On March 29 and 30, 2013, Qubit—a new contemporary music and performance art initiative founded in 2010—will present Non-ference. We talked with Alec Hall, composer and co-director of Qubit.
What is Noise Non-ference?
At the end of 2011, the Talea Ensemble led a conference on microtonality and where we presently stand in relation to what is a very wide-open field. I thought that this type of studied, public reflection on the specificities of a precise moment in music at large was a wonderful thing —we always look back upon these historical instances fondly but frequently lament that such exciting moments are not occurring in the present — and that they ought to be done more often! Microtonality has long been an interest of mine, but in recent years I’ve become more attracted to aspects of noise in music (although the two are not mutually exclusive, by any means), and since the microtonal topic had just been covered, I thought that the time was ripe to give the idea of noise such a turn in the spotlight. The Non-ference aspect comes from a desire to eschew the stuffy academic component of such gatherings. Bryan (Jacobs, Ed.) and I like to think of Qubit as an organization of the present-day, which is to say, that the historical hierarchies between the artist and the spectator ought to be problematized significantly more than they currently are. Unfortunately, new music appears to be the least invested in this notion compared to other contemporary arts.
Village in Volume: Percussion Double Music | Make Music Winter 2012
From the Make Music Winter website:
“Inspired by the collaborations of John Cage and Lou Harrison, So Percussion’s Jason Treuting and Josh Quillen will create a new piece for a chorus of pitched copper pipes in the streets of Greenwich Village. Led by percussionists Amy Garapic and Matt Evans, each participant will receive a length of pipe along with simple instructions for how and when to play it, and how to interact with the NYC percussionists who will join the proceedings at spots along the way.”
More info: http://makemusicny.org | http://sopercussion.com
On Friday, September 21, composer Rebecca Brandt held a release party for her album Numbers and Shapes at the swanky Galapagos venue in Brooklyn. She and her ensemble played every one of the 14 pieces from the album. Before her group’s performance were two other acts.
The Awakening Orchestra is a twenty-piece jazz big band, the brainchild of composer/conductor Kyle Saulnier. He juxtaposes traditional jazz structures with moments when the entire band plays freely, making “weird” noises with their instruments, often using extended techniques such as key-clicking and overblowing. Although effective as a compositional technique, this “free” jazz idea was sometimes a bit overused, and the overall impact of the Awakening Orchestra was a little bit too much constant blare and blast. Even an initially slow and somber love song gradually grew into the same stereotypical bombast as the rest of the set. There were some great solos—the whole band is made up of individually talented musicians. But they didn’t always cohere as a unit. When the final piece of the set required them to play in close, chorale-like harmonies, they were noticeably out of tune for the first several bars. However, despite my occasional reservations, Saulnier’s group was an excellent, energetic choice to kick off the evening.
RUCKUS NYC is a one-day conference and concert on art and the web happening September 29 at Cooper Union. We spoke with the RUCKUS team…
What is the idea behind RUCKUS?
Artists are experimenting right now. Everyone is making up their career path as they go. Deciding how to make art, what art to make, and how to try to make money at it makes a lot less sense than it did even five years ago. Neil Gaiman said that this means that you get to just go and do whatever you want, because no one’s made up a rule to stop you yet. And that’s true. But it also means that we need to be talking each other, compare notes and trying to learn from the hard work and experimentation that our colleagues are doing.
Ruckus NYC is a chance to come together and learn from each other. Painters, game designers, musicians, filmmakers, and everything in between are joining the discussion. Someone else in some other field has something figured out that can help you be a better artist. This Saturday, come find out what.
Who should come to RUCKUS?
Ruckus NYC is part conference, and part concert. The conference is for working artists who are building their careers in any genre. And the evening concert is for everyone.
The conference schedule is linked at the top of our tumblr page, and the day is filled with individual presentations from artists about what they do, and how they make their careers happen, and panel discussions about the topics that challenge all of us: time management, audience development, distributing our art, and how to get money.
I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an award-winning digital magazine available in the Apple Newsstand, and soon on Android devices. With almost 60 contributors reporting from 7 different countries, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN has become—in just a couple of years—a preferred source of New Music news.