Ten Mixes to Countdown the New Year

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.

LISTEN: December 23, 2020

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.

LISTEN: December 24, 2020

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.

LISTEN: December 25, 2020

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.

LISTEN: December 26, 2020

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.

LISTEN: December 27, 2020

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).

LISTEN: December 28, 2020

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).

LISTEN: December 29, 2020

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.

LISTEN: December 30, 2020

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?

LISTEN: December 31, 2020

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

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Ten Mixes to Countdown the New Year #1

Ten Mixes to Countdown the New Year
beginning tomorrow, Tue., Dec. 22nd
tiltedaxes.com/points2020.html
every mix is a new composition

What is it? It’s 20 musicians bringing 20 musical cells each into a protean structure created and produced for the winter solstice as part of our Tilted Axes‘ “Points of Seeing” solstice event.

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.

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.

More info: http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

Tilted Axes’ 20/20 Soundscape

Announcing Tilted Axes’ “20/20 Soundscape” as part of our “Points of Seeing” virtual event on Dec. 21.

To attend this event, sign up here: http://bit.ly/points-of-seeing.

What is this? 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.

This new music and event are brought to you in part by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council‘s 2020 Creative Engagement Award.

http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

A Tilt for Our Time performers and participants

Meet the Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars performers and participants for “A Tilt for Our Time” on 12/20 in NYC… 

FIRST ROW: Angela Babin, John Halo, Paul de Konkoly Thege, Geoff Gersh, Gene Ardor

SECOND ROW: Sean Satin, Patrick Grant, Jaxie Binder, Steve Bloom, Anthony Mullin

THIRD ROW: Chad Ossman, Alex Durante, Jeremy Nesse, Jason Napier, Dave Fabris

FOURTH ROW: John Ferrari, Kevin Pfeiffer, Tamika Gorski, Dan Cooper, Jon Clancy

Sunday, December 20, 12 noon to 3pm EST: Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars performs ‘A Tilt for Our Time‘, a new music procession and socially distanced public action through Lower Manhattan. Post-rock composer Patrick Grant will lead the group in a “tilt” from Greenwich Village to the East Village and back again with a ceremonial stop at the Astor Place Cube (The Alamo). Tilted Axes will present a program of new pieces created for the event along with classics from their catalog. Procession route and performance details TBA. ‘A Tilt for Our Time’ is 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. Rehearsal space support by Alchemical Studios. This event is part of Make Music Winter NYC and is produced by Peppergreen Media.

More iNFO at http://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

Tilted Axes: Past, Present, Future

6/20 audio link launches at 5:43 pm EDT … https://bit.ly/30QWpLV
6/21 video link launches at 8:00 pm EDT … https://vimeo.com/426311201

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

Touchy_Subjects_artists_ALONE

(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

Touchy_Subjects_4a

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.”

For details about “Touchy Subjects” and the June 20-21 release info, please follow Tilted Axes on InstagramFacebook, or go to our web site: http://www.tiltedaxes.com

The work is being presented in conjunction with Make Music New York and Make Music Day

Not pictured in the roster graphic above: Dan Cooper (7-string electric bass)

Contact info: press@peppergreenmedia.com

Tilted Axes “Touchy Subjects” Artists

Touchy_Subjects_artists_ALONE

6/20 audio link launches at 5:43 pm EDT … https://bit.ly/30QWpLV
6/21 video link launches at 8:00 pm EDT … https://vimeo.com/426311201

The artists of Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars‘ “Touchy Subjects” …

(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

(USA, Brazil, Germany, and beyond)

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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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