In the Backyard with Kelley and Matt

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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
Kelley McRae
Holland Hopson
1523 13th St
Tuscaloosa AL 35401
Buy tix

My Turn on the Turner Show

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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
Sella-Granata Gallery
109 Woods Hall
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa AL

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.

Cicada Consort Marathon

Tomorrow I’ll be performing as part of the Cicada Consort Charity Marathon. The music begins at noon and continues until 8pm. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research. My performances will be in the sixth(!) concert of the day (around 5pm) and will include “Steel Bearing Load” for lap steel and computer, “Windowed Pulses” for transducers and computer (one of my radicans project pieces) and maybe a song for banjo and live electronics. Check out the full program.

Saturday March 26 12-8pm
Cicada Consort Charity Marathon
Moody Music Hall

810 2nd Ave
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

The event is free with a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research through: http://www2.michaeljfox.org/goto/cicadaconsort

Tide Talks XIII

I’m happy to perform as part of Friday’s Tide Talks XIII event. Tide Talks is a student-run lecture series. Each event spotlights four of the smartest, most passionate University of Alabama students you’re likely to encounter. The theme of Tide Talks XIII is “Ideas are Revolutionary.”

Tide Talks XIII
Friday November 20 7pm
Ferguson Center Theater
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa AL
Free!

I’ll be supporting the student speakers by performing music for banjo and electronics between talks. Vive la revolution!

Bridging Circuits and Cities

Tomorrow night I’m performing a new work on Circuit Bridges concert 37.

Thursday October 22, 8pm
Gallery MC
549 W 52nd St, Fl 8th
New York, New York 10019

This concert is part of the Vox Novus Festival celebrating 15 years of work. Vox Novus and Circuit Bridges have teamed up with BAMA in a composer exchange (kind of like hostages, only composers are somewhat more demanding—requiring better food, more liquor—and not as susceptible to audio torture). The exchange began a few weeks ago with the Birmingham Art Music Alliance welcoming a contingent of NY-based composers for the Birmingham New Music Festival. This weekend Monroe Golden, Mark Lackey, Brian Moon, William Price and I are being hosted by Circuit Bridges.

I’ll be performing Alap Catfish Impala,  a new piece for banjo voice and live electronics. It’s a mashup (or maybe a medley?) of clawhammer blues and just-tuned modal improvisations.

Check out the wonderfully eclectic program.

Lonely Woman

Ornette Coleman had such an impact on my life as a saxophonist and composer. When he died last month I revisited his recordings, my memories of hearing him perform live and my experiences playing his music (mostly during ECFA’s ‘repertory’ phase–thanks Carl Smith!). That’s when I realized I’d never tried an Ornette tune on banjo.

This is a version of “Lonely Woman” from The Shape of Jazz to Come for clawhammer banjo. I chose this tune, in part, because Charlie Haden’s iconic pedal-point bass line suggested the drone string on a banjo. I bought this album as a freshman in college and remember listening to it again and again until the sheer mystery and befuddlement and out-of-tuneness of the songs gave way to familiarity, love and (hopefully) some understanding of how and why they work.

Sonic Frontiers Recordings

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Here are live recordings of my set from the March 2013 Sonic Frontiers concert at the Bama Theater. The concert also featured performances by Justin Peake. Our duo improvisation is included below.

East Virginia

No Mule

Hopson Peake Improvisation

Turnover

Bowling Green Green