FIELDS AMAZE (& other sTRANGE Music) 20th anniversary edition

FA-2018-cover-800

remixed + remastered + bonus tracks
coming soon

Recorded at The Looking Glass Studios NYC and at sTUDIO 41 NYC.
Originally released on the sTRANGE Music label.

1. Keeping Still
extended percussion quintet

2. Fields Amaze
homemade gamelan and microtonal keyboard

3. A Visible Track of Turbulence 1
flute, clarinet, and piano

4. Everything Distinct: Everything the Same
three keyboards in Gb just intonation and three precussion

5. A Visible Track of Turbulence 2
flute, clarinet, and piano

6. Imaginary Horror Film 1
chamber prog ensemble

7. The Weights of Numbers 
three keyboards and drums

8. Imaginary Horror Film 2
chamber prog ensemble

9. If One Should Happen to Fall
thesaurus vs. rock band

“…a driving and rather harsh energy redolent of rock, as well as a clean sense of melodicism … the music’s momentum and intricate cross-rhythms rarely let up, making the occasional infectious tunes that emerge all the more beautiful for surprise.” – The Village Voice

Patrick Grant: piano, keyboards, electric guitars, gamelan, percussion – Kathleen Supove & Marija Ilic: keyboards – John Ferrari: drums & percussion – Barbara Benary: additional gamelan – David Simons: Balinese percussion & theremin – Keith Bonner: flute – Thomas P. Oberle: clarinet – Darryl Gregory: trombone – Martha Mooke: viola – Maxine Neumann: cello – Mark Steven Brooks: electric bass – Alexandra Montano: vocalise – Lisa Karrer: lead vocal on If One Should Happen to Fall.

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 recorded and edited at The Looking Glass Studios, NYC, 1997 – Garry Rindfuss: recording engineer – Dante DeSole: asst. engineer and editor – Ryoji Hata: asst. editor – Amanda Riesman: administration – gamelan instruments provided by Barbara Benary and Gamelan Son of Lion – large kendang drum and additional gongs provided by Skip LaPlante and Music for Homemade Instruments – originally released on the album Attack Decay Sustain Release by sTRANGE Music Records 1998 – Tracks 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 recorded at sTUDIO 41, NYC, 1998-2000 – Patrick Grant: recording engineer and editor – originally released as a Special Edition EP for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAMcafé Live) by sTRANGE Music Records, 2000.

All 2018 production, overdubs, revisions, and new stems recorded at Peppergreen Media, NYC and The Ferrari Factory, NJ. Mixed at Mercy Sound Studios, NYC – Garry Rindfuss: mixing engineer – Sheldon Steiger: album mastering – Patrick Grant: producer

All music © 1997-2018 Patrick Grant and published by Peppergreen Media (ASCAP). This album ℗ 2018. All rights reserved.

Cover photo Cuming Co. Supercell, June 14, 2013 taken by Dave Rebot and used with permission. Album artwork, layout, and design by Eric Iverson. Peppergreen Media logo by Steve Ball. CD image collage created from Elément bleu XII, 1967 by Jean Dubuffet, photo credit: sTRANGE Music Inc.

Thanks and acknowledgements: The Braunschweig Family, Coudert Brothers, Bank Julius Baer, Matthews Panariello P.C., Chris LaBarbiera, Patricia McKenna, Context Studios, Music Under Construction, Philip Glass, Kurt Munkacsi, Jed Distler, Composers Collaborative Inc., Music for Homemade Instruments, Smith Grabholz, The Village Voice, The Bang on a Can Marathon, Stéphane Martin and the musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, The Ross Institute, The Knitting Factory, Patrick Grant Group, I Wayan Lantir, STSI/ISI Denpasar, Gamelan Son of Lion, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Johnny Reinhard, The American Festival of Microtonal Music, The Fractal Music Lab, James Gleick author of Chaos: Making a New Science, The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Harvey Lichtenstein, The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Prix de Lausanne, Exploding Music, The Living Theatre, Kalvos & Damien’s New Music Bazaar, Annina Nosei Gallery, John Schaefer, WNYC’s New Sounds, Ralph Valdez, WDET Radio, James Moore & Independent Music Promotions Inc., Jocelyn Gonzales, Roget’s Thesaurus.

