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SALON SERIES

Cabinet stalwart Michael Chinworth will be performing excerpts (23 of ‘em) from Blank State at Andrea Clearfield’s Salon Seriesin Philly this Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 8 PM. Blank State is a collection of hundreds of 15-second pieces, sculpted and resampled out of people’s earworms—pieces they can’t get out of their head.

Andrea Clearfield’s historic monthly salon hosts an eclectic group of performers—from cello octets to singer-songwriters, music avant-garde to homegrown, in her spacious loft in downtown Philly. Reservations strongly recommended (it usually sells out)

TALUJON/THE TRAPS AT THE DIMENNA CENTER February 9

 

Box

Fab percussion sextet Talujon will be performing The Traps at the DiMenna Center (part of the Baryshnikov Center) at 8 PM on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 alongside works by Julia Wolfe and Steve Reich.

The Traps is a New Music USA Commission for Talujon, written in collaboration with the virtuosic Javanese dancer Mugiyono Kasido. A version of the work was performed in Fall 2014, and details of that collaboration and work in Java are here and here.

For the piece, I built entire Javanese gamelans in Staples attaché cases, filled with glass gongs, steel-tine mbiras, aluminum crotales, and myriad other tiny instruments, each tuned to the 6 tonalities in central Javanese gamelan. A demo of these attaché cases, along with a video is here.

 

SUN-EATERS

 

Dai Jian and Elena Demyanenko in Blue Room

Dai Jian and Elena Demyanenko in Blue Room

I have become a choreography junkie, scoring dances all over. After the premiere of Blue Room, by Dai Jian and Elena Demyanenko at New York Live Arts last year, I am scoring an evening-length piece called Sun-Eaters by Tzveta Kassabova, Elena Demyanenko, and Jen Nugent/Paul Matteson, which will be premiered at Middlebury College on April 9. This triumvirate of choreographers hails from Amherst, Middlebury, and Bennington Colleges, and the piece is a high-energy, serpentine piece with an electronic score to match.

Also, I’m beginning a new solo piece for Elena Demyanenko, involving homebuilt electronics, dance controllers, and an electronic score this winter and Spring.

PSYCHIC DRIVING

Psychic Driving was shown as a work-in-progress at HERE’s Culturemart Series in March 2015. HERE writes:

“Psychic Driving surrounds the audience with a hallucinatory landscape of audio surveillance, hospital sonifications, and clandestine broadcasts, inspired by the CIA brainwashing experiments of the 1950s, in which subjects were force-fed LSD then played looped audiotapes. Four performers chatter, sing, and nosedive from desks in an intricate physical and musical score that seamlessly combines musical samples with live performers. Brooke’s trademark musical mash-ups have been called “operatic in scope, unfolding in layers that constantly reveal new meanings” (Culturebot) and “the most exciting and innovative musical theater I’ve seen in years” (Meredith Monk)

BORDER TOWNS

Border Towns at HERE

My new piece, Border Towns  had its full run at HERE Arts Center in NYC, this September 10-18. Read the great NYTimes and CultureBot reviews.

Border Towns explores how recordings have reengineered the psychological landscape of the US, stitching together hundreds of recordings collected along the borders. Seven performers lipsync, sing, and move precisely with a dense map of song fragments, ambient sounds, and border broadcasts. Along the way, musical Americana gets reconstructed into a surreal theatrical collage reflecting on recording, location, and culture.

This is the culmination of a two-year residency as a HERE Artist, and many thanks to all who helped in developing it, including the  student production at Bennington College this March 2010.

Past Performances

2009-2010

Excerpts of Border Towns were presented at HERE’s Culturemart 2009-2010, and a full performance took place at Bennington College with a student cast in March 2010.

2008

We finished a residency at Mass MoCA, where we performed Time and Motion Study and Mass. It was a thrilling, great few weeks; eight performers came up and worked intensely in the giant Hunter Center for two weeks; we had a sold-out performance of these two in-progress pieces at the end of the residency.

2007

Ellen Fisher (Meredith Monk Ensemble) performed Time’s Up, a 3-hour dance installation at Roulette on November 10. My piece Pemangku, mixing live and recorded gamelan, foley, and other sound sources appeared as part of Ellen’s marathon piece.

MATA, a terrific organization that supports emerging composers, had their 10th anniversary, in celebration of Philip Glass’s 70th birthday. I had a piece alongside some great composer-alums–Gordon Beeferman, Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Theo Bleckmann, Annie Gosfield, Carla Kihlstedt, Phil Kline, Lukas Ligeti, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Eleanor Sandresky, and Julia Wolfe.

Speculum Musicae premiered my piece Pathetan on Monday, March 26at Merkin Concert Hall. The piece mixed the elastic, meterless textures of Javanese pathetan, (tone-setting preludes for gamelan), with the retuned and rebuilt instruments of the fab group Speculum Musicae. The concert also featured works by Davidovsky & Martino.

On March 29, Continuum New Music premiered a new version of my piece Double as part of a concert called “Glitch” at Toronto’s Music Gallery. Double featured the ensemble Continuum playing alongside old organs, music boxes, and phonographs, and accompanying the animations of Sue Rees, who reworked old magic lantern slides into a kind of 19th-century psychedelia. The show also featured works by Nicole Lizée and Emily Hall.

2006

On November 16 Corey Dargel and Kamala Sankaram sang excerpts from Tone Test, along with their own unique songs at the Tank in NYC.

On September 24 I performed in the X Avant Festival at Sneaky Dee’s in Toronto. Singers Corey Dargel, Kamala Sankaram, and Carla Hutahnen sang parts of Tone Test and Mass; the program included works by John Oswald, and opened for the Dirty Projectors.

On July 2 I played a whole concert of my work for gamelan in the Stone’s Avant-Gong Festival. On the bill were new works for Javanese genders, spike fiddle, and siter, as well as radical reworkings of traditional gamelan pieces for voice and samplers. Guests Chris Miller, Genevieve Belleveau, Adam Ward, Jake Meginsky, and Laura Woodward performed.

Nick’s multimedia Mass premiered on April 28-29 at Bennington College in Margot Tenney Theater, a collaboration with drama faculty Jen Rohn and Bennington students, with help from Mary Montgomery, Mike Rugnetta and design by Sue Rees and Mike Giannitti.

Complete Past Performances »