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recent/upcoming gigs

Sept 2, 8pm
Kölner Philharmonie
Köln, Germany
James McVinnie, Chris Thompson, Liam Byrne

Aug 4, 8pm
Wordless Music Orchestra
Prospect Park Bandshell
Brooklyn, NY
Creed: live score with orchestra

May 10, 8pm
The Sheldon, St. Louis
May 13, 8:30pm
Ecstatic Music Festival
Merkin Hall, NYC
Alarm Will Sound

May 6, 8:45pm
Bang on a Can Marathon
Just Ensemble
Brooklyn Museum
David Lang: Just

May 1, 4:30pm
Barbican, London
Philip Glass: Music in 12 Parts

April 26, 7:30pm
Zankel Hall
Three Generations: Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly

April 8, 8pm
Kings Theatre, Brooklyn
Wordless Music Orchestra
Barry Lyndon: Screening + Live Score

March 15-19
Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM
Mark Morris: Two Operas An evening of Britten and Purcell

Feb 5, 7:30pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Los Angeles, CA
Organ Recital Series
James McVinnie and Guests

Dec 10-18
Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM
Mark Morris Dance Group: The Hard Nut

Sept 30, 7:30pm
Oct 1, 7:30pm

Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM
Alarm Will Sound
Donnacha Dennehy: The Hunger

Sept 17
Touhil PAC
St. Louis MO
Alarm Will Sound
Donnacha Dennehy: The Hunger

July 25-30
Columbia MO
Alarm Will Sound
Mizzou International Composers Festival

July 15
The Juilliard School
Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar
Haruka and Rika Fujii
Utari Duo

June 25
Cleveland Museum of Art
Alarm Will Sound
John Luther Adams
Ten Thousand Birds

June 1
Terrace Theater
The Kennedy Center
Washington, D.C.
Alarm Will Sound
Donnacha Dennehy: The Hunger

May 26
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Tyondai Braxton, Rashad Becker, Mira Calix

May 20
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth
ACME
Music of Tristan Perich

May 8
Roulette, Brooklyn
Hotel Elefant
Songs of Love and Violence: Music of Matt Marks

May 3
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Rose Hall
Live From Lincoln Center: Lang Lang "New York Rhapsody"

April 16
AUPAC
Adelphi University
Chamber Orchestra of NY
Debussy, Puccini, Mahler, Morricone

April 11
Broadway Presberterian
Spectrum Symphony
Music of Ginastera, Reyes

April 9-10
The Kitchen, NYC
ACME
Byrd, Eastman, Monk

Feb 1, 7:30pm
Symphony Space
Nadia Sirota Residency
Old and New: Nadia Sirota, Liam Byrne & Guests

Jan 21 - 24
Kasser Theater
Montclair State, NJ
Michel van der Aa
The Book of Disquiet

Jan 8 - 17
St. Anne's Warehouse
Brooklyn, NY
Donnacha Dennehy
The Last Hotel

2015

Dec 12-20, 2015
BAM Gilman Opera House
Brooklyn, NY
Mark Morris Dance Group
The Hard Nut

Dec 20, 8pm
National Sawdust
Brooklyn, NY
ACME

Nov 13 - Jan 3
Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

Dec 2, 7pm
Outpost Concert Series
Culver Center
Riverside, CA
Dec 4, 8pm
Trinity Cathedral
Portland, OR
Pause

Nov 20, 8pm
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound

Oct 20, 8pm
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound

Sept 24
Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre
London, UK
James McVinnie with Bedroom Community

Aug 28, 7pm
Aug 29, 7pm
Aug 30, 2pm

Shapeshifter Lab
Brooklyn, NY
Line C3 Percussion Group
World Premiere: Four Streets by Sean Friar

July 20-25
The Missouri Theater
Columbia, MO
Mizzou International Composers Festival

July 8, 7:30pm
The Drawing Center, NYC
Billy Martin
Drawing Sound

June 26, 27
Whitney Museum of American Art
Alarm Will Sound
Nancarrow Deconstructed

June 4, 5, 6
The Kitchen, NYC
Tyondai Braxton's
HIVE

May 30, 7:30pm
MUTEK
Theatre Maisonneuve
Montreal, Canada
Tyondai Braxton's
HIVE

May 28, 8pm
St. Louis, MO
The Sheldon
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Valgeir Sigurðsson, Aphex Twin, Birtwistle, Adult Fur, John Medeski

