22 May 2013

The quintet is comprised of five of Boston’s finest young musicians: Sara Bielanski, vocals; Rob Bethel, cello; Todd Brunel, clarinets; Del Case, piano/keyboards; Ed Broms, bass, piano and percussion instruments.
Tickets are $15 for table seats, $12 for stool seats, $10 for standing room, available by visitingwww.americanrepertorytheater.org, calling 617-547-8300, or at the door, as available. For more information, please visithttp://timtastic.com/themeltdownincentive/index.htmlor follow The Meltdown Incentive on Facebook. 

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

20 June 2012

July 13, 2012 at 8:00, yes  Friday the 13th  will be a very special Vortex show and a first of its kind  collaboration between us the Vortex and  Lou Cohen's Open Sound Series.

We are calling this special event: 

Acoustic Meets Electric


The Know Trio:
Gary Fieldman, drumset/percussion
Dan Shaud, french horn
Ima Jonsdottir, violin

Electronic musicians:
Ken Ueno 
Michael Rosenstein
Andrea Pensado
Max Lord
Lou Cohen

Sonic Sandbox
Forrest Larson, electronics
Todd Brunel, clarinets
David Brown, percussion/didgiridoo
Tom Casale, double bass

and special guest Matt Samolis on flute

The Nave Gallery, at the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church
155 Powderhouse Blvd, Somerville, MA.
Time: 8:00

$10.00 suggested donation

06 January 2012

The VODE at NSH and an invitation only show!

Happy New Year!
The Vortex Series had such a strong finish to the year with two amazing concerts at the Nave Gallery in Somerville and we are so grateful to the Somerville Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their support. In our latest Vortex news, The Vortex Other Dimension Ensemble will be teaming up with Lisa Linde and her students at Newton South High School on January 11. In this incarnation of the VODE, we will feature mezzo soprano Sara Bielaski, cellist Rob Bethel, clarinetist Todd Brunel and percussionist Gary Fieldman.
On Sunday February 12, we will be presenting a small invitation only concert that will feature guitarist Garrison Fewell, trumpet player Jerry Sabatini and guitarist Eric Hofbauer. With this concert, we would like to say thank you to our supporters and close friends.
In case you missed it, video footage is now available from our December 9th concert and clips are available now on Todd Brunel's youtube channel. Here are some clips for your enjoyment:

Peter Cassino and Todd Brunel

1st Movement of Petitionen by Paul Walter Furst with violist Eve Boltax, painist Paul Carlson and clarinetist Todd Brunel:

VODE Improvisation II featuring Gary Fieldman on drums, alto saxophonist Rick Stone, violist Eve Boltax, pianist Peter Cassino and clarinetist Todd Brunel

23 November 2011

December 9, 8:00 at the Nave

On December 9 at 8:00, Pianist Paul Carlson will be joining the Vortex Series presenting a solo piano work by Ruth Crawford Seeger as featured on his soon to be released solo album. Mr Carlson will also collaborate with violist Eve Boltax and clarinetist Todd Brunel with chamber works by Paul Walter Furst and Bertold Hummel. Todd Brunel will present solo clarinet and bass clarinet works works by Pamela Marshall and Claudio Gabriele.
On the second half of our program, percussionist Gary Fieldman will join saxophonist Rick Stone in a 6 part collaborative composition and pianist Peter Cassino will join Todd Brunel in presenting an improvisational work by composer John Morrison, as featured recently at the Longy School's Septemberfest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybcIQXVYwjQ
Then in keeping with our ongoing tradition, improvisations will ensue by Cassino, Brunel, Fieldman and Stone. Location: The Nave Gallery, 155 Powderhouse Blvd, Somerville, MA. Time: 8:00. $10 admission. Tickets for this event available at: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=s7t7quhab&oeidk=a07e5amwba4f7c25a68
This concert is presented in part by a grant by the Somerville Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

24 October 2011

November 18 show at the Nave

November 18, 8:00, the Nave Gallery in Somerville

The Vortex Series for New and Improvised Music proudly presents:

Guitarist Garrison Fewell, Forbes Graham trumpet and electronics,Pamela Marshall on French horn, John McLellan drums, Jodi Hitzhusen classical soprano, Melissa Kassell jazz vocalist and Sonic Sandbox with Tom Casale on double bass.

The Nave gallery is located at: 155 Powderhouse Blvd, Somerville, MA.

$10 suggested donation, wheel chair accessible.