Anthony Braxton at Alabama

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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.

Hultgren Revisits Nine Islands

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Cellist and improviser Craig Hultgren will perform my Nine Islands, Nine Dialects for cello and speaking cellist as part of a retrospective concert presented by the Birmingham Art Music Alliance.

Wednesday February 4 7:30pm
Birmingham Art Music Alliance presents
Hultgren Cello Retrospective
Moonlight on the Mountain
Birmingham AL

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.

Feeney & Richman Premiere Glacial Erratics

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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

 

 

Sonic Frontiers Workshop Series Kicks Off Tonight at The Grocery

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).

  • 1/14, Tim Feeney: new work & conversations
  • 2/11,  Andrew Raffo Dewar: an introduction to Anthony Braxton’s music & “Language Music” and improvisations with attendees
  • 3/11, Holland Hopson: an introduction to and interactive performance of John Zorn’s “Cobra,” celebrating the work’s 30th anniversary
  • 4/8, Andrew Raffo Dewar: new work & guided improvisations with workshop attendees
  • 5/13, Tim Feeney: new work & conversations
  • 6/10, Holland Hopson: new work for performers & interactive electronics and improvisation with workshop attendees

Cage/Gould, a music circus

Cage/Gould, a music circus from Michael Century on Vimeo.

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.

Amped Up Hemi

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.

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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.

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Here’s everything hooked up before I stuffed the innards back in place and fastened the bottom plate.

Dans les arbres + Dewar/Feeney/Hopson Trio, Telematically

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Dans les arbres and the Dewar/Feeney/Hopson Trio will perform a joint concert Wednesday night via Internet2. Dans les arbres will be in Colorado Springs, CO and the Dewar/Feeney/Hopson Trio will be in Tuscaloosa, AL. Live audio and video streams will be sent between each venue, allowing the musicians to play together in (near) real time.

Wednesday November 5 8:30pm (Central)
Sonic Frontiers and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Music/Peak FreQuency Creative Arts Collective presents
Dans les arbres
with Andrew Dewar, Tim Feeney, Holland Hopson
in a telematic performance
Moody Recital Hall
Tuscaloosa AL
or
Berger Hall
Colorado Springs CO