Had a blast experiencing this year's PASIC (that's Percussive Arts Society International Convention for you non-percussionists) last week in San Antonio.  In addition to catching up with all my percussion friends, heroes and frenemies from around the world, I had the honor of sharing the stage with Gwen Dease, Ji Hye Jung, and Paul Fadoul as part of a keyboard showcase concert featuring music for percussion and…not-percussion! Hannah and I played Andy Akho's 21, and we were treated some some great Klatzow from Ji Hye and Eli Lara, some great marimba/trombone/bass music from Gwen and cohorts, and Lawler/Fadoul's sweet new Roshanne Etezady preludes.  

Big Screen, small audience! 

Look ma!

Other highlights: Percussion at Princeton's amazing booth—I bought a ton of music—seeing Vic Caccese shill for Sandbox Percussion's new NYU summer program (apply!), and indulging my inner high-school drumline fanboy. Thanks to the great people at Vic Firth and Zildjian for their support.  Yay percussion!

Pre-Show Banner Selfie!

Pre-Show Banner Selfie!

Breath, Contained

I'm happy to share a new video of Tonia Ko'sBreath, Contained! We were fortunate to be able to take over the Sibley Dome at Cornell for a show with always-astounding Sandbox Percussion, pairing Tonia's work for bubble wrap and electronics with Mark Applebaum's Straitjacket and Reich's Music for Pieces of Wood. Thanks for David Parks for the great video. Tonia has been drawing on and playing  transparent surfaces for some time, but the quintet version of Breath, Contained is her biggest work so far.  The five of us each play a selection of bubble wraps, each of which is capable of generating a multutude of squeaks,squawks, rustles, taps.  After exploring these sounds with a few studies for large and small bubbles (and a solo version of the piece, which I've been performing for some time), Tonia created a new set of electronics, which manipulate our sound in real time through a panoply of filters, resonators, and other electronic devices.  Tonia's studies for large and small bubbles. If that weren't enough, Tonia made a creative and beautiful graphic score to guide us:

Slip-Slidin' Away

Slip-Slidin' Away

I'm super proud to be a part of this amazing piece, and can't wait to see where Tonia takes it.  In the meantime, stay tuned for video of Straitjacket…

An American Tune

I've been lax updating this site, a case of avoidance therapy about practicing, and the beginning-of-the-semester bustle.  A complete calendar update is coming soon, but I'm emerging from my cocoon to announce that I am excited about this Sunday's Ensemble X concert.  Ensemble X is a contemporary music ensemble consisting of faculty at Cornell and Ithaca College, and because the estimable Xak Bjerken is out of town, I'm humbled to have the opportunity to grab the curatorial rudder for this show.The program is called An American Tune,  and features new and recent works that, as a whole, explore particularly "American" approaches to melody and song.  In addition to the world premiere of bubble-wrap virtuoso Tonia Ko'Blue Skin of the Sea, we'll hear a new arrangement of Peabody Friend Daniel Thomas DavisReal Country, a tour of the rural south through song, Timo Andres' serene Fast Flows the River, and Andy Akiho's crisp and Mondrian-ian LIgNEouS.

We'll also be joined by fabulous soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon for a set of songs from Anna Lindemann, George Perle, Undine Smith Moore, Florence Price, and John Cage. As an alternative to the Super Bowl, it can't be beaten (or deflated).

More info is here.
Hope to post a recording/video/photo of this soon!

Prayers Remain Forever


Very excited to be a part of Martin Bresnick's fantastic new album, Prayers Remain Forever,  now available from Starkland Records.  The estimable Ian Rosenbaum and I tackle Martin's A Message from the Emperor, a wonderful work for two speaking percussionists, based on Kafka's final short story.  I'm proud to be in such great company: Lisa Moore and Ashley Bathgate play the crud out of Prayers Remain Forever, and I'm entranced by Sarita Kwok's rendition of Josephine the Singer. Buy it or gift it!