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

Join Our Team

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Concert Announcement in Chicago

Concert Announcement: This coming Wednesday, December 16th at 7pm CST, Chicago-based Fulcrum Point New Music Project will be performing Patrick Grant‘s “three times one minus one“* for two performers and prerecorded track in a streaming concert dedicated to our front-line workers. The performers on my piece are Kuang Hao Huang, piano, and Steve Roberts, electric guitar with electronics, under the direction of Stephen Burns. Also on the program will be music by Shatin, Saariaho, Shostakovich, and Angel Bat Dawid and Sistazz of tha Nitty Gritty.

We hope you can tune in! More info: fulcrumpoint.org/upcoming

* a.k.a. “to find a form that accommodates the mess

“A Tilt for Our Time” Postponed Until 2021

We held out for as long as we could, but due to increasing COVID concerns in New York City, we have regrettably made the decision to POSTPONE our live performance. It will be rescheduled ASAP in the new year.

However, our originally scheduled virtual presentation “Points of Seeing” will go ahead as planned on December 21, the Winter Solstice, at 7PM EST.

To join “Points of Seeing” please register at this link: http://bit.ly/points-of-seeing.

Interview, Events, and Gratitude from Tilted Axes

We wanted to let you know about a new interview that came out today on the Fractured Atlas blog and about December events that are currently scheduled. All information is below and you can click on the links to find out more.

We are grateful to all of our supporters and co-producers. With your support we just finished giving our fall series of Remote Recording Workshops, free of cost to interested participants. That means we’ll have much more music for all of you to listen to in the near future. 

Wishing you and yours a healthy and safe rest of November!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Member Spotlight: Tilted Axes PG Interview

https://blog.fracturedatlas.org/member-spotlight-tilted-axes

UPCOMING DECEMBER EVENTS

Monday, December 21, 7pm ESTTilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars presents Points of Seeing, an online presentation of recent work with live performance and a Q&A with the public. Tilted Axes artistic director Patrick Grant hosts an event where he and members of the ensemble discuss their past, present, and future work through music, visual art, and interaction with a live audience. The presentation will focus on how Tilted Axes has adapted its creative process in the past year, what was learned, and a look ahead. Links to view or participate in the presentation will be announced in December. 

The afternoon before, there is a live performance scheduled in New York City, that is, should conditions remain to be safe…

Sunday, December 20, 12 noon to 3pm ESTTilted 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. 

NOTICE: Due to the ongoing nature of necessary public health concerns, PGM/Tilted Axes is continually monitoring the situation. If A Tilt for Our Time needs to be rescheduled, we will let you know ASAP.

Points of Seeing and A Tilt for Our Time 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. Rehearsal space support provided by Alchemical Studios. These events are part of Make Music Winter NYC and are produced by Peppergreen Media

ALL info TBAhttp://tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html

New Tilted Axes Video

 

Please join our team and support #TiltedAxes at 6:30pm EDT sharp tonight at the first #IgniteTheArts Livestream: http://www.facebook.com/events/558641044807196

If you could not attend this virtual telethon, you can support Tilted Axes directly via our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas. Thank you! https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/tilted-axes-music-for-mobile-electric-guitars

#LongLiveTheArtist #Covid19 #Artists

Combining the energy of rock, the creative discipline of theater, and the experimental spirit of the NYC arts scene, Tilted Axes is both a processional event, and an ensemble of mobile electric guitarists created by Patrick Grant.

A classically trained post-rocker with a background in theatre, Patrick created Tilted Axes as a way of untethering the electric guitar from stage amps. This allows Tilted Axes to bring live music to our audiences, instead of the other way around. Tilted Axes is also a continuing expression of Patrick’s life-long interest in science and technology.

Tilted Axes’ free public performances feature music composed by Patrick, with the guitarists using portable amplifiers strapped to their sides as they walk through the streets. The procession of musicians moves along pre-planned routes in select areas, usually in honor of an event, a landmark, or an organization unique to that community.

Tilted Axes has had multiple incarnations in the USA, Europe, and South America. The ensemble performs during the annual Make Music New York celebrations for both the summer and winter solstices, in neighborhoods like the East Village, Harlem and Bushwick.

Tilted Axes has a frequent presence in Detroit as part of the city-wide cultural events Concert of Colors and the March du Nain Rouge, and at venues like the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Michigan Science Center, and Third Man Records.

The electric guitars of Tilted Axes have echoed through the streets of Sao Paulo Brazil and Düsseldorf Germany, in collaboration with local arts groups and musicians who embody the spirit and culture of their cities.

When the pandemic hit, Tilted Axes, like so many of their fellow artists, was hit hard. Unable to perform for the public, our group has had to adapt. But constant transformation is part of Patrick’s ethos as an artist. Tilted Axes was able to pull together international collaborations in the virtual sense, such as its appearance in the online celebrations of Earth Day 2020.

Tilted Axes created an audio-visual exploration on the lack of social touch during lockdown called “Touchy Subjects”, with musical tracks and home video collected from dozens of musicians. And another digital collaboration to mark International Strange Music Day is bringing together the far flung members of the group for a musical and visual meditation on the meaning of “strange” – in a year that almost defies the definition of the word.

Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars is working on more projects in 2020, finding new ways to bring their potent and pertinent music to the public, with an element of joyous wonder. But the ensemble needs your help to support the musicians and staff who make the project happen. Through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, you can make a tax deductible contribution to our work. Help us make sure that Tilted Axes always stays in motion.