20 February 2013

Friday March 22, 8:00, All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445

The Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music is proud to present a varied program that will include new vocal music by composer John Heiss featuring soprano Jessica Cooper with pianist Scott Nicholas. The acclaimed New York based percussion duo, Loop 2.4.3 will present original acoustic and electro-acoustic works which blend classical jazz and rock influences. The program will also feature the Black Brunel and Carlson Trio, presenting new works for viola clarinet and piano by Libby Larsen, Gordon Jacob and the world premiere of 'Focal Point' by composer Pamela Marshall. In keeping with the Vortex tradition of musical experimentation, the evening will also feature first time improvised collaborations by featured artists.

Loop 2.4.3
Loop 2.4.3 creates uniquely American music with a rock and roll heart and skills informed by classical training, jazz, poetry, and experimentalism.  Praised for their “intricate, energetic performances,” (New York Times) and their “taut compositions with a stunning improvisational sense,” (Time Out Chicago) virtuosic percussionists and composers Thomas Kozumplik and Lorne Watson create evocative narratives using percussion, electronics, voice, strings, and more.  Their “transportive percussion odysseys” (Boston Phoenix) journey through grounded primal energy to cosmic atmospheric reaches in “dramatic, layered, colorful, and brilliantly constructed” (First Coast News.com) compositions most often compared to the music of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Harry Partch. “Kozumplik and Watson never sound like makers of arbitrary music...It all sounds like part of a well-thought-out tradition. Only the tradition has never existed until now.” (Fresh Air, NPR)

Jessica Cooper
Soprano Jessica Cooper is a San Diego native who holds her Master’s degrees in Opera and Voice Performance from the New England Conservatory, where she was graduated with honors in performance and academic distinction. Jessica Cooper has earned critical acclaim in Boston for her rich and agile soprano voice,  and for her fine artistic instincts. Ms Cooper has performed as a soloist on the concert stage with a number of New England’s leading orchestras and organizations including Boston Cecilia,  Emmanuel Music,  Portland Symphony and Chorus,  Opera Providence, Chorus Pro Musica,   Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra, Newton Symphony, Wellesley Symphony, and Nashua Symphony,  and in recital live on 89.7 WGBH radio.   Jessica was also a Bach fellow for the Pacific Music festival, and has appeared as a soloist in Sapporo City Hall, Kitara Concert Hall, as well as the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, and Florida Northwest Symphony

Pianist Scott Nicholas is on the faculty of Emerson College and Suffolk University.  His affinity for playing the Spanish repertoire has led him to appearances in L’ Antigua, Guatemala at the Mosaico festival, and also a command performance for the President and First Lady of El Salvador.  Locally, he has been heard on WGBH Boston, live- radio broadcast, and has appeared with the Borromeo String Quartet, the New England Chamber Orchestra, and the Airforce Band of Liberty Chamber ensemble. He currently performs as a soloist in the Boston Secession.

Violist Anne Black enjoys an active career as both a musician and visual artist. She performs with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, as well as with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops as an extra violist. She is principal violist of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and the orchestras of the Cantata Singers, Concord Chorus, and Metropolitan Chorale. A frequent performer of contemporary music, Black is violist of the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble. She also performs with Collage New Music and can be heard on Collage’s Grammy-nominated recording of John Harbison’s Mottetti di Montale. She appeared as viola d’amore soloist in Meyerbeer's opera “Les Huguenots” with the American Symphony in 2009.

Paul Carlson performs frequently in the Boston area both as a solo recitalist and as a collaborative musician.  Freshness characterizes his programs, which strike a careful balance between the familiarity of great music of the standard repertoire, and the exciting discovery of new or neglected works.  Beginning with his doctoral work at Boston University, he has studied the piano performance style of Claude Debussy, including extensive analysis of early sound recordings made by pianists close to the composer, as well as by the composer himself.  In addition to performance of Debussy, Dr. Carlson is keenly interested in the playing of pianists active during the three or four decades before World War I.  His recitals often feature music from this period, as well as unfairly neglected music from the early 20th-Century.  Music of living composers also forms a strong component of many of his performances, as was shown by his premiers of works by Hayg Boyadjian, John McDonald and Marti Epstein.  He also performs frequently with the Lexington Symphony, with whom he has played concertos by Darius Milhaud and Amy Beach.  Dr. Carlson’s teachers have included Tong-Il Han, Raymond Hanson, Maria-Clodes Jaguaribe, Boris Berman and Fred Broer.  He has taught at Gordon College, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Lexington Music School.  He also serves as President of the Chromatic Club of Boston, a 123-year-old club dedicated to providing performance opportunities to some of the most talented emerging musicians in the Boston area.

Todd Brunel
Todd Brunel is a critically acclaimed clarinetist, sax player and concert producer who performs extensively as a classical and jazz musician. Fascinated by modern music and all its possibilities, he started the Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music in 2005 for which he has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Cambridge Arts Council and Art Without Borders. As a guest artist, Brunel's appearances include: Carnegie Hall, the SEAMUS festival, Mobius, the International Woodwind Festival, the American Festival of Microtonal Music, CBGB's Gallery, the Longy School and the Academy of Music, Dance and Art in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He is a member of the Armenian folk jazz ensemble Musaner and several modern music projects including: Garrison Fewell's Variable Density Sound Orchestra, Jerry Sabatini's Sonic Explorers, the Know Orchestra, the Rock Flint Contemporary Ensemble, the Meltdown Incentive, The Circadian Rhythm Kings and Sonic Sandbox. He has recorded for PBS, numerous independent films and collaborated extensively with the late Butch Morris. Todd also champions the music of the swing jazz era with a project called 'Benny and Beyond' with pianist Joe Reid.

Admission: $15.00 general, $10.00 for students and seniors
All Saints Church is wheel chair accessible.

09 February 2013

This picture comes courtesy Jonathan LaMaster and features the New England Skyscraper live at the Central Square worlds fair. Featured in this shot are bass clarinetist Joe Albano,violinist Jonathan LaMaster, cellist Jonko Fujiwara, bassist Dave Zox, violinist Kaethe Hostetter and the Maestro Lawrence D' 'Butch Morris in front. Taken September25, 2005 in Cambridge, MA.

Here is my latest blog post on Clarinetconspiracy.com 

I'll never forget working with Butch Morris back in the 90's and as we prepared for our run with New York Skyscraper at Context in the Bowery, he told me that I should consider playing my own warm up exercises and not copying someone elses. It was kind of a break through perspective for me. At the time I was taking some lessons with David Weber, playing freelancing gigs and working with this incredible creative visionary who changed my life forever. Butch introduced me to a sound pallette that I never thought possible. By the end of our run, I was seeing colors as we played...I mean maybe it was sleep deprivation, but the only time in my life when I really did experience synesthesia.
It's a few years later now and Butch Morris has now sadly passed. I've been checking out some of his video footage and his voice. He had a gentle voice, pleading and insistent, he could priase and cut in the same sentence. Knowing his history and what he had acheived and how he worked with us, I could not help but like and respect him at the same time. He wasnt easy to work for, you had to really accept that he was the boss and he carved and wrestled with our sounds every second of the training and in the performances we did. Conduction was an exceptionally creative musical experince and Butch Morris was Champion of improvised music. He saw the gap between improvised and composed music, knew the incredible power of collective composition and also belived in structure and technique. There is no doubt that my own musical curiosity was fueled by this great man, in the short times I worked with him, he profoundly influenced me. He told me it was alright to be myself.
Here is a Youtube video of Conduction #188: http://youtu.be/Thq_6OyEQXM
The Composition of Conduction: http://youtu.be/i-zx6u2XJv8