Aaron Siegel is one of the most thoughtful and intriguing composers to emerge from New York’s new music renaissance. Siegel’s deep inquisitiveness is matched with an playful sensibility and his work represents a truly personal vision of how we live with and respond to the sounds in our world.
Upcoming projects include a Fall 2011 video installation entitled “Put Your Hands Together” as part of the Bring to Light Festival. In the Spring 2012, Siegel will showcase of three scenes from Brother Brother a 3-act opera based on the relationships of two sets of brothers, including Orville and Wilbur Wright. Also in the Spring of 2012, Mantra Percussion will present an evening of Aaron’s music for percussion as part of their new composer portrait series.
In May 2011, Siegel released Science is Only a Sometimes Friend for eight glockenspiels and organ on LockStep Records. The CD and audio download was celebrated in a release concert at Incubator Arts Project in Manhattan and praised by Sequenza 21 as an “elegantly shaped and often beguiling sound world.” NewMusicBox said of the CD that “It is one continuous ecstatic sonic event that mesmerizes, transfixes, and transports. While you are listening to it, you feel like you have been teleported through a vortex of endless doorways which keep opening but ultimately never go anywhere and that your journey will never end.”
Siegel’s music has been presented by Incubator Arts Project, Roulette, The Chocolate Factory, Issue Project Room, River to River Festival, Make Music New York, Ulrichsberg Kaleidaphon, Bowerbird, ArsNova, Wet Ink Musics and AugustArt. Other works have been performed at the Friends Meetinghouse in Manhattan, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, SUNY Purchase, and the Chashama Art Space in Times Square. Siegel’s music has been performed by the Flux String Quartet, pianist Emily Manzo, the Kyklos Ensemble, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, Till by Turning, Iktus Percussion Quartet, Beaten Path Percussion Duo, Cadillac Moon and the Aaron Siegel Ensemble. In April 2008, Siegel premiered The Swan Catchers, commissioned by the Jerome Foundation for the Flux String Quartet and 4 actors at the Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City. In June 2011, Make Music New York and the River to River Festival presented a performance of GROUP, a collective sound piece for public performers and an iPhone application.
His work has been supported by grants from Meet the Composer, The American Composers Forum, The Jerome Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The American Music Center, Wesleyan University, and by the Consulate General of Argentina. He has presented his work at the Cybersonica Festival of Sound and Art in London, UK, the Art Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany and the University for Art and Design in Karlsruhe, Germany. Siegel has studied with Nora Davenport, Stephen Rush, Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivila, Anthony Braxton and Bunita Marcus. He has an MA in composition from Wesleyan University.
Aaron has shared the stage as a percussionist with Anthony Braxton, Scott Rosenberg, Jessica Pavone, Stephen Rush, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Jason Roebke, Nate Wooley, Ben Hall, Matthew Welch, Taylor Ho Bynum, Chris Peck, Sean Meehan, and others. He is a member of Memorize the Sky, The Anthony Braxton Sextet, White, Blue, Yellow and Clouds, Assembly and his own group, Where from Here. In 2006, he founded the Aaron Siegel Ensemble, a New York-based group that performs his music in concert and on recordings. As part of these and other ensembles, Aaron has toured extensively in the United States and Europe.
Brooklyn-based Peacock Recordings released the first recording of the Aaron Siegel Ensemble, Every Morning, A History, which was praised by Signal to Noise as being “representative of the flowering DIY chamber music scene in Brooklyn.” Memorize the Sky has released three recordings: Memorize the Sky (2007, 482 Music), In Former Times (2008, Clean Feed Records) and Creeks (2010, brokenresearch) all of which document an ongoing improvisational collaboration with bassist Zach Wallace and reedist Matt Bauder. In 2009, Aaron recorded Our Reluctance is Overstated for six timpanist in collaboration with percussionist Joe Bergen and the online record label Shsk’h.The Cabinet, a solo percussion CD (2006, Longbox Recordings) was praised by The Wire in as “an exquisite set that has a meditative ease and grace.” He has released limited edition CDs of his electronic music including Rooms and Spaces and Sounding Place. His playing is featured on several recordings with Anthony Braxton including the mammoth 9-CD Box Set, 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006. One of his tape pieces was selected to be part of a compilation entitled A Call for Silence that was curated by the London-based Sonic Arts Network. In 2009, Siegel released Fiddle and Drum a collaborative project with the fiddler, Sam Amidon.