Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mp3 in a blog!

I know I'm totally behind the times, but I just figured out how to embed an mp3 of my own into my blog. So now if I have a piece premiered, y'all can be the first to hear it! Well, except those who came to the performance, of course. And if I have something random to talk about, I can include a clip of it. For example, here is a miniature I wrote for a tiny music box to play!

This music box may or may not feature in my summer performance of 'Music of North Side Spaces'- I'm still working out the different pieces for several sites. Also, here is a 'teaser' image of some artfully blurred falling papers, as I was testing out how to toss them in various ways for a piece being performed at the New Hazlett Theatre. How mysterious.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

String Orchestra of Brooklyn

Last Saturday night, I had a piece premiered by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn. It was a piece I wrote especially for them entitled 'The Last Rose': a set of 'variations' on the melody of a traditional Irish song titled 'The Last Rose of Summer'. I enjoyed being in New York and this was my first official NYC premiere! That is, if you count Brooklyn as New York City, which I would. Hoboken, I'm not so sure. Yonkers, definitely not. But Brooklyn Heights is right across the river. In fact, NYC was so close that this was the view from the end of the street that the performance space resided. I couldn't have asked for more beautiful days!
I spent time hanging out with friends, spent a birthday-day with J, and went to the Cloisters, relaxing in their Medieval art collection...until I set off a blazing alarm by pointing at something which was almost two feet away. I work in a museum, people, I know not to get my greasy hands on the Joseph Campin.
D got us got comp tickets to Sondheim on Sondheim, a revue of songs tied to the composer's life, using video, vintage footage, interviews, and a crazy rotating set of TVs. Hearing music from so many shows made me want to see Sondheim's 'Sunday in the Park with George'. And not see 'Sweeney Todd'. Well, at least D has a job arranging and working on music parts to theatre productions, and I also saw Michael Urie cheering on Vanessa Williams. He has strikingly good hair. Vanessa's hair is just okay.
Rehearsals and the concert for the string piece took place in the church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, which is about the most ghettofabulous place I've had a piece performed. By ghettofabulous I mean it was the most well-worn, squeaky-doored, sinking-floored cathedral, and yet also ridiculously ornate. The entryway had the tightest Gothic-carved wooden spiral staircase I've ever seen–even I wondered if I'd be able to climb it, and I'm pretty svelte. I was very impressed.
The alter/concert space was thusly bejeweled, and the orchestra looked quite snazzy.
The performance of the piece was quite good, considering this is a community orchestra. They are all volunteers! Some of them devote a lot of time and energy into the group and I totally applaud that. A couple people had some pitch issues and rhythm issues (not owing to the difficultly of the piece, which was quite moderate), but it all came together for the concert. And so resonant! The program was varied, short but sweet, and included works by Josh Penman, Josh Feltman, and Judd Greenstein. The SoB also seem to have worked out good deals with the price of the venue and people's involvement in pitching in with poster-hanging, ticket sales, baked-goods-buying, etc.
Afterward I went for drinks at a Brooklyn hipster hangout, which was even trashier than Pittsburgh's hipster hangouts, and this one had an indoor Bocce Ball area. It was a good time. Eli, the conductor of the orchestra, and I found out that we have the same glasses.
Curiously artsy!
I'm glad to be back in Pittsburgh, as New York is so expensive and I have more work to do. But it was but it was such a good time and hope to be going back soon. Maybe for another commission? Or a well-paying job? ... Any takers? ... Well, I'll be around if you need me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mustache Pipe

He was so salty, even his mustache smoked a pipe.Also funny to think about: a mustache (or if you prefer, moustache) wearing a mustache, or perhaps a pipe smoking a pipe. A pipe with a mustache on it would also be a pretty great disguise for going incognito. Or even, picture a mustache wearing a tiny mustache, and that tiny mustache is smoking an even tinier pipe. How meta. But I am not that fancy of an artist, so this is what you get. Thar she blows!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Five Characters/Man at Carnival

Two oldies as collage studies: here's a hunky model relaxing near a ferris wheel and I think I see the Coliseum in there somewhere, circa 2001. Strange, but I kind of like all the textures and the vivid colors happening in this one. And an old friend's handwritten letter is in the background as our model's thought-bubble.

And here's an old collage-slash-drawing I did where Bill Clinton is holding out fort next to Bjork and a frog-shaped eraser. Naturally. It's good to know that my drawing style has not evolved much since age 16. Maybe an art class or two could boost the intellectual complexity of cartoony snakes and alien tentacles.