Seattle Composers’ Salon

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

Sheila Bristow
Carson Farley
Jessi Harvey
Ian McKnight

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!

Jean-Baptiste/Palmer/Traeger + Klingele + SS Nomad

Haitian-born, Seattle-raised drummer Dio Jean-Baptiste has been documenting the development of his aggressive, incessantly minimalist style for several years, uploading hours of raw footage directly to YouTube. Along the way he’s filmed collaborations with many of Seattle’s finest creative improvisers. On this occasion, Jean-Baptiste is joined by Geoff Traeger, a Seattle-based audio engineer manipulating vocal sounds and Darren Palmer, a filmmaker working with live digital projection. The ensemble has performed sporadically over the past few years, each member harboring deep respect and wonder for the craft of the others. Over a year has passed since this ensemble’s last meeting. The Jean-Batiste/Palmer/Traeger conversation clearly has some catching up to do.

Seattle-based musician Sierra Klingele explores the intersections of sound created by instruments and found objects. This performance will include amplified metal objects played to spatialized acoustic sound. Her mentors include Jessika Kenney, Jarrad Powell, Emily Doolittle, and Tom Baker.

S.S. Nomad is the name of the mythical driftwood vessel helmed by Matthew Higgins. Aboard the Nomad, Higgins explores a deeply personal folklore, employing electronic sounds and field recordings as navigational instruments.

Eric Frye + Raica + RM Francis

Composer Eric Frye presents the premiere of his six-channel electroacoustic piece, On Small Differences in Sensation, with supporting sets from local artists Raica and RM Francis.

Eric Frye is a composer, artist, and curator currently residing in Minneapolis. In his compositions for live performance and installation he uses a hybrid modular synthesizer and digital signal processing to explore the perceptual organization of sound objects. His latest recording, Some Consequences of Four Incapacities, was released in November 2015 by Portland-based Salon. His most recent curatorial endeavor, Exploring Compositional Epistemologies, was a series of performances and lectures focusing on philosophy, sound, and linguistics, in addition to a five week installation of Florian Hecker’s Chimerization / Hinge, at Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis. Frye’s 12-channel electroacoustic diffusion titled Zenzizenzizenzic was installed at Rochester Art Center in Minnesota in 2015. Currently, he is developing a multisensory performance, and preparing material for a full length LP that will include texts by French mathematician Andrée Ehresmann and Colombian philosopher Fernando Zalamea. His next exhibition will be in September 2016 as part of a group show curated by Tetsuya Yamada. In the coming months he will conduct research and compose new pieces for installation and performance at Orfield Labs in Minneapolis and EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm.

Raica is the solo project of celebrated hardware technologist Chloe Harris, whose synthetic abstractions drift through states of sunken resonance and crystalline lucidity with a dreamlike pulse. An omnipresent figure in Seattle’s experimental music community, Chloe is also co-owner of the Further Records label. Her most recent release is Dose, on Further.

RM Francis is a computer musician living in Seattle. Since 2011, he has offered a molecularized account of possibilities within digital synthesis through live performances and recorded output. Drawing upon contemporary techniques as well as strategies drawn from the history of computer music, his works interrogate the boundaries of musical form. His cassette release Hyperplastic Other is forthcoming on Nada.

Rachel Green & Daniel Salo + Erin Jorgensen

Singer Rachel Green and composer Daniel Salo present a composition of voice piano and synthesis. The debut piece blends layers of choral music and electronics, creating an operatic installment of impassioned and surreal sounds.

Erin Jorgenson plays narcotic marimba lullabies for adults.

Michaud Savage: Departures

Michaud Savage is a working musician in the Seattle area, and tonight he will be presenting a collection of compositions for solo guitar, followed by compositions for small chamber ensembles. These pieces are vignettes, windows. They are glances into rooms, memories as they formed, they are nowhere to go. This collection is a curated series of departures.

Michaud Savage, classical guitar
Violin, Kimmy Harrenstein
Violin, Janet Utterbach
Viola, Teresa Sandys
Cello, Nick Pozoulakis
Contrabass, Ross Gilliland

Rebecca Gates + Kyle Hanson

In 2005, Rebecca Gates collaborated with sound artist Jane Phibrick to create Southwest Harbor Songline, an audio piece describing the coast of Maine. Since then Gates has composed and performed her Horizon Line Scores series in Joshua Tree, CA, Mount Hood National Forest, and Sedona, AZ. Horizon Line Scores allow landscape to determine the proscenium and amplification of the performance, while vocals are used to explore and describe the geography of a specific site. For the Wayward Music Series Gates will reinterpret and re-contextualize research field recordings from past scores, using them as a raw sonic data for treatments in live performance with vocals and guitar.

Rebecca Gates is a U.S. based musician, artist, and arts advocate who has released six albums, three as leader of the critically acclaimed group The Spinanes. She has toured internationally, and appeared as a vocalist on numerous records by various artists including The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, and Willie Nelson. Her programs and work relating to issues of sound and space, listening, and artist’s roles in their communities have been hosted by PS1, Mass MOCA, Georgetown University, New York University, WFMU’s Radiovision Festival, PICA/TBA Festival, and galleries in the United States and Europe. Gates co-curated Ballroom Marfa’s sonic exploration of land arts, The Marfa Sessions and is director of Sound and Associates.

Composer and accordionist Kyle Hanson (aka The Murkies) innovated the extended technique described as ‘alternating transverse oscillation of the bellows’ by which he obtains a shimmering sound and immersive effects. His music ranges from ambient soundscapes to psychedelic pop with many stops in between. Kyle led Seattle’s Black Cat Orchestra for many years with partner and collaborator Lori Goldston, producing 4 albums, including one with Mirah, and a song with David Byrne; other collaborators include Amy Johnson, Britta Johnston, Curtis Taylor, Eve Cohen, Bob Jenkins.

