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About

Joel's interest in composition stems from the social anxieties associated with having a speech impediment as a child and living as an LGBTQIA+ identifying individual in today’s still somewhat polarized society. He is primarily interested in anxiety, irritation, awkwardness and the grotesque/macabre as key points of inspiration for imagining, creating, and developing material. Ranging from the highly mechanical to the extremely untethered, his pieces occupy floating, ethereal sound-worlds where performers must work together to urgently negotiate their way through dense clouds of uncertain activity. He regularly collaborates with queer poet Travis Sharp, using their poetry for inspiration.

Joel is currently studying for a PhD at SUNY Buffalo under David Felder, holding a Presidential Fellowship and a Social Impact Fellowship. He also teaches undergraduate musicology at SUNY Buffalo alongside his PhD studies. He previously studied at the University of Huddersfield under Aaron Cassidy, reading orchestration with Lucy Pankhurst. Joel has worked with ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, ELISION, the Divertimento Ensemble, Barcelona Modern, the SEM Ensemble, ensemble Suono Gialo, loadbang, Ensemble Signal, Yarn/Wire, line upon line percussion, HANATSU Miroir, Ensemble Uncaged, Leyland Brass Band, and the Moreau-VanTuinen Duo. Virtuoso soloists he has worked with include Roberta Michel (flute), Teagan Faran (violin), Lorenzo Gorli (violin), Steve Walsh (euphonium), and Sarah Lenton (baritone horn). He is also a founding member of the Buffalo-based new music ensemble The Academic Complex, and regularly performs new work with them by composers residing in the Western New York area.

 

At the end of his studies at Huddersfield, Joel received the J Wood & Sons Prize for acoustic composition and the Crabtree Prize for all-around achievement; he also received an 'honourable mention' in loadbang's 2021 commission competition and was a finalist for the 2022 John Golland Award. He has had works performed at festivals and concert series such as the RNCM Festival of Brass, June in Buffalo, ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week, the SEM Ensemble's Emerging Composers Workshop, Longy Spring Concert Series, Longy Divergent Studio, 1:2:1 Festival, the CeReNeM Concert Series, Divertimento Ensemble IWYC, Divertimento Ensemble Rondò, the Barcelona Modern Festival, and the Roadrunner Festival. He has also attended masterclasses with world-renowned composers such as Mark Andre, Augusta Read Thomas, Marco Stroppa, Stefano Gervasoni, Petr Kótik, Ed Campion, and Clara Iannotta. He has had work published in the Fields (University of Huddersfield) Journal and contributed to work published in Contemporary Music Review. He is currently working on a book chapter for the upcoming Critical Companion to Wes Craven, which will be published by Lexington Books in 2023.

 

As a performer, Joel studied flugelhorn with virtuoso cornetist Phillip McCann at the University of Huddersfield, playing solo flugelhorn for the UK-based Leyland Brass Band (one of the top 20 brass bands in the world) before moving to the USA for his PhD studies. He has written a number of explorative pieces for the instrument, aiming to discover new sound worlds and expand the (currently minimal) repertoire available in new music.

 

Joel is currently collaborating with visual artist Eloise Shaw on a piece for solo violin and fixed media, and poet Travis Sharp on a piece for voice and large ensemble. He is also looking forward to performances by ensemble Suono Gialo (Italy), the Barcelona Modern Ensemble (Spain), the RNCM Brass Ensemble (UK), the Divertimento Ensemble (Italy), the Roadrunner Trio (Netherlands), and the Academic Complex (USA) in 2022. 

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