Sunday, December 9, 2012

TDM show at Mimoda on 12/10!

There has been a brief pausa in posts, as I've been recording, producing, and mixing the new album for Timur & the Dime Museum. It's almost done, and I'm excited to share it with everyone! It features songs we've been playing at our live shows, written by myself, bassist Dave Tranchina, and Isaac Schankler.

We will be playing that music and more at our show this Monday night at Mimoda! Music begins at 8. Come on down to this free show and hear TDM, with short solo sets by Noah Lit, Dorian Wood, Kristian Hoffmann, and myselfJesse Gilbert will also be there creating a panoply of interactive visuals.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

I've been watching a lot of interviews with Kurt Vonnegut, and his thoughts on writing can easily be applied to the act of composing music (they are relevant to practically any creative practice, but I tend to have music on the mind...)

His talk on the shape of stories is definitely applicable to musical formal analysis.


His advice on how to write a short story can be directly applied to the composition of music. It may not make as much sense for someone like La Monte Young or George Brecht, but it's sound advice if the music approaches time/melody/harmony in a very traditional way.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

(Most of) Ben Johnston's String Quartets Online

Here is a meaty but incomplete list of online videos of Ben Johnston's 10 amazing string quartets. 

There are a few missing pieces - specifically No. 1, No. 7, No. 8, and most of No. 10. If you have a link to those, send them to me and I'll put them up. 

I tried to diversify the ensembles, and not just post all of the Kepler Quartet's definitive recordings. These are definitely not all of the videos there are of these pieces online, but all of the pieces I could find are represented.

String Quartet Number 1
MISSING!


String Quartet Number 2 

String Quartet Number 3 
played by the Kepler Quartet

String Quartet Number 4 


String Quartet Number 5 
played by the Kepler Quartet

String Quartet Number 6
played by the New World String Quartet

String Quartet Number 7
MISSING!

String Quartet Number 8
MISSING!


String Quartet Number 9
played by the American Modern Ensemble

Mvmt. 1 from String Quartet Number 10
played by the Kepler Quartet

Monday, November 26, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Alexei Lubimov @ Zipper Hall, 11/05

On November 5, Monday Evening Concerts presented a wonderful performance by Russian-born pianist Alexei Lubimov at Zipper Hall Throughout the evening he interpreted Debussy, Cage, Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, and Satie. The concert began with the Prelude to Act I of Satie's Les Files des étoiles. This bit of "prototypical minimalism" comes across at first like a compendium of riffs and loosely linked bagatelles. Many harmonies and parallell gestures sounded prophetic of Messiaen, in particular Éclairs sur L'au Delà. Lubimov treated Satie's humorous/mystical dichotomy with a reverent delicacy.

That was followed by Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky's Récit de Voyage, a surprisingly rewarding piece dangling between Prokofiev, Steve Mackey, and Clementi. For this piece Lubimov was joined by percussionist Jonathan Hepfer, cellist Karen Ouzounian, and violinist Movses Pogossian. Lubimov artfully blended into the dynamics of the ensemble, with the vibrant Pogossian stepping into the forefront.

After intermission, a second piano was used for Cage's prepared piano pieces. It was a big weekend for the prepared piano, as the prior Saturday saw a performance of Sonatas and Interludes by Richard Valitutto at the Hammer Museum. The difference between intimate chamber setting and concert hall grandeur was stark - hearing every delicate note decay and pedal lift versus the reverberant depth of the stage, which easily buries such details.

Lubimov played Cage's Prelude for Meditation, Music for Marcel Duchamp, and The Perilous Night. These pieces were treated to the same austerity as the Satie, and the French composer's influence on Cage was highlighted by the pairing of the two. An unfortunate interjection by SIRI colored one piece, but the reserved personality of the musicianship persevered. Lubimov re-prepared the piano onstage for The Perilous Night as the audience watched and waited. With such a stellar performance thus far, no one seemed to mind sitting quietly as the pianist dug around inside the piano, inserting erasers, bolts, etc. into Zipper Hall's lesser piano.

Lubimov came back around to Debussy in the end, with a contemplative performance of six of his preludes. Though standing ovations are not entirely unheard of at Monday Evening Concerts, encores are less common. Lubimov treated the audience to two encores from Debussy's first book of preludes, concluding with The Engulfed Cathedral. It was in these encores that he seemed to finally let loose, exploring dynamic ranges uncalled for in the prior pieces. That abandon only highlighted the skill in the light touch demonstrated throughout the evening.

