Variety Show

click to view large image

click to view large image

Album: Variety Show
Artist: A/B Duo
Label: Aerocade Music
Format: CD/Digital
Release date: October 7, 2016

Buy: iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp

 


 


A/B Duo’s eclectic mix of flute and percussion instruments makes this a true “Variety Show” of an album. Math rock, pop remixes, avant-garde, and everything in between can be found in this American duo’s first full-length album.

 

Ned McGowan | Ricochet (2014)
for contrabass flute, floor tom, 3 suspended cymbals, 3 woodblocks, triangle, and flexatone

Ian Dicke | Isla (2012)
for flute, vibraphone, and live audio processing

Andrea Reinkemeyer | Wrought Iron (2012)
for flute, vibraphone, bongos, tambourine, triangle, china cymbal, and splash cymbal

Drew Baker | Limb (2013)
for contrabass flute, piccolo, vibraphone, Thai gong (E), Wind Gong, and 3 crotales (D, Eb, F)

Zack Browning | Sol Moon Rocker (2013)
for flute and vibraphone

Brooks Frederickson | Breathing Bridge (2014)
for flute with Glissando Headjoint®, glockenspiel, and vibraphone

Brendon Randall-Myers | Glitch (2015)
for flute, vibraphone, and drum set


RICOCHET

by Ned McGowan is scored for contrabass flute, floor tom, 3 suspended cymbals, 3 woodblocks, triangle, and flexatone. This piece was commissioned by A/B Duo.

ISLA

by Ian Dicke is scored for flute, vibraphone, and live audio processing. This piece is a remix of Isla de Niños by Elisa Ferrari and was commissioned by the Peterson/Hayes Duo.

WROUGHT IRON

by Andrea L. Reinkemeyer is scored for flute, vibraphone, bongos, tambourine, triangle, china cymbal, and splash cymbal.

Wrought Iron (2012) for Flute and Percussion was commissioned by the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra as part of the Capital Region Heritage Commissions project. It was premiered by Albert Brouwer, flute; and Robert Schulz, percussion in the iconic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Troy, New York).

This piece is a musical celebration of the beautiful metal work that crowns the hall. The shapes found within the iron work–circles, triangles, and rectangles–dictated the shape of the percussion instruments used–cymbals, tambourines, bongos, triangle, and vibraphone. The music reflects the light, airy and beautifully ornate quality of the metal castings.

While composing this piece, I was also drawn to another fascinating aspect of this building: architect George B. Post used metal to look like stone. In his attempt to make a European-looking building (on an American budget), he fashioned a metallic exoskeleton that houses a truly unique acoustic space. In this vein, I have worked elements from pieces by two of the composers whose names grace the ceiling of the hall: Ludwig van Beethoven and Frederick Chopin; in this way, I am honoring the work of artists who came before me, but with a twenty-first century American twist. Like the cast aluminum used in the 1990s renovation to replace the original iron, and the woodwind made of metal, things are not always what they seem.

Many thanks to the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Melanie Sorenson and Brian Amer for their artistic support.”

– Andrea Reinkemeyer

LIMB 

by Drew Baker is scored for contrabass flute, piccolo, vibraphone, Thai gong (E), Wind Gong, and 3 crotales (D, Eb, F). This piece was commissioned by A/B Duo.

“Sol LeWitt’s Scribble Wall Drawing series served as a primary source of ideas for limb. These massive drawings (many in the 8′ x 8′ range and one as long as 61′) are comprised of hyper-dense bands of pencil gestures that, depending upon the particular work, coalesce into formations akin to the paintings of Rothko (horizontal) and Barnett Newman (vertical).

LeWitt’s method of developing a visual concept and its associated process, and then delegating the execution of the process to others, offers interesting parallels to the composer/performer relationship. Robert Storr, a member of one of the teams that created the drawings, described the process as follows:

“…far from being a matter of mechanically executing a fixed schema, LeWitt’s delegation of labor in the production of his work enlists others in a, for the most part, aleatory and highly sensual activity that was as much at the heart of his own engagement with the result as the generative idea behind each project.”

This notion of the sensuality of gesture has long been important in my music, and it is present throughout limb. From the gently pulsating tremolo figures in the opening, to the middle section’s gong swells, to the final section’s chords tethered together via long tones in the crotales, these gestures, simple as they may be, are intended to elicit a palpable intimacy and sensuality.” – Drew Baker

SOL MOON ROCKER

by Zack Browning is scored for flute and vibraphone.

