13 Questions for Patrick Grant from the Prepared Guitar Blog

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Patrick Grant is an American 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 over three continents. Over the last three decades, his music has moved from post-punk 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. Throughout its evolution, his music has consistently contained a “…a driving and rather harsh energy redolent of rock, as well as a clean sense of melodicism…intricate cross-rhythms rarely let up…” Known as a producer and co-producer of live musical events, he has presented many concerts of his own and other composers, including a 2013 Guinness World Record-breaking performance of 175 electronic keyboards in NYC. He is the creator of International Strange Music Day (August 24) and the pioneer of the electric guitar procession Tilted Axes.

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1. What were the first and the last records that you bought with your own money?

When I was 11 years old, I saw a commercial on television for Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange.” The music in that commercial grab my ears right away. I could not figure out what was making those sounds. It was winter so I shoveled snow to earn the money to buy the LP. When I brought it come I put it on my record player and dropped the needle from track to track to find the music I had heard. It was the March section in 6/8 of the choral movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as performed on the Moog synthesizer by Wendy (then Walter) Carlos. It blew my mind because up until then, to me, classical music was only stuff that was used in a humorous way in cartoons. The sounds of the Moog entirely captivated me. In one moment I was transformed and dedicated my life to music and, in many ways, my personal pursuit to this day is to relive that feeling I had. Now, the last album I actually purchased, on CD, was “King Crimson Live in Toronto, November 20, 2015.” If you also count digital purchases, that would be Frank Ocean’s “Blonde.” Whether you like his music or not, there is a lot to be learned about recording techniques on that album.

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2. What’s your musical practice routine ?

I begin every day with the Sitting Practice I have learned from being a part of Robert Fripp’s projects. It wouldn’t be right to call it meditation. The idea is, “How can one do anything if one doesn’t know how to do nothing?” So that’s it, I begin my day by doing nothing, as excellently as possible. The goal is to calm our Monkey Minds (reflex) and replace it with clear aims (intention). From there, I’ll go through a number of exercises on my acoustic Ovation tuned in Guitar Craft’s New Standard Tuning (C – G – D – A – E – G). I go through a number of finger exercises called Primaries. I find that this guitar’s tuning, in 5ths, really stretches out my left hand. Being acoustic, the right hand, playing with a pick, is given an equal amount of attention. There’s no hiding a sloppy right hand technique on an acoustic. If done well, the result is having exercised one’s ability to put attention where it’s needed, when it’s needed, not just in the hands, but throughout one’s being. All of this warms me up and gets me ready for whatever musical tasks I have for the day. If it’s a “keyboard day,” I’ll do all of the same preparation but will run through some of Bach’s Two-Part Inventions. I love the purity of the two monophonic lines working every finger equally.

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3. In your opinion, what’s the relevance of technique in music?

If one wants to make a life out of music, the learning of technique never ends. Not just in playing one’s instrument but, in all of the related fields that makes music possible. Understanding musical instrument technology and its constant evolution is one area. Then there are the various techniques of arranging, recording, and producing. So yes, it’s incredibly relevant. I’d rather feel I’m creating on the edge of learning something new rather than repeating myself. Those uncertain waters are a good place for creativity. Where those waters are, metaphorically, depend on how far out our technique can take us before we drown. It’s always good to push ourselves a little further each time we creatively venture out.

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4. Tell me one impossible project do you like to realize?

For years, I’ve wished to put together an electro-acoustic ensemble that would work well with projections, films and such. I would like the synchronization between the music and the images to be exact. The difference here would be that there would be flexibility in tempo. There would not be a static tempo connecting these sonic and visual elements but one that would be dynamically controlled by the musical ensemble. In other words, the image would follow the musicians, not the other way around which has been the traditional way. I have done some research into this and I believe I have finally found a way. This ability would have many possible (and impossible) uses on the stage and in alternative venues.

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5. What are the challenges and benefits of today’s digital music scene?

