I am happy to announce that west coast soundings, a recording project by Frank Gratkowski, Lucia Mense, Anton Lukoszevieze, Seth Josel, and hans w. koch for Edition Wandelweiser Records, is now available to order here and here.
The 2xCD collection contains new and recent work by students of Jim Tenney and Michael Pisaro, including one of my first pieces for radios, “possible dust.” To say that the recordings are anything short of pristine, that the performances are anything less than truly beautiful/surprising/fascinating, that the other composers on this record are anything short of some of my favorite people/artists, would all be gross understatements.
From the liner notes
Experimental music can behave like a wildfire. If the conditions are sufficient (dry enough, hot enough, with enough material to burn) it will spread with very little encouragement. The “environmental” conditions in this relatively small world can be improved by the actions of a few people.
Dryness might mean: a need to escape from a particular musical dead end, a looming sense of crisis.
Heat might mean: people coming together. At times the energy of such groupings (of artists who are in constant close contact, helping and disagreeing) is hard to take, but it is, for those who have experienced it, a very real and combustible force.
Material might mean: musical ideas that are both profound and unfinished, such as those left behind by Cage and still actively pursued by the composers of the generation following, including, of course James Tenney.
Jim Tenney had a deep, intuitive sense of this. By the time I met him finally in 2000 (when we started teaching at the California Institute of the Arts together) he was also an experienced hand. It was somehow clear to him that the desert near Valencia was both dry and hot enough. Thanks mostly to Jim, the students started coming – not in huge numbers, but enough to form groupings.
I knew something about wildfires from my experience with Wandelweiser – and did my best to bring some of that material together with the talented people who started to appear. Hardly anything needed to be explained. This group, like several that followed, seemed to know right away that what was happening there might be of use to them, at the very least, as kindling, and sometimes much more than that.
Strange, strong, and diverse, no one would tie the group of relatively young composers represented on this recording together, based on surface similarity or, God knows, agreement. But they are together and part of a much larger group.
The very beautiful, heartfelt recordings here are some evidence that this fire spread, that it continues to seek out places to burn. Jim would be proud of these people, and I am moved and encouraged by their music.
(Michael Pisaro, 2014)
Posted: April 14th, 2014
Nice thoughts by Paul Muller following Reinier van Houdt’s recent performance at the wulf. (which featured the premiere of a new piece of mine, radio + piano) here.
Posted: March 31st, 2014
WEST COAST SOUNDINGS / the experimental music yearbook
Kolomba, Kolumbastraße 4 – D-50667, Cologne, Germany
Im Rahmen der Ausstellung von Bruno Jakob, für dessen Malerei John Cage ein wichtiger Bezugspunkt ist, spielen unter dem Titel WEST COAST SOUNDINGS fünf Musiker Stücke aus dem »experimental music yearbook«. Diese Onlinepublikation ist ein wahrer Fundus an Partituren von jungen Komponisten, die am California Institute of the Arts bei James Tenney und Michael Pisaro studiert haben und durch ihren experimentellen Umgang mit Musik in John Cages Fußstapfen getreten sind. Das musikalische Interesse dieser Komponisten reicht von der Erforschung von Stimmungssystemen (Lamb) zu komplexen mathematischen Graphiken und Spieltheorien (Winter), dem Gebrauch von Trockeneis, um Triangel zu spielen (Mooney) bis zu Radios als Klangquelle (Anderson). Eine CD mit den Titeln dieses Konzertes ist im Juni 2013 aufgenommen worden und wird im April 2014 bei wandelweiser erscheinen (€20,00).
Frank Gratkowski – Klarinette, Bassklarinette, Altsaxophon, Radio, Triangel
Lucia Mense – Blockflöten, Radio, Triangel
Anton Lukoszevieze – Violoncello, Stimme, Radio, Triangel
Seth Josel – E-Gitarre, Mandoline, Radio, Triangel
hans w. koch – Elektronik, Radio, Triangel
Proof of concept/test installation, by The Space Program, currently up in the storefront window of The Public School on Chung Kind Rd (Chinatown, Los Angeles).
The Space Program is: Casey Anderson, Nikita Pashenkov
, Steve Ziadie.
