The Birmingham Art Music Alliance kicked off the Beyond 12, 2015 Tour featuring pianist Aron Kallay last night with a performance at the Hoover Library Theater. Aron will perform six more times through April 8. This tour features three premieres of pieces by Alabama-based composers including Monroe Golden, Brian Moon and myself.
My work is titled A History of Elevators in Film, and like all the pieces on the program it features a retuned and remapped piano keyboard. In my case, I’m using Max to retune and remap pitches on the fly in response to the pianist’s performance.
Tomorrow is the third installment of the Sonic Frontiers Workshop Series at The Grocery. I’ll lead an introduction to Cobra, a musical game created by composer, improviser and saxophonist John Zorn in the mid-eighties. Performers in Cobra use hand-signals and a set of colorful cards to cue ever-evolving musical combinations. Previous experience is not required, so bring an instrument or noisemaker to participate in this fun, fast-paced, sometimes hilarious way to make music together. (Of course, it’s also okay just to listen and watch if you want.)
Wednesday March 11 @ 7pm 900 Main Avenue
Northport AL 35476
I’m so excited to be part of Anthony Braxton’s week-long residency at the University of Alabama kicking off tonight with a free solo saxophone concert at the Bama Theatre and running through February 25th. Sonic Frontiers is presenting these events; visit their site for the full schedule of events. All events are free.
I’ll be performing on Friday’s concert as part of the Falling River Music Septet along with Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone), Tim Feeney (percussion), Mary Halvorson (guitar) and Ingrid Laubrock (reeds). This is such an amazing lineup, and it’s just one of many throughout the 6-concert residency.
In preparation for this residency I’ve been listening to many Braxton recordings, starting with For Alto and moving through the entire Arista Records box set. I thought I had a grasp of Braxton’s work having heard selections here and there (likely beginning with the Muhal Richard Abrams duo on the Smithsonian Jazz compilation). But I was completely unprepared for both the amount of musical material and the incredible range represented: from ragtime and marching band music to post-bop solos and Sun Ra-like grooves, from the density of his music for four orchestras to the spare, spacey explorations on For Trio. And that barely gets us through the 1970s! I can’t think of another composer with such stylistic richness and diversity.
It’s hard for me to believe this piece is more than 20 years old. I wrote it while living abroad as a fellow of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, and I wrote it especially for Craig to perform. His support and encouragement was so important for me as a young composer as was the experience working alongside him in the newly-formed Birmingham Art Music Alliance. Craig premiered the piece at one of the first concerts presented by BAMA, and this will be one of his last BAMA concerts as a Birmingham resident. Craig will also perform pieces by Michael Angell, Edwin Robertson, James A. Jensen, Brian C. Moon, William Price, Monroe Golden, Bryan Page and Mark A. Lackey.
Percussionist Tim Feeney and violist Wendy Richman will premiere my Glacial Erratics for 1 or 2 sustaining instruments and electronics in a concert presented by the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. Also performing will be Osiris Molina on clarinet. The concert will feature works by Lori Ardovino, Monroe Golden, Joseph Landers, Adriana Perera, William Price and Ron Wray.
Wednesday January 21 7:30pm
Tim Feeney / Wendy Richman / Osiris J. Molina
Moody Music Building Recital Hall
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa AL
The Grocery and Sonic Frontiers present a series of monthly participatory workshops beginning tonight and running until June 10. These casual, exploratory music sessions will provide an open and low-pressure environment for interested attendees to investigate improvisation, new compositions, interactive electronics and other musical practices through focused listening, discussion, and hands-on engagement.
The workshops take place at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at The Grocery, an artist-run studio, exhibit, and performance space located at 900 Main Avenue, two blocks north of the main intersection in downtown historic Northport.
Bring your instrument, or just come to listen. No previous experience is necessary. The workshops are free and open to the public (a $1-$10 donation is suggested).
I’m so happy to share the gorgeous documentation of this event. Along with Cage’s Inlets, Bacchanale and Litany for the Whale, there’s some Gibbons, Bach and Gould. Interspersed through the second part are on-the-fly virtual conversations between Cage and Gould.
I recently upgraded my salad bowl hemispherical speaker with a new amp board, and I’m loving the sound. I get more volume with less distortion.
This 6-channel board (Sure Electronics TDA7498) is significantly more powerful and easier to install than my previous configuration of 3 stereo amps. I had to use a router to make room for the cooling fan, but otherwise the installation was straightforward.
Here’s everything hooked up before I stuffed the innards back in place and fastened the bottom plate.