May 14, 7:30pm
Carnegie Hall, NYC
Weill Recital Hall
Music of Delius, Vaughan Williams, Respighi
Chamber Orchestra of New York

April 11, 7pm
April 12, 5:30pm

Culture Station
Seoul, South Korea
Alarm Will Sound
Twinned

April 11, 4pm
April 12, 2pm

Culture Station
Seoul, South Korea
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Reich, Adams, Burhans, Orfe

March 30
Drinko Hall
Cleveland State
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Reich, Aphex Twin, Wuorinen, Friar 

February 18, 20
Winter Garden
New York, NY
Wordless Music Orchestra
Blancanieves (2012)   Live Film Score  

February 6
Macky Auditorium
UC at Boulder
Boulder, CO
Alarm Will Sound with Medeski, Martin, Wood 

February 5
Newman Center
University of Denver
Denver, CO
Alarm Will Sound with Medeski, Martin, Wood 

2014

December 11
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
with Dawn Upshaw
Donnacha Dennehey: The Hunger 

Nov - Dec, 2014
Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

October 26
Constellation
Chicago, IL
ACME: Music of Joseph Byrd, Mick Barr 

October 19
Public Media Commons
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
John Luther Adams: Ten Thousand Birds 

October 4, 5
Peak Performances
Montclair State, NJ
Alarm Will Sound
Scott Johnson: Mind Out of Matter 

September 16
Sacrum + Profanum
Krakow, Poland
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Steve Reich 

September 13
BAM Harvey Theater
Brooklyn, NY
Alarm Will Sound
Nonesuch at BAM: Music of Braxton, Reich, Dennehy 

September 12
BAM Harvey Theater
Brooklyn, NY
Alarm Will Sound
Nonesuch at BAM: Music of John Adams 

July 19-26
Columbia, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Mizzou International Composers Festival 

July 3, 6:30pm
Millenium Park Pavillion
Chicago, IL
Loops & Variations: Alarm Will Sound plays Aphex Twin, Steve Reich

June 8-14
Bartlesville, OK
OKMozart Festival

May 30, 8:30pm
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound     w/CMS St. Louis

May 20, 8:30pm
Oval Space, London
Barbican Festival
Tyondai Braxton: HIVE

May 18, 2pm
Milton Court Concert Hall
London
Barbican Festival
w/Iarla Ó Lionáird
Crash Ensemble Donnacha Dennehy's Grá agus Bás

April 27, 6pm
Zankel Hall, NYC
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Dennehey, King, Moore, Ayres
Collected Stories:
(post)-folk

April 1, 7pm doors
The Pageant
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Reich, Braxton, Aphex Twin

Feb 20, 7pm
Charles Egelhart Court
The Metropolitan Museum
Dance Heginbotham
w/Alarm Will Sound
Twinned

Feb 6, 8pm
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Feb 7, 8pm
The Missouri Theater
Columbia, MO
Alarm Will Sound

Jan 21, 8pm
Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia
Tyondai Braxton: HIVE

Jan 17, 8pm
Mona Foma
Tasmania, Australia
Tyondai Braxton: HIVE

2013

Nov 23, 2:30pm
Frankfurt Lab
Cresc Biennale Fest
Frankfurt, Germany
Alarm Will Sound
"New York Times":
Music of Adams, Friar, Zimmerman, Macdonald, Nancarrow

Nov 16, 7pm
Grace Rainey Auditorium
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Alarm Will Sound
The Music of Steve Reich
NY Premier: Radio Rewrite

Nov 9, 4:30pm
White Light Festival 2013
Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center
Lincoln Center, NYC
Moderated by John Shaefer
White Light Conversation:
It's a Matter of Time

Oct 11, 7pm
Grace Rainey Auditorium
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Oct 9, 8pm
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Permanent Collection: Music of Wagner, Ades, Ligeti, Ives

Sept 20, 8pm
Malopolska Garden of Arts
Krakow, Poland
Sacrum Profanum Festival
Alarm Will Sound
Acoustica: Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada, Venetian Snares