It has its pluses and minuses. It depends on what the aims of the artist are and I can only speak for myself. It certainly helps an artist in getting their music out into the world quickly. Where it goes from there is the question. I myself don’t have high expectations on digital sales, I’m more interested in getting the music to the right audience. I have been functioning in a traditional role of composer first, and performer second. That means that most of my music has been commissioned, meaning that I get my money up front. The purpose of my digital distribution is to get it to the people who commission new music and performances. If there are any sales, that’s the gravy. I would also ad that having one’s publishing and copyrights in order is very important if there is any chance of one’s tracks being licensed for use in visual and other media. As a result, I look forward to regular royalty checks from my PRO. Despite the relative ease that one can get their tracks out into the world, I have found that most serious reviewers and serious radio stations still prefer to receive an actual CD. Perhaps that will change but for now, I’m still sending out hard copies to the larger institutions.

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6. How do you feel listening to your own music?

Too be honest, a little awkward. The newer it is, the more awkward I feel. Every note reminds me of what I was thinking of or what I was doing when I created it. It’s funny. As time passes and I have some distance to it, I am able to listen more objectively and I’ll get critical of missed opportunities and things I’d like to change. When enough time passes, I can listen to it as if someone else created it and enjoy it for what it is. After too much time passes, to even think about making any changes seems a fruitless endeavor. Let it be what it is and, if there are any remaining criticisms, better to express them in a new piece of music.

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7. What is one musical work that has provoked a change in your music?

That would have to be Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians.” I was 14 years old and received that LP as a birthday gift. Like all music I fall intensely in love with, I didn’t like it at first. I almost hated it. That was because it challenged the way I had been listening to music. I was young and liked music that changed very quickly. Think of how fast the harmonies change in Bach and Bebop. It made me slow down and that took some time to do. When I was finally able to listen deeply, I began to notice all kinds of things going on that my ears were initially deaf to. That ability carried over into all over kinds of music that began to interest me. I was then able to listen to music that I thought I knew well and heard things that I didn’t hear before. This is a skill that all musicians have to acquire but, to me, when I was 14, it was pretty profound. I obviously remember the effect it had on me to this day.

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8. What is your relationship with other disciplines, such as painting, literature, dance, theater, etc.?

I have had a good relationship with all of the other arts early on. I can credit my mother, who studied art and drama, for that. As a teenager, I credit Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan, and Anthony Burgess for saving me from a life of illiteracy. They were so much more interesting than the classics we had to read in school, though I read those too. As a kid, I was leading two musical lives. On one side I was very classical: Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, and Stravinsky. I skipped over much of the Romantic Era. I found that music to be too nationalistic and full of over-orchestrated folk tunes. My other side was drawn to rock, the Beatles initially, even though they were years past. I started playing in Post-Punk and New Wave bands because I loved the immediacy of having an audience and the theatrical element it had that came from smart places like Modern Art and cult films. Later, I was interested in the music of John Cage. His book “Silence” was another ear-opener. I loved how all the arts came together in New York City and so I moved there and live there to this day. By being aware of the city’s history, I found many places to plug my music into besides concert venues: art galleries, theater, dance, film, and began producing my own concerts in alternative spaces. This was due to having a good understanding and relationship with other arts. Not too many musicians have this, or maybe they think they do. I became very involved with avant-garde theater for a number of years as a composer and performer. I have created music for the legendary Living Theatre. They interested me because of the sheer number of great composers that worked with them over the decades. Plus, as a theater composer, you have the benefit of a space to work in. That’s hard to get in NYC. I also created music for the visionary Robert Wilson, most famous for creating “Einstein on the Beach” with Philip Glass. That experience was a prime example of all the arts coming together on stage. Gesamtkunstwerk. Opera. I often say that the theater is my favorite art form because it is the only one that can contain all of my interests under one umbrella. That’s avant-garde theater, I mean. Traditional theater was there for research and technique. I pushed the envelope every chance I had.

