Daily Music Post

As someone who listens to a lot of experimental music, I have to admit, I have never really heard anything quite like this. Today's music is from Víctor Adán writing for Dot Matrix Printer. If you have a second and you haven't heard this before, you should check this out.

 

Here is a link to a series of works like this from his website:

click here 

About the composer: 

I was born and raised in the "navel of the moon". I have been interested in music, visual arts, and computer programming since childhood. My first musical experiments took place during the late 1980s, when my parents acquired two surprising machines for our home: an upright piano and a personal computer. Both machines fascinated me, and I spent many hours pressing the keys of these two wondrous devices. Each taught me a different language, the one music notation, the other BASIC. Both machines served me well as musical instruments. The one gave me sound by pressing its keys, the other by typing lines of code with the BEEP and PLAY commands.

Then I went to music school, where I was quickly taught what music really was, and where I soon forgot all about my silly experiments. After a few disappointing first years in college, I discovered the uncompromising music of composer Julio Estrada and, in 1997, I joined his deschooling Music Creation Lab at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Upon completing my undergraduate studies, I shifted focus to the quantitative side of my musical interests. In 2005 I earned an MS in media technology and digital communications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2010 a DMA from Columbia University.

I currently live in New York and typically spend my days composing, writing software and, in my spare time, teaching robots how to draw.

 

Daily Music Post

Here's a little piece from composer/improvisor Douglas Ewart to start your day off right. Enjoy "Red Hills" as performed by N.S.A Ensemble.

About the composer: 

Perhaps best known as a composer, improviser, sculptor and maker of masks and instruments, Douglas R. Ewart is also an educator, lecturer, arts organization consultant and all around visionary. In projects done in diverse media throughout an award-winning and widely-acclaimed 40-year career, Mr. Ewart has woven his remarkably broad gifts into a single sensibility that encourages and celebrates--as an antidote to the divisions and compartmentalization afflicting modern life-the wholeness of individuals in culturally active communities.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1946, Douglas R. Ewart immigrated to Chicago, Illinois in the United States in 1963. His travels throughout the world and interactions with diverse people since then has, again and again confirmed his view that the world is an interdependent entity. An example of his efforts both to study and to contribute to this interdependence is his use of his prestigious 1987 U.S.-Japan Creative Arts Fellowship to study both modern Japanese culture and the traditional Buddhist shakuhachi flute, and also to give public performances while in Japan.

In America, his determination to spread his perspective is part of the inspiration behind his often multi-disciplinary works and their encouragement of artist-audience interactions. It is also the basis of the teaching philosophy with which he guides his classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has taught since 1990, and the basis of the perspective he has brought to his service on advisory boards for institutions such as The National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer (New York City) and Arts Midwest. Mr. Ewart uses his past experience as chairman of the internationally renowned Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) to celebrate and build upon the history and achievements of the organization, and is from this perspective a natural extension of the activities he has been engaged in for the past four decades.

His administrative, teaching and other duties have not prevented Ewart from maintaining several musical ensembles, the Nyahbingi Drum Choir. the Clarinet Choir, Douglas R. Ewart & Inventions, Douglas R. Ewart & Quasar and Douglas R. Ewart & Stringnets. Nor has it prevented him from releasing some of the resulting music on his own record label, Aarawak Records (founded in 1983), which has released his Red Hills and Bamboo Forest, Bamboo Meditations at Banff, Angles of Entrance, New Beings, and Velvet Fire.
Always seeking new ways to be an agent of transformation, and convinced that compositions should change, just as their performers do, Ewart has created new or revised musical forms, such has his suite “Music from the Bamboo Forest,” which is in a state of constant evolution (its score currently comprises six movements employing a cornucopia of flutes, reeds, percussion instruments--many of them handmade -- and significant audience participation). Each performance or production by Ewart reflects time-tested structures, but each also incorporates his most immediate experiences of America and the world, and taps his many creative engagements with collaborators such the master musicians as Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Myers, Beah Richards, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Anthony Davis, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson, Joseph Jarman, Yusef Lateef, Roscoe Mitchell, Ajule Sonny Rutlin, Rita Warford, Dee Alexander, Robert Dick, George E. Lewis, James Newton, Cecil Taylor, Richard Teitelbaum and Henry Threadgill.

