A History of Elevators in Film at Monk Space

On Tuesday Aron Kallay and Andrew McIntosh will present Beyond 12 – Piano and Violin at Monk Space in Los Angeles. The concert is a co-presentation between MicroFestLA and Tuesdays @ Monk Space. Aron will perform my piece A History of Elevators in Film for 88-key controller and computer.

Tuesday June 28 8pm
Beyond 12 – Piano and Violin
Aron Kallay and Andrew McIntosh
Monk Space
4414 West 2nd St.
Los Angeles CA 90004

I wrote A History of Elevators in Film for Aron’s Beyond 12 tour of the Southeast last spring. The piece uses a virtual piano that is retuned on the fly based on choices made by the performer. Below is the complete program for the concert. I wish I were on the other side of the continent next week to hear it.

Kyle Gann – Fugitive Objects
Marc Sabat – Intonation after Morton Feldman I, from Les Duresses
Eric Moe – The Weasel of Melancholy
Johann Joseph Vilsmayr – Partita IV, from Six Partitas
Holland Hopson – A History of Elevators in Film
Marc Sabat – Two Commas, from Les Duresses
Alex Miller – The Blur of Time and Memory

Connecting Connections

I’m a long-time reader of Kyle Gann’s Postclassic, so a bit surprised that I don’t point more often to  the gems he posts. I couldn’t pass up his latest entry, though, since it pulls together so many figures of contemporary music and finds connections between them. Case in point is this quote about James Tenney:

Someday there will be a book on James Tenney, who studied with Varese, befriended Ruggles, argued with Partch, made psychedelic eletcronic music with Mort Subotnick, played in the ensembles of Steve Reich and Phil Glass, taught alongside Harold Budd, and taught Peter Garland, Larry Polansky, John Luther Adams, and Michael Byron, among many others. Tenney is a line wandering through American musical history, drawing a variety of unexpected connections. The people most central to American music, those who can’t be pulled out of the fabric without it unraveling, are not always the household names.

I can’t wait for that book on James Tenney; if we’re lucky Kyle will write it. Speaking of Kyle’s writings, he’s currently working on a book about Robert Ashley–another one of those wandering lines–who he quotes:

“The only thing that’s interesting to me right now is that, up to me and a couple of other guys, music had always been about the eventfulness: like, when things happened, and if they happened, whether they would be a surprise, or an enjoyment, or something like that… It’s about eventfulness. And I was never interested in eventfulness. I was only interested in sound. I mean, just literally, sound in the Morton Feldman sense…. There’s a quality in music that is outside of time, that is not related to time. And that has always fascinated me… That’s sort of what I’m all about, from the first until the most recent. A lot of people are back into eventfulness. But it’s very boring. Eventfulness is really boring.”

I find Ashley’s ‘eventfulness’ formulation to be useful. I’ve often thought of my music’s tendency toward uneventfulness (here here and here, for example) as related to landscape, particularly landscape painting or photography. My interest in field recordings and soundscapes both grows from that predilection and informs it.