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9. What are your secret influences? (Non-musical ones, like books, people, experiences, art…)

It’s not so much a secret, well maybe it is, but that would be the influence of science. I did not do well in school when it came to science. The concepts were, at the time, too abstract for me. The math, I mean. That’s strange since all other forms of abstract thought were never a problem. I always loved the short TV programs of Julius Sumner Miller. He was a student of Einstein. He produced short videos called “Dramatic Demonstrations in Physics.” The guy was hilarious. Anyway, he was able to get across some fairly deep concepts through simple physical demonstrations using things that one could find around one’s house. Search for his videos on YouTube. They’re priceless! So, like that, I needed something physical to understand the ideas. Soon after I finished school, I was given the book “On the Sensations of Tone” by Hermann Helmholtz. That was another paradigm shift. As I read it, I realized that I had the electronics to make the sounds he was describing in the math. When I could hear it, when I could see it, then I could understand it. It was physical, sensual, it was not abstract. From there, I started incorporating more and more science into a lot of my work, be it natural (physics and biology) or man made (architecture). These sciences offered many new models for composition. Since then, whether overtly or covertly, these things have informed the compositional elements of my work. I even created a number of concert theater pieces based on science like “Genome: The Autobiography of a Species” (2003) about DNA and “Big Bang” (2006) about the creation of the universe. I would also say that fractals are consciously present at some level in all of my work.

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10. If you could, what would you say to your younger self about a musical career?

Besides “learn orchestration,” I’d say stick with positive people. Don’t let anybody tell you what you should be doing. Follow your gut because, yes, life is too short and there’s little time to do anything over. Don’t party too much. You’ll regret that wasted time as you get older. Plus, it takes a toll on your body. Don’t worry about being liked. No matter how good you are, you cannot please everybody. Be a part of a community. Remember, music is a social art. Sure, we need time alone, but don’t isolate. Nothing happens if you do. If what you’re doing creatively scares you a little bit, that’s good. It will keep you sharp. Never say you can do more than you can do. That will take a while to figure out but stick to that ethic once you understand. People will appreciate your honesty even if it initially disappoints them. One axiom from Guitar Craft sticks with me: Honor sufficiency; Honor necessity. It’s more difficult than it sounds. Practicing your ability to maintain and deepen your attention. It requires constant work. Begin now.

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11. What is some valuable advice that someone has given to you in the past?

Learn orchestration. No matter what one’s instrument or style of music, learn orchestration. There are some very real reasons why the orchestra has evolved into what it is and, in the end, those reasons are the physics of sound. Yes, science again. This will be especially useful when one begins using electronics. Whether it’s stomp boxes, synthesizers, or digital recording, all of these have their analogs in acoustics. It makes everything so much easier to navigate once you learn the principles of how sound works and how our ears hear. Thankfully, there are not too many things to learn (in essence) but the combinations are infinite. This was said to me and I’ve said it to younger musicians. They’ve all come back to thank me for it just as I thanked my mentors.

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12. Which instruments and tools do you use?

I’m a guitarist as well as a keyboardist so I have a bit of both. Guitar-wise, my sound is electrically defined by a Fender Jaguar, a Gibson Les Paul, and a Rickenbacker 330. Acoustically, I have an Ovation Balladeer and a Taylor T5. I have other guitars but those are the main ones. You know how in film they have lead actors and character actors? Well, as a guitarist, I’m not really a lead guitarist but, I’m much more than just a rhythm guitarist. I say that I’m a “character guitarist.” I’m the guy who plays the inner voices that you remember, if that’s a thing. I have plenty of top notch lead guitarists in my group to get that job done. As far as keyboards go, I’ve owned so many over the years that I haven’t been able to keep them all. Most every keyboard I’ve lost now exists as a software version. Currently I use a Korg SV-1 electric piano (with a tube!), a Novation MIDI controller, but the best of the best are the two Moog Sub 37s that I use as a pair. There’s nothing like that Moog sound. I mean, that’s what got me started in the first place. Electro-Harmonix and Vox Amps are project sponsors so I have a number of items from both of them for FX and amplification. For recording, I use Ableton Live. When many pieces have to be multi-tracked by different players at different times, I found that its editing capability can really bring everything together into an ensemble sound quite well. My partner Jocelyn is a Pro-Tools genius (she teaches it at the New York Film School and is a podcast producer for the New York Times) so, if I ever have to go there, it’s around. Still, it’s time to upgrade. I’ll need a new MacBook Pro and audio interface soon. For the latter, I’m thinking I’d like to get an Antelope Audio Zen Studio. It has so many inputs and it’s crazy good for taking on the road, so my friend can testify.

