S. Eric Scribner: Found Sound + Found Objects = Found Music (and a piano)

S. Eric Scribner, composer; found objects, piano
Keith Eisenbrey, found objects

Sounds, Found is a “garbage piece” for pre-recorded found sound (most of it recorded in August of 2012) and a stage full of found objects as percussion. The piece, in twenty-one short movements, explores the similarities, differences, and connections between the concepts in the continuum of what are commonly called noise, sound, and music. The prerecorded parts and live playing are separate layers that only occasionally connect, adding another layer to the piece’s conceptual framework. And, in addition to all that intellectualizing, it should be a lot of fun.

Keith Eisenbrey will also perform his set of Twenty-Four Preludes for solo piano.

S(teve) Eric Scribner studied composition with Lockrem Johnson. He has lived in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Japan, with premiers of many of his pieces in each of those places. Many of his recent compositions have been part of an extended series for guided improvisation over pre-recorded sound. These include (The) Nature (of) Sound (an installation with interactive sound, presented at Jack Straw New Media Gallery in 2014), and the day-long StormSound Cycle (for twelve musicians and prerecorded sound). Sounds, Found is shorter, denser, and generally less ambient than these two earlier pieces.

MSHR + Million Mists + LIMITS + RM Francis

Gift Tapes presents an exciting evening of off-kilter, virtual-leaning performances. RM Francis will initiate the evening with an unusual ambient set (at GT’s request!), followed by disquieting interlude of sound and dance from LIMITS (Corrie Befort & Jason E Anderson), the tweaked and clouded warpings of Portland-based Million Mists (Jamie Potter of Brother Raven) and the exceptional performance art-installation/noise band MSHR (Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper!!) performing with custom electronics & lights!

MSHR is a collaborative project by Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy based in Portland, Oregon. The duo produces installations, sculptures and ritualistic performances that place the human body into a dynamic relationship with sound and light, generating expanded sensory experiences. Their current performance series, titled Resonant Hyper Scape Modulator, revolves around a unique system of light-audio feedback that employs their hand made synthesizers. The duo insert themselves into the system, shifting sculptural sensors to steer the feedback patterns as they explore the hyperscapes of a transhumanist ceremony. MSHR emerged from the 5 person art collective Oregon Painting Society in 2011.

Million Mists is the musical project of Portland resident Jamie Potter. Drawing inspiration from his visual and video art practice, he seeks primarily to create immersive, idiosyncratic sound worlds. Largely improvised, performances often begin as a chaotic effort to reconcile the disparate personalities of an array of sound producing devices, from which narrative passages have the potential to arise. Fleeting moments of harmony are to be savored. Potter also plays with musical groups Bonus and Brother Raven.

LIMITS is a Seattle-based interdisciplinary-performance art hybrid collaboration created by choreographer/dancer Corrie Befort and sound artist/musician Jason E Anderson. The duo draws upon their shared history and involvement with improvisation, film/video art, installation, and activities within the realm of experimental performance. LIMITS uses music venues, art galleries, site-specific and re-purposed locations as platforms to perform scored improvisations intended to generate scenarios that become the basis for new, iterative works of film, installations, audio recordings, and large-scale performances. Employing conceptual, abstract, and narrative methodologies, their efforts investigate psychological experiences of time, perception and memory.

RM Francis is the computer music project of Seattle computer musician Robert Francis. His work incorporates granular synthesis, spectral processing, algorithmic composition, graphical interfaces and image sonification. He has been performing solo since 2011. His most recent releases are Attributed Agency on DRAFT and Recycled Sleep on Agents of Chaos.


Nat Evans + Scott Worthington

Seattle composer Nat Evans and LA-based composer/bassist Scott Worthington present new works for bass, as well as a participatory walking meditation event created by Evans during his time on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014.

Scott Worthington is touring the west coast in support of his solo album on Populist Records released in August 2015. The album, Prism, features his own music for solo bass with electronics and for bass ensemble. On tour, he performs music from the album as well as music by Nat Evans, Brenna Noonan, and Julia Wolfe.

In 2014 Nat Evans spent five months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail collecting field recordings and creating new works. Evans recorded an album of music he wrote on the trail, including field recordings of sounds he encountered during this time in the wilderness. For this event, audience members will be briefly instructed about walking meditation by John Nomura from Seattle Soto Zen, then some of these new works from the album, The Tortoise, will be presented live amidst this contemplative atmosphere.

This event is presented thanks to a grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

Parnassus Project: Ruminations

Parnassus Project presents Ruminations, a concert of American nostalgia. Featuring works by John Adams, George Crumb, Osvaldo Golijov, and a premiere of a new work by local composer Cole Bratcher.

