WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…
"I regularly listen to and am moved by stories of wrongful conviction, but it was not until The Innocents performance that I really felt what it must be like to be convicted of and imprisoned for a crime I did not commit. This gripping abstract performance takes you deep into the dark world of a wrongfully convicted prisoner and is one of the most moving performances I have ever witnessed — who knew banging rocks together and tearing up sheets of paper could be so powerful! I didn't know what to expect ahead of the performance, and I certainly didn't expect to be moved to tears. You will be spellbound.” - Clare Gilbert, Executive Director, Georgia Innocents Project
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas
with Marty Regan and Yoko Reikano Kimura
This program juxtaposes aspects of traditional Japanese musical aesthetics through the medium of newly composed works for Japanese instruments and percussion. The works on the program reflect several elements of Japanese culture including Zen Buddhism, haiku and tanka poetry, and the annual celebration of cherry blossoms. Hanami is the word for a long-practiced Japanese tradition of welcoming the cherry blossoms of in springtime. Communities often gather under blooming cherry blossom trees and ponder their evanescent beauty.
The program includes two works inspired by Zen Buddhism. John Lane’s Uji for solo snare drum and spoken text reflects on the teachings of Eihei Dogen, founder of the Soto school of Zen. John Cage’s Ryoanji is a sublime work that musically represents the raked sand and stones of the Ryoanji temple garden in Kyoto.
The program concludes with the premiere of a new work by Marty Regan for koto (13-string Japanese zither), shakuhachi (end-blown Japanese bamboo flute), and percussion entitled In a Moss Garden.
Full information here: http://rothkochapel.org/experience/events/event/in-a-moss-garden-the-sounds-of-japan
Sam Houston State University, Concert Hall - 7:30pm
Allen and I will be expanding/updating our piece, The Innocents, over the course of his 2-week residency at SHSU. The work centers around the social justice issues of wrongful imprisonment and exoneration through DNA evidence. This performance will be the first of the newer/longer version of the piece.
You can learn more about The Innocents here.
Sam Houston State University, Concert Hall - 7:30pm
Recital with Allen Otte (Percussion Group Cincinnati, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music). I'll be collaborating with Allen on some improvised music using our invented/re-purposed instruments. We'll be joined also by Kin Lam Lam, student percussionist/composer at SHSU.
Snare Drum Fundamentals Clinic at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, San Antonio, Texas
Friday, February 16, 2018, 11:30am
A performance residency with Bent Frequency and Allen Otte at the University of Georgia: "The Innocents." The performance residency will feature mine and Allen Otte's collaborative/performance art piece "The Innocents" (with Allen Otte). Allen and I join Bent Frequency on two works by Frederic Rzewski: "Coming Together" and "Attica."
Details here: https://willson.uga.edu/event/the-innocents-project/
The Innocents Project residency examines the issue of wrongful conviction in the American penal system through live musical performance and theatre inspired by the work of photographer Taryn Simon. The individuals photographed by Simon were exonerated through DNA evidence, often after serving decades in prison.
The residency will feature a roundtable discussion at the Law School, a presentation on how to fuse contemporary music/theatre with a social justice cause, masterclasses at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, all to culminate in a final musical performance in the Atrium of the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Atlanta-based contemporary music ensemble Bent Frequency members Drs. Jan Baker and Stuart Gerber (Georgia State U.), along with Dr. John Lane (Sam Houston State U.) and Prof. Allen Otte (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music) will lead the residency work, with participation by the director of The Georgia Innocence Project, a nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit.
The schedule of public events is as follows:
Wednesday, Feb. 15
12 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Lamar Dodd School of Art, Room S160
A conversation featuring Atlanta-based contemporary chamber ensemble Bent Frequency and guest artists Professor Allen Otte and Dr. John Lane as they discuss the collaborative and cross-disciplinary aspects of their performance project The Innocents, inspired by the photo exhibit of The Innocence Project by photographer Taryn Simon, which examines the issue of wrongful conviction in the American penal system. Simon traveled across the US photographing and interviewing individuals who had been wrongly convicted and served time for crimes they did not commit. The individuals photographed were exonerated through DNA evidence. Their performance of The Innocents takes place in the Dodd Atrium (first floor of Lamar Dodd Building) the following evening, 2/16, at 6pm. Sponsored by a Willson Center Public Impact Grant.
Presentation: “Collaboration and Community: Cultivating a Performative Voice”
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Dancz Center, Hugh Hodgson School of Music
A conversation featuring Atlanta-based contemporary chamber ensemble Bent Frequency and guest artists Professor Allen Otte and Dr. John Lane as they discuss how their work as contemporary musicians has broadened into culturally and socially relevant interdisciplinary performance projects that inspire artistic development and purpose beyond the playing of their instruments.
Thursday, Feb. 16
School of Law Panel Discussion: “Social Justice and Music: The Innocence”
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, third floor, School of Law
A distinguished panel discussion, moderated by law professor Russell Gabriel, that features Clare Gilbert, interim director of the Georgia Innocence Project; Clarence Harrison, Georgia Innocence Project’s first exoneree; Ryan Swingle, regional capital defender; and guest artists Professor Allen Otte and Dr. John Lane. This panel will discuss aspects of the death penalty, the process of exoneration and how social justice can inspire art and music.
