Brendon Randall-Myers

We are excited to share a little bit about Brendon Randall-Myers. We commissioned a new piece from Brendon and are looking forward to performing it in the 2015-2016 season.


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Q&A TIME WITH BRENDON RANDALL-MYERS:

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?
Brendon: During: being good to myself (runs everyday, good nutrition and good sleep). Post: crash and treat body like a trashcan (b-movies and frozen pizza. Anything that lets me turn my brain off).

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?
Brendon: Something hoppy and drunk-inducing.

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?
Brendon: Don't leave the apartment unless dragged

A/B: Rom-com or Action-Thriller?
Brendon: Self-aware genre flicks...uh but definitely a penchant for action/martial arts/scifi/horror/thriller/etc.

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?
Brendon: No

A/B: Cake or Pie?
Brendon: Pie

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?
Brendon: First moshpit at a Converge show in Worchester, MA. I've never really gotten over it.

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?
Brendon: Apple computer/Microsoft phone

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?
Brendon: Sibelius

A/B: Favorite Artist?
Brendon: Too many. Lately listening to lots of Ravel and Grisey, Deerhoof's Offend Maggie, Shellac's 1000 Hurts, and Matt Weston's not to be taken away. This summer I listened to Melt Banana's Fetch so many times I thought I was going crazy.

A/B: What was your first Instrument?
Brendon: Trombone

A/B: Guilty Pleasure?
Brendon: lparchive.org

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?
Brendon: 2-egg omelette, half a bagel, kiwi+berries, water. I'm a creature of habit.

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?
Brendon: ugh mp3s I guess

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?
Brendon: Beck - Mutations

A/B: What was your first composition?
Brendon: 4-chord post-Metallica folk metal emo (I was an angsty homeschooled 12-year-old in rural West Virginia, what do you want from me)


BIO

 Brendon Randall-Myers

Brendon Randall-Myers

Praised as "a unique musical voice" (Dustin Soiseth, The Loose Filter Project), Brendon Randall-Myers is a composer and guitarist working in experimental rock, classical music, and free improvisation. His music is viscerally direct, and challenges audiences to consider their boundaries and expectations by creating unstable, physically charged performances.

Brendon has received commissions from the Guitar Foundation of America, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Norfolk Summer Festival, and the Guerilla Composers Guild, and from performers such as The Living Earth Show, Bearthoven, New Keys, Friction Quartet, clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich, Mobius Trio, Nonsemble 6, and violinist Todd Reynolds. His work has received support from the American Composers Forum, and he was the recipient of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award in both 2013 and 2014.

An active guitarist, Brendon is a co-founder of the punk- and math rock-inflected composing/improvising groups Grains and Marateck, and a frequent performer of contemporary music. He has appeared with Dither Quartet, on the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Switchboard Music Festival, with Experiments in Opera, and on the Flea Theater's Music with a View series, among others.

Recent music includes East for keyboard ensemble New Keys, which was premiered in May 2014 at the group's 10th anniversary concert, Indefatigable Optimism for orchestra, which was premiered by the Yale Philharmonia in December 2013, and Inside Out for mixed sextet, which was premiered at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA in the summer of 2013. Gladwell, an exploration of music as a virus scored for 100 guitars, was premiered in 2012 by David Tanenbaum and the Guitar Foundation of America Bay Area Chapter guitar orchestra.

Current and upcoming projects include Juiced for Friction Quartet, new pieces for New York- based trio Bearthoven and the bi-coastal A/B Duo, the launch of a new composer/performer ensemble, and Marateck's debut album.

Brendon grew up home-schooled in rural West Virginia, and holds degrees from Pomona College and the Yale School of Music, where he studied with David Lang and Martin Bresnick. When not coaxing notes of his brain or guitar, he enjoys running, eating burritos, and consuming questionable sci-fi.

Visit Brendon's website for the latest news: www.brendonrandallmyers.com

Olivia Kieffer

We commissioned the Atlanta based percussionist and composer Olivia Kieffer.

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Olivia is bandleader, composer, and drummer for the Clibber Jones Ensemble, a 7-piece Chamber Rock band in Atlanta.


BIO:

Olivia Kieffer (b. 1980) hails from Appleton, Wisconsin. She joined the music faculty at Reinhardt University in 2009, where she teaches Applied Lessons, Percussion Methods, World Music, and directs the Reinhardt University Percussion Ensemble. Ms. Kieffer earned a Bachelor of Music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music at Georgia State University. She studied with Allen Otte of the Percussion Group Cincinnati, and with Stuart Gerber. She feels at home in both the classical and rock world, and has been heard on recordings with Christopher Adler, Emory University Wind Ensemble, Georgia Brass Band, Tay0, and Clibber Jones Ensemble. Active in Atlanta’s vibrant New Music scene, she has performed with the Terminus Ensemble, Chamber Cartel, and Sonic Generator, and was co-founder of the Percussion Repertoire Group Atlanta. Ms. Kieffer has been a proud member of Chix With Stix Percussion Group since 2004. She is composer (under the pseudonym Clibber Jones), bandleader, and drummer for the 7-piece chamber rock group, Clibber Jones Ensemble. Her compositions are published through Living Creatures Press. Olivia’s music and her involvement in Chix with Stix and the Clibber Jones Ensemble have been highlighted in ArtsAtl, TomTom Magazine, the Atlanta Creative Music podcast, and WABE (90.1FM).

To see what she's up to now, please visit oliviakieffer.com.


Q&A TIME WITH OLIVIA KIEFFER:

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?
Olivia: The most consistent thing would be working at a messy desk every time.

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?
Olivia: Plymouth Gin, bitters, and club soda! (also called a Pink Gin by the British)

A/B: Rom-com or Action-Thriller?
Olivia: "Waiting for Guffman", which is both, obvs.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?
Olivia: The most magical concert I ever attended was Tom Waits at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, in 2008.
Two of the most powerful experiences I've had as a performer were: Playing timpani on Mahler's Symphony No. 1, and performing "Drumming" in its entirety.

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?
Olivia: The first and only music notation software I've learned to use is Sibelius 7, and I think it's pretty good.
Notation takes the longest time! It is the one area in life where I am meticulous. I always spend way more time notating a piece than I do composing it. Yikes!

A/B: Favorite Artist?
Olivia: Pauline Baynes. She created all of the artwork in the Chronicles of Narnia books. I have tattoos of her woodcuts; that's how much I love her!

