Last weekend there were two premieres in the Orgelpark in Amsterdam. Nachthexen (Night Witches) by Huib Emmer and Lonely Stats by me with the Field Of Ears band and guests.
Between the two pieces Irine Birger gave an entertaining and informative lecture on the two pieces. Both of them dealt with women in WWII. Lonely Stats had bits about Annabelle Lee and the All American Girls Baseball League and the Night Witches were women Soviet Pilots that flew missions during WWII.
I had the role of narrator in addition to playing the flute in both pieces which is a new phase for my compositional and performance roles. I’m into it and am dreaming of ways to use my voice live in future projects.
We even managed to get a spot on Russian TV!
Photo credit to Sonja Duimel and many thanks to the Orgelpark staff.
The Treble Girls Tour was an intense and inspiring few days carried out with the usual La Berge Dramm focus and passion.
Our first concert was at the Boston Goethe Institut just two days after the Boston Marathon Bombings.
We were glad to be able to share the premieres of works by Natacha Diels, David Dramm and Jorrit Dijkstra plus some Stockhausen and Berio with our audience.
The next day we flew to Baltimore to play at the Red Room for a warm and receptive audience! Many thanks to Samuel Burt for the hosting of this event.
Then we flew on to Miami.
A walk on the beach, a visit to the fantastic Wynwood Art District Art Galleries, the hosting of Juraj Kojs, the opportunity to perform for the kids at the Children’s museum and play a late afternoon concert to celebrate Earth Day at the Botanical Gardens lifted our spirits and theirs too!
For some strange and wonderful reason I have had the priviledge to be part of various warm up bands for Marshall Allen’s bands at OCCII in Amsterdam.
This time it was with Frankie Vis on voice with electronics and Renato Ferreira on double bass.
We were conceptual, melodic and noisy. Real music making.
And it was a great to hear Marshall Allen and band yet one more time!
Last night Shackle played a short set as part of a concert in a lovely little church in Schellingwoude which is just a couple of bridges over the water from Amsterdam. The church was filled with a dedicated local audience and our colleagues played Janacek, Padding, Andriessen and Prokofiev. As we were playing we both really felt how Shackle has a role in guiding the electronic chamber music of the 21st century.
Many thanks to Gerard Bouwhuis and Heleen Hulst for producing the festival and feeding us all so well before the gig.
Two drummers plus an electronic hacker wizzard make the band Dagora. Electric guitar and flute were added for this benefit concert for the SOTU festival that will take place this coming May. Sometimes playing loud and rocky is really fun. Especially when it helps raise money for my friends.
Thanks to Rogier, Stephen, Luc and Arvind for a romping set at OT301.
I flew from Berlin directly to the Nothing to Say and Saying It: A day with John Cage which was a one day festival to celebrate 101 years of John Cage.
As part of the Cage salon, four of us read for an hour from the book of interviews, Conversing with Cage (1987) using the throwing of dice to determine the order of the readers and excerpts.
Thanks to Neil Wallace for this brilliant idea which gave Cage and his ideas a more tangible facet than if the festival had just added extra texts to the program book.
The performance on 22 February of the Klingon Opera ‘U’ was a major contribution to the Unmenschliche Musik festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.
I’ve been part of this project as the person who plays the Klingon wind instruments since its initial phase a few years ago. This performance was probably the last, but one never knows.
We had a big and enthusiastic public with great sound thanks to our audio technician Hardy and a significant showing of REAL Klingons.
Michael Mason, Master of the Scream
Taru Huotari, Kahless
I got off the train from Berlin and headed over in the snow to a gig at the Dokhouse with electro hacker hero Luc van Weelden and drummer Stephen Doyle. The audience was clearly the sort that needs to be encouraged to listen, otherwise they just talk through the performances. Therefore we played loudly. Volume can be very rewarding at times.
The final act was by solo drummer Roro. He chose to play in the WC. Another creative solution.
I spent a couple of days in Berlin working with Guy de Bievre where he was rounding up a period of teaching at the Electronic Studio at the TU where The final presentation was at Ausland.
The students played some very personal renditions of Frank L. McCarty: Tactus Tempus, a controlled improvisational process (1969) and then Guy and I played his new piece Time Zones 0.1 and my piece Swamp for film projector and improvisers (2010).
It is always such a dramatically different experience for me when I play my pieces with different musicians. This version was more lyrical than ever. I think it was the slide guitar and Guy’s particular musical statements that led us into the swampy zone.
speakers for Swamp
The year opened with a lot of improvising!
8 January Tom Baker and I did some recording in MuzyQ that we have private hopes to bring out on vinyl, followed by a romping gig in Zaal 100 with the locals Eric Boeren, Wilbert de Joode and Diamanda Dramm.
Shackle played a sensational 6 minutes to break the classical flow at the Splendor Parade on a snowy 20 January.
And then Shackle went on to play a Shackle Affair set with pleasant surprises provided by sax player John Dikeman at the Martin Luther Church Tabula Rasa series.
In the meantime, I’m working on a piece for Field Of Ears for an April 27th premiere. Looking at the history of the knuckleball and Annabelle Lefty Lee.
And waiting for the arrival of 3 new pieces for the April tour of The Treble Girls!