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The Detroit Music Awards

DSOCopland

It was an honor to be nominated for Outstanding Classical Recording in The Detroit Music Awards and my warmest congratulations to winner The Detroit Symphony Orchestra for their recording of Aaron Copland‘s “Symphony No. 3.”

I mean, who wouldn’t be humbled to step aside for the work that contains “Fanfare for the Common Man“?

#thumbsup !!!

One-Word Questions with Extremely Long Answers regarding “A Sequence of Waves” by Patrick Grant

8questionsxxRecently a music zine proposed eight written questions to composer and performer PATRICK GRANT about his latest album “A SEQUENCE OF WAVES.” Grant sent in written responses and received this reply from the editor:

Your answers are wonderful but they are extremely long… typically these are one-sentence answers… (the) internet is a short attention span thing. People scan, look for a link or something to watch and then move on. They do not linger like with a newspaper article. Thanks!”

Grant obliged them and resent completely different answers, all of them one-sentence long.

Published here on The MMiXdown are his original replies. The music zine’s questions have been replaced by distilling down their essence to one word each.

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INCEPTION?

I once read something about The Beatles’ “Revolver” that went something like this: “It could be argued that every track on the album went on to create its own sub-genre in rock music.” I can see that point and I’m sure there have been many who have attempted to create a multiverse of song lineages out of it. Doing that’s not for me, but I like the point: every track has its own distinct personality and yet they all fit together and compliment each other like the colors of the spectrum. They are not a pastiche of songs. At their core they share the same DNA. There have been albums like that since, and I’m sure we could thoroughly debate what they are, but it’s that level of diversity and coherence that I was aiming for when I was putting together “A Sequence of Waves” because I truly like all kinds of music. That’s why different reviewers have been coming at it from different angles: rock, classical, jazz, world, you name it. I like that. I’d say that is 40% intentional on my part and 60% that’s-just-who-I-am.

It’s also understood that not everyone listens to albums like they used to (from beginning to end), but for those who do and for those who admire the architecture of an album, there’s an overall structure that holds these 13 tracks together. At the center is track 7, “Seven Years at Sea.” It’s also the only piece with vocals on the album and even then they were recorded in the first half of the last century, but not by me. Ha! Moving outward, track 6 mirrors track 8, track 5 mirrors track 9, and so on until track 1 mirrors track 13. What do I mean by mirror? I mean there’s there some aspect in which the tracks are related, either by style, instrumentation, tempo, or harmonic scheme. Sometimes it’s a couple of these elements combined. If you notice it, that’s great. If you don’t, I would bet that by the album’s end, you’d subconsciously get a feeling of coherence through the chaos.

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MEANING?

Being an instrumental album, many things were needed to keep it not only interesting, but to keep interesting to me. This was a good exercise for me in “killing one’s darlings,” I was cutting measures here, whole sections there. Even listening now, I could lose a few notes. And add a few too! Maybe these things are never truly finished, are they? It’s been said that they just get abandoned so we can move on. But I require some sense of artistic completion before doing so that there’s firmer ground from which we push off our little metaphorical boat into uncharted waters again.

Sorry, that sounds pretentious. Still, it’s not too far off. It seems that the most worthy things that we can endeavor to do are a manifestation of a search for meaning. My hope is that if I can keep honest and sincere in my work, that it will resonate in some universal way to those who are drawn to the work and care to listen.

When I was a student, I was struck by something Igor Stravinsky said, “I consider that music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, or psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc…. Expression has never been an inherent property of music.” That’s just a snippet of a longer quote. Uncle Igor had a lot more to say than just that. People should look it up and read the rest if they’re interested.

So, wow, I felt sort of depressed when I read that because it challenged everything that I, as a young man, had thought about music. Then I gradually was able to let go of preconceptions and understood what he was saying. I still am.

