Monday, July 26, 2010

Review of Reconnaissance Fly & Genesis

Joe McMahon wrote this review of Friday night's show as a guest blogger on CatSynth.

Blessing Moon concert this Thursday in San Francisco

The upcoming Full Moon concert at the Luggage Store Gallery is a musical offering.

8 PM: Krystyna Bobrowski will start the set with a Gliss Glass solo; then she and Gino Robair will play as an improv duo with Gino on percussion and Sliding Speaker Instrument, and Krys on Gliss Glass, kelp horn and Sliding Speaker Instrument.

About the instruments:

Gliss Glass is an original instrument consisting of a series of custom glass vessels of various sizes, interconnected by a hydraulic system of tubes and valves. Though much larger than a wineglass, the instrument is played in much the same way, by running a wet finger or hand around the rim. The glass vessels are lightly amplified to pick up subtle squeaks, sloshes and scrapes.

The musician controls the water level and flow through the instrument by manipulating the valves and vessel heights. As water drains or fills a glass vessel, the frequency rises or falls respectively. By making use of the simple principle of hydraulic equilibrium, the instrument creates naturally slow, shifting glissandos.

The Sliding Speaker Instrument consists of a loudspeaker tied to a string inside a five-foot long acrylic tube. The loudspeaker acts as a movable stop for the tube, in effect changing the tube’s length and resonance. As the musician slides the speaker up and down the tube, she/he slides through the harmonics of whatever sound is coming through the speaker. One gets the sense of fishing for overtones while playing the instrument.

Kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) is a large, hollow, naturally conical-shaped seaweed found along the Northern California coast. After shaping and drying for several weeks, the kelp may be cut and played in a similar fashion to a brass instrument such as a bugle, trumpet, French horn or trombone. Since 1989, Bobrowski has made a habit of gathering kelp on trips to the coast and has amassed a collection of kelp horns, each having its own unique sound.

9 PM: Phillip Greenlief

The blessing moon is one that delivers gifts of abundance to the community. For this performance, renegade saxophonist Phillip Greenlief is presenting works that come of inspiration - the greatest gift of all, and one that can not be codified or mass produced.

Greenlief's newest solo saxophone release, lines combined, was inspired by the drawings of Eva Hesse and the combined works of Robert Rauschenberg. These works explore the extremes of the saxophone's sound potential and create both austere minimalism and over-dubbed texture landscapes. This is music inspired by art, and originally conceived as works to be performed in an art gallery (as sound installation). The saxophonist will respect the blessing moon by offering new forms of inspiration to the community.

The Luggage Store Gallery is located at 1007 Market Street near 6th Street in San Francisco. Admission is $6.00 - $10.00 sliding scale, with no one turned away for lack of funds.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The second performance of Genesis

Cornelius Cardew Choir 5
Originally uploaded by michaelz1

The Cornelius Cardew Choir is creating me, the New Universe, in their lab.

Before the Friday night show

Pre-Concert Q&A 5
Originally uploaded by michaelz1

Another Q & A on Friday night with my Reconnaissance Fly bandmates, Tim and Amar, plus Amy X Neuburg and Cardew Choir Artistic Director Tom Bickley.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Q and A

Angela Villa took this photo of Thollem McDonas and me taking part in the Q & A session on Wednesday night at the Outsound Summit.  Rent Romus, the Executive Director of Outsound Presents, is the one interviewing us and standing in the way of the projector.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Outsound New Music Summit, this Friday

It's imminent -- the day after tomorrow, in fact.  Reconnaissance Fly's last rehearsal is tomorrow night.  We have decided on our Flower Futures set list, and here it is:

1. Small Chinese Gong
2. One Should Never
3. Neat As Wax
4. Emir Scamp Budge
5. Seemed to be Divided in Twain
6. Electric Rock Like a Cat
7. Sanse is Credenza
8. Oh! Goldfinch cage
9. An Empty Rectangle

Those of you who already know Flower Futures has ten movements, and who've noticed just 9 movements in the set list, you're right.  We are leaving out one of the longer ones so as to fit the length of our set.

The Cornelius Cardew Choir is having its final rehearsals for the Summit gig also.  I'll be joining them to portray the New Universe in my piece Genesis for twelve improvisers.  Amar is also going to be in the Cardew Choir, but as Universal Time.  All this came about separately, and landed together on one date: Friday, July 23rd.  For full details, click here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our special guest

Here's the marvelous Moe! Staiano, Reconnaissance Fly's special guest percussionist for the Outsound Summit.  In this photo he is all set up and ready for our performance live in the KFJC Pit yesterday afternoon.  It has been a blast working with somebody so creative and accomplished.  It is certainly a far cry from my drum-machine days.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anniversary number 13

There was the Door to which I found no Key
There was the Veil through which I might not see
Some little talk a while of Me and Thee
there was - and then no more of Thee and Me.

- Omar Khayyam

Monday, July 05, 2010

Genesis, to be performed again

I just found out, and I'm excited to report, that the Cornelius Cardew Choir will be the next ensemble to perform my piece Genesis, for twelve improvisers.  Artistic Director Tom Bickley has selected it to be a part of the choir's set at the upcoming Outsound Summit, coincidentally (and unrelatedly) on the same night as my performance with Reconnaissance Fly.  Tom will be the conductor and carrier of wind chimes, and I've been assigned the role of the New Universe, portrayed so effectively by Matt Davignon at the premiere performance.  Here are the particulars:

Reconnaissance Fly, the Cornelius Cardew Choir, and Amy X Neuburg
July 23rd, 2010
The Outsound New Music Summit
Community Music Center
San Francisco, CA