Sunday, March 3, 2002 at 4:30 PM
Read the review from New Music Connoisseur
PATRICK GRANT GROUP
MUSIC FOR MULTIPLE KEYBOARDS & PERCUSSION
1. Channels: Canals in Winter (premiere)
2. Imaginary Horror Film
3. Fields Amaze
4. tHE wEIGHTS oF nUMBERS
CHANNELS: CANALS IN WINTER (1992/2002) Past: The story behind this premier begins with a backing track (in a natural minor tuning) that I had recorded while on a tour in Europe in February of 1992. I found myself fascinated with the canals in the various cities we visted. I don't know why. I would buy maps in each city and study their patterns. Something about seeing them in winter brought about in me a bittersweet feeling of our own mortality. Again, I don't know why. My original intention was to use this backing track in support of live musicians but unfortunately, I had lost the cassette tape after returning from that tour and had to give up that idea and move on. C'est la vie...
Present: Once in a while I go through large boxes of unlabeled tapes and listen to them so I know what they contain and whether they're worth keeping around. Well, this is how I found the "long lost tape" and was delighted to see that it still held up in many respects and that I could complete what I had initially set out to do a decade ago. The background is 1992, the foreground, 2002. But still, be still, the gulls...
IMAGINARY HORROR FILM (1998/2000) Originally written for an ensemble of eleven musicians, the quartet vesrion is presented here today. This thirteen section piece is in manys ways my own paean to all of the truly awful horror films I watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) when I was a kid. At the same it is also a deconstruction of serialist compositional technique (which can said to be a horror in itself). However, all such sections have been written to create a bizarre sense of tonality (and that's a big Luigi "No-No" by twelve-tone standards). In this sense I am indeed a serial killer but, to my ears, I much prefer this twisted take on tonality and all of the genre-hopping it makes possible: harmonically and stylistically. For those of you who keep track of such things, the tuning is not the equal temperament of most 20th century composers but in Werckmeister III, the well-tempered tuning that Bach used. This way, each chord has its own flavor, however subtle, that sets it apart from all others and only adds to the slighty disturbed quality of this piece.
I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might want to create their own mental scenario but, here are the names of the sections as I imagined a possible narrative:
01. Opening Title/The Accident
03. Nine Months Later
04. Daily Living
05. Baiting the Trap
06. Going for a Drive
08. Hitchhiker #3
09. Unsuspecting Victim
10. Under the Knife
11. Evening Prayer
12. New Day to "Face"
13. End Title
FIELDS AMAZE (1997) This piece began as an experiment in using the gamelan's pelog tuning (plus one slendro note) and seeing, by finding as many more or less 'consonant' triads and tonal centers as I could, how one could convincingly modulate between them. While not remarkable from a Western point of view, gamelan music (as a tradition) is not known to modulate as such and this seemed to me to be an interesting way to use as a point of entry in writing a new piece. It's also the first time I really took advantage of the tuning functions of my keyboard and was able to tune it to the gamelan. Rhythmically, much is owed to the Afro-Cubano tradition and structurally it could be said to be modeled on many a first movement from the clavier concerti of the Baroque and Classical eras.
tHE wEIGHTS oF nUMBERS (2000/2001) This is a pentatonic piece (a stack of 5 purely tuned fifths: Gb-Db-Ab-Eb-Bb) that explores contracting and expanding meters. The count is very simple: the measures start out in 9/4, and are played nine times, then in 8/4 for eight times, and so on down to 1/4, in which it is followed by a single pulse of rest which represents zero. The count then continues 8 to zero, 7 to zero, etc. until we hit the center of the piece at which point the process is reversed. Please, there's no prize for following along, just get lost in the colorful grooves.
PATRICK GRANT's music combines synthesizers and world music instruments with those in the classical Western tradition. Its post-minimal style often uses for its genus the visual forms and structures found in chaos theory and the natural sciences but can also contain hard edged elements of rock and other contemporary elements.
