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Paul Leary

Listen to Rutgers Radio today, 4-5pm!


Mike Sperone is going to be playing some of my recent recordings today on Rutgers Radio 88.7FM from 4-5pm. Live stream at http://wrsu.rutgers.edu/index.php (click Listen Live!).

From my Emerging Voices Project with Elisabeth Halliday, there will be George Lam’s The Person In The Room Wishes To Be Left Alone and Kathleen Bader’s Two Songs For The Sounds Outside. From my Contour Lines project, there will be Paul Leary’s Number Stations.

EDIT: I should add that Douglas Laustsen runs the show.

Contour Lines

I’m very excited to announce my latest project: Contour Lines!

Contour Lines is a program of contemporary electroacoustic and solo works for saxophone, featuring the newly commissioned piece, Shipbreaking. The project explores the landscape of contemporary saxophone, from avant-garde to classical to pop and jazz influences, with an emphasis on electroacoustic works. Concerts will showcase both established and young composers, including leading spectral composers Gérard Grisey and Fabien Lévy, Dutch composer and culture commentator JacobTV, current Meet The Composer Studio resident Kati Agócs, and past winner of the Look & Listen Festival competition Paul Leary.

Commissioned works by Victoria Cheah, Paul Leary, and Benjamin Taylor will represent the younger generation of composers. Cheah’s Strangeloop (solo bari sax) navigates the tangled hierarchical system of strange loops. Leary’s Number Stations (alto sax and audio playback) blends pop/rock influences with classical training. Taylor’s Shipbreaking (alto sax and processed sound) reflects on the wonderment of accomplishing monumental tasks through simple means. Shipbreaking was commissioned by an international consortium led by myself. Ben will be present at my Boston and Baltimore concerts to talk about his piece and give a hands-on demonstration of the technology used. The talk and performances will be shared on YouTube.

East Coast mini-tour:

April 18 @ 8:00pm – Gershwin Hotel, NYC
April 19 @ 8:00pm – Yes.Oui.Si, Boston (talk/tech demo by Benjamin Taylor at 8pm, concert at 8:30pm)
April 20 @ 9:00pm – Red Room, Baltimore (talk/tech demo by Benjamin Taylor at 9pm, concert at 9:30pm)
May 17 @ 9:30pm – On The Cusp, Jersey City

Program:
Fabien Lévy: L’air d’ailleurs-Bicinium
Benjamin Taylor: Shipbreaking – commissioned by international consortium
Gérard Grisey: Anubis-Nout
Victoria Cheah: Strangeloop – commissioned by Zach Herchen
Kati Agócs: As Biddeth Thy Tongue
Katarina Miljkovic: If in a winter…
JacobTV: Billie
Paul Leary: Number Stations – commissioned by Zach Herchen

Contour Lines logo designed by ycArt Design Studio.
This project is funded in part through New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program.

Third Practice Roundup

The University of Richmond’s Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival was a whole lot of fun! Many thanks go out to Benjamin Broening (founder and artistic director of 3P) and his staff. This was the festival’s 11th year and featured eighth blackbird (ensemble-in-residence), VERGE Ensemble (featured artists), and performers Elizabeth McNutt, Jason Price, Daivd Niethamer, Daniel Koppelman, Ruth Neville, and myself.

I was at Third Practice to perform Paul Leary’s Number Stations, which I commissioned and premiered in 2010, and to premiere Christopher Chandler’s latest work a thing of dream and mist. Both pieces consist of solo saxophone and playback. You can hear Number Stations in the media section. I plan to record a thing of dream and mist and can’t wait to upload it!

This year’s Third Practice consisted of 5 concerts spread over November 4th and 5th. Concert One featured young composers Joo Won Park, Lesley Hinger, Heather Stebbins, Matthew McCabe, David Malkiel, and Christopher Chandler. I particularly enjoyed Park’s Introvert (watch on Vimeo) and, of course, playing Chris’ music.