It was a fantastic performance by a world class performer, presented by the longest-running new music series in the country. Isn't this why we live in LA? On December 3, MEC will present New Voices, featuring music by Rob Wannamaker, Cassandra Miller, Aaron Helgeson, and Rick Burkhardt.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Contemporary Opera Scenes, Nov. 17 at the Hammer


This Saturday at 3pm, come hear Timur and the Dime Museum perform excerpts from my puppet opera, Zoophilic Follies! It will be at the Hammer Museum, and will feature Timur Bekbosunov and Argenta Walther. I will be conducting and playing accordion/laptop.

Check out New ClassicLA's post about Wax and Feathers, a song from Zoophilic Follies.

Wild Up director Chris Rountree will also conduct excerpts from Isaac Schankler's Light and Power, Veronika Krausas' Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth, and Anne LeBaron's Crescent City.

Please visit the Facebook event page for more info. Looking forward to seeing you there!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: AU, Zammuto, Piney Gir @ The Bootleg

On Thursday, 11/01 AU and Zammuto played at The Bootleg. The show was originally scheduled to be at the Troubadour, but was mysteriously relocated to Fold territory. However, The Bootleg is a great place to see a show, and they seem to have a solid sound man (which can truly make or break a show), so no disappointment here.

Piney Gir opened the show, though I showed up late and unfortunately missed her set. However, she just released an album on Highline Records titled Geronimo!


AU sounds like a combination of The Boredoms, Sigur Ros, Tangerine Dream, and God Speed You Black Emperor. Consisting of Luke Wyland on keyboards/vocals/etc, Dana Valatka on drumset/percussion, and Holland Hunter Andrews on clarinet/vocals, one might be surprised at just how much sound this trio can make. They alternated between electro-acoustic grooves and grandiose, ecstatic builds, all the while abstractly vocalizing something quintessentially Northwestern. To achieve this pseudo-orchestral sound, they seem to have mastered the delicate art of looping and sampling, which has so much potential for tediousness.

Wyland, grounded at his keyboard, had quite an array of auxilary instruments. I heard/saw samplers, melodicas, lap steel, etc. Valatka had an in ineffable energy reminiscent of the bombast of Billy Cobham. That energy found release in his fantastic collection of bells and an epic drum solo near the end of their set. Andrews also had an impressive solo moment, building a sound world out of layered clarinet loops and accompanying herself singing. It reminded me a bit of Gabby La La mixed with Amanda Palmer.

It would be easy to make an aesthetic connection between AU and Animal Collective, but that would be an oversimplification. Each member of AU displayed their own performative virtuosity in a way that would far surpass that group. I saw AU play one other time in Portland, OR and it was a startlingly great experience. They had a much larger group - including a good-sized choir and guitar, but this current paired down ensemble still delivered the aural goods. AU also just released an album titled Both Lights, available from Home Tapes.


Zammuto is lead by Nick Zammuto, who was a key member of The Books. They sound like a mixture of The Books, Paul Simon, Dismemberment Plan and Cornelius. The vocals were often processed, offering a reminder of the bionic playfulness of The Books. Zammuto's songwriting and singing are often reminiscent of Paul Simon, and they even covered Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Some of the songs were sync'd to projected video, which brought to mind Cornelius' Sensuous Synchronized Show.

Zammuto had songs/videos about zebra butts, back pain, kids, 80's infomercials, and more. Though the spectacle of synchronization with the video was exciting, I felt the songs without video to be much more musical. That's not to say they were innately better, as I liked both quite a bit. Any musician who has played with a click knows that the difference in concentration alters a groove substantially. The final song of their set (not including the encore) involved a hilarious collage made from an instructional harpsichord video. Zammuto has a self-released eponymous album, available from their website.


Though their music is undeniably different, there are many parallels between the AU and Zammuto and I can see why they would choose to tour together. Both use electronics effectively, both lean towards detailed orchestration, and both had extended drum solos in their sets. The new music has learned the lessons and pitfalls of prog-rock and re-tooled it for the 21st century; I am excited by the future possibilites hinted at within.

Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble today @ CSULA

Last night, I saw the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble present an exciting evening of music by contemporary Russian-born composers. The concert was at Beyond Baroque, and I was surprised at just how few of the composers I had heard of (only one...). I'm excited to start learning more about them. 