In January 1997 Grant gave the first all evening concert of his music at Context Studios which lead to the founding of the Patrick Grant Group, a protean ensemble made up of roughly 3 synthesizers, flute, clarinet, viola, cello, guitar, bass, and 2 percussion including instruments from the Indonesian gamelan. He also formed his production company sTRANGEmUSIC iNC., an organization dedicated to the making of recordings, videos, and the presenting of concerts of new music.
His group has performed at the Bang On A Can Annual Marathon, the American Festival of Microtonal Music, The Knitting Factory, Annina Nosei Gallery, Performance Space 122 and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In 2001, he has been performing with Patrick Grant Group and within Exploding Music. He traveled to the Palau Islands to collaborate with Gamelan Sekehe Dharma Purwa Jati on a new work and to continue this work at their foundation, the Yayasan Polosseni, in Bali. In the Fall, he opened up his recording facility, sTUDIO 41, to the public.
MARIJA ILIC, a native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, is an active performer of the new music. Her solo performances include the recital at the Weill Recital Hall in New York, and an appearance at the ''Solo Flights'' series produced by Composers Collaborative. As a scholarship student, she took part in the Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival in England, Bolzano and Santander music festivals, and performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon and Trinity Church concert series.
Marija has collaborated with many composers, including George Crumb, Martin Bresnick, Ge Gan-Ru, Oliver Knussen, Max Lifshitz and Joan Tower. She has performed as a member of the South-North Consonance, Music Under Construction, Helix, and currently, Patrick Grant Group and Exploding Music. Marija has worked with choreographers on the dance productions, recently with Bryan Hayes and Christopher Caines. She has played with the Patrick Grant Group since 1997.
KATHLEEN SUPOVÉ is one of the most acclaimed contemporary music pianists of our time, occupying a unique position through her continuous search for what is new and provocative. Kathy has spent the last decade producing a series of solo concerts entitled The Exploding Piano, in which she has performed and premiered countless works by emerging and established composers. The series has received rave reviews and thrilled audiences everywhere. In the last two seasons, Kathy developed The Exploding Piano into a multimedia experience by using theatrical elements, vocal rants, performance art, staging, electronics, and collaboration with artists from other disciplines and director/writer Valeria Vasilevski.
Besides being a soloist, Kathy is half of the duo twisted tutu with composer/performer Eve Beglarian; the keyboard player and vocal ranteuse for Nick Didkovsky's band, Dr. Nerve and the resident ensemble of The Kitchen, Kitchen House Blend. She is also a member and founder of the consortium, Exploding Music. She has appeared with The Lincoln Center Festival, The Philip Glass Ensemble, Music at the Anthology, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Patrick Grant Group, Essential Music, and The Crosstown Ensemble.
JOHN FERRARI is a versatile drummer, classical and hand percussionist, conductor, educator and composer/arranger in the New York City area music scene. He is a founding member of the Naumburg Award winning New Millennium Ensemble and long standing member of Meridian Arts Ensemble Brass & Percussion. Frequent recipients of the ASCAP/CMA Award for Adventurous Programming, both groups have collectively released nine critically acclaimed recordings.
He is a frequent guest artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has performed and/or recorded with many notable organizations around New York and elsewhere, including: Bang on a Can All-stars, Da Capo Chamber Players, Group for Contemporary Music, Chamber Music Northwest, Spectrum Concerts Berlin, Orion String Quartet, New Music Consort, and the New Jersey, Talujon and Pulse Percussion Ensembles.
Active in pop, jazz, world, chamber, orchestral, theater, dance and film music, John Ferrari has toured extensively world wide, both concertizing and as artist in residence/clinician.
"It's sTRANGE how potent cheap mUSIC can be!"
British actor, playwright, composer
PRIVATE LIVES - Act 1 (1930)
published in Play Parade (1931)