Peter Nelson-King: The Magpie’s Shadow

New music multi-instrumentalist and rabble-rouser Peter Nelson-King presents the world premiere of The Magpie’s Shadow, a large-scale cycle of piano miniatures inspired by the poetry of Yvor Winters. Winters’s poem sequence The Magpie’s Shadow is a gem of early American modernist verse, assembling 28 aphoristic poems to create an effect of dreamlike mystery and wonder, and Nelson-King’s piece sets all 28 in microcosmic delight for solo piano, using a rich pantonal palette and extended techniques. Also featured is Hans Erich Apostel’s Kubiniana, a stunning 10-piece cycle based on the arresting drawings of Alfred Kubin. Rounding out the program are Fulvio Caldini’s rarely-heard Iblis Suite and Ernest Bloch’s enchanting Five Sketches in Sepia.

Peter Nelson-King is the founder of Cursive, a modern chamber ensemble specializing in performing hidden gems of 20th- and 21st-century classical music with a modular ensemble. A King County native, he got degrees at University of Puget Sound and Boston University before returning to the Seattle area to perform in a variety of groups and capacities. He is a trumpet player, pianist, vocalist and composer, and is a regular member of Brass Band Northwest, the Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra, the Ensign Symphony and the Paper Puppet Opera.

David Stout: The Janus Switch

The Janus Switch v.2 (2016) is a digital performance work merging live cinema and electronic sound in a poetic exploration of generative audio-visual feedback structures. Janus, the two-headed Roman god, was notable for his ability to look in two directions at once. He was known as the god of doorways and passages. The Janus Switch is a techno-poetic realization of these ideas, where signal streams are switched rapidly back and forth to create a wide range of sonic and visual interactions. The system software, created by Cory Metcalf in collaboration with David Stout, allows for real time mixing of mathematic data to create an evolving array of hybrid audio-visual forms and aesthetic behaviors. While the technical methods can be interesting in and of themselves, the work is driven by the visceral experience produced by the fleeting imagery that emerges in the process of navigating the system. The work is paradoxically, highly composed and thoroughly improvisational. The image vocabulary, like music, reveals its source as a kind of fluid state of transitory becoming. What emerges for the viewer is a dynamic subjectivity, as the audience must actively complete the circuit to co-create the meaning or apparent “thingness” of what the mind and body is confronting. In this process of “Janus Switching” many things, places and ideas come and go, including allusions to landscape, cellular life, plant forms, mechanistic structures, gateways, glyphs and vessels, just to name a few. All of the resulting sound comes from the direct sonification of the image processes. The sonification methods allow for working in both tonal/atonal and/or timbre oriented modes including a wide array of subtractive noise-based soundscapes.

David Stout is a visual artist, composer and performer exploring cross-media synthesis and interdisciplinary approaches to hybrid genres bridging the arts. He holds an inter-arts MFA from the California Institute of the Arts where he studied with Ed Emshwiller, Jim Pomeroy, and Bill Viola. His award-winning works include live cinema performance, interactive video installation, electro-acoustic music composition and immersive performance events that integrate emerging technologies and multi-screen projection as an extension of performer, audience and architecture. Since 2002 he has worked closely with creative partner, Cory Metcalf to examine the aesthetic possibilities for evolutionary generative systems, artificial life networks and simulation environments. The pair, who began their seminal collaboration in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are renowned as founding members of the critically acclaimed visual music ensemble, NoiseFold. Their performances, which have included the UNESCO Creative Cities Summit, the New York Electronic Arts Festival, Interactive Futures in Victoria, BC, “Chinati Weekend” in Marfa, Texas and REDCAT in Los Angeles, have garnered enthusiastic reviews and a growing international audience. Stout is currently founder and director of the Hybrid Arts Laboratory at the University of North Texas, where he coordinates the Initiative for Advance Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA) and holds joint positions in Music Composition and Studio Art/New Media.

