Follows From Hummingbird

Here’s a recording of the premiere performance of Follows from Hummingbird for 3 or more sustaining instruments.  The performers are Hillary Tidman, flute; Brad Whitfield, clarinet; and Laura Usiskin, cello.

I’m so happy with this first performance; the musicians nailed it. My scores often require a period of workshopping—work that reaches beyond typical rehearsal activity to include comparing alternate realizations, discussing timing, and lots of listening—so premiere performances can be risky. These performers, however, really embraced the spirit of the piece and pulled it off with elegance and aplomb.

The work is based on Hummingbirds (1997) a group of small Oil paintings on linen by the artist Enrique Martínez Celaya.

Download a pdf of the score

Follows From Hummingbird Premieres at AEIVA

follows from hummingbird image

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
5:30pm Concert

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.

Hultgren Revisits Nine Islands

07 3mvt1p3

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
Birmingham AL

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.

PLAY – New and Improved Improv on Saturday

Thollem McDonas, photo: Peter Gannushkin

LaDonna Smith has organized another jam-packed evening of improvised music with a host of special guests, featuring pianist Thollem McDonas.

Saturday, September 22 7:30pm
PLAY – New and Improved Improv
Homewood Community Center – CDF
1715 27th Court South
Homewood AL
$10/$5 students (sliding scale) kids free

Thollem will perform solo and with Stella Nystrom, dance; Davey Williams, guitar; Craig Hultgren, cello; Andrew DeWar, saxophone. Also on the bill are Hunter Bell, Si Reasoning, myself and LaDonna Smith. Dianne McNaron will preview her upcoming Marlene Dietrich retrospective and Caroline Karson will play Chopin. Come early and stay late, there’ll be lots to take in.

Austin’s New Music Co-op Turns 10

The Austin New Music Co-op celebrates their tenth anniversary with concerts tonight and tomorrow. Details here; Preview articles in the Austinist and Austin 360. I joined the co-op shortly after it began and enjoyed participating in many memorable events while in Austin.

In honor of 10 years of great co-op concerts, here’s a recording from the September 8, 2006 event featuring Fred Lonberg-Holm. This was the premiere of We Would Like to Take This Opportunity, a work for cello soloist with any three string instruments. The performers here are Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello solo; James Alexander, viola; Steve Bernal, cello; Travis Weller, violin.

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We Would Like to Take This Opportunity.mp3

Here’s the score of the cello part. It includes the other instruments’ parts for most movements.

ASAC Presents Lucre and Jonathan Chen

ASAC Presents Lucre & Jonathan Chen

Albany Sonic Arts Presents Lucre and Jonathan Chen

Sunday March 14 @ 8pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany NY
$5 suggested donation

  • Lucre is the improvising trio of Chris Cogburn , Bryan Eubanks, and Vic Rawlings who perform with exposed circuits, extended ampli?ed cello, low-? modular synthesis, and stripped down percussion.
  • Jonathan Chen will perform a solo set of music for electronics, viola and violin.

Chris is a good friend from my Austin days and does great work with the No Idea Festival. I’m very excited he’ll be playing in Albany. And I’m equally excited that local artist Jonathan Chen is finally getting a chance to present his work.

More information about the artists after the break…

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