"Unique and thought-provoking" - Fanfare reviews Because Patterns
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This article originally appeared in Issue 43:2 (Nov/Dec 2019) of Fanfare Magazine.

Because Patterns Isaac Schankler Aerocade 011 (42:11)

Sometimes, not often, a sound just gets you. There is an immediate resonance that impels further listening. Such was the case with the opening of Isaac Schankler’s Because Patterns/Deep State. While the idea of using a prepared piano carries inevitable echoes of John Cage, and indeed there are certain passages that may reference Sonatas and Interludes, Schankler’s world is unique. It’s good to see Aron Kallay there, too, as he pretty much blew Fanfare reviewer Robert Carl’s mind with his disc Beyond Twelve (which included a piece by Schankler that reimagined a Chopin étude, entitled Alien Warp Étude). Schankler’s piece Pheromone was reviewed by myself in Fanfare 40:2. 

The idea of this disc is to explore three ways in three pieces of manipulating patterns. Because Patterns carries with it resonances of Feldman’s Why Patterns. This is rule-generated music in which a system of parameters used on one measure generates the next, a process referred to as cellular automaton. Here, it is mixed with a performance of Deep State for double bass and electronics. Whereas the upper frequencies move swiftly, with clear Minimalist tendencies, the lower stratum seems to reference an eternal. Because Patterns was commissioned by the present performers, the Ray-Kallay duo. The best electronic music shared with the best Minimalist music a sort of emotional cleanliness, and that is precisely what we get here. Even the ruminative, deep moments (both in pitch area and emotional intent) and the ruminative ones pitched high on the spectrum exhibit that cleanliness. In a sense, this changes the way we listen: Instead of a straightforward beauty experienced from music, there is an element here of beauty examined like an object held out at an arm’s reach and then beauty experienced. 

Cellular automaton is a process that, while simple on paper, can generate highly complex results in a number of areas of which music is only one. Although the idea was developed in the 1940s, it was in the 1970s that the idea was brought to popular science via Cambridge mathematician John Horton Conway’s book The Game of Life. Although a seemingly dry mathematical construct, the concept of cellular automaton can be found in nature in sea shells; and a reflection of that beauty is, perhaps, its appearance in music here. 

The performance is wonderful: clean-cut, perfectly calibrated both rhythmically and in the cut-crystal recording. Let that not imply there is no subtlety; the quiet re-emergence of the piano from an atemporal electronic hum later in the piece is beautifully managed. Out of the final droplets of sound emerges a throaty violin note. The piece Mobile I has the electronics reacting to violinist Sakura Tsai’s playing; an ongoing spectral analysis that initially is hardly even felt, only whispered, but becomes more insistent as the piece progresses. The composer, in the liner notes, acknowledges Tsai’s mastery, “improvised and polished at the same time.” 

On a different plane, at least on an immediate level, is Future Feelings for piano, played with real understanding by Nadia Shpachenko. The piece was written at the time of the birth of the composer’s first child, and Schankler wanted to create “a quiet, soothing version of noise music.” So the first part of the piece is actually built around a decidedly Romantic sound world, exuding a sense of nostalgia only underlined by the musical bedfellows on this disc. There is a sense at one point that any rose-tinted spectacles come off in an acknowledgement that a return to that past is impossible. 

Unique and thought-provoking, Schankler’s voice needs to be heard. Often restful and thoughtful and yet often subtly disturbing in its way of destabilizing fields of calm, this music offers myriad ways to reflect on the nature of how one expresses oneself via the medium of sound. And all that in just over 40 minutes. 

Colin Clarke

"Intriguing and strangely satisfying from first to last" - Fanfare
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This article originally appeared in Issue 43:2 (Nov/Dec 2019) of Fanfare Magazine.