The group will be returning to Moscow tomorrow, but they will play one final show in the states. It will be this afternoon at CSULA!

If you can, head out to CSULA to hear this exciting group play new music by great composers you've probably not heard (yet). It will be a splendid cornucopia of extended technique. 

The concert is at 4:00pm at CSULA's Music Hall.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Music at Mimoda, Wed 10/07!

Tonight, come hear Maksim Velichkin premiere my solo cello piece, Diasporic Music #7: Identity, tonight at Mimoda! I'll also play a solo for accordion and laptop, and a whole slew of other composers! Concert begins at 8pm!

Concert featuring music of S. J. Pettersson, George N. Gianopoulos, Daniel Corral, A. Vivaldi, J.- B. de Boismortier, E. Lalo with performances by Daniel Corral, Peter Jacobson, Leo Chelyapov, Tae Yeon Lim, Rachel Mellis, Dimitry Olevsky, Yevgeny Milyavsky, Maksim Velichkin and Physical Theatre of Yasha Michelson 

MiMoDa Studio
5772 west pico blvd

Suggested donation-$10, students-$5, musicians who have
performed previously-free

PROGRAM

G. N. Gianopoulos "November 1" from "Circadian Calendar" for solo cello world premiere

Maksim Velichkin-cello

D. Corral Diasporic Music #7: Identity for solo cello
world premiere

Maksim Velichkin-cello

D. Corral Solo for accordion and laptop

D. Corral-accordion and laptop

S. J. Pettersson "Diary of a Seducer"
"Johannes"
"Cordelia"
"The Seducer"
"Edward"
world premiere

Rachel Mellis - flute, Leo Chelyapov - clarinet, Tae Yeon Lim - piano, Maksim Velichkin - cello

Physical Theatre of Yasha Michelson

INTERMISSION

Cello duos by A. Vivaldi, J.-B. de Boismortier and D. Popper

Peter Jacobson-cello, Maksim Velichkin-cello

E. Lalo Symphonie Espagnole
1. Allegro non troppo

Dimitry Olevsky-violin
Yevgeny Milyavsky-piano

presented by Maksim Velichkin and Yasha Michelson of Mimoda Studio

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bernstein's Unanswered Question

Regardless of your opinion of Leonard Bernstein's music, it's worth watching his Norton lectures, The Unanswered Question. Someone has been gracious enough to post them on YouTube for all to see. It makes me want to own the DVD's! Until that day, here are the YouTube links:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Sunday, November 4, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Laurie Anderson @ Royce Hall

On 10/26, UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance presented Laurie Anderson at Royce Hall. As anyone familiar with her work would expect, it was not exactly a musical performance, but a performance thoroughly gilded with music. Her labyrinthine narrative/semantic skills and hypnotist delivery have clearly been focused to a powerful laser beam through the years. Those strengths were rightfully spotlighted throughout the performance, supported by her processed electric violin, keyboards, loops and samples.

As I mentioned in my Vijay Iyer review, filling the massive Royce stage must be a daunting task. From my seat, Anderson looked like a little Lego woman in the distance, but that did not detract from her performance. From her stage presence and setup you could tell that this was not a new dilemma for her.

The stage floor was littered with candles, adding a nice ambiance in a way that only candles can. Aside from her electronic instrument setup, the only other stage fixtures were a small rectangular projection screen and a comfortable-looking armchair. The back curtain was flooded with colored lights that slowly morphed throughout the piece, often with a single complimentary color on the projection screen adding a splash of contrast reminiscent of minimalist painting.

The pacing of the show reminded me of music classes I teach to young children. One must keep a close eye on the wandering attention spans of the group, constantly jumping to something new to keep focus among the arbitrarily amused/bemused. One can't deny that Anderson has reached a deeper level of insight (or at least eloquence) than your average performer, and I imagined her as a sort of cultural babysitter or metaphorical early-childhood teacher. Her performance kept us occupied until our motor control and mental capacity are able to stumble towards the deeper resonance of the stories.

Her anecdotes started broadly and became gradually more insular - beginning with evolution and space, and gradually moving towards home-made pet videos. Topics included the NDAA, space popes, tent city tree chickens, and her deceased dog Lolabelle in the bardo (even including 2 brief videos of Lolabelle playing keyboards).

