My Turn on the Turner Show

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Tonight at 6pm I take my turn playing on the Turner Williams Jr. MFA Show. I’ve been bugging Turner as regularly as we run into each other about playing together some day;  that some day has finally arrived.

Monday April 25 6pm
Turner Williams Jr. : MFA Thesis Exhibition and Performance Series
Sella-Granata Gallery
109 Woods Hall
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa AL

Come check out Turner’s multi-layered collages and sculptures and his use of video feedback. I’ll be slinging banjo and other electronic implements of destruction/delight. Stay tuned for more musical guests at the exhibition through May 1.

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

Carefully Unfolded Premiere by Wind Quintet Unfolds Sunday

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My piece …then carefully unfolded and placed in… receives its premiere performance tomorrow at 2:30 pm. It’s a big work: 6 movements that each function as a kind of canon, a dronal piece that moves from sunny lydian to spacey locrian. The work is scored for any 5 sustaining instruments and is being performed by

  • Barbara Harrington, flute
  • Jim Sullivan, oboe
  • Brian Viliunas, clarinet
  • Tariq Masri, bassoon
  • Kevin Kozak, horn

For readers keeping track, I posted about this piece in progress earlier.

 

Sunday April 10 2:30pm
BAMA presents An Afternoon of Music for Wind Quintet and Piano
Brock Recital Hall at Samford University
800 Lakeshore Dr
Homewood AL 35209

Cicada Consort Marathon

Tomorrow I’ll be performing as part of the Cicada Consort Charity Marathon. The music begins at noon and continues until 8pm. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research. My performances will be in the sixth(!) concert of the day (around 5pm) and will include “Steel Bearing Load” for lap steel and computer, “Windowed Pulses” for transducers and computer (one of my radicans project pieces) and maybe a song for banjo and live electronics. Check out the full program.

Saturday March 26 12-8pm
Cicada Consort Charity Marathon
Moody Music Hall

810 2nd Ave
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

The event is free with a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research through: http://www2.michaeljfox.org/goto/cicadaconsort

Tide Talks XIII

I’m happy to perform as part of Friday’s Tide Talks XIII event. Tide Talks is a student-run lecture series. Each event spotlights four of the smartest, most passionate University of Alabama students you’re likely to encounter. The theme of Tide Talks XIII is “Ideas are Revolutionary.”

Tide Talks XIII
Friday November 20 7pm
Ferguson Center Theater
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa AL
Free!

I’ll be supporting the student speakers by performing music for banjo and electronics between talks. Vive la revolution!

Feeney/Richman Melt Glacier

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Wendy Richman and Tim Feeney will play my work Glacial Erratics Friday on the second concert of the 2015 Birmingham New Music Festival.

Friday October 9 at 7:30pm
The Dance Foundation
1715 27th Court South
Homewood AL

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 2015 festival includes 6 concerts throughout the city. All events are free. Check out the program for the whole festival. Read preview articles at ArtsBham and B-Metro.

Floating with Hank Lazer in a Drunken Boat

I had the privilege of working with poet Hank Lazer this summer on three sonic realizations on his poem “N27P51” that are now available in issue 22 of the literary journal Drunken Boat.

These works began last spring with recordings of Hank’s students reading phrases from his poem. This summer I edited the recordings, processed them beyond recognition, added more sounds, used the shape of each line from the poem to guide electronic improvisations, and otherwise had a great time designing sounds in the studio. Hank reigned it all in and helped me shape the material into three sections.

Check out the journal for a reproduction of Hank’s visual poetry, or listen to all the audio from the issue below (including a piece by Pauline Oliveros).

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.

One Last Workshop Before the Grocery Closes

SF Grocery

The Sonic Frontiers Workshop Series at The Grocery concludes this week. I will present an introduction to interactive electronic music including a live performance or two. Then workshop attendees will create a one-night-only audio installation in The Grocery gallery using the Cycling ’74 Max modular programming environment. The Grocery will be closing its doors at the end of the month, so this is one of the last chances to come experience an important hub for cultural life in the Tuscaloosa area.

Sonic Frontiers Workshop #6
Wednesday June 10 7pm
900 Main Avenue
Northport AL
Bring an instrument/noisemaker, or just come to listen. No previous experience is necessary. The Grocery gets hot in the summer, so dress appropriately.

Grocery Runs Special on Fresh Cobra

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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.