A Very Moving Symphony with Strings and Bells

Originally printed in THE VILLAGER – December, 2018

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Angela Babin and other members of the “Tilted Axes” performance group jammed on electric guitars on “Cold Moon Consort” in Sasaki Garden at N.Y.U.’s Washington Square Village, between Bleecker and W. Third Sts. and Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place, before making their way to “The Cube” at Astor Place. Photos by Bob Krasner (L to R: Sean Satin, Angela Babin, Chad Ossman)

BY BOB KRASNER | If you feel the need to simplify composer Patrick Grant’s long-running “Tilted Axes” project, you could call it a marching band for electric guitars. But given the complexity of the compositions and the dedication of the musicians, that description falls way short.

The latest performance of Grant’s “Music for Mobile Electric Guitars” was realized by 24 musicians, including Grant, on the winter solstice, in the Sasaki Garden at Washington Square Village, “The Alamo” at Astor Place a.k.a. “The Cube” and the streets between.

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Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars – Cold Moon Consort (Patrick Grant center with, L to R, Chad Ossman, Michael Fisher, Sam Weisberg, Sean Satin, Dan Cooper, Howie Kenty).

The event was commissioned by Faculty Housing Happenings at New York University — where Grant is a professor — as part of “Make Music New York.” The confab featured music evenly divided between older pieces, structured improvisations and premieres written specifically for Friday night.

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Getting ready to move out from Sasaki Garden. (L to R: John Halo, Howie Kenty, Dylan Sparrow)

One of the new pieces, “Tiltinnabulation,” was written to include another Make Music group, “Bell By Bell.” According to Tom Peyton, the leader of that multigenerational group of bell ringers, they were notified that their path might cross with “Tilted Axes” and they were given the choice of avoiding each other or playing together.

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“Tilted Axes” performers playing their “axes” (blues lingo for guitars) while crossing Broadway on their way to “The Alamo” at Astor Place. (L to R: Gene Ardor, John Lovaas, Aileen Bunch, Jason Napier, Angela Babin)

Happily, they chose to do two numbers together at “The Cube” and the result was a perfect combo of chiming guitars and bells. Guitarist Angela Babin, a “Tilted Axes” veteran, called the collaboration “fabulous!”

“It was like a ‘West Side Story’ gang meet-up, with music and camaraderie and solstice celebration love,” she said.

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Composer Patrick Grant at “The Alamo” with his “Tilted Axes” performance group.

Carrying an electric guitar and an amp through the streets while playing somewhat complex music is a daunting task, but the participants found it more than worthwhile.

“The universal joy of the people we encountered on our parade route caused me to transcend the discomfort I felt at not being fully in command of the music, the weight on my back and shoulders,” David Demnitz said.

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Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars – Cold Moon Consort (front row seated L to R: Howie Kenty, Sarah Metivier Schadt, Jocelyn Gonzales, Jason Napier, Chad Ossman, Harry Scott, Sean Satin; middle row seated L to R: Sky Matthews, John Lovaas, Leslie Stevens, Patrick Grant, Robert Morton, Gene Ardor, Kevin Pfeiffer; back row standing L to R: Caitlin Cawley, Dan Cooper, Aileen Bunch, Sam Weisberg, Dylan Sparrow, Michael Fisher, John Halo, Angela Babin, David Demnitz, Reinaldo Perez, Jeremy Nesse, Jon Clancy)

Sam Weisberg voiced a similar sentiment, noting, “It’s a rush like no other. It was so worth the chronic right-shoulder pain!”

Grant made it through the balmy evening with a case of laryngitis that forced him to hoarsely whisper directions to bassist Sarah Metivier Schadt, who amply conveyed his instructions to the crew.

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“Tilted Axes cuts musical pathways through the urban landscape, turning neighborhoods into their own sonic narratives. Since its inception, Grant has produced a number of Tilted Axes processions in various cities upon three continents.”

“There are many unforeseen elements that we could never have predicted,” Grant reflected. “We’re thinking on our feet, we’re performing live, we’re adjusting to the public in real time. Being there, mobile, right up against the public, brings out musical choices that we’d never come up with in rehearsal. There’s nothing like it.”

Onlookers concurred.

“The public went nuts, in a good way!” Grant enthused. “We couldn’t be happier.”

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Tilted Axes: End of Year + Audio Gift

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Dear friends,

 As you consider your end-of-the-year giving, I hope that you’d consider supporting Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars.  All donations are tax deductible. You know that’s a deal. My aim is to rehearse a new group of musicians and to create new shows to perform for the people of NYC and new locations around the USA to be announced. Here is the link…

Donate now!

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Part concert, part theater, and 100% live, of all of things I’ve created, this project has had the greatest resonance with any public it encounters. 

