Wild Geese

Jody Elff, Audio Engineer

The versatile GRAMMY Award-winning audio engineer, sound artist, and designer Jody Elff has mixed countless televised concert events including several MTV Video Music Awards, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s One Last Time at Radio City Music Hall, the South Park 25 Anniversary concert, and Metallica’s All Within My Hands benefit. Elff’s recording work includes the Yo-Yo Ma/Silk Road Ensemble album Sing Me Home, and Chris Thile’s Laysongs. He has provided sound design for LA Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Festival, Lyric Opera Chicago, and numerous others. His fine art sound works have been presented at museums and galleries internationally, including collaborations with David Lang and Diller Scofidio + Renfro on Musings on a Glass Box at Foundation Cartier in Paris and The Mile Long Opera. Elff has developed patented audio technologies for real-time mixing of high-channel-count music events over distance. He joins at the Cabrillo Festival as creative collaborator with composer Anna Clyne in the inaugural presentation of the Augmented Orchestra in Wild Geese on August 13.


Dan Caputo

Dan Caputo is a Los Angeles-based composer and producer of instrumental and electronic music. Seeking to create immersive experiences through curious and thought-provoking musical behaviors, his works make use of expansive soundscapes, microvariation, and layered musical references to explore the role of memory in aesthetic experience.

The recipient of an honorable mention in the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, Caputo’s Liminal was performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2019 NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute with conductor Cristian Macelaru and Institute Director Steven Mackey.

Caputo’s recent works can be heard on the digital albums Every Now and Then (2023) and Strata (2021), available on Bandcamp and all streaming platforms. Every Now and Then is a 25-minute electronic work in which sheets of musical activity interact to form complex intergrowths. Strata is a collection of three large-scale compositions, each piece an archaeology of sound and memory united thematically through the concept of layers.

Caputo’s compositions have been presented by institutions including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Hear Now Music Festival, the Blackbird Creative Lab, the USC Thornton Symphony, USC Thornton Edge, the Oh My Ears New Music Festival, and ClarinetFest. His composition awards include an honorable mention in the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (Liminal for orchestra), the Hans J. Salter Endowed Music Award (Rictus for mixed ensemble), Peter David Faith Memorial Award in Composition (out of nothing for piano trio), and a finalist placement in the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (out of nothing).

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Caputo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Southern California. His mentors include composers Ted Hearne, Sean Friar, and Donald Crockett. On faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music since 2018, Dan serves as a Lecturer in the department of Composition/Theory and Analysis.

Xavier Foley

Xavier Foley is known for communicating his virtuosity and passion for music on the double bass, which is rarely presented as a solo instrument. “Unforgettable was double bassist Xavier Foley’s wrenching solo, which barreled with cadenza-like vitality into a ferocious finish,” said The Cornell Daily Sun.

Foley is a first prize winner of the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, winner of the 2014 Sphinx Competition and a 2018 Recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has performed recitals at Shriver Hall, Rockport Music, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, National Gallery of Art, and the Harriman-Jewell Series. An avid chamber musician, he has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Marlboro Music Festival, Tippet Rise Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and Skaneateles Festival.

Foley’s composition, For Justice and Peace for chamber orchestra, was premiered in 2019 by the Sphinx Organization at Carnegie Hall, a co-commission of both organizations. It has since been performed by the Atlanta Symphony, New West Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A 2023 commission of the Atlanta Symphony, his bass concerto Soul Bass was recently premiered by that orchestra, and will be performed again with the Baltimore Symphony under their new Music Director Jonathon Heyward. As well, Santa Fe Pro Musica commissioned and recently premiered his Victory Concerto. Upcoming commissions include: Cabrillo Festival and Mahler Foundation’s commission of a Violin and Double Bass Concerto titled Resurrection of Titan; the Sphinx Organization’s co-commission with Carnegie Hall and the New World Symphony; Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW (curated by Jessie Montgomery), and the Oregon Symphony, where he has been named Artist-in-Residence for the next three seasons.

A native of Marietta, Georgia, Foley is an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, and earned his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied both composition and performance with Edgar Meyer and Hal Robinson. His double bass was crafted by Rumano Solano.

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes, composer of orchestral, chamber and vocal works, six ballets, eighteen film scores, and a body of electronic music, studied composition with Aaron Copland, Carlos Chávez, and Luigi Dallapiccola. He studied conducting at University of Buffalo and the Mozarteum in Salzburg; and modern music with Pierre Boulez at Darmstadt. His instruments were bassoon and contrabassoon. His studies with Lou Harrison in Aptos, 1961, developed into a musical partnership and friendship for over forty years, and included the founding of the Cabrillo Music Festival.

In 1972, Hughes introduced Chávez, then Music Director of the Festival, to hear the Moog synthesizer at Mills College. In a subsequent letter to Hughes, Chávez wrote of “the necessity of recognizing the existence of electronic experiments within the Festival,” and commissioned three electronic works by Hughes for the Festival: Auras (1972) and Quadroquartet (1973) for chamber ensemble and Cones (1975) for full orchestra.