A/B: What was your first Instrument?
Olivia: My first instrument was the piano, which I started in first grade, and I was such a terrible student that my parents decided it was best if I took a break from piano for awhiles. Later I joined band class on Percussion, and that was the Golden Ticket!

A/B: Favorite Book?
Olivia: "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeleine L'Engle.

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?
Olivia: I've always dreamed of staying in a house on a beach somewhere with the breeze and the water, all by myself for a few weeks, with no worries, and all I would do is compose and sleep.

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?
Olivia: Sushi, or, pizza.

A/B: Your proudest moment?
Olivia: One of my most exciting moments was my first composition lesson, which was with Marc Mellits via Skype. He helped me work some things out with my first commission, which was an electric guitar solo for my dear friend and bandmate, Darren Nelsen. I love Marc's music so much, and having those 2 "firsts" together was so uplifting!

A/B: Favorite movie?
Olivia: It's a tie between "Clue" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)"

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?
Olivia: "Hangin' Tough" by New Kids on the Block, on tape of course!

A/B: What was your first composition?
Olivia: "Workout With Jane Fonda", which was part of an electronic album of tunes that I wrote in 2008, called "Workout With Clibber Jones!". https://soundcloud.com/clibber/workout-with-jane-fonda
It's pretty amazing for aerobic dancing! Try it out!

Ken Ueno

We commissioned the California-based composer, vocalist, improviser, and cross-disciplinary artist Ken Ueno to write a piece for us. We will be premiering his piece during the 2015-2016 season.

WHY?

Meerenai met Ken at the Aspen Music Festival many moons ago. Her first introduction to Ken's music was when she was unceremoniously assigned one of his pieces to conduct at an Aspen Contemporary Ensemble concert. Everyone in the conducting class initially felt sorry for Meerenai because Ken's score for No How On was the only handwritten one in the bunch. It turned out to be one of the better pieces on that concert though so she was happy to be a part of its premiere!

Fast forward to a few years ago...

Ken and Meerenai ended up in the Bay Area and casually discussed possibilities of working together. Finally when we were looking for composers to commission in 2012, Ken's name was on the short list.

We look forward to working with Ken on a new piece and trust that he now has an army of copyists, unlike his grad student days.  :)


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BIO: 

Ken's_AAB_Portrait-2.jpg

Winner of the 2006-2007 Rome Prize and the 2010-2011 Berlin Prize, Ken Ueno, is a composer, vocalist, improviser, and cross-disciplinary artist. His music coalesces diverse influences into a democratic sonic landscape. In addition to Heavy Metal sub-tone singing and Tuvan throat singing, he is also informed by European avant-garde instrumental techniques, American experimentalism, and sawari,  "beautiful noise," an aesthetic in traditional Japanese music.

In recent years, Ken has been collaborating with visual artists, architects, and video art ists to create unique cross-disciplinary art works. With the artist, Angela Bulloch, he has created several audio installations (driven with custom software), which provide audio input that affect the way her mechanical drawing machine sculptures draw. These works have been exhibited at Art Basel as well as at Angela’s solo exhibition at the Wolfsburg Castle. In collaborating with the architect, Patrick Tighe, Ken created a custom software-driven 8-channel sound installation that provided the sonic environment for Tighe’s robotically carved foam construction. Working with the landscape architect, Jose Parral, Ken has collaborated on videos, interactive video installations, and a multi-room intervention at the art space Rialto, in Rome, Italy.

Ken is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. To see what he's up to now, please visit http://kenueno.com.


Q&A TIME WITH KEN UENO:

A/B:  Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Ken:  Composing IS the ritual in life.

A/B:  Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Ken:  Lagavulin

A/B:  Stay-cation or vacation?

Ken:  Constantly in exile.  For serious, I have no home right now.  So, I keep traveling.

A/B:  Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Ken:  Neither. Experimental film. I'm a snob.

A/B:  Nsync or Backstreet?

Ken:  The Shaggs.

A/B:  Cake or Pie?

Ken:  Depends.

A/B:  Favorite live musical moment?

Ken:  Seeing Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan double bill in LA back in the day.

A/B:  Apple or Microsoft?

Ken:  Apple. 

A/B:  Sibelius or Finale?

Ken:  Finale.

A/B:  Favorite Artist?

Ken:  Judith Scott

A/B:  Favorite Book?

Ken:  Ulysses

A/B:  Ideal vacation spot?

Ken:  Somewhere I've never been.

A/B:  Guilty pleasure?

Ken:  Kamen Rider!

A/B:  Favorite Sesame Street character?

Ken:  Big Bird

A/B:  Favorite breakfast food?

Ken:  Irish Full

A/B:  Your proudest moment?

Ken:  Passing my pre-school interview, when I was 2.

A/B:  Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Ken:  Live.

A/B:  Name one item on your bucket list.

Ken:  Perform with Ryuichi Sakamoto!

A/B:  Favorite movie?

Ken:  8 1/2

A/B:  Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Ken:  Soundtrack to "Round Midnight," I think.  On CD.

Ned McGowan

 Ned McGowan

Ned McGowan

We commissioned Ned McGowan, an American composer and flutist living in Amsterdam! We are looking forward to premiering his piece on Saturday, October 11, 2014 in San Francisco.

WHY?

Meerenai met Ned at the Aspen Music Festival many moons ago when she was a conducting student and Ned was a flutist in the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Fast forward to three years ago - Meerenai was thinking about buying a contrabass flute and discovered Ned to be an expert performer of the Hogenhuis contrabass flute wrote who wrote a really fantastic concerto for the instrument. (Meerenai swears that she will perform that piece before she dies!)

We can't imagine a better composer to write a piece for contrabass flute and percussion. We are absolutely thrilled to have our very own Ned McGowan piece!


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Movement 4 from Six Pieces Mecaniques: "n' est-ce pas spatial?" Performed by Calefax and Eric Vloeimans in Haarlem in 2014. Composition by Ned McGowan.

Q&A WITH NED MCGOWAN

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Ned: Zoethout tea and long walks during

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Ned: Scotch. Usually Talisker or Balvenie.

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Ned: Working vacation. We try to go with the family for a few extra days when there is a concert in another city. But I took down the world map and put up the Netherlands and Europe maps.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Ned: Performing in India.

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?

Ned: Apple to the core.

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?

Ned: Finale from the beginning.