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13. What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

The Tilted Axes album just came out so we’re using that for promotion and planning our next performances. I’d like the next step to be “Tilted Axes: Music for Planetariums” or something like that. “Astronomic” is another working title. That would be a continuation of musical work that has roots in science. Plus, planetariums and museums are idea venues for what we do. My theatrical sense sees many extra-musical applications that could be pursued. A whole new repertoire has been written and I’m ready to begin recording the demos for the group. I like these new pieces because they mark a return to a lot of the polymeters I’ve been known for. I mean, the original repertoire was written for processions so much out it simply had to be in 4/4/. The music will evolve into more complex structures. Also, I am host of the Strings and Things Podcast. We just started that this year and it’s become very popular. The idea is simple: I invite interesting guitarists over to our studio, and we change our strings while talking about all kinds of things. After we have stretched and tuned our new strings, we always end in a short duet. It’s simple, it’s informal, and it’s lots of fun for the listener. On top of all that, I am mixing two more albums. One album is of electro-acoustic chamber works, and another album is of music for theater, video, and electronics. I’m enjoying the finishing up of these recordings since they’ve been building up over the past few years. Every time I get some music out into the world, good things happen. I can never guess exactly what that will be, but it’s always good. I’ll follow whatever path the music presents to me.

More iNFO…

TILTED AXES: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars
Official web page: http://www.tiltedaxes.net/tiltedaxes.html
Booking contact: tiltedaxes@peppergreenmedia.com
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/tiltedaxes
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiltedaxes/

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International sTRANGE mUSIC Day 2014


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International sTRANGE mUSIC Day 2014 Performance Soiree
Sunday, August 24th @ SPECTRUM, 121 Ludlow St., NYC

Tickets $15 – Doors open at 6:30 pm with trouble to begin at 7:00 pm

Web site: http://www.strangemusic.com/ISMD2014.html

PDF Press Release

NEWSFLASH: All attendees of the INTERNATIONAL STRANGE MUSIC DAY performance at Spectrum NYC on Aug. 24th are eligible to enter our FREE raffle. The Grand Prize? A single ticket to the KING CRIMSON concert on Sept. 21st in NYC, Orchestra Center, Row GG, Seat 101. Why only one ticket? Out of sympathy for the poor date that always gets dragged along. We’re showing some mercy.

AUGUST 24th is International sTRANGE mUSIC Day. It’s a real holiday, yes it is. To celebrate, some of the NYC area’s best and brightest composers and performers are getting together to have a very unserious session of music making. This as an opportunity to for them to share unusual sounds, unusual instrumentation, and unusual compositions rarely heard or new ones that will never be heard from again.

For the 2014 celebration, creator Patrick Grant/Peppergreen Media partners up once again with NYC’s Lower East Side high-tech chamber-salon Spectrum NYC where the 2012 event was held. This is the perfect venue for such an event since its capabilities will enable strange musicians and performers of all stripes to push the envelope into uncharted territory.

Celebration in São Paulo: Making this a truly international event, there will be a Strange Music Day sister spectacle taking place at exactly the same time at the Paco Das Artes in São Paulo, Brazil presented by the Orchestra Descarrego. More iNFO via their Facebook event page HERE.

A SPLENDID ORCHESTRA
is in town, but has not been engaged

MAGNIFICENT FIREWORKS
were in contemplation for this occasion, but the idea has been abandoned

A GRAND TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION
may be expected; in fact, the public are privileged to expect whatever they please.

NYC PERFORMERS TO INCLUDE…

Cristian Amigo & Angela Babin

Guitarists Angela Babin and Cristian Amigo perform Empty Form Duo #5, a piece based on the non-dualistic idea of form/emptiness. Babin was a founding mother of the band The Ordinaires who received critical acclaim in the 80s in the Downtown NY music scene. She met Amigo (Guggenheim Fellow, guitarist, and songwriter) while playing Elliott Sharp’s Syndakit. During an extended wait for the subway they formed their collaboration for the Gotham Roots Orchestra via a mutual appreciation for the blues. They will keep it sTRANGE.

Lynn Bechtold

Violinist/composer Lynn Bechtold has appeared in recital throughout NA and Europe, and has premiered works by composers including Gloria Coates, George Crumb, John Harbison, Alvin Lucier, and Morton Subotnick. She is a member of groups including Zentripetal Duo, Bleecker StQ, Miolina, and SEM, and her performances have been broadcast on various TV/radio, including WNYC, 30 Rock, CBS Morning Show, and Good Day NY. She has appeared at venues from Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to LPR and Joe’s Pub. Her electroacoustic compositions have been performed on festivals such as the Composers Concordance Festival and Kathleen Supove’s Music With A View.