Her headstock-less electric violin immediately reminded me of the EWI, that most maladjusted of MIDI controllers. However, her use of effects and harmonizers created a much denser and more interesting soundscape than one would expect. The drum loops and pandiatonic pads she employed always bordered on sounding dated, toeing the line into early 90's visions of the aural future. But since the retro-kitsch tentacle is now oozing it's way through that decade, nothing felt sonically anachronic. Even when she pitch-shifted her voice to make it lower and more masculine, it sounded surprisingly clean (it reminded me of Peter Cullen's Optimus Prime voice). Her pin-point articulation helped that, aided by an apparent proficiency with the technological tools she's laid out for herself.

I am still surprised when such a tech-heavy show appears to go smoothly. There is so much potential for things to go wrong, it feels like a miracle when nothing appears to have broken down by the end. Anderson has clearly gotten to know the technology that she employs, which is often quite a task for performers of more golden generations. Many artists lose their edge as they age, but Laurie Anderson fits into the other group, in which she seems to be becoming more and more herself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Archie and Odeya @ The Hammer, Thursday Night

Thursday night at the Hammer MuseumArchie Carey and Odeya Nini will perform works composed for themselves and for each other, solo and together, in three parts. This concert presents the voice and bassoon as individual instruments and as musical partners.

Solo Voice
A Solo Voice begins an exploration of extended vocal techniques and song that finds its own logic of communication via expressions of body, emotion and thought.

Voice and the Bassoon 
A series of compositions intertwining these two qualities of sound in dialogue. At times inseparable and at times vastly diverging, both instruments find harmony in texture, points of commonality, and aberrant ways.

Bassoon Solo
A sonic expedition offering new creative possibilities from the bassoon, as a character and as a tool for realized imagination.

Music begins at 6pm! Presented as part of wild up's residency at the Hammer Museum.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2'42" Beijing

Please enjoy this ninth installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Vijay Iyer @ Royce Hall

On October 14, Angel City Jazz and UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance presented Vijay Iyer with special guest Steve Coleman at Royce Hall.

Iyer's regular trio with Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore began the show. It takes a certain level of playing to truly fill up a space the size of Royce Hall, and the trio was up to the task, expanding as the night went on. They were soon joined by Steve Coleman on alto, and later by cornetist Graham Haynes and tenor Mark Shim. In their different configurations, the group essentially played 3 sets without a break, lasting a total of 2.5 hours. Either despite or because of that, the concert sometimes felt a bit restrained, like a first set, with the really juicy stuff to come in the second.

The trio was tight in a way that only comes from being long-time musical comrades - other long standing trios come to mind like Jarrett, Peacock, and Dejohnette; or Medeski, Martin, and Wood. Iyer, Crump, and Gilmore's fluid yet deeply subdivided relationship to rhythm inevitably brought to mind the talas of Carnatic music, mixed with Thelonious Monk's intuitive sense of spacing. I was most excited about the playing of Marcus Gilmore, whom I hadn't heard live before. His playing fit somewhere between the time warp of Tony Williams and the bombastic solidity of Max Roach. At one point, Iyer even said, "this one features the drummer, but let's be honest: they all feature the drummer."

Once Steve Coleman came on, it became clear why Iyer lists him as such a powerful influence. His relationship to harmony and musical cycles is well aligned with the aesthetic of the trio. Coleman sounded solid playing through a set of wonderfully angular tunes. There is a certain openness in a piano trio that is closed with the inclusion of horns - meaning that a definite aesthetic choice has been made (which is not a bad thing). Coleman's tasty playing showed why that was a choice worth making.

After Coleman had a chance to play with the trio for a while, there was a brief pause as mic's and stands were brought onstage for Mark Shim and Graham Haynes, as well as a Rhodes for Iyer. The additional textures brought a world of extra depth to the ensemble's sound. I hoped more would happen on the Rhodes, but it was always tasteful, so no real complaints. Shim and Haynes played the roles of respectful sidemen, often allowing the trio and Coleman to take the forefront but stepping up strongly when the time came. Haynes' cornet was sometimes difficult to hear, but it always found the right notes when it popped out. Will this sextet ever record an album? If so, it will be pretty fantastic.

Iyer's bio lists a diverse range of influences, including composers such as Reich, Ligeti, Debussy, and Bartok. I didn't hear the Reich much, but definitely felt some Ligeti peek through - not the micropolyphony/clocks-and-clouds Ligeti, but the Piano Etudes Ligeti, with a syncretic interest in music of the whole world. Debussy's sense of harmony and musical fantasy was definitely present, as was Bartok's rhythmic invention. A few tunes reminded me of the rhythmic cycles in Arnold Dreyblatt's ensemble music.