Parnassus Project is a collective of musicians dedicated to presenting a fresh take on the chamber music experience. We seek to create a more social atmosphere at concerts and to break down barriers between performers and audiences by performing in alternative venues and encouraging interaction. In addition to promoting local musicians, Parnassus also strives to present new works by local up-and-coming composers.

Martyr's Sextet from Luz Bratcher on Vimeo.

Douglas DeVries & Yvonne Chen

The American classical music scene is so flush with young and exciting new composers that it is often a daunting task to know where to begin your listening. Flutist Douglas DeVries and pianist Yvonne Chen have programmed an evening of music that will present a sample from many of today’s brightest and best. Drawn from their mutual appreciation of the great number of new works available today, they have chosen to present diverse works by five composers: Seattle native and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music alum Alexandra T Bryant, an alumnus of The Juilliard School, Evan Fein, and two colleagues from Rice University, Daniel Knaggs and Alishan Gezgin (both have been commissioned for original works to be premiered at this performance). The duo will be joined by Seattle based soprano Shellie Traverse for a performance of Jake Heggie’s lauded song cycle, The Deepest Desire.

DeVries and Chen met as freshman at The Juilliard School in 2008 and became fast friends. Now, almost seven years later, the two continue their studies at Rice University’s esteemed Shepherd School of Music. It has long been a dream of theirs to present a duo recital program specifically in Seattle, and they are pleased to be presenting this exciting program of new American works on the Wayward Music Series.

Odd Partials with Marcin Pączkowski

Odd Partials presents a concert of experimental interactive music together with Marcin Pączkowski.

Formed in 2011 and recently transplanted to Seattle from Denton, TX, Odd Partials is the duo of clarinetist Rachel Yoder and composer/computer musician Greg Dixon. They perform pre-composed interactive compositions by a variety of composers, as well as live improvisations. Recent appearances include the University of Wyoming’s New Frontiers Festival, the 2013 Society for Electroacoustic Music in the U.S. (SEAMUS) conference in St. Paul, and the upcoming International Computer Music Conference in Denton, TX.

On the program are Dixon’s synth-inspired work Fractures, Solo for Clarinet with Delay System by renowned clarinet pioneer William O. Smith, Pączkowski’s improvisatory bass clarinet and electronics work Study 2012 – There and …Where Odd Things Are Kept, an accelerometer-based interactive work performed by Pączkowski. The three musicians will then collaborate on a live improvisation incorporating the software systems from both Fractures and Study 2012 – There.

Greg Dixon works as Assistant Professor of Music and Sound Design at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA, where he teaches courses in sound design and music composition. His compositional research focuses on interactive music systems for video games, acoustic instruments, sensor technologies, and human interface devices. Greg holds a Ph.D. in composition with a specialization in computer music from the University of North Texas.

Rachel Yoder is a versatile clarinetist and bass clarinetist based in the Seattle area. She currently performs with the Madera Wind Quintet, the Seattle Modern Orchestra and the Odd Partials clarinet/electronics duo, and has also performed with Sounds Modern (Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth), the Dallas Festival of Modern Music, and at conferences of the International Clarinet Association and Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). Rachel works as editor of The Clarinet, quarterly journal of the International Clarinet Association, and adjunct professor of music at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA.

Marcin Pączkowski is a composer, conductor, and performer, working with traditional and electronic media. He received his Masters’ degrees from the Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland, where he studied with Wojciech Widłak (composition) and Rafał Delekta (conducting), and from University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where he studied composition and computer music with Juan Pampin and Richard Karpen. Currently he is a doctoral student in the Center for Digital Arts And Experimental Media (DXARTS), where he studies with Juan Pampin. His current research is focused on exploring ways of engaging computer media in improvisation, as well as motion tracking and machine learning techniques used for creating and controlling musical structures.

No UFO’s + Karl Fousek + Visible Cloaks

Since self-releasing his debut in 2010, No UFO’s has produced a series of acclaimed works that borrow from Godard films, classic Pop Art, and concrète and dub traditions to shape the sundry electronic music they contain. The medium of sound recording looms over No UFO’s, ragged edges employed to reveal the music’s framework as well as conceal it. Like Lichtenstein’s Brushstrokes, many pieces are suspended between reduction, exploration and inversion. His latest EP, MPC Tracks Vol. II, grafts a decades-long fascination with hip-hop sampling techniques onto pure sound exploration, resulting in a strain of machine music fully divorced from the technoid lineage. Based in Vancouver, BC, he has participated in events such as MUTEK and New Forms Festival while his recordings have been issued by Public Information, Spectrum Spools/Editions Mego, All Saints/Warp and others.

