Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Transition 2: Philadelphia

My last scheduled performance before moving to Jakarta will be at Andrea Clearfield's salon in Philadelphia. For more information, please visit her site.

Oh, did I mention I'm moving to Indonesia? On both visits in 2003 and 2007 I left resolved to find a way to live there, only to fully engage in cataclysmic changes back in the States. So, at the end of my savings, I'm finally ready to treat living abroad as a reset button. I'm enrolled in a certificate program to teach English as a second language starting Nov 11. I dream of teaching not only the language but the impulse to communicate and to express through improvisation. Last night I literally dreamed about starting off class with Theatre of the Oppressed. The unconscious has the cart before the horse, I think.

The program is only a month long, but there's time for outreach with HIV services organizations and gamelan music as well. And if I am at least as resourceful there as I have been here, I will find more options for living and portals to bring forward my art.

Transition from Austerlitz

"How was your residency?" I hear you ask. My response comes in a series of posts beginning with a small taste of the sweet productivity I experienced.

One Journey is a new piece for choir, soloists, and piano quartet. Rather than transmitting a message to an audience, it demands the performers themselves to fragment and to explore alternatives to their collective and personal experiences of home, travel, yearning, bodies, and death through improvised drama nested in the through-composed score. In addition to rehearsals of the music, I would co-facilitate preparatory theater games as indicated at the bottom of instructions for each improv. Here is a sample of the draft.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

fan mail

Your correspondent is working hard at scoring these days. Think zombie... scoring is possibly my least favorite part of composing.

Thanks to nat/Erika in Philadelphia for making me laugh in the middle of it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NNM shorts released

All five are here on Network for New Music's channel. Get out your best headphones or plug in the speakers and start with this one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Thanks to Gabe for sending this to me. I do listen to NPR mornings but not for hours like I do out there.

Steve Reich's WTC is presented as a 9/11 tenth anniversary tribute. As I said to my feedback circle, take a deep breath and probably don't have anything more to do the day you listen to it.

Initially I was put off that he would write a second Different Trains (1988), as if in service to fans, but it's an original work. I don't study Reich so can't analyze it in terms of his development over intervening years, but WTC is original. Not having family members who were involved in WWII, I think I took Different Trains abstractly or idealistically. But the composer worked from his own experience, however distant, of the time and with survivors to reconcile apparent disagreements of the truth. That work infuses the sounds with meaning and energy; that's what impacts me.

It's interesting to note Reich's choices of trains and Ground Zero for the subjects of these string quartet and tape pieces are both tiny frames of the conflicts referenced. Yet their poignancy as sensations and memories firmly recall those upheavals of our world.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Residency mailing address

I'd love to get mail from you in the next 3 weeks at my residency:

Millay Colony, PO Box 3, 454 East Hill Road, Austerlitz, NY 12017

Use the street address for non-USPS deliveries... hint. Good loose leaf tea, spices, and vegan chocolate are especially welcome.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Request for prayer & donations

My teacher's son Putu Putrawan is severely ill and hospitalized in Bali. He's my age and a celebrated musician who has himself taught and performed gamelan internationally. Please send funds (personal checks are fine, just include the name and bank info) to the address below; the goal is currently US$3750.

Stichting Taksu

Sarphatistraat 80 HS, 1018 GS
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bank: Triodos Bank
Account number: 390248843
IBAN: NL94TRIO0390248843

Please mention 'Putu Putrawan'