Monday, October 28, 2013

TopShake Dance presents 'Float' with music by Loren Chasse

This is my third season working with Jim McGinn and TopShake.  I'll be mixing my compositions live each night and enjoying the sub woofer rented especially for section 2!



By TopShakeDance

November 1, 2, 3 (Fri-Sun)

November 5, 7, 8 (Wed-Fri)

8:30pm nightly

Float is an evenings' length dance inspired

 by the cold, dark ocean.

The cast of Michelle Call, Dana Detweiler, Chase Hamilton, Amanda Morse, and Jim McGinn, are complemented by a soundscape by Loren Chasse, lighting by Chris Balo, and costumes by Heather Treadway.


  Eventbrite - Float

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Excerpted dance and music (from TopShake's 'Jamb')

I've been fortunate to have been working with dancer and choreographer Jim McGinn and his TopShake Dance Company for the past three years, composing for each season's feature piece as well as improvising and performing live for some shorter works here and there.  It's been exciting meeting with him and creating a sort of 'jargon' through which we both might understand each other's unorthodox ways for creating in our respective  fields.  This is the first time that I've subordinated my choices to a set of criteria outside of sound.  Because of how much I like Jim's conceptual framework and way of articulating his creative process, the right amount of 'trust' is in place for me to go along with his decisions and not feel 'attached' to my music.  So far, we've performed Gust and Jamb and are currently working on Float, to open this November at Conduit Dance Studios here in Portland.  This is a compressed look at Jamb (inspired by Jim's experiences working in the oppressive spaces of a molybdenum mine in Colorado during a summer), performed last May.....


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Trials with paper phonograph horn and stylus

In April I had the opportunity to perform again in the atrium of the Berkeley Art Museum.  With its ramps, cantilevered balconies, concealed stairways, open galleries and uniform diffusion of natural light, it was sad to learn that the Museum will be moving from this amazing Ciampi-designed building.  Knowing this, I wanted to make the performance as much about the building as possible, using its concrete, metal and glass surfaces as a sort of crude phonograph record and the massive volume of the space itself as the resonator.  I've dabbled with the concept of a phonograph horn with an attached stylus before (no more than a rolled paper cone with a large cork and sewing needle attached at the end) but haven't built an entire performance around it.  So....beginning in the very heights of the space, I used the horn/stylus to trace the concrete wall and metal railing that runs along a series of twisting ramps to the floor of the atrium.  I was more than pleased with the amount of volume generated from the horn and the generous acoustics of the space.  Once I reached the end of the ramps, I traded my first horn for a larger one and continued to play the floor and walls of the atrium (which I had prepared with patterns of gaffers tape and small panels of sand paper for generating textural rhythms as I moved the stylus in lines between predetermined points).  I have no video or images from the performance but do have this awkwardly self-made document of some trials with the horn earlier that day.

This performance was part of the Silence exhibition and also featured Jacob Kierkegaard...


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Performance: Improvisation Summit of Portland

I'm performing with dancer Tracy Broyles tonight at the Sandbox Theater.  I've been working with TopShake dance company for a few seasons but this feels like the first time that I am truly improvising with a dancer.  I find myself already over-thinking it all, composing my actions for this massive industrial room as I choose my instruments for the event.   There were lots of drums last night so I've opted for three pitched glass plates for dragging across the concrete floors on long strings, a large cardboard cone with stylus, a roll of paper, a container of sand, 4 stones, and a small amp and mic. 

Here's a link to the event:
CMG Improvisation Summit 

And now that it has come and gone...


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children playing with the ground

My students at Springwater Environmental Science School worked for a day creating sculptural forms on the school's adjacent nature preserve.  They began in the classroom by drawing lines on paper and then set out to interpret them using found materials and situations in the field...


Monday, March 4, 2013

"Characters at the Water Margin" forthcoming....

Scattered throughout the first ten months of parenting I've somehow found enough stray moments to cobble together a new record, made from recordings at the coast of the Olympic Peninsula, where the Hoh River meets the Pacific.  It's called 'Characters at the Water Margin' and will appear sometime later this year, compliments of the label Unfathomless.  I've had this title for quite a while, found in a small book on the Chinese history of jade carving from my grandparents' library.  I meant to use it for a short piece published a few years ago and but it got miscommunicated and appeared as 'Characters at Water Margin'.  As I'm somewhat uptight about the little things in writing like the article 'the', I've been feeling that this title needed another go and so here is the opportunity for it to appear again and name a larger body of 'characters'. 

Here's a preview...
listen to 'the rope to the shore'