A/B: Favorite Artist?

Ned: Devo.

A/B: What was your first Instrument?

Ned: Recorder.

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?

Ned: Is in or near to nature.

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?

Ned: Bacon, eggs and miso soup.

A/B: Your proudest moment?

Ned: Day my son was born.

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Ned: Getting into vinyl these days…

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Ned: Have a better marathon experience.

A/B: What was your first composition?

Ned: Why? For solo flute


BIO

“McGowan’s music strives for an idiom in which various musics – American popular, European classical and avant-garde, Carnatic, a fascination with proportionally intricate rhythms, the use of microtones in the search for new subtleties of melody – and many others, rub against each other and generate new meanings.” This is how musicologist Bob Gilmore describes composer and flutist Ned McGowan. Born in the United States in 1970 and living in the Netherlands since 1994, McGowan has built his career by collaborating closely with ensembles such as Calefax and Hexnut.

His taste for diversity emerged already as a teenager who took classical flute lessons, played jazz and listened to rock.  After finishing studies in flute at the San Francisco Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, he moved to Amsterdam to continue his research.  Over the course of eight years, he studied both flute and composition in Amsterdam and The Hague, exploring a wide range of subjects – from extended techniques to Carnatic forms and rhythms, from jazz improvisation to West-African drumming. His compositional voice was profoundly influenced by these experiences, even though he never directly follows any of these traditions stylistically.

Then, in 2007, his specific fascination with Carnatic music led to a series of extended stays in India studying performance, rhythm and composition.  “What fascinates me is the Carnatic use of rhythmical complexities developed through a tradition of performance.” This is clear in McGowan’s music, and emerges in his strong focus on rhythmically driven, technically virtuosic pieces, which while “very complex in many ways, are especially well put together” (Hans van Lissum, www.cut-up.com, 2007).  Another approach to his Indian influence can be heard in the long stretched out phrases in Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance, the piece he wrote in 2010 as winner of the Harvey Gaul competition from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble: “a radical work that reorients the listener's relationship to time.” (Mark Kanny, Pittsburgh Tribune, 2010)

But despite whatever complexity McGowan might write, his music is never bookish; it is written with both the performers and the listeners in mind. In his debut in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra, he “proved there’s still plenty of life in old-fashioned virtuosity with “Bantammer Swing,” a playful, athletic concerto for his unwieldy contrabass flute," according to Steve Smith of the New York Times. Similarly, Ned’s piece Tools, winner of the Henriette Bosmans Prize from the Dutch Composer’s Union GeNeCo, was described as “brutal and humorous” (GeNeCo, 2004), while at the same time “packed with discreet acoustic rooms, some more resonant than others, but all proving that... subtlety pays off” (Guy Livingston, Paris Transatlantic, 2006).  In 2012 McGowan composed the worlds first concerto for iPad (tablet computer) and orchestra, which saw it’s premiere with soloist Keiko Shichijo and the Rotterdam Sinfonia, conducted by Conrad van Alphen. Upcoming performances are scheduled for the USA and Japan.

Bantammer Swing, Tools and the iPad Concerto are only some of pieces that have come into the public eye: Melting Igloos and Moonrise both made it to the final of the Gaudeamus Competition Prize.  “Wood Burn [written for Calefax] grew to be the highpoint of the evening” (Mark van de Voort, the Brabants Dagblad). These and other compositions have been played throughout the world including at festivals Aspen (USA), Gaudeamus (NL), Grachten (NL), MATA (USA), Dag in de Branding (NL), Nederlandse Muziek Dagen (NL), North Sea Jazz (NL), November Music (NL), Voorwaarts Maart (BE), SinusTon (DE) en Huddersfield (GB), and performed by ensembles Aleph (FR), Array Music (CAN), Atlantic Chamber Ensemble (USA), Duo Blow (BE), Calefax (NL), David Kweksilber Big Band (NL), Flexible Music (CAN), Great Noise (USA), Hexnut (NL),  Insomnio (NL), Klang (NL), MMM… (JP), musikFabrik (DE), Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (NL), Nederlands Fluit Orkest (NL), BlowUp Flute Octet (NL), Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (USA),  Sax n Stix (NL), Spinifex (NL), Ensemble Scala (NL), Trio Scordatura (NL), Ensemble Verge (USA), Wervelwind (NL), Zapp4 (NL), the Dutch orchestras Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Gelders Orkest, Rotterdam Sinfonia, Ricciotti Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra (USA), Valdosta Symphony Orchestra (USA) and by many soloists including Susanna Borsch, Helen Bledsoe, Keiko Shichijo, Guy Livingston, Tatiana Koleva/Rutger Oterloo, Greg Oakes, Derek Bermel, Egbert Jan Louwerse en Eric Vloeimans. Current commissions include from festivals Acht Bruggen (DE), National Flute Convention Soloist Competition and from ensembles A/B Duo (USA) and Duo Sonoro (NL/MEX).

Ned is also highly active in fostering the Amsterdam musical community through the Karnatic Lab Foundation, an organization he founded with Gijs Levelt in 1999 to promote both composed and improvised new music. Going strong after more than ten years, this Karnatic Lab ran a monthly concert series between 1999 and 2012, has its own record label (Karnatic Lab Records) and house several ensembles, including McGowan’s own quintet, Hexnut.

Hexnut is his special group that grew out of the original instrumentation for his piece Tools, plus a singer.  They are “a tribe of dedicated musicians who perform the most fiendishly difficult rhythms with flair and ease…” (Paris Atlantic).  The band reflects Ned’s affinity for the edgy, risky and yet extremely precise – the embodiment of “brutal and humorous.” It is a perfect example of the juxtaposition, assimilation and contradiction of styles within improvisation and composition that Ned is constantly inventing. In Hexnut, Ned is often seen behind his contrabass flute, which has become one of his specialties. In 2011 Hexnut is presented the project WRENCH in collaboration with the photographs from the Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.

Also in the mix are his more academic activities: since the 2011 academic season Ned teaches composition at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and his own course on advanced rhythm at the Utrecht’s Conservatorium. Between 2000 and 2005, he was also the director of the Dutch microtonal institute, the Huygens-Fokker Foundation, and now resides on its board. In 2014, he was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award from his Alma Mater, the Cleveland Institute of Music.   

