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Random Access Music

Random Access Music celebrates the return to live, in-person concerts!

Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 8pm. Culture Lab LIC

Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5pm. National Opera Center
90-minute concert with short intermission






Random Access Music (RAM) returns to live performances
with concerts featuring the music of RAM composers:
Seth Boustead, Nerissa Campbell, Masatora Goya, Zhihua Hu,
Tengku Irfan, Allen Schulz, and Frances White;
the Call for Scores Winner Matt Mason;
and guest composer Tania Leon.

Exciting new music and premieres performed by the RAM Players.
Risa Renae Harman, soprano; Emily Duncan, flute; Thomas Piercy, clarinet/hichiriki;
Russell Kotcher, violin; Lukas Goodman, cello; and Tengku Irfan, piano.


Seth Boustead “Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard” for soprano, violin, cello and piano (2016) 6”

Nerissa Campbell “I Am A Braided River” flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello (2021/2022) (World Premiere, RAM version) 8”
Part One – I Am A Braided River
               Part Two – Sometimes It Waits (The Everything & The Nothingness)
               Part Three – Water Amulet (The Path Of Least Resistance)

Masatora Goya "Four Seasons" for hichiriki and piano (2014/2022) (World Premiere) 10”
    1. Harugasumi - Spring Haze 2. Toro Nagashi – Summer 3. Kogarashi – Fall  4. Yuki no Niwa Snow Garden – Winter

Zhihua Hu “Reborn” for soprano, flute/ryuteki, clarinet/hichiriki, violin, cello, piano (2022) (World Premiere) 7”

Tengku Irfan “Vier Miniaturen” for clarinet and piano (2012) 6”
I. Elegia I  II. Scherzino  III. Tanz   IV. Elegia II

Allen Schulz “Crazy Cat Lady” for flute (2009) 8”

Frances White “Piano Trio” for violin, cello, and piano (2022) (World Premiere) 13”
1. Mountain 2. Tundra 3. Wandering Tattler


Call for Scores Winner:
Matt Mason “First Ladies” for soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2020) (World Premiere) 9”
1. Martha Washington; 2. Abigail Adams; 3. Mary Todd Lincoln; 4. Grace Coolidge;
               5. Eleanor Roosevelt; 6. Jacqueline Kennedy; 7. Epilogue after Michelle Obama

Guest Composer:
Tania León “Parajota Delaté”  for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano 3”


CONCERT 1 (same program as concert 2)

Culture Lab LIC

Presented in-person at Culture Lab LIC (5-25 46th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101)
Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 8pm

Tickets: Available online or in person (cash/credit) 30 minutes before the concert.
General Admission: $20. Students/Seniors: $10




CONCERT 2 (same program as concert 1)

National Opera Center

Presented in-person at National Opera Center (330 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001)
Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5pm

Tickets: Available online or in person (cash/credit) 30 minutes before the concert.
General Admission: $20. Students/Seniors: $10





Risa Renae Harman, soprano

American soprano Risa Renae Harman has been widely acclaimed for her technical virtuosity and communication skills as an artist. As noted by The New York Times, “she is that rare creature among singers, a really good recitalist.” On the concert stage, she has appeared as soloist in Samuel Barber’s The Prayers of Kierkegaard at the Kennedy Center with The Washington Chorus, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with The Philadelphia Singers at the Kimmel Center and Alice Tully Hall, Handel’s Laudate pueri with The National Cathedral Choral Society, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate at the Kennedy Center, Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 with The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, solo recitals at the Brooklyn Library and the acclaimed Trinity Church, and guest artist with the Greenwich Chamber Players.

A favorite of composer, Sheila Silver, Miss Harman premiered songs composed for her based on poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay with American Opera Projects at Symphony Space. She is currently workshopping Silver’s new opera, A Thousand Splendid Suns with American Opera Projects. She also sings as Jenny Lind in Jenny Lind, The Swedish Nightingale in America, a play with music by Kelly Hale, currently a work in progress. In appreciation of Miss Harman’s artistry, a local music-lover has endowed the position of The Karen Schuiling Endowed Chair, currently held by Miss Harman, at the Bay View Music Festival.

Operatic performances include The Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Violetta in La Traviata, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as creating the role of Louise in the world premiere of William Schuman’s A Question of Taste for Glimmerglass Opera. She has appeared with New York City Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Lake George Opera, and Lyric Opera Cleveland.

