A Very Moving Symphony with Strings and Bells

Originally printed in THE VILLAGER – December, 2018

Tilted_1

Angela Babin and other members of the “Tilted Axes” performance group jammed on electric guitars on “Cold Moon Consort” in Sasaki Garden at N.Y.U.’s Washington Square Village, between Bleecker and W. Third Sts. and Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place, before making their way to “The Cube” at Astor Place. Photos by Bob Krasner (L to R: Sean Satin, Angela Babin, Chad Ossman)

BY BOB KRASNER | If you feel the need to simplify composer Patrick Grant’s long-running “Tilted Axes” project, you could call it a marching band for electric guitars. But given the complexity of the compositions and the dedication of the musicians, that description falls way short.

The latest performance of Grant’s “Music for Mobile Electric Guitars” was realized by 24 musicians, including Grant, on the winter solstice, in the Sasaki Garden at Washington Square Village, “The Alamo” at Astor Place a.k.a. “The Cube” and the streets between.

Tilted_2a

Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars – Cold Moon Consort (Patrick Grant center with, L to R, Chad Ossman, Michael Fisher, Sam Weisberg, Sean Satin, Dan Cooper, Howie Kenty).

The event was commissioned by Faculty Housing Happenings at New York University — where Grant is a professor — as part of “Make Music New York.” The confab featured music evenly divided between older pieces, structured improvisations and premieres written specifically for Friday night.

Tilted_2

Getting ready to move out from Sasaki Garden. (L to R: John Halo, Howie Kenty, Dylan Sparrow)

One of the new pieces, “Tiltinnabulation,” was written to include another Make Music group, “Bell By Bell.” According to Tom Peyton, the leader of that multigenerational group of bell ringers, they were notified that their path might cross with “Tilted Axes” and they were given the choice of avoiding each other or playing together.

Tilted_3

“Tilted Axes” performers playing their “axes” (blues lingo for guitars) while crossing Broadway on their way to “The Alamo” at Astor Place. (L to R: Gene Ardor, John Lovaas, Aileen Bunch, Jason Napier, Angela Babin)

Happily, they chose to do two numbers together at “The Cube” and the result was a perfect combo of chiming guitars and bells. Guitarist Angela Babin, a “Tilted Axes” veteran, called the collaboration “fabulous!”

“It was like a ‘West Side Story’ gang meet-up, with music and camaraderie and solstice celebration love,” she said.

Tilted_4

Composer Patrick Grant at “The Alamo” with his “Tilted Axes” performance group.

Carrying an electric guitar and an amp through the streets while playing somewhat complex music is a daunting task, but the participants found it more than worthwhile.

“The universal joy of the people we encountered on our parade route caused me to transcend the discomfort I felt at not being fully in command of the music, the weight on my back and shoulders,” David Demnitz said.

Tilted_5

Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars – Cold Moon Consort (front row seated L to R: Howie Kenty, Sarah Metivier Schadt, Jocelyn Gonzales, Jason Napier, Chad Ossman, Harry Scott, Sean Satin; middle row seated L to R: Sky Matthews, John Lovaas, Leslie Stevens, Patrick Grant, Robert Morton, Gene Ardor, Kevin Pfeiffer; back row standing L to R: Caitlin Cawley, Dan Cooper, Aileen Bunch, Sam Weisberg, Dylan Sparrow, Michael Fisher, John Halo, Angela Babin, David Demnitz, Reinaldo Perez, Jeremy Nesse, Jon Clancy)

Sam Weisberg voiced a similar sentiment, noting, “It’s a rush like no other. It was so worth the chronic right-shoulder pain!”

Grant made it through the balmy evening with a case of laryngitis that forced him to hoarsely whisper directions to bassist Sarah Metivier Schadt, who amply conveyed his instructions to the crew.

Tilted_6

“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.”

“There are many unforeseen elements that we could never have predicted,” Grant reflected. “We’re thinking on our feet, we’re performing live, we’re adjusting to the public in real time. Being there, mobile, right up against the public, brings out musical choices that we’d never come up with in rehearsal. There’s nothing like it.”