Posted: March 7th, 2014
February 28th, March 1st
DIAMONDS & TAPESTRIES – EFIRD WESTERLUND
Highways, Los Angeles
Diamonds & Tapestries is the live performance of Joe Westerlund’s record Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Cirque-estra embellished by Carson Efird’s romps & rollicks that frolic through the sonic landscape. Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Cirqueestra reveals Westerlund’s fascination with collage, improvisation, humor, and the convergence of atonal and popular melodies in a psychedelic children’s song-cycle for adults. Efird’s choreography is extracted & abstracted from Grandma Sparrow’s riddles & rhymes and enlivens the many personalities that reside in the town of Piddletractor.
EFIRD WESTERLUND is the newly established experimental dance and music collaborations of Los Angeles-based choreographer and composer, Carson Efird and Joe Westerlund. They met in an improvisation for dancers and musicians class at Bennington College in 2003. Ten years later, EFIRD WESTERLUND is producing their first evening length debut, Diamonds & Tapestries: The Embellished Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Cirque-estra.
Tickets: For the 28th, for the 1st
Reinier van Houdt presents…
the wulf., Los Angeles, CA
Michael Winter : Meditation for Solo Piano 2002
Casey Anderson : Radio + Piano
Mark So : (Nichts, das ist) 2006
Andrew Young : Melody:Continuum 2013
Antoine Beuger : Y todos cuantos vagan 2013
Leo Svirsky : Preludes 2013
Walter Marchetti: Natura Morta or new piece
Casey Anderson, Scott Cazan
New multi-channel live electronic music by Casey Anderson and Scott Cazan.
Anne LeBaron: Portrait Concerts
REDCAT, Los Angeles
April 12th, 5pm
April 13th, 7pm
$20 / $16 / $10
Widely recognized as one of the most intriguing talents in American postmodern composition, Anne LeBaron has used her music to explore a range of fanciful subjects and stories—from the mysterious Singing Dune of Kazakhstan to figures such as the apocryphal cross-dressing Pope Joan and Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Surveying four decades of adventurous musicmaking—honored with the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, as well as Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, among other prizes—two separate programs feature selections from LeBaron’s operas, concert theater pieces, and instrumental compositions augmented by electronics and video. Also in the mix: a sneak preview of the composer’s seventh opera, Psyche & Delia, which probes the cultural resonances of LSD; and compositions by LeBaron’s former students. Guest artists include soprano Lucy Shelton, flutist Camilla Hoitenga and the Formalist Quartet.
Mark Trayle: Many signals all at once
REDCAT, Los Angeles
An early pioneer of laptop performance, composer and media artist
Mark Trayle also creates work written for networked chamber ensembles and re-engineered consumer products and cultural artifacts as interfaces for both live electronic music and media installations, among other explorations. Along the way he has collaborated with artists such as David Behrman, Jason Kahn, Toshimaru Nakamura, Wadada Leo Smith, and The Hub. Trayle is joined at REDCAT by Casey Anderson, Scott Cazan and other guest artists from near and far as he lays out a program of new multichannel solo pieces and compositions for mixed instrumental and electronic ensembles.
Posted: February 25th, 2014
i just added two short, recent pieces to the site. the first, yacht club, is a field recording near the North Shore Yacht Club on the Salton Sea. disappointingly, they have rebuilt a lot of the structures, so the “modernist decay” promised therein is a bit underwhelming. nonetheless, it sounded lovely there.
the second, hard drive + coil, was originally intended to test a coil microphone i had built and then turned into a procedure for creating a recording. its literally just a coil of wire soldered to a jack and then taped to an external hard drive (which is being used in various ways).
Posted: January 29th, 2014
Sequenza21 just published a review of the Lucier concert that Southland Ensemble (of which I am a member) recently put together. Read it here.
Posted: January 25th, 2014
Isaac Shankler recently reviewed the wulf.’s first LP, rounds (featuring a lot of my singing as well as a piece I wrote for the LP [“possible round(s)“), which can be purchased here. Read the review here.
Posted: January 15th, 2014
“mothlight” was listed, by Julia Holter, in her best of 2013 guest list thing over on pitchfork. read it here.
also, B.W. Diederich wrote some very nice things about “mothlight” as part of his series of pieces on the best releases of 2013 (here). this particular article also features some nice readings of Chance the Rapper, Single Mothers, and Deafheaven.
Posted: December 22nd, 2013
Brian Olewnick, who runs this great blog, just published a review of my recent tape, which one can read here.
mothlight is still available for purchase here.
Posted: December 2nd, 2013