Miss Harman’s international credits include recitals in Sweden as the winner of the American Jenny Lind Competition and the Italian Festivals Da Bach a Bartok and Musica nei Chiostri. Miss Harman is the recipient of numerous awards including the Lee Schaenen Foundation, Lotte Lehmann Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, Shoshana Foundation, Washington International Competition, Jenny Lind Competition, and Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition. She hails from Virginia and presently calls New York home.


Emily Duncan, flute

Flutist and sound designer Emily Duncan is an electrifying, theatrical performer redefining what it means to be an artist in today’s musical landscape. Through innovative costuming, elements of drag performance, and music that blends the classical, pop, and electronic genres, Emily is creating new musical experiences that live at the intersection of music, technology, theater, and art.


As a contemporary classical musician, Emily has performed with The University of Iowa’s Center for New Music, AXIOM, and the New York Summergarden Series and has worked with David Lang, Joel Sachs, Thomas Adés, and Kaija Saariaho. From 2013-2016, she toured across the United States, premiering new solo and ensemble works with the Center for New Music. In 2020, she was the principal flutist on tour with the Ambient Orchestra for “Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar”, a live performance of David Bowie’s final album. Emily is an in-demand session musician and a frequent collaborator with composers and artists across the country. This summer, she will premiere a concert of new electronic and acoustic works by living Latinx composers in collaboration with SONIT.


As a theater artist, Emily made her off-Broadway debut in March 2018 as the Train Conductor and beatbox flutist in Patrick Dunning’s The Signature Project. She also appeared as a corseted “Caveling” musician in the folk opera The Cave, collaborating with guitarists, bassists, fiddles, and more in an improvised score. Her sound design work has been featured with Outlet Ensemble's Brilliant Traces, the Here We Go Festival, Michael Shenefelt's "Heloise" at the 2019 Broadway Bound Festival, and PasticheNYC's Persuasion, which was recorded, mixed, and debuted in 2021.


Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Iowa where she also completed her studies in the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program. She holds a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School. She is currently based in NYC.

Thomas Piercy, clarinet/hichiriki

Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, solo recital and chamber music appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Described by The New York Times as “Brilliant...playing with refinement and flair…evoking a panache in the contemporary works…,” Mr. Piercy presents audiences to varied and exciting concerts of standard classical music, jazz-inspired programs, contemporary works, pieces written specifically for him and his own original arrangements, compositions and collaborations. 

A versatile artist defying categorization – performing on the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby recordings;playing Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Earl Wild; performing concert improvisations with pianist Donal Fox; performing Mozart with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; playing Broadway songs with Raoul Julia; conducting Cabaret or Rodgers & Hammerstein; working with the composer Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE music video; playing hichiriki in Japan and the U.S.; recording with members of Maroon 5 - as an instrumentalist, singer, director and music director/conductor and actor, he has performed for Broadway and Off-Broadway, television, radio, video and commercial recordings.

Mr. Piercy has performed at many of the worlds acclaimed concerts halls including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Lincoln Center (NY, NY), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC.), the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago, Illinois), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Wigmore Hall (London, England), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy), Bangkok Cultural Center (Bangkok, Thailand), and Tokyo Opera City (Tokyo, Japan). Mr. Piercy has received grants for recordings, commissions, and performances from the Cary Trust, the Scandinavian Foundation, the International Clarinet Association, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Creative Engagement, and New Music USA.

Piercy has studied clarinet, voice and conducting at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University and Shenandoah Conservatory. He began his college education studying clarinet under Dr. Stephen Johnston at Shenandoah Conservatory and Gailyn Parks at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later moved to New York City to study with Gervase De Peyer under scholarship at Mannes College of Music; he continued to study extensively with De Peyer after leaving Mannes. Piercy later studied with and soon became an assistant to the renowned clarinet pedagogue Leon Russianoff; additional clarinet studies were undertaken with Kalmen Opperman. He has had arrangements and transcriptions published by Boosey & Hawkes, and has contributed to clarinet study books and clarinet compositions published by Carl Fischer, Inc., and Baron Publishing.

A frequent performer of new music, Mr. Piercy has premiered over 300 compositions composed for him. The works, for clarinet, bass clarinet or hichiriki, include solo pieces, duos, trios, quartets, larger mixed ensembles, concertos and double concertos. They include a wide variety of styles of music. The composers have ranged from 10 to 98 years of age and come from all walks of life and experience: from elementary students to university professors; from self-taught composers to composers with PhDs; from emerging composers to composers that have won such prominent awards as the Takemitsu Prize, the Grammy Award, the Latin Grammy Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. A short list of the composers he has worked with and premiered their work include Kei Daigo, Osamu Kawakami, Yu Kuwabara, Senri Oe, Miho Sasaki, Shoichi Yabuta, Trevor Bachman, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ed Bland, David Del Tredici, Donal Fox, Jennifer Higdon, Ned Rorem, Fernando Otero, Michael Schelle, and many others.