As a HOLIDAY GIFT, here’s a link to listen to “Tiltinnabulation” created for the winter solstice >>> https://bit.ly/2BDpyvK

Please become a part of our team for 2019!

As always,

-Patrick Grant

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Peppergreen Media & Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

web page: http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

Here are some photos from our recent Winter Solstice events:

FLICKR – https://bit.ly/2LwsIG8

FACEBOOK – https://bit.ly/2SfIA2g

GETTY IMAGES – Make Music Winter 12/21 – https://bit.ly/2EKErR1

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Peppergreen Media

40 Waterside Plaza 12J

New York, NY 10010

http://www.peppergreenmedia.com

#tiltedaxes @tiltedaxes

Winter Luminaria w/ Tilted Axes: Cold Moon Consort

Winter Luminaria with Tilted Axes: Cold Moon Consort
Make Music Winter NYC – Dec. 21


Winter Luminaria with Tilted Axes: Cold Moon Consort
Sasaki Garden in Washington Square Village through Greenwich Village and back. Event begins at 5:00pm and runs 120 minutes.

ALL new & returning guitarists MUST apply via this form:
https://goo.gl/forms/nCoH54rSa7lQtiRA2
Positions in the ensemble are limited. Please apply ASAP. Please share.

Composer Patrick Grant and Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars, in partnership with NYU Faculty Housing Happenings, present an evening of innovative musical performance featuring a procession through Greenwich Village that begins and ends with a solstice soundscape in honor of Sasaki Garden set aglow with enchanting lights. The evening’s musical commission is titled “Cold Moon Consort” in reference to 2018’s winter solstice and the December full moon occurring within the same day. Arrive at Sasaki Garden at 5:00pm and receive a small flashlight to participate in the spectacle and illuminate the performance route.

WHEN & WHERE:
The music procession kicks off in Sasaki Garden, located in Washington Square Village, just north of Bleecker Street and west of Mercer Street, at 5:00pm and wends its way throughout Greenwich Village before returning to the garden for the finale.

HOW TO JOIN:
Just arrive at Sasaki Garden by 5:00pm to receive a small flashlight to participate in the spectacle and illuminate the performance route!

ABOUT THE PROGRAM CREATOR, COMPOSER AND CONDUCTOR:
Tilted Axes was created in 2011 for the inaugural Make Music Winter festival by Detroit-born, NYC-based composer/performer Patrick Grant. Tilted Axes cuts musical pathways through the urban landscape, turning neighborhoods into their own sonic narratives. Since its inception, Grant has produced a number of Tilted Axes processions in various cities upon three continents.

ABOUT NYU FACULTY HOUSING HAPPENINGS:
NYU Faculty Housing Happenings include occasional open to the public community events designed to celebrate outdoor spaces on the superblocks headlined by Sasaki Garden, one of the finest modernist landscapes in the city. Recommended by the Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee, community events are generously supported by Provost Katherine E. Fleming and organized by Erin Donnelly, Community Liaison, Office of Faculty Housing & Residential Services. More info at https://www.nyu.edu/faculty/faculty-housing/happenings/Winter_Luminaria.html

“A Sequence of Waves” is a 3x official entry in the 61st Grammys

“A Sequence of Waves” is an official entry in the 61st Grammy Awards Nominations!

61st GRAMMY AWARDS ENTRIES – It’s a thrill to see Patrick Grant‘s contemporary instrumental album A SEQUENCE OF WAVESthe arrangements w/vocals “Seven Years at Sea” and “One Note Samba,” entered into the first round of nominations. entered into the first round of nominations. 

If you are a voting member of the Recording Academy / GRAMMYs, please consider this critically acclaimed work during this awards season. 

~ Links to listen at: www.peppergreenmedia.com/seqwav.html ~

Award-winning vocal group ROOMFUL OF TEETH mixed by sTRANGE Music’s Patrick Grant for Public Radio’s STUDIO 360

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Composer/producer Patrick Grant / sTRANGE Music contributed distinctive musical mixes to this week’s episode of Studio 360 with tracks performed by ROOMFUL OF TEETH. This episode includes musical selections composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Rinde Eckert, and more. Listen online, download as podcast, or find it on a public radio station near you.

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Roomful of Teeth is a cutting-edge, eight-person vocal ensemble that commissions and performs music of all sorts of genres and techniques from all over the world. They’ve studied yodeling, Tuvan throat singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Korean pansori, etc.

“We study with masters from these other singing traditions and get some degree of comfort and flexibility from those interactions,” explains founder and director Brad Wells. “And then the commissioned composers observe that process, hear what the singers are capable of and then explore, ‘Given these possibilities what might I create?’