This show wrapped up the Angel City Jazz Festival, which presented a whole slew of legendary improvisers over the course of 2 weeks, including Mark Dresser, Bill Frisell, Archie Shepp, Myra Melford, and more. Performances took place at LACMA, REDCAT, the Ford Amphitheatre, and Royce Hall.

In March, UCLA's newly restructured CAP (formerly UCLA Live) will present one of Iyer's other collaborators, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. 10 years ago I was lucky enough to hear their Raw Materials duo play in Seattle (opening for Tin Hat Trio), and I look forward to hearing him live again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10/19: Killsonic, Timur and the Dime Museum, and Tes Elations!


This Friday night, come hear Killsonic, Timur and the Dime Museum, and Tes Elations hit The Satellite in Silverlake! This is a show you SHOULDN'T MISS!

Doors are at 8pm, music starts at 9. Entrance is $8, but if you know any of the musicians, contact them to get on the $5 list.

Killsonic are the brutal sonic experimentalists you may have seen storming any number of venues around LA. You can hear their recent album, the Exit Boogie EP, on Bandcamp:




Timur and the Dime Museum are the "Punk-Operatic Spectacle," fronted by operatic tenor Timur Bekbosunov, that have been demolishing every possible musical boundaries. Their new album will be available in January! Here's a live video of a song titled Here With Me that will be featured on that album:



Tes Elations are an upcoming band featuring 2 cellos, guitar, drums, and vocals. I wrote about them back in March, and you can buy their debut album directly from their website.

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: Interlocking Textures

In August, the Los Angeles Electric 8 released Interlocking Textures, an album that "encompasses a century of American composers inspired by the subtle melodies and complex rhythms of Indonesian gamelan." 

There really couldn't be a more fitting title for the album. The broad-stroke description of their sound would place them somewhere between the canonic structures of Steve Reich and the embossed fractal cycles of Indonesian Gamelan. But their sound travels beyond that. The group's transnational aesthetic draws from Bali, Java, Japan, Russia, and more.

Randall C. Kohl's Suite Mundial finds the group explicitly exploring the aforementioned influences of Balinese and Javanese music.

Mantle Hood's Implosion, originally written for percussion quartet, also stays close to that Indonesian theme. Hood, who is best known as the grandfather of ethnomusicology,  fills the piece with Balinese-ish landscapes, but  populates it with distinctly American music.

That is followed by Toru Takemitsu's Romance. Originally written for piano, Romance benefits greatly from the guitar octet arrangement, creating a sort of timbral bridge between that quintessential Western instrument and the Japanese Koto.

The group then launches into the more distinctly American music with an excerpt from Reich's Electric CounterpointJonathan Guillen's Fog is pretty, somber melodic fantasy over subdued whole tone ostinati, while Kai Kurosawa's Warr Guitar Conterpoint is a well-crafted additive process piece featuring Kurosawa's own Warr Guitar.

Charles T. Griffe's Three Javanese Songs follows, capturing the beautiful austerity of Javanese music. The nature of the guitar's sonic decay really does a fine job emulating Javanese instruments without sounding contrived.

The classical guitar background of the many of the musicians in the group is betrayed by the last piece on Interlocking Texturesan arrangement of Shostakovich's Octet, Op. 11. A combination of Tomita and Stanley Jordan comes to mind, though only superficially, as the comparison doesn't do the arrangement justice.

Interlocking Textures is an exciting album of electric guitar arrangements you won't hear anywhere else. The Los Angeles Electric 8 are not quite as raucous as Glenn Branca, yet not as traditional as the LA Guitar Quartet. Their musical path points in entirely other directions, and it will be exciting to see where it leads.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scott Walker album trailer!

Here's a new video preview for Scott Walker's forthcoming album, Bish Bosch!



I am excited for it. His last album, The Drift, was amazing. Here's Jesse, from that album:



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Register Online to Vote

Are you registered to vote? The deadline in California is October 22.

Here are a few places you can register online:



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2'42" Mexico City

Please enjoy this eighth installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Monday, October 8, 2012

Master Song

I recently saw The Master, which has a stellar Jonny Greenwood soundtrack. At some point I was tangentially reminded of this cover of Leonard Cohen's "Master Song" - easily my least favorite cut off of Songs of Leonard Cohen

This version is from Beck's Record Club, an innately hit-or-miss project in which he gathered a group of musicians in a studio to cover an entire album in a day. For Songs of Leonard Cohen, Beck was joined by MGMT, Devendra Banhardt, and a few others.

