The Creative Team
“New Morse Code (Hannah Collins, cello; Michael Compitello, percussion) is the confluence of two magnetic personalities who have taken up the admirable task of creating a hub for the performance, commissioning, and promotion of new music. NMC is theoretically the alluring and uncommon combination of cello and percussion, but in practice is best described as two musicians of extraordinary depth and skill untethered by their instrumental constraints. This unrestricted approach has allowed them to create a body of work in which Hannah can be found crushing plastic bottles and Michael plucking the strings of the cello––all with the intention of expanding and facilitating the imaginations of their composer-collaborators––while ultimately creating a meaningful and lasting repertoire. The performances that arise from this playful and innovative methodology reveal Hannah and Michael’s passion for sharing the work of their friends and peers, and aside from their effortless ability to perform the most finger-twisting of contemporary repertoire, NMC’s ability to communicate the esoteric details and depth of these complex works is what makes them truly remarkable chamber musicians. As tireless advocates for new music, they constantly seek out diverse venues (wineries, outdoor parks, art museums, elementary school classrooms), and their ability to connect with disparate audiences by way of their disarming charm, accessible intellect, and dynamic musicality is exceptional.
Hannah and Michael formed New Morse Code while they were students at Yale after returning to the United States from extended and informative study in Europe. Inspired by their similar yet different experiences abroad, they began performing together and planting the seeds that would blossom into their dedicated community of collaborators and followers. They currently teach at the University of Kansas and co-direct the Avaloch Farm New Music Initiative.”
- Christopher Stark
Composer George Tsz-Kwan Lam (b. 1981) grew up in both Hong Kong and Winthrop, Massachusetts. George studied music at Boston University, the Peabody Conservatory, and Duke University, where he received his PhD. George is interested in works that intersect music, theater, and the documentary process, and his current projects include the cello-percussion duo The Emigrants for New Morse Code (Lawrence, Kansas) and a new cantata for Hong Kong Voices. Recent commissions include works for Oak Middle School (Shrewsbury, MA), the Romer String Quartet (Hong Kong), Asian Young Musicians Connection (Taipei, Taiwan), Black House Collective (Kansas City, USA), and Synergy Percussion (Sydney, Australia). George Lam is an Assistant Professor of Music at York College, The City University of New York. In addition, George Lam is also a co-artistic director of Rhymes With Opera, an NYC-based ensemble that commissions and produces new operas.