Onlookers concurred.

“The public went nuts, in a good way!” Grant enthused. “We couldn’t be happier.”

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

Please visit THE VILLAGER and support the great journalistic work they do.

 

Advertisements

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

Composers Play Composers Marathon – NYC

An audio-slideshow message from co-directors of Composers Concordance Records:


video editing: J. Gonzales – audio editing: P. Grant

Composers Concordance’s 2nd Annual
COMPOSERS PLAY COMPOSERS MARATHON
January 30th at Club Drom, NYC

music & performances by:

Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Patrick Grant, David Morneau, Robert Voisey, Kevin James, Peter Jarvis, Dave Taylor, John Clark, Jay Rozen, Hayes Greenfield, Valerie Coleman, Lynn Bechtold, Robert Dick, Franz Hackl, Milica Paranosic, Arthur Kampela, David Claman

CLUB DROM
85 Avenue A
(b/w 5th & 6th)
New York, NY
(212) 777-1157
http://www.dromnyc.com

$20 at door includes one drink

Read the PRESS RELEASE

Patrick Grant

Encontre a Bossa Velha, mesma que a Bossa Nova

“Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro – December 8, 1994 in New York), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. A primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.”

Tom Jobim: b. 1927 Rio de Janeiro – d. 1994 New York

So goes the WIKI. Happy Birthday, Tom.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been a Bossa Nova fan per se but the more I hear it the deeper my respect grows. Not surprisingly, it grew by leaps and bounds in recent years while working in Brazil. Something about actually being there and taking in that vibe. I’m sure that’s a quite common effect when we travel to a place where any art originates.

This year, to celebrate Jobim’s anniversary on January 25, the radio station WKCR 89.9 FM in New York City is having an all-day on-air festival of his life and music. As part of that series of events, NYC-based composer Arthur Kampela, himself a native of São Paulo, Brazil, put together a group of composers to create recorded arrangements of Jobim’s music. That airs at 8 PM (01:00 GMT) and is able to be heard via streaming on the internet through the station’s web site.

Amongst the composers that Arthur put together to create arrangements were: himself, Clarice Assad, Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, myself, and most likely a few more that I won’t know about until I hear the broadcast. When the email went out, Arthur had a list of the composers and included suggestions of pieces we might want to work with. Like I said, not being the biggest Bossa Nova fan, and, the more famous pieces already having been doled out (The Girl from Impanema et al), I had to YouTube the suggestions I was given. I listened to them. Hmm…I wasn’t particularly inspired, despite the fine pieces that they are. Scrolling through a list of Jobim compositions, One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota So) caught my eye. With nothing more than the title (one note? I can handle that!) I listened to the original once (OK, I had heard it before I realized) and set to work.

Having no interest in trying to beat the Brazilians at their own game, I had to choose an approach that would be respectful yet unique enough to be worth the effort. I started thinking: how many things do we hear every day that push one note “melodies” at us? I made a short list to get started and then began collecting samples, tuning them all to the same pitch and beat mapping them into the same tempo.

The result was a new piece I call One Note Sampla for Tom Jobim. You can listen to the original here.

Busy Signals in D#m7

“One Note Sampla for Tom Jobim” by Patrick Grant

If you tune in and want to follow along, here’s a list of sounds that one can hear when listening to the piece:

1. A chorus of touch tone phones, from dial tone to keypad to busy signals. The busy signals build up into the first chord of the song (D#m7) in patterns of 2s, 3s, and 4s. A chromatic electric guitar duet is accompanied by strings and timpani as a drum loop of junkyard metal establishes the down beat.

2. A garbage truck alarm sounds as it backs up, left to right, with strings playing the harmonies of a slowed down chorus.

3. Submarine SONAR pings with added dripping water FX. Dripping water in a submarine? Not good.

4. Cells phones ringing and the door chimes of a NYC subway car. Going somewhere.

5. Bells and anvils clang during a double-time jazz version of the chorus.

6. More cell phones ringing with different model car horns playing the one note melody in the distance. Brazilian traffic jam?