Jason Belcher

Jason Belcher is a composer & multi-instrumentalist who studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He led several performance projects as a student, including a revival of music by Burr Van Nostrand, a composer whose most adventurous scores went unheard for 42 years. As a result of this project, a disc of Burr’s work was released by New World Records in 2013. Belcher currently lives and works in New York, where he is active in projects with other young improvisers.

Tom Burnett

Chime’s Swing Number 89, inspired by a set of chimes given to Tom Burnett in 1989 by the late performer and artist Winchester Chimes, is part of a continuing series of performances dating back to 1989. This performance is coincidentally the eight-ninth. Other venues have included the Bardavon Theatre, Joe’s Pub, the Kitchen, the occasional rock quarry, church, and the Canal Street subway station.

Ken Butler

Ken Butler is an artist and musician whose Hybrid musical instruments, performances, and installations explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds and silence. He has performed and exhibited throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum, The Prada Foundation in Venice, Mass MoCA, The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum as well as in South America and Asia. Butler has been reviewed in The NY Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian, and Sculpture Magazine and has been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC’s The Tonight Show.

Constance Cooper

Constance Cooper improvises instrumentally and vocally, in concert —today, Solo With Stadium Blanket — and for theater, using two keyboards tuned a quartertone apart. She belongs to ArtStar, which includes live painting and audience drawing, and to the women’s a cappella acoustic trio Arc Welding. Some years ago she designed an improvisation work for the cellist Ernst Reijseger, who began the performance, then stood up, walked around while playing, and then deliberately got entangled with the branches of a large potted plant. He later said that he had always wanted to be a tree.

Glenn Cornett

Glenn Cornett runs Spectrum NYC, the performance venue/gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that supports innovation and virtuosity in the arts. He is a composer/performer, playing guitar, keyboards, electronics, etc. Founder of two biotechnology companies – Pastorus (autism, other CNS disorders) and Navitas (cardiovascular, metabolic diseases). He has worked at McKinsey and Eli Lilly. Education: MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Michigan; PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, dissertation on human deep-brain responses to musical stimuli. He has a black belt in karate and has run nine marathons, including Istanbul in November 2013.

GangBhang

GangBhang is a collective of inattentive plus ultra performers from different “walks” of life that include secular and non-secular attitudes and fashions. This time presents a very exciting, but hopefully boring, performance with the very devices that (usually) break our connection with the real world. The performers are Balldie on iPhone, Mojas on Maschine, and Preachermac on iPad.


portrait by Ted Berkowitz

Patrick Grant

Patrick Grant creates musical works that are a synthesis of classical, popular, and world musical styles that have found place in concert halls, film, theater, dance, and visual media. Over the last three decades, his music has moved from post-punk and classically bent post-minimal styles, through Balinese-inspired gamelan and microtonality, to ambient, electronic soundscapes involving many layers of acoustic and amplified instruments. He is the creator of International Strange Music Day (August 24) and the creator/pioneer of the electric guitar procession Tilted Axes.

Amy & Alex Hamlin

Amy & Alex Hamlin are a husband and wife team who enjoy their cats, Walter & Boris, their garden, & traveling to exotic places. They are the founders of the 7-piece soul/rock band Amy Lynn & The Gunshow. The duo is enjoying experimenting more with voice and baritone sax with the music from The Gunshow. Together and apart they have played all over the country with acts such as Yo La Tengo, St. Vincent, Beth Hart, Duffy, The National, Spoon, and Red Barrat.

Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Niloufar Nourbakhsh started learning piano at the age of nine at Sarang Institute of Music located in Karaj, Iran. At the age of fifteen, she won the 2nd Prize of Iran’s National Piano Biennale Competition and performed at Tehran’s Roudaki Concert Hall twice as a participant of The Music Festival from Classical to Modern. She is a music and math graduate of Goucher College and Oxford University. She has participated in numerous music festivals as a pianist and a composer such as New Paltz Piano Summer, Atlantic Music Festival, and the Rhymes with Opera Workshop. She is currently working at Brooklyn Music School Summer Institute as a teaching artist.