Beyond sound itself, Ewart’s music finds natural extensions (in every sense of the word) in the instruments he makes, which run the gamut from unique wind instruments to percussion instruments. Beyond these are sculptures, sound sculptures, and individually handcrafted masks that have been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. All these elements of his art are on display every year in Chicago and in other cities in stagings of “Crepuscule,” which in Ewart’s own opinion best represents his celebratory spontaneity and commitment to organic inclusivity. A massive collective composition, “Crepuscule” is a celebration of sunset that brings together diverse musical groups, dancers, artists and activist for a musical and visual event that has become one of the signature programs of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, being held annually at the city's Washington Park. Ewart improvises with the scores of other performers who come together for “Crepuscule” by using not only well-known wind instruments but also his own wondrously inventive percussion instruments (crutches, oars and skis transformed by cymbals and bells). In addition to having been adopted as an annual ritual in Chicago, “Crepuscule” has been performed in Philadelphia, PA and Minneapolis, MN, and employed by the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris, France to unite the diverse artistic and ethnic cultures of Paris’ inner city communities.

Ewart is the winner of the Bush Artists Fellowship (1997), Minnesota Composers
Forum/McKnight Foundation fellowships, Jerome Foundation grants, Mayor Harold Washington's Outstanding Artist Award and a Naropa Institute residency among many other honors. He has performed at the Moers International Festival (Germany), at the University of Puerto Rico San Juan, throughout Brazil, in Tokyo, Perth, Havana, Paris, Stockholm, London, Düsseldorf and Berlin; in the U.S. he has performed at Mobius (Boston), The Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Science Museum (St. Paul), 1750 Arch Street (Berkeley), Painted Bride (Philadelphia), Creative Arts Collective (Detroit), Lincoln Park Zoo and the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), Merkin Hall, the Public Theater, The Kitchen and Carnegie Hall (New York). He has led workshops and lectured at Louisiana Nature Center (New Orleans), University of Illinois Unit One (Champaign), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC.), Northwestern University (Evanston), University of Chicago and the Banff Center for the Arts (Alberta, Canada). 

Here's a link to an interview with the composer about his process: 

click here

 

Daily Music Post

Here's a dark, little piece from Argentinian composer Luis Naón, "Around the Bell" as performed by Moscow Studio For New Music Ensemble (that groups name that could not sound more Russian in my head if it tried).

 

About the composer:

Luis Naón is an Argentine composer, born in 1961 in La Plata. After completing his music studies at the University of Buenos Aires, Luis Naón settled in Paris in 1981. He attended advanced classes at the Conservatoire de Paris with Guy Reibel, Laurent Cuniot (1982-1985), Daniel Teruggi, Sergio Ortega and Horacio Vaggione and was awarded a doctorate at the University of Paris 8.

A teacher of composition and new technologies at the Conservatoire de Paris since 1991, he also teaches in Barcelona and at the Geneva Universiy of Music. He is a member of the ensemble Diagonal. Since Final del Juego (1983) and Tango del desamparo (1987), he has sought to express dualities of culture (Franco-Argentinian), of writing (spectral-combinatory), of genre (acousmatic-instrumental) and of discipline (painting-music-theatre), collaborating with Abel Robino (Alto Voltango, 2001), Yves Pagès (Les parapazzi, 1998), François Wastiaux and the company Valsez-Cassis (Hamlet, 1994).

Many of his works form part of Urbana, a cycle of 24 pieces that include Speculorum memoria (1993), Requiem pour un bookmaker chinois (1996), Sendero...que bifurcan (2003), Lascaux urbana (2004), Orbetura urbana (2004) and Six caprices (2007). His works have been played in prestigious concert halls and festivals in Europe, America and Asia.

Daily Music Post

I checked out a piece by last years Pulitzer Prize winner, Kevin Puts. Here's "Credo" (2007) for String Quartet as performed by SONAR.

About the piece:

When Daniel Ching of the Mirò Quartet asked me to write a quartet for a program he was planning exploring ‘the lighter side of America’, I wasn’t sure I could deliver. It was hard to find things to sing about. The government stubbornly and arrogantly continued to pour young lives and billions of dollars into a hopeless war, one to whose protest millions at home and abroad marched with what E.L Doctorow described as “the appalled understanding that America was ceding its role as the best of hope of mankind,” that “the classic archetype of democracy was morphing itself into a rogue nation.” Also around this time, a disturbed loner finally enacted his plan to gun down a record-breaking number of his fellow students at Virginia Tech and—amazingly—this failed to prompt any heightened talks over gun control by politicians who feared they might offend their gun-loving constituents before the next election.

