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Past events

Here are all the major musical things I've done in the past.

All times are EST. Follow the Facebook links for pictures and event followups.

9/22/13

So my interest in sound processing grew, and I decided to record the sounds of the NYC subway system. My goal was to demonstrate how there is inherent pitch and rhythm in what most people would consider mechanical noise, so I mixed the sounds into a suitable accompaniment for violin solo. With my Subway Project No. 3, I consider myself taking a step further from John Cage's notion that all sound is music, by applying 18th century conceptions of musical harmony to the synthesis of my work.

The other novel idea I had was for this concert to only feature works for solo performers. I remain the most attached to functional harmony, most importantly in the musical cadence. Somehow I still believe there's more to be said using only a single acoustic instrument's original, natural tone, with notes residing within standard musical keys and ordinary rhythms. But that's only because there are very few of the modern generation who are genuinely displeased with hearing the root of a first-inversion triad doubled, and fortunately or unfortunately, I happen to be among those few.

Mannes - Alumnus Recital
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James Wu, composer

Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 4:30pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Concert Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map

♯  Program notes (the very last 4 items)
♯  Facebook event with all program notes

♪  Subway Project No. 3 for violin and electronics - James Wu
♪  Prelude No. 1 for solo violin - Sho Omagari
♪  Fantasy No. 4 for solo vibraphone - Maiko Hosoda
♪  Variations No. 1 for solo piano - Teng Fu
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A collection of three improvisations for solo piano I composed based on themes by Robyn Miller, from Myst by Cyan Worlds. Since my pianistic level is amateur at best, this began my foray into using Finale to synthesize a live performance. Without any prior knowledge of MIDI software synthesizers, coupled with how inefficient Finale is for realistic playback, these tracks were the best I could manage to output at the time.

D'nipalooza 2013
Discussions, interviews and mostly amateur music of all different styles come together in a program of over 12 hours (yes you read that right) streamed online.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 11am
All performances were recorded and broadcast online.

Three improvisations for solo piano:
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5/9/13
Dr. Noam Sivan: Composing for Strings facebook
Matthew Wiseman, Nathan Pell, Minah Choi, Talia Amar, Vivian Li, James Wu

Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Concert Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map
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Had two pieces performed because the earlier composers concert was cancelled.  The audience was much bigger than at my recital, which was great. Most of the performances were stunning!

Mannes - College Division Student Composers
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Monday, April 1, 2013 at 8pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Concert Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map

♪  Sonata No. 3 for solo piano - Monica Han
♪  Ozymandias for soprano, viola and piano - Margaret Elise, Qiyun Zhao, Reggie Berg

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Now I understand the difficulties of being a composer. The originally planned program had to be cut in half just four days before the scheduled date of performance. To top that off, one of the performers had planned to arrive later for the second half. So I quickly made a notice in the programs that the recital would start half an hour later than originally stated... and then due to a "fortunate" turn of events, said performer arrived half an hour earlier than the original recital start time. But in the end, the performances were great and there was a sizable audience, and my worries were put to rest.


Mannes - Student Recital
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James Wu, composer

Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 4:30pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Goldmark Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map

♪  Sonata No. 2 for violin and guitar - Johannes Chung and Matt Kaplan
♪  Fantasy No. 3 for solo clarinet - Ben Ringer
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5/7/12

I had a lot of fun with Yiguo's piece. "A lot" being a massive understatement, that is.


Dr. Noam Sivan:
Concert of New Piano Music - Nine Solo Première
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James Wu, Ayumi Okada, Andy Feldbau, Yiguo Yan, Illya Filshtinskiy, Rachel Kudo, Christina Lee, Mikko Taylor, Shawn Chang

Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Goldmark Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map

  Yiguo Yan - "Purple" for speaking pianist - James Wu
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4/22/12

One of the compositions I had submitted for my graduate application is finally getting performed! Being my first work for wind instruments, there were many corrections to be made, but I can't believe how great Jonathan and Greg are making it sound despite these inherent difficulties, of which I am only beginning to become aware. It was also refreshing to be playing violin again, for Sam's work.


Mannes Composers' Collective
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Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 7:30pm
Vaudeville Park
26 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 map

♪  Duet No. 1 for flute and oboe - Jonathan Engle and Greg Weissman
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2/22/12

So after much ado, I settled on writing for solo instruments, on the assumption that the rehearsal process would be minimally frustrating. Needless to say, I couldn't have been more wrong. But with Alexandria's incredible trumpet playing abilities, I was able to learn a lot about the instrument and hopefully never again attempt to kill a trumpet player with unnecessary difficulty.

Mannes - College Division Student Composers
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Ezra Bershatsky, Chung Wan Choi, Ayumi Okada, Brian Petuch, Mikko Taylor, James Wu

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 8pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Concert Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map

  Fantasy No. 1 for solo trumpet - Alexandria Smith
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3/29/11

My first and only violin recital during my undergraduate studies at Mannes College. It's been a traumatizing but informative journey through higher education.

Mannes - Student Recital
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James Wu, violin
Nelson Padgett, piano

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When asked if there was a program, Dr. Sivan replied "there is no program" in a way which suggested his surprise at the subject even being mentioned. And the improvisation concert began thusly...

The Fifth Annual Improvisation Concert facebook
Javor Bračić, piano; Yu-Han Chen, cello; Hannah Chung, violin; Andy Feldbau, piano; Illya Filshtinskiy, piano; Rob Grohman, piano; Anna Grudskaya, piano; Ye-Eun Lee, guitar; James Wu, violin; Gang Zhu, piano

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 8pm
Mannes the New School for Music, Concert Hall
150 W85th St, New York, NY 10024  map

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2/11/06
My final recital at Manhattan School of Music PreCollege.

MSM - PreCollege Student Recital facebook
James Wu, violin and piano

Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 5:00pm
Manhattan School of Music, Greenfield Hall
120 Claremont Ave., New York, NY 10027  map

  Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64: II. Andante
  Brahms - Rhapsody in B Minor, Op. 79 No. 1

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