Reasons for Viola and Cello

This is the third release and first studio recording from Paolo Valladolid and myself. As usual we never employ electronics, preferring our acoustic instruments and sometimes preparations of plastic, wood, or metal. The photo below displays the preparations used on this recording. Listen to it here.

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To: Pluto

My composition “Curvature Reach” is included on the tape compilation To: Pluto that was recently released by Sediment Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Listen to the tracks here.

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Below are the liner notes I wrote.

“Curvature Reach” incorporates two perspectives of space exploration, the inner monologue and the vast outer world. The inner monologue involves the explorer’s thoughts and the sound of breath or heartbeat inside a spacesuit or small enclosure. This appears as unconventional clarinet sounds and later as hard candy against teeth. The vastness of endless space as perceived from afar and in our imagination is represented by the cello which was recorded in a very large room and later slowed down. Both perspectives were then transformed and woven into an abstract narrative along with additional sounds such as disc drive motors.

Read about the Gravity Assist exhibit in Miami in December 2015 here.

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Too Much Merch?

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If I took over an entire merch table at a show it might look like this. Is is this too much? If so, why do I keep recording and releasing albums and projects? I admit I’m obsessed with CD physical objects that look like vinyl albums. Most of them are self released but I’ve had some luck getting stuff on labels too.

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Nine Pieces for Cello

The idea of letting the cello play what it wants, instead of always forcing it to become what others say is “beautiful”, has been my approach in addition to traditional study. When I do this I ignore the immense historical baggage of the instrument and focus on a childlike fascination with sound.

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All of the nine pieces are improvisations that were later edited and layered into abstract narrative compositions. They contain none of my usual amplified objects, electronics, or field recordings, only an acoustic cello in a room. Take a listen here.

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New Project

Sarah O’Halloran and I have finished recording a project together.

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Blind : Out : Dated

Program notes for the debut performance of Blind : Out : Dated which took place December 12, 2015. Live photo below by Daniel Barbiero.

Gary Rouzer – cello, preparations
Nicolas Wiese – pre-produced electroacoustic treatment of Gary Rouzer recordings.

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This is a blind date. Duo or solo? Gary Rouzer interacts live on stage with a pre-produced stereo piece by an absent artist, having never heard any of the material before this premier performance. All acousmatic / pre-produced sounds have been conceived by Nicolas Wiese in his Berlin studio, exclusively out of Rouzer’s cello recordings. Wiese came up with a variable compositional structure, consisting of several short movements, leaving plenty of room for different ways of live interaction, and being open to future transfigurations. This is the debut performance of a continuing project that will eventually present both musicians in the same room but first a blind date will take place out in the open.

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Gary’s statement:
“I first met Nicolas Wiese on Myspace in 2006 thru the trio HSW. I was intrigued by the trio’s approach to combining acoustic and electronic information.The raw material that Nicolas transforms live by digital and analogue devices, is from a prerecorded improvisation between double bassist John Hughes and saxophonist Lars Scherzberg. The bass and sax are ‘constantly confronted with their electronically alienated reflections’. Nicolas and I met in person for the first time in 2012, when I played in Berlin.”

Nicolas’s statement:
»Gary has a wide variety of musical vocabulary and I observe three elements crossing in his work: playful curiosity, (»classical«) seriousness, and a kind of Zen calmness (the latter I would also attribute to his social personality). Anyone who understands music, will understand that these elements don’t necessarily contradict each other. They can fertilize and catalyze one another. This is the momentum from which I pick up bits of Gary’s material, to generate something else that still bears the character of the origin.«

Photo below by Beau Finley.

BOD #5

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Dance Performance Group

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Nate Scheible and I provided sounds for the Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group at VisArts in Rockville on 30 October 2015. Check out the video of our set here.

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