Sept 15, 8pm
Tinning Plant,
ArcelorMittal
Krakow, Poland
Sacrum Profanum Festival
Tyondai Braxton: HIVE

July 15-27, 2013
Columbia, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Mizzou New Music Festival

June 16: 7:30pm
June 17: 7:30pm

Guggenheim Museum
New York, NY
Alarm Will Sound
Reich: Radio Rewrite Preview

June 16, 1-10pm
Schimmel Center
3 Spruce Street
New York, NY
Alarm Will Sound
Bang on a Can Marathon

June 15, 2013
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St
New York, NY
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Caleb Burhans

June 13, 2013
National Opera Center
330 7th Ave., NYC
Alarm Will Sound
Neil Rolnick: Gardening

May 31: 8 PM
June 1: 3 PM & 7PM
June 2: 3 PM

The Secret Theater
Long Island City, NY
GLANK Live

May 16, 2013
Carnegie Hall
New York, NY
Chamber Orchestra of New York

Apr 26, 2013
Touhill Performing Arts Center
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound: "1969"

Apr 6, 2013
Zankel Hall, NYC
Alarm Will Sound
Alarm Will Sound: Premiers by Orfe, Braxton, Wuorinen, Dennehy

Mar 27, 2013
The CenterStage
Reston, VA
ACME: Works by Muhly, Andres, Barr, Friedman, Cage, Andriessen

Mar 20, 2013
The Sheldon
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Alarm Will Sound: Music of Dennehy, Reich, Orfe, Aphex Twin

Mar 16, 2013
Bing Concert Hall
Stanford University
Alarm Will Sound
Alarm Will Sound: Music of Steve Reich

Mar 8, 2013
Schimmel Center for the Arts
3 Spruce St., NYC
Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra

Feb 19, 2013
Kodak Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Alarm Will Sound: "1969"

2012

Nov 9 - Dec 30, 2012
Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

October 25-27, 2012
BAM: Next Wave
Fishman Space
ACME, Theo Bleckmann
Phil Kline: Out Cold

October 18, 2012
The Sheldon, 8 PM
St. Louis, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Adams, Aphex Twin, Freund, Haber, Wuorinen, Cage, Nancarrow

September 22, 2012
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Wordless Music Orchestra
Efterklang: Piramida

September 10, 2012
Krakow, Poland
Sacrum Profanum Festival
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Aleksander Nowak

July 17-28, 2012
Columbia, MO
Alarm Will Sound
Mizzou New Music Festival

July 15, 2012
Schimmel Center, NYC
River to River Festival
Alarm Will Sound
John Cage: Songbooks

June 25, 2012
Schimmel Center, NYC
River to River Festival
Oceanic Verses

June 23, 2012
Kennedy Center
Washington Chorus
Oceanic Verses

June 11-17, 2012
Bartlesville, OK
Oklahoma Mozart Festival

June 9, 2012
Holland Festival
Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam
Alarm Will Sound
John Cage: Songbooks

June 6, 2012
Cork Opera House
Cork, Ireland
Alarm Will Sound
John Cage: Songbooks

May 11-12, 2012
The Kitchen
New York, NY
ACME: Music of William Brittelle and Mick Barr

May 10, 2012
Merkin Hall, 7:00 PM
129 W. 67th St. NYC

Chamber Orchestra of New York

May 2, 2012
Galapagos Art Space, 8 PM
16 Main St., Brooklyn
BKLN PHIL: Outside-In

April 26, 2012
Town Hall
Seattle, WA
Great Hall, 7:30 PM
Alarm Will Sound

March 31, 2012
Fontana University
Kalamazoo, MI
Dalton Center, 8 PM
Alarm Will Sound

March 30, 2012
Oakland University
Rochester, MI
Varner Hall, 8 PM
Alarm Will Sound

March 28, 2012
BGSU
Bowling Green, OH
Kobacker Hall, 8 PM
Alarm Will Sound

March 18, 2012
Henry Street Settlement
Brooklyn, NY
Carnegie Hall Presents
Neighborhood Series
Alarm Will Sound: Music of Cage, Wilmoth, Nancarrow, Varese, Sharp

