Valentines for your valentine

Tired of the same old Valentine's Day card?

Need a last minute Valentine's Day greeting?

Send one of ours! 

A link to download our track "Love" for free (now through February 17, 2014) is included with each greeting.

1) Click on a design you like.

2) Send your special someone the link to the page you clicked on.


Hand drawn (on the computer) by Meerenai:

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.

AUDIO SELECTION: 

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.").

 

Call for Scores

Hello composers! We have a very specific call for scores. We understand that we may have very few responses but that's OK. Here's what we are looking for:

We are looking for existing (but new to us) works to add to our repertoire that would fit our "Happy Hour" program. The instrumentation must be for two performers and should be limited to:

  • Drum kit and or Vibraphone
  • C/piccolo/alto/bass flutes
  • Optional: live or recorded electronics/effects

Here's a short video of 3 pieces on our current "Happy Hour" program:

Here are the particulars:

We will accept submissions through March 10, 2014. We will notify composers with a yes or no by March 17, 2014.

  • To submit your piece for consideration, please email your .pdf score to info [at] abduo [dot] net.
  • Please include the phrase Call for Scores in the subject line of your email to ensure that we do not lose your email.
  • A link to an audio sample would be appreciated, if available.
  • Works that are not written for the instrumentation listed above will not be considered.

Thank you for your consideration!

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.

3 shows, 3 cities, 7 days, 934 miles!

Chicago -> Rochester -> Brooklyn

Chicago -> Rochester -> Brooklyn

Since we don't live in the same state or time zone, every concert is essentially a concert on tour. This time, we met in Chicago for a mini-tour.

Nov. 29 & 30 - Met each other in Chicago for a couple days of intense rehearsals.

Got to hang out a little bit with Sean Connors of Third Coast Percussion.

Got to hang out a little bit with Sean Connors of Third Coast Percussion.

Dec. 1 - Performed with clarinetist Cory Tiffin of the Anaphora Ensemble for the third annual "Sounds of Chicago" concert at the Green Mill.

The program included premieres of:

  • Stitch by Jenna Lyle
  • Nocturne by Carolyn O'Brien
  • Limb by Drew Baker

(We got a nice review for this show from Chicago Classical Review! - "...the varied styles served as a worthy showcase for the versatility of flutist Meerenai Shim and percussionist Christopher Jones.")

Right after the concert we drove to Rochester so that Chris can get some sleep before his class at the Eastman School of Music. During the drive from Chicago to Rochester:

Dec 2 & 3 & 4 - More intense rehearsals in between Chris' coursework and teaching commitments. Lots of technology angst while trying to make a MAX patch work with the hardware we already have. A trip to Guitar Center for a hardware solution to our MAX patch problems.

Rehearsal set up for Matthew Joseph Payne's Echoloquacious.

Rehearsal set up for Matthew Joseph Payne's Echoloquacious.

Dec 5 - Rehearsals and then our official EP release show at Eastman.

The program:

  • Echoloquacious by Matthew Joseph Payne
  • metalStaind by Adam Cuthbert
  • Isla by Ian Dicke
  • Things We Dream About by Ivan Trevino
Chris was excited to be able to use one of Steve Gadd's drum kits for this concert at Eastman. (This is just half of our gear in the photo!)

Chris was excited to be able to use one of Steve Gadd's drum kits for this concert at Eastman. (This is just half of our gear in the photo!)

Dec 6 - Drove from Rochester to Brooklyn. First order of business when we got into town was getting some vegan pizza by the slice at Vinnie's.

Dec 7 - Slept in! Another trip to Guitar Center for drum hardware.

Averted minor disaster twice: First, realized that we left a score in Rochester (oops!) and sent a print/bind order to a local FedEx Kinkos. Then, got to Kinko's 9 minutes after it closed and almost didn't get the score...THANK YOU to the Kinko's employee who gave us a break by letting us pick up our order after closing!! 

Loaded in and performed at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music as part of the "Brooklyn's Own" series curated by Daniel Felsenfeld!

Our program:

  • Isla by Ian Dicke
  • Nocturne by Carolyn O'Brien
  • Things We Dream About by Ivan Trevino
  • metalStaind by Adam Cuthbert
  • Limb by Drew Baker
  • Echoloquacious by Matthew Joseph Payne
Performing Carolyn O'Brien's Nocturne for contrabass flute and djembe at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. (Photo by Jennifer Justice)  

Performing Carolyn O'Brien's Nocturne for contrabass flute and djembe at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. (Photo by Jennifer Justice)
 

Thanks to everyone who came to our concerts. We look forward to more adventures in March 2014!

