Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Anthony Pirog Trio 7/29 @ Thunderbird Cafe

ANTHONY PIROG TRIO
http://www.anthonypirog.com
http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/anthonypirog.html

with Flock of Walri
https://flockofwalri.bandcamp.com/

8:00 PM $10 21+ show
Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler St, Lawrenceville
http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net

Washington, D.C.’s jazz and experimental music scenes wouldn’t be quite where they are today without Anthony Pirog. Compared to the likes of Bill Frisell, he has a new debut album on the respected avant-garde label Cuneiform Records. With fearsome chops and a keen ear for odd beauty, the guitarist and composer has helped expand the possibilities of jazz, post-rock and experimentalism in a town long known for its straight-ahead tradition. And his ensemble, the Anthony Pirog Trio, will be coming to Thunderbird Cafe Wednesday, July 29th! With special guests Flock of Walri (Pittsburgh prog-rock).

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July 16, 2015 at 10:10 pm Comments (0)

Bell’Art Ensemble Performs Pittsburgh Composers

BellArtEnsemble

There are so many events in the side bar that I wanted to draw your attention to this new edition. The Bell’Art Ensemble will give two performances featuring music by Pittsburgh composers Simon Vullo Underiner, Jack Kurutz, and Jonghee Kang along with a bunch of other stuff. Te concerts take place on July 17 at Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside and July 19 in Brighton Heights. Please note that the Brighton Heights performance has limited seating so you absolutely have to RSVP. I’ve provided links to the Facebook pages for both events so you can respond directly to Bell’Arts.

 

July 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm Comments (0)

Summer 2015 Calendar Update

I just finished updating the new music events I know about for the summer. Sorry that June was a bust here at PNMNet. I managed to go for entire month without updating this blog for the first time since I launched it in November of 2008, which is kind of amazing but also a bummer. If I missed your awesome event, my apologies. I’m sure it was great.

Anyway, July promises to be chocked full of excitement. Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble is celebrating its 40th Anniversary season and Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh premieres a new opera by Gilda Lyons called a New Kind of Fallout.

If you have an event coming up, please let me know and I’ll add that to the excitement.

July 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm Comments (0)

E.L.C.O. Presents “In a Large Reverberant Space”

The Union Project
Tickets

Sunday, May 31, 7 p.m.

ELCO Winds

ELCO Winds

Join the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra’s musical renegades on a journey to the outer limits of sound as they discover the alien harmonies hidden amongst the echoes! The Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra presents their latest concoction, “In a Large Reverberant Space.”  Here, the performance venue of the Union Project’s Great Hall becomes an active part of the concert itself, enveloping the audience in an aura of sound. “In A Large Reverberant Space” pairs the music of American experimentalists Pauline Oliveros and James Tenney with E.L.C.O.’s signature art-pop selections, including new arrangements of Radiohead and melancholy bard Nick Drake. The evening also includes the premiere of Alan Tormey’s American Idyll, previewed at the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music.

E.L.C.O. is a grassroots collective of young professional orchestral musicians that explores connections between diverse musical genres and traditions by promoting a broad range of repertoire that includes modern classical music, new interpretations of older classical works, and original arrangements of rock and pop compositions.

Tickets are available in advance for $10 apiece at elcopgh.org and sold at the door the evening of the concert for $15 general admission and $5 for students.  Visit elcopgh.org for more information.

May 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm Comments (0)

Alia Musica Presents Eve Apart

Elsie Hillman Auditorium

Tickets

Friday, May 22, 8pm
Saturday, May 23, 8pm
Sunday, May 24, 2pm

eveapart

Eve Apart is a new multi-media musical production that plumbs the era of Lilith and Lucifer and reimagines the Genesis story. Each act explores layered and primal themes of feminine power, infusing them with a stark and modern relevance.

Working on the original libretto by Pittsburgh writer Kip Soteres, composer Tim Hinck interweaves influences from prehistoric rhythms to lush neo-impressionism to high-tech, futuristic tones and ambient electronica. For the premiere tour, conductor Federico Garcia-De Castro leads a cast of Chattanooga and Pittsburgh performers and singers, featuring soprano Desiree Soteres, in performances in both cities.

Cast

Desiree Soteres

Donovan Smith

David Tahere

Sara Snider Schone

Jenifer Weber

Amanda Joos

Ashley Episcopo

Billy Wayne Coakley

Nathan Hart


May 19, 2015 at 10:00 am Comments (0)

PSO performs works by Bates, Heggie

Heinz Hall
Tickets

Friday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 17, 2:30 p.m.

