Interview: Patrick Grant – Fireworks

firewoks-logo2

INTERVIEW – Fireworks Magazine (UK) interview with musician and producer Patrick Grant, creator of A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream) released on the Peppergreen Media label.

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.

FM: The last time we spoke, you were talking about your Detroit origins in classical and rock music, your early avant-garde theatrical work in New York City, but mostly about your album Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars. How was that?

PG: I could not have been happier with the response that album received. It was a crystallization of five years work, the end of a Phase One. If anyone is not familiar with the project, it began as a procession of electric guitars with portable amps for the winter solstice in 2011. It is part concert, part theater, and part street spectacle. Musically it encompassed everything from rock to classical to non-western, all written my me. It a way, it is a huge theme and variations. It became popular and we’ve performed versions on three continents so far. The album was a way of getting the music out to people and radio stations far beyond the scope of the live performances we did.

FM: What has Tilted Axes done since then?

PG: A couple months after the album came out, the USA was scheduled to have its presidential elections. The album was peaking in the press and we just finished performing for over a quarter of a million people in the NYC Village Halloween Parade. That’s a big thing here. Then we had the election and you-know-who won. That was highly unexpected. I was in shock for a number of weeks and it’s fair to say that a number of people are still in shock. I felt there was going to be a change in the coming year, maybe years. It was a good time to hit the brakes and re-evaluate. It seemed clear that the current models of professional music making were going to change and I wanted to stay ahead of that curve. I greatly reduced live performances so I could concentrate on recordings and took some formal training in film sound and associated disciplines. So, to answer your question: Tilted Axes has been on hiatus but will return in 2018. Currently, that’s the plan.

FM: What do you mean when you say “film sound and associated disciplines?”

PG: I needed to get current with my Pro-Tools skills. It is the industry standard for film and TV. My albums have been mostly Ableton, Reason, WAVES and other plug-ins up until now. My engineers were handling anything pro-Tools up until recently. They were better, faster, and has more experience. Then there’s dialogue recording and editing, sound design, ADR and Foley, as well as musical scoring. On top of all of that is the mixing and mastering for film and TV. It’s very different than music alone. Everything used is being used in service of a narrative, even if it’s abstract. It’s all about stories. Telling stories in sight and sound, even before language, could be argued to be the oldest art we have as human beings. Everything else is just detail and decoration.

FM: How has that affected your current work?

PG: I decided to do something concrete about it. Like a number of my avant-garde colleagues, I accepted a position at institute of higher learner. OK, I’m being funny. What I mean to say is that for two days of the academic week, at am a professor at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts Film School. NYU Tisch is pretty famous if those readers outside of the USA don’t know it. Its students include Martin Scorcese, Spike Lee, and a slew of others. It keeps me sharp and on top of the tech. I have studios and rehearsal rooms within which to experiment. The students are full of great ideas so I feel hopeful for the future of film, music, the arts. Really, I do.

FM: So that’s two days a week. What about the other five?

PG: Like I said, it’s been a time of re-evaluation. I’m pretty much the same writer, performer, and producer that I’ve always been. I’ve been consciously upping my game in the studio. I’ve been going back and forth between four projects and the first of these, a 13 track instrumental album, has been released, “A Sequence of Waves.” Its subtitle, (twelve stories and a dream), shows some influence of the film school. It’s also the title of an H. G. Wells short story collection, a connection I don’t mind at all. It feels like a pop album in duration and form. Many of the tracks have a verse, chorus, middle feel, even though I try to twist that around. The tracks themselves have a lot of variety in terms of style: prog rock, classical, blues, ambient, EDM, samba, cinematically inclined… there’s many cross-pollinated genres on it. It’s chamber prog! Supposedly no one listen to “albums” anymore, they just flick through playlists until they hear a track they like. However, there is a strong programmatic element as to the order of the tracks. It’s not just “a sequence of wave files.” [Dryly] Ha ha. That’s storytelling, plain and simple.

FM: What do you think are the standout tracks on the album?

PG: While we don’t really live in a time where there are “singles” as such any more, it could be argued that there are four singles on the album. The first would be “Seven Years at Sea.” On an album of instrumentals, it actually has vocals. It contains a 1930s field recording of three Creole sisters singing the ancient sea shanty “Sept ans sur mer.” I added piano, guitars, and other electronics to it. The end result is unintentionally Eno-esque.

The second of these four would be “Lonely Ride Coney Island.” It was originally created for a film but I recorded an album version here. I used every retro synth I have on it though it has real drums like all the other tracks. “Lonely Ride…” has turned out to be a hit in the EDM community. I wasn’t going for that but I’m happy that they picked up on it. Third would be “To Find a Form That Accommodates the Mess.” I’ve been saying that “every track has a story.” The story of this tracks actually begins with the one before it, “Prelude II”:

“Prelude II” began as an assignment from Robert Fripp. A few years ago at one of our Guitar Craft events, he pulled a number of us newer folks aside and said he had a “performance challenge” to give us. We all sat down and he pulled out The Hat.

