Don Gillespie R.I.P. (1936-2019) ~ I’m very saddened to learn of the passing of new music champion Don Gillespie. He was a friend. Don was Vice President of C.F. Peters music publishers when a very young me got a job there in the late 80s. He taught me so much about music, especially John Cage, Lou Harrison (he was good friends of both and introduced me to them), an expert on Delius, and my gateway to lesser known (to me at the time) composers like Nancarrow, John J. Becker, and Ruth Crawford Seeger.
I remember drunken music nights at his apartment where we’d have Busoni sight-reading contests (The Piano Concerto), debate the non-narrative structure of Robert Ashley‘s “Now Eleanor’s Idea“, and then he’d turn around and make us listen to a 1920s recording by The Skillet Lickers. The week that Lou Reed’s “New York” album came out, we listened to it at his place while eating the freshly smoked mozzarella he’d pick up for us from Joe’s Dairy on Sullivan Street. Let’s not even get started on his fascination with Sorabji!
Don and C.F. Peters’ Evelyn Hinrichsen were amongst the first supporters of my Silent Treatment concert series, my first productions, in the East Village back in 1989-90. He supported all kinds of new music up-and-comers, he connected many of us, young and old, near and far.
I would continue to see Don over the years either at concerts or get togethers at Margaret Leng Tan‘s house in Brooklyn for a performance of Lucier‘s Strawberry Fields Forever-inspired “Nothing is Real.” I remember Don and his then wife Sabine coming over to gorge ourselves on caviar that I had just smuggled back from Russia and playing “Cage’s “Ophelia (1946)” on the piano for him on the 41st floor looking out over Central Park.
Don got really mad at me one time when, on the newly invented internet, I spoke for him (incorrectly) in an argument with Howard Stokar. He had every right to be really mad because I did something dumb. Something good came out of it. When asking him for forgiveness I was able to tell him how much he meant to me and everything I learned from him. We got back on track, but I wish I could tell him all over again.
The last time I saw Don I was playing a piece of music of mine on Cornelia Street in an ensemble that was celebrating Terry Riley’s “In C”‘s 50th anniversary. I saw him in the audience, he lived around the corner, and we just smiled. I haven’t seen him since, though I thought of him often. It was fitting.
When I think of all the hell he caught at C.F. Peters (it was an ugly scene back then for non-serialists; Don called it Fort Dodecaphonic) for supporting tonal, rhythmically innovative, non-European-inspired forms of new music, I’m glad he held his ground, and even put his job on the line a few times (truth), for the music he believed in.
So, seeing him there that sunny afternoon, with new compositions playing in the air inspired by “In C” to a diverse and interested crowd of New Yorkers, it felt like a victory for all of us who followed the musical pathways he showed to so many of us.
That fight’s over.
You won, Don.
Rest in Peace.
“John Cage at 100” by Don Gillespie
“Don Gillespie New Music Box Profile”
Don’s middle name was Chance
#NASA – “On a more cosmic note, Tilted Axes goes to Mars in 2020. Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars has joined the roster of names that will be inscribed onto a silicon chip as part of the 2020 Mars rover mission. Engineers with the Microdevices Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California will stencil all the names onto the chip with an electron beam. “This is part of a public engagement campaign to highlight missions involved with NASA’s journey from the Moon to Mars,” NASA officials wrote in a statement.
The 2020 Mars rover is scheduled to launch to the Red Planet on July 2020 and land inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater. The 2,300-lb. (1,040 kilograms) rover, with its nuclear power source, will search for signs of past microbial life, study the climate and geology of Mars, and collect samples that may be returned to Earth on a future mission”. #TiltedAxes #GoesToMars
THANK YOU to everyone who recently joined us as co-producers and to those continuing supporters who helped us reach 100% of our Musicians Fund goal. The fund is still open and there’s plenty of rewards to be had (T-shirts, CDs, etc.), but now we can say that we are definitely on our way to the moon. ALL SYSTEMS GO! Please join our team: https://bit.ly/2ZSBN29
On Friday, July 12 between 5:30pm-7:30pm, Tilted Axes presents “PROMENADE”, which begins at the Charles H. Wright Museum and makes its way through the Detroit Institute of Arts before returning to the Wright.
On Saturday, July 13 at 1:00pm and 3:30pm, Tilted Axes premieres “MOONWALK”, a new work in collaboration with The Michigan Science Center. The piece commemorates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first manned space mission to land on the moon.