Concert Two featured eighth blackbird with several solo pieces. As they are known to do, 8bb was really great through. Here’s my favorite pieces: Anna Clines’ rapture uses clarinet with distortion and fixed media in a well-connected manner. Alvin Lucier’s Nothing is Real (Strawberry Fields) for piano, amplified teapot, and electronics manages to reimagine the famous Beatles tune in a singular way. Tristan Perich’s piccolo and 1-bit electronics piece, A/B/C/D, was retro-futuristic-ly awesome. Anna Clyne’s 1987 for quartet and fixed media was performed with impressive reserve. JacobTV’s The Body of Your Dreams for piano and fixed media critiques USA fitness culture with lots of humor.

To avoid excessive detail, I will just mention some of my favorites pieces from the second day of the festival. McGregor Boyle’s Midway Inlet is a very tasteful and peaceful piece for clarinet and electronics. David Little’s and the sky was still there (watch on Vimeo) was premiered in it’s cello version. Nathan Wolek shared his fixed media piece attack which is entirely composed of the start of music in his music library. Benjamin Broening’s gathering light for violin and electronics had an excellent performance by Lina Bahn. And finally, Lucky Leone and Butch Rovan performed their rather funny and entertaining piece Slim Jim Choker for speaker and interactive typewriter.

I had a great time attending the festival and send my thanks to Paul Leary and and Chris Chandler for inviting me to perform their pieces!

Above graphic designed by John Malinoski.

Concert, Concert, Concert


I’ve got a busy long weekend coming up! For those of you in Virginia, I’ll be performing at the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, hosted by the University of Richmond. This Friday, on the 2:30pm concert, I am playing the premiere of Chris Chandler’s soprano sax and playback piece a thing of dreams and mist. I’ve had fun recording samples and meeting with Chris over Skype during the last couple months. And a great big Thank You goes out to Cara Salveson for lending me her soprano.

Then Saturday, on the 10:30am concert, I am performing Paul Leary’s Number Stations. This is a piece I commissioned/premiered in 2010 and had the good fortune to perform at the SEAMUS 2011 conference. Check out my recording of the work in the media section. I’m also very excited to be sharing the program with Peabody faculty member McGregor Boyle!

After a quick train ride to Baltimore I’ll be performing with AM/PM on Monday at the Three Arts Club of Homeland in Baltimore. We’ve got a great program lined up including Piazzolla’s classic Histoire du Tango, our own Miguel Bolivar’s Saxophone Quartet #1, Kati AgócsHymn, and the lengthy but amazing Recitation Book by David Maslanka.

And then I will be go home and rest…

AM/PM @ Red Room

I’ve been running around auditioning for DMA programs this past month, but now I’m back in the swing of things. For those of you in the Baltimore area, AM/PM has a great multimedia concert coming up this weekend. We just finished up prep rehearsals in Baltimore (Coming Together pictured above), got all the videos set, and everything is ready to go! Full details:

Saturday, March 12 @ 9pm
Red Room (Normal’s Books and Records)
425 E. 31st Street
Baltimore, MD
$5 door

Program:
Thom Limbert: Numbers/Dates (quartet and audio)
Matthew Burtner: Incantation S4=X (quartet and audio)
Jacob Ter Veldhuis: Heartbreakers (quartet and audio/video)

Paul Leary: “I Have A Past Life Memory From The War That Blew The Fifth Planet Into The Asteroid Belt” and other stories from AM Radio (quartet and audio)
Kati Agócs: Hymn (quartet and commissioned video by Eli Stine)
Frederic Rzewski: Coming Together (ensemble and audio/video)

Guest performers: Karin Kilper, Domenica Romagni, Esther Hae-In Choi, and Martha Morrison

SEAMUS 2011 – Number Stations

I am finishing up a great weekend in Miami at SEAMUS 2011! For those who haven’t heard of it, SEAMUS (pronounced like the name, “shay-mus”) is the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States. This year’s conference was held at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

I was there to perform Paul Leary’s Number Stations for alto sax and computer playback, which I commissioned and premiered in 2010. Paul and I had a great time presenting his piece (8:30am sound check shown above, picture of us at the conference below) on the 7th of 14 concerts. The conference was packed full of so much music that I will post separately to talk about everything else.

Check out my previous interview with Paul and the recording we made of Number Stations last year: