Tilted Axes Web Page
Ten Mixes to Countdown the New Year
every mix is a new composition
1. “Staring” 64 BPM
2. “Looking” 96 BPM
3. “Watching” 144 BPM
4. “Observing” 96 BPM
5. “Seeing” 64/128 BPM
Announcing Tilted Axes’ “20/20 Soundscape” as part of our “Points of Seeing” virtual event on December 21, 2020.
What is it? It’s 20 musicians bringing 20 musical cells each into a protean structure created and produced for the winter solstice.
Musicians participating are: Aileen Bunch, Alex Durante, Amy Denio, Angela Babin, Chad Ossman, Christoph Götzen, Dan Cooper, Elisa Corona Aguilar, Gene Ardor, Gerard Smith, Howie Kenty, Jane Mabrysmith, Jason Goldstein, Jeremy Nesse, John Ferrari, Leslie Stevens, Michael Fisher, Michelle Zulli, Steve Ball, and Tony Geballe.
Letter of Invitation Sent to Musicians
This new music and event are made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Tilted Axes is powered by Vox Amps USA. This event is part of Make Music Winter NYC and produced by Peppergreen Media.
Ten Mixes to Countdown the New Year
every mix is a new composition
The Process: Unedited drafts of each mix will be posted here as they are created. When the set of ten is complete the process of editing will begin. Each mix will be edited for its structure, balance, and duration. Expect the results of each track to be be 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the original. In this way, it is much like editing a film: only the good bits need remain. From these transcriptions for live performance could be made.
LISTEN: December 22, 2020
Proof of Concept (11:06 unedited)
The first of the first. Raw. This is an entirely intuitive and random AF “proof of concept” mix. The only effects used in this fairly clean initial mix is an overall reverb for room ambiance. Future mixes will incorporate more effects. It is a slight modification of the mix that was used as occasional background during the Points of Seeing live stream. The clip array was played entirely with single mouse clicks and drags (for now) as opposed to using an external controller. The clips are played in concept order of Staring (64 BPM), Looking (96 BPM), Watching (144 BPM), Observing (96 BPM) and Seeing (64/128 BPM). Some sections work well and others could be better, but this is a great sound to arrange structurally to develop as a composition. Thanks to all the players for putting your soul into this.
Any Given Moment (12:10 unedited)
This is quieter. It concentrates on a clarinet quartet with percussion, all three bassists, with guitars and Stick supplying patterns as connective tissue. The clarinet quartet was created artificially by multiplying Amy Denio 4x and playing her parts in canon for unintentionally-intentional polyphony. The sense of quiet comes from staying within the 96 BPM of the “Looking” section and allowing only a handful of instruments at any given time. The sense here is Stravinskian in that an orchestral sized group is only deployed in smaller subsets at any given moment. The structure is approximately ABA with the woodwinds appearing only in the outer sections.
Stereo Crunch (15:54 unedited)
Fretted strings and indefinite percussion only. There is no winds, vibes or xylophone in this mix. This involved rebalancing all of the parts. It’s a different approach. Guitars were divided left and right into stereo pairs that shared a similar soft-amp plug-in. This mix works through the sections “Seeing” to “Observing” and ending on “Watching” (543 in terms of the original 12345 order). It’s interesting to hear accompaniment parts become the focus while “lead” parts fade into the middleground. This is a quality that will be refined in future mixes.
Mallet Canons Bright and Light (14:03 unedited)
The mallet tracks are triplicated for random canon polyphony. The size of the guitar ensemble is reduced by half. The saxophone makes a number of middleground entrances. The piece grooves within a solid 64bpm (or subdivided as 128bpm) by staying within the “Staring” section for the first half and the “Seeing” section for the second half. Out of all the mixes so far, this one avoids any section where all instruments play at the same time. They don’t. They are always small, transparent textures. If one gets too big, it changes to a smaller group immediately or gets stripped down instrument by instrument before building a new section.
Scherzophrenia (13:59 unedited)
Multiple personalities exist within this single organism. There’s also lots of effects on the guitars here. The material stays brisk throughout drawing from the 144 BPM phrases of the central “Watching” section. There’s many different combinations of smaller groups, every player’s contribution gets heard within this mix. There’s a big buildup in the middle and one near the end. Skronky guitars play against long tones in the background in sections where the rhythm section drops out entirely only to quickly return with a vengeance. This mix represents the end of the first half of these 10 countdown mixes. There is a great difference between where they have came from and where they have ending up here. All in all, the larger piece, the total of all soundscapes, has been revealing possibilities along the way. The intuitive combining of elements heard so far has given many clues to what lies ahead in its further evolution.