Donut Robot! Post-Haste Reed Duo AEROCADE 010 (59:30)

Yes, you read that right: Donut Robot!: a celebration of the combination of saxophone and bassoon. The title comes from Ruby Fulton’s charming piece, which for just shy of 10 minutes explores a somewhat unsurprisingly mechanistic soundworld. The title comes from that scourge of contemporary life, autocorrect, in a text message between the two members of the Post-Haste Duo. A musical representation of the state before and after communication breakdown (unison passages cede to all sorts of fun), it has a more serious side as it examines also some of the dark side of such breakdowns (Pokemon Go! causing accidents and deaths, Y2K, and so on). It is the ideal ushering-in of this new sound universe of sax and bassoon, and the cartoon illustrations on the disc of a metal donut with pink icing and hundreds and thousands of sprinkles are amazing. The performance needs to be preternaturally accurate for this to work, and so it is. 

The keening, microtonal high opening of Drew Baker’s First Light and its continuing exploration of that soundspace are an intended depiction of the time between dawn and sunrise. The idea is to live within the texture and at the same time observe its changes, however small they may be. The three Soundscapes of Michael Johanson are inspired by two vistas: the hills of southern Italy and snowfall in Oregon. There is a spring in the step of the first, “The Hills of Basilicata,” an artist community the composer visited in 2014. There is much beauty here, enhanced by the perfect ensemble of the two players (at times they sound as if they are two stops on an organ, perfectly articulated by the organist). The central “Snowscape” is a musical depiction of the peace after a snowfall the composer witnessed in Oregon, while the joyous, multi-meter “Moto perpetuo” does what it says on the tin, and well. 

Another great title is for Edward J. Hines’s piece Hommage: Saygun et Bartók en Turque, subtitled “Chanson de Hatice Dekioğlu.” The piece refers to the visit in 1936 by the two composers Bartók and Saygun to a Turkish village, where the 13-year-old Hatice Dekioğlu sang a folksong for them. The two players at one point intone the words of the song “I came to this World from Istanbul / My affection is for the daughter of the Armenian / Don’t eat, don’t drink, but look at the eyes of the young one / Take me to the saddle, oh son of the Kurd, and let us go.” Hines’s piece is a set of variations on the original recording, but it is also a tribute to the two composers—especially Saygun, perhaps, as Hines studied composition and ethnomusicology with him on a Fulbright scholarship in the mid-1980s. Towards the end, we hear the original recording above sustained notes on sax and bassoon; the instruments react to the sound, too. It is an unbearably touching moment when one is aware of the basis of the piece. 

The inspiration for Andrea Reinkemeyer’s In the Speaking Silence comes from a poem by Cristina Rossetti, Echo. Written in 2018 in memory of the composer’s mother, there is an inevitable touching aspect to this piece of sonic mourning. There is a rhythmic underlay derived from the Christian hymn It is Well with my Soul in tribute to the deceased’s love of the hymnic tradition. There is the most remarkable multiphonic on saxophone here—remarkable for both its veracity (multiphonics so often misfire and sound like something grinding when it shouldn’t be) and its perfect control. In performance, the performers should be located as far away from each other as possible, to enhance the echo effects; space in musical terms is also utilized, as the players begin in unison and end far apart. 

That would have been a poignant way to end, but one in dissonance, perhaps, with the pink-frosted metal donut, so the closing word is left to Takumah Itoh’s Snapshots, which comprises four short movements: “Grotesque,” “Chain,” “Haunted,” and “Early Bird Special.” Fragmented Minimalism makes “Chain” particularly fascinating, especially after the harsh sounds of the short “Grotesque.” The title “Chain” refers to Lutosławski’s series of works of that name, and controlled aleatorism is the link between the two. Itoh concentrates on the glissando for “Haunted,” but his way is far from straightforward or hackneyed. It is, moreover, a study on where how and where the directionalism of a glissando flowers. It morphs into “Early Bird Special,” bebop influenced (think of Charlie Parker’s “Bird”) and also reminiscent of Raymond Scott’s mechanistic, cartoonish music. 

Detailed notes on the music is available online. Intriguing and strangely satisfying from first to last, this is a most unexpected treat. 

Colin Clarke 

"Baker is a talented composer and performer" - Fanfare
Photo: Charlotte Suarez

Photo: Charlotte Suarez

This article originally appeared in Issue 43:2 (Nov/Dec 2019) of Fanfare Magazine.

