2020 (Virtual) Birmingham New Music Festival Kicks Off Tonight

This year’s Birmingham New Music Festival will be a virtual event featuring five concerts streamed online. The series kicks off tonight with a concert by pianist Chris Steele co-presented by the Hoover Library’s Live From My Living Room series.

score selection

Craig Hultgren will play the next concert on August 30 at 5:00pm. The concert stream will be at https://youtu.be/TMfXmS_yfAE Craig will perform a piece I wrote for him: Snakeskin (verso) for ecello and live electronics.

Check the festival website for links to the other upcoming concerts.

Creative Improvisation Summit: Minimally Disturbing, Lvmber and More

Minimally Disturbing: Jack Wright and Ron Stabinsky

Tomorrow night Jack Wright rolls through town again with his pants leg rolled up and Ron Stabinsky rolled into the mix. They’re playing together as Minimally Disturbing. Also on the bill is a duo of Scott Bazar with drummer Charles Pagano and a new incarnation of Chris Davenport’s Lvmber project. Lvmber features Davenport on drums; Will McGavin, didgeridoo; LaDonna Smith, strings; and myself, electric guitar and electronics. Opening is modular synthesist and former student, Gabe Rosser.

Saturday January 25 7:00pm
Creative Improvisation Summit – Minimally Disturbing, Lvmber, more
East Village Arts
7611 1st Ave N
Birmingham AL 35206

First Flight for Crow Chases Red-tailed Hawk

invented instruments

I’m excited to premiere a new work for invented instruments and electronics on Saturday as part of the Birmingham New Music Festival. Crow Chases Red-tailed Hawk uses bullroarers and other instruments that make sound when swung overhead on the end of a string. I’ve been working on prototypes for these instruments–whistles, buzzers, hummers, swoopers–for the last few months and this will be their first public outing.

Birmingham New Music Festival
Mostly Improv Night
October 12, 2019 at 7PM
East Village Arts of Birmingham
7611 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35206

I need help naming the instruments, so please come to the show, listen, and give me your best suggestions for names.

Carrier Hotel Victoria

Carrier Hotel Victoria Quartet score excerpt

My new string quartet will be premiered at Chamber Music @ AEIVA. Carrier Hotel Victoria was written in response to Irene Grau‘s exhibit. Her work and mine both reference Alphonse Allais’ collection of monochromes, Album Primo Avrilesque. The quartet unfolds with each musician proceeding independently, as if reading through Allais’ book of colors—the resulting mixtures generating subtle variations of the monochromes.

Chamber Music @ AEIVA
Thursday February 21
5:00 Reception
5:30 Concert
Free and open to the public

Performers:
Sarah Nordlund Dennis, violin
Pei-Ju Wu, violin
Zak Enikeev, viola
Laura Usiskin, cello
Christopher Steele, piano

…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