In addition to works included in this season’s tribute, three highlights from Hughes’ oeuvre are Music for the Kama Sutra for large ensemble with contrabassoon solo, Western orchestral and Asian instruments; Silenus’ Antiphonary–a “summation project” of lifelong pursuits hand-written and hand-drawn in color pencil to score the intersection of visual art, literature, and music; and a corpus of challenging symphonic works for Youth (young adult) Orchestras. In 1964, Hughes founded the Youth Chamber Orchestra to promote contemporary and world music from the ground up. The precocious group recorded Harrison and Ned Rorem for the commercial label Desto, as well as a trailblazing project, “The Black Composer in America,” which they toured across the American South in 1970. He conducted The Arch Ensemble for Experimental Music (1975–1986); Frank Zappa ballets for Lyons Opera Ballet (1992); and numerous Lou Harrison works for CRI, New World Records, and 1750 Arch Records (1961–1988). An active researcher and lecturer in the humanities, he co-published with his wife, choreographer Margaret Fisher, the entirety of Ezra Pound’s music in five volumes (Second Evening Art Publishing).

Recipient of Fulbright, Rockefeller, NEA, and Exploratorium awards, and commissions from San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, Cal State Hayward, Alaska Arts Council, the U.S. Department of Interior, among others, Hughes was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, 2004.

Kevin Puts

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts has established himself as one of America’s leading composers, gaining international acclaim for his “plush, propulsive” music (The New York Times), and described by Opera News as “a master polystylist.” He has been commissioned and performed by leading organizations around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Opera Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera, and many more, and has collaborated with world-class artists such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Marin Alsop, among others.

In March 2022 Puts’ fourth opera, The Hours had its world premiere on the concert stage by The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and was hailed as a “historic event … with a lush orchestration that hits you in the solar plexus.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). The Hours premiered as a fully staged production at the Metropolitan Opera in November 2022 starring sopranos Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. Other highlights of 2022 include the west-coast premiere of The Brightness of Light featuring Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. His triple concerto Contact, written for the groundbreaking string trio Time for Three, had its world-premiere in March 2022 with the Florida Orchestra, and received later performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Sun Valley Symphony. A recording of the piece by the Philadelphia Orchestra was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in June 2022, and subsequently won a GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Puts’ breakthrough opera Silent Night–for which he was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize following its 2011 premiere by Minnesota Opera–has been heralded as “remarkable” (The New York Times) and “stunning” (Twin Cities Examiner). In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Puts has received numerous honors and awards for composition. Since 2006, he has been a member of the Composition Faculty at the Peabody Institute.

2023 marks Puts’ 12th residency at the Cabrillo Festival; and Cabrillo Festival has commissioned/co-commissioned him on five occasions.

[Pronunciation of Kevin’s name is exactly like the verb: “he puts the plate on the table.”]

Anna Clyne

Described as a “composer of uncommon gifts and unusual methods” (New York Times) and as “fearless” by NPR, GRAMMY-nominated Anna Clyne is one of the most in-demand composers today, working with orchestras, choreographers, filmmakers, and visual artists around the world. She was named the 8th most performed contemporary composer in the world and the most performed living female British composer in 2022. Familiar to Cabrillo Festival audiences, Clyne has been in residence during six prior seasons and commissioned (RIFT 2016) and co-commissioned (Dance 2020) by the Cabrillo Festival.

As well, Clyne has been commissioned and presented by the Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic, MoMA, Philharmonie de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Ballet, and the Sydney Opera House; and her music has opened such events as the Edinburgh International Festival, The Last Night of the Proms, and the New York Philharmonic’s 2021–2022 season.

Clyne often collaborates on creative projects across the music industry, including “Between the Rooms,” a film with choreographer Kim Brandstrup and LA Opera, as well as the “Nico Project” at the Manchester International Festival, a stage work about pop icon Nico’s life. Clyne has also reimagined tracks from Thievery Corporation’s “The Cosmic Game” for the electronica duo with orchestra, and her music has been programmed by such artists as Björk.

Several projects have explored Clyne’s fascination with visual arts, and she has frequently collaborated with the dance world. In January 2023 Clyne presented a three-part series for BBC Radio 3 called “The Art of Music with Anna Clyne.” Other recent collaborators include such notable musicians as Jess Gillam, Martin Fröst, Pekka Kuusisto, and Yo-Yo Ma.

In 2022–2023, Clyne serves as Composer-in-Residence with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra starting in the 2023–2024 season. Past residencies include the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Clyne’s music is represented on several labels and her works Prince of Clouds and Night Ferry were nominated for 2015 GRAMMY Awards. Her cello concerto DANCE, recorded by soloist Inbal Segev, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Marin Alsop, has garnered more than eight million plays on Spotify.