Piercy's discography includes "Gotham Ensemble Plays Ned Rorem", a CD of chamber music featuring the clarinet (released by Albany Records), "CAFE", a CD of music for clarinet and guitar (released by Tonada Records), the world-premiere recording of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's "Ballad in Memory of Shirley Horn" and the Emmy Award winning CDs and DVDs "Juno Baby." He has recorded for the Albany, Capstone, DGI, Changing Tones, NJST, and Tonada Records labels. Thomas Piercy is an official Rossi Clarinet, Forestone Reeds and Silverstein Artist.


Russell Kotcher, violin
Russell Kotcher, a native of Detroit Michigan, has been featured as soloist in Germany at the Bodensee Festival, Isny, and Munich; in Philadelphia with the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra; in Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Symphony; and at Carnegie Hall with the Chamber Orchestra of New York. His violin students have soloed at Carnegie Hall, have won competitions, and are members of the Philadelphia Youth Symphony. A former member of the Mühlenberg Piano Quartet, Russell was awarded several grants and commissions to premier original compositions at The Juilliard School and The Curtis Institute of Music. Currently, Mr. Kotcher is Associate Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, section violinist with the Academy of Vocal Arts Opera Orchestra, and violinist and pianist of Murmuration, a classical improvisational ensemble. Murmuration was awarded the Subito Grant from the American Composers Forum to help fund their first album "Revised Notes."


Lukas Goodman, cello

Lukas Goodman began playing the cello at the age of 11, studying with Anne Bennett at the community music school in his hometown of Winchester, Massachusetts. He studied at Rice University’s Shepherd School where he studies with Desmond Hoebig, and is currently a student at The Juilliard School. While at Rice, Lukas has won First Prize in the Shepherd School Concerto Competition, as well as a Gold Medal at the 35th annual Young Texas Artists Music Competition.  Additionally, Lukas has performed in masterclasses for renowned musicians such as Laurence Lesser, Lynn Harrell, Carter Brey, and members of the Brentano Quartet. Lukas has studied with cellists such as Hans Jørgen Jensen, Richard Aaron, Frans Helmerson, and Wolfgang Emmanuel Schmitt. A devoted chamber musician, Lukas has attended the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, Winter Residency, and Fall Retreat, as well as the Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Meadowmount School of Music, where he has worked with coaches such as Merry Peckham, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, David Geber, and members of the Borromeo Quartet. This past summer Lukas attended the Aspen Music Festival where he was a full-scholarship recipient and assistant principal of the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Lukas made his concerto debut playing the Dvorak Concerto with the Missouri Symphony.

Tengku Irfan, piano

Malaysian-born Tengku Irfan has appeared around the world as a pianist, composer, and conductor, and has been praised by The New York Times as “eminently cultured” and possessing “sheer incisiveness and power”. Irfan has performed with orchestras worldwide with conductors Claus Peter Flor, Neeme Järvi, Kristjan Järvi, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänskä, George Stelluto, Jeffrey Milarsky, among others. His compositions have been premiered by highly acclaimed orchestras and ensembles, and have won international awards including three ASCAP Morton Gould Awards in 2012, 2014, and 2017.

Performance highlights include AXIOM, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, MDR Sinfonieorchester, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, and theMinnesota Orchestra. Irfan was resident pianist for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for four consecutive years.

Irfan’s career as a composer has garnered three ASCAP Morton Gould Awards and a Charlotte Bergen Award with performances and premieres by orchestras such as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the MDR Simfonieorchester. His orchestral composition titled Keraian, was premiered by the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, with Case Scaglione conducting.

Irfan was a double major in piano & composition in the Juilliard Pre-College program (under Yoheved Kaplinsky & Ira Taxin). He studied at the Juilliard School as a double major in piano & composition under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert Beaser respectively, and also studied conducting with Jeffrey Milarsky and George Stelluto. Irfan is a proud recipient of the Juilliard School Kovner Fellowship Award.


Tania León
“Parajota Delaté” for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (1988) 3”
“Parajota Delaté” (1988), which means literally “for J from T”, is a token of her friendship with composer Joan Tower and was composed as a birthday present to Ms. Tower.  The brief score is a study in abstraction and quickly shifting moods.