One day on my weekly commute from New York to teach at the Peabody Conservatory, I noticed as the train pulled into Baltimore the word believe emblazoned across a building. I later learned this was part of a campaign by the city of Baltimore to do something about the fact that ten percent of its population is addicted to either heroin or cocaine. As one who relies little if at all on blind faith, I found this to be a rather alarming approach. On the other hand, sometimes it seems all you can do is believe. For example, many of us believe we’ll find our way out of the mess. In the meantime, I have found solace in the strangest places:

...in the workshop of a stringed instrument specialist in Katonah, New York, you can believe nothing in the world matters but the fragile art of violins and violas hanging serenely from the ceiling. He listens chin in hand as his clients play excerpts for him, then goes to work on their instruments with sage-like assuredness...

...on the jogging path along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, you encounter above and below you the steel girders, asphalt and railroad ties of infrastructure, an immovable network of towering bridges and highways engineered by some deific intelligence...

...from my apartment, I watched in a window across 106th Street a mother teaching her daughter how to dance.

I would like to thank Amy Anderson of Chamber Music Monterey Bay for commissioning this piece and for her belief in my work. Credo is dedicated by Lowell Figan to the memory of Janie Figan, tireless environmentalist and devoted lover of chamber music.  

Daily Music Post

I just checked out the world premiere of Anna Clyne's "Primula Vulgaris" (2010) as performed by the New York outfit Metropolis Ensemble. This is a great piece.

About the piece:

Primula vulgaris: This European native is commonly known as the English Primrose and is a welcome sight in the spring.

Flower clusters enchant the beholder with pale colors of red, purple, yellow, white and blue, all with a yellow eye. The inspiration for this piece was a reading of the first string quartet I wrote for Metropolis. The original premise was to compose a string quartet derived from material from Within Her Arms, a string ensemble piece that Metropolis will perform in May 2010. The reading taught me two valuable lessons. Firstly, to write each piece fresh and anew—leaning back on older pieces can create lifeless music. I'm in a different space to where I was a year ago, when I was writing Within Her Arms. Secondly, I realized what an influence actually knowing the musicians I'm writing for has on my music. Having a sense of the musicians both individually and as an ensemble can really influence a piece and its direction. As a result of hearing my initial string quartet, I decided to start anew with fresh material and writing with Kristin, Sean, Maurycy, and Nicholas in mind.

Primula Vulgaris was commissioned and premiered by the Metropolis Ensemble at the Americas Society in New York City.

About the composer:

London-born Anna Clyne is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, combining resonant soundscapes with propelling textures that weave, morph, and collide in dramatic explosions. Her work, described as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, often includes collaborations with cutting edge choreographers, visual artists, film-makers, and musicians worldwide.

Currently the Chicago Symphony’s Mead Composer-in-Residence through the 2013–14 season, the orchestra has performed several of her works, including the premiere of Night Ferry in 2012 under the baton of Riccardo Muti. An avid advocate for music education, Clyne teaches composition workshops for local young composers and incarcerated youths as part of this residency, and served as the Director of the New York Youth Symphony’s award-winning program for young composers “Making Score” from 2008 to 2010. Clyne was also recently a guest composer at the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

Clyne’s work has been championed by some of the world’s finest conductors, including Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, George Manahan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Riccardo Muti, Alan Pierson, Andre de Ridder, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Osmo Vänskä. Recent commissions include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre, ETHEL, Bang on a Can, Metropolis Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Clyne’s <<rewind<<, “inspired by the image of analog video tape rapidly scrolling backwards with fleeting moments of skipping, freezing and warping,” has been recently performed with both the BBC Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestra as well as at the Cabrillo Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

She has received numerous accolades, including a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, eight consecutive ASCAP Plus Awards, and a Clutterbuck award from the University of Edinburgh. Additionally, she has received honors from Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. Clyne was a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Composer Award, and was nominated for a 2010 British Composer Award.

In 2012, Tzadik Records released a full album of Clyne’s music, titled Blue Moth, showcasing a diverse range of her instrumental and ensemble with tape pieces, including Roulette, fits + starts and Steelworks.

Her music is published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes.

