Anthony Mullin: Strings and Things

This time on the Strings and Things podcast, we have Anthony Mullin, from the merry band of head-banging hard-rockers called The Blackfires. He’s here to work on a very special Les Paul with a cool backstory, and he’ll tell us how his PhD influences his musical efforts.

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While he and our host Patrick Grant re-string their guitars, we’ll hear how Anthony’s parents played a pivotal role in his early days as a musician, and we’ll find out what riffs and records inspired Anthony’s blues-based approach to his own playing.

Hailing from Leeds, England, Anthony joins an international crew of dedicated rockers in The Blackfires and the group is in a significant moment in their career. Enthusiastically described as a “hard rock circus,” their live shows garner raves for the rollicking energy and potency of the band’s performances.

The Blackfires – photo: loudwire.com

After opening for Aerosmith in Russia and continuing a busy live schedule, the band heads into the studio this summer to work on a new album. Your can find out more about Anthony and The Blackfires at their website, theblackfires.com.

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Nick Didkovsky: Strings and Things Podcast

On this episode of Strings and Things, we have the prolific composer/guitarist Nick Didkovsky, founder of the rock ensemble Doctor Nerve, and an agent of destruction in the grindcore outfit Vomit Fist.

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While changing the strings on his B.C. Rich Stealth guitar, he tells our host, Patrick Grant, how he uses the programming language HMSL to compose music, and explains the virtues of his single humbucker pickup. Then Nick and Patrick plug into some Vox Amps for an electrifying duet.

Listen to an extended version of “Episode 4 Petromyzontiformes”, the piece featured at the end of the episode:

BONUS! Listen to Nick’s brief demo of the Stealth guitar:

Nick also plays with the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet and composed music for the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, ETHEL, and others. He’s a co-founder of the $100 Guitar Project with Chuck O’Meara. Find out more about Nick and his many musical projects at didkovsky.com.

Matt Grossman: Strings and Things

On this edition of Strings and Things, the versatile electric guitarist Matt Grossman works on an iGuitar and host Patrick Grant attends to a Les Paul Standard.

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As an in-demand soloist in New York City, Matt describes how he finds his role in different kinds of ensembles, from jazz and R&B, to folk and rock. He relates the story of a particularly alarming performance, and then amps up for a funky duet with Patrick.

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Matt has also been teaching music for many years, to all age levels and all kinds of styles. You can find out more about him at mattgrossmanmusic.com.

Strings and Things is a Peppergreen Production for Headstepper Media. Find out more at stringsandthingsshow.com.

Ann Klein: Strings and Things Podcast

On this second episode of Strings and Things, the eclectic guitarist and singer/songwriter Ann Klein re-strings her Telecaster, while our host Patrick Grant works on his surf green Jaguar.

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As the old guitar strings get replaced, Ann runs down the pros and cons of performing for live theatre, and describes a couple of hairy moments onstage. We’ll hear about her dog’s hidden talents, and then plug in the Vox amps for a live rendition of her song “Chocolate Pie”.

photo by Sandrine Lee

photo by Sandrine Lee

Ann plays guitar, mandolin, dobro and lap steel. As a composer/songwriter, she’s toured in Europe and the US and composed music for documentary films, non-profit organizations, and television shows. As a guitarist, she’s worked with artists such as Ani DiFranco, Kate Pierson (of the B-52s), Joan Osborne, PM Dawn, Jon King (of the Gang of Four), the American Composers Orchestra, and many others. Ann was the lead guitarist for an all female band sent to Saudi Arabia as cultural diplomats by the U.S. State Department in 2013. She has performed on Broadway in Grease, 9 to 5, Everyday Rapture, Baby It’s You, and Kinky Boots.

Ann’s latest release is Tumbleweed Symphony. To find out more about her and hear tracks from all her albums, visit her webpage at annkleinmusic.com.

Strings and Things is a Peppergreen Production for Headstepper Media. Visit stringsandthingsshow.com for more!

“IN (Key)” – Celebrating “IN C” at 50 Years w/ New Works

On June 21st, as part of Make Music New York 2014, Terry Riley’s “IN C” was celebrated with “IN (Key)”, eleven new works by leading composer-performers in a concert co-produced by ComposersCollaborative and Peppergreen Media with the support of the Cornelia Street Cafe. The event began with a special performance of “IN C” itself, serving as a prelude to all that followed.