Half the Truth Makes a Great Lie (21:42 unedited)
This mix and the next one are experiments in texture. The group was divided (approximately) in half and a recording was made using only these musicians. The mix follows the complete Staring – Looking – Watching – Observing – Seeing (ABCDE) structure in that order. The musicians on this mix are: Christoph Götzen, Steve Ball, Michael Fisher, Elisa Corona Aguilar, Aileen Bunch, Angela Babin, Chad Ossman, Alex Durante, Dan Cooper, and John Ferrari (vibes, xylophone, and hand percussion).
How the Other Half Tilts (16:09 unedited)
This mix and the previous one are experiments in texture. The group was divided (approximately) in half and a recording was made using only these musicians. The mix follows the complete Staring – Looking – Watching – Observing – Seeing (ABCD) structure in that order. The musicians on this mix are: Gerard Smith, Howie Kenty, Gene Ardor, Leslie Stevens, Tony Geballe, Michelle Zulli, Jason Goldstein, Amy Denio, Jeremy Nesse (stick, bass, touch guitar), Jane Mabrysmith, and John Ferrari (drums and hand percussion).
It’s a Clean Machine (13:05 unedited)
This mix goes back to the full ensemble. A significant difference is soft amp plug-ins on all guitars (Waves CLA mono amps) set to various “clean” settings, as a way to get away from the overdriven sounds of the last few mixes. It is similar in sound and form to the very first mix, but with the added benefit of experience. Different combinations of instruments were tried, but some it it feels kind of lazy. After this mix it’s time to shake things up. Even so, there are many good moments here that make the effort unique and worthwhile. Look forward to some change in the penultimate and final mixes coming up.
A Mix of a Mix of a MMXX (16:42 unedited)
This mix aims to break off from the grid (the session array) that has been used up to this point. For this mix the structure consists of the clips from “Looking” and “Observing” (both 96 BPM) being combined into each other with the clips being interlaced. This section then moves into the clips from “Staring” and “Seeing” (64/128 BPM) which have been similarly combined and interlaced. This makes any familiarity with the patterns triggered or memorized up to this point useless. In a sense, it is brand new in this way. As a result, some of the transitions are smoother than in previous mixes, but there are also many that are more jarring than found in previous ones. Any seeming disadvantage was used as an advantage wherever possible. Every strange jump was repeated to become integral to the evolving structure. How could this not be seen as a metaphor for the year MMXX itself?
Scenes of Pointing (21:43 unedited)
Music writer Kyle Gann tells of composer Morton Feldman describing one of his string quartets: ’’It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that every piece you put in fits,” he says, ”and then when you finish it, you see that it’s not the picture. That was the idea. The jigsaw puzzle, everything finishes, and it’s not the picture. Then you do another version, and it’s not the picture. Finally you realize that you are not going to get a picture.” While listening through these mixes, that’s the effect I experienced. It’s like being like a tour of a very large and grand mansion, entering the hallway, going up and down the big staircase, seeing variations of the architecture along the way. Sometimes you can see rooms far away down the hall that you’ll get to later in the tour and then can look back at those rooms across the expanse to which you’ve been. I’d like this experience to feel like that to the listener at the very least. At the very most, this experience was a great proving ground toward future group collaborations. It works on a number of levels and can be adapted and refined. This is was a point of seeing, this was the finger pointing at the moon. Thank you everybody who contributed to this project, thank you to the sponsors who provided the means to make it happen, and thank you, yes, thank you to the Year 2020 that gave us the opportunity to grow under incredibly difficult circumstances. Let’s take what’s useful to us into 2021 and leave everything else that is not far behind, but to never forget.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Please Join Us for Our 2021 Projects!
Donation link: https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/tilted-axes-music-for-mobile-electric-guitars. By supporting our work with your tax deductible donation, we’ve been able to keep works like this free to the public.
If you’ve been a part of our team in the past, now is a good time upgrade your status and renew your membership!
THANK YOU EVERYONE Who has given so generously. We are honored by your support! #TiltedAxes
1 of 3 (string orchestra version), The Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, music © 2008 by Patrick Grant / www.StrangeMusic.com, performed by SONYC: String Orchestra of NYC
2 of 3 (electric guitar version), The Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, music © 2013 by Patrick Grant, performed by Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars and recorded as “Rivera Court” ℗ 2016 PGM1601 (ASCAP). Premiered March 20, 2013 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
3 of 3 (techno music version), The Diego Rivera murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, music © 2011 by Patrick Grant / www.StrangeMusic.com, performed by Hi-Q
Patrick Grant is a Detroit-born American composer living and working in New York City. His works are a synthesis of classical, popular, and world musical styles that have found a place in concert halls, film, theater, dance, and visual media over three continents.
Read it on Esthetic Lens’ web site here: http://www.estheticlens.com/2020/08/21/creative-quarantine-composer-patrick-grant/
A new video by Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars
for International Strange Music Day
June 29, 2020: For Immediate Release
On August 24, 2020, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars will release a new music video in observance of International Strange Music Day. The new work, entitled “Strange Changes”, is part of a multiplatform meditation on the word “strange” and its many meanings.
