Y E A R, commissioned by the Ross McKee Foundation, was written in celebration of Terry Riley's 80th birthday. Having grown up in Berkeley, CA, I considered Riley as something of a natal deity, a watch-god of Northern California's musical landscape. While I had never met him, I had seen him on the street near my high school, spent formative night hours listening to his piano music in my childhood bedroom, even sung his music in the redwoods with friends.
Y E A R is thus a commemoration of home, in all its places and times. The piece traces Terry Riley's 80th year from my own vantage point, a shared orbit through the seasons beneath the constellations. Y E A R looks not back but up, a set of starmaps from a moving position, from a gently frozen house in Barrytown, NY to the jet-lagged ecstasy of travel and reconciliation (to Athens to Berkeley), and finally back to the Northeast.
Along with Terry Riley, Y E A R is dedicated to the incredible and fearless pianist Sarah Cahill, without whom would not exist this and so many other attempts to bridge the space between us.
- Dylan Mattingly
Called “visionary magic” by Susan Scheid, composer Dylan Mattingly’s work is fundamentally ecstatic, committed to the extremes of human emotion, drawing from influences such as Olivier Messiaen, Joni Mitchell, and the microtonal folk singing of Polynesian choirs and the Bayaka of Central Africa. Mattingly is the founding executive and co-artistic director of Contemporaneous, and performs frequently as a cellist, bassist, pianist, guitarist, and percussionist. Among the ensembles and performers who have commissioned Mattingly are the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, the Del Sol String Quartet, John Adams and the Pacific Harmony Foundation, Contemporaneous, Sarah Cahill, and many others. Mattingly holds a B.A. in Classical Greek and a B.M. in Music Composition from Bard College. He holds an M.M. in Music Composition from The Yale School of Music, where he studied with David Lang, Martin Bresnick, and Christopher Theofanidis, and is mentored as well in Berkeley by composer John Adams. Mattingly is also an avid painter, poet, and pitcher, having played for Bard College’s first ever baseball team. Mattingly was the Musical America “New Artist of the Month” for February 2013. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious Charles Ives Scholarship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Mattingly also received both the Ezra Laderman Prize and the Philip Francis Nelson Prize from the Yale School of Music in 2016.