Thursday, May 18, 2017

Performance of Wayne National Forest by Brian Harnetty

Early this year I downloaded Notes from Sub-Underground, a collection of music, sound, and assorted aural ephemera contributed by 50+ artists and compiled by Object Collection, with all proceeds to benefit ACLU Nationwide.

One of the tracks on the album – Wayne National Forest by Brian Harnetty – particularly struck me. In doing a bit of research on the composer, I came upon a series of articles at NewMusicBox about Brian's engagement with the coal mining and fracking industries in Ohio.

I learned that Wayne National Forest is under threat, and that this piece had been inspired by the struggle to preserve it.

I hoped there might be a way that this spare, sublime work could be included in a concert program I was developing to augment Imagining Sound, an exhibition of my 2- and 3D illustrations of tonal relationships at Central Features Contemporary Art. I wrote to Brian to inquire about the performance possibilities – he very generously provided us with the score and encouraged us to arrange it according to the instrumentation we would have available:

Wayne National Forest was truly a joy to play. Thanks so much to musicians Julian Mock, Elizabeth McNutt, and the Death Convention Singers, and thanks to Brian Harnetty for composing this moving work, and for the opportunity to perform it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tonal Relativity Games & Experiments at UNM ARTS Lab on April 29

Tonoscore 1: Season, a work for 3 or more players by Alyce Santoro

On April 29, 2017 at 7pm at UNM ARTS Lab, conceptual/sound artist Alyce Santoro, guitarist/composer Julian Mock, flutist Elizabeth McNutt, and members of the Albuquerque-based Death Convention Singers collective will present the auditory component of Imagining Sound, Santoro's current exhibition of painting and sculpture at Central Features Contemporary Art

The 2- and 3D pieces in the exhibition are part of the Tonal Relativity project, an approach to the visualization of intervals and modes in a 12-tone musical system. The concert program sonifies these concepts,  featuring works of sound and music that leave open space for listening, improvisation, and chance operations.

Aleators, colorized dice to illustrate musical intervals and facilitate chance operations. Alyce Santoro, 2017.


Worldwide Tuning Meditation by Pauline Oliveros1960 #7 by LaMonte Young
Wayne National Forest by Brian Harnetty
Game by Mario Lavista
The premier of Tonoscore 1: Season, a visual score by Alyce Santoro
Squaring the Circle of Fifths by Julian Mock
& several new frameworks for improvisation by Prepared Ear.


Alyce Santoro & Elizabeth McNutt – flute
Julian Mock – guitar

Death Convention Singers:
Marisa Demarco – voice, electronics
Clifford Grindstaff – bass guitar, bass clarinet
Drake Hardin – clarinet
Rosie Hutchinson – violin
Ariel Muniz – cello
Alan Zimmerman – pitched percussion
The concert is free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Imagining Sound at Central Features in Albuquerque, NM

Modes of the Major Scale, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 28", 2017

Edgard Varèse suggested that "music is organized sound". Physics suggests that matter is also organized sound.

The Tonal Relativity Series offers a way of organizing sound visually...wavelengths of light evoke wavelengths of sound in the mind's ear. 

The TRS is an "open work" (see Umberto Eco) – musicians and non-musicians alike are invited to experiment with the concept. The immaterial part of the project is freely available here.

Material and quasi-material parts of the project (in the form of works on canvas, objects, and sound) will be presented at the end of this month through the end of April in Albuquerque, NM. 

"Imagining Sound" opens at Central Features Contemporary Art on March 24 from 6 - 8pm. 

I'll be giving an talk on the project at ARTS Lab New Mexico at 5:30pm on on March 22

Then, on the evening of April 29 (the exhibition's closing day), Prepared Ear (composer/guitarist Julian Mock and I) will present a concert at UNM ARTS Lab in collaboration with members of the Albuquerque-based Death Convention Singers and University of North Texas flute professor-pioneer/Sounds Modern co-founder Elizabeth McNutt. The program will feature works by Pauline Oliveros, LaMonte Young, Mario Lavista, and Brian Harnetty, as well as several frameworks for improvisation developed by us especially for the Tonal Relativity project. We are honored to have the opportunity to present this particular combination of works with this phenomenal group of practitioners at this particular moment.