Quadrivium Elizabeth A. Baker AEROCADE 008 (118:00)

Elizabeth A. Baker, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, refers to herself as a “New Renaissance Artist,” which means in part that she works in a variety of forms and media. A 16-page zine accompanying this release includes her poetry and art, and it helps to put her work in a broad perspective. It also includes a “Manifesto” in which Baker decries exclusivity in the presentation and dissemination of modern concert music (and art in general), and in which she observes that such exclusivity can be created unintentionally by well-meaning promoters who try to attract new audiences with “trendy” or “curated” experiences. This resonates with me, and not just because “curated” has lately become my least favorite buzzword! “Art,” she writes, “belongs to all mankind.” Right on. 

Baker, who is now 29, is a graduate of St. Petersburg College’s Music Industry Recording Arts program; she started out as a classical guitarist before discovering her true creative voice, in which the piano plays a central role. Quadrivium is the latest of several commercial releases (available, like Quadrivium, on Bandcamp), and the most varied yet in both instrumentation and style. An early, all-piano collection is called Imperfect Improvisations for Possible Probable Ghost Listeners, and some of the music on that release sounds eerily like Debussy, or like Scriabin on Quaaludes. Quadrivium is nothing like that. Its first half, while devoted to the piano, opens with the Minimalist and tightly controlled Sashay by Nathan Anthony Corder, and continues with Baker’s own works, looser and more improvisational in style, which call for the piano to be prepared in different ways. The title Command Voices, used in two of these works, alludes to the voices heard by individuals experiencing psychosis. These voices direct them to behave in certain ways, including in ways that can cause harm to the individual or to the community. One of the implements used in these works is a vibrator—yes, that kind of vibrator. (The feminist implications of that are fascinating.) The second half is devoted to works in which electronics and spoken word feed off each other, and here Quadrivium takes on an appealingly science-fictionish vibe—a little William Gibson and a little Samuel Delany. Baker addresses social issues, such as the transactional nature of love in the digital age, and the alienation of the “silent webcrawler,” sometimes electronically altering her voice to emphasize that alienation. A recitation of URLs and IP addresses, punctuated by a slow and stuttering electronic heartbeat, is chilling. Baker is a talented composer and performer, and Quadrivium, taken as a whole, is a pretty impressive release for someone still so young. Perhaps Baker will be the Pauline Oliveros of her generation, and perhaps she will be more than that. 

Quadrivium also is available as a digital download from Bandcamp, where you can buy the CD, and a separate copy of the zine, if you so desire. It’s not easy listening in any sense of that phrase, but its difficulties are anything but gratuitous. Adventurous listeners might find it to be a provocative and intriguing ride. 

Raymond Tuttle 

"noteworthy for blending so deftly acoustic playing and electronic elements" - textura
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Many thanks to textura for reviewing Isaac Schankler’s Because Patterns!

“Benefits accrue to composer and performer alike from this presentation of three electroacoustic works by Los Angeles-based Isaac Schankler. Currently Assistant Professor of Music at Cal Poly Pomona, Schankler is a composer, accordionist, and electronic musician whose material is realized exquisitely on the forty-two-minute recording by pianists Aron Kallay and Vicki Ray, double bassist Scott Worthington, violinist Sakura Tsai, and pianist Nadia Shpachenko. The Ray-Kallay Duo appears alongside Worthington on Because Patterns/Deep State, whereas Tsai and Shpachenko present solo performances of Mobile I and Future Feelings, respectively. Describing them as such isn't perhaps entirely accurate, however, when the pieces seem more like collaborations between the performers and electronics. Regardless, the material benefits mightily from the high-level artistry of the musicians, and one's impression of Schankler's composing ability is enhanced in turn by their performances. All five players bring impressive credentials to the project: Shpachenko, for example, is, like Schankler, a Professor of Music at Cal Poly Pomona University, whereas Ray is head of keyboard studies at the California Institute of the Arts.”

Read the rest at textura.org.


