Aaron Siegel’s inquisitive and playful work represents a personal vision of how we live with and respond to the sounds in our world.
Siegel is one of the co-founders of Experiments in Opera (EiO) and who premiered his evening length opera, Brother Brother, at the Abrons Arts Center in May 2014. In 2015, EiO will premiere Sisyphus, a co-composed opera with Matthew Welch and Jason Cady. Siegel’s monodrama ‘Laughing’ which tells the story of Abraham and Isaac through the lens of a tortured performance artist will premiere at Roulette in Brooklyn in April 2015. Young People’s Chorus of New York City commissioned Aaron to write a new work for young voices for its Radio Radiance Series. The resulting piece, ‘The Mysteries of Nothing’ will be premiered in April 2015 at the 92nd Street Y. Siegel’s ‘Dioramas for Prepared Vibraphone’ will be recorded in 2015 by percussionist Garrett Mendelow.
Siegel’s music has been presented by Incubator Arts Project, Roulette, The Industry’s First Take, Music at First, Carlsbad Music Festival, Sonic Frontiers, The Chocolate Factory, Issue Project Room, River to River Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, Make Music New York, Ulrichsberg Kaleidaphon, Bowerbird, ArsNova, Wet Ink Musics and AugustArt. Other works have been performed at PASIC, 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 Wild Up, Flux String Quartet, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, 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 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.” Science Only a Sometimes Friend was named one of the Best CDs of 2011 by Time Out New York.
Highlights of the past seasons included performances of Siegel’s work at the Experiments in Opera Inaugural Concert, Spring Series, New Shorts. Mantra Percussion ensemble presented an evening of Siegel’s work for percussion in a portrait concert at the Music at First Series. The Young People’s Chorus of New York City premiered The Light Come Down at their Spring concert at the 92nd Street Y. Percussionist Jonathan Ovalle premiered parts of Dioramas for Prepared Vibraphone at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Austin Texas in October 2013.
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.
Aaron is on the staff of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and son.
Aaron Siegel’s inquisitive and playful work represents a personal vision of how we live with and respond to the sounds in our world. Siegel is one of the co-founders of Experiments in Opera and will premiere his evening length opera, Brother Brother, at the Abrons Arts Center in May 2014. Science is Only a Sometimes Friend, his work for 8 glockenspiels and organ, will be performed this year by Mantra Percussion, Tigue and the UNC-Pembroke, and Eastern Kentucky University percussion ensembles. Young People’s Chorus of New York City commissioned Aaron to write a new work for young voices for its Radio Radiance Series. His CD Science is Only a Sometimes Friend for eight glockenspiels and organ was released in May 2011 on LockStep Records and hailed as “one continuous ecstatic sonic event,” and as one of the best records of 2011 by Time Out New York.
In addition to his work as a composer and organizer, Siegel has performed with Memorize the Sky, Anthony Braxton and Robert Ashley. His work can be found on numerous recordings including Cabinet for solo percussion and Every Morning, a History for chamber ensemble and solo piano. Siegel is manager of secondary school programs at the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. He is on the Teaching Artist Advisory group for Lincoln Center Education and recently participated in the NYC DOE’s Cancellor’s Committee for Middle School Arts Education. For more information visit: aaronsiegel.net.