The Academies

31/08/2017 - 13:02

I spent my second half of August on the faculties of two Dutch Academies.

The first was the Splendor Summer Academy where the participants were introduced to the Splendor way of engaging with their careers. Activities ranged from discussions about concert and festival programming to personal instrumental coaching to a canal boat ride. We had six participants from all over the world including Iran and Taiwan. They performed in Splendor and in the Uilenburger Synagogue for the Amsterdam Canal Festival. Lots of learning there!

Splendor Academy 2017

Splendor Academy 2017

The second was the Dutch Improvisers Academy.
We had 26 participants whose histories ranged from classical to jazz to self educated. They were passionate musicians all game to dive into playing with one another in endless formations. I was impressed and inspired by their maturity, curiosity and speed at picking up the advice from the six of us coaches. Not an easy task considering how diverse and devoted the coaching staff was this year. We worked at the Conservatory in the Hague, played concerts at the BIM and the Jazz Bicycle Tour.

DIA 2017 KonCon Den Haag

DIA 2017 KonCon Den Haag

DIA 2017 BIMhuis Amsterdam

DIA 2017 Jazz Bike Tour

The Flute Convention

10/08/2017 - 04:50

I was invited to perform a couple of works at the US National Flute Convention held in Minneapolis this year. I am representing a small group of Minnesota Native flutists that made careers elsewhere and are performing together on Saturday 12 August at 15.00.

And I am selling some of my stuff at the convention!
A USB card designed by Isabelle Vigier where I have loaded my works:
revamper
away – the Max App
Just Before – the Max App
TOO – the Max App

And the Unsounds LPs
RAW
The Hum

Come find me if you would like one or more!

The Card
Design by Isabelle Vigier

The Hum LP, Unsounds 40U, Joe Williamson and Anne La Berge

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

MAZE Festival 2017

17/07/2017 - 16:45

Our MAZE Festival had 2 concerts this year, the first in Splendor and the second in the BIMhuis.
This festival was big for me for a few reasons including the official release of the Unsounds LP RAW in Splendor and the premiere of my new work Assail in the BIMhuis AND to be able to play such happening concerts with MAZE and our guest composer/cellist Okkyung Lee.

MAZE website

Splendor Concert
Facebook

BIMhuis Concert
Facebook

Review of the BIMhuis concert

RAW LP release with MAZE in Splendor

The Sound Revolution

21/05/2017 - 13:25

I flew to Edinburgh for a day to be part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Our event was called The Sound Revolution and focussed on a few performances and a discussion regarding how music is part of the digital world we live in today.

Our fearless discussion leader was Martin Parker. He had to field both public and participant questions and answers and try to make sense out of such a broad and changing issue. And he did it too. I play his piece Grunt Count regularly on tour and I was curious about his plans for upcoming projects.

I performed Utter. It has a different audience response every time I play it. Can’t wait to see what happens next time.

Pete Furniss and Martin Parker, Edinburgh International Science Festival

ArtEZ General Study Workshop

18/03/2017 - 14:47

ArtEZ University of the Arts based in Arnhem, The Netherlands, asked me to come give a workshop for their Lost in Transition general study day on 16 March where they bring creative students from different art disciplines together. It was the Netherland’s national election day and I had just returned from weeks in North America. What a way to land.

We spent 3.5 hours making, interpreting and remaking one another’s works based on the concepts and practical expressions of transitions. I was flabbergasted and touched to be part of such original, resourceful and wise work coming from these young artists.

West Coast Tour 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.

The Saturday March

13/02/2017 - 21:22

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

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!