March 8, 2012
UConn, Storrs Campus
Von Der Mehden Hall
Line C3

March 7, 2012
Pregones Theater, Bronx
Carnegie Hall Presents
Neighborhood Series
Line C3: World Premiers of Friar, Kapica, Thompson

Feb 18, 2012
Zankel Hall
JACK Quartet & Young People's Chorus of NYC
Carnegie Hall Presents:
Transient Glory

Feb 17, 2012
92nd Street Y
JACK Quartet & Young People's Chorus of NYC
Carnegie Hall Presents:
Transient Glory

Feb 16, 2012
(le) Poisson Rouge
JACK Quartet & Young People's Chorus of NYC
Transient Glory

Jan 31, 2012
The Colbert Report
Comedy Central
Björk: Cosmogony

Jan 26, 2012
Radio City Music Hall
MoMA presents:
Antony & The Johnsons: Swanlights

2011

Nov 11 - Jan 4
Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

October 21, 2011
Roulette, Brooklyn
SONiC Festival
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Gryka, Freund, Little, Muhly, Marks, Aphex Twin

October 7, 2011
University of South Carolina
Southern Exposure Series
ACME: Music of Druckman, Burhans, J.L. Adams

September 25, 2011
Alice Tully Hall
World Civic Orchestra

September 14, 2011
Balzano, Italy
TransArt Festival
Alarm Will Sound
Music of Adams, Lang, Aphex Twin

September 13, 2011
Krakow, Poland
Sacrum Profanum Festival
Alarm Will Sound
Music of David Lang

September 12, 2011
Krakow, Poland
Sacrum Profanum Festival
Alarm Will Sound
Music of John Adams and Alexsandra Gryka

September 6, 2011
St. Peter's Church, NYC
Haruka Fujii, Gudula Rosa, w/guests Eric Huebner and Chris Thompson
Koku: Music for Percussion and Recorder

August 25 & 28, 2011
JCC Manhattan, W. 76th St.
Opera Project NY Presents
Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin

July 22: 8 PM
July 23: 3 PM & 8PM
July 24: 3 PM
La Mama, NYC
GLANK Live

July 11-16, 2011
University of Missouri
Mizzou New Music Festival

June 10-19, 2011
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
OK Mozart Festival

May 14, 2011
St. George's Church, NYC
Dessoff Choirs

May 10, 2011
(le) Poisson Rouge, NYC
ACME at MATA Festival

April 23, 2011
Newman Center, Denver CO
Alarm Will Sound: "1969"

April 11, 2011
Le Poisson Rouge, NYC
Alarm Will Sound
Meet the Composer
World Premier by Ken Ueno

April 7, 8, 9, 2011
The Kitchen, NYC
21c Liederabend Festival

April 2, 2011
Laguardia Performing Arts Center
Carnegie Hall Presents Neighborhood Concert: Line C3 Percussion Group
Part of JapanNYC Festival

March 21, 2011
Philharmonie Hall, Berlin
MaerzMusic Festival
Alarm Will Sound

March 10, 2011
Zankel Hall, NYC
Alarm Will Sound: "1969"

March 4, 2011
Zankel Hall, NYC
Line C3 with American Composers Orchestra
World Premier: Sean Friar's "Clunker Concerto" 

March 3, 2011, 7:30 PM
Merkin Hall, NYC
Ecstatic Music Festival: Judd Greenstein (The Yehudim) and Olga Bell 

February 10-12, 2011
St. Ann's Warehouse
Brooklyn, NY

"Tell the Way"
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Music of Nico Muhly

January 30, 2011 2 PM
Merkin Hall, NYC
Ecstatic Music Festival: Alarm Will Sound and Face the Music
Steve Reich, "Tehillim"

January 22, 2011 7:30 PM
Merkin Hall, NYC
Ecstatic Music Festival: Jefferson Friedman, Craig Wedren, ACME
Steve Reich, "Tehillim"

2010

December 4, 8 PM
St. Ignatious of Antioch
December 5, 3:30 PM
St. Joseph's Church in the Village
Russian Chamber Chorus

November 15, 7:30 PM
St. Paul the Apostle, NYC
Lincoln Center White Light Festival: Credo
The Hilliard Ensemble
Latvian National Choir
Members of Sigur Ros
Wordless Music Orchestra

November 5, 2010
Miller Theater, NYC
ACME at New York Choreographic Institute
World premiers by Fuerst, Ciupinski, and Blaha. 