10. Tilted Axes is a musical project created by composer Patrick Grant.
09. Tilted Axes is a procession of electric guitarists who wear mini-amps.
08. Tilted Axes can perform anywhere there are people, excelling in untraditional venues.
07. Tilted Axes’ roster of musicians can change from performance to performance, city to city.
06. Tilted Axes’ musicians learn a common repertoire created by PG and rehearse it in workshops.
05. Tilted Axes performances are free to the public and are supported through institutional and/or private donations.
04. Tilted Axes takes on aspects of spectacle informed by municipal band tradition, avant-garde theater, and world music.
03. Tilted Axes takes music out into the world and seeks transformative projects meant to change community conversation.
02. Tilted Axes is an apolitical organization, but it does support science, arts programs, and renewable energy whenever possible.
01. Tilted Axes works best when it is part of something bigger than itself i.e. festivals, exhibitions, community initiatives, astronomical events.
Produced by: Patrick Grant & Peppergreen Media
Presented in partnership with The Michigan Science Center (Carole Wrubel, Paulette Epstein, Julia Lynn Marsh), The Detroit Institute of Arts (Larry Baranski), The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Charles Ferrell), Midtown Detroit Inc. (Susan T. Mosey) and The Concert of Colors (Ismael Ahmed).
Sponsors and Supporters: Vox Amps & Korg USA (amps), DIME Detroit Institute of Music Education (rehearsal space), Brooklyn Battery Works, Tan’s Club (bandanas), Fractured Atlas (fiscal sponsorship)
Electric Guitars: Adam Bodeep, Alex Lahoski, Chris Simpson, Daniel Reyes Llinas, Eugene Strobe, James Keith La Croix, Jeff Georgas, John Lovaas, Jude Closson, Manny Falcon, Pacal Zelaya, Patrick Grant, Rick Matle, Rob Knevels Baritone Ukelele: Frank Pahl Electric Bass: Tim Taebel Percussion: Skeeto Valdez, Gael Grant Associate Producer: Jocelyn Gonzales Stage Manager: Julia Lynn Marsh Tilting AAD: Jeff Adams, Sarah Metivier Schadt
Co-producers and Tilted Team Members: In Honor of Patricia E. McKenna, Julia Knevels, Maria Bacardi, Stanley Stairs, Richard Wise, Leslie Stevens, David Greig, Detroit Guitar (Eric and Tracey Wolfe), Jeff Georgas, Erik Grant, Alex Lahoski, Sarah Metivier Schadt, Susan Montgomery, Sean & Laura Biggs, Paracademia NYC (Milica Paranosic), Mary Beth Abel, Jeremy Nesse, Alchemical Studios NYC (Carlo Altomare), Tracy Seneca, In Honor of Helen Keene McKenna, Deborah Calvert, Gael Grant, Jason Kanter, Daniel Grant, Alexander Baxter, Lana Durante, In Honor of Herman and Elizabeth Keene, Aileen Bunch, Aaron Alter, Andrew McKenna Lee, Frank Brickle, Michael Fisher, Craig Grant, Michael McKenna, Jeff Broder, Steve Ball, Richard Sylvarnes, Manny Falcon, Erin Leen, Greg Meredith, Gene Ardor, Chris & Sari at Rubulad, and anonymous donors.
We would like to thank: Ralph Valdez, Lana Mini (Marx & Layne), Neal Cortright at DIME, “Showtime Dan” Tatarian, Third Man Records Cass Corridor (David Buick, Roe Peterhans), The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Cynthia Jones), The Marche Du Nain Rouge, Rob St. Mary, WDET 101.9 FM, The Metro Times, Robert Fripp and all guitar circles past, present, and future, and to our numerous standard bearers, satellites, and extended family around the world who, in these uncertain times, focus on doing what’s possible (plus 10%).
