Malina Rauschenfels

Cellist/composer/singer/dancer/flutist Malina Rauschenfels is, well, all of those.

Having earned top honors at both Juilliard and Eastman School of Music, Malina is mostly seen these days performing with the vocal ensemble Toby Twining Music where she plays cello and sings Toby Twining’s works with him and the rest of the group.
Malina recalls the day she first met Toby Twining. “My ex-boyfriend has worked with him for 20 years. He did work on Chrysalid Requiem with him, and made the Eurydice CD with him and conducted and sang, stuff like that. I just met him accidentally at a Philadelphia train station as they were about to put on the Eurydice play, and I had asked him about 9/11 Blues, which it [said in] his bio that Matt Haimovitz played it, and I was like ‘I’d love to see it! I’d love to hear it!’. I don’t know anything about it, I’d just read his bio, and he says ‘Oh, I have that on me!’, and he pulls up music and hands it to me. He says ‘But I’ve been told it’s impossible to play’, and I said ‘That can’t be impossible! I read in your bio that Matt Haimovitz performed it!’, and he says ‘Oh, that piece! Oh no I don’t have that piece on me, this is a piece I just wrote!’–It was written for someone, I don’t know who, but he gave me the music, and of course, you give me a challenge like that, and I’ve gotta learn it! Don’t tell me something’s impossible!”. Continue reading

Composers: Toby Twining

Composer Toby Twining and his ensemble Toby Twining Music have graced the stage of festivals such as Bang On a Can Marathon and River To River, and his music for chamber ensemble along with their spacious choral-style vocals have enthralled audiences worldwide, and sometimes he even performs with them.
The following is an extended version of the interview I had with Toby Twining, who by the way is appearing with TTM at the 2011 Vital Vox Festival (He’ll be performing on Sunday, Night 2: Vocals + Strings; A portion of this interview appeared in a preview of the Vital Vox Festival I posted on Sequenza 21)

CM: How did you go from roots in country-swing to rock to the other-worldly music you’ve been making for various instruments, including voices and chamber ensemble?

TT: This is a long story—I’ll attempt a Reader’s Digest version. Continue reading