The Hat is rumored to have once been worn by Bowie on one of his tours (Serious Moonlight?) and is now used in Guitar Craft to pull out names and numbers for random draws on slips of paper for such on-the-spot assignments. In this case Robert had written on little slips of paper words that designated quartets, trios, duos, and one solo. He pulled them out and assigned them to us at random. I was the lone soloist, a composer and performer who usually hides within layers of other guitars. That irony wasn’t lost on anybody. Robert swears to this day it wasn’t a set up. I believe him.

The challenge was that we had 24 hours to write a new piece of music and perform it in front of the larger group after dinner the following night. Being the lone soloist amongst the group, I announced the title of my piece as “Dude, Where’s My Band?” Robert laughed so hard. He himself calls it a Guitar Craft classic. That’s an honor of sorts. That’s how that piece was born. I renamed it “Prelude II” for the album, I multi-tracked it in places in the recording, but it is essentially a solo piece.

I liked its themes so much that I developed most of them further in “To Find a Form That Accommodates the Mess,” into which the original became the prelude. So, this new piece, “To Find a Form…” became this Post-Prog mini epic with a lot of orchestral textures. It also contains many elements from all the previous tracks. It’s a way of summarizing the experience of these twelve “stories.”

FM: And the fourth “single”?

PG: That would absolutely have to be “One Note Samba” by Antonio Carlos Jobim. By default it’s the “dream” on the album though, I like to say, any one of these tracks could be the dream depending on your perspective. The track began as a demo for a radio show here in NYC. I found a lot of sounds that I could render into the same pitch. It got played once on a Christmas special. I was invited to create a Tilted Axes performance in São Paulo, Brazil at the 3rd Música Estranha (Strange Music) Festival. I was able to record a number of found sounds there and incorporate them into the track with similar sounds found in NYC. I’ve always been a fan of original sounding covers whether it’s Joe Cocker doing The Beatle’s “With a Little Help From My Friends” or Devo doing The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” So these four tracks represent four different ports of entry into the album no matter what your main style of interest may be.

FM: Anything else to say about the other tracks or the album as a whole?

PG: It’s true that “every track has a story.” A quick run-down would be: “Lucid Intervals” began as a live looping piece but is now performed by orchestral instruments, the album contains a mini-suite called “Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms,” “Primary Blues” was created for the 100th anniversary of the first blues piece. There’s a few more tracks but that’s the gist of it. Like its predecessor “Tilted Axes,” this new album has somewhat of a mirrored sequence in the tracks. That is, track 1 mirrors track 13, track 2 mirrors track 12, and so on inwards with track 7 as a stand alone in the center. BTW that track is “Seven Years at Sea.” It’s no accident that it is in that position. All of this gives the work a sense of cohesion. Again: it’s storytelling.

I should speak more about the instrumentation. Those who know my work through “Tilted Axes” will hear more than the electric guitars, basses, and drums that make up that album. On “A Sequence of Waves” there is all that but there is also piano, organ, violin, viola, cello, synthesizers, percussion, and sampling. In a certain sense, it’s a more colorful album. I tried to reflect this in the album art and design.

I used the same production team as on the last album. Garry Rindfuss engineered much of the recording and was present for all the mixes. I rely on his ears a lot. Sheldon Steiger did the album mastering. He has a long list of credits working within a number of classical and popular styles. I think it’s because of this he is able to balance of the eclectic sets of tracks I give him.

FM: What are your interests outside of music?

PG: I’m interested in anything that can tell a story using non-verbal means. This includes all kinds of visual and graphic art, design, and architecture for example. A well-designed household item can speak volumes. This spills over into the realm of semiotics and this is a branch of philosophy I use a lot in our work. I’ve written a lot of music for modern dance and for experimental theater. That last one interests me a lot because it’s the only art form I can think of that contains all of my interests under one umbrella: every aspect of the visual, of music, of movement, of text, live performance, projection, and political commentary.

Another intentional aspect of the album was to suggest music that would be good for visuals. I am looking forward to creating music for film again. I have been away from it for a couple of years when Tilted Axes was at the center of my work. Now that I’m working with the NYU Film School, things are set up for that return.

FM: What’s in store for the future?

PG: I feel that I have put 2017 to good use and that I have a firmer foundation upon which to build. I’ve already spoke of a return to film scoring so there is that. There are also a number of recordings that need to be finalized for early 2018 release. One of these albums has members of the California Guitar Trio, King Crimson, and the Adrian Belew Power Trio on a number of its tracks. Also appearing will be my Tilted Axes and Guitar Craft regulars. You’ll also hear a lot more of my keyboard playing on future releases. Many people forget that keyboard were my main instrument for years. It’s time they should remember!

