…about the size of a… Birmingham New Music Festival

I’ll be performing …about the size of a fist and located slightly to the left of… at the Birmingham New Music Festival electroacoustic concert.

Thursday October 18 7:00pm
Birmingham New Music Festival
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Hulsey Recital Hall
950 13th Street South
Birmingham AL

The piece is an improvisation (composed instrument?) using a custom mapping of an off-the-shelf MIDI fader box (the Korg nanokontrol2 pictured above). The typical position information of each fader/knob is ignored in favor of gestural information about how the control is manipulated over time. This transforms the controls into virtual bellows on a pump organ or springs in a wind-up toy.

I’ll also share the stage with Geni Skendo and LaDonna Smith for an improvisation.

Trim Tab Tonight

Gonna invoke the spirit of R. Buckminster Fuller tonight at Trim Tab Brewery. Expect sounds that pair well with big words like: dymaxion and geodesic and synergistic.

Friday May 25 7pm
Matt Bryant, Holland Hopson, and John Scalici
Trim Tab Brewery
2721 5th Ave S
Birmingham AL 35233

Elements Series::Water Compilation and Show Benefits Cahaba River

I contributed a track to the upcoming Elements Series :: Water compilation put together by Jasper Lee benefiting the Cahaba River. Seasick Records is hosting a release party on Thursday featuring Iron Giant Percussion Ensemble, Brad Davis, Liquid Gems & Jim Jim Bath Myst. Jim Fahy and I will also be playing as a duo.

Thursday June 29
Elements Series :: Water
Seasick Records
5508 Crestwood Blvd
Birmingham AL 35212
$5 donation

The compilation includes music from:

Balcony View
Jasper Lee
Acre Pillows
Brad Davis
Janet Simpson-Templin
LaDonna Smith
Nyx
Joel Nelson
Men’s Renewal
Minerals
& others

Worldlines Premieres at AEIVA

Worldlines, my brand-new piece for three or more sustaining instruments, gets its premiere tonight at the Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts in a concert of chamber music inspired by Jessica Angel’s site-specific installation Facing the Hyperstructure.The program features three other world premiere compositions by Monroe Golden, Kyle McGucken, and Tom Reiner.

The pieces will be performed by Hillary Tidman, flute; Diana Dunn, oboe; Kathleen Costello, clarinet; Tariq Masri, bassoon; and Kevin Kozak, french horn. The event begins at 5pm with a reception and time to take in the artwork, followed by the concert at 5:30pm.

Friday April 7 5:00pm
Chamber Music at AEIVA: Air in a Loop
University of Alabama at Birmingham Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts
1221 10th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35205
5:00pm Reception and art viewing
5:30pm Concert

Like many of my recent scores, the musicians performing worldlines determine the moment-to-moment shape of the music. In this case, all of the musicians share the same written material and use hand-signals to determine how they navigate through it. One hand signal may cue players to repeat their current phrase, while another may cause them to read backwards through the score.

Here I am trying out a pair of ChromaDepth glasses surrounded by Jessica’s artwork. The glasses add a sense of depth to Angel’s vividly-colored environment.

Comes and Goes

Here’s a performance of Comes and Goes from the 2016 Birmingham New Music Festival featuring (L to R) Andrew Raffo Dewar, modular synth; Geni Skendo, flutes; Wendy Richman, viola; Holland Hopson, laptop.

The piece is for open instrumentation: four or more performers using electronic and/or acoustic instruments. We chose to perform the sections in the following order: Foothills, Unmatched set of revolving doors, Cirrus – lock of hair, I Send the Rockets Up, Constant Interference. Download the score

Traditional Instruments Reimagined Review

Edward Forstman at ArtsBHAM reviewed my recent concert with Matt Bryant at the Hoover Library Theater.

Part of the magic of Holland Hopson’s performances lies in the mystery of just how much he has planned out beforehand and what’s being extemporized. He is a rapt listener to his own performances, nuancing each refrain’s iteration with distinctive stresses, pitch bends, additions, and deletions. He began with a piece he used on the BAMA DIY concert reviewed in August, and yet it came off as freshly conceived and decidedly different, as if he’d made it up on the spot.

His set consisted of eight songs. Highlights included Hopson’s intense lament of forbidden queer love, the ballad “Laurel Cove,” and his hazy and weary “Over Yonder’s Ocean,” which yearned for a beautiful heaven “where the sun swings lowest over yonder’s ocean.”  Hopson’s vocals were resonant and full of character. He offered his audience a warm, joking presence in between songs and was a consummate storyteller throughout.

Read the entire review here.

Comes and Goes Returns

comes-and-goes

On Thursday I’ll be performing my work Comes and Goes with Andrew Dewar, Wendy Richman and Geni Skendo during the opening concert of the third Birmingham New Music Festival. Andrew and I will perform with electronics (modular synth and Max, respectively) while Wendy plays viola and Geni performs on various flutes. We worked up a wonderful blend of sounds during rehearsal last weekend; I think this is going to be a special performance.

Comes and Goes was written for Gates Ensemble and first performed in Austin, TX in 2007. My memory of the performance is a bit hazy. On the day of the show I was packing for a move from Austin to Albany, NY and gashed open the bottom of my foot. After stitches and pain meds, I somehow joined the other musicians on stage to perform with my foot elevated on a nearby chair. The piece is for four or more musicians performing on electronic and/or acoustic instruments. Each movement explores a specific set of sounds  derived from the technique of amplitude modulation. Download the score for Comes and Goes.

I’ll also be performing on banjo and electronics with Geni Skendo for two of his compositions.

Thursday 9/22 7:30pm
Birmingham New Music Festival
UAB Hulsey Recital Hall
950 13th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294
Free

DIY Concert Review

Edward Forstman reviewed the BAMA DIY concert for ArtsBham writing:

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.

BAMA DIY & DIT

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)

LA Reviews of “Elevators”

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.”