Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Thanks to you enthusiastic, responsive, inquisitive folks who made it to Percussing Difference Saturday. It was a complex machine to put together on my own, but I look forward to day- and weekend-long workshops in the future.

Special thanks to Matt Palmer and Abram Lipman for joining me onstage on short notice and to Gregory Holt and Kristel Baldoz for an astonishing dance. It's so satisfying to have both music and movement at last. I look forward to a performance with live music next chance we have a piano at the venue.

I treated myself to three days without internet or radio -- actually without any control over sound playback at all -- as the guest of a community member in Virginia and then a dear friend in DC. Moments of overwhelming environmental sound recalled Touch the Sound in which Evelyn Glennie describes sound overstimulation. My favorite sounds during the trip included sitting alone near the back of a local bus and realizing the emergency vehicle sirens I kept hearing were overtones from the engine filtered through the back vents, improvisation over Gregorian chant with my host, and tourists viewing cherry blossoms chattering in assorted languages.

Among things I forgot during the show was to announce my colleague's fundraiser (now passed) for the crisis in Japan. If you want to contribute, Makoto Hirano recommends this site.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Asian Arts Initiative this Saturday at 2!

Full-steam ahead with my free workshop Percussing Difference in Philadelphia Chinatown.

Welcoming guest performers Matt Palmer, Kristel Baldoz, and Abram Lipman to the show! Matt teaches taiko at Asian Arts Initiative and Kristel is joining choreographer Gregory Holt in dance for my original piano piece. Abram and I have been playing Balinese gender wayang, music for the shadow play, since we were students at Swarthmore together.

I've got a set of group activities to complement the rhythm, movement, questioning, and silence breaking. Comment or RSVP if you will be there!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Insofar as Context

My next post was going to include a link to a video of the pilot study for full-contact violin, but given my video editing woes (I run Linux on a 2007 Thinkpad) I thought I'd better just write something.

About 30 folks filled our playroom, and from different lifestyles and backgrounds like the artists. Joy Mariama Smith transformed our stairway into a luxurious bed, complete with distorted video projection of herself sleeping (sometimes with cat) while Gabe and Ben played a selection of lovingly crafted yet garage band style songs. I'm still waiting to see indee's dance performance on video, and missed Morgan's group theater game compositions while I changed before my piece. Morgan and I talked afterward, and having heard expressions of calming effects and intrigue from participants today, I imagine it was a brilliant shaping of personal sensory experiences.

I call the composition full-contact violin and yesterday's performance a pilot study because it was so rewarding to do that I intend to repeat it, with variations to the presentation in response to different spaces and audiences. You have to participate to experience the piece, but I'll post a trailer this week.

Friday, March 4, 2011

March 13 Home Theater Festival

I know you've all checked out the announcement a couple posts back, but I've finalized the lineup and, perhaps with most relevance, my performance. It starts at 1PM EDT. Yes, Daylight Savings Time!

Did you know songbird chicks produce a boggling array of sounds never heard from adults? And that physical touch contribute to babies' growth and well-being? I'm putting these ideas together for a new piece for full-contact violin to be premiered at Insofar as Context: Home Theater Festival Philadelphia.

Reply with your email or Facebook address for the venue location. $4.99-7.99 sliding scale, all proceeds go to performers, bring extra for donations.