Entries tagged with: Michael Gordon
DOWNLOAD: "Timber" (Greg Saunier remix) (MP3)
Mantra Percussion 'Timber' rehearsals
Part of BAM's Next Wave Festival, Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon's Timber makes its New York premiere this weekend, running tonight through Saturday (12/13 - 12/15) at the Fishman Space. As the title suggests, there's a lot of wood involved in this percussive piece:
Timber is scored for six amplified wooden 2x4s, cut into different sizes, giving each one a slightly different pitch. Called "simantras", these percussion instruments, with origins in the Eastern Orthodox Church, were first used in classical music by composer Iannis Xenakis. Far from a gimmick, the custom instrumentation allows Gordon to create the impression that the sound is traveling around and through the room by subtly shifting the accent of sound from one player to another. The result is a meditation on sound and rhythm, bringing the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level.Mantra Percussion ensemble will be bringing Timber to life at the Next Wave fest performances and you can watch video of them in action below. Performances are at 7:30 PM and tickets are still available.
The Timber CD was released last year (in a wooden box, of course), and next year will see the release of a remix album, featuring remodels by the likes of Antipop Consortium, Oneohtrix Point Never, Johann Johannson, Fennesz and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier whose version we have the premiere of in this very post. You can download it above or stream it below, along with the Timber video.
photos by Ryan Muir
"I think that Brooklyn has maybe become the music capital of the world," the violinist David Harrington said from the stage of the Prospect Park Bandshell on Thursday night.In addition to their own songs, Kronos also played Sigur Ros's "Flugufrelsarinn", Michael Gordon's "Sad Park", and Café Tacuba's "11/11". They encored with a suite from Clint Mansell's score for the film "Requiem for a Dream". More pictures below...
The occasion was a concert by the Kronos Quartet, the groundbreaking ensemble he founded in 1973. Mr. Harrington went on to suggest that to find a similar concentration of artistic vitality you had to look to late-17th-century Vienna.
The claim was hyperbolic, maybe, but certainly understandable: after all, the Kronos Quartet was performing as part of the annual summer series Celebrate Brooklyn! Its program, presented before a large, diverse and boisterously appreciative audience, included new pieces by three Brooklyn composers -- Bryce Dessner, Missy Mazzoli and J. G. Thirlwell -- with further selections prepared by a Brooklyn arranger, Jacob Garchik." [NY Times]
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Michael Gordon - Trance 2 (MP3)
For over an hour on Wednesday, April 21st, downtown space (Le) Poisson Rouge roared with the sound of Michael Gordon's Trance . Signal's performance was its debut of the work, the first of any group outside UK's Icebreaker, but it won't be Signal's last. Trance is on the schedule for the Bang on a Can Marathon on May 31st. Other acts at the fest include Ryuichi Sakamoto with Bill Frisell, Tortoise, and more.
At LPR, the 22-piece band set up in the middle of the floor. Electric guitar and bass sat centerstage -- and those two familiar rock signatures weighted the piece, signaling its shift in movements and tones with their repeating figures. In particular, the three-note electric bass pattern that starts Trance becomes intimately familiar as the work goes on and provides a through-thread of sorts for the listener (especially one attuned to rock).
It's not impossible to paint your own narrative on Trance, as its dominanant thrust shifts between bass guitar, brass, woodwind, and percussion. A sort of musical fencing match emerges, with each rhythmic component opening and closing to let another expand in its place. In the cracks of each pulse, a section across the room comes through, usually seeming to lag slightly behind.
One dialogue, between the reeds and the center sax (rocking back and forth as if in a trance himself), was particularly engaging. For a while, that group held the floor while other sections maintained side conversations, only apparent in the preeminent instruments' pauses.
In the cozy space of LPR, Trace seemed to confront each listener at different times. Parts of the piece will scare the shit out of you. Unannounced drums early on set the expectations for volume, which get continually torn down and built up again as Trance progresses. Its pre-finale lull cuts the pace to a meditative drone, before the musicians build to an inevitable, gratifying climax. Conductor Brad Lubman almost jumped out of his Jack Purcells as he cued the piece's cresting volume. It's always a pleasant surprise when an extended, nearly-hourlong piece of music leaves you wanting more.
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Michael Gordon - Trance 2 (MP3)
Signal @ (Le) Poisson Rouge...
New York composer and Bang on a Can co-founder/artistic director Michael Gordon will bring his 1994 piece Trance to NYC for the first time in more than ten years on Wednesday, April 22nd at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Tickets are still on sale.
Signal, who performed at last year's Bang on a Can Marathon and showcased Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians at LPR in September (among other gigs), will play as a 22-piece ensemble for the performance. It will be the first time Trance has been performed by a group other than UK ensemble Icebreaker, who Gordon wrote the piece for and who has been performing the work regularly abroad.
[Gordon's] best works are characterized by insistently repeating rhythms and melodies and, in some cases, instrumentation that mixes rock and classical colorations. "Trance" (1994), an extended elaboration on a simple electric-bass riff, has become a post-Minimalist classic. [NY Times]If you miss it, Signal will visit the piece again during the free, 12-hour Bang on a Can Marathon on May 31st at World Financial Center.
An MP3 of Part Two of the six part work (which was split into 7 MP3's), performed by Icebreaker, is posted above. The other five parts are, or will be, posted as free downloads on other websites this week. We're not allowed to tell you where they are though, but we can give clues and say that you won't find them at any of the usual suspects. The MP3's are scattered mostly across classical music-related sites. Find them all, and, in addition to having them all, you'll have the chance to win tickets to Trance at LPR. More details below.
And speaking of the Bang on a Can Marathon, we now have an even more-updated version of the lineup. Check it out below.
Nico Muhly's (hint) take on Michael Gordon, more upcoming Signal dates, and everything mentioned above, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The Bang on a Can Marathon returns to World Financial Center for its fourth year to kick-off the 2009 River To River Festival on May 31st. The 12-hour marathon (noon-midnight) of mind-boggling, genre-bending music will include Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tortoise, Bill Frisell, Bang on a Can All-Stars and more.Those acts will be performing "music composed by Gavin Bryars, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, and many more." The annual NYC event is free.
As previously reported, Tortoise will play a Saturday, May 30th show at the Bell House, in addition to the Marathon. Tortoise also has an appearance at Pitchfork Fest, plus a new album coming out and a track on Thrill Jockey's Record Store Day comp.
Michael Gordon, whose work will be performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon, is also having his composition Trance performed by Signal at a (Le) Poisson Rouge show on Wednesday, April 22nd.
The Japan Times recently profiled Japanese pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who will be performing at the Bang on a Can Marathon, about his 30 year career and his connections with David Bowie, John Cage, and others. Read an excerpt from that, with videos of Sakamoto solo and with Iggy Pop, below...