Presented by Nonsequitur.

Andrew McInnis + Ray Larsen Ensemble

Andrew McInnis will be presenting a series of tone poems for solo guitar, mixing through and spontaneous composition borrowing from 12-tone and Lydian Chromaticism. He is utilizing touch guitar technique which allows for strange otherworldly chord voicing. This music is inspired by recent travels through the high Andes of Peru, as well lucid dreaming, and lunar cycle meditations. A summation of the past 5 years of work, reaching for a new sound, tonal bridge connecting dream to waking.

Raymond Larsen is a Seattle-based trumpeter / composer known for his unique and spirited approach to the instrument. He works currently with Chemical Clock, Wayne Horvitz, and the Jacob Zimmerman Quintet to name a few. He will be presenting new material on this night with a surprise cast.

Sound of Late: Book of the Dark

Retrace the patterns of dreams with a night of music inspired by the writings of James Joyce. Amidst a program ranging from Arvo Pärt’s mystical minimalism to Ruth Crawford Seeger’s grittily angular music, Sound of Late unveils the world premiere of Book of the Dark by American composer Alan Shockley. Leave your expectations behind and enter into a unique sound world with open ears and an open mind.

Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Diaphonic Suite No. 1 for solo flute is a desultory rumination on the serial process. Always bold, and at times melodic and singing, this soliloquy stands as the athletic and energetic statement that sparked the composer’s New York phase.

Originally set for choir to the Christian Credo, Arvo Pärt’s Summa has been arranged for any number of instruments. The piece’s vocal origins are clearly heard in the phrasing and cadence of the moving instrumental lines of the clarinet, violin, viola, and cello. Pärt’s emotive music is at once stark and lush, soaring and emotive, with harmonies that rend musical space.

Commissioned by and dedicated to Sound of Late, Alan Shockley’s Book of the Dark is scored for flute, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The music is filled with haunting chordal snippets and passages that seem like wisps of dreams, with instrumental textures that range from gauzy to windswept and wild. With multilayered reference to Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, John Dowland’s Lachrimae, as well as occult numerology and other symbolic texts, Book of the Dark provides a focal point for this evening’s dive into the introspective and iterative qualities of art.

Founded and run by a tightly-knit collective of young professional musicians, Sound of Late is at the forefront of an exciting new generation in classical music. Since their first house concerts in April 2015, the ensemble has performed 20 concerts across Oregon and Washington and premiered more than 40 works by American composers, making them the most active incubator of new classical music in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle Composers’ Salon

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

Sarah Bassingthwaighte, H20, for soprano, flute, and guitar
Doug Palmer, TBA
Brooke Richey, work for solo piano
S. Eric Scribner, work for electronics

The Seattle Composers’ Salon fosters the development, performance and appreciation of new music by regional composers and performers. At bi-monthly, informal presentations, the Salon features finished works, previews, and works in progress. Composers, performers, and audience members gather in a casual setting that allows for experimentation and discussion. Everyone is welcome!

Bonnie Whiting & James Falzone: Second Utterances

Whiting and Falzone present their annual “first Thursday in March” collaboration featuring improvisations between the two of them, newly composed solo works from Whiting with inspiration from the Indianapolis Womxn’s March, and the premiere of Falzone’s Radix Ensemble, a new quartet featuring Paul Kikuchi on percussion, Ha-Yang Kim on cello, and Robin Holcomb on piano. Also on the program will be excerpts from Xanakis’ Kassandra and Reich’s New York Counterpoint.

Keith Eisenbrey: Preludes in Seattle, Part 5

Seattle composer/pianist Keith Eisenbrey will present a parcel of piano pieces with alliterative pretensions, persistently perambulating through the cycles of piano preludes by Seattle composers Ken Benshoof (2003), Lockrem Johnson (1924-1977), and Greg Short (1938-1999). Also on the program will be Kam Morrill’s Puppet Pieces (2013), Benjamin Boretz’s Partita (1955), selections from Benshoof’s Patti’s Parlour Pieces (2000), as well as Keith’s own Seventeen Prepuntal Contraludes (1981), Two Pomes Play (2000), and a partition of his 24 Preludes (2011).

