commission

News: New Collaborations and Happenings

#1

We are excited to announce that we have commissioned the following composers to write new works for us to premiere during the 2014-2016 seasons:

  • Brooks Frederickson
  • Olivia Kieffer
  • Brendon Randall-Myers
  • Ryan Ross Smith
  • Alan Theisen

We will have profiles of these composers up on our website in the coming months. 

With the addition of these five composers' works, we will soon have a total of 15 compositions written for our duo. The composers we commissioned earlier last year are: 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.

#2

Thanks to a grant we received from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music's Musical Grant Program, we will be premiering some of these compositions in San Francisco in October 2014. Details TBA!

#3

We are also honored to be awarded a residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire for two weeks in June. We will spend our time there rehearsing the new compositions for performances during the upcoming season.

Other cool projects are in the works. Sign up for our mailing list if you don't want to miss anything!

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.

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".