Tilted Axes will be making a return in a Phase Two sense. A tilt shift? I have partnered with a Canadian company that is making a new kind of portable amplification for electric guitars. It’s in prototype now and should begin production after the new year. We’ll begin working with these new amps in February.

One thing is for sure is that I have missed live performance a lot. Then again, I wouldn’t have this improved base of operation if I hadn’t put my attention toward other things for a while. Duty now for the future.

The next album’s working title is “The Velcro Variations,” because, after all, what is Velcro but hooks and loops? Yes, it’s hooks and loops.

December 2017

imposs

13 Questions for Patrick Grant from the Prepared Guitar Blog

10685593_10206024474559377_5152572877878951831_n

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.

000

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.

01

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.

03

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.

tech

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.

imposs

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.

digital

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.

xxx

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.

reich

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.

artzz

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.

interests

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.

begin

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.

04

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.

studio

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/

Composers Concordance Festival 2012

COMPOSERS CONCORDANCE FESTIVAL 2012
January 27 – February 6, 2012, New York City & NJ

The Most Eclectic Contemporary Music Festival of the Season
Transversing genres, locales and aesthetic modes throughout NYC and beyond

Festival Website: http://composersconcordance.com/festival.php

Click here for a PDF version of the press release:

http://tinyurl.com/78nsqaz

With a 28-year history of leading-edge concert production in NYC, Composers Concordance presents The Composers Concordance Festival 2012. This will be a whirlwind of five innovative contemporary music concerts in ten days, including over 40 of NYC’s most distinctive and accomplished composers. This festival spotlights the composer in different contexts, engaging the audience and performer in the creative process, and contending with the dizzying multiplicity of styles within today’s music scene. All the while, Composers Concordance puts a premium on distinguishability, that factor by which we remember and denote individual identity – and it’s that aspect, the distinction and breadth of the composer’s message, on which we’ll chiefly focus.

The first concert, ‘Songs‘, shows the various vocal styles the composer writes songs for. From the traditional western classical soprano and baritone, to the modern pop/r&b diva, to voices of other world cultures that stretch the boundaries of notation and pitch.

The Composers Play Composers Marathon‘ shows the composer as a performer of his or her own music. A common practice in baroque, classical and romantic periods but rarer in the mid 20th century. Toward the end of the century and into the new 21st century, the art of the composer-as-performer is re-emerging, and on this marathon we hear no fewer than 27 composers interpreting their own works.

New Blues‘ asks the composer to show his or her compositional skill and voice in this very particular genre that influenced so much of the music in the 20th century. With the 100-year anniversary of the first publication of a blues piece by W.C. Handy, we look at how the 21st century composer is influenced by this style.

The development of technology was quick in the 20th century, and it inspired composers to create brand new timbres and sonorities with the possibilities electronic manipulation of sound provided. We see what the 21st century composer has to offer to progress further the art of computers, amplifiers, and circuits in the ‘Electronics‘ concert of the festival.

With the final concert: ‘Ensemble‘, we witness the composer in an ensemble setting, performing each others’ music. The ensemble in question is the Composers Concordance Ensemble (which is the ensemble-in-residence at William Paterson University), made up of the directors of comp cord as well as regular performers and composers associated with the group.

NOTE: There will be a press conference before the first performance on January 27th, at 5:30pm at The Turtle Bay Music School. Members of the press are invited to attend and learn more about the festival. RSVP: composersconcordancerecords@gmail.com

Festival Schedule:

I. SONGS
Composers Celebrate the Diversity of Song
Part of the Turtle Bay Visiting Artist Series

January 27th at 6:30pm

Turtle Bay Music School
Em Lee Concert Hall
244 East 52nd St, NYC
(212) 753-8811
http://www.tbms.org/
Admission: Free

Composers: Cody Brown, Dan Cooper, Charles Coleman, Luis Cobo, Duke Ellington/Pritsker, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Bob Rodriguez

Performers:  Bobby Avey, Gernot Bernroider, Cody Brown, John Clark, Charles Coleman, Dan Cooper, Mat Fieldes, Laura Kay, Taka Kigawa, Milica Paranosic, Edmundo Ramirez, Chanda Rule, Sean Satin, and Keve Wilson