Celebrating 10 years with Post-Haste Reed Duo
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Congratulations to the Post-Haste Reed Duo on their TEN YEARS playing together as a kickass duo! Help them celebrate at their show on August 15th at 1st Stage Tysons in Tysons Corner, Virginia:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2019
AT 7:30 PM

1ST STAGE TYSONS
1524 SPRING HILL ROAD
TYSONS, VA 22102

$15

https://www.newmusicusa.org/event/post-haste-reed-duos-10th-anniversary-concert/

"It is music that provokes" - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
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The Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review says:

“No person is an island and perhaps every piece of music connects in some way to every other piece of music whether local or world-widely, contemporary to ancient. That may be more to chew off on this rainy morning than I can safely address on the blog, but it explains my feeling listening to Because Patterns (Aerocade Music 011). I get a distinct window on experiencing a piece of today that is electroacoustically enmeshed with what has happened in Electronica and the Post-Progressive in Rock, on one hand, soundscaping ambiance, and the whole spectrum of the Modern Contemporary Classical on the other.”

Read the rest of the review here.

Thank you Grego Applegate Edwards for taking the time to listen to and review Because Patterns!

"Because Patterns has it all" - I Care if You Listen

Many thanks to I Care if You Listen and Nick Stevens for taking the time to review Isaac Schankler’s Because Patterns!

Because Patterns has it all: killer liner notes, evocative performances from musical dream teams, and balance between coherence and variety. The impeccable recording, engineering, and mixing by Schankler, Vanessa Parr, Ben Phelps, Scott Fraser, Barry Werger, and others certainly help. Four years and eleven records into its existence, Aerocade Music can claim another victory with this release.”

- Nick Stevens, I Care if You Listen

Read the entire review here.

"The entire album is remarkable listening" - Sequenza 21 reviews Because Patterns

Thank you Paul Muller and Sequenza 21 for reviewing Isaac Schankler’s Because Patterns!

“The entire album is remarkable listening and represents a new benchmark of just how highly evolved the combination of acoustic instruments and electronics have become in the service of musical expression.”

- Paul Muller, Sequenza 21

Read the entire review here.

textura review: "virtuosic performances by Fredenburg and Rodriguez"
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“Anyone doubtful as to the range of creative possibilities a bassoon-and-saxophone duo might offer should come away from Donut Robot! convinced otherwise. Its virtuosic performances by Fredenburg and Rodriguez show the combination to have as unlimited a potential as a violin-and-piano coupling, the significant difference between them the size of the repertoires associated with the pairings. As this recording shows, Post-Haste Reed Duo is doing its part to make that difference smaller.” - textura, April 2019

Read the whole review here.

"Happily recommended." - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Thank you Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review for recommending Donut Robot!

“There are album concepts and cover illustrations that grab my attention and I will admit that the art on Donut Robot! (Aerocade Music 010) by the Post-Haste Reed Duo is a favorite.What's wrong with a bit of outlandish humor? Nothing at all as far as I am concerned. All the better of course if the music turns out to be very much worth our ear-time. That is the case here as limber-timbred saxophonist Sean Fredenburg and bassoon stalwart Javier Rodriguez take us on an imaginative journey through six compositions and compositional suites.”

Read the rest of the review on the Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review site.

Isaac Schankler Album Release Concert in Los Angeles

Equal Sound presents:
Isaac Schankler Album Release & The Furies

April 4, 2019
8:00 pm
Art Share L.A. (801 East 4th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90013)

Equal Sound’s First Thursdays series at Art Share presents an album release concert for Isaac Schankler’s Because Patterns in a performance featuring collaborations with Vicki Ray, Aron Kallay, and Scott Worthington. Intersectional feminist performance art violin duo The Furies join the bill with their project A Cure For Hysteria, featuring the music of Elizabeth A. Baker, Eve Beglarian, Olga Neuwirth, and ThunderCunt.

All attendees will receive a free download of Because Patterns.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/isaac-schankler-album-release-with-special-guest-the-furies-tickets-54837916685

Program

OLGANEUWIRTH ad auras...in memorium H.
THUNDERCUNT Incidental Music I
ELIZABETH A.BAKER A Cure For Hysteria
THUNDERCUNT Incidental Music II
EVEBEGLARIAN Well Spent

ISAACSCHANKLER Because Patterns

Interview with Isaac Schankler

We welcome Isaac Schankler to the Aerocade Music roster!
Read more about Isaac
here.

