Andy Milne: Putting the Theory Into Practice

Andy Milne

Being an astute listener to the world around him and playing in a wide array of styles throughout his career has enabled Andy Milne to operate fluently in all of them, whether its his hip-hop infused jazz combo Dapp Theory, a collaboration with traditional Japanese koto players, or his soundtracks for William Shatner’s series of Star Trek documentaries.

Data-Driven DJ Brian Foo: Statistics That Sing

Brian Foo poster

By combining data, algorithms, and sampled sounds, Brian Foo is using his computer programming skills to learn how to make music. In the process, he’s turning these raw materials into deeply engaging and memorable sonic experiences.

Hafez Modirzadeh: Crossing The Bridge

Hafez Modirzadeh playing his alto saxophone sitting on a piano bench in front of an upright piano.

There’s a transformation happening in improvised music involving the embrace of a greater intervallic palette. Bay Area-based composer, saxophonist, and musical theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has been one of the key architects of this sonic expansion.

Erik Friedlander: Stories Without Words

Erik Friedlander

“It’s not your skill level, it’s how much you communicate,” cellist Erik Friedlander advises. “It’s how much you express that the audience really wants to hear. They come to hear you be real.”

Miranda Cuckson: String Alchemist

Miranda Cuckson

Violinist Miranda Cuckson embraces even the sharpest, most unapproachable-seeming pieces, conveying the music with such palpable control and insight that it’s as if she’s holding the door into these worlds open for the audience.

Gelsey Bell: Get a Little Closer

Gelsey Bell

With a background that spans music theater, woman-at-the-piano club shows, and the presentation of experimental work, Gelsey Bell finds herself most at home in spaces of creative risk and vulnerability.

Julian Wachner: Transcending the Sacred and the Profane

Julian Wachner sitting in front of Trinity Wall Street altar.

Composer, conductor, and Trinity Church music director Julian Wachner believes that all music is meant to induce a transformative experience upon the listener and believes that changing listeners’ lives through music is a “moral responsibility of the compositional craft and the performative craft as well.”

Ken Thomson: Energized Complexities

Thomson square

Thomson’s often-complex work is carefully designed and communicates powerfully in live performance without exhausting the audience. We chat with him off stage about how he navigates multiple projects and genres while keeping listeners on the edge of their seats.

Susan Alcorn: Fearless Slides

Susan Alcorn

Composer, improviser, and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn came up playing country and western music, but her ear eventually led her down a decidedly more singular experimental path. “You’ve got be naked in your mind to be able to play and express yourself—you have to be naked and fearless and that’s not easy, especially the older you get.”

Lainie Fefferman: Strength In Numbers

Lainie Fefferman

“I like things that are minimal, unexpectedly simple, and surprisingly powerful… In math and music I think it’s really striking how you can take these tiny little ideas, and they can explain huge reactions.”

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