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.