Things We Dream About

IT'S ALIVE!!

Our first recording project can now be downloaded/found from/at Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Play, Spotify, etc!

This EP includes two compositions (5 tracks total):

Track 1: "Echoloquacious" for flute, vibraphone, drum kit, and Gameboy (LSDJ) by Matthew Joseph Payne

Tracks 2-5: "Things We Dream About" for flutist and percussionist (scored for flute, bass flute, vibraphone and drum kit) by Ivan Trevino.
I. Love
II. Being a Rock Star
III. Ghosts
IV. Fun!

(Check out our music video for "Fun!" - youtu.be/FVrJK6c9h78)

Meerenai Shim, flute and bass flute
Christopher G. Jones, vibraphone and drum kit
Ivan Trevino, voice

Produced by A/B Duo. Recorded/Engineered by Alberto Hernandez at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, Ca. Mastered by George Horn.


We might still have some Limited Edition CDs of this EP at abduomusic.bandcamp.com

We might still have some Limited Edition CDs of this EP at abduomusic.bandcamp.com

Bake Sale

You can buy our EP at abduomusic.bandcamp.com .

You can buy our EP at abduomusic.bandcamp.com .

Support our bake sale:

Go to our bandcamp page and buy/pre-order a digital download of our EP. It's only $5 but you can pay more if you want! :) [We also have limited edition CDs and t-shirts there too!] 

If you want to give us a bigger (tax-deductible) donation, we can make it happen! Please contact Meerenai at 415-309-8364 or meerenai@abduo.net.

 

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

 

Our baked goods:

 

Our EP, "Things We Dream About" 

Our EP, "Things We Dream About" 

The Limited Edition CD will look like this!

The Limited Edition CD will look like this!

Our logo t-shirt in 100% cotton. 

Our logo t-shirt in 100% cotton. 

Your purchase/donation will help us fund a part of the following: 

  • Commissions from Zack Browning, Andrea La Rose, Francisco Castillo Trigueros, Ned McGowan and Ken Ueno. 
  • Tour expenses as we take all our newly commissioned pieces on the road. 
  • Recording our first full length album of newly commissioned pieces.

 

Here's a sample of our tasty goods! The 4th movement of Ivan Trevino's piece that we turned into a music video: 

More details about we are doing:

1) We commissioned TEN composers (in alphabetical order: Drew Baker, Zack Browning, Andrea La Rose, Jenna Lyle, Ned McGowan, Carolyn O’Brien, Matthew Joseph Payne, Ivan Trevino, Francisco Castillo Trigueros and Ken Ueno)! Although every one of our composers gave us a significant break on their fees, it's still our biggest investment. 

2) We are touring and performing as much as possible to take these new pieces to as many people as we can.   

 3) We are recording these commissioned pieces so that the compositions have even a larger impact. Our first recording project is called  and it includes two pieces we commissioned (5 tracks total):  by Ivan Trevino and  by Matthew Joseph Payne. (Official release date: December 5, 2013

Our goal is to raise $1000 by December 5, 2013. Please buy some of our musical baked goods and tell your friends. 

Many thanks, 

Chris and Meerenai

 

 

 

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

"Happy Hour"

Photo by Michael Strickland. 

Photo by Michael Strickland. 

Thank you to those who came to our "Happy Hour" show in San Francisco on September 27! It was really successful and we were pleased with our performance and how well it was received by the audience.

We even got a stellar review! (Woohoo!)

The program was:

Echoloquacious
for flute, vibraphone, drum set and LSDJ (Gameboy)
by Matthew Joseph Payne
(World premiere, commissioned by A/B Duo)

metalStaind
for piccolo and percussion
by Adam Cuthbért
(West Coast premiere, new version for A/B Duo)

Things We Dream About
duo for flutist and percussionist  
(for flute, bass flute, vibraphone, and drum set)
by Ivan Trevino
(World premiere, commissioned by A/B Duo)

 

Here's a 4.5 minute recap video of the show.  Enjoy!

We look forward to developing this show and presenting all or part of it on future performances in New York and Ohio.

Sign up for our mailing list to get occasional mail from us with tour dates, etc. 

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".

