Lots of change...
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Lots of change...
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Maybe I can offer a few general comments.
and I find this the most noticeable difference between music of,
say, 100 years ago, and now. Other than that,
I think things I am more likely to hear would include the following:
grooves, competing ostinati, overwhelming sound objects,
masses of writhing sounds sliding viscously between pitches,
as opposed to contrapuntal writing...
The project as a whole was a wonderful experience!
(I’m pleased with the music I wrote for it, too
–first time I’ve written for Speaker, or for Wind Machine...)
It was great fun to be part of the production, as well as writing music for it
I was an Oracle in the show,
as were composer Cassandra Miller and writer Colin Browne.
Around the world?
whose music isn’t well known to the VSO audiences.
Melissa Hui and John Rea, both of whom are better known
but not often performed here in Vancouver.
And Katia Makdissi-Warren,
whose music is new to me as of this year.
whose music I found via “Alarm Will Sound”
(New York based ensemble that does fascinating stuff.)
It’ll also be fun to present music by Rzewski, Adès, and Birtwistle,
all of whose names are very well-known
but not performed frequently enough here.
Other than I’m interested in a lot of other non-classical music
(Gagaku, Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits, plus a million other things),
is whatever text I am currently setting
I have been fortunate to work with several great writers:
Bill Richardson, Alan Ashton, and the late Tom Cone.
Sometimes I’ve found that literature has been an inspiration or starting-off point
while writing non-vocal music. Theft (Waterclocks and Insomnia)
was inspired by the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
people making weird noises, and possibly goats.
where my insomniac tendencies towards short fast thoughts
are a significant structural component"
high level of fast-changing bits of information being thrown at us
(via internet and other media, traffic, billboards, background music, etc.)
might encourage those states of mind in everyone living in an urban environment.
You've been described online as
" perhaps the brightest shining star to come out of the west "
How does such praise affect you?
Best not to dwell on what people write about you,
whether good or bad.
and I’m interested in what they’re writing
and listening to and thinking about.
I have very strong professional associations
(Mark Takeshi McGregor, Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, Ariel Barnes, Heidi Krutzen,
Joseph Elworthy, Corey Hamm, Robyn Driedger-Klassen)
… but internationally not so much.
as soon as we got a piano, when I was eight,
but it didn’t dawn on me to start writing music down until I was in my early 20s.
I hadn’t thought about composers as living people before I started music school (as a pianist.)
collaborative pianist, sessional lecturer, etc. etc.
(That doesn’t count the non-musical ones)
which looks lovely and sounds beautiful. I’m fond of birds.
I spend a reasonable amount of time outdoors on non-busy streets,
so I hear a decent amount of natural sound.
Saturday, 12 September 2015
Tell me about your tour: Where have you come from and hoe far have you yet to travel?
This is as Far East we'll get to. We're heading back west beginning .
How long has the band been going?
. What kinds of bands do you play with
What are some Influences on the sound of your group?
Do you thrive on diner food or find it hard to eat well on the road?
Friday, 4 September 2015
It must have been a brisk autumn night, as the weather was ideally inclement for a stroll through the back ways and lanes of Toronto's downtown west side, along the curves and dips of the Garrison creek, formerly called the Bull creek, south from Davenport to Queen, into the still beating heart of Parkdale's musical magic hour.
The first time I brought the gang from Valued Customer down to Not my Dog, it was an appropriately synchronistic occasion. I carried a boombox and described to them the ideal James Brown sourcebook, which I would find in a used bookshop later that same week. Serendipity is not chaos, as I might have argued a few years earlier in the same bar.
"They remind me of me. "
Said Johnny awesome.
"I hate them"
I first met Patrick Power, guitar and vocals, through Craigslist. I had posted a call for scores composed for violin cello flute and oboe, having no real means to present any such music.
Patrick invited me to hear his string quartet, performed at gallery 345 as part of Torontiad 2. He gave my sister guitar lessons. We had tea and talked about jazz. I sensed that the pedigree of instrumental proficiency and thero-storical background possessed by VuCu refracted through their native classic rock and post-millenial rap
would find fertile modes of sonic articulation in the mid-century black American avant garde.