Terri Hron

Ian Dicke

We've been playing Isla by Ian Dicke non-stop since December 2013 because it's one of our favorite pieces so we think it's about time that we wrote a little profile about Ian on our blog.

Isla was commissioned by our friends Kristin Hayes and Eric Peterson of the Peterson-Hayes Duo. It is a remix of Isla de Niños by Elisa Ferrari. 

Our performance of Isla by Ian Dicke during our residency at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. (June 9, 2014)


BIO

Dicke_2013.jpg

Ian Dicke (b. 1982) is a composer inspired by social-political culture and interactive technology. Active in a diverse array of genres and multi-media, Dicke’s music exhibits a clarity of expression while integrating acoustic ensembles with cutting edge audio processing techniques. Praised for his “refreshingly well-structured” (Feast of Music) and “uncommonly memorable” (Sequenza 21) catalogue of works, Dicke currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Digital Composition at the University of California, Riverside.

Dicke’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and festivals around the world, including the New World Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, ISCM World New Music Days, and the Atlantic Coast Center Band Director’s Association. Upcoming projects in the 2013-2014 season include a new work for the Friction Quartet and an interactive electronics and video piece for the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dicke has received grants, awards, and recognition from the Fulbright Program, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New Music USA, New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, and BMI, among others. He has been an artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Art342, and spent the 2012-2013 academic year living in Sweden as a Fulbright scholar researching interactive musical interfaces and environments.

In addition to his creative activities as a composer, Dicke is also the founder and curator of the Outpost Concert Series in Riverside, CA and co-directs Fast Forward Austin, a music festival held annually in Austin, TX. Both organizations are dedicated to presenting adventurous music and fostering community engagement through key outreach initiatives and collaborative projects.

Dicke holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A), University of Michigan (M.M.), and San Francisco Conservatory of Music (B.M.). For more information on works in progress, upcoming performances, commissioning, and score rentals, visit his website.


Q & A WITH IAN DICKE

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?
Ian: Vacation!!!

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?
Ian: I never quantified it scientifically, but Nsync's writers seemed to use more chords than the Backstreet Boys, so they were always my de facto 90's boy band preference.

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?
Ian: I've been using Sibelius since 2001, but will probably abandon the platform if Avid continues to charge for iterative updates.

A/B: What was your first Instrument?
Ian: Guitar (big surprise!)

A/B: Guilty pleasure?
Ian: Playing around with Max/Msp (I'm such a computer dork).

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?
Ian: Breakfast tacos!

A/B: What was your first composition?
Ian: Motives for the left hand, solo piano. It's a Scriabin knock-off that helped me get accepted into the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Little did I know that writing that piece would completely change the course of my life!

Francisco Castillo Trigueros

We commissioned Chicago-based composer, Francisco Castillo Trigueros! We are looking forward to premiering his piece in the 2014-15 season!

WHY?

Chris and Francisco met in 2011 when Chris played a piece by Francisco at the University of Chicago. Between rehearsals, Francisco introduced Chris to a local coffee shop where Chris had the best latte he's ever had. Since then, Chris has wanted to play more of Francisco's music so when the A/B Duo commissioning project started, Francisco was on top of Chris' list of composers.

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Prisma for Solo Oboe, 6 East-Asian Instruments, and Strings by Francisco Castillo Trigueros


BIO

Francisco Website.jpeg

Francisco Castillo Trigueros (b. 1983) is a composer of contemporary chamber, orchestral and electronic music from Mexico City residing in Chicago. He has received numerous distinctions such as the BMI Student Composer Award, honorable mentions in the 2010 and 2011 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and several nominations for the Gaudeamus Music Week Prize in The Netherlands.

Castillo Trigueros has worked extensively with intercultural ensembles. His intercultural work draws from his multi-cultural raising in Mexico, and deals with issues of identity, diversity, and hybridity. It presents diversity while creating unity. In his work Prisma, for oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings, the distinctive eastern and western sound worlds are blended together to create a unified fluid timbre.

Francisco has also composed numerous pieces for traditional music ensembles and orchestras, often including the use of electronics. His pieces are often inspired by visual art. His work Nealika, which he wrote in 2009-10 for eighth blackbird, is inspired by the fluid symmetry and colorful patterns found in Huichol visual art. His work Emblema | Blau for flute, string quartet, and percussion, is structured using one of the most emblematic figures in Mexican culture: the pyramid. 

Francisco's recent collaboration with biochemist Josiah Zayner on The Chromochord, an instrument that allows the sonification of nano-sized light-responsive proteins found in plants, has been featured in several publications including Scientific American.   

Orchestras, ensembles and performers that have performed his music include the Holland Symfonia, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Chicago Composers Orchestra, eighth blackbird, ensemble dal niente, Atlas Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Pacifica String Quartet, Spektral String Quartet, Fonema Consort, Jason Alder, Brian Conelly, Ryan Muncy, and Shanna Gutierrez.

His mentors and teachers include Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Kotoka Susuki, Howard Sandroff at the University of Chicago; Theo Loevendie, Richard Ayres, Fabio Nieder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Shih-Hui Chen, Kurt Stallman, Pierre Jalbert at Rice University; and Haruko Shimizu and Jose Tavarez in Mexico City.

Castillo Trigueros is currently pursuing a Ph.D at the University of Chicago, where he served as Computer Music Studio Manager for three years, and teaching digital music composition at Columbia College Chicago and theory and composition at the New Music School.

Francisco's website.


Q&A WITH FRANCISCO CASTILLO TRIGUEROS

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Francisco: During: Walking a lot... and by walking I don't mean taking long walks on the beach, I mean pacing around my apartment until ideas crystallize.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Francisco: Mitsuko Uchida playing Schubert Impromptu in G flat minor in the Concertgebouw.

A/B: Favorite Book?

Francisco: Roberto Bolaño's Los detectives salvajes or 2666

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Francisco: Abelardo (http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Abelardo_Montoya)

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Francisco: Traveling to Iran!

Andrea La Rose

We commissioned the composer and flutist Andrea La Rose!

WHY?

Andrea sent Meerenai a few of her solo flute pieces in 2012 and that's when Andrea was put on Meerenai's "must commission" list. And of course Chris agreed that there should be an A/B Duo piece written by Andrea! We expect to premiere her piece during the 2014-14 season.

Andrea is always creating cool projects and is currently uploading 52 short songs that she wrote in 2013. (Uploading one song a day.) Check our her tumblr to listen to these cute songs.