October 30, 2010
Mondavi Center, UC Davis
Alarm Will Sound at "Madness and Music Festival"
Music of Aphex Twin, Kurtag, Sciarrino, Hyla, Birtwistle, Orfe

October 11, 2010
Forbes Center, JMU
October 9, 2010
Carlisle Theater, PA
Alarm Will Sound: "1969" 

September 25, 2010
Carlsbad, California
ACME at Carlsbad Music Festival

September 4, 2010
Bremen, Germany
Alarm Will Sound at Bremen Musikfest

July 18 - August 8, 2010
Burlington, VT
Vermont Mozart Festival

July 12 - 19, 2010
University of Missouri
Mizzou New Music Festival

June 25, 8 PM
Barbican, London
Dirty Projectors "Getty Address" with Alarm Will Sound

June 24, 7:30 PM
Wilton's Music Hall, London
Alarm Will Sound at the Barbican Festival

May 27, 8 PM
Galapagos Art Space
21c Aria Salon Series 

May 21, 8 PM
Galapagos Art Space

Archipelago: ACME and ICE with Craig Wedren, Corey Dargel, Kathleen Supové

May 17, 7:30 PM
Trinity Wall Street

Caleb Burhans’ “Super Flumina Babylonis” with Trinity Choir

March 18th and 19th, 8 PM
The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St.

Doveman and Peter Pears: Music of Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett

March 14th, 6:30 PM
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. NYC

ACME: Music of John Luther Adams and Kevin Volans

Wednesday
Mar312010

you're already on the internet, so why not

a) ...have a listen to Daníel Bjarnason on Q2. The full recording of his recent show at LPR is now available streaming on the WQXR website here. Daníel is from Iceland and writes contemplative music that features bowed things, absolutely great use of percussion, and gorgeous orchestration.

For example, here's my favorite bit of Spindrift; the soloist slips into the background and you get a simple pairing of vibe and clarinet with piano and tuned gongs gently hovering above and below. It's Orchestration We Can Believe In:

Spindrift - by Daníel Bjarnason (Featuring Vicky Chow, pianist)
And that's also Alicia Lee playing clarinet and Mike Truesdell playing gongs, who has a recital Friday that you should totally go to! (note: if you are using google reader, there is an audio file above you are not seeing, click through to the post to listen).

b) ...check out Alex Ross' followup post on drum corps/marching bands doing Shostakovich. Apparently there were others who wanted to make sure the Phantom Regiment wasn't overlooked (and also point out a Shostakovich 5 from the mid-70s I literally had NO IDEA EXISTED. Warning: those 70s bugles are a little intense). I realize I could have definitely been clearer in my post about my main point, which is simply that it isn't just about Shostakovich; these groups have been doing seriously adventurous repertoire by lots of different 20th century composers since at least the early 90s. For example, the group I marched with's 2010 show is Bartok's CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA. !!!  Bring. It. On. dotcom. Alas, there are not videos yet. But here's their plan.

c) ...watch some dudes in haz-mat uniforms play crotales made out of saw blades. I feel this requires no further explanation.

Tuesday
Mar232010

breathing out

From The Kitchen 3/17/10: I was lingering during sound check; pressed record and happened to catch this quiet, beautiful moment. Had just met some of these guys and really fell in love with their heart and musicianship.
"Breathing Out," by Doveman: Thomas Bartlett, Sam Amidon, Bryce Dessner, Brian Devendorf, and Oren Bloedow. From the new album.

Friday
Mar192010

the kids are the pros

Alex Ross wrote on Unquiet Thoughts the other day about what he calls the "marching-band Shostakovich underground." It's a cool post, and awesome to see some notice of marching music from the greatest living writer on the subject of music. Ross definitely did his research, referencing 13 different videos of high school and college marching bands, but unfortunately still didn't find the answer to his own question of "when Shostakovich began to catch on with bands across the country." Also, after all these years he still has the comments turned off, so I'm just going to seize the opportunity to respond in full here and also post some kickass videos. People keep asking me for drum corps 101, so...

Shostakovich 10th Symphony, Scherzo. Phantom Regiment, 2002.

