Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two New Pines

I didn't really want to use computers for awhile.
PINE started, to my recollection because I came up with the acronym when Andy and I were students together in Ohio. I am good at that kind of stuff. He recently picked the PINE idea back up.
But, he went out on a cruise ship gig again.
The composer John Luther Adams wrote '...Art grounded exclusively in self-expression can indulge our conceit that we stand above and beyond the rest of life, exacerbating our sense of alienation from the earth and other species. Overpopulation, over consumption, pollution, deforestation and widespread extinction, both symptoms and results of this alienation. Perhaps its ultimate manifestation is human-caused climate change.'
Since Andy asked me to write this my eldest Aunt Bridget, whom I lived with years ago when I first moved to New York, had her house destroyed by Sandy.
I took the ferry over a few days after the flood. She lives in the middle of the island and it takes forever. As was walking past a church, I saw Nathan, the van, being driven by Asa, my friend and collaborator with his girlfriend and a bunch of other people I didn't know.
As an introduction I am sharing a recent improvisation called 'bullie blue jay', I don't remember when it was recorded but it was within the last 6 months.
I'm playing a vibraphone, a percussion keyboard instrument, born out of the jazz tradition.
My next musical contribution to the page will be a piece I called 'highland park/forest park' I recorded it in parks in Queens, where I live.

bullie blue jay
highland park/forest park

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Great Lakes Ensemble's inspiration -- drawing on elements of this region's identity

The Great Lakes Ensemble is an artistic exploration of the Great Lakes region -- with musicians, dancers and visual artists who join the ensemble during performances and other creative projects. Since its inception two years ago, GLE has performed at venues in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Great Lakes Ensemble members draw their inspiration from a range of the Great Lakes' identity -- including human-built environments such as factories, and elements of this region's natural forces. During our performance at the Rapid Pulse Festival in Chicago, we began by performing a legato piece entitled "Early Morning Soundscapes" -- which included sounds and movements that were designed to evoke tranquil soundscapes one might experience as the sun is rising in the early morning. Click here to listen to the recording of that performance.

Marianne Brass, Rachael Ahn Harbert & Lisa LaMarre
with the rest of the Great Lakes Ensemble at dfbr8r

Last August we performed at the Lakeside Inn, during Portoluz's "Jazz on a Summer's Day" series. We performed my graphic score "Avian Formations," which asks ensemble members to sonically and kinestheticaly  meditate on bird flight formations -- geese migrating, starlings darting and swooping en masse, even flocks of extinct passenger pigeons. 

The Great Lakes Ensemble is planning our calendar for later this year, and we are thinking about more ways by which this region's history, textures, sounds and other elements can be integrated into what we do.