Isaac Schankler (Photo: Gabriel Harber)

Isaac Schankler (Photo: Gabriel Harber)


Meg Wilhoite previewed Isaac’s upcoming album Because Patterns and interviewed them to learn more about the album and their process.

In their aptly-named album Because Patterns, composer Isaac Schankler explores three approaches to creating and manipulating musical patterns, carrying out a full integration of electronic sonic environment, mathematical compositional procedure, and acoustic performance. The overall effect of the title track, “Because Patterns/Deep State,” is that of finespun electronic swells punctuated by the percussive sounds of the piano, performed by the Ray-Kallay Duo, who commissioned the piece. Incorporating a mathematical model called a cellular automaton, the musical patterns begin with a single seed and shift organically according to the rule assigned to it. As the title suggests, there is an element of Deep Listening in this piece—performed by double bassist Scott Worthington—as from minute 17:30 to 20:30 we settle into a sotto voce electronic hum that is present-only, with no sense of past or future. Subtly, quietly the piano returns, a distant echo from earlier in the piece, nestled deep within the electronic texture. 

The electronics and violin in “Mobile I” are interlaced by means of spectral analysis, as the electronic sounds are a reaction to violinist Sakura Tsai’s fragmented statements. The former keen and hum around the latter, creating the sense of a large, open structure in which the violinist is centrally situated. The final minutes of the piece shift to a more active texture, the electronics and violinist merging in polyrhythmic arpeggios. The final track, “Future Feelings,” performed by Nadia Shpachenko, features alternately swirling and languid piano figures overlaid with hissing static and Morse code-like blips panning between the ears. Later on in the piece, the electronics also provide occasional low, reverberant hums. While the piano hints at past styles of lush vibrations, the electronics pull the listener into the noise-filled, pulsating present.

Because Patterns  will be released on May 31, 2019.  Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when Because Patterns comes out.

Because Patterns will be released on May 31, 2019. Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when Because Patterns comes out.



Meg: Is Because Patterns a nod to Feldman’s Why Patterns

Isaac: It's a nod to the title more than the piece or Feldman's music. I always thought “Why Patterns?” was a strange kind of question, because really patterns justify themselves. We can't help but make sense of the world through patterns, through making connections between disparate things. That's one thing people and machines have in common too, and much of our lives is now mediated by patterns created by algorithms, for better or worse. So for a long time I’ve been interested in what happens when there’s too much or not enough information to truly discern a pattern. What happens when a person or machine starts seeing patterns that aren’t really there? So a lot of the piece Because Patterns/Deep State consists of gestures or motives that are moving either too quickly or too slowly to really get a handle on. So you have to make a decision about what's really important, and maybe in the end it's not the patterns? Maybe it's something else.



Meg: What program(s) do you use to make the electronic tracks? I'm particularly interested in the "ongoing spectral analysis" you mention for Mobile I. 

Isaac: I use a variety of things, but mostly Max/MSP for anything involving live electronics. The "ongoing spectral analysis" in Mobile I is basically a glorified pitch tracker that also detects harmonics, but what I liked about it for that piece is that it was a little unpredictable. It wasn't perfect, so sometimes you'd get the correct pitch, but other times you'd get another pitch that was related. So there were these microdeviations that you could use to create textures. If the pitch tracker worked perfectly the piece wouldn't be nearly as interesting. This is something I worry about actually, if the pitch tracker gets updated the piece might become obsolete. It’s also a tricky thing for the violinist to react to the electronics and remain on track, and I love the way Sakura Tsai plays it on the album, how it manages to feel improvisational and polished at the same time.



Meg: At what part of the compositional process do creating the electronics and writing the instrumental parts first meet? Do you generally start with one or the other, or do you develop the two strands concurrently?