In what could easily be the strangest year on record for many of us, 2020 brings with it a number of challenges for us to confront as a society and individually. The idea of strangeness and the unfamiliar are obstacles for many people. What is the source of the fear that these people are experiencing? How have the roots of these fears manifested into centuries old systemic barriers that need to be removed?
On International Strange Music Day, Tilted Axes invites people to begin this work simply: to listen without prejudice, to seek first to understand.
Tilted Axes is an award-winning project of post-rock composer and performer Patrick Grant, which brings especially composed electric guitar music into public spaces. The group consists of 15-18 electric guitarists playing instrumental music through wearable mini-amps, accompanied by percussionists and other performers. Stylistically the ensemble covers a number of genres, centering on the nexus where rock, classical, and world music meet. Tilted Axes performs in public squares, museums, and festivals of all kinds. Recently the group has been creating free online content in response to the current crisis.
“For ’Strange Changes’ the aim is to create something that relates to our shared moment and yet could be understood as a project by anyone anytime anywhere,” says creator Grant. “We don’t want to create another grid-style video. We’re compiling images and video footage from our musicians and other artistic collaborators and building a narrative, visually and musically, that encompasses the personal experiences that we are all sharing in this strangest of times.”
As in similar creations from Tilted Axes, expect a large complement of auxiliary material completing the “Strange Changes” picture: related music and mixes, visual art, interviews with project participants, and micro-productions popping up in social media.
Tilted Axes “Strange Changes” Artists (USA, Brazil, Germany)
1st row: Aileen Bunch, Alex Lahoski, Angela Babin, Anthony Garone, Christoph Goetzen, Dan Cooper, 2nd row: Daniel Reyes Llinas, Frauke Wilhelm, Gael Grant, Gerard Smith, James La Croix, Jane Mabrysmith, 3rd row: Jason Goldstein, Jeff Adams, Jeremy Nesse, Jocelyn Gonzales, John Ferrari, Jon Clancy, 4th row: Leslie Stevens, Marcelo Andrade, Michael Fisher, Michelle Zulli, Nomena Struß, Nora Elbayoumy, 5th row: Patrick Grant, Sarah Metivier Schadt, Steve Ball, Sudeip Ghosh, Thiago Cury, Tony Twilight
Strange Music Day is a “holiday” created by Grant in 2000 as an internet meme. Ever since then, the concept has gained wide appeal and has grown internationally. Observance of Strange Music Day has been adopted by radio stations, summer schools, music festivals, and used as a platform to celebrate music, performance, and sonic innovation all over the world every August 24th.
For complete details about “Strange Changes”, its August 24th International Strange Music Day release and related events, please follow Tilted Axes on Instagram, Facebook, or on its web site.
“Strange Changes” is presented in partnership with the Festival Música Estranha (São Paulo), Make Weird Music, and is made possible by generous private donations through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas and with support from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Adjunct Development Fund.
More iNFO at http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html
A note from Tilted Axes’ creator:
“Since its creation almost a decade ago, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars has been an open ensemble where musicians and artists of different backgrounds and identities create performances together. As the group’s creative director and composer, I would like to express my gratitude to the many musicians who have contributed their artistic voices to the overall mix. This is what makes Tilted Axes unique and every tilt we undertake different from the ones that came before. Our mission and tradition of going out into the world and performing free for the public will hopefully be curtailed for only as short a while as is safe and possible. In the meantime, we are adapting our approach to continue to create meaningful art for our changing times. We support all efforts to end ignorance, social inequity, and systemic racism. As musicians, we learn that the greater part of performing well is to listen to each other. Our ears are open.” – Patrick Grant
(1st row) Angela Babin, Alex Lahoski, Jeff Adams, Marcelo Andrade, Steve Ball, Aileen Bunch, Eduardo Cabral, (2nd row) Jude Closson, Nora Elbayoumy, John Ferrari, Michael Fisher, Michael Foti, Sudeip Ghosh, Christoph Goezten, (3rd row) Jocelyn Gonzales, Gael Grant, Patrick Grant, James La Croix, Daniel Reyes Llinas, Jane Mabrysmith, Anthony Mullin, (4th row) Jeremy Nesse, Reinaldo Perez, Sarah Metivier Schadt, Christopher Simpson, Gerard Smith, Leslie Stevens, Skeeto Valdez, (from the USA, Brazil, Germany, and beyond)
Tilted Axes to premiere “Touchy Subjects,” video and music for the Summer Solstice June 20-21
On June 20-21, 2020, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars will release new music (June 20) and an accompanying video (June 21) in observance of the Summer Solstice. The new work, entitled “Touchy Subjects”, is a musical meditation on the real phenomenon of “touch starvation” that many are experiencing since the onset of social distancing. “Touchy Subjects” will explore the tonalities of touch, or the ways in which we physically connect to the world we inhabit have changed.
