MFA in Music Composition

Summer 2017 Transient Canvas / Visiting Ensemble

Transient Canvas

Praised by the Boston Globe as "superb", the dynamic bass clarinet/marimba duo Transient Canvas (Amy Advocat, bass clarinet & Matt Sharrock, marimba) has been blazing its own trail in the world of contemporary music since 2011. In under five years, they have premiered over 60 new works, essentially creating an entirely new repertoire for their unique instrumentation. Fearless in their programming and hungry for new collaborations, TC has performed anywhere from microbreweries to Jordan Hall and actively seeks out new composers who will stretch their instrumentation to its limits.

Transient Canvas performs almost exclusively works written for them. Their mission is to provide a blank slate or canvas for composers to explore while simultaneously making bass clarinet and marimba a new standard ensemble. They have worked with a wide variety of composers, including well established artists such as Marti Epstein, Curtis Hughes, John McDonald and Andy Vores and emerging voices such as Victoria Cheah, Peter Van Zandt Lane, Adam Roberts, and Tina Tallon.

Amy Advocat, clarinets 

Hailed as “dazzling” by the Boston Globe, Dr. Amy Advocat, clarinetist, is an avid performer of new music having performed with Guerilla Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Firebird Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, The New Fromm Players at Tanglewood, Boston Microtonal Society’s NotaRiotous, Glass Farm Ensemble, and the Second Instrumental Unit. 

Always looking for the most innovative projects, Ms. Advocat was recently highlighted in the Boston Globe for her work at the Bohlen-Pierce Symposium in Boston, during which she premiered six pieces on the newly invented Bohlen-Pierce clarinet. This instrument plays in a non-octave-repeating tuning system which offers an alternative to our own, and was the basis of Ms. Advocat’s studies toward her DMA at McGill University in Montréal.

Equally at home with more traditional classical music, Amy Advocat has also performed with Odyssey Opera, Boston Pops, Harrisburg Symphony, Opera Boston, National Lyric Opera, Boston Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Advocat was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and has participated at the Spoleto USA Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Monadnock Music, Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP), New York String Orchestra Seminar, Virginia Arts Festival, and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

Matt Sharrock, marimba and percussion  

Hailed as “nothing short of fabulous” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, Matt Sharrock is a versatile marimbist, percussionist, and conductor who tirelessly champions the music of living composers. Always looking for innovative ways to connect with new audiences, he melds drama and music with his solo project Narratives and rides the line between rock band and new music ensemble as a member of the Boston Percussion Group. As an orchestral percussionist, Matt has also performed with some of New England’s finest ensembles, including the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Portland Symphony Orchestra, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony New Hampshire.

An advocate for new music, Matt currently serves as Music Director for the Equilibrium Ensemble, a new music sinfonietta in residence with the Equilibrium Concert Series. He also performs regularly with many of Boston's premiere contemporary ensembles, including [sound icon], Boston Musica Viva, and Juventas New Music Ensemble.  In May 2012, he gave the world premiere of Aaron Jay Myers' Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra.

A passionate educator, Matt is currently on faculty at The Boston Conservatory in the Music Theory department where he teaches Time & Rhythm I & II and at Northern Essex Community College where he teaches applied percussion. He has presented his marimba masterclass Learning to Learn at colleges and universities throughout the US, including Rutgers, Marshall, and Northern Illinois Universities and the University of Georgia. Dedicated to working with student composers, Transient Canvas has been ensemble-in-residence with The Boston Conservatory High School Composition Intensive since 2013 and has held residencies with the composition programs at Tufts and Northeastern Universities.

Matt holds an M.M. in Marimba Performance from The Boston Conservatory and a B.M. in Music Performance (Percussion) from Baldwin Wallace University. His primary teachers include Nancy Zeltsman and Jack Van Geem (marimba); Keith Aleo, Josh Ryan, and Sam Solomon (percussion); John Grimes (timpani), Sharan Leventhal (chamber music), and Dwight Oltman (conducting).