Lonely Woman

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Ornette Coleman had such an impact on my life as a saxophonist and composer. When he died last month I revisited his recordings, my memories of hearing him perform live and my experiences playing his music (mostly during ECFA’s ‘repertory’ phase–thanks Carl Smith!). That’s when I realized I’d never tried an Ornette tune on banjo.

This is a version of “Lonely Woman” from The Shape of Jazz to Come for clawhammer banjo. I chose this tune, in part, because Charlie Haden’s iconic pedal-point bass line suggested the drone string on a banjo. I bought this album as a freshman in college and remember listening to it again and again until the sheer mystery and befuddlement and out-of-tuneness of the songs gave way to familiarity, love and (hopefully) some understanding of how and why they work.

Sudden Swan Soars Saturday

Susan WilliamsSoprano Susan Williams will premiere Sudden Swan for voice and live electronics at the Birmingham New Music Festival on Saturday August 23 at 7:30pm. The concert is at UAB’s Hulsey Recital Hall, 950 13th Street South, Birmingham, AL. Admission is free.

Susan and I have known each other since our college days at Birmingham-Southern.  Since then she’s landed leading opera roles and appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Duke Symphony Orchestra and many others. This is the first time Susan and I have worked on a piece together, and we’re so excited to present it on Saturday.

The performer in Sudden Swan improvises a melody to a drone using a small set of just-tuned pitches. Each pitch is associated with one or more words which are strung together to create an ever-evolving poetry. The computer responds to variations in the vocal performance with subtle shifts of timbre, pulsating rhythms, and sometimes unpredictable flourishes.

Here’s a snippet of our working score:

sudden swan score snippet

The Audiovore Presents: John Wiese/Steve Jansen/Holland Hopson/Brad Davis

john-wiese-balloon-72

I’m excited about sharing the bill tomorrow night with John WieseSteve Jansen and Brad Davis.

Wednesday April 9, 8pm
Parkside Cafe
4036 5th Ave S
Birmingham AL 3522

I’ll be presenting my Radicans project which uses small motors and soundbug transducers to transform ordinary objects in the performance space into speakers. Tables, chairs, trashcans and windows come to life in a chorus of electronic chirping, buzzing and spinning drones.

Keir Neuringer, Holland Hopson, Rambutan, Living Things at 51 3rd

Tomorrow night! I went halfway around the world to Sydney, Australia where I heard about Keir Neuringer who only lives a few hours away. His last appearance at 51 3rd was great. I’m looking forward to hearing him play again.

Wednesday 11/30/11 @ 8pm
51 3rd St.
Troy, NY (former Troy Bike Rescue)

KEIR NEURINGER
composes & improvises acoustic & electronic music, writes socio-political performance texts & essays, & creates interdisciplinary artworks. Keir will play farfisa organ & drums (at the same time!), sing, and play saxophone & electronic…s. intense post-punk songwriter, playing songs off the new Afghanistan album Conquistadors.

HOLLAND HOPSON
is a local avant-gardist and member of the Albany Sonic Arts Collective. Well-versed in a wide variety of musical styles, from the most traditional to the most experimental, Holland will sew together these different musical worlds with pieces for solo banjo and electronics (off his 2011 release Post & Beam), as well as pieces for solo saxophone and electronics.

RAMBUTAN
is local noise/drone wizard Eric Hardiman, member of the Albany Sonic Arts Collective, local psych-rock collective Burnt Hills, and proprietor of TAPE DRIFT records, Albany’s most experimental music label. Eric will be performing a mind-bending set of improvised solo electronics…

intermission videos by LIVING THINGS

Drone-Along at the Arts Center of the Capital Region


I’m looking forward to the Drone-Along tonight @ 7pm. Details and description are below.

Thursday, November 11 | 7:00 pm | FREE!
Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River Street
Troy NY 12180

Whether you’re an experienced sound artist or an open-minded newbie, grab the soundmaker of your choice and join a community of those who make hypnotic and meditative sonic art. Those who just want to listen are welcome too!

Wikipedia defines drone music as “a minimalist musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters…” This event is presented in partnership with Albany Sonic Arts Collective.

River of Drone II: Seven Hours of Sound at the SoundBarn

Photo: MisterV

I’m looking forward to floating in the River of Drone II: Seven Hours of Sound.

Sunday May 16th
12 noon to 7pm
at the SoundBarn in Valatie, NY.

The Albany Times Union wrote a preview here. Find more information on the Albany Sonic Arts Collective site or below.

Albany Sonic Arts Collective (ASAC) and The soundBarn are proud to present River of Drone II: Seven Hours of Sound. A very special, long-form event, River of Drone II is a free, seven-hour, improvised sound performance from 12 noon – 7 pm on Sunday May 16 at The soundBarn, Valatie, NY.

River of Drone II: Seven Hours of Sound is a collective sonic improvisation that will unfold and develop unlike any ordinary concert. From quiet, peaceful soundscapes to full-on noise, the ever-shifting rhythm, pace and mood will evolve as the ebb and flow of performers, energy and instrumentation progresses through the seven hour performance.

Set in a former orchard cooler with views of the Catskill Mountains, The soundBarn is a uniquely suited location for visitors to lounge, listen and linger for an hour, a few minutes or the entire performance. The audience is encouraged to make themselves comfortable and to bring pillows, chairs, food and drink. Unlike a traditional concert setting, performers will be located throughout the venue and listeners are encouraged to move around, watch the accompanying video projections, wander in and out and discover new relationships to sound through immersion, reflection, deep listening, meditation, and concentration.

We hope you will join us to listen, meditate, self-hypnotize, bliss out– or to simply enjoy a swim in the RIVER OF DRONE!

River of Drone II is a collaborative presentation of Albany Sonic Arts Collective and The soundBarn and will be presented at The soundBarn.

Featured musicians include: Jason Cosco, Matt Ernst, Tara Fracalossi, Eric Hardiman (Rambutan, Century Plants, Burnt Hills,) Ray Hare (Century Plants, Fossils From the Sun, Burnt Hills,) Holland Hopson, Thomas Lail (soundBarn,) Patrick Weklar (soundBarn) Matt Weston (Barn Owls), Mike Bullock, Linda Aubry Bullock, Mark Lunt, Chris Bassett, Jeremy Kelly, and many more special guests.
Videos by: Tara Fracalossi, Kyra Garrigue and more.

The soundBarn is a project of artist/musician Thomas Lail and artist Tara Fracalossi and is located on what was once Heald Orchards in Valatie, New York. The soundBarn is sited in a modern addition to the orchard’s 100 year old Dutch style barn. The cavernous, heavily insulated space served as the orchard’s cooler where apples and pears were over-wintered and chilled by the massive, still visible refrigeration system.

Remember the first River of Drone? Listen to some of the first River of Drone.

Drone-along

The Arts Center of the Capital Region presents Communal Drone Night, co-sponsored by the Albany Sonic Arts Collective. Bring an instrument or your voice and join in or come and listen.

Tuesday October 13 @ 8pm
The Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River St.
Troy, NY

Communal Drone Night