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advertising changed my life (2001) (link goes to Andrea's website)

Video: misoneism (2009)


Photo credit:  Prin  Amorapanth

BIO:

Named by NPR as one of 100 composers under 40 you should know, flutist and composer Andrea La Rose is making waves in the New York music scene and beyond. Her pride and joy since 2002 has been her work as a flutist/composer/board member with the punk-classical antagonists known as Anti-Social Music, most recently touring the Ukraine and contributing to an album of remixes of songwriter Franz Nicolay.  She has also been musically involved with thingNY, baj, Lone Wolf Tribe, Mohair Timewarp, and Wild Rumpus. Print and online publications from  Chamber Music America, to  New Music Connoisseur, to  Dusted have said lovely things about her fluting and composing prowess. Funding for her musical endeavors has been generously provided by the American Music Center and Meet the Composer. Since August 2009, she has been contributing her talents as a Music Teacher at the Franconian International School in Erlangen, Germany. When she is not making music in some fashion, she is quaffing beer and whipping up culinary magic in her kitchen.

 To see the latest of what Andrea has to offer, visit her website at http://reloadsanear.com/


Q&A WITH ANDREA LA ROSE

A/B:   Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Andrea:  I know I got ZZ Top's "Eliminator" with a Walkman for Christmas. I think the first one I bought for myself, though, was probably Mötley Crüe, "Shout at the Devil." I was a weird 11-year-old back in '83...

A/B:  Cake or Pie?

Andrea:  My lord, I hate picking favorites! Ugh. What about ice cream or panna cotta?

A/B:  Rom-com or Action thriller?

Andrea:  Neither, please!

A/B:  Apple or Microsoft? Finale or Sibelius?

Andrea:  Okay, definitely Apple, definitely Finale... otherwise I am all about variety.

A/B:  Favorite breakfast food?

Andrea:  I am known for my frittata obsession ("That would make a good frittata!" "Save that. I'll make a frittata with it tomorrow.").

 

Zack Browning

We commissioned Zack Browning to write a piece for us. We will be premiering his composition, Sol Moon Rocker for flute and vibraphone, on March 6, 2013 at the Eastman School of Music.   

WHY?

In June 2011 Meerenai received a now (sorta) infamous introductory email from Zack with some links to his compositions. When we started thinking about composers to commission, Meerenai remembered that Zack had a lot of cool percussion music in his catalogue....and here we are!

 AUDIO SELECTION:

 


Photo courtesy of Zack Browning

BIO 

Zack Browning is a composer whose music has been described as “way-cool in attitude…speed-demon music” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and “propulsive, giddy,  rocking… a rush of cyclic riffs and fractured meters” (The New York Times). The Irish Times has proclaimed he is “bringing together the procedures of high musical art with the taste of popular culture”. His solo CD Banjaxed on Capstone Records contains eight of his original compositions for voice, instruments and computer-generated sounds and has been called “dramatic, exciting, rhythmic, high-energy music”.  Browning’s recent composition awards include the 2013 Directors Choice Award from Boston Metro Opera, a 2011 Individual Artist Project Grant from the Illinois Arts Council for a CD of his music titled Secret Pulse (Innova Recordings, released in January 2012),  and a 2010 University of Illinois FAA Creative Fellowship for research and performances in China, Taiwan, and South Korea.  In 2010 Innova Recordings released his solo CD Venus Notorious and the San Francisco Chronicle called it “ebullient, infectiously bright” and “bouncy and exuberant - some of the music sounds like dance tracks for androids with varying numbers of feet”.  Browning is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Illinois and the director of the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award. More information is available at www.zackbrowning.com


Q&A WITH ZACK BROWNING

A/B:  Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Zack:  Research using feng shui as applied to info about the commission...then bang the piano!

A/B:  Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Zack:  OJ and Belvedere

A/B:  Stay-cation or vacation?

Zack:  Vacation!

A/B:  Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Zack:  Action-Thriller

A/B:  Nsync or Backstreet?

Zack:  NO

A/B:  Cake or Pie?

Zack:  Both

A/B:  Favorite live musical moment?

Zack:  Organist Mose Davis with his trio in Atlanta making “My Funny Valentine” funky!

A/B:  Apple or Microsoft?

Zack:  Both

A/B:  Sibelius or Finale?

Zack:  I use a copyist!

A/B:  Favorite Artist?

Zack:  James Brown

A/B:  Favorite Book?

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

A/B:  Ideal vacation spot?

Zack:  The beach

A/B:  Guilty pleasure?

Zack:  Fresh squeezed OJ and Belvedere

A/B:  Favorite Sesame Street character?

Zack:  SpongeBob SquarePants is better!

A/B:  Favorite breakfast food?

Zack:  Scrambled eggs

A/B:  Your proudest moment?

Zack:  Birth of my three children

A/B:  Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Zack:  CDs

A/B:  Name one item on your bucket list.

Zack:  Atlanta Falcons win Super Bowl and I am there!

A/B:  Favorite movie?

Zack:  Hoosiers

A/B:  Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Zack:  A soul music compilation that I remember had “In Crowd” by Ramsey

Lewis, “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass, and “Barefootin” by Robert Parker

on it.

Carolyn O'Brien

We commissioned the Chicago based composer Carolyn O'Brien to write a piece for us. We will be premiering Nocturne for contrabass flute and djembe in Chicago on December 1, 2013.

WHY? 

Chris met Carolyn in 2011 after a show with Ensemble Dal Niente in Chicago. The two became instant friends over a glass of bourbon, discussing music, life, and the future. A few days later, Chris met with Carolyn for some coffee to discuss a couple of her scores and brainstorm about an idea she had for a percussion solo involving spring coils.

It didn't take much convincing when Chris showed Meerenai some of Carolyn's work. It was, as they say, a "no-brainer". 

We are excited to play her piece, and even more excited for another glass (or two) of bourbon after the premiere!

AUDIO SELECTION 

 

GrinCO'B.jpg

BIO

After a career as a public school orchestra director and freelance violist, Carolyn O’Brien began studies in music composition at San Francisco State University with Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez. In 2007, she completed an MA in music theory and composition at University of California at Davis, where her principal teachers were Yu-Hui Chang, Pablo Ortiz and Laurie San Martin. Ms. O’Brien is currently pursuing a doctorate in music composition at Northwestern University with principal teacher Lee Hyla.

