Boston: Bromp Treb Busts the Matrix

Bromp Treb (Neil Young Cloaca) at Café Fixe, June 10, 2014. Photo by Susanna Bolle.

Neil Young Cloaca is an irrepressible showman. Bromp Treb is an opportunity for him to apply that carnival-barker enthusiasm to a table full of mismatched gear. Cloaca circled the table, triggering highly distorted samples while playing up theatrical befuddlement, as if he was trying to decipher a recalcitrant machine—or defuse an eccentric bomb.

Lessons from the Central Valley

Fresno from the air

Poor attendance at a new music concert is nothing out of the ordinary. However, one of my best-attended concerts featured what was arguably some of the most abstract and adventurous programming that I have placed on Fresno New Music’s calendar.

On the Good and the Great—Wrapping up the NY Phil Biennial

New York Philharmonic 2014 Biennial

Last week amounted to a floodgate of new music being opened: from a few new subscription-series pieces per season from major figures and some encouragement to young talent by way of CONTACT! commissions, the Philharmonic and partners performed well over 60 pieces from composers of all stages and many walks of life.

February: New Mexico and the Holes

Bootheel Abandoned House

There is freedom in the holes. The holes remind you that the universe is still expanding, the world is still a work in progress, and there is space for your own contributions.

Ciao Manhattan: A Remembrance of Lee Hyla (1952-2014)

Lee Hyla

Lee Hyla (1952-2014) was the “Alpha Composer”—charismatic, at the center of things. Not only composers, but jazz musicians and creative improvisers revered him, his creative energy was infectious. Everybody wanted a part of it, and he was happy to oblige.

Elodie Lauten (1950-2014): Channeling Cosmic Forces

Elodie Lauten

Elodie Lauten (1950-2014) loved and respected music as a spiritual force and, with the wisdom of a sage, passionately instilled in others its importance, power, and significance. Using music, she nobly changed lives; there is no greater compliment.

Sounds Heard: Andy Biskin Ibid—Act Necessary

Andy Biskin Ibid

Andy Biskin’s quartet Ibid contains clarinet, cornet, trombone, and drums; it’s a quirky group, playing some appropriately zany tunes, to the point where, if you close your eyes for certain tracks, it’s easy to picture a tiny cartoon marching band dancing its way across your field of vision.

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