II. MARATHON
The 3rd Annual Composers Play Composers Marathon
Composers Performing Their Own Music
January 29th at 7pm

DROM
85 Ave A, NYC
(212) 777-1157
http://www.dromnyc.com/
Admission: $20

Composer/Performers: Cristian Amigo, Loop B, Dan Barrett, Eve Beglarian, Svjetlana Bukvich-Nichols, Peter Breiner, David Chesky, Luis Cobo, Valerie Coleman, Dan Cooper, Jed Distler, Patrick Grant, Franz Hackl, Sara Holtzschue, Peter Jarvis, Andrew M. Lee, Peri Mauer, Daniel Palkowski, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, David Saperstein, Larry Simon, David Soldier, Rubens Salles, Eleonor Sandresky, Ezequiel Viñao, and Michael Wolff

III. NEW BLUES
Marking 100 Years of the Blues
Composers Bring the Genre into the 21st Century
Performed by The International Street Cannibals Ensemble
January 31st at 9pm

Nublu
62 Ave C, NYC
(646) 546-5206
http://www.nublu.net/
Admission: $10

Composers: Dan Barrett, John Clark, Dan Cooper, Glenn Cornett, Patrick Grant, Robert Johnson, Earl Maneein, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Joseph Pehrson

Performers: Dan Barrett, Lynn Bechtold, John Clark, Dan Cooper, Glenn Cornett, Glenn Cornett, Jennifer DeVore, Patrick Grant, Earl Maneein, Cesare Papetti, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Malik Work

IV. ELECTRONICS
Music for Electronics and Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Composers Working with New Media
February 3rd at 8pm

Gallery MC
549 West 52nd Street, 8th Floor
(bet. 10th & 11th Ave), NYC
(212) 581-1966
http://www.gallerymc.org/h/
Admission: $10

Composers: Loop B, Lynn Bechtold, Glenn Cornett, Dan Cooper, Dinu Ghezzo, Patrick Grant, Lainie Fefferman, Franz Hackl, Mari Kimura, Daniel Palkowski, Milica Paranosic/Joel Chadabe, Gene Pritsker, and Eric Somers

Performers: Loop B, Glenn Cornett, Lynn Bechtold, Gene Pritsker, Daniel Palkowski, Lainie Fefferman, Peter Christian Hall, Mari Kimura, Milica Paranosic, and Franz Hackl

Visual projections: Carmen Kordas

V. ENSEMBLE
Composers Performing within an Ensemble
The Composers Concordance Ensemble at William Paterson University
February 6th at 7pm

William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ
(973) 720-2315
http://www.wpunj.edu/
Admission: $5

Composers: John Cage, Dan Cooper, Robert Dick, Patrick Hardish, Peter Jarvis, Otto Luening, Milica Paranosic, Joseph Pehrson, and Gene Pritsker

Performers: Dan Barrett, Lynn Bechtold, Robert Dick, Peter Jarvis, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Michiyo Suzuki

For press inquiries, contact Composers Concordance composersconcordancerecords@gmail.com

Complete iNFO at:
http://www.composersconcordance.com/festival.php

NEITHER Wealth Nor Splendor

Getting Morton Feldman’s and Samuel Beckett’s 1977 opera NEITHER from a Workshop Performance in NYC to the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Obstacles Concerned.

Roman Maria Mueller in NEITHER

N.B. The bulk of this post comes from the Morton Feldman/Vertical Thoughts discussion list. I had written it as a response to numerous postings by a fellow composer regarding the NYC production in which I was accused of “dumbing down” the score and we were all accused of “selling out Feldman for the money.” She has never heard nor seen this production and to this day she snubs my requests for friendship on Facebook (if that’s a 21st century indicator of where things are at!).  😉

Spring 2009 – NYC

Wow. To say that reaction to this particular production have been at extremes is an understatement.

I get an email in mid-April from Eric Salzman, artistic director of the Center for Contemporary Opera. I had been recommended by long time friend and collaborator Kathleen Supove. Well, they’ve got a problem. They are presenting a Morton Feldman‘s and Samuel Beckett‘s opera NEITHER in a co-production with Vienna’s ZOON Theater directed by Thomas Desi. They’ve rented the performance materials from Universal Edition but they’re unplayable. I’ve had a copy of the full score for a number of years so I looked it over and wondered what in the hell could be done in distilling this work down to a P/V score.

So, I get it in the mail. What it is was this: somebody imploded the full score as engraved in Finale to reduce the number of systems. Some pages it’s two pianos and 1 percussion, the next page could be 7 systems and 2 percussion, c. etc. etc. In other words, it is really a study score for the soprano and not one bit of care was made to make it playable by two pianists and a percussionist. Literally, some pages had 13 note chords in each hand spread over octaves.

Salzman said that they got permission from Universal to use electronic keyboards (somehow) and that there was a very fine point in that this would not be an “arrangement.” Naturally, I thought, that¹s not how I do things and wanted whatever I came up with to be as authentic as possible within the given parameters. The CCO already had a couple of performers bail on this project so I was in a tight spot but up to the work.

Soprano soloist Kiera Duffy behind the scrim.

