Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Pittsburgh’s Host Skull releases new composition on Chicago’s Contraphonic label

Host Skull, the duo of David Bernabo and Will Dyar, released a new composition on Chicago’s Contraphonic label. The piece, titled “Fourth River”, juxtaposes arrhythmic electronics with lush sections of classical guitar, vibraphone, and percussion. To flesh out the lineup, this instance of Host Skull also includes vibraphonist Jeff Berman, modular synth-ist Herman “Soy Sos” Pearl, and a trio of Ben Harris/Kerrith Livengood/Brandon Masterman. The composition comes as an MP3 along with an essay on Pittsburgh by Contraphonic label owner Ben Schulman and photography by CMU’s Alternative Photo Process class, led by professor Elizabeth Raymer Griffin.

The package can be purchased through Contraphonic here for the very reasonable price of $3.99.

Host Skull’s first official show will this Friday, April 29th at The Frame on Carnegie Mellon’s campus at Forbes and Margaret Morrison. Host Skull will be represented by David Bernabo and Jeff Berman.

Pittsburgh’s Fourth River is the sometimes mythologized, sometimes forgotten river that flows below the surface. More accurately, it is an aquifer that is given the name Wisconsin Glacial Flow. The visible manifestations of the river can be seen in the fountain at Point State Park and in some of the downtown drinking water. When the Fourth River is mentioned, grand notions of a flowing subterranean river come to mind. This is in direct contrast to what is actually is: sand, gravel, and a bit of water running through it.

Watch a video preview of the piece here.

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April 28, 2011 at 12:33 am Comment (1)

ELCO Presents Mix-Tape

May 15, 2011
7:00 pm

The Brew House Gallery
$5 Suggested Donation (cash only)

Continuing their mission of tearing down distinctions of genre in music, the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra (ELCO) will present a concert, “Mix Tape,” at 7 p.m., May 15 at the Brew House Gallery.

ELCO’s “Mix Tape” will highlight the orchestra’s talented singers and instrumentalists in a collection of solo and small-group pieces — in addition to the group’s regular large ensemble fare. Selections will include music by Morton Feldman, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, and Kurt Weill as well as local composers Kerrith Livengood, Matthew W. Shepard, and Alan Tormey.

The concert will be held in the recently reopened gallery at the Brew House, 2100 Mary Street, on the South Side.  Admission is a suggested donation of $5, cash only.  Coffee will be served, as well as libations for those 21 and over.

Founded in 2008 by composer David Gerard Matthews and manager Heidi Baldt Matthews, ELCO showcases local Pittsburgh orchestral musicians while presenting an eclectic and provocative musical repertoire that ranges from the Middle Ages to the Avant-Garde.  With the stated goal of breaking down the artificial musical walls of style, genre and historical period — ELCO focuses on the often unacknowledged connections between classical and rock music.  David Bowie is just as likely to be heard at an ELCO concert as Gustav Mahler – to the benefit of both. For more information, visit http://elco-orchestra.webs.com.

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April 27, 2011 at 8:31 am Comments (0)

ELCO at Art All Night

April 30, 2011
4:45 pm

Art All Night
Iron City Brewery (3340 Liberty Avenue)

ELCO is extremely excited to announce that it will be the kick-off musical act for the 2011 Art All Night Festival. The event will take place at the old Iron City Brewery, 3340 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh and ELCO will begin performing at 4:45. Immediately following ELCO @ 6 will be Pittsburgh-Rock legends The Spuds and soon-to-be Pittsburgh-Rock legends Chux Beta. Like the art, the music will continue all night long, including a second stage opening later in the evening. More information about Art All Night can be found at More information can be found at:http://www.artallnight.org/

April 26, 2011 at 8:30 am Comments (0)

Get Discounted Tix for Final Alice, Tower’s Premiere

Hila Plitmann and David Del Tredici

There’s lots of good music coming up as we head into May, but I wanted to give you the early heads-up on two exciting performances from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: David Del Tredici’s Final Alice, with the remarkable soprano Hila Plitmann (May 6 and 8) and the Premiere of Joan Tower’s Stroke, a work commissioned by the PSO as part of Tower’s year-long residency with the orchestra (May 13 and 14).

The PSO has generously offered PNMNet fans a 20% discount for both concerts! To order your discounted tickets, visit culturaldistrict.org and use promo codes “Twisted” (Del Tredici’s Final Alice) and “21635” (Tower’s Stroke), or call 412.392.4819.

The May 6-8 performances of Final Alice also feature a Pittsburgh-centric version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. The traditional story—boy meets wolf, wolf eats boy, hunter kills wolf and rescues boy unscathed from wolf’s belly—has been rewritten by former Pittsburgh-Post Gazette columnist Peter Leo to reflect modern times in our city. Actor and tireless Pittsburgh advocate David Conrad will supply narration for Leo’s updated story.

These concerts will also include a bevy of innovative ancillary programs such as discussion with the artists, literature experts, and special art exhibits. You can find out more about these events after the jump.

The May 13 and 14 performances of Tower’s Stroke will also included world renowned pianist Hélène Grimaud performing Mozart’s piano concerto No. 23 K. 488, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major.


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April 21, 2011 at 11:32 am Comments (0)

Garfield Artworks: 4/25 Kagel Nacht, 4/30 Will McEvoy’s Mutasm

Two upcoming experimental and new music concerts at Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Avenue. All ages welcome.

