My primary project over the past year or so is the band saajtak. This is a quartet of very dear friends making music that matters greatly for us. Over the past year, we've put countless hours of work into honing a number of compositions, recording four of those works, and planning shows and self-releasing an EP. A lot of this work is coming into fruition in the coming months, and I couldn't be more proud.
Here is our entry into NPR's Tiny Desk Contest:
Our 11-date tour hits these cities:
I'm thrilled to currently be in Milwaukee for Wild Space Dance's production of Into the Garden, a site-specific performance at the Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts. The company, led by Debra Loewen, has been doing important site-specific work for 30 years. The music for this piece is directed by the excellent saxophonist/composer, Nick Zoulek. For this piece, we are performing a combination of newly co-composed and improvised works, as well as music from Nick's solo saxophone project Rushing Past Willow, and my solo bass project Egret/Flatlander.
Summer of 2016 marked my first project with the Detroit-based Nerve, a boundary-crushing performing arts company led by the brilliantly demented writer Kathe Koja. The summer piece, held in the garden of Ann Arbor cultural ambassadors Stan and Robin Mendenhall, was a take on Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights. For the piece, I broadcasted sounds out to radios (designed for me by the ever-talented Eric Sheffield) that were spaced throughout the audience space. The sounds of my bass were affected and combined with the sounds of bells and voices. I performed acoustically perched on a raised folly, nearly nude in an amazing bird mask made by Mary Perrin. (Basically the ideal performance setting.) Movement artists Marianne Brass and Rachael Ahn Harbert brought the garden to life and became the interface for the audience. The sculptures and designs of remarkable artist Rena Hopkins mutated the environment.
Currently working on a finalized recorded version of the piece, which will likely take me through the fall.
Also through the fall, I'm working on Nerve's next piece--one that will proved to be much darker. Night School, based on Marlowe's Faustus, will be staged on January 21st at the Jam Handy in Detroit.
Long overdue post! So many new happenings and goings on. I am extremely lucky to have such a varied artistic experience. Over the past several years, I have gradually transitioned in my art life from feeling mostly like a bass player to feeling more like an improviser/composer/performer. As life happens, I had the honor recently of having my first-ever 'world premiere' of a piece written for someone else--the marvelous percussionist Chris Sies. The concert was on February 14th at Trinosophes, Detroit, put on by Aepex Contemporary.
The piece, 'moved by ambition, but also by an obscure loyalty,' was written as an environment for Chris to perform within, and involved amplifying/affecting a snare drum and cymbal through three other snare drums. The title comes from Jorge Luis Borges' short story, 'The Dead Man.'
Over the past few years, I've had the great privilege of playing a great deal with percussionist Chris Sies, in formats varying from doom metal to Wuorinen to free improvisation. We've just recently began exploring the duo format, and this has been a nearly effortless endeavor. We've recorded several videos of improvisations, and here is the first one.
Today I celebrate the release of my solo bass album, Egret/Flatlander, with a performance at Walker's Point Center for the Arts. It should prove to be a wonderful time, and I will be joined with the other marvelous acts of the PaVda duo (stellar improvisers Hal Rammel and Linda Binder) and the new-music/improvisation tour-de-force Tontine Ensemble.
Egret/Flatlander is now available through Bandcamp!
I recently put my amateur design skills and enthusiasm for libraries and cats to use, creating conjecturally updated logos for OCLC WorldCat. The commission came from the nascent Twitter snarkivists @RogueArchivists, who you can follow for more commentary on the state of things in that world (cat).
A very exciting project that has come to exist over the past year or so is Gloom in the Womb, my improvisational duo with bassist Betsy Soukup. This past June, we presented at the International Society of Improvised Music Conference in New York City, and this October, we will be performing in the 18th annual Edgefest in Ann Arbor. We finally have some video to show you, the waiting public, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to pen a post.
I also occasionally have the great privilege of side-manning it with Betsy to perform her songs, in a somewhat atypical band arrangement, but one that we find quite effective. Here are a few of her songs, performed with Chris Sies on the drums.
It's been quite a while since I've posted anything! This spring I was caught up finishing my Master's degree at the University of Michigan. So now I'm a master, if anyone needs one.
I'm in Chicago, playing in the premiere live performance of composer Ben Hjertmann's psychedelic pop project, Kong Must Dead. I'm really psyched to be a part of these pieces--we're in the process of recording the album, also.
Splitting the bill with composerElliot Cole!
Show is tonight at Constellation, which is also a venue I've been hearing about often recently, so I'm really excited to finally see it.
I send emails occasionally about upcoming performances. They're very cordial.
mine, all mine! records
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