The project was previewed on the Artsbeat blog by Allan Kozinn:

“We asked people to write works for open scoring,” Mr. Distler said, meaning that the instrumentation would not be specified, “and using short repeating cells and other techniques that Terry used in the original. The pieces didn’t have to be exactly like ‘In C,’ but inspired by it.”  (Mr. Distler said that his own piece, “IN B,” will use the Hare Krishna mantra and the “Batman” theme among its melodic cells.)

Mr. Distler also asked Mr. Riley for his blessing, which he received in an email that read, “I am so happy my 1964 daughter is again pregnant with so many remarkable new children.”

Read the rest of the post HERE.

Photos from the event can be seen in this slideshow:

Mr. Terry Riley himself made an appearance on Cornelia Street:

There was an NYT review and photographs from the event the following day:

I started my musical day farther north, in Greenwich Village, with an afternoon concert commemorating another anniversary, the 50th of Terry Riley’s groundbreaking composition “In C” (1964). One of the few works of the last century to rival Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” (1913) in influence, this piece, with its single-minded, throbbing exploration of the key of C, set the tone for Minimalism, whether so called or not. (It was not, until the composer Michael Nyman applied the term to music in 1968, and some practitioners still oppose its use.)

For this commemoration, called “IN (Key),” the organizers, the composers and the keyboardists Jed Distler and Patrick Grant commissioned brief works (eight to 10 minutes or so) in more or less similar style from other composers and each wrote one himself: a total of 11 works that, taken together with “In C,” form a cycle based on each of the 12 pitches in the chromatic scale: thus, for example, John King’s “In A,” Vasko Dukovski’s “In B flat (maybe)” and David Borden’s “Around E flat.”

Read more of James Oestreich’

Completing the octave, on the program was: “IN Db” by Eleonor Sandresky (keyboard), “IN D” by Lisa Maree Dowling (electric bass), “IN Eb” by David Borden (keyboard), “IN E” by Gene Pritsker (electric guitar), “IN F” by Elliott Sharp (electric guitar), “IN F#” by Adam Cuthbért (trumpet & laptop), “IN G” by Patrick Grant (keyboard), “IN Ab” by Brad Balliett (bassoon), “IN A” by John King (viola), “IN Bb” by Vasko Dukovski (clarinet), and “IN B” by Jed Distler (keyboard).

The ensemble was joined by Michiyo Suzuki (clarinets) of the Absolute Ensemble and Gina Izzo (flute) of the RighteousGIRLS as special musical guests.

Stage Manager: Natasha Lee Martin
Sound Engineer: Erick Gonzales
Asst. Sound Engineer: David Rodriquez, Jocelyn Gonzales
Publicist: Alanna Maharajh Stone

The concert took place from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on the street outside the cafe at 29 Cornelia St. and was FREE and open to the public.

“IN (Key)” – New Music in Celebration of Terry Riley’s “IN C” @ 50 Years

“The IN (Key) event sounds wonderful. I am so happy my ‘1964 daughter’ is again pregnant with so many remarkable new children.” – Terry Riley

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On June 21st, as part of Make Music New York 2014, Terry Riley‘s “IN C” will be celebrated with “IN (Key)”, eleven new works by leading composer-performers in a concert co-produced by ComposersCollaborative and Peppergreen Media with the support of the Cornelia Street Cafe. The event will begin with a special performance of “IN C” itself, serving as a prelude to all that is to follow.

Completing the octave, on the program will be: “IN Db” by Eleonor Sandresky (keyboard), “IN D” by Lisa Maree Dowling (double bass), “IN Eb” by David Borden(keyboard), “IN E” by Gene Pritsker (electric guitar), “IN F” by Elliott Sharp (electric guitar), “IN F#” by Adam Cuthbért (trumpet & laptop), “IN G” by Patrick Grant(electric guitar & keyboard), “IN Ab” by Brad Balliett (bassoon), “IN A” by John King (viola), “IN Bb” by Vasko Dukovski (clarinet), and “IN B” by Jed Distler (keyboard).

Other special musical guests completing the performing ensemble TBA.

The concert will take place from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on the street outside the cafe at 29 Cornelia St. and is free and open to the public.

At 6:00 PM there will be a separate event inside the cafe performed by members of the ensemble for a nominal charge TBD.