Photo by Peter Kerlin.
Aaron Siegel has worked as a musician, composer, organizer and educator for 25 years in New York City. In his world, there is little distinction between the activities of producing, writing, performing, listening, and learning. Celebrated as a composer of works for percussion (“hypnotic clouds of chiming tones” – The New Yorker) and the stage (“softly shattering” – NY Times), Siegel has a long history as an improvising percussionist and bandleader. Since 2011, Siegel has co-led the radical opera collective Experiments in Opera (“Raw, funny, surreal, and disarmingly human”- Opera News), helping to bring to the stage countless works by composers and writers and expanding the boundaries of musical storytelling. Always happy to explore in community with others, Siegel has created work with A.M. Homes, Mallory Catlett, Tracy K. Smith, Mantra Percussion, Anthony Braxton, Memorize the Sky, Anthony Roth Costanzo and the EiO Writers Room among others.
Siegel’s work has been performed at venues and festivals around the world and been featured on recordings for New Amsterdam Records, Gold Bolus Records, Peacock Recordings, Clean Feed Records, Broken Research, and Lockstep Records. He has been recognized with awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Chamber Music America, the New York State Council for the Arts, New Music USA, Opera America, the Jerome Foundation, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music among others.
Current projects include:
A Prize for Every Player – a site specific opera based on the work of A.M. Homes that finds an American Family lost and then found at a big box store.
Rainbird – a staged opera created with Mallory Catlett for chamber ensemble and improvising singers based on the work of Janet Frame.
I Will Tell You The Truth About This, I Will Tell You All About It – an oratorio for eight singers and chamber ensemble based on the poetry of Tracy K. Smith.
Watching Birds At The End of the World – a song cycle with original texts about loss and forgiveness for vibraphone and countertenor, featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo.
“Watching Birds at the End of the World” invites listeners to value sound as an opening into experiential bliss. — OperaWire
“His music crates an oasis of calm, tranquility and color” — Opera News
“[The Songs of Watching Birds] were short and elegant, wonderfully uncluttered, bringing the vocal works of Ives and Messiaen, or even Purcell, to mind.” — BachTrack
“spinning out fluttering textures of interlocked voices, [Siegels’] music had an elevated subtlety, as weighty and solemn as polished stones, but quivering always with the pulse of life.” — The Log Journal