Ms. O'Brien's works have been performed by the Left Coast Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble, Bent Frequency, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), ensemble dal niente, Anubis Quartet, Trio Phonos directed by Harry Sparnaay, and Graeme Jennings among others. She was a chosen fellow for the Music X Festival with ensemble eighth blackbird in 2006 and 2010, the 63rd Annual Composers Conference at Wellesley College in 2007 led by Mario Davidovsky, and granted a fellowship at the MacDowell Colony for the fall of 2013.

Ms. O’Brien has been awarded numerous prizes including second prize in the SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission Competition in 2006, the annual call for scores held by Atlanta’s Bent Frequency in 2006, the Libby Larsen Prize in 2007, the Charles Ives Scholarship via the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2009, and the William T. Faricy Award in 2011. Some of her earliest works were commissioned, including two works that premiered at Dance Week with choreographer Lea Wolf in San Francisco in 2000-2002, and the Herb Bielawa Commission Prize in 2003 at San Francisco State University. In 2007-08 she was awarded a commission and position as composer in residence at the San Francisco Community Music Center for the 21st Century Music for The People project through funding provided by the American Composers Forum. In 2008, her commission, Formicary, for piano quartet, was performed at the Society of Composers, Inc./ASCAP National Conference. In 2011, she received three commissions, which yielded Thing Contained, for saxophone quartet commissioned by the Anubis Quartet, Escapement, for flute, oboe and baritone saxophone commissioned by ensemble dal niente in Chicago, and a final commission and job as composer in residence from the Lick Wilmerding High School Orchestra in San Francisco, CA. In July 2012, her work, Coil, Recoil for alto saxophone and viola premiered at the Selmer Studio in Paris, France by Jan Berry Baker and Tania Clements, and at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland.

For more information about Carolyn and to see what she's up to visit carolynobrienmusic.com. 


Q & A WITH CAROLYN O'BRIEN

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Carolyn: Yes. Clutter drives me mad, so I obsessively clean my workspace until every surface is a clean slate, before and after I compose a piece.

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Carolyn: Splitting a really fine bottle of wine with my husband.

A/B: Cake or pie?

Carolyn: Oooooh, definitely pie. Pear pie!

A/B: Favorite book?

Carolyn: Kwaidan, by Lafcadio Hearn

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Carolyn: A 33LP of Pete Seeger's children's songs: Birds, Beasts, Bugs and Fishes. I hold it so dear, that I just bought it again last year!

Jenna Lyle

We commissioned the Chicago based composer Jenna Lyle write a piece for us. We will be premiering "Stitch" in Chicago on December 1, 2013.

Here's a short Vine video of Chris and Jenna trying out some sounds during our meeting this summer: 

WHY?

Chris came to know Jenna through a performance of a piece commissioned by the Clarinet/Percussion duo, Devil May Care. Devil May Care percussionist Caleb Herron and Jenna had known each other for quite awhile. When we were on tour in Atlanta, we performed a show with Chamber Cartel (a group headed by Caleb). During our stay we formulated a list of composers, when Chris mentioned Jenna's name to Caleb, he gave such a resounding yes that we knew we had to get a piece from her. 

AUDIO SELECTION 

 


Photo courtesy of Jenna Marie Lyle

BIO

Jenna Lyle is a composer, vocalist, and sound artist from Carrollton, Georgia. Currently in Chicago, she is pursuing a Doctorate of Music in Composition at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Lee Hyla, Hans Thomalla, and Jay Alan Yim.

An active composer, performer, and administrator, Jenna has worked with various ensembles and specialized in the performance and presentation of works by living composers.  She has presented her own works as well as those of her colleagues throughout the U.S. and abroad, with performances recently by Chicago's Spektral Quartet, DMC Duo, NO EXIT New Music Ensemble of Cleveland, Seattle’s Young Kreisler ensemble under the direction of Jayce Ogren, and by performers at UCLA’s Hammer Museum as part of the Little William Theater project.   Her artistic concerns are rooted in the unification of physicality with the creative process for the sake of immediacy, clarity of expression, and intimate exchange.   Her style has been described as having a “leave-’em-wanting-more approach, offering music whose brevity and surface uncomplicatedness enhanced its ear-grabbing ability.”-Gavin Borchert [Seattle Weekly, Aug. 2010].

Jenna is also co-founder and co-administrator of Parlour Tapes+, a New Music cassette tape label and media/performance collective out of Chicago. For more information about Jenna, please visit  http://jennamarielyle.com/.


Q&A WITH JENNA LYLE 

A/B:  Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Jenna:  

Pre: do the dishes while listening to the Splendid Table, then sit in silence and stare at things for a couple of hours.

During: candle, peppermint tea, manuscript paper and formal structure drawings all over the floor

Post: roast an animal

A/B:  Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Jenna:  In the summer, a Pimm's cup; in the winter, Templeton Rye with two ice cubes. I don't get anything done in the other seasons because they last 3 weeks in Chicago.  Hmpf.

A/B:  Stay-cation or vacation?

Jenna:  I actually don't know what Stay-cation means.  But Wikipedia doesn't make it seem that awesome.

A/B:  Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Jenna:  NORA EPHRON & NANCY MEYERS 4 LYFE

A/B:  Nsync or Backstreet?

Jenna:  Nsync for sure

A/B:  Cake or Pie?

Jenna:  Pie--so much more flexible, can be savory or sweet or BOTH AT THE SAME TIME

A/B:  Favorite live musical moment?

Jenna:  Recently, Third Coast Percussion & guests playing the following in January 2013:

 TENNEY Koan: Having Never Written a Note for Percussion

 MANOURY Métal

I've been excited about the way music is felt in an audience member's body ever since.

A/B:  Apple or Microsoft?

Jenna:  Microsoft

A/B:  Sibelius or Finale?

Jenna:  Finale

A/B:  Favorite Artist?

Jenna:  Pierre Soulages

A/B:  Favorite Book?

Jenna:  To the Castle and Back,  Václav Havel

A/B:  Ideal vacation spot?

Jenna:  Lake house with big windows, a dock, and a kayak. I mean I don't really kayak, but I do if I'm on a lake. AM-I-RIGHT?

A/B:  Guilty pleasure?

Jenna:  Ally McBeal

A/B:  Favorite Sesame Street character?

Jenna:  These guys

A/B:  Favorite breakfast food?