Culminating Performance: The Innocents featuring Atlanta-based contemporary chamber ensemble Bent Frequency and guest artists Professor Allen Otte and Dr. John Lane
Lamar Dodd School of Art Atrium (located on first floor)
The first half of the concert features “The Innocents” work. Through the use of non-traditional instruments, such as found or street percussion (rocks, pots, pans, trash cans, etc.), and the use of electronics, the music and text illustrate some of the strong and complex emotions brought about by Simon’s original exhibit. The second half features Bent Frequency performing “Coming Together” (1971) and “Attica (1972), by the American composer Frederic Rzewski. The text is taken from letters written by Samuel Melville, an activist and inmate killed in the prison riot at Attica State Prison in 1971. Melville’s words outline the inhumane living conditions at Attica, which led directly to the four-day riot that left 39 people dead.
A Foundation for Practice: Snare Drum FUNdamentals Clinic
Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC)
9E2 is a festival in Seattle bringing together art, science, and technology. You can read about the event here: http://9e2seattle.com/about.html
I'm performing a work to close the festival by artist John Roach. Here's what John says about the event:
“Gene Splicing” is a project for “Nine Evenings” an event series that will take place at the historic Kings Street Station in Seattle, Washington in Fall 2016. The series borrows its title from “Nine Evenings: Theatre & Engineering” a groundbreaking collaboration between artists and engineers originally held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City in 1966. This iteration in Seattle marks the 50th anniversary of the original which brought together technologists at Bell Telephone Laboratories and artists working across media such as John Cage, Meredith Monk, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Tudor. The aim of Nine Evenings 2016 is to bring art and technology together and to spark a 21st century dialogue that examines intersections of current scientific research and artistic practice.
“Gene Splicing” builds on my recent collaborative work with glass artists and percussionists, notably the project “The Tactile Transducers” at Glazen Huis in Belgium and “Forest ((Noise)) Floor” at Pilchuck Glass School (links are included below). This iteration of the work involves the use of DNA data to influence the content and delivery of a live sound performance. - John Roach
I'll be teaming up with Allen Otte and Bent Frequency for our program, The Innocents. The program features mine and Allen's composition, "The Innocents," followed by Frederic Rzewski's "Coming Together" and "Attica." The event is part of a fundraising effort for the Georgia Innocence Project and will be held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA.
My first solo recording will feature a work I commissioned in 2011, The Landscape Scrolls by Peter Garland. I'll be recording at Wire Road studios with engineer Brad Sayles.
I gave the premiere of the piece at the Rothko Chapel back in 2012 and have played it a number of times in concert including two performances in South America. When I had the opportunity to take a sabbatical from teaching this semester, I decided to devote my time to recording this ground breaking and little known work. It deserves to be known and performed by more people! It is a significant contribution to our repertoire.
The Landscape Scrolls by Peter Garland
Notes on the piece:
"My basic view of culture is that it is not merely a question of "products"—i.e. the pieces you write (or poems or paintings, etc.), or the concerts you present. But rather, and most fundamentally it is the life you live, where you live it, and the deep reciprocity of place and people." - Peter Garland
"The Landscape Scrolls" was commissioned and written for John Lane and Sam Houston State University through the Enhancement Research Grant Program. The work is loosely inspired by the idea of 19th Chinese landscape paintings. Instead of lush mountain scenery, Garland reflects on his backyard in rural Maine. The work is concert length and traces the outline of a day. Each movement is a monochromatic study, more about resonance and space than melody or harmony: "early morning; mist on the river" (chimes), "mid-day, jagged peaks, endless mountains" (chinese drums), "sunset; vernal pools, frog pond" (for 9 tuned rice bowls), "after dark; fireflies" (for triangles), and "late; Starry Night" (glockenspiel). Monochromatic colors for each movement and moto perpetuo musical settings bring to mind the vibrantly stoic color field paintings of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko.
This work also reminds me of a cultural/historical resonance, experienced vividly through our attention to geography and landscape. Garland sees cultural history through a lens of geographic landscape. This view led him to a conception of America as a physical reality that extends beyond artificial political boundaries or nation-states. He reminds Americans that we need look no further than our own backyard to discover resonances and cultures as rich and vibrant as any "exotic" culture of the world.
Garland's music is also a spiritual vessel. Performed sympathetically, it can have a visceral and transformative effect on the performer, and therefore the audience.
Peter Garland (b. 1952) studied with Harold Budd and James Tenney at Cal Arts and had strong mentor/friendships with several luminaries of the American Experimental Tradition, including Lou Harrison, Harry Partch, and Conlon Nancarrow. He is also known as the publisher of Soundings Press from 1971-1991, a press dedicated to printing scores and writings by significant American experimental composers and scholars.
LUNGTA + NICK LANTZ
Monday, November 3: Abilene Christian University; Abilene, TX
3:30pm - Percussion Clinic
7:30pm - Concert
Tuesday, November 4: Tarleton State University; Stephenville, TX
5:00pm - Percussion Clinic
7:30pm - Concert
Thursday, November 6: University of Mary Hardin Baylor; Temple, TX
10:00am - Percussion Clinic/Masterclass
7:30pm - Concert
Sunday, November 9: Sam Houston State University; Huntsville, TX
7:30pm - Concert