Mason Bates

Mason Bates

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will present a concert titled “the Sound of The Modern Symphony” this weekend (May 15, 17). Conductor Michael Francis will lead the Pittsburgh premiere of PSO Composer of the Year mason Bate’s Alternative Energy for Orchestra and Electronica and the World Premiere of the PSO-commissioned The Work at Hand by Jake Heggie. Heggie’s double concerto was commissioned by the PSO for principal cellist Anne-Martindale Williams and mezzo-soprano. Vocal duties will fall to Jaime Barton in her PSO debut. Rounding out the program is Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.

May 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm Comments (0)

Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot at Thunderbird

Thunderbird Cafe
Tuesday, May 12, 9 p.m.
Free Admission

Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot is “imaginative… surreal… oddly compelling”. (Wholenote Magazine)  Canadian trumpeter Lina Allemano was named one of DownBeat Magazine’s top innovative trumpeters for the future and was recently called “one of the most exciting new voices of the last few years” (Point of Departure). Lina’s newest Toronto-based project, Titanium Riot, is an accidentally-psychedelic improvising powerhouse with a unique electric-acoustic aesthetic. Called “uncompromisingly explorative” by Europe’s experimental music journal Tokafi, the band creates episodic soundscapes and electrically-charged improvisational adventures that unfold with an inviting and organic ebb and flow. Titanium Riot’s debut album, Kiss the Brain, was released October 2014 to rave reviews. The band tours USA in May 2015.  Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot, Kiss The Brain, “is a liberation of listening as well as playing. (Trumpeter) Allemano emerges anew, a powerful minimalist improviser who builds complex moods… then drives further into the expressive potential of her instrument… As the title implies, Kiss The Brain is a major event.” (Musicworks Magazine)

May 11, 2015 at 11:04 am Comments (0)

Thu 4/23: AFRO-ASIAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE @ First Unitarian Church

Advanced Jazz and Silk Screen co-present the Pittsburgh debut of

AFRO-ASIAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE
http://discoverfredho.org/afro-asian-music-ensemble/

performing the compositions of legendary
Chinese-American jazz composer Fred Ho
http://discoverfredho.org/

Thu Apr 23 7:30 pm all ages welcome $16 adv/$20 door
First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave, Shadyside
tickets on sale at Sound Cat Records, Caliban Books,
Dave’s Music Mine, and Acoustic Music Works

Current group:

The Afro Asian Music Ensemble is the product of over three decades of Fred Ho’s revolutionary and multicultural musical and theatrical productions. Consisting of Royal Hartigan (drums), Masaru Koga (alto sax), and Ben barson (who wields Fred Ho’s own Mark VI Baritone Sax), and other notable alumni from Fred Ho’s bands including Wes Brown (bass) and David Bhindman (Tenor Sax), the ensemble represents the core of Fred’s compositional legacy. Fred wrote for this 6 piece ensemble for the majority of his career, combining groovy mixed meters bass lines with Chinese percussion, Korean operatic tuning systems, and infectious funk — all set to agitprop titles with uplifting references to the people’s struggle for liberation and dignity!

April 6, 2015 at 5:42 pm Comments (0)

Wed 4/1: MATTHEW SHIPP/MICHAEL BISIO @ First Unitarian Church

Since so many people missed this amazing avant-jazz duo last time, we are really hoping that you’ll check them out this time in the Unitarian Church’s spacious Sanctuary.

Wed April 1 7:30 pm all ages welcome
$16 advance/$20 door
First Unitarian Church, Morewood & Ellsworth, Shadyside
(conveniently located 2-3 blocks from Pitt & CMU, etc)

advance tickets: Sound Cat Records, Dave’s Music Mine,
Caliban Books, and Acoustic Music Works. no tickets are available online.

avant-garde jazz piano giant
MATTHEW SHIPP
http://www.matthewshipp.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shipp
recording artist for Thirsty Ear, FMP, Aum Fidelity, Cadence, Hopscotch, 2.13.61, Hatology, Leo, No More and (most recently) Relative Pitch. Played with David S Ware, William Parker etc.

and contrabassist extraordinaire
MICHAEL BISIO
http://michaelbisio.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bisio
recording artist for Silkheart, Cadence, Omnitone,
and many more. appears on over 60 CDs!

in a duo setting. once again, no opener needed! :)
Here are reviews of both the duo’s latest release on Relative Pitch, and the trio (with Whit Dickey) joined by saxophonist Ivo Perelman:
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/floating-ice-michael-bisio-relative-pitch-records-review-by-troy-collins.php
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/the-edge-ivo-perelman-matthew-shipp-michael-bisio-whit-dickey-leo-records-review-by-mark-corroto.php

support advanced jazz!!