Feb 2013 Tour Recap

A Recap of our Mini Tour to Florida and Georgia!

(Better late than never, right?) 

 

February 14, 2013

Touring in February can be a little tricky with unpredictable weather in Chicago (where Chris currently resides) but this was the only time when we both had enough days available for a tour. Luckily, we didn't have any weather related issues!  We left our significant others at home and started our tour on Valentine's Day.  We met up at the Jacksonville airport, rented a car and headed to Rhonda Cassano's house. Rhonda was our kind host at the University of North Florida where she is also the flute professor.  Rhonda and her husband violinist Philip Pan were kind enough to let us stay with them for a night as well. 

First stop on tour: Sriracha with a side of food.

There was no time to waste on tour since we don't live near each other.  After an epic A/B Duo company meeting we went to UNF to meet with the percussion professor Charlotte Mabrey who was kind enough to allow us to use many of the school's instruments AND rehearse in the awesome UNF percussion cave. 

 

February 15, 2013 

Woke up early. Chris met an old friend for breakfast while Meerenai did a little bit of teaching. Our first performance of the tour was at Noon for the UNF music students. The energy in the audience and on the stage was amazing.  Thank you UNF for helping us start our tour with a bang! 

Energized from the first show on tour, we started the 6 hour drive to the Atlanta area where we would be staying with percussionist Caleb Herron of Chamber Cartel fame. 

Hanging out with Caleb Herron!

Driving from Jacksonville to Atlanta was mostly uneventful.  We didn't even get pulled over for speeding! :)  You might be surprised (or disappointed) in our driving music selections but we share the same taste in terrible pop music.  (Exception: Chris does not approve of Meerenai's affection towards Clay Aiken.) 

Our next show wasn't until Sunday the 17th so we spent some quality time with Caleb and pianist Amy O'Dell  (also of Chamber Cartel fame).  Some awesomely terrible Karaoke may or may not have been sung and some awesomely terrible alcohol may or may not have been consumed but we know for sure that we had a really fun time. 

 

February 16, 2013

We spent some time putting into motion the big plans that we made at the company meeting we held on the 14th.  We started contacting the 10 composers that we chose for our commissioning project. We held skype or phone meetings with the composers who were available.

 

 February 17, 2013

We packed up Caleb's truck and our car (luckily we got a free upgrade from subcompact to an SUV) with Caleb's many percussion instruments and headed to Poem88, an art gallery in Atlanta. 

Pre-concert A/B Duo face-off at Poem88.

Pre-concert A/B Duo face-off at Poem88.

The concert at Poem88 was great and we were so happy to be a part of the Chamber Cartel show that night. If you're in the Atlanta area, you should definitely check out the new music insanity offered by Chamber Cartel.  

Performing The Art of Noise at Poem88.

On tour we were performing Janice Misurell-Mitchell's piece The Art of Noise, which requires over 20 percussion instruments. Even though Chris brought his own small instruments, he had to improvise and make some changes at every venue based on which instruments were available to him. Meerenai also had to make adjustments on the fly with small complications with her electronics setups.  We learned a lot on tour and have a better game plan for the next tour!

 

February 18, 2013

We woke up too early and started the drive down to Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.  We made it to the school in time for Meerenai to teach a couple lessons while Chris checked out the percussion instruments.  Thankfully Andrée Martin and Paul Vaillancourt, flute and percussion faculty at CSU, were very organized and wonderful hosts.  We had ample rehearsal time in the beautiful Legacy Hall at CSU and all the percussion instruments were ready to go thanks to Paul and his awesome students! 

That's us!

We had a couple more Skype meetings with composers before having dinner with Andrée, Paul and their kids. By the time concert time came around, we were tired but happy. Just being on stage at Legacy Hall will make any performer happy! (It sounds just as amazing as it looks.)

 

Chris setting up for our concert at the beautiful Legacy Hall at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University.

The concert went well and we were very satisfied with our first tour. We had a great time hanging out with Andrée and Paul after the concert.  Meerenai also got to catch up with a classmate from DePaul.  Many thanks to the Vaillancourt kids for letting us take over their bedrooms for the night!

 

February 19, 2013

On our drive to the Atlanta airport we made plans for the next tour.   We were so tired but so excited. Performing and touring is what we really want to do.  We didn't even get on each other's nerves after 5 days.  

What a great experience.  We can't wait to do it again in March 2014!  Stay tuned...

After the last show of the tour.