Comes and Goes

Here’s a performance of Comes and Goes from the 2016 Birmingham New Music Festival featuring (L to R) Andrew Raffo Dewar, modular synth; Geni Skendo, flutes; Wendy Richman, viola; Holland Hopson, laptop.

The piece is for open instrumentation: four or more performers using electronic and/or acoustic instruments. We chose to perform the sections in the following order: Foothills, Unmatched set of revolving doors, Cirrus – lock of hair, I Send the Rockets Up, Constant Interference. Download the score

Traditional Instruments Reimagined Review

Edward Forstman at ArtsBHAM reviewed my recent concert with Matt Bryant at the Hoover Library Theater.

Part of the magic of Holland Hopson’s performances lies in the mystery of just how much he has planned out beforehand and what’s being extemporized. He is a rapt listener to his own performances, nuancing each refrain’s iteration with distinctive stresses, pitch bends, additions, and deletions. He began with a piece he used on the BAMA DIY concert reviewed in August, and yet it came off as freshly conceived and decidedly different, as if he’d made it up on the spot.

His set consisted of eight songs. Highlights included Hopson’s intense lament of forbidden queer love, the ballad “Laurel Cove,” and his hazy and weary “Over Yonder’s Ocean,” which yearned for a beautiful heaven “where the sun swings lowest over yonder’s ocean.”  Hopson’s vocals were resonant and full of character. He offered his audience a warm, joking presence in between songs and was a consummate storyteller throughout.

Read the entire review here.

Hoover Library with Matt Bryant: Banjo + Uke + Electronics

imageTomorrow I play a free concert at the Hoover Library Theatre with Matt Bryant in a performance billed as Traditional Instruments Reimagined. I’ll perform a song-based set of music for banjo and live electronics. Part of the performance will be on my newest instrument – a custom electric guitar/banjo hybrid built for me by Jefferson Pitcher of Pitcher Guitars. (More about the instrument later…)

Matt Bryant performs on ukulele and electronics. I heard him give a blazing performance at the Spring Street Firehouse in May. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

Thursday October 6, 6:30pm
Hoover Library Theater
200 Municipal Drive
Hoover AL 35216
Free

The Hoover Library Theatre’s main stage is being renovated, so this event will be in the upstairs venue.

Comes and Goes Returns

comes-and-goes

On Thursday I’ll be performing my work Comes and Goes with Andrew Dewar, Wendy Richman and Geni Skendo during the opening concert of the third Birmingham New Music Festival. Andrew and I will perform with electronics (modular synth and Max, respectively) while Wendy plays viola and Geni performs on various flutes. We worked up a wonderful blend of sounds during rehearsal last weekend; I think this is going to be a special performance.

Comes and Goes was written for Gates Ensemble and first performed in Austin, TX in 2007. My memory of the performance is a bit hazy. On the day of the show I was packing for a move from Austin to Albany, NY and gashed open the bottom of my foot. After stitches and pain meds, I somehow joined the other musicians on stage to perform with my foot elevated on a nearby chair. The piece is for four or more musicians performing on electronic and/or acoustic instruments. Each movement explores a specific set of sounds  derived from the technique of amplitude modulation. Download the score for Comes and Goes.

I’ll also be performing on banjo and electronics with Geni Skendo for two of his compositions.

Thursday 9/22 7:30pm
Birmingham New Music Festival
UAB Hulsey Recital Hall
950 13th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294
Free

LA Reviews of “Elevators”

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.”

Nine Tas in Malaysia

I just saw these videos from a performance of Nine Tas directed by Mike Edgerton
at the University of Malaya. It’s great to hear the music return to this part of the world, since I began work on the piece while traveling in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

My Turn on the Turner Show

turner_show_card

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.