Mir is a set of skeletally-composed music-in-progress inspired by the 1997 film Out of the Present by Andre Ujicá. The film is a dreamy, poetic chronicle of daily life aboard the space station Mir over a 10-month period in 1991, during which the Soviet Union collapses.

Presented by Nonsequitur.

(photo: Dan Sharp)

Stacey Mastrian & Stephen F. Lilly: Back & Forth

Composer-performer Stephen F. Lilly and soprano-actress Stacey Mastrian present an evening of their collaborations from the last fifteen years. At times humorous, at times reflective, the music and sonic artworks on this program include solo voice as well as spoken word and singing with kalimba, piano, typewriter, and pre-recorded and live electronics. The program will also feature the world premiere of The Second as well as a setting from Seattle poet-musician Ivan Molton, and an appearance by composer-pianist Josh Archibald-Seiffer. All donations help fund the recording of these works in partnership with the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

“Manifestly courageous” (Boston Globe) and “inspired” (New York Times) soprano Stacey Mastrian is a Fulbright Grantee, Beebe Fellow, and Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient whose repertoire extends from Monteverdi to the 21st century. She has sung with the Konzerthaus Orchestra (Berlin), Nova Amadeus Orchestra (Rome), and at such venues as the Fondazione Cini (Venice) with the Experimentalstudio Freiburg, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (Montréal), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), St. Peter’s (Vatican City), and in collaboration with Nuria Schoenberg Nono, at the Conservatorio di Musica Respighi (Latina). She has performed across the U.S., most notably with The Bay Players Experimental Music Collective, Vocal Arts DC, CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Opera Lafayette at the Kennedy Center and Rose Hall-Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Chamber Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times has praised her for “intensity, focus, and a warm, passionate sound,” and her singing has been hailed by the Berliner Zeitung as “very impressive…tremendous ease and beauty.” Dr. Mastrian has been Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Voice at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College and has taught at American University, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and University of Maryland College Park.

Stephen F. Lilly is a composer, performer, audio engineer, and sound artist. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Stephen ventured east to study composition. He has graduate degrees from the University of Maryland and composition and bass performance degrees from the University of Idaho. He also spent a year at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. Theatricality, language, and abstraction are themes that continually resurface in his creative work, the majority of which is scored for chamber ensembles, incorporating signal processing and computer generated sounds. Stephen has written works for CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) Britsol, pianist Hayk Arsenyan, saxophonist Steven Leffue, and soprano Stacey Mastrian and has worked closely with a collective of composer-performers he helped found, the Bay Players Experimental Music Collective. His writings on contemporary experimental music have been published in Organised Sound, Performance Research, Perspectives of New Music, and Computer Music Journal. Recordings of his compositions are available from ink&coda, the SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures Recording Series, and C7 Music and recordings he has engineered have been released on Neuma, Navona, and Albany Records. Stephen currently lives in DC where he composes, teaches, and performs with These Quiet Colours.

A Microscope + Curtis Dahl

If Morton Feldman had a baby with Mahalia Jackson, that baby would grow up to have a lot in common with NYC-based musician Kris Wettstein. Performing as A MICROSCOPE, Kris blends minimalist piano textures with gospel music and West African guitar lines. Trained as a classical pianist, Kris also spent time in Dakar, Senegal collaborating and performing with musicians including Carlou D and Alfadio Dara. Since then, he has been playing gospel music at a church in the Bronx. In 2014, he released For Nothing Holds You In, an EP of quiet, sparse pop songs he made in collaboration with members of itsnotyouitsme, Kelley Polar, and the Boston Public Quartet. He is currently touring in support of an hour-long new piano piece, Tent of Meeting, which brings these different styles of music together into one shifting cloud of sound.

CURTIS DAHL is a pianist living in Seattle who likes to experiment with spontaneous melodies, made-up harmonies, and previously unheard-of forms. He also likes to dabble in electronic sounds, recording household items and other unlikely sound sources to manipulate in the studio to come up with original soundscapes not usually heard in waking life. Once in a while he finds time to produce other peoples’ work, and enjoys bringing an impressionistic aesthetic and a sense of the infinite to a project. As a member of the Three Corners trio with Kenny Mandell and Tim Volpicella, Curtis successfully brought to the table his classical and aleatoric background to a purposefully broken jazz collective. In the Tonal Vision duo, again with Mandell, Curtis and Kenny weave together lines and pointillistic notes with circuitous harmonies and sudden changes of direction to create and express impossible feelings.

Parnassus Project

Parnassus Project presents a concert exploring American mysticism, featuring works by John Luther Adams, Lou Harrison, Peter Garland, and a new work by Luke Fitzpatrick.

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.

Music in the American Wild

Music in the American Wild is a touring celebration of the 2016 US National Park Service centennial, featuring new music inspired by and performed in national parks across the country. Eleven composers and seven performers, all affiliated with Eastman School of Music as faculty or alumni, have collaborated to honor this milestone of conservation by creating new works inspired by the national parks and performing them in the natural theaters of the parks themselves. The mission of Music in the American Wild is to enhance the park-going experience by encouraging audiences to explore and interact with their parks in a new way, through music. Along the way, Music in the American Wild is also performing concerts in nearby cities, joining in the National Park Service centennial initiative, “Find Your Park,” to inspire new audiences to interface with parks in their own communities.

In June, Music in the American Wild toured three parks in the southeast: Mammoth Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, and Shenandoah National Parks, performing and recording in scenic locations from mountaintops to caves 30 feet underground. During their August tour of the Pacific Northwest, Music in the American Wild will continue their centennial celebration with performances at Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic, and San Juan Island National Parks.

Music in the American Wild is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.