Jenna:  fried eggs over medium with grits and ratatouille

A/B:  Your proudest moment?

Jenna:  Hearing my 1-year-old nephew Jet (who is now 3) clap WITHOUT PROMPTING after hearing a recording of a piece of mine.  I maintain that he was moved and overwhelmed with emotion and not conditioned to clap after things by the Wiggles.

A/B:  Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Jenna:  CASSETTE TAPES

A/B:  Name one item on your bucket list.

Jenna:  become good enough at climbing to scale a Redwood or something equally ridiculous.

A/B:  Favorite movie?

Jenna:  Jurassic Park

A/B:  Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Jenna:  Life's a Dance by John Michael Montgomery, cassette tape, 1992

Drew Baker

We commissioned the Chicago based composer Drew Baker to write a piece for us. We will be premiering "Limb" (scored for contrabass flute, piccolo, vibraphone, crotales and Thai gongs) in Chicago on December 1, 2013.

WHY? 

Drew Baker’s music has always intrigued Chris so we put his name on the short list of composers that we wanted to commission. The frailty, the beauty, but also the depth of his sound world is exactly the type of music we wanted for our first commissioning project.

AUDIO SELECTION 


Photo Courtesy of Drew Baker

BIO 

Drew Baker is a Chicago-based composer and pianist. Described by the American Record Guide as "extremely inventive," Baker's music explores the many sonic identities of conventional and unconventional instrumentations, often taking into account visual art and politics.

Baker's complete piano music was recently recorded by renowned pianist Marilyn Nonken and released on New Focus Recordings. Additionally, his works have been performed by a number of leading contemporary music ensembles including H2 Quartet, The Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Ensemble Dal Niente, The Group for Contemporary Music, Ensemble21, and Chicago Chamber Musicians.

Baker earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music in Composition from Rice University and a Doctor of Music in Composition from Northwestern University. His primary composition teachers have included Marti Epstein, Augusta Read Thomas, Shih-Hui Chen, Karim Al-Zand and Jason Eckardt.

For more information about Drew and to see what he's up to visit http://www.drewbakermusic.com/ 


 Q & A WITH DREW BAKER

A/B:  Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Drew:  Nicaraguan cigars - all 3

A/B:  Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Drew:  Laphroaig

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Drew:  In my studio

A/B: Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Drew:  French gangster movies

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?

Drew:  I suppose Justin Timberlake is funny

A/B: Cake or Pie?

Drew:  Chocolate

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Drew:  Tough one. I'll go with Thomas Quasthoff singing Kindertotenlieder with the Chicago Symphony in 2006

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?

Drew:  Apple

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?

Drew:  Neither - hand-written or Lilypond

A/B: Favorite Artist?

Drew:  2 names: Anselm Kiefer and Cy Twombly

A/B: Favorite Book?

Drew:  Currently: Dirty Snow by Simenon

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?

Drew:  A place that has warm weather, excellent food and no distractions

A/B: Guilty pleasure?

Drew:  I feel no guilt over any of my pleasures

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Drew:  Guy Smiley

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?

Drew:  Tie -- Biscuits and gravy, Chilaquiles

A/B: Your proudest moment?

Drew:  Marrying my wife

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Drew:  Vinyl

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Drew:  Composing/producing an opera

A/B: Favorite movie?

Drew:  Le Samourai

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Drew:  I have no idea

 

Adam Cuthbért

Adam is a New York based composer and performer.  He made a new version of metalStaind especially for us.  We will be premiering the new version for piccolo, vibraphone and percussion in San Francisco on September 27, 2013. 

Meerenai and Adam met (in real life) in the summer of 2013 when they were both Fellows at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. (They already knew of each other via Twitter.) When Adam mentioned that he had a piece for saxophone and percussion, Meerenai asked him to consider a version for A/B Duo.  Lucky for us, Adam adapted the piece for us in no time!

AUDIO SELECTION: 

902518_136949243158099_764104120_o.jpg

BIO: 

Adam Cuthbért is a composer/performer and Michigan native who cross-breeds acoustic instruments with digital environments. Highly interested in the evocative qualities of sounds in nature, Cuthbért is experimenting with ways to use composed music to both synthesize and supplement the aesthetics of a natural environment. 

As an Ableton Live practitioner and trumpeter, he has performed new works around the United States and Japan, at (le) poisson rougeLa MaMa ETCChashama, and the Incubator, and alongside performers such as eighth blackbird, Sō PercussionDennis DeSantis, and Maura Donohue. His co-commission with Daniel Rhode, several rooms away from their source, premiered simultaneously in the UK, Netherlands, and US in the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad.

Some recent and ongoing projects include scores for experimental opera-theatre (Pioneers Go East Collective), a trumpet/electronica solo project (KuuMA), and Sight/Sound, an audio-visual collective based on collaborative composing over the internet and through the lens of technology.

Visit Adam's website.


Q & A WITH ADAM CUTHBERT

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Adam: My most "zoned in" composing sessions seem to happen either in the loud static of a New York City coffee shop, or in dead silence between the hours of 1am and 5am.  I guess I like the extremes of panic and serenity.

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Adam: Compositions can be finished?!

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Adam: Vacation.  There's too much of the world I haven't seen yet.

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?

Adam: JT.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Adam: Oh, so many of these.  John Luther Adams' Inuksuit in a torrential downpour at Millennium Park in Chicago. Also recently Squarepusher's Ufabulum show. Talujon's performance of Grisey's Le Noir de l'Etoile. Most terrifying: trapped in a Skrillex moshpit as a brawl started to break out.

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?

Adam: Apple since 2000. Audio gear just works on my MBP.

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?

Adam: I compose in Ableton Live, then I export MIDI data into Sibelius and clean it up to a performable grade. Frankly, I dislike both sib and fin.

A/B: Favorite Artist?

Adam: Collectively, the Bang on a Can trio.

A/B: Favorite Book?

Adam: Morton Feldman's "Give My Regards to 8th Street".  Changed my world as a composer.

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?

Adam: Kyushu Japan.

A/B: Guilty pleasure?

Adam: Japanese trance music, and those Vocaloid synth characters you can program to sing.

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Adam: I was a Big Bird fan back in the day.  Seriously, how is he so big??

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?

Adam: Tamago-kakegohan (rice, raw egg, sesame oil)

A/B: Your proudest moment?

Adam: Wedding day.

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Adam: I am so over CDs. Half of my existence is in the cloud.

