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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Auscultations Calendar

I am going to try and maintain a calendar of new/experimental music around Los Angeles.

If you look to your right, you'll see a link where you can find it. I will do my best to keep it updated.

There's not much on it yet, but I will start filling it up in the near future. The goal is to keep it mostly small and local. If a show has an ad in the LA Weekly or a radio spot on KCRW, it probably doesn't need to be here.

Below is a copy of it:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2'42" Seoul

Please enjoy this fourth 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, September 10, 2012

Dogstarkestra

It was a big week for experimental music in Los Angeles.

Jacaranda presented their contribution to the centennial bonanza of Cage performances (LA Times has an awesome "guided tour" of Los Angeles à la John Cage). Other LA groups have already weighed in on Cage, including Southwest Chamber Music, Calarts, and Human Resources, while Monday Evening Concerts will do their Cage-y show in November. I was sad to have missed Jacaranda's shows, but you can already read Mark Swed's review of the Thursday concert.

Trio Kobayashi performing Jürg Frey's Circular Music
photo by Casey Anderson's
On the other side of town, instead of dwelling on the past century, Michael Pisaro's Dogstar Orchestra was busy continuing the living experimental music tradition. Most of the concerts in the approximately 2-week series happened at the wulf, though some occurred by the LA River, in Mount Washington, or in Highland park. Concerts in past years have happened at Calarts, Vasquez Rocks, Val Verde, Lincoln Heights, etc. This year there is even a portion happening simultaenously in Mexico City.

Dogstar Orchestra happens annually, sometime in the summer, with this being the eighth year. It's often a Wandelweiser-centric affair, but in recent years Pisaro has extended curation duties of the burgeoning festival to the composers/musicians that have been consistent parts of the deeply experimental series. All of the pieces performed this year were composed either by members of the group or by a living composer. I think Cage would have approved.

Unfortunately, I missed most of Dogstar this year, as I was visiting my family in Alaska. But, I did catch Trio Kobayashi playing Jürg Frey's Circular Music on Saturday night at the wulf. The brass trio (Matt Barbier on trombone, Luke Storm on tuba, Zara Teicher on french horn) did a stately performance of the chorale-like piece, which was at times canonic, game-like, parallel, and/or spacious. You can hear and see another Trio Kobayashi performance of Jürg Frey's music on Alan Nakagawa's Ear Meal Podcast.

I had always assumed the Dogstar series was named after Stan Brakhage's Dogstar Man, though I'm sure it was more directly related to the Sirius mythocracy. And speaking of mythocracy, here's John Cage and Sun Ra, together at long last:


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2'42" Damascus

Please enjoy this third 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":