Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

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)

Interview with Violist-Composer Jessica Meyer

On January 31, violist and composer Jessica Meyer will split a recital for Music on the Edge with guitarist Seth Josel. Well-known in the New York contemporary music scene for her work with groups such as counter)induction and American Modern Ensemble, composing reemerged as an important part of Jessica’s musical identity when she encountered Reggie Watts’ masterful use of the loop pedal. Soon she began composing pieces of her own for viola and loop pedal. Sounds of Being, her recently released CD, contains many of these compositions and Jessica will perform them at her concert at the Warhol. She’ll also premiere a new work by Eric Moe for viola and fixed media titled Uncanny Affable Machines.

This past December, Jessica and I talked together over Skype about her compositions and how her creative voice has developed. The video feed got choppy at times, so I had to do a little more patching together than usual, but I know you’ll be happy to hear what Jessica has to say about all of this, so here it is.

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January 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm Comments (0)

Wed. Jan 21: Ken Vandermark-Nate Worley Duo at the Warhol

Check out my full post yonder or just get it straight from the horse wallpaper’s mouth. Gonna be a real interesting show. Andy definitely take a look the videos. These guys can play.

January 20, 2015 at 8:47 pm Comments (0)

Amernet String Quartet is SOLD OUT

A quick note to let anyone who was on the fence about coming to the Amernet String Quartet concert at the Warhol tomorrow night to, well, find another fence. Amernet is sold out. I’ll be posting more new music events over the long weekend though, so despair not!

January 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm Comments (0)

Nathan Carterette Performs Quentin Kim

NathanCaterette

 

Today (Dec. 16) at 3 p.m. in Kresge Theatre.

December 16, 2014 at 9:05 am Comments (0)

Tonight: OvreArts Presents Solstice

December 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm Comments (0)

Up Next: In C-lebration

Yes! This!
CLebration_web copy

December 4, 2014 at 2:11 pm Comments (0)

Good Stuff Happening This November

Update: I managed to overlook the fact that Pacifica will be in town on Monday, November 10 playing Ligeti 1 when I originally made this post. I’ve listed that concert in the calendar along with the other great stuff mentioned below.

I’ve been quietly updating the calendar, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, but wanted to give a heads-up about some of the great concerts you should be checking out. You have tonight and tomorrow night to get to Microscopic Opera’s production of Frida. Then in the next two weeks you have Jacob Ertl’s piano recital for Alia Musica, a really interesting avant-garde jazz power trio (Dylan Ryan/Sand) at Thunderbird, and IonSound Project’s Fall show. A great variety of music in a very short span. Events are over yonder ——>

November 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm Comments (0)

PNME ArtDOG Salon

You still have a few hours to register for PNME’s free ArtDOG Salon taking place at CMU’s Alumni Hall on Thursday, October 2 at 8 p.m. You do need to register by the end of the day today (Sept. 30). Details are here, but just in case clicking on links makes you extra tired, the event will include a world premiere arrangement, featuring youled by PNME’s new Director of Education Jennie Dorris, Lindsey Goodman performing works by Pittsburgh composers Eric Moe and Roger Dannenberg, and a performance by Linda Kernohan (aka Ms. Music Nerd) and new PNME Board member. Also, dessert!

You can register at the link above (I know, it’s so tiring to click…) or you can contact PNME director Pam Murchison at 412-316-5s71 or pamurchison@gmail.com.

September 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm Comments (0)

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