The answer that Ross missed starts with my manifesto: a survey of "marching to Shostakovich" (or "marching to anything" for that matter) that features only high school and college marching bands without any mention of  Drum Corps International (DCI) is like trying to identify the best basketball players in the world without mentioning the NBA.

But I absolutely don't fault him for not finding it - a google search for "Shostakovich marching band" or even just "Shostakovich marching" brings up nothing related to DCI. Also, drum corps lacks visibility in general and is still a cult phenomenon, known by a very small segment of the population (especially on the east coast, and especially among the classical music community). But that hasn't kept it from evolving into a high art form in the 30 or so years since it crawled away from it's military history.

Most of the bands Ross discovered were doing shows derived directly from a handful of highly influential drum corps performances:

Phantom Regiment 2002, featuring parts of the 7th and 10th Symphonies and 2nd piano concerto. Skip right to 1:35 for their badass (and often-imitated) version of that scherzo from the 10th, which I previewed above from the parking lot.

(This video totally got taken down, boo!)

Phantom Regiment 1996, featuring parts of the 1st and 5th Symphonies.

Santa Clara Vanguard 1985, featuring Festive Overture.

In the world of marching music DCI does it first, and inevitably in the next decade or so high schools and college bands imitate. Music companies even sell these shows as package deals to high schools and colleges so that their staffs don't have to write them (as Ross referenced with the "Fire of Eternal Glory" package). But even those companies aren't innovating anything, but simply watering down and repackaging the shows created by the pros.

And who are the pros? Obviously there needs to be a creative team of adults to create the content, but what's amazing about this activity is that the true pros are kids, for a couple of reasons. On the most fundamental level, they are the ones who are actually able to handle the physical stress of it. Check out a vingette about the physical demands on a tenor player (starts at :45 in):

Second, they are the ones who have nights and weekends all year and entire summers to devote to perfection (and they often pay out of their own pockets to do it). I personally retired from the activity at age 16 but even if someone wanted to continue, everyone is forced to "age out" around age 22. Our average summer in drum corps consisted of camps all weekend until the moment school was out, at which point we started 9 am - 9 pm rehearsals, with usually no more than a day or two off the entire summer. We toured for months on busses, slept on gym floors, rehearsed all day long in some of the hottest places in the country right in the dead of summer and performed at night. It's simply divine hell on earth.


Back to Shostakovich: Ross referenced another post about the "badassery" dimension of the composer's music. What does it jump at to prove that point? Of course the famous video of Dudamel doing the Shostakovich 10 scherzo, with the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. It's natural that an activity full of kids would gravitate toward Shostakovich's music. Kids do badassery better anyway. Even in orchestras, given the right leadership and guidance, some of the fieriest performances can be given by kids performing works for their first time. Drum corps is that fire and adrenaline multiplied by adding movement.

And how they move:

It is a fact that when these shows are imitated by high schools and colleges, the first thing to get watered down is the movement. It's impossible, dangerous even, to try to do this stuff without hundreds of hours of rehearsal. The level this activity has reached is astounding, yet the majority of the country doesn't even know it exists. And Shostakovich isn't the only difficult 20th century composer they are tackling. Drum corps is where I first learned about John Adams, Philip Glass, Samuel Barber, Bela Bartok, among many others, when I was 14 years old. One might think an attempt at Shostakovich by a marching band is a ballsy cult-like venture if one still thinks the pinnacle of the activity is high school kids waddling around a football field playing Beatles arrangements. But do a quick search for Bartok or Stravinsky at this corps repertoire site. It is quite enlightening to the contrary.

Star of Indiana Rehearsing Barber's "Medea," 1993.

Moral of the story: sometimes I reaaaaly want to comment on Alex Ross' blog. But also, summer is coming! The pros will be in your town soon. If anyone is interested I'll write lots more on this over the course of the summer.

Monday
Mar152010

this just in

Just released: DVD & CD live album from the Mono/Wordless Music shows last May. I wrote about those shows here. My ears are still ringing. (in the best possible way...)

Available now at temporaryresidence.com

Friday
Feb262010

snow day

Kazoos, socks, and almglocken packed but flight cancelled. Guess I'll wait this one out.

Babeh

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