Isaac: I wish it was more tidy, but often it's a kind of back and forth where the electronics will affect the instrumental material and vice versa, so sometimes the process takes a lot longer than I would like. Because Patterns was originally an acoustic prepared piano piece with plinky music box-like material that was composed with the help of some algorithms (specifically cellular automata). It was written for the Ray-Kallay Duo, and it demands a lot of precision and tight coordination from them. Deep State, which was written for Scott Worthington, is almost the opposite. It was originally a somewhat improvisatory piece with low bass drones being frozen and extended by electronics, and Scott provided a ton of valuable input that really shaped the piece. But while those pieces worked great live, they seemed strangely incomplete on a recording. We expect recorded music to saturate the frequency spectrum. Also the pieces seemed to be in dialogue with each other, working out some of the same kinds of ideas but at very different time scales. So I thought it would be fun to mash the pieces together, which made the mixing process vastly more complicated than I anticipated! I added a lot more electronic sounds after the fact, including sampled pianos that would frequently double the recorded pianos, bringing out different aspects of the sound like mechanical key noise, pedal resonance, things like that. For a while I had a lot of inner turmoil about whether or not I was allowed to do this, to ruin the real piano sound with "artificial" samples.



Meg: I'd love to hear more about your compositional process. For instance, in terms of the piano part, “Future Feelings” has a very Romantic vibe in places, particularly in terms of the figuration—how does music of the past inform your process? 

Isaac: That piece in particular is deliberately nostalgic, not just for Romantic era music but also for the time in my life when I was most engaged with that kind of music, i.e. an angsty teenager. At that time I wrote that piece my kid had just been born and it was really surreal to watch him react to music, to essentially discover music, and it brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings about the music that first really moved me. I was also thinking a lot about noise and the soothing effect noise has on babies, and I really wanted to make a quiet, soothing version of noise music. The first part of the piece is based around that, and the Romantic-inflected music gradually emerges from that texture. Nadia Shpachenko, who commissioned and premiered the piece, specializes in this kind of repertoire, and she really makes this part sound incredibly gorgeous. But I'm also suspicious of nostalgia, so there's a moment where that material cracks open, because in the end you can't really go back to that era. I guess it's fueled by a kind of hope and optimism that my kid, and by extension all people younger than me, will go beyond me in ways I can't even imagine. I want to see them break the patterns of the past.



Meg: Earlier you mentioned allowing yourself as a composer to double the pianos in the first track: Over the years as a composer, has there been anything you wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self?

Isaac: Oh geez, so many things! But I think most of all I wish I could tell my younger self to take the advice of my teachers and mentors with a grain of salt, and that it’s okay, even good, to go against their advice sometimes. I realize this is a slightly dangerous thing to say as a teacher myself. But I’ve found that a lot of composers, especially highly successful ones, have never really interrogated their own aesthetics and processes, and assume that they are universal ones. They then try and pass these biases on to students, instead of teaching students to listen to and develop their own instincts. I’m still trying to unlearn a lot of anxieties and hangups I internalized a long time ago, and it’s something that I hope the next generation of composers doesn’t have to deal with.


Meg Wilhoite (Photo: Katie Muffett)

Meg Wilhoite (Photo: Katie Muffett)

Meg Wilhoite is a writer, electronic musician, and former professional organist. For over a decade she blogged about the New York City new music scene, in addition to programming concerts and working with various collectives and ensembles. When she's not listening to and writing about new music she likes to program her beloved synthesizer.

Donut Robot! Review on The Rehearsal Studio
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Stephen Smoliar reviews the new Post-Haste Reed Duo album :

“The album consists of six new works, each by a different composer. In “order of appearance” on the album, the composers are Ruby Fulton, Drew Baker, Michael Johanson, Edward J. Hines, Andres Reinkemeyer, and Takuma Itoh. Perhaps the most salient impression left by this album is how diverse these six contributors are in their approach to composition. However, that diversity is reinforced by the virtuosity of the performers.

That virtuosity is evident immediately through the choice of instrumentation. One might think that a saxophone would overwhelm a bassoon. However, the full extent of the album is matched by a wide dynamic range, with just the right balance of the two instruments at any level of loud or soft blowing. Thus, some of the most engaging moments are the subtle ones, such as the shimmering sonorities of Baker’s “First Light,” in which subtlety emerges through microtonal oscillations that demand seriously attentive listening.”

Read the rest at The Rehearsal Studio.

Listen to the album.

Aerocade Artist Showcase Concert in San Francisco
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Aerocade Presents: Elizabeth A. Baker, Post-Haste Reed Duo, Meerenai Shim, and friends

Join Aerocade Artists for an evening of new music, free improvisation, electronics, woodwinds, and good vibrations! Contrabass flute virtuoso Ned McGowan will join the lineup as a special guest.

