September 15th was the inaugural concert of soprano Julia Bullock’s season-long residency at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This concert, entitled “History’s Persistent Voice,” featured the premiere of works by Tania Leon, Jessie Montgomery, Courtney Bryan and yours truly. Our music was inspired by pieces in the “History Refused to Die,” exhibit featuring works by southern African-American artists on loan from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Read the New York Times review by Zachary Wolffe here or below.


The most telling moment in Julia Bullock’s recital on Saturday evening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art came before she’d sung a note.

Featuring settings of the words of black artists from the South and fresh versions of traditional slave songs, this was the first concert in the superb rising soprano’s season-long residency at the Met. The five-event series continues on Dec. 2 with a program of new works with texts by Langston Hughes.

You would expect a musician to bathe in at least a little bit of entrance applause at this, the opening event of one of her most prominent New York showcases to date. But with the lights still up in the auditorium, Ms. Bullock modestly entered with the nine string players. The music began without her swanning on solo — in fact, without any clapping at all.

Ms. Bullock seemed to be emphasizing that, at the Met, she would truly be an artist, not a diva, in residence. It’s not that she’s a reticent singer, but she exudes humility. She serves the work she’s singing, even as she makes it better.

Saturday brought proof of this. The music — a set of premieres — was pretty good; Ms. Bullock’s calm passion made you think that swaths of it were great.

The program, “History’s Persistent Voice,” was tied to “History Refused to Die,” an exhibition of contemporary self-taught black artists on view at the Met through Sept. 23. Images from the show were projected throughout the concert, and some of the sung texts were by or related to artists with works on view.

An interview with Thornton Dial, the maker of grand mixed-media assemblages, inspired the composer Tania León’s uneasy, twitteringly unpredictable “Green Pastures.” Allison Loggins-Hull’s slyly eerie fractured lullaby, “Mama’s Little Precious Thing,” had words derived from a conversation with the granddaughter of one of the artists in the exhibition.

Ms. Bullock offered a stern reading of an excerpt from an interview with the artist Sue Willie Seltzer about the hardness of her life: “I just tried to survive,” Seltzer said. The instrumental work that followed, Courtney Bryan’s “The Hard Way,” was oddly and, I think, overly gentle after those tough words, with an easygoing clarinet solo for Mark Dover.

Jessie Montgomery’s “Five Slave Songs,” richly lyrical but fresh and light in feel, had as a highlight the stark “My Father, How Long?” Ms. Bullock sang with burning focus, as she did the whole set, which brought her mellow, dusky voice from melancholy earthiness to piercing crows. She never milked the emotion or exaggerated her presence; she commands a space without ever trying too hard.

Allison Loggins Hull flutist composerMother Maker is an online magazine featuring conversations with artists who are mothers. These stories are a source of inspiration for other artists who are embarking on the journey of motherhood, creating a community of women who make work while raising humans.

Here’s a clip from the article:

When I spoke with flutist and composer Allison Loggins-Hull, she was is in the midst of potty-training her daughter. She was also in the midst of working on a commissioned composition for a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s that duality of motherhood and artistry that she and six other women are exploring in Diametrically Composed, a collection of newly commissioned works for flute, piano and voice. Perhaps best known for her work with the electronic pop duo Flutronix, Allison lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband and two kids, ages eight and two. She grew up surrounded by music and art, and went on to study flute in college, but she sought a different path than the traditional orchestral or academic one many classical musicians follow. I find it incredibly inspiring when an artist is able to follow their gut, despite all of the voices and signposts that tell us to follow a more traditional path. Allison’s success is proof that the reward comes when we listen to our inner voice and follow it through, and that motherhood can be something reinforces and inspires that voice. Thanks for reading. Love, Emma.

Read the full article here.

Soprano Julia Bullock. Photo by Julieta Cervantes for the NY Times.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has commissioned me to compose an original work for the incredible soprano Julia Bullock and string ensemble as part of her 2018/2019 residency. The work will premiere in a concert entitled, “History’s Persistent Voice.” Julia Bullock will sing the words of pioneering Black American mixed-media artist Thornton Dial in a recital featuring traditional slave songs and words penned by Black American artists from the southeastern United States, including the esteemed quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The texts are set to original compositions by a roster of all-women composers including Tania León, Courtney Bryan, Jessie Montgomery, and myself.

I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to compose for a Stradivarius and I’m beyond humbled to be in the company of such trail-blazing and brilliant women of color! This event will be unforgettable so SAVE THE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15!

Read more about Julia’s incredible residency: NY Times

Allison Loggins-Hull. Black family.
Photograph by Erin Patrice O’Brien; Wardrobe Stylist: Elysha Lenkin; Prop Stylist: Sarah Guido-Laakso for Halley Resources; Grooming: Amy Klewitz and Christine Herbeck

If you haven’t figured it out already, I am a person who wears many hats. The most important of those hats would be mother to my beautiful children and wife to my wonderful husband. So I’m very excited to share that my family is featured in the March issue of Reader’s Digest! This shoot was a fun-filled morning of playing with props, trying on multiple outfits and working with a baby wrangler (what a job!). Special thanks to photographer Erin Patrice O’Brien for inviting us. Read the full piece, “Funny Family Stories” here.

Flutronix appears in a featured episode of Noted Endeavors, a video blog that celebrates individuals and ensembles who’ve successfully created their own opportunities, hosted by renowned flutist Eugenia Zukerman and violinist Emily Ondracek-Peterson. In this clip, also featured on Musical America, the duo discusses their experience in music publishing.