Grocery Runs Special on Fresh Cobra


Tomorrow is the third installment of the Sonic Frontiers Workshop Series at The Grocery. I’ll lead an introduction to Cobra, a musical game created by composer, improviser and saxophonist John Zorn in the mid-eighties. Performers in Cobra use hand-signals and a set of colorful cards to cue ever-evolving musical combinations. Previous experience is not required, so bring an instrument or noisemaker to participate in this fun, fast-paced, sometimes hilarious way to make music together. (Of course, it’s also okay just to listen and watch if you want.)

Wednesday March 11 @ 7pm
900 Main Avenue
Northport AL 35476

Workshops in the Sonic Frontiers Workshop Series are free and open to the public. Presented in partnership with the Sonic Frontiers Concert Series at the University of Alabama.

Sonic Frontiers Workshop Series Kicks Off Tonight at The Grocery

The Grocery and Sonic Frontiers present a series of monthly participatory workshops beginning tonight and running until June 10. These casual, exploratory music sessions will provide an open and low-pressure environment for interested attendees to investigate improvisation, new compositions, interactive electronics and other musical practices through focused listening, discussion, and hands-on engagement.

The workshops take place at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at The Grocery, an artist-run studio, exhibit, and performance space located at 900 Main Avenue, two blocks north of the main intersection in downtown historic Northport.

Bring your instrument, or just come to listen. No previous experience is necessary. The workshops are free and open to the public (a $1-$10 donation is suggested).

  • 1/14, Tim Feeney: new work & conversations
  • 2/11,  Andrew Raffo Dewar: an introduction to Anthony Braxton’s music & “Language Music” and improvisations with attendees
  • 3/11, Holland Hopson: an introduction to and interactive performance of John Zorn’s “Cobra,” celebrating the work’s 30th anniversary
  • 4/8, Andrew Raffo Dewar: new work & guided improvisations with workshop attendees
  • 5/13, Tim Feeney: new work & conversations
  • 6/10, Holland Hopson: new work for performers & interactive electronics and improvisation with workshop attendees

Max with a Lisp

Brad Garton has just released an updated Lisp interpreter that runs inside MaxMSP. More info here. Brad seems to be on a mission to make MaxMSP a veritable music operating system in its own right: Lisp, Chuck, RTcmix…

Checking out the Lisp object reminded me of my first forays into algorithmic composition and just how fun it can be to create work using simple processes. And how hard it can be to create compelling work that way!

Garton’s lisp object also gave me an excuse to pull out my copy of The Little LISPer. The book is an excellent example of learning by doing. After a brief introduction, the reader is asked to interpret LISP commands of increasing complexity and guided by a simple process of inquiry. There are no dry explanations only concrete examples. It’s made a lasting impression on my ideas of teaching and learning. Comparable to learning/teaching/performing Zorn’s Cobra–you do it, and then you know it.