Remember now, he was speaking of pure music, instrumental music because, yes, if there are words, the music (now being considered a song) will mean what those words are saying. But, in a pure sense like are minor chords “sad” and major chords “happy?” No, they are not. When you listen to a piece of music, you are listening with your own culture and personal history. You are always listening to music in relation to every piece of music you’ve listened to before that moment. It’s the same with visual art. It’s the same with so many things.

So, if my music, or this album in particular, has any meaning, it’s what it means to each listener. Like many composers, I am amazed and get a kick out of what people hear in my music. Some of these things are fantastic, some are just plain ol’ wrong, and some reveal a part of me that I’ve been hiding from myself. Shazam! That can be powerful stuff.

Now that I have a body of work to look back upon, it’s as if it’s all about a search for meaning. I look for patterns that repeat in my own work and notice, no matter if it’s rock, classical, or something else, there are patterns there, patterns that are a language unique to myself. Even music discovers this. But what does it mean? That’s to be explored in the music-yet-to-be-created.

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INSTRUMENTALS?

While it is true that the human voice is the first musical instrument, I would say that the history of music, of all music, has shown that words are not always necessary. Think of all the classical music and music from other cultures that don’t have voices. On a small scale, any music with voice would most likely be what we’d consider a song. I’m particular like that: don’t call a piece of music a “song” if there isn’t any singing. It can be a jam, a tune, an invention, a scherzo, a waltz, a groove, dope beatz, whatever, but without singing it is not a song. I’ve found that just getting casual listeners to call music by a better, more correct name like that, automatically gets them thinking about music differently and, better yet, they begin listening with more depth.

Many people will hear the surface of the music first, the voice, the tune, whatever is most prominent in the mix. It’s likely that it’s intentional on the part of the producer to get you the hear that surface through how it has been mixed. Those who are trained, or who are naturally able to, hear the deeper layers in the music, will get more out of it and may have a better understanding of all kinds of things.

Believe me, I love songs. I listen to them, I sing them, and I write them. However, my most recent album, “A Sequence of Waves,” and the one before, “Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars,” are purposeful explorations in instrumental music. That’s for a couple of reasons. One is a desire to make my music as universal as possible. If there are no words, most people will superimpose their own narrative onto a performance or recording. Plus, there is no language barrier. As a result, my recent music has had a very international audience.

Another reason is that I like the challenge of creating stories with no words. A byproduct of this is that the music gets used in combination with visual media like video, film, and anything that’s staged. I have a background in avant-garde theater, so many times I will have definite pictures in my head when I create, even if they’re personal and not really meant to be shared. In this sense I favor music that is evocative, meaning that I want you to come up with your own visuals in your own head.

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COLLABORATORS?

In terms of long time collaborators, my first nod for “A Sequence of Waves” would go to my engineer and mixing co-captain Garry Rindfuss. My first album proper was “Fields Amaze.” It was recorded at composer Philip Glass’s Looking Glass Studios on Broadway around Bleecker. He co-owned it with the Finn brothers from Split Enz and Crowed House. I met Garry through a common friend from the Knitting Factory and Lounge Lizards scene. He’s worked with many recording field greats from engineers and producers like Bob Clearmountain, Steve Lillywhite, and James Farber, to recording artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Queen, etc. I wanted to get contemporary classical music recorded with rock and pop techniques. That’s my sound.

The studio, since closed, was hopping then. Bang on a Can was recording their version of Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports” at the same time as us while David Bowie was putting the finishing touches on his album “Earthling” down the hall in Mark Plati’s room. Being my first album, it was all a bit overwhelming, but Garry’s good humor and cool demeanor got me through it. He’s been my engineer ever since.

The other long-term collaborator on “Sequence” is drummer John Ferrari. I met him two years after I met Garry and under very different circumstances. After I released the “Fields Amaze” album, I put together the Patrick Grant Group. It was an ensemble dedicated to my music consisting of a core of piano, organ, synthesizer, and drums with flute, clarinet, trombone, viola, cello, electric guitar, electric bass, and percussion. It was a little orchestra. Sometimes we’d even add a gamelan, the metal orchestra of Indonesia, for pieces that were inspired by my studies in Bali.