Episode: https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-08-02/roomful-teeth-around-world-eight-voices

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Studio360: https://www.pri.org/programs/studio-360

FIELDS AMAZE (& other sTRANGE Music) 20th anniversary edition

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remixed + remastered + bonus tracks
coming soon

Press Release 7/21 update

Recorded at Philip Glass’ Looking Glass Studios and at sTUDIO 41 NYC.
Originally released on the sTRANGE Music label.

1. Keeping Still
extended percussion quintet

2. Fields Amaze
homemade gamelan and microtonal keyboard

3. A Visible Track of Turbulence 1
flute, clarinet, and piano 4-hands

4. Everything Distinct: Everything the Same
three keyboards in Gb just intonation and three percussion

5. A Visible Track of Turbulence 2
flute, clarinet, and piano 4-hands

6. Imaginary Horror Film 1
chamber prog ensemble

7. The Weights of Numbers
aka Fractured Fictions 
three keyboards and drums

8. Imaginary Horror Film 2
chamber prog ensemble

9. If One Should Happen to Fall
six words vs. thesaurus

“…a driving and rather harsh energy redolent of rock, as well as a clean sense of melodicism … the music’s momentum and intricate cross-rhythms rarely let up, making the occasional infectious tunes that emerge all the more beautiful for surprise.” – The Village Voice

Patrick Grant: piano, keyboards, electric guitars, gamelan, percussion – Kathleen Supove & Marija Ilic: keyboards – John Ferrari: drums & percussion – Barbara Benary: additional gamelan – David Simons: Balinese percussion & theremin – Keith Bonner: flute – Thomas P. Oberle: clarinet – Darryl Gregory: trombone – Martha Mooke: viola – Maxine Neumann: cello – Mark Steven Brooks: electric bass – Alexandra Montano: vocalise – Lisa Karrer: lead vocal on If One Should Happen to Fall.

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 recorded and edited at The Looking Glass Studios, NYC, 1997 – Garry Rindfuss: recording engineer – Dante DeSole: asst. engineer and editor – Ryoji Hata: asst. editor – Amanda Riesman: administration – gamelan instruments provided by Barbara Benary and Gamelan Son of Lion – large kendang drum and additional gongs provided by Skip LaPlante and Music for Homemade Instruments – originally released on the album Attack Decay Sustain Release by sTRANGE Music Records 1998 – Tracks 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 recorded at sTUDIO 41, NYC, 1998-2000 – Patrick Grant: recording engineer and editor – originally released as a Special Edition EP for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAMcafé Live) by sTRANGE Music Records, 2000.

All 2018 production, overdubs, revisions, and new stems recorded at Peppergreen Media, NYC and The Ferrari Factory, NJ. Mixed at Mercy Sound Studios, NYC – Garry Rindfuss: mixing engineer – Sheldon Steiger: album mastering – Patrick Grant: producer

All music © 1997-2018 Patrick Grant and published by Peppergreen Media (ASCAP). This album ℗ 2018. All rights reserved.

Cover photo Cuming Co. Supercell, June 14, 2013 taken by Dave Rebot and used with permission. Album artwork, layout, and design by Eric Iverson. Peppergreen Media logo by Steve Ball. CD image collage created from Elément bleu XII, 1967 by Jean Dubuffet, photo credit: sTRANGE Music Inc.

Thanks and acknowledgements: The Braunschweig Family, Coudert Brothers, Bank Julius Baer, Matthews Panariello P.C., Chris LaBarbiera, Patricia McKenna, Context Studios, Music Under Construction, Philip Glass, Kurt Munkacsi, Jed Distler & Composers Collaborative Inc., Music for Homemade Instruments, Erik Satie, Kyle Gann & The Village Voice, The Bang on a Can Marathon, Stéphane Martin and the musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, The Ross Institute, The Knitting Factory, Patrick Grant Group, I Wayan Lantir, STSI/ISI Denpasar, Gamelan Son of Lion, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Johnny Reinhard & The American Festival of Microtonal Music, The Fractal Music Lab, James Gleick author of Chaos: Making a New Science, The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Harvey Lichtenstein, The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Prix de Lausanne, Exploding Music, The Living Theatre, Kalvos & Damien’s New Music Bazaar, Annina Nosei Gallery, John Schaefer, WNYC’s New Sounds, Ralph Valdez, WDET Radio, James Moore & Independent Music Promotions Inc., Jocelyn Gonzales, The NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Roget’s Thesaurus.

Interview: It’s Psychedelic Baby! Magazine

“The NYC-based composer and performer Patrick Grant has had a long and gleaming career that continues on with his newest release, A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream). The album is a refined collection of genre-bending and experimental tracks that many critics struggle to pin down. Stumbling into post-minimalism, modern classical, prog rock, and post-rock territory, the album wears many masks. And for good reason, given Grant’s accomplished background.”

Read the interview in It’s Psychedelic Magazine Baby HERE