If you find nothing else of value in it, you must at least make it to the 2 minute mark in order to admire the best use of a Metallica sample EVER.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Angel City Jazz Festival

The Angel City Jazz Festival is this weekend! Angel City Arts and the Jazz Bakery present the fifth annual Angel City Jazz Festival October 5 -14, with concerts at LACMA, REDCAT, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, and UCLA’s Royce Hall in association with CAP UCLA. The theme for this year’s festival is “Artists & Legends,” a vehicle for forward-looking artists to pay tribute to the legendary mentors who played significant roles in their musical lives.

Here's the stellar lineup:

Friday 10/05

Saturday 10/06

Saturday 10/13

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

CD REVIEW: Microscopium Oo

Microscopium Oo recently independently released a debut album, titled LAX>KIX. Microscopium Oo is a project of L.A. violinist Timothy Maloof.

Maloof's other musical projects, like the Saffron Parade Arabesque Band (an ensemble focused on classical Arabic music), do little to suggest the electronic depth of Microscopium Oo. Similarly, on LAX>KIX Maloof rarely feels the need to display his wide knowledge of Arabic phrasing and tuning, doing so on only a few tracks.

Much of LAX>KIX owes aesthetic allegiance to Brian Eno's early ambient works, along with his more recent instrumental albums. As the title suggests (KIX being Osaka's Kinsai International Airport), these are 21st century tunes to contemplate the marvels of globalization to during a transpacific flight.  It's a sort of musical cousin to Fennesz - but less Austrian, more Arabic. Besides the delineated Arabic-influenced tunes, the sonic palette also draws freely from European ambience, Japanese electronics, and Indian timbres.

The results sound deeply international in a way that is fitting to emerge from California - where the West can't go any further without become East, and the East must do the same. This is not to say it fits into the often cringe-worthy genre of "East Meets West" projects. To the contrary, on LAX>KIX these sounds have been deeply internalized and are merely a natural part of the musical expression.

Tracks like La Mode or Oud of Sync sound like a collaboration between Eno and Eyvind Kang, while Turn It On and Prelude seems to have been cut from the same cloth as Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II. That might sound like a disparate combination, but there is strong cohesion in the underlying aesthetic approach.

LAX>KIX is available on iTunes, Bandcamp, or CDBaby. You can also find Microscopium Oo on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Listen to the album streaming on Bandcamp:



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Well-Tuned Piano online

If you don't think you need to hear La Monte Young's entire Well-Tuned Piano, then you are wrong. You are missing what is oft-described as the magnum opus of a profoundly influential living American composer/hobbit. 

Oh look, someone was gracious enough to put the entire 5+ hours of it online!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Monday, October 1, 2012

2'42" Tacoma

Please enjoy this seventh installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Friday, September 28, 2012

LA Canon, Sept. 30

I am excited to premiere 3 of my own new pieces at the wulf on Sunday, September 30!

First, I will perform Solo for Chimes and Casios (written for Woodstock Chimes, SK-1, and SK-5).

Then, Christine Tavolacci will premiere a piece for solo flute, Diasporic Music #6: Histories. I am very excited to have this sixth part of my Diasporic Music series on the concert!

Finally, a large group will play LA Canon, for many suspended cymbals. It's an ode to Los Angeles in a loose canon.

It's FREE, and it all starts at 8pm at the wulf on Sunday, September 30!

You can see the Facebook Event Page for more info.

Address:
1026 s. sante fe ave. #203, los angeles, ca 90021

Also, LA Canon is officially part of Artmageddon! While you're avoiding the 405 this weekend, come listen to some (hopefully) beautiful music in downtown LA!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2'42" Vienna

Please enjoy this sixth installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Busy Weekend

Here are a few of the many exciting things happening this weekend

Did you miss Christian Marclay's The Clock the last few times it screened at LACMA? Well, the entire 24-hours of it will be in the Bing Theatre from noon, Saturday to noon, Sunday. Here's a clip:



The Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival & 36th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival are Saturday and Sunday. Check the Watts Towers Arts Center website for the schedule. Here's a video of excerpts from last year's festival:



Saturday night, People Inside Electronics will present an Art Jarvinen-centric concert called "Trees and Branches" at Beyond Baroque. Here's a previous PIE concert video:



Sunday, Will Salmon's Open Gate Theatre will present a show featuring Dwight Trible at the Glendale Moose Lodge. Here's an Open Gate video featuring Vinnie Golia contorting his sho.