Tilted Axes is an award-winning project of post-rock composer and performer Patrick Grant, which brings specially composed electric guitar music into public spaces. The group consists of 15-18 electric guitarists playing instrumental music through wearable mini-amps, accompanied by percussionists and other performers. Stylistically the ensemble covers a number of genres, centering on the nexus where rock, classical, and world music meet. Tilted Axes performs in public squares, museums, and festivals of all kinds.
“For ‘Touchy Subjects’ the aim is to create something that relates to our universal situation and can be understood anytime anywhere, past, present, or future,” says creator Grant. “At the same time, we don’t want to create another grid-style video. We’re compiling images and video footage from our musicians and other collaborators and building a musical and visual narrative that encompasses the personal experiences we all share. Like other works that I have produced which are informed by science (“Genome: The Autobiography of a Species”, “Moonwalk” for the Apollo 11 anniversary, etc.), we are consulting trained psychologists in the creation of this work. We are lucky that one of our Tilted Axes members is a doctor of psychology. We feel confident that, while we are certainly making art that is open to interpretation, that the sources of inspiration are informed and enlightened.”
Not pictured in the roster graphic above: Dan Cooper (7-string electric bass)
Contact info: email@example.com
AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
ABOUT THE IGNITE THE ARTS LIVESTREAM
We want to begin by acknowledging that this has been a difficult two weeks for many, our team included. We hope you are well and safe.
We’ve made the decision to postpone this week’s telethon.
We chose the date for this event prior to the start of worldwide protests seeking justice for the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor, to name but a few of the most recent victims of white supremacy and police violence in our nation. These protests have accomplished an incredible amount in a short time, and it is our fervent wish that the progress continues unabated when so much still needs to be done.
We believe that proceeding with the telethon as planned would be out of step with what the present moment requires. Attempting to generate attention for this event when it is needed elsewhere would be antithetical to our commitment to opposing racism and oppression.
We also acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of artists, disproportionately affecting communities of color. Until we can produce a fully-fledged telethon at an appropriate time, we still want to amplify the work of our artists by sharing it with our larger network.
Specifically, if you’re using your platform as an artist to dismantle white supremacy and advance the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement, we would like to feature your work on social media and/or in our blog. Please complete this brief survey to quickly let us know about your antiracism work as an artist. We’ll be in touch if and when there is an opportunity to feature your project.
Rest assured, we still plan to produce this telethon event (and others like it) with your fiscally-sponsored project featured in the lineup. If you’ve already started spreading the word about this telethon and invited folks to our Facebook event, you have our thanks, not only for promoting the event but also for understanding the need to disrupt the plan. You can share this announcement with your audiences via the URL below.
We’ll be in touch soon with more info and rescheduled dates. Thank you for again for your flexibility and understanding.
The Team at Fractured Atlas
Dear friends and supporters,
We hope that everyone reading this is safe and healthy.
There are two streaming events that are coming up that we wanted to tell you about that can be watched remotely.
EARTH DAY 50 VIRTUAL KICK-OFF
Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars is proud to be a part of the Earth Day 50 Virtual Kick-off this Sunday April 19, via a new video commissioned by 350NYC. The event is presented by Earth Day Initiative and March for Science NYC from 4pm to 10pm EDT. The line up includes Al Gore, Senator Elizabeth Warren, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ian Somerhalder, and others with exhibitions by 350NYC, Climate Clock, and many more. Together we can build a better world.
To join the stream, RSVP to the Virtual Stage HERE: http://www.earthdayinitiative.org/virtual-kick-off
#350nyc #TiltedAxes #TogetherWeCan #ClimateActionNow
THE DETROIT MUSIC AWARDS
Patrick Grant is nominated for Outstanding Classical Composer and Tilted Axes is nominated in the same field for Outstanding Small Ensemble. We are honored to be included with so many talented friends and colleagues. The 29th Annual Detroit Music Awards ceremony will be held online for the first time ever at 8pm EDT, also on Sunday, April 19. Tune in for some fantastic surprise appearances and special, never before seen, performances as Detroit celebrates its music community.
To watch the awards, follow this link: https://bit.ly/2Vv0fpw
In our last update, we announced some upcoming performances and new grant funding. As with so many others, our live performances and site specific events have been put on hold during this current crisis. We will be updating you soon with news of rescheduled performances and new projects.
On a brighter note, we would like to welcome Nora Elbayoumy to Peppergreen Media in her administrative role. Nora comes to us via Alchemical Studios where she works as the Technical Facilities Manager and we look forward to utilizing her Stage Managing skills for our future productions.
Thank you, stay safe, be well,