Keith Eisenbrey brings to his pianism a composer’s imaginative musical understanding, and to his composition a remorselessly speculative spirit, cerebral and sensuous at once. His music seeks to illuminate those most intimate of our personal spaces: the silences across which, in which, and out from which music, thought, and utterance unfold. A native of the Puget Sound area, he studied composition with Dell Wade, Ken Benshoof, John Rahn, and Benjamin Boretz, and piano with Victor Smiley, Joan Purswell, and Neal O’Doan. He is a co-founder of Banned Rehearsal, an ongoing argument in creative musical expression, now in it’s 34th year. His critical and theoretical work has appeared in Perspectives of New Music, News of Music, and Open Space, and he assisted in the editing of Boretz’s Meta-Variations: Studies in the Foundations of Musical Thought for its republication. His oeuvres includes solo pieces for various keyboards, songs, and chamber works. He opines weekly at Now Music in New Albion.

Chamber Music from the Baltics

The Baltic Arts Council Northwest was recently established to support and promote arts and culture from the three Baltic countries in celebrating the 100th anniversary of independence of the three Baltic nations, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The rich musical world of the Baltics has emerged with a global presence that belies the small size of the three countries of the region. In this program, the first of a number of events celebrating the anniversary, we will feature music by 20th/21st century composers Pēteris Vasks (Latvia), René Eespere and Ester Magi (Estonia), and Onutė Narbutaitė and Mikalojus K. Čiurlionis (Lithuania).

Performers participating in the concert are the Skyros String Quartet, guitarist Michael Nicolella, flutist Paul Taub, and duo pianists Dainius and Asta Vaicekonis.

Heather Bentley & friends: Two Games

Two Games: Violist/improviser Heather Bentley is joined by drummer Dio Jean-Baptiste; with a second set including trumpeter Jim Knodle, vocalist Michele Khazak and harpist Carol Levin for two improvised musical games.

Two Games:

1. Heather/Dio Duo
Q. What’s the difference between a viola and a drum?
A. We are looking into it…

2. Canticle Stew:
Jim Knodle, trumpet, Timelord
Heather Bentley, viola, Philosopher Queen
Michele Khazak, vocals, High Priestess and Arbiter of Words
Carol Levin, Ambassador to the Celestial Sphere

…with audience-suggested lyrics…

Canticle Stew is a three part musical game wherein:
1. The esteemed Timelord Jim Knodle demands an exacting relationship to the passage of time;
2. High Priestess and Arbiter of Words Michele Khazak might deign to sing favorite words submitted from those gathered…or not; and
3. Ambassador to the Celestial Sphere Carol Levin will exert some fixed pitch-ness upon the proceedings in an attempt to evoke the universality of the harmonic cosmos.

Philosopher Queen Heather Bentley will exercise a modicum of benign sovereignty over the events that unfold, if possible.

33rd Seattle Improvised Music Festival

The Seattle Improvised Music Festival (SIMF) is the longest-running festival in the US dedicated solely to music that is completely improvised. This is truly “music of the moment,” allowing artists from diverse musical backgrounds to meet in an atmosphere of spontaneity, intuition, playfulness, and discovery. See the complete festival schedule for details on other events.

The 2018 festival concludes with a full day of events:

3-5 PM: Performance by improvising dancers and musicians (details here).

5:30 PM: Community potluck dinner for musicians and audience. Bring food, hang out!

8 PM: Duo: Eric Muhs (stuff), Davey Williams (guitar)
Trio: Ruby Dunphy (drums), Stephen Fandrich (piano), Paul Rucker (cello)
Solo + ?: Jane Rigler (flute)