And, a new and wonderful discovery for this reviewer, Holland Hopson set his haunting vocals about a desolate landscape with “no road lead[ing] straight home” against layers of clawhammer banjo woven together via computer processing and a foot pedal.
Tomorrow I’ll be joining friends in the Birmingham Art Music Alliance for a DIY Composers Concert featuring composer/performers playing their own compositions. I’ll be performing music for banjo, live electronics and voice. Also on the program are Raphael Crystal and Gaines Brake, Monroe Golden, Kenneth Kuhn, Kyle McGucken and area newcomer Geni Skendo.
Tuesday August 9 7pm
BAMA “DIY” Concert
Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham
4300 Hampton Heights Dr
Birmingham AL 35209
DIY = Do It Yourself, of course
DIT = Do It Together (and in this case, Do It Tuesday)
Here are two reviews of Aron Kallay‘s recent performance of A History of Elevators in Film at the MicroFest Beyond 12 concert in Los Angeles. The first is by Paul Muller in Sequenza21 who calls the work
“…an engaging and highly musical work that presents a remarkable variety of moods and colors.”
The second is by Steven Niles in New Classic LA who writes
“The History of Elevators in Film, by Birmingham composer Holland Hopson, depicted the sensory experience of riding in elevators with virtuoso compositional prowess.”
On Tuesday Aron Kallay and Andrew McIntosh will present Beyond 12 – Piano and Violin at Monk Space in Los Angeles. The concert is a co-presentation between MicroFestLA and Tuesdays @ Monk Space. Aron will perform my piece A History of Elevators in Film for 88-key controller and computer.
I wrote A History of Elevators in Film for Aron’s Beyond 12 tour of the Southeast last spring. The piece uses a virtual piano that is retuned on the fly based on choices made by the performer. Below is the complete program for the concert. I wish I were on the other side of the continent next week to hear it.
Kyle Gann – Fugitive Objects
Marc Sabat – Intonation after Morton Feldman I, from Les Duresses
Eric Moe – The Weasel of Melancholy
Johann Joseph Vilsmayr – Partita IV, from Six Partitas
Holland Hopson – A History of Elevators in Film
Marc Sabat – Two Commas, from Les Duresses
Alex Miller – The Blur of Time and Memory
I just saw these videos from a performance of Nine Tas directed by Mike Edgerton
at the University of Malaya. It’s great to hear the music return to this part of the world, since I began work on the piece while traveling in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
I’m playing at the Spring Street Firehouse tomorrow in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham. Iron Giant Percussion, Shea Stevenson and Zach Webb are also on the bill. Should be a fun show. Hope to see you there!
Monday May 23 8pm
Iron Giant Percussion
Spring Street Firehouse
412 41st St S
Birmingham AL 35222
I’ve traveled long distances for gigs before, but Friday I’ll just walk around the corner and down the street for a backyard concert featuring Kelley McRae and Matt Castelein. (Weather permitting; In the event of rain we’ll be inside.) Kelley and Matt are wrapping up an album release tour for The Wayside. I’ll be opening with a song-oriented set of banjo and electronics pieces including at least one new tune. Hope to see you in the ‘hood!
Friday May 20 6:30pm
1523 13th St
Tuscaloosa AL 35401
Iron Giant Percussion will perform my work Quartet 60x88x120x208 for four metronomes at the Hoover Library Theatre tomorrow. The concert is part of a 20th anniversary celebration of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. Quartet 60x88x120x208 was performed during BAMA’s first season of concerts (January 22, 1996). It’s one of my more widely performed compositions, but I don’t think it has been heard in Birmingham since then.
The program will also include music by Drew Pendergrass, Tom Reiner, Mark Lackey, Jody Landers, Monroe Golden and works by Iron Giant Percussion.
Download a .pdf score for Quartet 60x88x120x208
Tonight at 6pm I take my turn playing on the Turner Williams Jr. MFA Show. I’ve been bugging Turner as regularly as we run into each other about playing together some day; that some day has finally arrived.
Monday April 25 6pm
Turner Williams Jr. : MFA Thesis Exhibition and Performance Series
109 Woods Hall
University of Alabama
Come check out Turner’s multi-layered collages and sculptures and his use of video feedback. I’ll be slinging banjo and other electronic implements of destruction/delight. Stay tuned for more musical guests at the exhibition through May 1.
Here’s a recording of the premiere performance of Follows from Hummingbird for 3 or more sustaining instruments. The performers are Hillary Tidman, flute; Brad Whitfield, clarinet; and Laura Usiskin, cello.
I’m so happy with this first performance; the musicians nailed it. My scores often require a period of workshopping—work that reaches beyond typical rehearsal activity to include comparing alternate realizations, discussing timing, and lots of listening—so premiere performances can be risky. These performers, however, really embraced the spirit of the piece and pulled it off with elegance and aplomb.
The work is based on Hummingbirds (1997) a group of small Oil paintings on linen by the artist Enrique Martínez Celaya.