All music © Patrick Grant & Peppergreen Media (ASCAP)
Fractured Atlas is our fiscal sponsor. Tilted Axes performances are performed and provided free to the public. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible contribution today for our future presentations? Please visit their web site:
More iNFO at tiltedaxes.com #TiltedAxes @tiltedaxes #MiSci @mi_sci #DIAeveryday @diadetroit @concertofcolorsdetroit
Adam Bodeep (electric guitar) attends Wayne State for Jazz Guitar and has been a multi-instrumentalist for over 15 years. He has provided private (and online) guitar / music theory lessons for several years. He prides himself in his ability to play all types of music from classical to jazz to rock ‘n’ roll. Adam has performed at Saint Andrews Hall as well as many other well-respected venues. He has a Facebook and YouTube channel where several players of all ages commend him for the work he has put into free transcriptions and lessons.
Alex Lahoski (electric guitar) began playing guitar in the summer of 1984 after purchasing an old acoustic guitar from a friend at summer camp. Playing became a practice in April of 2000, after his first Guitar Craft course. He has participated in Guitar Craft and Guitar Circle projects in the United States, Mexico, and Italy as well as Music For Contemplation and Making Music Together in New York and the Detroit area. Alex lives and works in Connecticut.
Christopher Simpson (electric guitar) is currently attending Wayne State University for a Bachelor Degree in Music for Music Business. His main concentration and principal instrument is jazz guitar. Chris privately teaches students and gigs in the Metro Detroit Area. Along with playing the guitar, Chris also plays the trombone and piano.
Daniel Reyes Llinas (electric guitar) began at 10 years old as a self-taught guitarist in his native Bogota, Colombia and went on to study classical guitar, new music, and Latin American composers. In 2002 he moved to NYC, collaborating with Bang on a Can, Brooklyn’s Ze Couch, and Taylor Mac. He has played/toured with the Parias Ensemble, Robert Fripp and The Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists, The League of Crafty Guitarists, The Berlin Guitar Ensemble, and Tilted Axes. He recently released his second solo album “En Remolinos.” Daniel is resident composer of Teatro Escarlata (Medellin) and is scoring Dylan Verrechia’s feature film “La Pura Vida” (2020).
Eugene Strobe (electric guitar) is a Detroit area musician who has been wielding sonic guitars in bands such as his own psych-pop power trio, Cosmic Light Shapes, dark groove generators The Witches, and the angular & obtuse Vehicles Invisible. Strobe has had his hand in many projects in town, such as sonic sound experiments via the Practice!Amp Collective. He teaches private & group lessons on many instruments, and provides band coaching services under the Music & Arts Creativity Camp. He has also organized the annual Hamtramck Music Fest, as well as other audio visual ‘happenings’ & productions.
Frank Pahl (baritone ukelele) The music of Frank Pahl appears on over 100 recordings ranging from toypop to jazz. For the past thirty years he has survived on writing music for theater, film, and dance and he is a Kresge Fellow in Sound Art. His current groups are Little Bang Theory (toypop), Scavenger Quartet (jazz-ish) and The Lovely and the Wretched (chamber). His passion for the last 10 years has been accompanying silent films with Little Bang Theory.
Gael Grant (percussion) has been involved with Tilted Axes since 2013: twice as Tilt Manager and thrice as a drummer. All in all, this will be her fourth time tilting in Detroit. She has played multiple instruments since she was very young and has been an active participant with musicians. “Nothing compares to the element of surprise with music and I look forward to more surprises.” And the beat goes on…
James Keith La Croix (electric guitar) “Diverse” describes writer, musician, sound engineer, and multimedia artist James Keith La Croix’s background and career. Raised in a household where the record changer was eclectically stacked, he studied guitar and later picked up bass and drums which he’s played in a variety of bands in New York City, Sweden, and his home town, Detroit. He studied recording engineering and went on to record artists from Afrika Bambaataa to Zeena Parkins before touring the world as the instrument tech for Stanley Jordan. James is a published writer and his multimedia pieces have been shown in juried art exhibitions.
Jeff Georgas (electric guitar) is a Canadian Engineer who lives in Brighton Michigan. His interests are rooted in 60s and 70s rock. He is currently writing folk music relevant to surviving the corporate grind.
Jocelyn Gonzales (associate producer) is Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning radio show and podcast, Studio 360 from PRI/PRX and Slate. She’s a producer, engineer, and editor for public radio, audio publishing and podcasting. At The NY Times, she produced the weekly Popcast, Book Review, and Times Insider podcasts. She produced The Mash-Up Americans podcast at American Public Media, the science and medicine podcast Signal, and she is a sound designer for How It Is, a podcast from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. She taught sound design for film, TV and new media at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for nearly 14 years.
