Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

PNME, Host Skull launch Kickstarter campaigns

Host Skull and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble launched Kickstarter Campaigns last week, so crowd, get out their and SOURCE!

The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble campaign is to fund their commission of a new piece by Ted Hearne, because, as they put it:

“Hearne’s compositions are socially engaging, exploring the complexity of contemporary experience with visceral power and raw emotional beauty. His Katrina Ballads, a modern-day oratorio with a primary source libretto, offers a searing portrayal of the media’s take on Hurricane Katrina. Katrina Ballads was awarded the 2009 Gaudeamus International Composers Award from Music Center the Netherlands, and the recording, on New Amsterdam Records, was named one of the best classical albums of 2010 by Time Out Chicago and The Washington Post. It’s also the work that Ted submitted to win our own Harvey Gaul Competition.”

Host Skull (one of David Bernabo’s ongoing projects) has already completed the recording of their next album, Black Mark, and are looking for help in the final stages of production and distribution.

Your support will help us complete the final production stages for Host Skull’s Black Mark. This includes mastering, vinyl pressing, and packaging. We are planning to produce a gatefold vinyl package, heavily decorated by Joe Mruk’s beautifully intricate illustrations.”

Check out these projects, kick, and start.

February 25, 2013 at 8:38 am Comments (0)

Cliff Colnot Leads Alia Musica Conductors Festival

September 30, 2011
8:00 pm

Synod Hall

Alia Musica’s September 30 Conductors Festival will feature renowned contemporary music conductor Cliff Colnot and other guest conductors leading the ensemble. The works and composers are as follows:

Ivan Jimenez: Burning the Deep Red Sea — fl, ob, cl, bsn, pno, vib, harp, vl, cello — conducted by  Cliff Colnot

Federico Garcia: Pluribus — chamber orchestra — conducted by Jose Sanchez

Matthew Heap: Unraveling Conversations — fl, ob, cl, bsn, horn, tpt, tbn, stg quintet — conducted by Jordan Smith

Matthew Gillespie: Chiaroscuro — fl, cl, ob, bsn, tpt, pno, perc, stg quartet — conducted by Nicholas L. Baker

Kerrith Livengood : Song of the 144,000 — ob, cl, bsn, tpt, harp, pno, perc, vl, cello— conducted by Alexandra Arrieche

Mark Fromm: Harmonices Mundi — speaker, fl, ob, cl, bsn, harp, gtr, pno, vib, stg quartet — conducted by Cliff Colnot

Cliff Colnot will also give a lecture at Pitt at 1 p.m. on that same day, September 30. His talk is free and open to the public. Colnot regularly conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom he recently recorded Richard Wernick’s The Name of the Game for Bridge Records, and he collaborates regularly with the internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird. Among many other appointments, Colnot has been principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary MusicNOW series since its inception and is principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago since 1994. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony.

September 21, 2011 at 10:19 am Comments (0)

IonSound Alabama Relief Concert

June 25, 2011
4:00 pm

Beulah Presbyterian Church
2550 McCrady Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Free, Donations for the relief effort can be made at the door.

Anna Singer will join IonSound as featured guest artist for a special event to help raise money for the disaster victims in Alabama. The concert is free. Donations for the relief effort can be made at the door.

The program will include:

ZAHAB entelchronicity between six persons
CORIGLIANO Three Irish Folksongs
BRAHMS Clarinet Trio
KOLM Clarinet Trio
BRAHMS Wie melodien
DVORAK Song to the Moon


June 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm Comments (0)

2010 The Next Installment – a collaborative dance and music project

August 20, 2010
12:00 am
August 21, 2010
12:00 am

Gia Cacalano presents

This Friday and Saturday, Gia Cacalano will premiere new pieces that combine choreography and improvisation in dance with music by vibraphonist Jeff Berman and (ahem) myself, David Bernabo.  The four dancers will do a few group pieces, some solos, and a very great duo.  We’ll be performing five pieces each night, and (if I can say so) it is turning out very nicely.  There is a nice article in this week’s Pittsburgh City Paper that discusses the motivations for the dance, so I’ll mention a few things about the music.  The first piece, which lasts roughly 30 minutes, combines electronic soundscapes, text, and freely improvised sections for vibraphone and amplified objects.  The electronic score was assembled from closed-circuit electronics that I recorded in 2004.  The text piece is a newer piece where each word is slowed down by 1% until the ending text is deep bass rumbling.  And of course, there is much more…

Hope to see you there.  Details below:

Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21, 2010
8PM, $12 students, $15 general admission
214 N. Lexington St (above Construction Junction)
Point Breeze, Pittsburgh, PA
$15, $12 Students
More info: 4120758-3265

Gia Cacalano / Movement / Choreography / Concepts
Allie Greene / Movement
Jasmine Hearn / Movement
Beth Ratas / Movement
Jeff Berman / Vibraphone
David Bernabo / Electronics, Percussion