And if you feel like going out of town, the Carlsbad Music Festival is also this weekend:


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CD Review: Brouhaha

New york pianist Yvonne Troxler recently released a CD of her own compositions, titled Brouhaha, featuring her Glass Farm Ensemble. There is a compositional unity on the album that makes each piece feel like an entry in a musical journal. Never really in-your-face, nor too deeply ethereal, the musical gestures that comprise this music have an almost improvisatory feel to them. The timbral variety and tasteful use of space widen sonic expectations, so that you almost don't realize that the new soundscape is in fact an officially different piece.

There are five pieces presented on Brouhaha:

• Penn 1 is inspired by the sounds of a commercial building in Manhattan.

• Shergotty was named after Martian meteorites found in India.. Written for percussion trio, it sounds appropriately lithophonic (though I don't think any actual lithophones were used).

• Brouhaha features a violin and cello accompanied by three glass bowl players. The timbre of the glass bowls brings to mind Partch's cloud chamber bowls.

• Susurrus builds in energy to portray a very dramatic sort of "soft, whispering or rustling sound."

• The orchestration of Kaleidoskop - tenor sax, electric guitar, percussion, and piano - lends it a slight air of Ornette Coleman at his most Webern-y.

Shergotty and Kaleidoskop were my favorite pieces, perhaps for the ingrained qualities of the instrumentation. The following Feldman/Brown exchange describes this well:
...Earle Brown once remonstrated, "But Morty, just because you've chosen the instruments, that doesn't mean the piece is finished," Feldman replied, "For me it is."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2'42" San Francisco

Please enjoy this fifth installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Water Music - LBO's Paper Nautilus

Last weekend, Long Beach Opera inaugurated its Outer Limits series with three performances of The Paper Nautilus, by Gavin Bryars. Outer Limits is proclaimed to be a series for works that "don't fit into the spectrum of opera." Though lacking a linear narrative, The Paper Nautilus has a unifying theme of the sea. For an operatic work about the ocean, there couldn't be a a more perfect venue: the Aquarium of the Pacific.

When considering music about the ocean, Debussy comes immediately to mind. The Paper Nautilus was composed for soprano, mezzo-soprano, 2 pianos, and 6 percussion. Bryars' use of tuned gongs, floating melodies, and near pentatonic harmonies definitely invoked the spirit of Claude. There was even a moment after part V when a particular ostinato reminded me of Trent Reznor's La Mer (which Reznor admits lifting the title for from Debussy).

Soprano Ashley Knight and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell floated beautifully through Bryars' impressionistic vocal writing. Their characters morphed into roles such as sea queen, an angler fish, or the ocean itself, all the while maintaining the mysterious air of beckoning sirens. Soprano Suzan Hanson joined them as Marie Curie, adding pantomimed action, spoken recitations of text, and a sort of narrative thread for those audience members that needed one. The sound of the 2 piano, played by Lisa Maresch and Neda Kandimirova, blended surprisingly well with the tuned gongs, steel pans, timpani, vibes, etc. of the 6-man percussion setup, played by The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet with Dave Gerhart and T.J. Troy. Aside from the sensitive playing of the ensemble, the eloquent collusion of timbres could also be attributed to the acoustics of the space, being both tall and curvy.

Director Andreas Mitisek made strong theatrical use of the space, even having dancers climb down from the balcony above. Projections by Adam Flemming offered constant stimulus, and the lighting design by Dan Weingarten artfully composed each scene while highlighting the architectural novelty of the space. However, the visual highlight was the slow motion illumination of the Blue Cavern exhibit that sat behind the staging area. It felt like an ultimately inevitable move, skillfully executed.

As much as this LBO production was a perfect pairing of venue and music, their 2013 season promises to be equally exciting: The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass, ¡Unicamente La Verdad! by Gabriela Ortiz, Tell Tall Heart/Van Gogh by Stewart Copeland and Michael Gordon respectively, and Macbeth by Ernest Bloch.

Finally, a quote:
Of all sounds, water, the original life element, has the most splended symbolism...
- R. Murray Schafer