While this was going strong, I also took a job as composer-in-residence at The Ross School in East Hampton. It was the time of the dotcom boom and they wanted to do an international musical composition project with students in NY, Sweden, and China (and I even got to go there). I was spearheading the compositional element of the project with other instructors from abroad, but the kicker is that my mentors were Billy Joel and Quincy Jones. It all sounded great, the student musicians were great, but the project was overrun with too many adults with their own corporate and educational agendas. I’ll leave it at that.

One of them, a Swedish businessman, kept throwing trendy jargon-of-the-day at us as if that would make things more musical. He’d say to me, “Patrick, we have to start thinking outside of the box,” and I’d reply, “You’re telling me? I am the very definition of outside-of the-box! That’s why you hired me!” So, when I felt this million-dollar project was falling apart, on the good advice of Billy Joel, I resigned and went back to the city. As I suspected, the project never lived up to its potential and was never presented to the world as originally proposed. I got out just in time.

Why is this important? It’s because that’s where and when I met John Ferrari. My personal growth aside, he was the best part of that whole experience. He was hired as a percussion instructor and he eventually started working with me in showing everybody how to create music through live performance and electronics. He became the drummer for all future incarnations of the Patrick Grant Group and we’ve been making music every since.

I only point out these stories and their circumstances because it’s these kind of events that have bonded me to, not only these two artists, but to many other collaborators to which I have been blessed. It doesn’t happen every time, but when a trial-by-fire forges life-long friendships, among other things, it will always good for the music.

advice

INSPIRATIONS?

I’ve been asked this question a number of times and my answer has not varied much. Let’s see if I can put an original twist on it. I mean, we’re all, everybody, changing constantly. I’ve changed my mind over time, but one can always draw a line that connects it all. I mean, it’s always evolving.

My favorite kind of music, for lack of a better word, is music that suggests ceremony. Now, that sounds heavy and religious and a bit of a drag, but hear me out. By “ceremony” I just mean an event that is bigger than any one of us individually. Sometimes we’re too close to the trees to see the forest (as the saying goes), but much of our lives are based on rituals of all kinds, large and small, public and private, in a time or over a time. I’m sure anthropologists see it clearly. I mean, it’s easy for us to see in other societies, but perhaps harder to see it in ourselves.

Okay, I’m going down a rabbit hole here, so let me backtrack and clarify with examples. I grew up loving and playing the music of Bach. Yes, I did. I could read music easily at an early-ish age so I studied many of his scores when I was young. I liked the idea that much of his music was created with a specific purpose or event in mind, sacred or secular. This is music that has extra-musical purpose attached to it. Examples of this could be movements in a suite (dance) or a cantata (worship). It becomes forms that listeners come to recognize and respond to.

Jumping ahead a couple of hundred years, think of how much a rock concert has become, through trial and error, a form of ritual, all the way down to people holding up lit cigarette lighters for the encore. To someone from another planet that ritual might appear very similar to being in a cathedral during high mass.

So, for me, it’s not so much about genre or geography, it’s about music that suggests things that are bigger than us. It can have words or not. In the end, it’s about the music’s intention, its ability to convey that intention musically, and its ability to pull in as many listeners as possible without compromising its truth.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all about being lofty and putting on airs. I’d be just as down with a Voodoo wedding or a Punk Rock divorce just as long as it was musically sincere.

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HEROES?

Last year I accepted a position as a professor at the NYU Film School for two days a week teaching, what is essentially, a sound design course for freshmen. It’s a required class to expose all students to the power of narrative in sound. Because sound is invisible, it is too often taken for granted. It’s also interesting to me because these students come from all over and with different kinds of backgrounds and widely differing skill sets. Whether they go on to screenplays, video editing, cinematography, or directing (everybody wants to direct, right?), they learn how powerful sound and music can be together and how to use them.

One of their first assignments is the Interview Assignment. It is to teach them how to make a good field recording, to learn microphone technique, etc. They find someone to interview and make a 2-3 minute edited audio piece. Many times students will interview each other because that’s logistically simpler than running around the city to far-flung places.

When I was listening to some of these interviews, a “Profile of Student X” let’s say, they were reciting a laundry list of their likes passing as an interview. For example: “I really like this kind of music, I like this kind of food, I really like this comedy director, I like books by this author from the 1970s…” etc., etc., etc. A number of these interviews were like this, a list of their likes. I thought that maybe this is how things are done these days. I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I did at that age, too.

