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.
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)
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.”
Iron Giant Percussion will perform my work Quartet 60x88x120x208 for four metronomes at the Hoover Library Theatre tomorrow. The concert is part of a 20th anniversary celebration of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. Quartet 60x88x120x208 was performed during BAMA’s first season of concerts (January 22, 1996). It’s one of my more widely performed compositions, but I don’t think it has been heard in Birmingham since then.
The program will also include music by Drew Pendergrass, Tom Reiner, Mark Lackey, Jody Landers, Monroe Golden and works by Iron Giant Percussion.
Download a .pdf score for Quartet 60x88x120x208
Follows From Hummingbird, my brand-new piece for three or more sustaining instruments, gets its premiere on Thursday at the Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts in a concert of chamber music inspired by the visual art of Enrique Martínez Celaya. The piece will be performed by Hillary Tidman, flute; Laura Usiskin, cello; and Brad Whitfield, clarinet. The event begins at 5pm with a reception and time to take in the artwork, followed by the concert at 5:30pm.
Thursday March 10 5:00pm
BAMA presents Chamber Music at AEIVA
University of Alabama at Birmingham Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts
1221 10th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35205
5:00pm Reception and art viewing
Follows From Hummingbird is one of a series of pieces I’ve completed recently that uses a circular structure to organize musical modules. The middle section of this piece employs a spirograph-style traversal of the points around the circle which generates a charming flower shape in the score; a welcome side-effect of the process.
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Birmingham Art Music Alliance performances by the Druid City Ensemble – Sarah K. Crocker, harp; Whitney O’Neal, flute; and Dawn Neely, soprano. They’re premiering three movements of Color Coded Materials of the Artist. The composition uses lists of pigments taken from Max Doerner’s classic reference The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, with Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters.
- Saturday November 7 2:30pm
Druid City Ensemble
Southside Baptist Church
1016 19th St S
Birmingham, AL 35205
- Sunday November 8 2:30pm
Druid City Ensemble
University of Montevallo
720 Oak St
Montevallo AL 35115
Both concerts are free. The program also includes pieces by Marvin Johnson, Mark Lackey, Jody Landers and Drew Pendergrass.
Tomorrow night I’m performing a new work on Circuit Bridges concert 37.
Thursday October 22, 8pm
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.
Friday October 9 at 7:30pm
The Dance Foundation
1715 27th Court South
Friday’s program includes music by Andrew Dewar, Marvin Johnson, Davey Williams; guest composer David Morneau; and fellow founding members of BAMA Rusty Banks and Charles Mason.
The Birmingham Art Music Alliance kicked off the Beyond 12, 2015 Tour featuring pianist Aron Kallay last night with a performance at the Hoover Library Theater. Aron will perform six more times through April 8. This tour features three premieres of pieces by Alabama-based composers including Monroe Golden, Brian Moon and myself.
My work is titled A History of Elevators in Film, and like all the pieces on the program it features a retuned and remapped piano keyboard. In my case, I’m using Max to retune and remap pitches on the fly in response to the pianist’s performance.
- Thursday April 2 7:30pm
Foothills Piano Festival
Jacksonville State University
700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, AL 36265
- Friday April 3 7:00pm
432 S Goldthwaite St., Montgomery, AL 36104
- Saturday April 4 3:00pm
On site of the former Black Mountain College
375 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711
- Monday April 6 7:30pm
University of Alabama in Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899
- Wednesday April 8 3:30pm
601 Broad Street, LaGrange, GA 30240
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
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.