From 27 April – 2 May I was the Melissa Gold Guest Artist at the Milton Academy in Boston. It was a week of adventure working with young people from ages 12 – 17. My goal was to give them a taste of music that uses improvisation and interactive electronics. I prepared a few pieces where they could participate. Even when there were 60 or more per class, we found ways for them to get inside of extended techniques, sonic improvisation and pushing a few buttons on my controllers. Participation and discussions were lively.
On Wednesday we ventured off campus to the high powered Brookline High School and the Bridge Boston Charter School where we embarked on the same adventures. At Bridge Boston we made music with kids from 4 – 8 yrs. They smiled, laughed and danced when I made up short songs using all those weird sounds. When is weird weird?
This week was made possible by my dear friend and colleague Louise Mundinger, music teacher at Milton and organist supreme.
Milton Chorus link giving Martin Parker’s GruntCount a try.
I flew to Edinburgh on 8 April to work with composer Michael Edwards and his students Yoann Mylonakis and Louis McHugh from the University of Edinburgh’s Digital Composition and Performance Department. We spent long hours tweaking their interactive computer compositions and then performed them at the Edinburgh Science Festival on 10 April.
We ran the audio directly from my old trustworthy RME to the surround speaker system and the composers controlled their pieces that were installed on my laptop discretely and almost secretly using MIRA and their iPads. No big mixers, no spaghetti cabling down the middle of the hall. Lovely interactions between composers, computers and the performer which happened to be me!
Robert van Heumen and I as Shackle hosted two duos to a full day in Amsterdam on 25 March.
They have very long names:
Of an implacable subtraction
with bassoonist/composer Dana Jessen and composer/performer Paula Mathussen
Architeuthis Walks on Land
with bassoonist/composer Katherine Young and violist/improviser Amy Cimini
Both duos presented their work and themselves at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and then played with and without Shackle in a diverse and marvelous concert at Splendor Amsterdam.
Oh how I wish they all lived in my town and I could play with them more than once in a blue moon.
Electra Kouloumpi is a young dancer and building engineer. One of her passions is to offer her audience abstract narrative interpretations of the spaces she moves through. This was our second time on stage together and the first as a duo. We had some magic in that hallway at the Kulter Proeflokaal in the basement of the A Lab building.
Blueprint is a video score by the conceptually wondrous artist Justin Bennett that MAZE performed with at GEMAK in The Hague on Friday the 13th of March. Justin recorded the performance and the audio is played with the video as part of an installation that will run until 11 April 2015.
Then we hope to play with it around the world.
Each of the 50 Splendor Amsterdam artists gives a concert once a year specifically for our club members. This time I assembled and arranged music that had something directly or abstractly to do with Winter Songs with some serious help from David Dramm and astounding performing from Jan Willem Baljet, Diamanda LBD, Nina Hitz and Nora Mulder. We were SOLD OUT!