3 x 3 Recording Sessions

20/07/2017 - 16:22

The Splendor public were our guests during three live recording concerts on 30 May and 1 June at 19.00 and 22.00. We filled the hall with microphones, guitars, amps, electronics, a piano, a hammond organ, an organ pedal, flutes, violins, saxes and even a banjo. The plan is to release a double LP with the repertoire of cover tunes and original works that we’ve performed over the years. Duo, trio, quartet and quintet versions were all on the list.

The performers were:
Anne La Berge – voice, flutes and electronics
Diamanda La Berge Dramm – voice, violin, kazoo and organ pedal
David Dramm – voice and guitars
Marco Mlynek – voice, guitar, banjo, piano, hammond organ and tambourine
Marc Alberto – voice, saxes and electronics

Diamanda Dramm, Marc Alberto, Me, Marco Mlynek, David Dramm

West Coast Tour 2017

18/03/2017 - 13:19

David Dramm and I took it upon ourselves to tour together after a 22 year hiatus. We started with a concert at our homebase, Splendor Amsterdam, where we could try a few things out before we hit the road.

I played radical repertoire including works by Sam Pluta, Hugo Morales, David Dramm, Yannis Kyriakides and myself and David told stories about our former tours. We ended the concert with a story that we told together.

First stop was Chicago which is not on the west coast and David was not there. Sam Pluta and I recorded his sonically intense and tremendous to perform Delay/Line. I gave a couple of composition seminars and we joined our favorite bassoon players Katie Young and Dana Jessen for an improv concert at Elastic Arts that was reminiscent of a concert in Splendor that Shackle produced a couple of years ago.

Recording Sam Pluta’s Delay/Line. Univ of Chicago.

David and I met up in Vancouver where he met with the students of John Korsrud and joined me for a concert produced by Music on Main. We get together with David Pay, the director of Music on Main, in the Netherlands and it was a treat to finally spend time with him on his own turf. What a stunning venue the Fox Cabaret is!

Vancouver is the home of the NOW Society run by colleague and close friend, Lisa Cay Miller. We managed to squeeze in a play at the NOW Society INsphere Sessions. I like the way Lisa hears and reacts when we play together. Jeff Younger joined us as did a few others. Nice night of improv with a lot of circular breathing.

Next came a residency at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I fell in love with the mountain that hovers over the campus. The snowy cliffs and peaks bewitched us with light and shadows moment to moment for four days. I collaborated with six student composers and recorded their flute/electronics compositions. A gratifying lip-buster and just the beginning. We will work together again in Amsterdam in June in a BYU/Splendor exchange residency. David taught lessons for a full day, we gave a joint lecture on Splendor and our work, I led an improv class and we finished with a concert. The rewards of spending time with the musical community of BYU were felt by all.

Another early flight took us to San Francisco where we got in a car and drove to Santa Cruz, American style. We gave another Composition Colloquim and enjoyed the challenge of tweaking our duo presentation. The students told us we brought a freshness to the seminar formant by handing the lead back and forth and into the public.

Our concert was in the Radius Gallery run by the Indexical Foundation. Bravo Indexical for creating a vibrant series with a curious audience from scratch!

The last concert was at the San Francisco Center For New Music. The audience included some new and some dear old friends. Performing for them in such an intimate space gave the concert a sort of conversational flavor. Hello, we’re here to tell you our stories.

Meerenai Shin was the curator for the Center For New Music Concert and this was her last concert.

Home Movies at Splendor

13/02/2017 - 14:16

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.

Treads at the 7090 Party

- 14:09

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.

John Fonville Portrait Concert

- 13:47

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.

Splendor Parade 2017

- 13:45

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!

Maze in Berlin

- 13:36

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.

Tactile Paths Defense

30/12/2016 - 11:11

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.

Paradiso Christmas Matinee

- 10:58

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.

Diamanda Dramm

David Dramm

Frank Starik

682/681 with Lisa Cay Miller

18/11/2016 - 15:55

682/681 are the flight numbers for the KLM flights between Vancouver and Amsterdam. A journey that is familiar for many of us especially for Lisa Cay Miller who has been frequenting our city for a few years now to collaborate and perform in the Amsterdam Improv Scene.

On December 17, 2015 Lisa gathered some of her colleagues at Splendor Amsterdam to record a collection of vignettes. The CD presentation concert was on 31 October 2016.

Warm exchanges. Some with lots of volume, others with lots of notes and some with sometimes less.

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