Posts

John Fonville Portrait Concert

13/02/2017 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

New Emergences #5

18/12/2016 16:32

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.

Kate Moore. Keynote speaker.

The panel. La Berge, Post, Hirs, Moore, Ryan.

The panel. La Berge, Post, Hirs, Moore, Ryan.

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Semay Wu. The head of New Emergences.

Semay Wu. The head of New Emergences.

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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Make and Remake

05/11/2016 20:40

I led a four day workshop for Composition, Sonology and Art Science students from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague called Make and Remake where they furiously researched and constructed sound and visual installations in record time.

The results were unexpectedly complex and engaging. Wow.

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Curves

20:31

Shackle and Men with Motors spent a week in Cologne puzzling out how we could become even more interactive. We played a concert in Stadtgarten and will be playing another soon in Splendor Amsterdam.

The data and the audio exchanges remain intoxicating.

And then there’s the performance!

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Setting the screens at Stadtgarten

Setting the screens at Stadtgarten

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MAZE plays Ashley

20:15

Our concert in the Amsterdam Orgelpark included guests David Dramm on voice in Tap Dancing, Diamanda Dramm on violin and Jacob Lekkerkerker in Outcome Inevitable, Tap Dancing and In Memoriam Kit Carson.

A highpoint for us all was the surprising performance of Kit Carson where we brought a score from 1963 back to life in its most precise yet imaginative form.

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