The Oldest Takeout in Queens is a musical celebration of some of the languages spoken in Ridgewood, Queens—the neighborhood I lived in for some twenty years.
Set in a fictional restaurant over a hundred-year period, its sole performer is The Singer, the owner of the restaurant who rises to the challenge of learning all the new languages that arrive in the neighborhood.
An online streaming version of the piece was presented in late 2020 and can be viewed HERE. A live performance is being planned for the future.
The Oldest Takeout in Queens was commissioned by Queens Council on the Arts’ Artist Commissioning Program with support from the Scherman Foundation’s Rosin Fund and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Special thanks to The Endangered Language Alliance.
In 1908 an odd, quiet man named John Sargent returned to Jackson Hole, Wyoming with his new bride, Edith—an eccentric New York socialite who enjoyed sunbathing nude, sitting in trees, and playing the violin—often all at the same time. Edith’s idyllic new life is immediately threatened as she hears rumors that John previously left town bankrupt and is suspected of murdering both his first wife and his business partner.
Based on a true story, composer Matthew Schickele’s chamber opera Marymere uses the talents of classical and folk musicians to portray an unusual couple escaping to America’s last frontier, but unable to escape the past.
Here's The American Opera Project page for the opera.
Here are video excerpts of previous concert productions.
Select scores are available for download on this page. To order something else, contact me.
Shortlist of Chamber Music by Matthew Schickele:
Beekeeper was an indie rock trio in the '90s (and yes, there have been two other bands called that since then *sigh*). Matthew Schickele, guitar and voice; Karla Schickele, bass and voice; Jan Kotik, drums (RIP). We released Light (cassette, out of print), a 7" split-single with Ida (out of print), "Pineapple Lady," a 7" inch single (out of print—and seriously, don't try to find it, it's not good (except the cover, which is excellent and by Corin See)), Anywhere Will Do (EP), and Ostrich. After Jan's death we also released a collection of alternate takes and unreleased recordings called Last & First to raise money for his family.
Solo. Releases as a singer songwriter: i'll make this list soon, i swear.
The Smokers was a recording project from 1999-2001 with Billy Dechand, David DeMallie, Matt Kaden, Matthew Schickele, and Matt Sutton. You can listen to it on Soundcloud.
In the 90s I ran a small record label called Muss My Hair. All the releases are out of print, and the only remnant of it on the web is here.
there's other stuff i want to put here but at the moment I'm bored so off i go
These albums are available on Bandcamp:
And mostly everything is available through your favorite streaming service, including: