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

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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

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No Mule

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Hopson Peake Improvisation

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Turnover

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Bowling Green Green

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Sonic Frontiers Presents Holland Hopson and Justin Peake

I’m excited to perform next week as part of the Sonic Frontiers season. I plan to play a set of pieces for banjo and electronics drawing from the material on Post & Beam, adding a few new twists, and hopefully including one or two “sound bug” pieces from my Radicans project.

Also on the bill is Justin Peake, a New Orleans based percussionist/composer known for his work as Beautiful Bells. Justin is a Tuscaloosa native, so this will be a homecoming performance for him.

I think it’s going to be a great night!

Thursday March 7 2013 at 7:30pm
Bama Theatre Greensboro Room
600 Greensboro Ave.
Tuscaloosa AL
Admission is Free.

Justin Peake – Workshop at Badabum Atelier from Michelle Ettlin on Vimeo.

Improvising with Tim Feeney

Tomorrow is Tim Feeney’s Faculty Recital–sure to be great solo percussion. Tim, Andrew Dewar, Jubal Fulks and I will close the concert with an improvisation.

Wednesday January 16 2013
Tim Feeney Faculty Recital
Concert Hall Moody Music Building
Tuscaloosa AL

Zicarelli Shout-Out for Post & Beam

David Zicarelli (the main man behind Max) just wrote about Post & Beam on his Cycling ’74 blog.

Holland Hopson’s Post and Beam was released last year, but I stupidly didn’t fall in love with it until recently. I guarantee you’ve never heard anything like it — beautifully performed original and traditional folk songs set against an electronic dreamworld. I can’t think of a recording that provides a more powerful study in contrasts — heartfelt and alienating most of all. Check it out and see if you don’t think the Maxified banjo is not the up-and-coming instrument of the decade!