Yes, they were defining themselves by declaring a list of their likes, possibly because many are too young to have done anything yet of their own or, through Facebook, we are living in a “like” culture now? That’s just a theory, a gut feeling. Sounds good on the surface, it’s probably wrong.

I often wish that I heard more good music than I have. There is so much of out if you look and if you have the time to listen. Most of my time is spent putting together music that’s based upon the many things that have inspired me, and these things are not necessarily music either.

So, when I get asked “what musicians do I most admire and why?” I’m careful not to give a list. More than that, if I did, it would be hard to list musicians only. For me, people that have influenced me extend beyond musicians. There are visual artists, writers, playwrights, filmmakers, scientists, philosophers, architects, activists, and the list just goes on. It’s also an entangled and intertwined list because the history of all music, art, and science has always relied upon each other for inspiration. It’s a conversation between all of these things. It’s polyphony. It’s a cosmic clock.

Here’s something I noticed: the one quality that they all have in common, these things that I “like,” is the ability of the creators to communicate their personal experiences in such a way that it becomes universal to all those who hear it, see it, feel it.

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ADVICE?

This is always a difficult question, not only for me, but for many of the other musicians that get asked. I know that some, like Robert Fripp from King Crimson, will famously (and humorously) discourage young people from what gets described as “ a miserable life” and that becoming a plumber or some such trade would be a much better contribution to society. Recently the producer Brian Eno’s advice fell along the lines of “don’t get a day job” and was met with wild misunderstanding and criticism. Laurie Anderson suggest that we, “Keep it loose, be flexible…make it vague,” while Patti Smith offers up a straight forward “just keep doing your work.”

While all of their advice is good, it’s clear that there isn’t any single path to the life of an artist. Somebody once asked me, “Why does it seem like every famous musician received a lucky break at some point in their career?” I replied, “Easy. Because you never hear about the unlucky ones!” There could be some truth to that, but it’s also never a bad idea to live in a way that increases your chances of being in the right place at the right time in a way that makes sense to you. Even if fame and success are elusive, it’s a good way to live.

Falling into clichés when giving advice like this is a potential danger, it’s a trap. The truth seems to be that everyone who is determined will find a way. I feel like I’m still trying to find mine. You be surprise how many successful people still feel that they’re not there yet, that they’re not worthy giving out such advice. I can only speak of my own life and what has worked for me, things that I have observed in the work habits of others, and list some things that I have found inspiring.

In no particular order:

Until you make it, move to a city where some form of the industry exists. I know that cyberspace is supposed to level the geographic playing field, but there’s nothing like finding out where all the big shots are gathered and go there physically. This could be an art opening, a diner, even a small club. So, for all of the emails these people must be getting from other young hopefuls, there you are, in person.

Never stop learning, especially science as it relates to your craft. You know all of those names at the end of the movie in the credits? Those are jobs. Real jobs. Not only can you perfect your craft while you’re there, you’ll meet real people doing real things that could point you in the right direction if your aim needs clarification.

How can I get one of these jobs? Again, move to a city where some form of the industry exists. After you’ve made it, then you can get that house in the country. They’ll all be coming to you at that point.

If you haven’t done so already, expand your appreciation of the arts beyond music alone.

Read a book once in a while (technical manuals do not count!).

Go to a museum. Any kind.

Watch every “Dramatic Demonstrations in Physics” video that Julius Sumner Miller ever made. They’re uncommon and enchanting! Everything is music when you know physics.

Draw some pictures. Even if you suck at it, if you have good ideas, a real graphics person can show you how to flesh it out. We all made drawings when we were kids. Why do most people stop?

Watch the first 20 minutes of every “VH1: Behind the Music” episode ever. That’s how people made careers (don’t watch anything after that; it’s too depressing). Even if you don’t like the style music, anybody who has made a career in music has a story worth knowing.

Don’t think only about yourself. Be there for other musicians. Great things can happen when you give instead of take. Unexpected collaborations will come about if you make some time for other people’s ideas.