Mon Apr 25 8 pm $10

with Antithesis (CAPA’s new music ensemble)

Kagel Nacht is a performance event featuring new interpretations of works by the seminal avant-garde composer Mauricio Kagel. Interwoven into a melange of inter-connected and overlapping pieces, this show highlights the most absurd and engaging of Kagel’s prolific output. From the disconnected political ramblings of Der Tribune, to the meticulous puppetry/theater of Repetoire, to the squealing and scratching of Acustica, Kagel Nacht connects to listeners in a way rarely found in the classical music world.

Despite being one of the most radical and revolutionary 20th century European avant-garde composers, Mauricio Kagel’s music has remained relatively obscure, especially here in the US. In an attempt to change this, two musicians from New York City have spent the last 3 years researching Kagel’s massive body of work, seeking out rare scores, recordings, and videos of his bizarre, often hysterically theatrical compositions. Joining them will be a stacked deck of musicians from Brooklyn’s artistic multiverse, performers deeply situated in the theater, performance art, classical, and experimental music worlds. They will be performing a very diverse selection from Kagel’s grand oeuvre, including “classical” works (Music For Rennaissance Instruments), electro-acoustic compositions (Acustica), absurdist ballet (Kontra->Danse), radio plays (Der Tribun), and some of his most daring and hilarious works of “instrumental theater” (Staatstheater, Con Voce).

With interpretations ranging from strict to fully recontextualized, Kagel Nacht breaths new life into these important and underperformed works by joining them into one, multi-stage, panoramic, evening-length event that brings a new meaning to “musical theater.” Kagel Nacht is currently touring the North-East, performing for universities as well as underground venues, art spaces, and other communities, giving people access to the world of classical and avant-garde music through the universal appeal of Kagel’s profound and absurd compositions. In order to limit costs and emissions, they are traveling on a school bus turned tour bus that runs on waste vegetable oil.

Kagel Nacht will feature the musical and theatrical artistry of Rick Burkhardt – orator, accordion; Stephen Cooper – producer, glockenspiel, guitar ; Sam Kulik – trombone;
Jordan Mclean – trumpet, conductor, arranger ; Jason Mears – clarinet, saxophone ; Roberta Michel – flute, piccolo ; Geoff Nosach – lighting, set design ; Sam Sowyrda – producer, conductor, percussion ; Dennis Sullivan – percussion.

Sat Apr 30 8 pm $7

with Bernabo & Fleming, and Satyr/Elfheim

Improvising chamber-jazz sextet from Brooklyn featuring
Will McEvoy – bass and composition; Cody Brown – drums ;
Dustin Carlson – guitar ; Brad Henkel – trumpet ; Nathaniel Morgan – alto saxophone; Patrick Breiner – tenor saxophone (Madison, Wisconsin).

As a performer McEvoy has played in many settings from contemporary jazz and classical orchestras to improvised duets with dancers. In New York City, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, and numerous house parties, artist lofts and small clubs. What sets McEvoy apart from other bassists of his generation is his focus on solo repertoire and performance practice, with particular influence from Dadaism, Surrealism, and modernist composition. His current projects include Mutasm, a revolving cast that performs extended works, duets with dancer Hadar Ahuvia, the New York Jazz Band, and other freelancing performances.

April 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm Comments (0)

PSO Premieres Joan Tower’s Stroke

May 13, 2011
8:00 pm
May 14, 2011
8:00 pm

Heinz Hall

Joan Tower’s year-long residency with the PSO will culminate in the premiere of Tower’s Stroke. The program also features Hélène Grimaud performing Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 23, K. 488 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Symphony No.2 in D Major.

Full details for the program, including a video interview with Joan Tower, are here.

April 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm Comments (0)

PSO, Hila Plitmann Perform Final Alice

May 6, 2011
8:00 pm
May 8, 2011
2:30 pm

Heinz Hall

Leonard Slatkin will lead the PSO in David Del Tredici’s Final Alice with the amazing soprano Hila Plitman. The concert also includes Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with actor (and relentless Burgh booster) David Conrad.

Full details on the performance are here.

April 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm Comments (0)

Alia Musica Pittsburgh Spring Concert Series: Concert II

May 14, 2011
7:00 pm

Synod Hall
Tickets: $15 at the door, $12 for students and seniors.
Admission is free of charge for children under 15
Discount tickets available online at www.alia-musica.org/tickets.html

Lenny Young: Augury (wind quintet)
Kerrith Livengood: imaginary average (clarinet, vibraphone)
David Lidov: Kierkegaard’s Pantoum (soprano, synthetic drones, and 13 instruments)
Matthew Gillespie: Chiaroscuro (mixed ensemble)
Molly Joyce: Collage of Mischief (French horn, piano, violin, cello)
Mark Fromm: Six for seven (oboe, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, piano, cello, bass)

April 12, 2011 at 8:31 am Comments (0)

Alia Musica Pittsburgh Spring Concert Series: Concert I

April 28, 2011
8:00 pm

Synod Hall
Tickets: $15 at the door, $12 for students and seniors.
Admission is free of charge for children under 15
Discount tickets available online at www.alia-musica.org/tickets.html

Marcus Kim: Songs for Iraqi Children (soprano, percussion, string quartet)


Annika Socolofsky: Three Bulguriand Dances (2 flutes)

Jonathan Howard Katz Three Sketches (flute, clarinet, percussion, violin, cello


Federico Garcia: Aquel que al Verme (mezzosoprano, flute, viola, guitar, 2 percussionists)

Matthew Heap: Illicit Trysts (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion)

April 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm Comments (0)