LoL

Excited to present the NYC premiere of Christopher Stark's The Language of Landscapes, a commission from Chamber Music America, next weekend at Concerts on the Slope.  This piece has been a labor of love since 2014, and Chris, Hannah, and I have been traveling and sound collecting rabidly.  The piece incorporates found sounds and foraged instruments, blending four chapters into a meditative look at the impact of our physical landscape on our emotional being.  New Morse Code premiered LoL last November in St. Louis, and are excited to take the completed work to New York (we presented an excerpt last May in Bryant Park)

Chris writes:

The Language of Landscapes is an exploration of our relationship with nature. The piece’s principal discourse is guided by the friction and/or harmony created by synthetic and natural objects and the sounds and ideals that accompany their existence. The single-movement work has four scenes that each incorporate found discarded objects, field-collected environmental recordings, and live electronic processing as a way of making commentary on our wastefulness and resourcefulness. We have arrived at an era of human history in which our relationship with nature is critical, and likely calamitous, and this work is ultimately an attempt to illuminate the importance of the geographies of our existence and how they shape our musical spirit.

Zoom in its natural habitat

Stark at Avaloch

Heavily mic'ed plastic bag

Over the piece's four sections, I blow into bottles, play tuned styrofoam bowls, rub planks of wood, and imitate flowing water.  The pièce de résistance is a passage to rival even the third movement of Scheherazade : the coordinating turning on and off of a rotating fan.

Come out May 22 to St. John's Episcopal in Park Slope

 

Avaloch at National Sawdust

Diagonal!

Diagonal!

Still reeling from the awesome-sauce that was Avaloch Farm Music Institute's musical celebration at National Sawdust. We had a great evening of performances featuring ensembles who've worked at Avaloch and pieces made there.  

Thanks to everyone who performed, and to Andy Akiho, Hannah Collins and everyone else who made this event a reality. aTonal Hits, Aizuri Quartet, the Sebastians, Loadbang, Longleash, and Marika Hughes: you all rock! 

Tauber, Akiho, New Morse Code.  Our Blue Period

Tauber, Akiho, New Morse Code.  Our Blue Period

Back

Back from a fantastic month in Hong Kong and Hawaii, and rearing to get to work again.

Site updates (including dates, new media, etc) coming soon.  In the meantime, rest assured I am practicing…

Come to Avaloch for the music, stay for the blueberries 

Come to Avaloch for the music, stay for the blueberries 

AND thinking about Avaloch Farm's New Music Initiative, a fantastic program for composer/performer collaboration that needs YOUR creative work to stay a dynamic resource! Apps are due Feb 15!

 

PASIC

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!