Saturday, January 5, 2019 @7PM
Center for New Music
(55 Taylor St. San Francisco)

Tickets available online at centerfornewmusic.com and at the venue box office ($20 general, $10 members/seniors/students)
Complimentary refreshments will be served when doors open at 7pm.

Elizabeth A. Baker, composer/performer from Florida, will perform selections from her recent release "Quadrivium," including the West Coast premiere of "Sashay" by Nathan Corder. The Post-Haste Reed Duo (Saxophonist Sean Fredenburg and bassoonist Javier Rodriguez) will perform works from their upcoming release, "Donut Robot!” Meerenai Shim will premiere “This is How I Feel” for flute and electronics by Elizabeth Bayer. Friend of Aerocade and contrabass flute virtuoso Ned McGowan will be visiting from the Netherlands to perform an improvised set.


ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

Eschewing the collection of traditional titles that describe single elements of her body of work, Elizabeth A. Baker refers to herself as a “New Renaissance Artist” that embraces a constant stream of change and rebirth in practice, which expands into a variety of media, chiefly an exploration of how sonic and spatial worlds can be manipulated to personify a variety of philosophies and principles both tangible as well as intangible. Elizabeth has received recognition from press as well as scholars, for her conceptual compositions and commitment to inclusive programming. In addition to studies of her work, Elizabeth has been awarded several fellowships, grants, and residencies, in addition to sponsorships from Schoenhut Piano Company and Source Audio LLC. As a solo artist, Elizabeth represented by Aerocade Music, her first solo album on the California-based label Quadrivium released worldwide in May 2018 to rave reviews. She is founder of the Florida International Toy Piano Festival, The New Music Conflagration, Inc., author of two books, and the subject of a number of scholarly articles, thesis papers, and other academic research. In March 2018, Elizabeth retired from nonprofit arts administration to focus on her international solo career, though she remains committed to the community through workshops and public speaking engagements. Her first motivational book The Resonant Life inspired by her personal experiences as a professional artist will be released in 2019.

The Post-Haste Reed Duo (Saxophonist Sean Fredenburg and bassoonist Javier Rodriguez) has been spreading the beauty and warmth of their unusual pairing of instruments internationally for almost a decade. 

They have worked to increase the amount of quality chamber music literature for saxophone and bassoon duo, and to encourage young musicians to experiment performing in non-traditional chamber ensembles by collaborating with composers towards new works that highlight the capabilities of these two instruments individually and together. When they are not performing together as a duo, Sean can be found teaching at Portland State University in Portland, OR, while Javier teaches at the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID. 

Flutist Meerenai Shim is one half of the innovative flute and percussion duo, A/B Duo, and the a member of the award-winning contemporary flute ensemble, Areon Flutes. Her third solo album, the all-electroacoustic Pheromone, is available on the Aerocade Music label. 

Ned McGowan (1970) is a flutist and contemporary classical music composer, born in the United States, living in the Netherlands. Known for rhythmical vitality and technical virtuosity, his music has won awards and been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw and other halls and festivals around the world by many orchestras, ensembles and soloists. As a flutist he plays classical, contemporary and improvisation concerts internationally and he has a special love for the contrabass flute, in 2016 releasing the album: The Art of the Contrabass Flute

"Macabre Piano Epics and Deep-Space Ambience" - New York Music Daily reviews "Quadrivium"
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“Pianist/multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth A. Baker’s new album Quadrivium – streaming at Bandcamp – is extremely long and often extremely dark. Her music can be hypnotic and atmospheric one moment and absolutely bloodcurdling the next. Erik Satie seems to be a strong influence; at other times, it sounds like George Winston on acid, or Brian Eno.“

Read the rest at New York Music Daily!

Beauty in Black Artistry Blog Interviews Elizabeth A. Baker
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The Beauty in Black Artistry blog on the Castle of our Skins website spoke with Elizabeth A. Baker about being a “New Renaissance Artist” and her influences. Read the interview here.

Castle of our Skins is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. