Creative Music Online / Residencies

June 28, 2020

Organization Name: Arts Letters & Numbers

Organization Location: Averill Park, NY

Type: Residencies

Fee: Free


Creative Music Online is a three-week virtual program held from July 13th – August 2nd. The program is open to both amateur and professional musicians in any genre. Participants will be immersed in the creative process of making and performing music, exploring new approaches and developing individual and collaborative works as creative artists.

The program will be led by composer/pianist Michael Harrison and co-taught by cellist Ashley Bathgate, and composer/percussionist/vocalist/filmmaker Payton MacDonald and composer Reiko Fueting. They will each host weekly classes via Zoom, give one-on-one lessons, as well as facilitating potential collaborations with co-participants and a wide range of artists affiliated with Arts Letters & Numbers.

Topics to be covered during group and private classes include composition; performance practice, coaching and improvisation; DIY performance, recording and career strategies in the current environment; Indian classical ragas, rhythms and techniques; and developing interdisciplinary collaborations.

At the conclusion of the program participants, visiting artists/teachers and program director will present an online public performance. Ashley and Payton will be available to perform select new works composed for them by participants. This concert and other events are opportunities to explore new performance practices and material in a safe and welcoming environment.

The Program will be directed by composer and pianist Michael Harrison, a recurring Music Program Director and Visiting Artist of Arts Letters & Numbers.

Duration of Program

Creative Music Online will run July 13th – August 2nd, 2020

Application Deadline
June 28th, 2020


Participants will be able to prioritize which of the following subjects they would like to cover in group or private classes. Archival recordings of workshops and online performances will be made available for future reference or use in grant applications and career development:

Performance coaching (Ashley, Payton and Michael)
Composition (Michael and Reiko)
Aesthetics of Composition (Reiko)
Writing for string instruments (Ashley)
Writing for percussion (Payton)
Improvisation (Michael and Payton)

Intro to recording/streaming/filming oneself at home with a DIY setup (Ashley)
A particularly relevant topic given the times we find ourselves in, Ashley offers a crash course in helping you set up some basic audio and video equipment to be able to record or livestream yourself from home. She will cover what equipment and skills you can use already in your possession, free internet resources, what to purchase when on a budget and what you might want to invest in regarding professional equipment. We’ll cover all the what’s, where’s, when’s, and how’s in order to get you up and running, recording and/or filming music from your very own living room – whether it is simply for practice sessions, remote lessons, or future performances.

Performers re-bootcamp (Ashley)
Creating content going forward, use of social media, crowd sourcing, controlling one’s own content and how it is shared, building a fan base, and ways to earn income in lieu of or in addition to live performance.

Indian rhythmic theory and practice (Payton)
Payton covers the basics of both Carnatic and Hindustani rhythmic theory and practice, and shares several beautiful compositions he learned from his Guru, Pandit Sharda Sahai.

Indian classical ragas and practice (Michael)
In this masterclass Michael shares the Kirana lineage of Khayal singing that he learned from his Gurus, Pandit Pran Nath and Ustad Maskoor Ali Khan, as well as Terry Riley and La Monte Young. Primary attention will be given to learning the basics of raga and improvisation, as well as syllables and structural principles.

Dhrupad vocal techniques and practice (Payton)
In this masterclass Payton shares the Dagar-bani lineage of Dhrupad singing that he learned from his Gurus, the legendary Gundecha Brothers. Topics covered include voice culture, syllables, improvisational techniques, and structural principles.

Intro to tuning systems and just intonation (Michael)
Forging new approaches to composition and performance through tunings and structures that extend the ancient concept of just intonation, a form of pure tuning constructed from musical intervals of perfect mathematical proportions.

Starting (and maintaining) a successful new-music ensemble (Payton)
As a founding member of chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound and flute and percussion duo Verederos, and now co-director of New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Payton has over 20 years experience building ensembles from the ground up and keeping them going.

Winning a tenure-track teaching position at a University (Payton)
Payton has won two tenure-track jobs, and was tenured at William Paterson University in 2009. He has served on seven search committees and knows what committees are looking for. If you’re in the later stages of graduate work and looking to get into the college teaching market Payton has some ideas that will help.

Sonic Divide, a model of interdisciplinary creativity (Payton)
Payton discusses his award-winning Sonic Divide project, going into depth about the commissioning process, fundraising, learning filmmaking, and combining disparate disciplines.

Listening Critique (All + Guests)
Listening Critique is an opportunity to share works and have an interdisciplinary conversation emerging from and between works and questions. This session will be visited by David Gersten and other guests.

Key dates (Zoom calls)
July 13th:

Welcome and introductions
July 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28th and 30th:

Zoom classes
July 17th, 24th and 31st:

Conversations Towards a New Social Poetics, a public program with David Gersten
July 19th and 25th:

Listening Critique
August 1st:

Online public performance
August 2nd:

Closing session (post-performance)

Expectations Towards the Artist

This virtual program will be using Zoom for group discussions, individual conversations and critiques. Reliable internet access is required for participation in the program.
The participants are responsible for their own personal materials used in their creative work.
Participants of the program are expected to pursue their individual creative endeavor as well as share their work or process with the group. This sharing can be in any format suitable to the work.
Everyone participating in an Arts Letters & Numbers program is expected to treat each other with care and consideration as well as be mindful of each other’s time and space.

Program Fee

The fee covers the following:
Individual and group instructions, critiques and sessions with program directors, guest speakers and artists
Group instructions, critiques and online sessions with program directors, guest speakers and artists
Online public performance
Weekly private lesson
Safe creative environment
Creative Music Online (3 weeks)……………… $325


Link to program page/website

Link to application

Opportunity Website