John Lovaas (electric guitar) John’s interest in guitar began in 1978; playing became practice in 2007, after his first Guitar Craft course. He participated in Guitar Craft and Guitar Circle projects in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and Italy. He has participated in a number of past Tilted Axes projects in Detroit and New York. He lives and works in Woodstock, Illinois.
Jude Closson (electric guitar) plays drums and guitar and has been working with bands in the Detroit area for over three decades. Jude started as a drummer and has worked with many groups ranging from early New Wave and Punk groups to the present day Celtic Rock group Bill Grogan’s Goat. As a guitarist he has worked with a variety of rock and folk acts and is presently playing in the traditional Celtic group Seacht.
Julia Lynn Marsh (stage manager) is a writer, performer, and comedian working in Detroit and New York City. She has worked in many theatrical capacities for companies such as The Ringwald Theatre, The Detroit Opera House, The Matrix Theater, and Theater Row. She has a deep love for astronomy as well as for the marriage of art and science.
Manny Falcon (electric guitar) was born in NYC and exposed to music from birth by 3 older sisters; former lead guitar/vocals Scarlet-Fire; 9 years with BoxLunch. Moved to Detroit area to assist elderly parent, and found his niche playing music for residents at nursing homes/rehab centers, specializing in the Blues and Rags of the late 1920s. Having graduated in Anthropology/Archaeology, the former co-owner of Doc Audio Video also plays sitar, oud, balalaika and mandolins et al.
Pacal Zelaya (electric guitar) has been a life long guitarist and resident in Detroit. Having been taught by his father, his earliest memories involve playing guitars and learning music. He has roots in blues, punk rock, metal, and jazz. He has been a part of several bands in his adolescence and now enjoys playing lead guitar in his original metal band Burning Society.
Patrick Grant (electric guitar) is a Detroit-born composer living and working in New York City. His works are a synthesis of classical, popular, and world musical styles that have found place in concert halls, film, theater, dance, and visual media internationally. His music moves from post-rock and classically bent post-minimal styles, through Balinese-inspired gamelan and microtonality, to ambient, electronic soundscapes involving many layers of acoustic and electronically amplified instruments. He is the creator of International Strange Music Day (August 24) and is the inventor of the electric guitar procession.
Rick Matle (electric guitar) Influenced in his formative years by classic rock artists Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Santana. Jazz greats Kenny Burrell and Pat Metheny would be an influence as Rick studied guitar and composition at Oakland University, graduating in 1986. In 1999 the Detroit Music Awards recognized him as “Outstanding Jazz Composer.” Rick has released two solo recordings, Ears Wide Shut and Windows of the World featuring rock, Brazilian, and Middle Eastern influences. Following the release of Windows of the World, Rick was chosen by the Detroit Music Awards as “Outstanding World Music Composer” in 2006 and 2007.
Rob Knevels (electric guitar & production) was born a Metro Detroiter in the spring of 1972. Since then he has joyously participated in many musical happenings and with many outfits. Robert has been lucky enough to become a lifetime ambassador to Kelley Stoltz and His Band, surviving several semi-world tours with Stoltz and his comrades. He loves sports, and plays a variety of musical instruments and practices everyday.
Skeeto Valdez (groove leader) has been called a “force of nature!” – a “diesel truck, rollin down the rhythm freeway!” – and for many years simply referred to as “Skeetosis!” He had an idea to create a forum to jam with his many musical friends and dubbed it The Mighty Funhouse with the simple premise of having a ball while playing great music. The name of the band has since changed to The Valdez Collective. ~ PS: He be winnin awards and sheet! ~ PPS Jr.: Pay no attention to any of this nonsense!!!
Tim Taebel (electric bass) is a Detroit-area based musician who has been active in the dive-bar scene for more years than he wants to think about. Current bands include Twitch, Eastside Elvis & the Motor City Mafia and the improvisational outfits: NoiseLabA & Noi Selab X. Primarily a bassist, Tim has been known to pick up the occasional guitar, trumpet, euphonium or modular synthesizer – primarily to annoy the neighbors.
NOMINATION for “Outstanding Classical Composer” from the Detroit Music Awards! The Final Ballot is open until April 7th. I am honored to receive this nomination.
If you are a member of the DMA, please consider my recordings and recent work with Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars when casting your ballot.
Thank you! www.detroitmusicawards.net