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August 19, 2010 at 12:36 am Comments (0)

HiTEC’s Final Performance! Saturday, March 13 at Kresge Concert Hall, CMU

This Saturday, March 13, marks the last occasion to see the very unique HiTEC, an ensemble of Pittsburgh musicians and performers utilizing instruction pieces, chance, improvisation, theatrics, and a giant spinning Wheel-of-Fortune. Intrigued? Well, you should be and you probably come to this event, because it is literally your last chance to see the act. Extensive detail below…

HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative),
the experimental orchestra founded by
will present its last ‘UNCERT’ (Uncertainty Concert), Saturday, March 13, 2010,
8PM (doors open 7:30PM), at the Kresge Recital Hall
in the CFA (Center for Fine Arts) at CMU (Carnegie Mellon University)
– $6.00 suggested donation, free to CMU students. (more…)

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March 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm Comments (2)

PA House Rejects Tax on the Arts, Proposes Tax on Leafy Greens and Whole Grains Instead

I kid. But the budget proposal before the House does exclude the sin tax on arts events, museums, and zoos (should we call it the polar bear tax instead of a sin tax on the arts? Write me and let me know, or leave a comment). From the good folks at Citizens for the Arts in PA,

“Last night the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Rules Committee sent a tax code bill to the full House of Representatives that does NOT include a sales tax on admissions to performances, museums, and zoos.  The bill does include some new revenue streams such as a tax on smokeless tobacco and a severance tax on natural gas.  This bill is a change to the handshake agreement that was reached on September 18, 2009 between Governor Rendell and leaders of 3 of the 4 legislative caucuses.”

What does this mean? Probably that the budget will continue to be in a stalemate for the foreseeable future and that we can expect to see more revenue raising proposals coming out of Harrisburg that are more suited for a story in The Onion, than a meaningful state budget. Citizens for the Arts in PA has helpful resources to continue to advocate for the arts, and if you haven’t signed up for their e-mail alerts, I recommend it.

October 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm Comments (0)

Please Call Your State Rep to Oppose a Sin Tax on the Arts

Now. The PA House is planning to vote on this issue TODAY. So call, don’t write, e-mail, text, or tweet. Call. A reminder that the proposed FY09–10 state budget is set to include an amusement tax on arts events, museums, and zoos (zoos!). Not sports events, not arena shows, just people who want to go hear a good string quartet, enjoy a painting, and see polar bears swimming around (preferably all at once). Every non-profit is struggling right now. Donations are down, and of course, endowment income is down, so to single out arts, education, and science non-profits for what amounts to a sin tax is just bonkers.

Citizens for the Arts in PA has a great tool for quickly finding contact info for your legislators, so please call before 5 p.m. today.

October 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm Comments (0)


The good news is that the nearly completed, long delayed state budget restores 10 million to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for grant making and 1 million for administration, so write your reps and senators to encourage them to keep this allocation in the final budget. And while you’re at it, ask them if they think this is really a good idea.

“With Mr. Rendell insisting that the $27.9 billion budget proposal have more “recurring revenues,” leaders of three of the four General Assembly caucuses decided to eliminate the sales tax exemption for symphonies, ballets, operas and other performing arts, as well as for museums, historical sites, parks and zoos. The sales tax exemption will remain for tickets to sporting events and movies.

Emphasis mine. Ugh.

September 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm Comments (0)

PA Council on the Arts Funding

Pittsburgh New Music Net is, above all else, about advocacy for our City’s contemporary music scene, and by extension, advocacy for the arts in general. That’s why I wanted to make sure everyone was aware that the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, an organization that supports the offerings of numerous non-profit presenters in our region, is in serious danger of being de-funded. The state Senate already passed a bill with no funding for PCA grant making, but the house is considering a bill that restores this funding. Fortunately the arts community isn’t just sitting on its hands and our friends at Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania  have plentiful resources to help you decide what action to take. Particularly helpful is their Legislative Action Center which posts information about arts-related legislation under consideration at both state and federal levels. Finally, for what it’s worth, I’m including the text of the message I sent to my own representative, Don Walko. It sums up my thoughts on the subject pretty well.

The Honorable Representative Don Walko

Dear Sir,

I was very disappointed to hear that the PA Senate passed SB 850, a budget bill which includes no funding for Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is an indispensable source of funding to many of our state’s most important non-profit arts organizations and I urge you to support HB 1416 which includes 14 million for arts grants.

Since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act many important steps have been taken to rebuild our nation’s transportation and energy infrastructure. But we must also rebuild our intellectual infrastructure if we are to meet the challenges that face us. Arts funding (along with funding for education and public broadcasting) is a critical component in equipping Pennsylvanians with creative, and intellectual vigor that will be required to solve the problems that lie ahead. 

I urge you to support HB 1416 that includes $14 million for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants to arts organizations.


Philip Thompson
Pittsburgh, PA

June 10, 2009 at 11:01 am Comments (0)