I was in San Diego, California on January 21, 2017:
We, San Diego Women’s March, peacefully marched in San Diego in solidarity with the Women’s March in DC. We are dedicated to a free and open society. Together we stand united in our respect for all people and we resist the marginalization of anyone. As a diverse, inclusive community of compassionate people, we seek to strengthen and continue our commitment to work for the protection of women’s rights. We stand firm in agreement that women’s rights are human rights.
San Diego, 21 January 2017
With flutist colleagues Jane Rigler and Lisa Cella
My Splendor members concert for 2017 was a run-through of the concert that David Dramm and I will be taking on tour to the West Coast of North America.
I play works by Sam Pluta, Hugo Morales, David Dramm, Yannis Kyriakides and me and David tells stories about our tours from years past mixed with the story of Telemachus.
Now that we know how it feels to perform it, we can tweak it, thanks to the valuable comments by our trustworthy friends and colleagues who came.
7090 celebrated their 15 years by putting on a marathon evening of performances with the artists they’ve worked with over the years in the Orgelpark in Amsterdam.
The Orgelpark has become home to many musicians with their diverse and adventuresome programming and their welcoming of concert ideas.
Years ago I created Treads for 7090. It’s a Max Patch and has undergone more than a few revisions. This time we did the unplugged, super short version with iPads and improv. Nice to revisit a piece with such close friends.
As a composer/performer/improviser and self-taught nerd I am often faced with the conundrum of how to present my work in a way that would be artistically and technically useful without slighting the importance of the necessary performative eruptions that my music needs to come to life.
This time I got to taste the vibe of the UCSD music students while also solving some programming issues in Utter.
I first heard about the legendary John Fonville when I was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in the late 1970’s. John had finished his doctorate not long before my arrival and had left a significant mark including his reputation as an adventuresome flutist. I felt that I was following in the footsteps of someone with whom I shared some musical passions and I had never even met the man!
Some years went by and in 1985 I thought a doctorate would be the next path for me so I paid John a visit at UCSD.
Click: We did indeed share some musical passions.
For the next two years we played microtones, multiphonics and developed a duo that the world has never seen the likes of. We commissioned, we improvised and we worked with our friends and colleagues knowing that, in our initmate cirlce, we were forging ground for the flute repertoire of the late 20th century. A bit presumptious of us but we were super motivated to the point of obsessive in our mission.
Our duo continued for a few years with our last performances in Europe at the end of the 1980’s.
Then John and I continued our separate career paths, meeting up occassionally in San Diego when I would pass through.
I still often meet John in my mind, thinking about his particular musicality, virtuosity and unique approach to dealing with the flute. I also think warmly about all those hours we spent learning the Mong Songs, Unengraced and By and taking turns ranting about the injustices of life.
Our music lives on.
One of Splendor’s calling cards is that we like to keep our members on their toes. We opened 2017 in a different location than the last few Parades and we put together a performance space in the round that was all about Opera. The SplendOpeRa.
Imagine, about 30 musicians playing new, old and improvised music that was somehow linked to Opera for 70 minutes in a warehouse with the public in the middle and the performers moving from podium to podium around them!
We made our way to Berlin for a short stay on a snowy day. The concert was part of The Kontraklang Tactile Paths Festival which was a continued celebration of Christopher William’s PhD accomplishments.
We played works that we love to play by Justin Bennett, Yannis Kyriakides and me plus the added extra of Jitterbug by Annea Lockwood who came over from the US to be part of the festivities.
Defending a PhD with music. That made my day!
Especially since I got to see old friends who served as external experts and play part of Cardew’s Treatise.
Check out the dissertation by Christopher Williams here.
Justin Bennett, Reinier van Houdt, me, Christopher Williams.
Here in Holland we celebrate Christmas for two days. On the second day a brass band, a jazz trio plus some ringers sang and played music by Laurie Anderson, David Dramm, Leonard Cohen, Kris Berry and more to continue the holiday spirit.
The Brass Band, The Jazz Band and the rest of us.
New Emergences is a lecture and discussion series highlighting the current debates around gender in electronic, contemporary and experimental music.
They presented their 5th edition in Splendor Amsterdam on 13 December and they asked me to be the moderator this time.
I have enjoyed the role of keynote speaker and panel member in the past and this time the challenge was terrific since I was hosting the event in Splendor and acting as moderator for a highly charged panel and public.
The keynote speaker was Kate Moore and the panel members were Henriëtte Post, Joel Ryan and Rozalie Hirs. Look them up. They are formidable people and accomplished in their work.
Kate’s keynote was poetic, informative and confronting all at the same time and the panel members and public grappled with the issues she put forward with passion.
Gender issues are hot.
I was particularly inspired by the stories that came from the younger generation which included shaking up academic curricula and forming feminist activity and action groups.
Kate Moore. Keynote speaker.
The panel. La Berge, Post, Hirs, Moore, Ryan.
Semay Wu. The head of New Emergences.