Universal Language Project Podcast:
Revealing the Composer’s Process

Ep. 03 - Stephen Michael Newby - "Prayer Song"

Dr. Stephen Michael Newby is a composer, conductor, gospel/jazz vocalist, and pianist. A native of Detroit, MI, Newby’s music might be described as a brilliant mergence of the best tools of the 20th century with his background in gospel music.He received his Bachelor of Arts in vocal music education and flute performance from Madonna University, a Master of Music in jazz composition and arranging from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in composition from The University of Michigan, where he served as Assistant Professor of Composition and Computer Arts.  He is currently Associate Professor of Music at Seattle Pacific University.

Are we singing our prayers? Can music assist with engaging the mind and the heart toward a mature prayer life? As I studied theologian Theophan and the Recluse's work entitled "the art of prayer," I wanted to write a piece that would respond to the notion of prayer as song. Hence, this work is a type of prayer. It moves from a 6/8 groove in the strings to a melodic pensive response in the trumpet and voice. Music engages the bodily senses and when we take those same sensibilities and turn them to prayer we connect deeply with the Wise Creator. This piece is dedicated to my friends Brian Chin and Phil Kristianson—enjoy the prayer journey—play the music and pray the prayers.  ~ Stephen Newby

Universal Language Project Orchestra
Cherié Hughes, Soprano
Brian Chin, Trumpet

Recorded at First Free Methodist Church in Seattle, WA. May, 2012
Recorded by Ron Haight
Podcast Produced by Cody Kilpatrick and Brian Chin
ULP Podcast Music: Caleb Parker. Produced by Cody Kilpatrick.


About the Universal Language Project:

The Universal Language Project is a music-centric multi-arts concert series dedicated to generating new music for the 21st century. Each episode will feature a 20' interview with the composer to gain insight into their creative intentions and artistic process followed by a recording of the new work - often from the premiere, live in all its unedited glory. 

The Universal Language Project is a program of Common Tone Arts, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating positive change for our diverse world through music and arts education. 

This podcast is produced in partnership with Second Inversion in Seattle. 

Ep. 02 - Wayne Horvitz - "Stammer for Tori"

Wayne Horvitz is a composer, pianist, and electronic musician who has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. He is the leader of the Gravitas Quartet, Sweeter Than the Day, Zony Mash, The Four plus One Ensemble and co-founder of the New York Composers Orchestra.

Working primarily in a jazz inspired large ensemble medium, Wayne's music seems to naturally defy any one genre and offers a truly unique sound to the 21st century music collection. This piece, A Stammer for Tori was inspired by the violinist Victoria Parker and is written for a small mixed chamber ensemble.

  • Victoria Parker, Violin
  • Susan Telford, Flute
  • Eric Likkel, Clarinet
  • Brian Chin, Trumpet
  • Nathan Vetter, Trombone
  • Rajan Krishnaswami, Cello
  • Kevin Johnson, Piano
  • Rob Tucker, Percussion

Recorded Live at the Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, WA. January 9, 2015  

Recorded by Bill Levey of Via Audio

Produced by Cody Kilpatrick and Brian Chin

ULP Podcast Music: Caleb Parker, produced by Cody Kilpatrick                                          

Ep. 01 - Jovino S. Neto - "Saci"

Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto, a master pianist, composer and arranger, is among the top Brazilian musicians working today. Currently based in Seattle, Washington, he has throughout his career been closely affiliated with the Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal. He was an integral part of Pascoal's group from 1977 to 1992, where he fine-tuned his artistry, performing around the world and co-producing several legendary records.

For this composition, SACI, the Universal Language Project commissioned Jovino to write a multi-movement piece designed to pair with Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat. This work is intended as a commentary on Stravinsky's work where, about 100 years later, we are also creating great shows in a time of limited financial means. This work is based on a mythical Brazilian folk character, the Saci, who simultaneously helps us out of tricky situations and mischievously keeps us humble. This work beautifully merges Jovino's background in Brazilian jazz with contemporary classical composition to create a delightfully charming and important new piece.

  • Stephen Michael Newby, Baritone/Narrator
  • Eric Rynes, Violin
  • Eric Likkel, Clarinet
  • Brian Chin, Trumpet
  • Nathan Vetter, Trombone
  • Steve Morgan, Bassoon
  • Todd Gowers, Bass
  • Ben Thomas, Percussion

Recorded Live at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle WA. May 16, 2015

Recorded by Bill Levey of Via Audio

Produced by Cody Kilpatrick and Brian Chin

ULP Podcast music composed by Caleb Parker, produced by Cody Kilpatrick