March 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm Comments (0)

Beyond Microtonal Music Festival, Remembering Ezra Sims

This is a terrific weekend for new music in Pittsburgh with Sumeida’s Song already in performances by the Pittsburgh Opera and the Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival ready to be uncorked at the Warhol this weekend. All the details for “Beyond” are in the PNMNet events calendar, so I won’t rehash that here. You can also see Liz Bloom’s in-depth preview in the PG if you want some very useful context. What I do want to do, on the occasion of the Beyond Festival, is to take a moment to remember one of the great proponents of microtonal music. We lost Ezra Sims on January 30 of this year and many times I’ve meant to sit down and write something about what that meant, but feared my inability to do it justice. I probably still won’t do it justice, but here goes.

My encounter with Ezra Sims began in 1996 when I was a first year MA student in composition and theory at Pitt. Like all incoming grad students I had to write a state of research paper for the bibliography class. I chose to write about research in microtonal music, not because it was an area of particular interest, but because I didn’t know much about it. (This, by the way, is not the best way to approach that sort of course.) For my own edification, I decided to listen to as many actual microtonal composers as I could while I was working on the paper, so I listened to Partch, Johnston, Blackwood, Riley, Harrison and many others. One night I was in my study tapping away in Word Perfect 5.1 on my 386 IBM clone and suddenly I had to stop what I was doing and just listen to the music that was coming out of my stereo. It was the second movement of Ezra Sims’ Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet—haunting, poignant, perfect.

A few years later I was ready to start working on my doctoral dissertation and Mathew Rosenblum and Eric Moe had invited Ezra to Pittsburgh for a lecture and performance of his music. As I listened to Ezra speak I realized that no one but him had written about his music and that that could be a fertile subject for the analytical part of my dissertation.

Now keep in mind that I had never written any microtonal music, and didn’t really aspire to do so, but what I had heard in Ezra’s music all those years before had stuck with me. My intuition was that he was the consummate composer and studying his craft would only make me better at my own.

I was right on, I think, both counts. I spent a few days in Cambridge meeting with Ezra, talking with him about his harmonic approach, taping our conversations. I pulled the second movement of Quintet apart, harmony by harmony. What I found in this maverick Just Intonation composer was not only an amazing ear for local harmonic movement, but large scale voice leading that would have been at home in any Mozart sonata. Or as I wrote in the conclusion of my dissertation,

“In his ground breaking book, Personal Knowledge, Michael Polanyi shows that the path to discovery begins with an intuitive grasp of the solution. He writes,

‘…true discovery is not a strictly logical performance, and accordingly, we may describe the obstacle to be overcome as a ‘logical gap’, and speak of the width of the logical gap as the measure of the ingenuity required for solving the problem. ‘Illumination’ is then the leap by which the logical gap is crossed. It is the plunge by which we gain a foothold at another shore of reality… The pioneer mind which reaches across this logical gap deviates from the commonly accepted process of reasoning to achieve surprising results. Such an act is original in the sense of making a new start, and the capacity of initiating it is the gift of originality, a gift possessed by a small minority.’

Ezra Sims’s creative development surely reflects this process of illumination. His discovery is the application of microtonality in a way that affords him the exigencies of local and large scale tonal direction. His development of the twenty-four tone justly tuned scale and the 72 tpo tuning constitute the means by which Sims overcomes the logical gap. His compositional technique represents the logical, coherent articulation of an intuitively grasped solution, and because of this we may regard Sims as a truly original composer whose work is a valuable resource not only to those interested in the possibilities of extended tuning, but to all composers concerned with relating their work to the western concert music tradition.”

I’m very pleased that as part of tomorrow night’s opening concert of “Beyond”, the brilliant cellist Ted Mook will play Ezra’s Solo in four movements, a piece he wrote for Ted. It’s a fitting way to remember a composer who embodied so much of what it is we strive for as we create our own music.

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February 26, 2015 at 9:10 pm Comments (0)

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