I’m excited to premiere a new work for invented instruments and electronics on Saturday as part of the Birmingham New Music Festival. Crow Chases Red-tailed Hawk uses bullroarers and other instruments that make sound when swung overhead on the end of a string. I’ve been working on prototypes for these instruments–whistles, buzzers, hummers, swoopers–for the last few months and this will be their first public outing.
Birmingham New Music Festival
Mostly Improv Night
October 12, 2019 at 7PM
East Village Arts of Birmingham
7611 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35206
I need help naming the instruments, so please come to the show, listen, and give me your best suggestions for names.
I’m participating in a panel discussion on unusual sound sources at Southern Sonic today. The panel is moderated by Dan Sharp and includes Andrew Raffo Dewar, Tim Feeney, Taylor Lee Shepherd and Rick Snow.
Saturday 5/12 2pm
Sonifying the Unlikely as a Practice in Contemporary Music and Sound Art Southern Sonic
Contemporary Arts Center
New Orleans LA
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).
Here are live recordings from this spring’s Parkside performance with John Wiese, Steve Jansen and Brad Davis. This is from my buzzy, noisy Radicans project which uses small motors and soundbug transducers (audio speakers without cones) to transform ordinary objects in the performance space into speakers.
Here are the sounds of a suspension bridge I recorded on a recent trip to Camp McDowell in Nauvoo AL. I used two contact mics, one on each set of main cables. The bridge was surprisingly quiet during normal use and even when I bounced and jostled it a bit, so I tapped and scraped on the structure with a few sticks. Sounds best on headphones!
I’m excited to perform next week as part of the Sonic Frontiers season. I plan to play a set of pieces for banjo and electronics drawing from the material on Post & Beam, adding a few new twists, and hopefully including one or two “sound bug” pieces from my Radicans project.
Also on the bill is Justin Peake, a New Orleans based percussionist/composer known for his work as Beautiful Bells. Justin is a Tuscaloosa native, so this will be a homecoming performance for him.
I think it’s going to be a great night!
Thursday March 7 2013 at 7:30pm Bama Theatre Greensboro Room
600 Greensboro Ave.
Admission is Free.
Cage’s Inlets will be performed using his original shells
Saturday’s Cage/Gould concert at RPI’s EMPAC in Troy NY is the next in a long line of John Cage centenary tributes happening this year. Featuring the Rensselaer Contemporary Music Ensemble directed by Michael Century, the program includes works by John Cage juxtaposed with a recreation of part of Glenn Gould’s final piano concert.
Saturday, November 17 8pm
Rensselaer Contemporary Music Ensemble
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The french philosopher Elie During knits it all together in a pre-performance lecture (5pm) with the help of a vacuum cleaner (no kidding!) or at least the metaphor of a vacuum cleaner or the memory of the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the memory of the experience of the obliteration of all other sounds thanks to a vacuum cleaner… I guess we’ll have to go to the lecture to find out for sure.
Thanks to Eric Hardiman for shooting and posting videos from Saturday’s Albany Sonic Arts Collective show.
This is the premiere of a soon-to-be-titled work built around the idea of treating a fader box as a set of pump organ pedals, rather than simple position sensors. Using Cycling ’74’s Max I can control the organ sounds with a variety of gestures: “pumping” the faders makes the sounds louder, rhythmic motion creates harmonics, sudden and abrupt changes add distortion and bite. The samples that appear at 5:30 are from a 2010 recording session with choreographer Jill Sigman (previous story here).
(Start at 1:32 to skip the embarrassing banter and the hopeless yet obligatory banjo tuning…)
“No Mule” is another brand-new tune. The rhythmic chopping effect is a kind of slow-motion walk through a live sample of the banjo. I add a few more live samples beginning at about 4:00 and get into full-on Steve Reich mode by 6:00.
This is a pay-what-you-wish (starting at free!), digital download release on Bandcamp. I made the field recordings during our two amazing shoots at the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire (seethesepreviousposts). I processed some of the sounds using custom effects developed with Cycling 74’s Max software and added a few instruments in the studio. I chose my favorite sounds and sketches that didn’t make it into the final film and sequenced them to create a continuous 20-minute piece (though some of the tracks work well on their own, particularly Downslope Flow). Enjoy!