8 reasons why I can't wait for Sept. 8

1) TAK - my favourite group of co-conspirators. WQXR recently described us as a "titillating" ensemble that "impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity — and, well, just a dash of IDGAF as they slay the thorniest material like it’s nothing"

2) Erin Gee - when she writes for voice and ensemble, it's like that little nonsense song you sing while doing the dishes unexpectedly morphs into a mercurial alien life form and begins caressing every soap bubble in the sink. TAK will premiere a new piece by her on Sept. 8.

3) Doug Balliett - writes the songs that Paul McCartney would've written if he grew up in Baroque Italy and also loved Schumann and Aesop Rock. TAK will premiere a new piece by him on Sept. 8.

4) Marina Kifferstein - the violinist in TAK and the composer of a fun, slightly terrifying new duet for violin and voice, which we'll play on Sept. 8.

5) A piece by me - may not be as good as these other good things because I am still a baby composer. But then again I tried my best, and babies are great.  TAK will play my piece on Sept. 8.

6) Anne Carson - her poetry is simultaneously deadpan and moving, removed and intimate, cold and warm. Basically guaranteed to give you goosebumps. All the pieces TAK plays on Sept. 8 at Roulette set bits of her poem 'The Albertine Workout.'

7) Many tiny bells ringing at once, and metal objects being struck then dipped in water - two sounds you will hear on Sept. 8.

8) Frauke Albert and Sophia Burgos - two remarkable divas of the avant-garde who will be performing earlier sets on Thursday September 8 at Roulette. You should definitely come early and check them out.

My interview on the Resonant Bodies Podcast

There's an awesome new podcast on the block I'm their very first interviewee! On the Resonant Bodies Podcast Episode 1, Lucy Dhegrae and I talk about some of my favourite pieces to sing, my upcoming project, The Albertine Workout, the Resonant Bodies Festival origin story, and my favourite extended vocal techniques. Click the image to hear the interview.


What I did over summer break

1) Sang a program of awesome, new-to-me rep for voice and electronics by Natacha Diels, Jagoda Szmytka and Bryan Jacobs, with some more familiar rep by Stuart Breczinski and John Cage


2) Spent ten days in New Hampshire with TAK learning music by Lewis Nielson and Mario Diaz de Leon

3) Developed some new music with Ray Lustig for his opera-in-progress, Semmelweiss (he made the teaser video clip at the top of this post)

4) Performed a program of Balliett, de Falla and The Beatles in Pennsylvania with Jordan, Christine and Caroline

5) Made some top-secret plans for future projects

6) Recorded a song by Amos

7) Experienced Rooselvelt Island and fun, inspiring performances by Deerhoof and Theo Bleckmann and Taylor Mac

ALSO - I’m starting up the Mundy Monthly newsletter again, so if you want to read about my upcoming performances and other things on the internet that I recommend, sign up here

Le Marteau sans Maître, this Thursday night

Lately I've been working hard with these new music superheroes at left, plus a few others, to prepare Pierre Boulez's beguiling, tangly masterpiece, Le Marteau sans Maître.  It's such a pleasure,  sinking my teeth into this piece a second time, and at every rehearsal I thank my lucky stars to live in one of the few cities where a bunch of young musicians who have never played as an ensemble before, can convincingly pull this piece off in just a handful of rehearsals. (they look pretty good doing it, too, don't you think?) 

Spectrum at 9pm, Tickets $15, including a glass or two of wine.

A review of our 'Delightfully Devious' offering to Saint Valentine

from I Care If You Listen's review of Pierrot Lunaire performed by Tenth Intervention.

"Mundy’s voice roved from a low snarl all the way up to piercing high notes, and she adopted playful expressions throughout, ramping up to brash mockery as she speech-sang the words “withered whore.” At times her voice glinted like the moonlight on the scimitar that she sang of, and at others it seemed to float out uncannily. "

"Although I was present merely as a curious audience member, I quickly rooted through my bag for my notebook to scribble some observations and praise for this remarkably arresting interpretation."

Hello, 2015

Ah, December & January. The ending of one year and beginning of the next. We are now exiting what is possibly the most exciting time of year - tons of carols, presents, and rich food is followed immediately by lots of resolutions, light food, and if you are a performing artist in NYC, APAP. And then, it's all over and you feel a little sad. No, wait, you don’t! You keep making music and you feel great!