7. A heart monitor and respirator. After a gasp, the monitor goes flatline. An international vehicle siren is heard following the descending chromatic harmony of the piece, mimicking a Doppler effect.

8. A rock band kicks in. Under the jangly guitars, an orchestral cresendo from Alban Berg’s expressionist opera Wozzeck is heard.  This comes from the end of Act Two Scene Two of the opera, Variations on a Single Note. At the end you can hear the timpani play the dominant rhythmic motive from Berg’s piece:

The dominant rhythmic motive from Wozzeck

9. One last chorus. The guitars are now in canon, one beat behind the other.

10. Two guitars battle out the last instance of the one-note melody. The orchestra swells on that one note again until…

Patrick Grant


H2Opus: First Rehearsal for Make Music New York 2010

Here’s a slideshow from the first rehearsal of H20pus: Fluid Soundscapes for Multiple Composers, a special performance produced by Patrick Grant for Make Music New York taking place on Monday June 21, 2010 at Waterside Plaza, 23rd Street & The East River, from 7PM – 9PM.

In these photos from June 15: Composers Dan Cooper, Gene Pritsker, Joseph Pehrson, Kamala Sankaram & Patrick Grant with performers Kathleen Supove, Marija Ilic and Lynn Bechtold. Drummer/percussionist John Ferrari will join in beginning rehearsal No. 2.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “H20pus: First Rehearsal for Make Musi…“, posted with vodpod

Pieces on the Program:

Lonely Ride Coney Island – Patrick Grant
Prudendurance Wet –
Joseph Pehrson
Wading for Bait Man –
Patrick Grant 
Water Possessed 4-
Gene Pritsker
Sounds of Sirens –
Patrick Grant
Lucid Intervals –
Patrick Grant
Deep Time 2-
Gene Pritsker
Solstice Bells –
Dan Cooper
Pilgrim –
Kamala Sankaram
Fishbowl – Dan Cooper
Design –
Dan Cooper

Jocelyn

Is It Safe? The Marathon Men Behind “Composers Play Composers”

It seems like a logistical nightmare but it could be the best bargain of the new year so far: 23 composers playing their own work (solo, duo or trio), each piece only 4 minutes in length, all in one night, on one stage, in one nightclub, for one low price.

Sounds like a plan to me!

The details: On Sunday January 31st, Composers Concordance presents “Composers Play Composers” Marathon Concert at Club Drom in New York City’s East Village.

Organized by CC directors Gene Pritsker, Joseph Pehrson and Dan Cooper (all of whom will be performing at the event), this is a chance for NYC audiences to sample nugget-sized pieces by some of the most active and creative folks in the new music scene.

I’m curious as to how the composers will adapt to a 4 minute time restriction, if they are used to creating works of much longer lengths. And the task of getting 23 acts on and off the stage should be a feat in and of itself!

Our very own Patrick Grant sat down with Gene, Joe and Dan to find out how this event came together. Here’s a video of their conversation:

For the record, the composers appearing at Drom on Jan 31st are: Roger Blanc, Thomas Bo, Luis Andrei Cobo, Charles Coleman, Dan Cooper, Larry Goldman, David Gotay, Patrick Grant, Franz Hackl, Don Hagar, Arthur Kampela, Alon Nechushtan, Daniel Palkowski, Milica Paranosic, Akmal Parwez, Joseph Pehrson, Gene Pritsker, Paola Prestini, Jody Redhage, Kamala Sankaram, William Schimmel, Andrew Violette, and Theodore Wiprud.

“Composers Play Composers” Marathon Concert
January 31, 2010 – 7 PM-10 PM
Club Drom
85 Avenue A (bet 5th and 6th street), NYC
$10 + two drinks
Produced in collaboration with VisionIntoArt with live visuals by Astrid Steiner and media by Carmen Kordas.
www.composersconcordance.org
www.dromnyc.com

Jocelyn