Then came Torontiad three, a workshop in which we both rehearsed brass duets for french horn and tuba. Due to an allergic hyper sensitivity, my eyes were bleeding during most of this time, and somebody else had to turn my score into a PDF format acceptable to the players. Patricks piece sounded like Stravinsky vs Zappa. Mine sounded like medieval mush.
Justus Gustus is an enigmatic, well-coiffed sort. I admire his savvy lyrics and the frenetic trance of his powerful delivery. He plays his guitar through a golden JVC boombox I left on Patrick's doorstep last time I moved and downsized my collection. He lives in cinespaces and dates projectionists.
The Victory Café open mic was another happy time. Few jammers actually discovered this jam during its ill-fated three month run, and I was often left to entertain in marathon sessions with the rapman. Unless VuCu came in, and then it was a lovely romp of an evening. One of my best moments in Mirvish village was killing it free styling to a Bran Van "Drinking in LA" instrumental. ( L A, L L A, L A W Y E R S...)
Just as much fun as playing the Elvis Costello Challenge with my aunts Ann and Leah, or getting goofy and doing pratfalls during a zombie rap jam called "bodies on the ground".
I also got to jump in on a VuCu set at the Holy Oak a couple years back, in the midst of a sexy song called " perfect body"
Essentially VuCu serves, in my timeline, to justify and encourage my shamanic status as a goofy, wise, dirty old(er) man. I enjoy quipping that I am the Satie of whatever this post-jazz rap thing is called, and that they will outshine me as its Debussy, but that's just me being all cute and musico-historical.
O how i love their merch! They design their own stylish shirts, sometimes stiched together from multiple sources.
My birthday party recital, "so long summer" farewell parties, and a one off open mic, all held at the Belljar Café, were also graced by VuCu members.
I did a session for Patricks solo project: the "piggga" album, my first studio rap after a dry period away from the jams and the joints. I mustered some rambling shout outs over a 6/4 beat and was offered more future collabs.
If you're still reading this without having heard the music of Valued Customer, now.might be the time to mention that they are on some next level. Look up their bandcamp. Turn off the Netflix and chill.
When valued customer came to visit us in the Soo last summer, it all came back to me. Bohemia. Vast art-historical pipedreams. Distortions in my perception of time....
Vucu are growing up, and hosted the Gore Street open mic as a full blown new thing panmodal jazz combo. Actually, their show in the Sunshine laundromat last summer was possibly the best we put on last year. If only I could find the videos...
A couple days later Vucu trumpeter David Baldry was back in town with Reenie and rocking Gore Street once again. At 180 Projects, I confessed to him that since the Holy oak I didn't think the band could maintain their hip hop approach without a drummer, and that the laundromat show had changed my mind.
But the last time I met up with my boys at the dog for my now-regular xmastime gig, things went a bit awry. A buddy of theirs had smuggled some outside beers into the open mic on Wednesday, and their act was barred for insulting the owner. Steve Mozarowski showed up at the last minute to replace their set. I think they'll come back again this summer to visit and play. I think their next album is going to astound:-) I think next time the cypher is going straight to video;-)
Telephone and Address
local grunge/post punk
Friday, 7 August 2015
and what do you feel the music scene is missing?
Gnaeus and Caroline Divine are buzzing for me
Jack Spades and Destroilet.
I think right now it's just missing the chaos.
There are a lot of kids here that don't get the opportunity
to see new music because even when it's promoted,
it falls short to cover bands.
In my opinion that's a little backward, but nonetheless,
the community of people
who are brought together by music and art
is growing stronger than it has in recent years.
Hopefully the city's reputation for music
will continue to improve with the addition of the Machine Shop
as a go-to venue for touring artists.
The bands are here, the talent is here,
and all the hormonal, pissed-off teenagers are here too,
we just need to get them off their phones
and out to a damn show.
It's a far more memorable and emotional experience
than today's trending topics.
How is life on a label for Pixo so far?
It's been nothing but amazing so far, and there's no chance in hell