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Adam: In 4th grade, Third Eye Blind's self titled. That 90s stuff still hits the spot sometimes.

Ivan Trevino

We commissioned the Rochester, NY based composer and percussionist Ivan Trevino to write a piece for us. We will be premiering Things We Dream About for flute, vibraphone and drum set in San Francisco on September 27, 2013.

WHY?

Chris and Ivan met when they were both MM students at the Eastman School of Music. Between all of the classes, rehearsals, teaching, instrument constructing, and general craziness that is graduate school, Chris knew that Ivan would always be someone he would enjoy working with. On A/B Duo’s Feb. 2012 tour (as we were discussing our current commissioning project) Ivan went to the top of our list of composers to commission, and the rest, as they say, is history.

AUDIO SELECTION: 

 


Photo provided by:  Ivan Trevino

BIO:

Ivan Trevino is a musician who wears many hats. He’s a rock drummer at heart, and brings that spirit into other avenues of his life, such as classical percussion, composing, and teaching.

Ivan has drummed, recorded, and composed extensively with Break of Reality, a national touring cello rock band. As a founding member of Break of Reality, Ivan has reached international acclaim, selling over 40,000 albums and touring extensively across the U.S. His Break of Reality compositions have been heard by millions of listeners via Pandora Internet Radio and also featured on television programs such as Dateline NBC and PBS.

Ivan is currently on faculty at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance in Rochester, NY, where he teaches percussion, composition, and chamber music. He is also on faculty at the Eastman School of Music, where he teaches a course in music business. 

To see what Ivan has been up to recently or read his blog, visit http://ivandrums.com/. To listen to some of his music, visit https://soundcloud.com/ivandrums.


Q&A WITH IVAN TREVINO 

A/B:  Any pre/during/post composition rituals? 

Ivan:  Coffee / Coffee / Sleep

A/B:  Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Ivan:  Blood & Sand

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Ivan:  Stayyyy

A/B:  Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Ivan:  Game of Thrones

A/B:  Nsync or Backstreet?

Ivan:  New Kids on the Block

A/B:  Cake or Pie?

Ivan:  Pecan Pie

A/B:  Favorite live musical moment?

Ivan:  Any time I played with Chris Jones

A/B:  Apple or Microsoft?

Ivan:  Apple

A/B:  Sibelius or Finale?

Ivan:  Finale

A/B:  Favorite Artist?

Ivan:  Dale Chihuly

A/B:  Favorite Book?

Ivan:  Blink

A/B:  Ideal vacation spot?

Ivan:  Rockport, TX

A/B:  Guilty pleasure?

Ivan:  Shadow boxing

A/B:  Favorite Sesame Street character?

Ivan:  The Muppets

A/B:  Favorite breakfast food?

Ivan:  Breakfast Tacos!

A/B:  Your proudest moment?

Ivan:  A-honor roll 3rd grade

A/B:  Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Ivan:  Bluetooth in my car

A/B:  Name one item on your bucket list.

Ivan:  Watch a professional boxing fight in Vegas

A/B:  Favorite movie?

Ivan:  Anchorman

A/B:  Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Ivan:  Ha, Ace of Base!!

 

Matthew Joseph Payne

We commissioned the San Francisco Bay Area based composer and chiptune artist Matthew Joseph Payne to write a piece for us plus Gameboy. We will be premiering his piece in San Francisco on September 27, 2013.

WHY?

Meerenai met Matt in 2011 when they were both working on Jonathan Mann's June a Day album.  (OK, Meerenai just played flute on one track while Matt was doing the heavy lifting: arranging string/wind parts for every song on the album AND playing multiple instruments on the album too!) After experiencing Matt's band (The Glowing Stars) live, Meerenai knew that she needed a piece from the mind of Matt Payne. After Chris heard the piece that Matt wrote for Meerenai, he insisted that the A/B Duo commission him too.

AUDIO SELECTION: 

flight of the bleeper bird, ii. obviously i was abducted by paper aliens by Matthew Joseph Payne from Meerenai's album The Art of Noise. 

Photo credit: Riki Feldmann

BIO:

Matthew Joseph Payne is an Oakland, CA based composer, songwriter, arranger, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist, blending chipmusic with handmade and traditional instrumentation to create dynamic and unique songs, compositions and performances. Matt fluidly combines his technical expertise with a heady artistic sensibility to create engaging pieces and performances, and to realize collaborations with a variety of artists. He has worked as a performer, arranger and/or composer with internet sensations Pomplamoose and Jonathan Mann, cult independent bands The Family Crest, Radiation City and Judgement Day, as well as a number of San Francisco Bay Area dance and theater companies. He is also an active part of the regional chipmusic scene as a performer, workshop organizer, and collaborator, as well as a member of the now defunct chiptune/rock group The Glowing Stars. See what he is up to at http://www.matthewjosephpayne.com, and hear his music at http://www.matthewjosephpayne.bandcamp.com


Q&A TIME WITH MATTHEW JOSEPH PAYNE: 

(We had a grand old time thinking up fun questions for our composers!) 

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Matt: Nope!

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Matt:  Before, during or after, I'm a lover of a good hard cider. I'm also a sucker for a good Caipirinha.

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Matt:  Tour.

A/B: Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Matt:  First person shooter.

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?

Matt:  Justin Timberlake.

A/B: Cake or Pie?

Matt:  I'm gluten-free. Cake.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Matt:  Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's "The Widening Eye" at their final show.

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?

Matt:  Apple.

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?

Matt:  Sibelius... as long as it lasts me.

A/B: Favorite Artist?

Matt:  Robert Rauchenberg? Carla Khilstedt? Anyone with an alliterative name.

A/B: Favorite Book?

Matt:  Right now I'm deeply and frequently engaged with "Llama Llama Hippity Hop" by Anna Dewdny.

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?

Matt:  Tour van.

A/B: Guilty pleasure?

Matt:  Tetris.

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Matt:  Bert & Ernie.

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?

Matt:  Bacon. And not in the hipster way. Prather Ranch makes the best uncured, sugar-free bacon.

A/B: Your proudest moment?

Matt:  The next one.

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Matt:  Minidisc!

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Matt:  These Gamma Seal lids are a common item on my bucket lists.

A/B: Favorite movie?

Matt:  Wall-E maybe? I don't watch a lot of movies.

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Matt:  Green Day's 1994 masterpiece, "Dookie".