“Anna Clyne is an artist who writes from the heart, who defies categorization and who reaches across all barriers and boundaries. Her compositions are meant to be played by great musicians and listened to by enthusiastic audiences no matter what their background.” – Riccardo Muti.

 

Daily Music Post

 

Do you like electronics and things that go boom? Then check out Andrea Mazzariello's "Electrobot" for laptop/percussion quartet.

About the piece:

The idiosyncratic instruments I've built and approaches to playing them I've developed were conceived for my own solo performance. This group of ambitious students at the So Percussion Summer Institute gave me the surprising, unimagined opportunity to expand into ensemble writing. They're reading a score that doesn't look like it sounds, and playing 2-octave MIDI keyboards to trigger samples that I created by recording myself playing old synths and step-sequencing beats. The New York director/choreographer/filmmaker Mark DeChiazza developed the projection idea, visually amplifying the small movements on the keys that become large gestures in the sonic space.

About the composer:

Andrea Mazzariello is a composer, performer, writer, and teacher. His music thinks through the capabilities of the performing body, in terms of both instrumental technique and the possibilities afforded by technological intervention, and pays special attention to the treatment and setting of his own original text, spoken and sung.

He’s active as a solo performer of his own work for a novel and evolving instrumental setup, and has presented in such diverse venues as The Knitting Factory, Cakeshop, the Queens New Music Festival, and the Wassaic Festival. His concert music has been performed or read by the New Jersey Symphony, The Berkshire Symphony, So Percussion, NOW Ensemble, and Newspeak, among many others.

In 2011, he completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at Princeton University, writing on the vinyl resurgence and its connection to our ideas of physicality and abstraction in music analysis. He holds an M.M. from the University of Michigan and graduated magna cum laude from Williams College, where he won a Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Music and was named to Phi Beta Kappa.

Andrea joined the faculty of the Princeton Writing Program in 2010, and currently teaches a seminar called "Music and Power."

From the composer about the performance:

The amazing, amazing participants at the So Percussion Summer Institute premiered my new piece for laptop/percussion quartet last night. From left to right: Jamey Kollar, Brendan Betyn, Elizabeth John, and Evan Chapman. Full disclosure: this is the dress rehearsal, because I forgot to press record at the actual performance.

This premiere was exciting for a few reasons: the aforementioned four gave this piece real attention and insight and committed fully to a potentially disorienting learning process; the little sampler that Dan and I (mostly Dan) built to play The Exchange (and that I'll also use to perform vs. the New Machine at Wassaic) now has legs, has been used successfully by others who don't reside in my brain; and the response to the whole thing during the Institute was just so warm, from the So guys and from their really incredible students. Magical.

I also wanted to announce that I'll be performing at The Wassaic Festival, which happens over the weekend of August 3-5. I go on at noon on Saturday, August 4. I'm playing a set of songs on the solo instrument (keys, pads, laptop) called vs. the New Machine. Come up if you can! Also note that I am playing the exhibition space, not the music space. In other words, check out "art," not "music." To find me at Wassaic, not as a general rule. Unless you roll like that.

New FiveOne Experimental Orchestra Website

So.... 

It's been a long time coming but we recently updated the FiveOne Experimental Orchestra website. It's great. We still have the FiveOne blog but in addition we now have more music, merchandise, full bios, as well as an updated concert schedule(which we will be announcing new dates soon).

Check it out. Buy a watch. Listen to some great music and give us some feedback.

FiveOne Experimental Orchestra Concert

Clouds, Aquariums, and Night Scents

Market Avenue Wine Bar, 2521 Market Ave, Cleveland

 November 16, 2013 – 9pm

I think I am going to be leading the ensemble incorporating computer where I will be doing "live-coding" in either Pure Data or Csound. It should be an event. 

This will be our second of a now annual concert series presented in the salon of the Market Avenue Wine Bar, 2521 Market Ave, Cleveland.  Heady spirits and light music all swirling the senses greatly against the blood-bliss backdrop of warm fireplaces and chill evenings. Please drink deep and linger long.

 

 

 

Coming soon...

I've been on a kick lately to listen to 100 new pieces in 20 weeks. What this has really done is gotten me to listen to a ton of new music on a regular basis. For example, The piece I listened to today is a multimedia work for film and chamber ensemble by Caroline Mallonée. Check out Wet Ink's performance of"For Paul Signac."