Zhihua Hu
“Reborn” for soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2022) (World Premiere) 7”
Reborn, with lyrics and music by Zhihua Hu in 2022, is an ensemble work encouraging people to rediscover themselves after encountering difficulties or being lost. In this work, composer Zhihua Hu attempts to express the richness of interaction among the instruments and the balance between soprano and the instruments.

Allen Schulz
“Crazy Cat Lady” for flute (2009) 8”
“Crazy Cat Lady” was written for and premiered by Christine Perea, who once asked me if I’d like to adopt one of her 13 kittens she had up adoption….” It is published by BRS Music. The work is meant to be humorous, maybe even giggle-producing with directions in the score for occasional grunting or hissing. New music ought to be funny every once in awhile! The work is atypical for me--I usually write music with driving rhythms or a focus on repetitive rhythms. This work has a more free-flowing feel. I hope you feel free to laugh at it.


Tengku Irfan
“Vier Miniaturen” for clarinet and piano (2012) 6”
I.Elegia I  II.Scherzino  III.Tanz   IV.Elegia II
"Vier Miniaturen for clarinet and piano was written in 2012, when I was 13 and heavily inspired by Berg's language, in particular, his Vier Stücke for the same instrumental combination. This set of miniatures is in no way a pastiche of the style, but rather, my admiration of the expressive nuances, humor, sarcasm, and depth that one can feel in such a fleeting moment."

Frances White
“Piano Trio” for violin, cello, and piano (2022) (World Premiere) 13”
1. Mountain 2. Tundra 3. Wandering Tattler
My Piano Trio, inspired by the incomparable landscape of Denali National Park in Alaska, is in three


1. Mountain — The mountains of Denali evoked powerful emotions in me. They are sublime,

terrifying, exhilarating, dramatic, and yet possessed of an unearthly peace.

2. Tundra — Hearing the word “tundra” always made me picture a desolate and barren terrain, but in

July it's the most alive place imaginable. If you look down, you see and hear the carpet of tiny

wildflowers humming with bees; if you look up, you see golden eagles flying. In the higher elevations

there are Dall sheep, and in the valleys there are caribou and sometimes bears. But while its beauty

gave me great joy, I felt a sorrowful awareness of its fragility; how thoughtless human activity

threatens this and all wilderness.

3. Wandering Tattler — The Wandering Tattler is a bird who mates and nests by the rivers, creeks, and

streams of Denali. I like to imagine them soaring over the singing water in their courtship flights,

calling to each other through the unending summer days of the far north.

Masatora Goya
"Four Seasons" for hichiriki and piano (2014/2022) (World Premiere) 10”
1. Harugasumi - Spring Haze   2. Toro Nagashi – Summer
3. Kogarashi – Fall   4. Yuki no Niwa Snow Garden – Winter

The tone of hichiriki may be considered primitive and unstable in the highly developed world we live in, but its expressive beauty and nuances can be quite haunting, as if it evokes something we keep forgetting in our daily lives. Combined with the sounds of piano, your imagination is invited into oblivion in four seasons.

Seth Boustead
“Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard” for soprano, violin, cello, and piano (2016) 6”Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard is a setting of the poem by the same name by Carl Sandburg and was commissioned by first Ear Taxi Festival in 2016 organized by Augusta Read Thomas.  The first performance coincided with the 100th anniversary publication of Chicago Poems, the landmark poetry collection in which Nocturne first appeared.

Nerissa Campbell
“I Am A Braided River” for flute, bass clarinet, violin, and cello (2021/2022) (World Premiere, RAM version) 8”
Part One – I Am A Braided River
Part Two – Sometimes It Waits (The Everything & The Nothingness)
Part Three – Water Amulet (The Path Of Least Resistance)
“I Am A Braided River” was written as part of the 2021 Composing in the Wilderness Program.

Random Access Music 2020 Call for Scores Winner
Matt Mason
“First Ladies” for soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2020) (World Premiere) 9”
1. Martha Washington  2. Abigail Adams  3. Mary Todd Lincoln  4. Grace Coolidge
5. Eleanor Roosevelt  6. Jacqueline Kennedy  7. Epilogue after Michelle Obama
First Ladies is a song cycle using texts from letters, journals, and speeches written by First Ladies of the United States, as well as incorporating text written just for this set. Each song explores these women of balanced individuality with the responsibilities of being a national icon. Issues of femininity, national pride, and rebellion are approached with vigor by these women, all of whom embodied the position of First Lady with nobility, strength, and grace, championing the title as it evolved from a simple figurehead to a full-blown political office all its own. I wrote this set to honor these women and their contributions, as well as attempting to honor the impactful women in my life as well. First Ladies is dedicated to my mother, Mary Mason.

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