Program Notes

Liminal (2018)
Dan Caputo (b. 1991)

There exists a period of activity between wakefulness and sleep where the frameworks we use to understand the world around us begin to break down. Liminal for orchestra explores the concept of in-betweenness from a number of angles, aiming primarily to reflect the psychological behaviors people experience in transitional states. Just as our thoughts can cycle, intrude, drift, or become suddenly focused, musical materials behave in combinations of predictable and unpredictable manners relative to a number of genre contexts.

Liminal was performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2019 NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute with conductor Cristian Măcelaru and Institute Director Steven Mackey. Liminal was further the recipient of an honorable mention in the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and was premiered by the USC Thornton Symphony on February 23rd, 2018, conducted by Donald Crockett.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    –Dan Caputo


Resurrection of Titan (2023)
Xavier Foley (b. 1994)
[World Premiere / Festival Commission]
         I. Moderato
         II. Andante
         III. Presto

As someone who played in various Mahler symphonies during my younger days as a student bassist in orchestras, I have grown accustomed to Mahler’s unique composition style, which seems to elicit an adventurous yet epic style of storytelling through music. When I was asked by the Cabrillo Festival and Mahler Foundation to write this concerto, I already felt well equipped to write a work that was unique but simultaneously alluded to Mahler’s dedication to raising awareness of our planet through music with his great works like The Song of The Earth, for example.

I must add, that as a double bassist who has played the Mahler 1 Titan 3rd movement bass solo and excerpts from the Mahler 2 Resurrection Symphony, I couldn’t hold back the idea of dedicating an entire movement based on the bass solo and the orchestral bass part which opens the Mahler 2 symphony; you will hear all of this in my 3rd movement.

With all this being said, it is with my great pleasure to present to audiences worldwide my Double Concerto for Symphonic Orchestra, Resurrection of Titan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     –Xavier Foley


Estampie (1979)
Robert Hughes (b. 1972)

The estampie has its roots in the twelfth- and thirteenth-century medieval dances of, most probably, Provence. I composed Estampie when I first came to California to study with Lou Harrison in January 1961. Originally it was a movement from an early suite for celesta and tack-piano. The outré instrumentation doomed the sprightly medieval dance to oblivion until I arranged it for full orchestra in 1979. Since then it has become one of my most performed pieces. 


Concerto for Orchestra (2022)
Kevin Puts (b. 1972)
[West Coast Premiere / Festival Co-commission]
         I. Hymn for the Hurting
         II. Caccia no. 1
         III. Music Box with Arietta
         IV. Toccata
         V. Siciliana
         VI. Ecco la Marcia? (Caccia no. 2)

Concerto for Orchestra grew out of my friendship with conductor Stéphane Denève. It is dedicated both to him and to the musicians of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, for whom I have developed great admiration since their first performance of my music in 2004. The work was also composed with the talents of the co-commissioning organizations, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and their respective music directors–Osmo Vänskä and Cristian Măcelaru–very much in mind. 

The creative entry point for me was the discovery of young Amanda Gorman’s beautiful poem “Hymn for the Hurting” written in response to the horrific school shooting—an occurrence now routine in our country—in Uvalde, Texas in May 2022. The music at the concerto’s opening—recalled briefly at various places throughout the piece—is my immediate musical reaction to it. The title of the second movement, “Caccia,” is a reference to the 14th century musical form depicting the hunt or the chase and flows directly from this opening hymn. It continues the opening movement’s focus on the various groups of instruments in the orchestra beginning with the oboes and punctuated at all times by the orchestra’s three percussionists who play identical collections of six drums. “Music Box with Arietta,” by contrast, explores the gentler side of the percussion section, led here by cascading gestures played by the harp and celesta, giving way to a lyrical counterpoint of woodwinds. “Toccata” is a quick exchange between the strings, the winds, and the percussion. Eventually the brass section asserts itself, cutting across these exchanges with brash, angular lines. A brief refrain of the opening movement leads to a gentle “Sicilienne” featuring nearly all instruments in the orchestra in lyrical ways, perhaps most prominently the piano. Another refrain introduces the final movement, another “Caccia,” this one containing a brief quotation from the Mozart opera which inspired it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      –Kevin Puts 


Wild Geese (2023)
Anna Clyne (b. 1980)
for augmented orchestra
[World Premiere / Festival Commission]

Wild Geese is inspired by a poem by Mary Oliver of the same title and is dedicated to Ellen Primack to celebrate her 33-season legacy with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      –Anna Clyne


Wild Geese 

 You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

– Mary Oliver 


About the Augmented Orchestra:

Wild Geese marks the first implementation of Clyne’s Augmented Orchestra (AO), a new creative exploration that subtly combines the sounds of a live orchestra with computer-controlled processes, developed by Clyne in collaboration with sound designer Jody Elff. With AO, the augmented sonic information is seamlessly integrated with the physical orchestra such that it is perceived as a natural extension of the source, and a fundamental component of the composition itself.


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