Live Stage: NewIdeas MusicSeries III [us New York, NY]

nims-iii.JPGNewIdeas MusicSeries III :: November 14, 2010 @ Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street, New York, NY :: David First (10:30 pm) :: Ben Manley (9:45 pm) :: Dan Joseph (9:00 pm) :: St.Luke’s Trombone Quartet performing a new work by Michael Vincent Waller: “One-Note-Trumps” (2010) (8:15 pm) :: Sandy McCroskey (7:30 pm) :: Free ::

David First, known for his dense, mesmerizing drone structures – which he has been experimenting with since his teens – as well as his intense and highly unusual, minimalist approach to the guitar, First has been a pivotal figure in the world of experimental music, releasing recordings on O.O. Discs, Ecstatic Peace and Analysand as well as works on the CRI, Aerial, Homestead, and EMF labels. A recent CD entitled “Dave’s Waves – A Sonic Restaurant” – the music from his sound installation of the same name in Lier, Belgium – was the first international release on the highly regarded Italian label ants.

His music has been performed in the USA at The Kitchen, Bang On A Can, Central Park Summerstage, the CMJ Music Marathon, Joe’s Pub, The Knitting Factory, Tonic, Merkin Hall, CBGB’s, and The Spoleto Festival. He has also been presented extensively in Europe – appearing at Podewil, the USArts Festival, Institut Unzeit (Berlin) as well as at De Ijsbreker (Amsterdam), the Heidelberger Festival for Experimental Music and Literature (Heidelberg), ZwischenTone Festival (Köln), The Impakt Festival (Utrecht), Het Apollohuis (Eindhoven), and the Brugge Concertgebeouw (Brugge). First has also presented sound installations at Kunstforeningen (Copenhagen), the Uppsala Konstmuseum (Uppsala), Exit Art (New York), Voorkamer (Lier) and Studio Five Beekman (NYC).

First has garnered an impressive amount of glowing press over the years. He has been called “a fascinating artist with a singular technique” in The New York Times, and “a bizarre cross between Hendrix and La Monte Young” in The Village Voice. Regarding the New York production of his opera created in response to the AIDS crisis, The Manhattan Book of the Dead, Kyle Gann of The Village Voice wrote: “The music grew and grew in scintillating, illusionary beauty long past the point at which you thought it could still surpass itself”. First was also proclaimed “the next big thing in guitar gods” by K. Leander Williams in Time Out New York. He has also been featured in numerous publications. There have been articles about him in both Guitar Player and Keyboard Magazine as well as in MusikTexte (Germany), Arude, Atlantica (Spain) and a recent issue of Tape Op . There are chapters about his music in the books American Music in the Twentieth Century (Gann/Schirmer) and La Musica Minimalista (Antognozzi/Edizioni Textus) and the just published, Music Downtown (Gann/UofC Press).

Dan Joseph is a free-lance composer based in New York City. He began his career as a drummer in the vibrant punk scene of his native Washington, DC. During the late 1980s, he was active in the experimental tape music underground, producing ambient-industrial works for independent labels in the U.S. and abroad. He spent the ‘90s in California where he studied at CalArts and Mills College. His principal teachers include Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran and Mel Powell. Equally influential where his studies with Terry Riley during several workshops in California and Colorado.

As an artist who embraces the musical multiplicity of our time, Dan works simultaneously in a variety of media and contexts, including instrumental chamber music, free improvisation, and various forms of electronica and sound art. Since the late 1990s, the hammer dulcimer has been the primary vehicle for his music. As a performer he is active with his own chamber ensemble, The Dan Joseph Ensemble, as well as in various improvisational collaborations and as an occasional soloist. He has collaborated with a variety of creative artists including Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, Loren Dempster, JD Parran, Pauline Oliveros, India Cooke, William Winant and John Ingle.

Dan Joseph’s work has been presented at Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), Diapason Gallery for Sound (NYC), Roulette (NYC), Deep Listening Space (Kingston, NY), The Kitchen (NYC) Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), New Langton Arts (SF) and other venues. He has received commissions from several ensembles and performers, including Gamelan Son of Lion, the SF Sound Group, baritone Thomas Buckner, flutist Jacqueline Martelle and clarinetist Matt Ingalls. His most recent CD Archaea (2006) is available from the Mutable Music label and includes three recent chamber works.

Composer and experimenter Ben Manley explores the natural variability of wind, amplified small vibrations, and resonant objects as a means of generating dynamic electroacoustic environments. Manley has presented performances and installations in New York City at venues including Experimental Intermedia, The Kitchen, Roulette, Steinway Hall, Diapason Gallery, ISSUE Project Room, Greenwich House Music School, Lotus Fine Arts, Paula Cooper Gallery/MATA, the Knitting Factory, Stephen Gang Gallery, Tonic, Momenta Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Downtown Music Gallery, Harvestworks, Generator, Chashama, La Mama La Galleria, Jack Tilton Gallery, ABC-No-Rio, The Lucky Cat, Context, Mercury Lounge, Victory Theater, Studio Five Beekman, Den of Cin, Pierogi 2000, The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, and New York University. He has also performed at Subtropics 18 (Miami), 411 Collective (Portland, OR), Rebis Galleries (Denver), Mills College, 21 Grand (Oakland), High Zero 2002, The Red Room, University of Maryland (Baltimore), Deep Listening Space (Kingston, NY), Speakeasy (Seattle), Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), New Music Circle, Washington University (St. Louis), Festival ’96 (Munich), The Loft (Kohn), MeX (Dortmund), CUBA (Muenster), Logos (Ghent), and at STEIM (Amsterdam).