THIS IS HOW I DID IT: First of all, I never even looked at the P/V score since that was not a Feldman creation. I asked Universal for the Finale files of the FS but was declined. They did, but they didn’t want to get behind it. OK. Fine. Find another solution.

Percussion parts, click track, and vocal cues in Ableton

1. I recorded the 4 percussion parts by myself, multitracked, using acoustic and sampled instruments where available and how I could get it to sound best. This I did to a click that I created measure by measure as per the full score. The CCO’s budget did not allow for the hiring of one, let alone four, percussionists so this became a necessity. Also, the lack of a conductor necessitated the use of a click. Now, I’ve used a click many time before and, when one has the skill, one know how to play ahead of and behind of the click so that it can “breathe” metrically. This was the intention. Feldman’s score never deviates (as written) in tempo, his almost grid-like scaffolding was a perfect fit for this technique. When and where he wants to speed up, he uses tuplets against the grid. The trickier parts had the click adapt to these i.e. changing from and eight note click to that of quadruplets and quintuplets as the score dictated.

Michael Pilafian’s Piano Preparation

2. The acoustic piano part was easy to figure out. Michael Pilafian played the written piano, glock, and harp parts off of the full score. I had him add some voices hear and there. Harp parts (all low notes) were played on the baby grand by plucking the strings, each labeled with a piece of tape its note name. There were three sections in the piece, strategically placed, where I had Michael cover for me by playing full chords (written for 5 violas and solo cello) where I had to change program banks on my instrument. That’s what he did.

Some of the 73 Combinator patches created to perform NEITHER live in Reason 4.0

3. The Sampled Keyboard Part: This was trickiest of all. I will say, and I emphasize, not one note of the Feldman is missing, nothing had been “dumbed down,” it’s all there and I have the work to show to prove it. This was one huge puzzle for me to solve that culminated in the creation of over 70 unique programs for this piece and in my creation of what is best called a keyboard tablature score.

The keyboard tablature at rehearsal nos. 127-128

As an example: In the opening of the piece, I play the D and A above middle C but what one hears are 14 instruments, woodwinds & brass, spread across the sonic spectrum, as written by Feldman. At rehearsal number 1 I let go of the A so that only the D remains. This is where the trumpet and horn clusters were assigned. This leaves my left hand free to manually turn the know that controls the size of the filters resulting in the pulsing dynamics that are written as much as possible. And so on, and so on, until the end of the piece. Some of the keyboard tableture looks funny to read because maybe I wrote it out as a major triad, albeit with polyphonic voicing, but what one hears are orchestral samples playing the Feldman pieces, all notes and rhythms as he wrote them, as best as the … sound system at The Cell Theater would allow.

Electronic set-up for performing NEITHER live.

Above all, I did my best to keep it musical and authentic as possible. At a certain point, it is what it is, and to that I stand behind it. It is a transcription, nothing more, nothing less. Does “Wachet Auf” sound better with baroque orchestra and singers as originally written than as played on acoustic guitar? Should piano variations from a song from the White Album incite Beatlemaniacs to go and boo at a performance before even hearing it? And if any of you were at the performance, why didn’t you come up and say hello? (This last paragraph refers to Bunita Marcus’ solo piano piece Julia, a great piece, and to her various “spies” who came to the NYC performance who did not have the intestinal fortitude to introduce themselves though had plenty to say in the discussion group).

Text by Samuel Beckett

Aftermath: I was pretty nervous the second night because the people from Universal were at the performance. This nervousness was unfounded. They liked it! They want to propose it to festivals. They heard how hard I worked on it (only 2.5 weeks) and how much care and respect was given to it. Sure, who wouldn¹t want to hear a full orchestra? But in lieu of that, it’s better than gathering dust on the shelves and, if anything, may even encourage presenters to go the “full monty” and do a full production.

Also, a number of Feldman-o-philes and former students showed up and liked it too. Of course, those who thought it sucked didn’t say a word so that’s not a fair representation. Even at it¹s premiere the audience was incredibly divided. Composer Alvin Curran writes:

“dear patrick
I wish I could be there… I love this piece, and was fortunate to be at the world-premier at the Rome Opera in ???? the late 70’s — there was such a ruckus in the house that it seemed that Marcello Panni might have to stop the , then , quite awful orchestra, but in the true italian tradition they battled to the very end through a thicket of cat calls, insults…and foot-stomping.  Morty was delighted to the point that he blurted to us (me and Teitelbaum)  “… it’s another  ‘Le Sacre’…..”   Surely nothing like this will happen in nyc… but that version, staged quite appropriately by Michelangelo Pistoletto, remains a highlight of my earlier days in Rome..all best, alvin c”

Music Director/Performer Patrick Grant, Stage Director Thomas Desi and soprano Kiera Duffy.

