Don Gillespie R.I.P. – A True Champion of New Music

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photo by Sabine Matthes

Don Gillespie R.I.P. (1936-2019) ~ I’m very saddened to learn of the passing of new music champion Don Gillespie. He was a friend. Don was Vice President of C.F. Peters music publishers when a very young me got a job there in the late 80s. He taught me so much about music, especially John Cage, Lou Harrison (he was good friends of both and introduced me to them), an expert on Delius, and my gateway to lesser known (to me at the time) composers like Nancarrow, John J. Becker, and Ruth Crawford Seeger.

I remember drunken music nights at his apartment where we’d have Busoni sight-reading contests (The Piano Concerto), debate the non-narrative structure of Robert Ashley‘s “Now Eleanor’s Idea“, and then he’d turn around and make us listen to a 1920s recording by The Skillet Lickers. The week that Lou Reed’s “New York” album came out, we listened to it at his place while eating the freshly smoked mozzarella he’d pick up for us from Joe’s Dairy on Sullivan Street. Let’s not even get started on his fascination with Sorabji!

Don and C.F. Peters’ Evelyn Hinrichsen were amongst the first supporters of my Silent Treatment concert series, my first productions, in the East Village back in 1989-90. He supported all kinds of new music up-and-comers, he connected many of us, young and old, near and far.

I would continue to see Don over the years either at concerts or get togethers at Margaret Leng Tan‘s house in Brooklyn for a performance of Lucier‘s Strawberry Fields Forever-inspiredNothing is Real.” I remember Don and his then wife Sabine coming over to gorge ourselves on caviar that I had just smuggled back from Russia and playing “Cage’s “Ophelia (1946)” on the piano for him on the 41st floor looking out over Central Park.

Don got really mad at me one time when, on the newly invented internet, I spoke for him (incorrectly) in an argument with Howard Stokar. He had every right to be really mad because I did something dumb. Something good came out of it. When asking him for forgiveness I was able to tell him how much he meant to me and everything I learned from him. We got back on track, but I wish I could tell him all over again.

The last time I saw Don I was playing a piece of music of mine on Cornelia Street in an ensemble that was celebrating Terry Riley’s “In C”‘s 50th anniversary. I saw him in the audience, he lived around the corner, and we just smiled. I haven’t seen him since, though I thought of him often. It was fitting.

When I think of all the hell he caught at C.F. Peters (it was an ugly scene back then for non-serialists; Don called it Fort Dodecaphonic) for supporting tonal, rhythmically innovative, non-European-inspired forms of new music, I’m glad he held his ground, and even put his job on the line a few times (truth), for the music he believed in.

So, seeing him there that sunny afternoon, with new compositions playing in the air inspired by “In C” to a diverse and interested crowd of New Yorkers, it felt like a victory for all of us who followed the musical pathways he showed to so many of us.

That fight’s over.

You won, Don.

Thank you.

Rest in Peace.

“John Cage at 100” by Don Gillespie
http://www.johncage2012.com/speakers/gillespie.html
“Don Gillespie New Music Box Profile”
https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/new-music-advocate-don-gillespie-steps-down-at-c-f-peters/

Don’s middle name was Chance

A Special Thanks to Our Co-producers from Tilted Axes

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Dear co-producers, sponsors, and supporters,

Thank you for much for your support throughout the spring and summer. With your help, we’ve been able to present a number of free performances to the public. 

Most recently we completed our residency at the 27th Annual Concert of Colors in Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Michigan Science Center. Over two days we were able to perform for a couple thousand people live and many more than that through television. 

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The response was incredible. Every paper and magazine made us a Critics’ Pick and we were well represented on the the radio, WDET and CJAM especially.

With your help, we created a new type of work that will resonate for a long time. Now we have something that can be presented with other museums, science centers, and transformative community arts organizations. This will come.

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If you will be receiving an award from our last campaign (T-shirt, CD, etc.), you will be getting notice of this shortly. If you want to pick up some more or want to encourage a friend to support us, you can always send them to this link: https://bit.ly/2Y1gvOb

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And so, we thank you again on this 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. 

Ever forward,

Patrick Grant & Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

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PHOTOS – Tilted Axes: PROMENADE at the Detroit Institute of Arts – https://bit.ly/2xVXAtP

PHOTOS – Tilted Axes: MOONWALK at the Michigan Science Center – https://bit.ly/2XUfMDz

VIDEO – Tilted Axes: Performing “Techno Tilt” on FOX 2 Detroit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLEYE0ZA6hA

VIDEO – Tilted Axes: “On the Steps of the Kresge Court” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHyxm7Loaow

PRESS – Tilted Axes PR on Broadway World – https://bit.ly/30oqmz8

Tilted Axes: MOONWALK at the Concert of Colors

T-Minus 10 weeks away …

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FRIDAY, JULY 12

The Michigan Science Center presents:

5020 John R St., Detroit, 48202

5-8 p.m. (Moving between Various Locations) TILTED AXES: MUSIC FOR MOBILE ELECTRIC GUITARS, created by Patrick Grant. Musical processions leading guests through the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts), The Detroit Historical Society, + spaces in-between, ending at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

SATURDAY, JULY 13

The Michigan Science Center

5020 John R St., Detroit, 48202

1 & 3:30 p.m. TILTED AXES: MUSIC FOR MOBILE ELECTRIC GUITARS. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the first crewed lunar landing in 1969, “MOONWALK” by Patrick Grant. Performances around the center and in the planetarium.

