artist Elizabeth A. Baker and percussionist Payton MacDonald for a performance that spans two sets.


Photon Ecstasy
Pete’s Candy Store
Saturday, November 18, 2017, 8:00pm – 9:45pm


Photon Ecstasy MAp



[photo by Karjaka Studios]

Concertos & Stuff

World Premiere of Melissa Grey’s “to…return”

featuring David Morneau, trombone

Performed by CompCord String Orchestra, Arkady Leytush conductor, as part of Composers Concordance ‘Concertos & Stuff’ concert @ Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 05 November 2017 video by Eddie Papetti

Soft Series Concert no.10 – Lost by Streams

l’Artiste ordinaire welcomes Eve Beglarian & Will Lang
Friday, October 20, 2017
8:00pm (doors open @ 7:30)
@ NOMADLOFT – by invitation only


I know who you are now
music by l’Ao & Eve Beglarian
performed by l’Ao

I am lost by streams
music by Eve Beglarian
video & photography by Caleb Kenna
video editing by Rohan Sen
performed by Will Lang

The title, I am lost by streams, is the complete text of an email I received one evening from a friend, Loris Bradley, who had taken a wrong turn on my land in Vermont.

In the music I have made, Will Lang very slowly performs the Gregorian chant version of Psalm 137 (“By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down, yea, we wept”), while the pre-recorded trombones, recorded by Will, extend each note to create a gradually intensifying network of traces. Melody becomes harmony, and over the course of thirty-five minutes, perhaps time becomes space.

The photographer Caleb Kenna and I have begun audio and video documenting the stream that runs through my land, Sugar Hollow Brook, from its source in the Brandon Town Forest about five miles north of my land, to where it joins Otter Creek five miles south in Pittsford, and then turns north again and flows about fifty miles past Brandon and Middlebury and Vergennes to Lake Champlain.

We imagine spending a year making portraits of the stream and the people we meet there, working our way downstream along its length. The video Rohan Sen has edited for you this evening is a work-in-progress. Each time Will performs the piece for the next year, Rohan will make a new edit incorporating the latest footage Caleb has made, until sometime in the fall of 2018 we will be able to share the finished piece.

Anne Midgette of the Washington Post describes Eve Beglarian’s work this way: “An experimental composer and performer, Beglarian writes genre-defying, intimate music that resists categorization: a collage of sound and effect, voice and electronics, written for everything from a rock band to a found recording, and sometimes responding to collaborators such as Maya Beiser or a concept like kayaking down the Mississippi River, which resulted in “BRIM: the river project.” Her ongoing “Book of Days” is creating a kind of musical devotional book-cum-diary in excerpts and musical vignettes with texts by creators including Rilke and the I Ching, expressed in an equally diverse musical vocabulary.”

Originally from Long Island, trombonist William Lang is an active performer, improviser, and teacher based in New York City. He can be found playing in all settings and style, from the avant-garde and classical to Broadway and indie chamber pop. He has given his signature unaccompanied recitals throughout the United States, played concertos in both America and Europe, and has also recorded with such artists as Philip Glass, David Bryne, St. Vincent, and Jonsi (of Sigur Ros.) Intensely passionate for chamber music, he regularly performs alongside his groundbreaking ensembles loadbang (an original and unique group of musicians interested in cutting edge music) and the Guidonian Hand (a trombone quartet dedicated to breaking boundaries within the brass community.) The New York Times has called his playing “fiercely virtuosic” and the Boston Globe has hailed him for his “superb performance” in past solo works.


Established in January 2016, l’Ao is a collaborative partnership between composer-performers Melissa Grey & David Morneau. [more]

Photo credits:
Eve Beglarian: Renée Monrose
l’Ao: Karjaka Studios

About Soft Series

Soft Series is a concert series dedicated to presenting soft premieres of new music in an intimate environment with lively pre- and post-concert conversation. The first season featured performances by cellist Craig Hultgren performing in-progress works he has commissioned, violin duo Miolina (Lynn Bechtold and Mioi Takeda) performing new acoustic and electroacoustic duets, and Varispeed with thingNY performing an excerpt of Kenneth Gaburo’s six-hour opera Maledetto. All of the concerts take place in Grey’s loft apartment in the NoMad neighborhood of New York, creating an accessible setting for the audience to interact with the musicians.



About Photon Ecstasy

Photon Ecstasy is an endless composition that engages music, sound, interactive light, and potential literature. Designed to function as a matrix, its modular sections telescope to embrace collaborators and architectural spaces. Within this structure we explore and invent a range of composition and performance tools and techniques for ourselves and our collaborators. We reach beyond music to create with artists, designers, and engineers, resulting in poetry, animation, artist’s books, and interactive lighting components—circular patterns on our costumes and a trombone mute that glow in response to sound.