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Debra Kaye

New York, NY      

Debra Kaye is an award-winning New York composer whose eclectic music draws inspiration from classical, jazz, world music, story telling, current events, found sounds and her training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Acclaimed for her “sensitivity and raw power” (New Music Connoisseur), her debut CD And So It Begins (Ravello Records) was on Ted Gioia’s list of top 100 CD’s, and recognized as “…an album that will surely stand the test of time” (babysue.com). 

Turning in Time

“Turning in Time”, inspired by Bach’s Chaconne in D minor, reflects on life’s returning cycles, what changes and what remains the same, and how their meaning can change over time.It’s a conversation between the “then and the now”.

Kinga Augustyn, violin
Performed as part of Composers Concordance & Project 142 Present -Around The World-The DiMenna Center – Benzaquen Hall; NY, NY; Film by Eddie Papetti; Post production, Terry Williams

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The Exchange

“The Exchange” is a site specific work written for Milwaukee’s Grain Exchange, a flourishing center of trade during its hey-day. The light that streams through its towering windows seems to convey a sense of optimism. I imagined the deal making, arguments and agreements that happened there. I wanted the piece to reflect the spirit of exchange in this “piazza”, a marketplace but also a place to congregate, then as now. 
Commissioned by Access Contemporary Music
Cory Tiffin, clarinet; Peter Thomas, cello

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Ikarus Among the Stars (2017)

The Ikarus myth is both tragic and heroic. Ikarus is the embodiment of youthful energy with its super charged emotions, yearning and fearlessness. Imprisoned in a labyrinth, the only way out was to devise wings of wax and fly to freedom. His father warned him not to fly too close to the sun, but in the elation of flight Ikarus ignored his father’s waring and plunged to his death. The music both celebrates and mourns our fallen heroes. The orchestral texture is woven with recordings by the young boy whose short life inspired this composition.

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NewMusicBox Articles

NewMusicBox November 26 2018 | By Debra Kaye
Music Can be a Counterbalance to Hard Times

Sometimes music is a counterbalance to tragedy. And in times of personal grief, I also turn to composition.  It’s the role of the artist to dream beyond the borders of...

NewMusicBox November 19 2018 | By Debra Kaye
Music and a Sense of Place

A sense of place can be the impetus for a piece, motion can be the catalyst.  Sometimes a place can affect the music more indirectly. 

NewMusicBox November 12 2018 | By Debra Kaye
Toward a Music of the Spheres

It’s August and I can finally turn my head to a collaboration with Polish violinist Kinga Augustyn for a concert in mid November—a piece for solo violin influenced by Bach’s...

See more of Debra Kaye's articles on NewMusicBox.