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
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.
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.
The work is for 16 suspended cymbals and electronics. The cymbals are bowed and activated by dropping beans, rice and millet on them. Such amazing sounds! Greg described one part of it in rehearsal as “listening to a radio tuned between stations.” If you know and love that sound (you know who you are), then you’ll understand why I’m so excited about tonight’s performance. If you’re bewildered or intrigued, you should come hear this. You’ll never listen to your radio (or look at beans, rice and millet) the same way again.
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
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
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Birmingham Art Music Alliance performances by the Druid City Ensemble – Sarah K. Crocker, harp; Whitney O’Neal, flute; and Dawn Neely, soprano. They’re premiering three movements of Color Coded Materials of the Artist. The composition uses lists of pigments taken from Max Doerner’s classic reference The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, with Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters.
Saturday November 7 2:30pm
Druid City Ensemble
Southside Baptist Church
1016 19th St S
Birmingham, AL 35205
Sunday November 8 2:30pm
Druid City Ensemble
University of Montevallo
720 Oak St
Montevallo AL 35115
Both concerts are free. The program also includes pieces by Marvin Johnson, Mark Lackey, Jody Landers and Drew Pendergrass.
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
Bring an instrument/noisemaker, or just come to listen. No previous experience is necessary. The Grocery gets hot in the summer, so dress appropriately.
The Birmingham Art Music Alliance kicked off the Beyond 12, 2015 Tour featuring pianist Aron Kallay last night with a performance at the Hoover Library Theater. Aron will perform six more times through April 8. This tour features three premieres of pieces by Alabama-based composers including Monroe Golden, Brian Moon and myself.
My work is titled A History of Elevators in Film, and like all the pieces on the program it features a retuned and remapped piano keyboard. In my case, I’m using Max to retune and remap pitches on the fly in response to the pianist’s performance.
Dans les arbres and the Dewar/Feeney/Hopson Trio will perform a joint concert Wednesday night via Internet2. Dans les arbres will be in Colorado Springs, CO and the Dewar/Feeney/Hopson Trio will be in Tuscaloosa, AL. Live audio and video streams will be sent between each venue, allowing the musicians to play together in (near) real time.
Wednesday November 5 8:30pm (Central) Sonic Frontiers and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Music/Peak FreQuency Creative Arts Collective presents
Dans les arbres
with Andrew Dewar, Tim Feeney, Holland Hopson
in a telematic performance
Moody Recital Hall
Colorado Springs CO
Soprano 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.