What’s the message here? Never stop learning. Learn across many fields. It’s all music if you listen.

The Future Is Now - (Dubai, UAE)

FUTURE?

There’s always something new from me in the social media, so I can give you those links to put on the end if you want. I’ll use this question to discuss current projects and where I hope they will go.

Right now I feel like I am creating in three parallel universes, one each that are rooted in the past, the present, or the future. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Strange Music, the company I founded when I incorporated. I have a number of works that have been building up that were never properly released or some that had one big performance and that was it. I feel an obligation to get this music out into the world, especially since I have an audience now. I need to do for my own legacy and I also need to do it to set the record straight in a couple of communities as to who-did-what-first. There are a number of cases where others with greater means than I took my concepts of mine and developed them on their own. Getting out these musical missing links will be a help to future writers in putting together a more complete picture of the current scene.

As worthy as these older and slightly older works may seem, there’s too much going on right now in the present to dwell too much in the past. It’s always a balancing act. The good thing is that there’s always something to do. Also, it’s easy to complete this older work because I have some “distance” on it now. I have no problem in being cutthroat in the editing process. The outcome is that we have leaner and cleaner versions of these pieces and I think they sound damn good. They sound as fresh and current as anything.

You asked earlier about meaning in my music? This is it. Drawing the line through all of these pieces to recognize and connect the elements that make them truly the result of myself. This is what is powering my present. It has become much easier for me to identify what it is that I should be doing. I have “put my ladder up against the wrong wall” a few times, only to climb it and see there was nothing I was looking for on the other side, but never again if I can help it.

What does that boil down to in reality? Projects. I am finishing tracks projects from Strange Music’s past and I am finishing two new albums for release as-soon-as-possible. Editing and mixing is in process now on one of them. I am also focusing on reconstructing the workflow of my studio. I simply need to work faster and more efficiently. I am getting work for radio and film down the road and so I prepare for that. Film has been a big inspiration in my music and I look forward to that work. This is the reason behind my creation of my production and publishing arm Peppergreen Media. That in itself is a way to frame disciplines within disciplines.

As for live performance, I’ve been very picky about excepting doing shows these days. For my bigger projects like Tilted Axes, there needs to be financing in advance. I’m currently working on two new sets of music for that group, one based on astronomy that’s meant to be performed partly in a planetarium (Imaginary Planets) and one that’s based on solar power and sustainable energy (Renewable Riffs). Science! Both projects have wonderful forms and structures that are found in physics that, when mapped into the realm of audible tone and rhythm, sound amazing.

I also have a practical need to create a small “performative” unit that can easily tour. There have been too many opportunities for this now for me to keep passing up. This unit would be comprised of me performing on guitar, keyboards, laptop and possibly vocals, with a live drummer and one or two other musicians. I have already written a lot of new material for this set-up, I just have to put it together this spring and begin summer previews for autumn performances.

In the meantime, everyone can look forward to the follow up to “A Sequence of Waves.” Right now the new album’s working title is “Velcro Variations,” but that might change. In the end, the finished album may reveal that it has a new title it has given itself. Sometimes it’s feels like it’s not up to me. I mean: I can only position the sail of the sailboat in the right direction. I am not the wind.

April 2018

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Patrick Grant Web Site: http://patrickgrant.com

http://peppergreenmedia.com/main_events_news.htm

Tilted Axes Album: http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

PG SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/patrick-grant-9

PG Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patrickgrantnyc

Tilted Axes FB Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/tiltedaxes/

A Sequence of Waves: http://www.peppergreenmedia.com/seqwav.html

 

Detroit Music Awards Nomination!

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Thank you Detroit Music Awards 2018 for nominating my album “A Sequence Of Waves” for OUTSTANDING CLASSICAL RECORDING. An even bigger thanks to all of the musicians, artists, and engineers who helped create it.

If you or anybody you know is a member of the DMA Foundation, please vote! The award ceremonies will take place at The Fillmore Detroit on May 4th

Patrick Grant

https://www.detroitmusicawards.net/

https://www.detroitmusicawards.net/nominees

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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/

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

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)