Friday, August 31, 2012

Forever Bright

Forever Bright is a new composition with inspiration from some of my favorite minimalist composers, in particular Terry Riley. Terry Riley has long been a favorite of mine and I think this is reflected in the first section of this composition. The first section is titled 'Call' and features a simple figure that is repeated and interspersed with improvisation. The second section, titled 'Forever Bright,' features mixed meters and regularly repeating motifs. This section also has improvisation in several places.

This recording was made in the forest to the north of Oslo. This area of forest has an incredible reverb, though I don't think you can really hear it in the video. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Basically a Fish

Here is a new tune, titled 'Basically a Fish.' The tune is primarily a melody based on two chords, Cmaj7 and Db-7. These chords are interesting because although they have strikingly different sounds and no real harmonic function when placed next to each other, they have the same 3rd and 7th.

This video was taken on a hill overlooking Grunerl√łkka, a neighborhood in Oslo. You can also see a video of a short improvisation from this same location here: PINEcollective.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rye Flowers

Here is a video of a tune titled 'Rye Flowers.' The tune has a sort-of rondo form, where several elements are repeating, interspersed with improvisation based on simple chord progressions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Solo Show at Sound of MU 4th September, 2012

Tuesday, September 4th will see my very first solo show in Oslo. I will be playing original works which feature improvisation prominently. The show will take place at Sound of MU [Markveien 58, Oslo, Norway] and start at 20.30. Entrance is 50kr.

Expect to hear between 7-10 compositions with improvisation fulfilling different roles in each one. Sometimes the improvisation will be purely episodic and content generating, sometimes it will be developmental in nature and other times it will help to generate form.

Welcome to the home of my solo project!

Welcome! This page will serve as a sort of journal for my solo compositions and performances in years to come. I have been writing solo compositions on and off for a few years but now intend to make it a regular practice. I intend to do this for the next few decades and look forward to having a huge body of compositions and to seeing all of the various patterns and tendencies in said body. Assuming that the internet is still around in 20 or 30 years and that people are still blogging, I will document much of it here in the form of show announcements, videos, pictures, words about new ideas, angry rants, discussions i've had, drunken posts about how much I LOVE this project, etc...

So, now that we have the form figured out, here's where I am now:

I want to create forward-thinking and thoroughly original music that is vibrant and fresh. A big part of what I am working on right now has an emphasis on melody, and melodies composed of pitches and durations at that. I have felt increasingly 'let down' recently by performances i've seen where so much emphasis is put on extended techniques and as a result feel more inclined than ever to rebel against it.

Don't get me wrong, extended techniques are totally cool and I plan to use a lot of them. It seems to me that if the vast majority of what you do is extended techniques then they aren't really extended any more, they are just your techniques. The danger here is to become so dogmatic about the use of these new and found sounds that you can become as conservative as someone who will only work with a traditional sound. You might be ignoring a huge part of the sonic capability of your instrument. [I guess I am talking pretty much about saxophonists.]

I was at a show a few nights ago and during the middle of the set it occurred to me that the most 'out' thing that you could do in this set would be to play a major scale at an even, medium pace. I'm not saying that the goal is to always be as 'out' as possible, but it blew my mind a little bit to think that in a performance where each musician was mining their respective instruments for new sounds, the most striking and different approach would have been one that has been around for hundreds of years.

I don't want these solo pieces to be heard strictly as reactionary or as rebellion to what I consider the burned-out avant-garde. I am just setting a little context for how I am feeling about the current musical climate in which I am composing and improvising.

I believe that my music can be bright and fun at times without sacrificing artistic integrity. Modern works can contain beauty and have clear, pre-planned form and still be absolutely cutting edge. These qualities are self-evident in outsider visual art and I often wonder why we haven't seen parallels in improvised and art music. I dare say this is one of the more forward thinking ideas out there.