Hilary Hahn speaking between improvs at last Wednesday’s show at City Winery
(L to R: Hilary Hahn, violin; Hauschka, prepared piano; Photo courtesy of Riad Miah)
Hilary Hahn and Hauschka
Hilary Hahn, violin and amplified violin
Hauschka, prepared and unprepared piano
City Winery, NYC
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
Written by Jeremy Shatan
Hilary Hahn is that rare artist who has transcended her place in the firmament of classical music, moving from performer (though she is superb in any music she plays) to the role of musician. Through the choices she makes, she is composing a career that is about more than mere virtuosity and staking a claim in the standard repertory. So it really should have been no surprise when her two-year collaboration with the man who calls himself Hauschka came to light.
However, it was surprising – and tantalizing to contemplate. Hauschka is known mainly for his atmospheric work with the prepared piano, sometimes with a minimalist bent, sometimes leaning toward Eno-style ambient sounds. He is a composer, a performer – and an improviser.
It is in this last role that his collaboration with Hahn took shape. Essentially, they jammed off and on for two years and then alighted in the studio for ten days to record the pieces that became Silfra, a gorgeous collection of music that is by turns propulsive and lyrical, and filled with color and textural variety. Continue reading
The avant-cabaret specialist Amy X Neuburg, who I interviewed back in December to preview her gig at Roulette for her last NY appearance is back in NYC this week, this time at another popular spot in the city for new music, The Stone, on Wednesday, May 30th at 8 PM. Amy had time to have another chat to talk about this show!
CM: Can you talk about the new material in the program? You also have a new setup?
AXN: My new looping setup allows me to create multiple sets of layered voice, each on its own channel, so that I can treat each channel differently, mix or crossfade channels, give each its own set of rules, and place it anywhere in the stereo field. (In contrast my previous looper had one mono output, with one set of loops audible at a time. You could switch between different chunks of layered sound, but you could not play them simultaneously.) So my first new piece for this current setup was a sound-art piece in quad, in which each of four speakers had its own channel of loops that altered slowly over time. I’ve adapted this piece for stereo sound. Continue reading
Composer-violinist Cornelius Dufallo is one of many great artists that have adopted the world of electro-acoustic for their vocal palate. Having composed primarily for himself (and for his group ETHEL), he also has written a piece for DC’s Great Noise Ensemble, with whom he is also performing the NY premiere (Official world premiere) of on April 16 at Symphony Space. Cornelius speaks with us about that piece and the concert, along with other career-related things. Continue reading
NY-based composer-performer Lesley Flanigan is quite a visionary lady. In a seemingly flat, digitized world, she has managed to create a style of brilliantly dark electronic sound by inventing a series of customized speaker synths and adding loops and vocalization.
Her CD Amplifications is a great audio collection of some of Lesley’s work, and you can find even more of her live performances on YouTube and Vimeo (Some of those are presented here as well), and she has more music on her website, but I strongly encourage you to see her in person.
Lesley had some time to talk to me via Skype. Continue reading
Photos courtesy of Glenn Cornett
Amy X Neuburg/Cory Smythe
Dec. 13, 2011
It’s East Meets West…coast, that is.
On the stage of the old-school charming Roulette in Brooklyn was yet another creatively edgy program, put on this time by the pairing of West-coast avant-cabaret artist Amy X Neuburg and New York’s own pianist-composer, ICE’s Cory Smythe. Presented without an intermission, the show was almost entirely electronic or electro-acoustic in nature (with the exception of a refreshing burst of Fats Waller’s “Handful of Keys” from Mr. Smythe), and most of the pieces were composed and/or arranged by both of them. Continue reading