Karl Fousek is an electronic sound composer and performer. For the past several years his work has focused exclusively on analogue voltage controlled modular synthesizers, culminating in 2014 with the release of his debut album on Relative Position of Figures on Danish imprint Phinery. With a slew of live performances continuing into 2015 he has sought to refine his musical language on stage. His work, has been compared to composers as diverse as Steve Reich, synthesis pioneer Morton Subotnick and contemporary synth performer Keith Fullerton Whitman. Fousek’s music “hits with the maturity of the modern modular greats” (Decoder Magazine); “A synthetic stroke of smartness.” (Tiny Mix Tapes). He is currently based in Montreal.

Visible Cloaks (formerly just “Cloaks”) is the Portland duo of Spencer D and Ryan C. Their work investigates both inverted pop structures and long-form sound collage in a fluid mix, often with vocoded or modulated voice, digital and analog mallet work, FM synthesis, modular gear, ethnographic samples and other abstracted sound sources beamed straight from the fourth world.

Paul Hoskin Benefit

Veteran Seattle improviser and concert organizer Paul Hoskin is currently in the hospital with very serious ailments. He had planned to play a duo concert tonight with Arrington De Dionyso, so instead Nonsequitur is organizing a benefit concert to help him out, with many members of Seattle’s improvised music community participating. All artist fees and audience admissions will be donated to assist Paul in his recovery. Performers confirmed so far (stay tuned for new additions):

Arrington De Dionyso (contrabass clarinet)
Stuart Dempster (trombone)
Beth Fleenor (clarinets, voice)
Sue Ann Harkey (guitar)
Greg Kelley (trumpet)
Jim Knodle (trumpet)
Susie Kozawa (toys, objects, homemades)
Carol Levin (harp)
David Milford (violin)
Christian Pincock (trombone)
Monica Schley (harp)
Wilson Shook (alto sax)
Wally Shoup (alto sax)
China Star (soprano sax)
John Teske (bass)
Neil Welch (tenor sax)
Jenny Ziefel (clarinets)

Review: Now Music in New Albion

Earshot: Action Figure + Meridian Big Band

Earshot’s juried series, Jazz: The Second Century, presents Seattle artists, selected by a peer panel, performing original work, in a concert setting. From the core of this series – a question about the expansion of conventions of jazz – one might expect a tendency to grandiose re-invention. Instead, the series is a current, subtle, perhaps refreshing, un-sentimental look at our local engagement with this diffuse, vibrant art form.

Originally formed for a single performance during a Charlie Haden tribute concert in October 2014, the group received such enthusiastic reviews from the audience that they decided to continue gigging under the name Action Figure. The trio – Seth Alexander (alto), Dave Abramson (drums), and Birch Pereira (bass) – plays original music inspired by Ornette Coleman, Henry Threadgill, and Eric Dolphy. Unique compositions and arrangements with unexpected angles and jagged edges.

The Meridian Big Band is a fifteen-piece ensemble that brings together some of the Northwest’s finest creative musicians to play original compositions by Simon Henneman. The ensemble is Simon Henneman (director and guitar), Neil Welch, Kate Olson, Kenny Mandell, Dick Valentine, and Evan Smith (reeds), Robbie Beasley, Michael Van Bebber, Christian Pincock, and Bill Kautz (brass), Dave Abramson and Mark Ostrowski (drums), John Seman and Geoff Harper (bass), Jacques Willis (vibraphone). A program rooted in classic jazz and blues with elements of free jazz, swing, exotica, 20th century classical music, and hip hop.

Mike Gebhart Large Ensemble

Mike Gebhart’s Large Ensemble is debuting a piece mixing composition, improvisation, spoken word, noise, and folkloric drumming/ percussion. The inspiration for the piece comes from various Afro-Cuban and Afro-Colombian religio-magical belief systems. Mike Gebhart, a drummer in UW’s jazz studies program, has found great solace and strength studying various Santeria stories and beliefs. This inspired him to write semi-fictional scenes based on his life and Santeria stories,symbols,and practices. These stories are either explicitly spoken with musical accompaniment or described musically.

Specifically the piece focuses on a set of tenets learned over the last year from various books and experiences:

1) Sound is magic and other-wordly.

2) Folkloric music has survived because specific rhythms, songs, and chants have religious or magical meaning.

3) Stories are pathways of energy. Therefore stories from our family, ancestors, or heroes, fictional or not bring context and strength to our own lives.

4) Music has the ability to tell a story on multiple levels. Characters can have fluid gender, places in history, even relationships to each other all while conveying a message through time.

The ensemble features:
Raymond Larsen, Schuyler Asplin – Trumpet
Bryan Van Pelt – Tenor
Cameron Sharif – Piano
Eric Kegley – Guitar
Dune Butler – Acoustic Bass
John Haven – Electric Bass
Mike Gebhart – drum set, spoken word
Casey Adams – Percussion, Noise, electronics rig

Opening up the night will be an audience participation rhythmic Warm-up. Cowbells, shakers and woodblocks will be provided.