Richard Cameron-Wolfe looks to continue moving crowds

Composer looks to continue moving crowds

Richard Cameron-Wolfe has composed music in New Mexico for the last 20 years. (Courtesy of Alanna Maharajh Stone)

Richard Cameron-Wolfe took a giant step after taking to the stage at the National Opera Center’s Marc A. Scorca Hall in New York.

Cameron-Wolfe joined Spanish composer Agustín Castilla-Ávila and Austrian composer Wladimir Rosinskij to perform “Nomads-Oasis,” a concert featuring five American premieres and two world premieres on Aug. 6.

“More than half of my music was composed in New Mexico, as I moved out from New York in 2002,” Cameron-Wolfe said. “I already was here composing music in 1974 at the foundation, the little artists’ residence place in Taos.”

This event began with “In Memoriam Dmitri Hvorostovsky,” Rosinskij’s tribute to his old pal the great Siberian baritone.

“I was traveling to Russia, to Ukraine, Latvia, Azerbaijan, when I met Wladimir Rosinskij, actually in southern Russia, back in 1993, I think,” Cameron-Wolfe said. “Then we got this brainstorm since all of us are traveling all over the place within music, to have a loose collective that we call nomads, and we just look for a place where we can stop for a while, join some local musicians and put together a concert.”

Concluding the event was the world premiere of Cameron-Wolfe’s micro-opera “Passionate Geometries,” which features soprano Elisabeth Halliday-Quan.

“They’re going to expect the unexpected and they are not going to hear phrases that remind them of such and such, or so and so,” Cameron-Wolfe said. “But I think, listening is an activity, not a passivity so if people show up, they’re already doing something.”

Austrian composer Wladimir Rosinskij worked with New Mexico composer Richard Cameron-Wolfe on a project that premiered in New York on Aug. 6. (Courtesy of Alanna Maharajh Stone)

The team rehearsed in Minnesota before making the New York debut.

“It has been really wonderful, I mean, one of the things that we are really intent on doing wherever we go, is having a core group that includes the Ukrainian cellist and California-based pianist,” Cameron-Wolfe said. “We have an amazing group of players for that concert on the sixth.”

Cameron-Wolfe had plenty of anticipation as the date drew near and saw months of work coming to fruition.

“Everyone seems to be coming to the rehearsals, knowing their part perfectly,” Cameron-Wolfe said. “I’m kind of the writer with a cookbook, and I deliver a recipe to the musicians, and then they do the cooking. We’re very lucky that we have really fine performers who have a background in playing contemporary classical music.”

For Cameron-Wolfe, describing his sound is a difficult thing to do.

“That’s the impossible question that I have come upon, though I still love and use melody,” Cameron-Wolfe said. “Sometimes the music is very rhythmically complicated and faded to where you can’t find a beat, but then as my sister says, there’ll be really beautiful harmony sections that are just delicious.”

Cameron-Wolfe looks to continue moving crowds everywhere he goes.

“My goal is always to just tell the truth, and hope that my truth resonates with an audience’s sense of art,” Cameron-Wolfe said.

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