Even Frank Oteri from the American Music Center attended. As he wrote on NewMusicBox (or as many musicians call it, NewMusicFOX, you know, “fair and balanced” and all that):

“I attended the Center for Contemporary Opera’s production of Neither. It was hard to believe that this hour-long 1977 opera with music by Morton Feldman and libretto by Samuel Beckett had never previously been presented staged in the United States. I’ve had the Wergo CD for years, and I’ve always loved the music, though I never quite “got it” as an opera. There’s admittedly little that can be got. It’s vintage Feldman, consisting of quiet repetitions of directionless angular melodies accompanied by atonal harmonies that are equally in a sonic limbo. And Beckett’s text consists of only a handful of characteristically erudite phrases.

But even though the staging compounds Neither’s elusiveness, it actually completes it. From behind a screen, Kiera Duffy sang Feldman’s unforgiving melody‹an almost impossible undertaking that she proved was possible‹while words flashed across a screen and a silent actor, Roman Maria Mueller, appeared poised to move in a variety of directions but mostly never did. It turned out to be an extremely compelling theatrical experience, believe it or not. (And more often than not I wasn’t even bothered by the piano plus sampled keyboard realization of the score.)

However, others might question whether such a piece actually communicates anything‹I was mesmerized by it although I don’t think I understood it. Therefore a piece that combines music and language in such a way ultimately contradicts the definition I just set up a few paragraphs earlier for language as distinct from music and noise. But few would probably think that Neither is noise, although surprisingly someone walked out about two-thirds of the way through, which seemed a particularly odd point to decide to spend one’s time differently; human behavior is often inexplicable. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect about any innovative work of art‹whether it is music, theatre, dance, or something in the visual arts‹is that it will ultimately tear down any definition you try to set up.”

To which he added in an email to me:

“…I thought it would seem like bad reportage if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that there was no orchestra there; sorry I couldn’t find a way to squeeze your name in there. The way that sentence was constructed, it might have seemed like I was criticizing the reduction and having your name in there might have sounded like I was criticizing you, so I didn’t add it in. But I laud you for what you did with the score; it was a Herculean effort to say the least. You might consider posting what you process was…”

I wonder if the fact that Universal Edition is a major sponsor of NewMusicBox that it had anything to do with my name being left out of the review? That’s not exactly intrepid music journalism but definitely “fair and balanced.” It’s a shame really since, not for myself so much, but that doing the piece this way was actually one of the most newsworthy facets of the production.

In building and maintaining audiences, it shouldn’t just be the concept of “new music” alone, it’s also “music that’s actually news” that will keep things fresh. I guess that’s what they mean by “thinking outside of the ‘Box.”

So there you have it. Nobody here has to like it. It’s a piece that’s known to split audiences long before I came along. Since this email list has my name popping up on Google, I just thought it best that you all know that I wasn’t “doing the Feldman for the money,” (that one’s funny), or that I chose to do this piece for “career advancement,” (???) and all the other assumptives.

Video excerpts from the May 2009 performance shot & edited by Jocelyn Gonzales.

December 2009 – Vienna

Jump cut to half a year later. Much of the hubbub has died down. Even so, my name was left off of CCO’s press releases and off of their web site regarding the Viennese production. When I brought it to their attention, I was met with a deafening silence. So, now it’s time to return the favor inherent in the co-production. We all go to Vienna to perform NEITHER in the Brut Theater within the Wiener Konzerthaus at ZOON’s invitation.

Universal Edition in Vienna’s Musikverein

The music district also contains NEITHER’s publisher Universal Edition. If anybody from there came to our sold-out performances, they never let us know.

The Brut Theater entrance of the Konzerthaus

The humble entrance to the building which saw the world premiere of the works of Beethoven, Schoenberg, and all the composers from both Viennese Schools.

Music director Patrick Grant, pianist Michael Pilafian, and ZOON Theater director Thomas Desi

It was a success and I was very happy to have done so well for Thomas Desi and the ZOON Theater. They treated us very well and showed us so much of the Viennese culture in such a short time, so warmly.

Video projections by David Haneke.

More photos from the Vienna production of NEITHER here:

http://www.zoon.at/NEITHER/index.html

Now here’s the punchline: CCO’s general manager, the great Jim Schaeffer, came to Vienna for these performances. CCO’s and ZOON’s plans (as of this writing) are to do this production with full orchestra, as Morty wrote it, on both continents again, in 2010. To get this far would not have been possible without showcasing this production the way that we did. In other words: I did such a good job that I put myself out of work. But that’s great news, really. I’m happy that this production has made it this far as a result of our original way of getting it off the ground. I hope that there’s something to be learned there for all those other “impossible to perform” pieces sitting on the dusty shelves of our 20th century classical music publishers.