The 27th Annual CONCERT OF COLORS

http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

All Systems Go: New Music to Commemorate the First Lunar Landing

“Composer/performer Patrick Grant and Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars will collaborate with the Michigan Science Center to create a new musical work to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First Lunar Landing.

This new music will get its premiere in the planetarium and at various points around the center as part of the 27th Annual Concert of Colors in Detroit, MI the weekend of July 12th, 2019.

More details will be announced at the Tilted Axes Detroit: New Again relaunch event at Third Man Records Cass Corridor during the full moon equinox, Wednesday, March 20th ca. 6pm.” #AllSystemsGo

PRESS RELEASE: Four Weeks Away… Tilted Axes Detroit: New Again

Download the Press Release HERE

POST-ROCK COMPOSER PATRICK GRANT RETURNS TO DETROIT WITH HIS TILTED AXES: MUSIC FOR MOBILE ELECTRIC GUITARS PROJECT IN A TRIO OF PERFORMANCES COLLECTIVELY BILLED AS “TILTED AXES DETROIT: NEW AGAIN” AT THIRD MAN RECORDS CASS CORRIDOR, THE HENRY FORD, AND THE MARCHE DU NAIN ROUGE.

“New Again” is comprised of the following three events and more details are available at http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html:

On Wednesday, March 20th (The Full Moon Equinox) The 18-plus musicians of Tilted Axes Detroit will assemble at 5:30pm at Third Man Records Cass Corridor at 441 W. Canfield, Detroit, MI to mark the project’s return to the city. Third Man Records was founded by Jack White in 2001 with locations in Nashville (2009) and in the Cass Corridor (2015). At this event, Tilted Axes director Patrick Grant will welcome visitors at 5:58pm, the minute the season transitions from winter to spring. A short in-store performance by Tilted Axes will follow. Then, during the 6 o’clock hour, Tilted Axes Detroit will perform a musical procession around the neighborhood to celebrate and promote their upcoming appearances at The Henry Ford (3/23) and the Marche Du Nain Rouge (3/24). The group will reconvene at Third Man Records Cass Corridor to complete the performance. This event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, March 23rd at 1:00pm, Tilted Axes Detroit will appear at The Henry Ford as part of Make Something: Saturdays. The Henry Ford (also known as the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village, and as the Edison Institute) is a sprawling history museum complex located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1981. The museum’s Model I Theme for March is “Collaborate”. In honor of that theme, Patrick Grant will premiere new compositions that emulate an assembly line in full swing during a Tilted Axes procession throughout the museum. The event is open to museum visitors, no extra tickets required. The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI, (313) 982-6001.

On Sunday, March 24th at 1:00pm, Tilted Axes Detroit will participate in the 10th Annual March Du Nain Rouge. Every March around the Equinox, thousands of revelers gather for a parade through Midtown Detroit to celebrate their city. At 12:00 noon, the crowd gathers at the corner of Canfield and Second, right next to Traffic Jam & Snug, for a celebration of Detroit with live entertainment. At 1:00pm the Tilted Axes procession will join the parade down Second to the Masonic Temple. This event is free and open to the public.

More about Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars: Tilted Axes was created in 2011 by Detroit-born, NYC-based composer/performer Patrick Grant. Tilted Axes cuts musical pathways through the urban landscape, turning neighborhoods into their own sonic narratives. Since its inception, Grant has produced a number of Tilted Axes processions in various cities upon three continents. In 2013 Grant brought Tilted Axes to his hometown of Detroit and created a version of the project with a core of local musicians. They have performed in partnership with the DIA, WDET, the Charles H. Wright Museum, The Detroit Historical Society, the 2015 Concert of Colors, and other area sponsors.

Since Tilted Axes Detroit’s last area appearance in 2015, Grant released an award-winning album of Tilted Axes music as well as other works, one of which was nominated for a Detroit Music Award in 2018.

TILTED AXES DETROIT is a project of Peppergreen Media, sponsored by Vox Amps/Korg USA and local partnerships with Third Man Records Cass Corridor, The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, and The Marche Du Nain Rouge, with additional support from the DIME Detroit Institute of Music Education, Third Wave Music, and generous private co-producers and tax deductible donations made through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas. 

Five Weeks Away… Meet the Tilted Axes Detroit Artists

Electric Guitars: Patrick Grant, Jeff Adams, Aileen Bunch (Philadelphia), Jude Closson, Christoph Götzen (Düsseldorf), Erik Grant, John Halo (NYC), Bob Kaufman, James Keith La Croix, John Lovaas (Chicago), James McGlinnen, Chris McGorey, Chris Simpson, and Gerard Smith

Baritone Ukelele: Frank Pahl

Electric Bass: Aaron Butler (Columbus), Alex Durante (Washington D.C.), and Sarah Metevier Schadt (Chicago)

Percussion: Skeeto Valdez, Zac Bru, and Gael Grant

Associate Producer: Jocelyn Gonzales (NYC)

Stage Manager: Rob Knevels

Read more iNFO HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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