Lorin Roser

Lorin Roser is a multimedia artist fascinated with the expression of mathematics. He utilizes algorithms in his musical compositions and physical simulations in his 3D animations. Recent music is created with realtime manipulation of polynomials. This work began in the 80s and was ported to Reaktor in 2004. The realtime was not possible until recent advances in computing. As a musician, Roser has performed at CBGB’s, Bowery Poetry Club, the Emily Harvey Foundation with Larry Litt, White Box with Elliott Sharp, and events for curator/performance artist A. Schloss.

Zero Boy

Zero Boy is an East Village icon who uses a unique blend of sound and mime, the results being something akin to a performed comic book. He can be seen on the upcoming Nickelodeon show Alien Dawn as the evil Dr. Drago. He appeared Off-Broadway in the Yllana Production of ‘666’, and has performed regularly on NPR’s The Next Big Thing in a special “Stump Zero Boy” segment. He has been seen on the Fox and Friends, Good Day New York and MTV.

“In 1999 I declared August 24th randomly as Strange Music Day. It gave me an opportunity to come up with a cool graphic and drive home a point that I still believe in to this day: it is always good to listen and play music that we are unfamiliar with. It keeps our ears and outlook fresh. Around 2002, I started noticing that various summer schools were picking up on it as an actual holiday….Once I started seeing postings coming from Europe, I changed the name to International Strange Music Day. It’s just been getting bigger every year….” – Patrick Grant

“Recently I’ve been taking it a step further and we had the first International Strange Music Day Performance Soiree in 2012. I asked the New York new music community to submit their ideas and apply for spots on the concert. I wanted to see a lot of new music notables perform music that they were not usually associated with, to be willing to explore uncomfortable places, to reveal their guilty pleasures and hidden parlor tricks to the public. It was a blast! It was just one those things that came together and happened so well. I and everybody involved are already looking forward to raising the bar for the next event. You have been warned!” – International sTRANGE mUSIC Day creator, Patrick Grant, Exploring the Metropolis

“International Strange Music Day was created by Patrick Grant, a New York City musician. The premise is simple: to get people to play and listen to types of music they have never experienced before. The ‘strange’ part can mean either unfamiliar or bizarre – the choice is entirely yours. Patrick believes broadening people’s musical spectrums can also change the way we look at other aspects of life – his mantra is ‘listening without prejudice’. This growing movement has concerts, a record label and strong support from summer schools, where it is appreciated as a great way to stimulate young minds. Have you ever wanted to combine a tight Wonder Woman costume, a frozen turkey drumstick and an inflatable wildebeest into a percussion concert? International Strange Music Day gives you the perfect excuse. What you do with these items once the music stops, of course, is your business… “ – Days of the Year

www.peppergreenmedia.com

International Strange Music Day, August 24, 2013

International Strange Music Day, August 24, 2013
this year dedicated to children (young and old)

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Greetings People of Earth,

It’s been 15 years since I first flew the Strange Music banner during our inaugural concert at the Knitting Factory in New York City. Since then, ‘Strange Music’ has become many things: a record label, concert series, a social irritant, but most famously, a day to stretch one’s ears by either listening to or playing music that is new to you. It’s all relative.

Since this holiday observance came into existence during an otherwise holiday-less month, it’s actually been picked up by a number of small organizations around the world: a blog here and there, a growing throng of adventurous radio stations, but mostly by a number of summer school programs searching for a creative way to occupy idle hands and ears. An internet search will turn up pages and pages of such schools.

I urge you to spend a moment with your young ones and blow their little minds with something exceptionally challenging to listen to, especially if you do not normally do so. If there are some instruments around, make up a song for the day. If not, make an instrument from stuff you have in the house.

A small gesture such as this would provide memories lasting a lifetime. The evidence of the benefits of engaging children in music has filled volumes. No reason to keep it simple: the stranger the better. Young ears have no prejudice.

You say that you DON’T have any kids around? Then do it for yourself. It will keep YOU young. Really.