“Sol Moon Rocker was commissioned by the A/B Duo (Meerenai Shim, flute and Christopher Jones, percussion) and examines the harmonies and disharmonies between woman and man as represented by yin and yang and the Moon and the Sun. The composition is in three large parts. Part I is freely composed on ideas associated with the Moon (Woman) and the Sun (Man). Part II applies fung shui to the birth dates of Meerenai (Woman) and Chris (Man) to produce its 18 sections. Each of these sections contains different themes including “Meerenai’s Moon Flight” (rhythms derived from Meerenai’s birth date and pitches from the Magic Square of the Moon) and “Sol of Chris” (rhythms derived from the birth date of Chris with pitches coming from the Magic Square of the Sun). Additional themes include “It’s a Man’s World” by James Brown, “Ladies’ Night” by Kool & the Gang, and “The Sun and Moon Have Come Together” by The Fourth Way. Part III offers the spiritual, physical and universal union of the male and female energies into one inseparable whole.” – Zack Browning

SOL MOON ROCKER

Part I 

Moon Phase I mysterious and powerful 
Blinding Sun with a bright tone 
Sol Moon Rock I hit it!
It’s a Man’s World with soul
Sol Moon Rock II sock it!
ride it!
own it! 
Blazing Sun with a brilliant tone 
Moon Phase II hauntingly beautiful 

Part II 

(based on the birth date of Meerenai)
Gender Groove I rock down! 
Ladies’ Night I low funk 
Meerenai’s Moon Flight I aggressive 
Sol of Chris heartbroken 
Man’s World I reflective 
Dance to the Moon with joy 
Sun and Moon Have Come Together feel the fusion! 
Gender Groove II rock up! 
Sol of Chris II weeping 

(based on the birth date of Chris)
Dance to the Sun with energy 
Meerenai’s Moon Flight II attacking 
Sun and Moon Have Come Together (inversion) ride the fusion! 
Ladies Night II high funk 
Man’s World II introspective 
Meerenai’s Moon Flight III heavy assault 
Sol of Chris III sorrowful 
Dance to the Sun and Moon with power 
Gender Groove III ringing rock! 

Part III

Spiritual Harmony inner beauty 
Physical Harmony outer strength 
Universal Harmony strength and beauty 
Moon Phase III strangely beautiful 
build the tension 
Sol Moon Rock III climatic fusion

BREATHING BRIDGE 

by Brooks Frederickson is scored for flute with Glissando Headjoint®, glockenspiel, and vibraphone. This piece was commissioned by A/B Duo.

“Between my apartment and the nearest Brooklyn subway station, there is a bridge that weaves itself over a busy four-lane road, and under an even busier highway. When I walk over the bridge, I feel the vibrations from the passing trucks. Some of my friends are unnerved by this and avoid using the bridge.

I choose to use it. I enjoy the excitement; I enjoy the feeling of the ground beneath me moving.

The piece has three voices: the flute, the vibraphone, and the glockenspiel. The three voices work together and weave around each other to make a duo of opposites. One line ascends, one descends; the time in one line if flexible, the other is rigid; one changes, one stays the same.

I see the lines like parts of the bridge cut up and juxtaposed on the page, with the approach and descent overlaying each other, with the slight differences from day to day happening from gesture to gesture. I feel the ground move.” – Brooks Frederickson

GLITCH

by Brendon Randall-Myers is scored for flute, vibraphone, and drum set. Chris performs this piece while playing vibraphone with his left side and drum set with his right side. What the what?!

“I write a lot of pieces as snapshots of my relationships with the people that commission them – aspects of their personalities, music we both love, and our shared interests and experiences all find their way in. Writing Glitch for Meerenai and Chris, I gravitated towards their quirkiness, virtuosity, humor, and groove, imagining them as a prog-punk videogame music cover band that can’t quite decide which tunes to play or what tempo to play at. These disputes are the source of constantly shifting rhythmic relationships and some bizarrely hilarious musical collisions.”  – Brendon Randall-Myers


CREDITS

A/B Duo
Christopher G. Jones, percussion
Meerenai Shim, flutes

Produced by Meerenai Shim and Christopher G. Jones.
Track 2 engineered by Alberto Hernandez and Ian Dicke.
All other tracks engineered by Alberto Hernandez at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California.
Mastered by George Horn.
Art and Design by Adam T. Davis.