Here are some highlights from the past two months:

1) Playing some really, really good new music by the Columbia Composers Collective with Tak. 

3) improvising a live score to a nature documentary (narrated by David Attenborough, naturally) with the Brothers Balliett

2) playing house band with Tak in Tele-violet’s play-in-progress, Power of Emotion, at the Under The Radar Festival, while wearing a sparkly green ruff (pictured)

3) Other APAP-period fun - singing in a condensed preview of SHORE, and seeing a few new plays and operas. My faves were Brickman, Brando, Bubble Boom, and Winter’s Child.

4) Singing music that looks like this:

with Ekmeles. (called sharp-eared and fearless by the New Yorker!)

5) Discovering new podcasts. Sometimes you have an hour long subway ride ahead of you, and you're just too brain-fried to read. In those instances, I say the best thing to do is listen to Radiolab, Savage Love, OK Radio, Nerdist, Call Your Girlfriend or Canadaland. 

ok. I’m off to practice Pierrot Lunaire. Stay warm!



November so far

Oh how I love the productive, inspiring busy-ness of November. Here's a log of what I've done so far this month:

I went to Chicago! I came face to face with amazing sea creatures at the Shedd Aquarium, ate a Chicago-style hotdog, and heard Oracle Hysterical perform their newest album, Hecuba, with a live orchestra. I loved it, everything about that performance was so sweeping and so right. You should see the video for Where Did You Go, possibly my favourite song of the whole cycle. 


I was lucky enough to get to sing Three Voices at Constellation while I was there, too. I had a fun time and a really appreciative audience, and got a bracingly opinionated 'recommendation' from chicagomusic.org. It opens with, "Let’s be honest. Morton Feldman’s music, in the main, is a Sargasso Sea of isolated pianissimo notes that bore most people to tears, sleep, or—worst for new music—dismissal." Obviously I strongly disagree, but it's a nice use of metaphor.

The following week included singing with The Knells in Baltimore, twice performing A Midsummer Night's Dream with New Place Players, hosting the debut of a new concert series I'm curating at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation (a success thanks to the amazing microtonal perfection of Miranda Cuckson and Paul Dwyer), and premiering Whirlpools by Fjòla Evans for three voices and four theremins (I got to play two of the theremins! and wear face paint and a glowing scarf [pictured]!). 

For the remainder of the month, I'll be learning a whole bunch of new music, rehearsing for a play about Connie Converse, and making moules every other night because they're so delicious. I'll try and update this page more regularly, too. You stay warm, now.  

Three Voices


This Friday I'm going to sing one of my favourite pieces of music, Three Voices by Morton Feldman at the brilliantly curated Open Ears festival. I can't wait.

I love what Feldman said about this piece - "that's the dialectic that I have in myself, how can I do it abstractly. And it doesn't happen that it works out sometimes, like in this vocal piece. It went the other way. It is luscious, it's sexy, it's gorgeous, you swoon with it, and there's nothing I could have done with it short of throwing it out. Which is a possibility, and if I do, it'll be the first piece that I ever spent a long, long time with that I actually threw out. But at the same time you can make a virtue of all these things, and you could say, 'oh, I was fighting it, and I fight it and I really surrendered to it,' and it's as if I came through some kind of spiritual and emotional cleansing. I didn't... I was weak, I couldn't say no." - from Morton Feldman Says

I'm glad he didn't throw the piece out when he realized it was swoon-worthy. I love intellectual rigor too, but we all need a little exquisite beauty in our lives.  There's still tension between proponents of the abstract and the beautiful in New York, even though the old Uptown/Downtown lines are not as clear-cut as they were in Morty's time. The stubborn, occasionally vehement divide is exciting to watch, it gives incredible diversity to the music scene and it's one of the reasons why I love living in NYC. 

Also, check out the perplexing poem by Frank O'Hara that makes a fragmented appearance in Three Voices:

Wind (to Morton Feldman)

Who'd have thought
that snow falls
it always circled whirling
like a thought
in the glass ball
around me and my bear

Then it seemed beautiful
snow whirled
nothing ever fell
nor my little bear
bad thoughts
imprisoned in crystal

beauty has replaced itself with evil

And the snow whirls only
in fatal winds
then falls

it always loathed containment
I love evil