He has collaborated with Sean G. Meehan, Connie Crothers, Jim Staley, Ursula Scherrer, Dan Evans Farkas, Jens Brand, Linda Austin, and others, and has appeared with Composers Inside Electronics in David Tudor’s Rainforest IV at the Lincoln Center Festival 98 and with Essential Music in performances of works by John Cage and Robert Ashley. He has installed versions of Alvin Lucier’s works, including a new realization of The Queen of the South with water and reflected light at Studio Five Beekman and Modern Fuel Gallery, and installations of Music on a Long Thin Wire at Greenwich House Music School, Subtropics 18 Festival in Miami, and MFA, Boston. Manley has also appeared locally and overseas with the electroacoustic Manley Family Trio.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary this season, the St. Luke’s Trombone Quartet was originally formed as a creative chamber music outlet for its NYC-based members and is the resident ensemble at St Luke’s Lutheran Church of Midtown, Manhattan; right in the heart of New York’s theater district. The ensemble performs recitals and liturgical services for the church, and has been heard in numerous venues throughout the East Coast of the United States. Members of the SLTQ are freelance artists who perform in a wide variety of settings and styles both in New York City and around the world with various ensembles. SLTQ members perform regularly with ensembles ranging from the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra to the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Blue Note. SLTQ members are also active in the recording field, performing on Grammy and Tony award-winning recordings, as well as for television & film. Members are very active in the world of Broadway & various show bands and collectively have performed for hundreds of different shows and star acts. The SLTQ performs a wide range of music which reflects the diversity of its members and has performed for Trinity Church’s acclaimed Noonday Concert Series, as well as being featured artists with the Brown University Wind Ensemble in Providence, Rhode Island.

With a long-standing commitment to community service, the SLTQ has performed for underserved and isolated audiences in elderly and correctional facilities. In 2001 the ensemble performed relief/respite music concerts for rescue workers and community residents after the attacks of 9-11. Upcoming activities include a recording project of new liturgical music for the Lutheran Church, as well as commissioning new works, and will include the premier of a new concert program in the spring of 2011 mixing cross-cultural music and composers between New York and Japan, to be performed in both countries.

St.Luke’s Trombone Quaret will be performing a new work by Michael Vincent Waller, “One-Note-Trumps” (2010).

Michael Vincent Waller is a New York City based composer and visual artist, heavily involved with the Dream House (DIA Affiliate) over the last five years. His vocal raga and composition studies with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela have provided a beautiful inspiration to his focus on modal, drone, and electronic means. This deep intrinsic experience of involving overtones is the essence of his canvas of acousmatic and spectral composition. Michael endorses the phenomenologist approach to sound as his “central attitude” and manual for being. He has performed/collaborated with Sean Meehan, Tom Chiu, Alex Waterman, Ha-Yang Kim, Daniel Panner, Yvonne Troxler, Gregor Kitzis, Sabir Mateen, Christine Bard, Erica Dicker, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Andrew Lafkas – performing ensemble works at venues Issue Project Room, Tenri Cultural Institute, Diapason, Zebulon, Paris London West Nile, Port d’ Or, Glasslands, and The Living Theatre.

Sandy McCroskey
was born in late 1955 in West Virginia, where he learned to play guitar and trumpet and where sometimes after midnight he would sneak into the Baptist Church to create (and record) “trance music” on the big Baldwin organ. A long-time denizen of the experimental music scene, Sandy has only recently started performing his own music in public, with a debut at Diapson earlier this year.

“I don’t think of my work as expression so much as exploration. Ever since Michael Schumacher gave me my first copy of Max, back in the ’90s, I’ve used it to set up situations where I can’t quite anticipate what will happen. My Max works have also usually been designed, à la Schumacher’s ‘room pieces,’ as environments that can be generated by the program endlessly without exact repetition and without authorial intervention. When it became possible to generate sine tones with the computer itself (when Max added MSP) I started working toward what I’m doing now, which is, glad you asked, eliciting, experiencing and then trying to arrange somewhat the deployment in time and space of higher prime-numbered intervals. Lately I’m focusing on those between two fairly close range limits (in several octaves); at Pianos, I’m planning to perform ‘The Forgotten Door,’ crossing the threshold of the area between 17 and 19. The guiding idea here is the concept of ‘distant consonances’ that La Monte Young has pioneered, most extensively in his Dream House drone installations (see my article, “Dream Analysis,” at or on paper at the Dream House). It’s the spookiest thing, but the primes themselves seem (at least if the Riemann Hypothesis is correct) to be distributed along the infinite number line as harmonics of one great wave, giving them their own secret music. All I know is, I can feel it in the very cells of my body when tones are in a pure harmonic relation. And I don’t think it’s just me!”

Nov 6, 2010
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