I mean, does anybody think that I prefer orchestral samples to the real thing? Of course not! Am I happy that this production was helpful in exposing the music of Feldman to people who had never heard of him before, that will be drawn to the real thing, and that will garner performances done the way that Feldman had intended? Absolutely. I just did not appreciate being the whipping boy for other peoples’ projects. I just did the best that I could to be faithful to the score and, in the words of composer/performer and former Feldman student Elliott Sharp who saw the NYC production, “You did a great job. Morty would have loved it and the controversy surrounding it.” In fact, he thought that Feldman done electronically sounded a lot like The Residents (!).

So, I’m really glad to be to my music again. The work has been piling up. And when NEITHER is performed next time, I’m looking forward to my aisle seat near the back.

Patrick Grant

UPDATE MARCH 2011: As many readers know, no further performances of the above production were permitted by the publisher. Alas! However, the New York City Opera did a great production this month in their Monodramas series. Considering that folks from the NYCO visited our production two years earlier, I wonder if theirs would have even happened had we not brought the work to their attention. I wonder. Read all about their production on their blog HERE.

I, Culturebot

CULTUREBOT.COM INTERVIEW

Name: Patrick Grant
Title: Composer/Performer/Producer
Affiliation: Curator & Co-Producer of “The MMiX Festival of Interactive Music Technology

patrickgrant

1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Detroit where I studied music composition and classical performance by day while playing in Punk/New Wave bands by night. I read about the loft and gallery concert scene in 1970s NYC and that sounded more preferable to me than LA. It was artsier and I wouldn’t need to have a car. When I moved here in the late 80s that scene had played and wasn’t to return in a new form for a while. I quit the band I moved out here with found work writing and performing music for downtown theater groups and assisting well-known composers like John Cage. It was experiences like that that taught me more about making a living as an artist than the Juilliard education I never completed and even so, as they say, only in New York.

2. What do you look for when you’re seeking out new work?

I fell into the role of curator-by-proxy through various self-produced concert series. Early on, I sought to fill the void that was left when the loft and gallery concerts that brought me to NYC had (temporarily) fallen out of vogue in the late 80s and early 90s. My association with theater music always meant that I at least had a space to work and to do concerts. The same was true when I expanded into Chelsea galleries in 2000. Being in spaces such as these creates circumstances which are “extra-musical” so care is given to selecting artists which are a compliment to and an augmentation of the hosting venue’s creative discipline. Ultimately, it is really about audience and community building. Being a composer and performer myself I would naturally pick artists whose work I admired and wished to collaborate with. That’s how I get to meet people. That’s my microcosm. The macrocosm is in introducing artists, performers, and audience members to each other who might not normally cross each other’s path. When I see further collaborations being made as a result of these events, I consider that a great success. That’s something we all benefit from well beyond the scope of the seeds that were planted.

3. What was your most remarkable moment as a curator/presenter/producer?

I may be speaking out of turn here but so far it’s been the upcoming MMiX Festival of Interactive Music Technology on Oct. 8-11 at Theaterlab. Truly, and I can back that up. At the beginning, I envisioned it taking place at the same time as the Audio Engineering Society’s annual convention in NYC. If you’re into audio and musical gear, that’s a big deal. Deciding to have the festival then quickly gained us the support of interactive software leaders Ableton and Cycling ’74 (makes of Live 8 and Max/MSP/Jitter respectively). This in turn brought us some of the best and most diverse performers in that field. The idea of having something bigger than the festival itself to tap into has been very powerful. It’s given me the power to call up complete strangers, some of them very well known, and get them to come onboard. I couldn’t see myself doing that a couple of years ago and that, for me, is remarkable.

4. Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you and why?

Anyone who knows me knows that I always cite Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film “A Clockwork Orange.” That may sound strange but let me explain. ACO was originally released as Rated-X by the incipient rating system (along with “Midnight Cowboy” and “Last Tango in Paris” due to their adult themes) and was re-released in 1974 reduced to an R-rating. The porn industry had made a joke of the X-rating by saying, “Well then, we’re XXX,” so it became meaningless. So, with an R-rating, ACO was able to air television commercials. I was eleven at that time. One day I heard it on the TV: The “Glorious 9th Symphony by Ludwig Van” but, as we know, being “performed” by Wendy (née Walter) Carlos on the Moog synthesizer. I didn’t know then what the music was or what was making those strange sounds. It was to be the very first LP that I ever bought for myself. Coming home from the store, I was reading the back of the album (who were these guys with the foreign names?) and couldn’t figure out which track I had heard on TV. I dropped that needle everywhere on the disc, but could not find it. What was up with all this classical stuff? I thought that was only used for goofing around in Warner Bros. cartoons! I noticed that one of the tracks looked a bit different in the middle, a darker color due to less activity in the grooves. I cued up that spot, and there it was: the march section of the 9th’s choral movement. It rocked my 11 year-old world, or as the Moog tagline ran at the time, I was instantly “switched-on.”

