Monday, January 31, 2011

First of Two Upcoming Concerts: Feb. 3rd (Thursday) at the Chapel

What: two of the “SoundScrolls” pieces (#5 and #6), three shorter works for guided improvisation over prerecorded sound, and a set by jazz/improv group Hexafone.

When: February 3rd (this coming Thursday), 8:00 to roughly 9:45.

Where: Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center, 50th and Sunnyside, in Wallingford (Seattle, WA).

Price: Sliding scale, $5.00 to $15.00.


SoundScrolls V: A relatively long piece in three movements, for solo piano over prerecorded sound; more contemplative than many of the “SoundScrolls” pieces (its mood is close to that of many of the “StormSound” pieces). The first movement is for piano with two more pianos prerecorded and shifted slightly into microtones (I’m going into a studio tomorrow to put the finishing touches on this). All three play slow, chordal music based on a graphic score. The short second movement is for prerecorded sound alone; computerized zips and bleeps compete with field recordings and resonant drones. The third movement, the longest, is a revision of something I once played at a Seattle Composers’ Salon as “PianoSphere II” (it was a big hit then) – the piano becomes an environment of sounds, over a sound carpet of field recordings, silences, hammer dulcimer, and more piano sounds. It also uses two “extended” piano techniques of my own invention, including the crywire. The result should be a meditative work that seeks to create (metaphorical, maybe not) silence.

SoundScrolls VI: In complete contrast to #5, this is something of a rude interruption. The graphic score is, as for all the “SoundScrolls”, a landscape drawn or copied onto music paper; in this case, however, the instruments should squeal and honk in the “classic” free-jazz manner (Art Ensemble of Chicago, etc.) and the prerecorded part is an intense bit of microtonal phasing. Altogether it is about one third the length of #5.

Three more pieces: I’ll probably do “Chapel Creak”, which sounds like a pleasant location for a picnic – but notice the spelling. It’s a piece of found sound music, derived from a very creaky (and surprisingly musical) cabinet door in the back room of the Chapel where the piece is going to be performed. One of my new “Phase Canons” that use phasing in a less repetitive way than “standard” phase minimalism, it is a site-specific piece. Also, two short excerpts from the “StormSound” cycle: “Song from the Storms and the Winds”, over which I’ll improvise a hammer dulcimer part, and an edit from “Nature Lives in Motion”, with a graphic score realized from found objects. (At a meeting of the Pacific Northwest Shell Club, I mentioned Deep Listening Band playing conch shells as percussion instruments; they all said it was a fascinating idea. I’m going to try it myself with a turban shell, some scallop shells – which make a very strange, haunting and slightly dissonant chiming clink – and two abalones.)

Hexafone: This is a jazz trio, led by Bruce Greely on bass clarinet. Mike Sentkewitz plays acoustic bass and Ryan Burt plays drums and percussion. They said they’re going to do some free improv, a couple of standards, and their version of a piece by Strauss (I don’t know if it’s Johann, Johann Jr., or Richard). They’ll also join me for SoundScrolls VI.

Speaking of SoundScrolls, the jinx has resurfaced – also scheduled originally was SoundScrolls VII, which calls for two recordists (phonographers) as well as piano and found percussion. Logistical problems came about almost immediately; one by one they had to cancel (including the sound person!) so I replaced the piece with the three shorter ones.

Well, that’s about it. Should be a good concert – perhaps a little more stylistic variety than at some of my previous concerts (that’s neither good nor bad, just a fact), and I’m looking forward to it…

Again, the time and place: Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center, 50th and Sunnyside, in Wallingford (Seattle, WA). Time: 8:00 to about 9:45. Price: sliding scale: $5.00 to $15.00. More information at the Wayward Music Series blog.

(This posting is on 1/31/2011; 113 days until the first performance of the complete "StormSound" Cycle.)

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