Patrick Grant
http://www.strangemusic.com/

WIKIPEDIA

===end of transmission===

Antonin Artaud: tHE pHILOSOPHER’S sTONE

This is posted in observance of Antonin Artaud (Sept. 4, 1896) – playwright, poet, actor, visionary.

“We do not mean to bore the audience to death with transcendental cosmic preoccupations. Audiences are not interested in whether there are profound clues to the show’s thought and action, since in general this does not concern them. But these must still be there and that concerns us.” – Antonin Artaud

tHE
pHiLOSOPHER’S sTONE

a tone-poem for gamelan, strings, and 2 synthesizers by Patrick GRANT after a scenario by Antonin ARTAUD (La Pierre Philosophale – 1931), commissioned by the Cornell Gamelan Ensemble 2003

Introduction

Antonin Artaud

Project Description

The Scenario

Theatre of Cruelty Manifesto

Artaud and the Balinese Theatre

An Analysis of “The Philosopher’s Stone”

The Picasso Connection

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tHE pHILOSOPHER’S sTONE
music for gamelan, strings, and 2 synthesizers – 2003

PDF Score – 120 pp – 8 MB

===========================================

hOME

www.strangemusic.com

In Case You MMiXed Out the First Time Around

Wondering why in the world you missed some of the incredible performances at the MMiX Festival 2 weeks ago? Well, I’ll help you redeem yourself because there are several opportunities to see some of those composers and musicians who participated in MMiX at some deeply cool gigs this week:

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***First off, composer, violinist and loop-meister, Todd Reynolds, performs with his string quartet and The Meredith Monk Ensemble TONIGHT at BAM’s Next Wave Festival. To quote Todd’s own description of this special performance:

“Songs of Ascension is Meredith Monk’s seminal work for her own vocal ensemble and string quartet.  It’s the first time Meredith has used string quartet as part of a larger work, and of course, as Meredith is one of my most-revered interdisciplinary and musical heroes, I am honored to be a part.  Early on, Meredith asked me to collaborate with her on this project and to put together the perfect string quartet team with great-spirited, flexible, excellent players, willing to seek virtuosity in the clear and simple, willing to memorize an hour’s worth of music and treat physical space as if it were the greatest musical score…”

Performance starts at 7:30pm and you can find out more about it at the BAM website or visit Todd Reynolds’ own blog, right here.

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***Tomorrow night, Thursday, head downtown to The Stone for MMiX Festival curator, Patrick Grant, who will perform at 8:00pm. After rocking it out ensemble-style at MMiX, Patrick takes it down a notch for this appearance. Here’s the plan, according to Patrick’s Facebook event:

“PATRICK GRANT: IN BOCCA AL LOOPER – Armed with a keyboard, guitar and a laptop, I’ll be performing a solo set of music that grooves to the looping and layering of angular interlocking riffs, mash ups of both urban and world beats, and pop timbres used in the service of avant tonality. A sonic soup for the mind, body AND spirit. I hope you can make it. More info at http://www.patrickgrant.com.”

The Stone is located at the corner of Ave. C and East 2nd St., NYC (F train to 2nd Ave.), $10 at the door. The Stone is curated in the 2nd half of October by Kathleen Supové and its artistic director is John Zorn. If you stick around for the 10:00pm show, you can also catch Bora Yoon performing in HUMAYUN KHAN & GUESTS: Humayun Khan (Indian classical vocal improvisation, Afghan sufi) Said Tinat, Shahin Shahida (guitar), Bora Yoon (vocals, tanpura), Haroon Alam (tabla, percussion) Douglas J. Cuomo (guitar, electronica).

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***Finally, get the weekend started right with Joshua Fried/Radio Wonderland performing at free103point9‘s annual fall festival of radio art and experimentation at St. Mark’s Ontological Theater:

“Radio Wonderland: Joshua Fried turns the very bits and bytes of commercial culture into the driving backbeat to our dance of independence. In this developing solo, Fried abstracts live FM radio with laptop, electrified shoes hit with sticks, and a computer-hacked steering wheel (from a Buick 6).”

That’s Friday at 8:00pm, $7-$10 on a sliding scale. Shake a leg in the aisles people!

So that’s it, what a wealth of performances to expand your mind and entertain your senses! Don’t say I never tipped you off to any of the cool stuff.

More MMiXers to come…

Jocelyn