Why? It enabled me to listen to music stripped of fashion, the opposite of popular music (which I love too). It led to the original book by Anthony Burgess and got me literate beyond my years, leading to Vonnegut, Brautigan and others at an early age. Mostly, it’s a story about the choice between good and evil, and our free will to choose, motifs which stick with me to this day and inform just about everything I’m interested in, one way or another. Or at least I can explain it that way. Even with my guilty pleasures! ACO was my gateway drug.

5. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?

Absolutely it would be the ability to be a convincing and charismatic public orator. Presently, I feel that I could do a lot better in that department. The thought are there but something gets lost when I convert them into words let alone how those words get expressed. After being surrounded by actors, poets and other performers all these years you’d think I’d have learned something. It’s been slow going but I believe there’s still hope! Countless times I’ve let myself get bullied into situations just because somebody had a better gift of gab when, deep in my gut, I felt it wasn’t right. I had to defer to the power of the word only to regret it down the road. I’ve learned to trust my intuition more and more often these days, even if words still fail. Yet, if I had that skill, I may not have become the person I am. Maybe I’d be someone who’s better at talking about what they’re going to do than just doing it. I hope not.

Patrick Grant (reposted frm Culturebot)

MMiX FESTIVAL – Schedule of Events

The MMiX FESTIVAL of Interactive Music Technology
October 8-11, 2009 at Theaterlab
137 W 14th Street, New York City
(212) 929-2545
http://www.theaterlabnyc.com

Tickets: $20 / $15 students & seniors
Available online at: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/28175

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS & PERFORMANCES:

6:00-7:45 PM Thursday through Saturday
Free and open to the public in Studio C

Interactive sound installations by
Chronotronic Wonder Transducer
led by sound inventor Steven Litt

THU OCT 08
8:00 PM – Performance
Bora Yoon +
Luke DuBois +
Todd Reynolds +

FRI OCT 09
6:30 PM – Free Event
Ableton LIVE 8
Demo/workshop by DubSpot NYC
led by Chris Petti
8:00 PM – Performance
Dan Trueman and his Mini Laptop Orchestra
Jon Margulies / Hobotech
Joshua Fried / Radio Wonderland

SAT OCT 10
6:30 PM – Free Event
– Ableton & Cycling ‘74 present: MAX for LIVE
with Todd Reynolds & Luke DuBois
8:00 PM – Performance
Patrick Grant Group
Kathleen Supove / Exploding Piano
Elliott Sharp / Janene Higgins

SUN OCT 11
6:30 PM – Performance
Chronotronic Wonder Transducer
Ben Neill & Bill Jones
DJ Rekha / Basement Bangra

PLUS product giveaways of Ableton LIVE 8 and Cycling ’74’s MAX 5

* * * * * * *

The MMiX Festival of Interactive Music Technology is produced by Theaterlab, radio producer Jocelyn Gonzales, and curated by composer/performer Patrick Grant.

All events take place in the studios of Theaterlab which is located at 137 West 14th St., between 6th and 7th Ave., New York City. For more information (ticket info, directions, etc.) visit Theaterlab’s web site at http://www.theaterlabnyc.com.

Software and laptop improvements present new possibilities for composer/performers to create complex soundscapes in real-time during live performance. The focus of the festival is to demonstrate that these emerging audio technologies are instrumental in new artistic creations, and to inform the public regarding the current state of this art form. The artists presented in MMiX have set a new bar in that discourse and will provide live performances, media installations and workshops.

Ableton, creators of LIVE 8 and Cycling ’74, creators of Max/MSP/Jitter are primary sponsors of the festival with additional support by DubSpot NYC and Eventide.

Media sponsorship for the festival is generously provided by WNYC 93.9 FM and 820 AM, New York City listener supported radio.

WNYC

Being for the Benefit of “MMiXer-keit”

Pre-MMiX-Vid-Thmb1

Here’s a look at the Pre-MMiX benefit performances from last Monday, August 24th: a montage of Patrick Grant playing a live-looping installment from his Tertian Circles series on analog synth and electric guitar, Kathleen Supove plays Lay Bare the Heart by Charles Coleman and The Body of Your Dreams by Jacob TV (the latter using a backing track created from an infomercial for the AB Sonic® Electronic Massage Belt), and LB (aka Pound), DJ Scientific (Elan Vytal) and String Theory (Matt Szemela) propelling us through a real time mash up of hip-hop, house and 80s synth pop.

All in all, a great kick-off for our preparations leading up to The MMiX Festival of Interactive Music Technology on Oct. 8-11 at Theaterlab.

Thanks to all who came around and jammed with us on a hot August night. Hope to see everyone in October!

Jocelyn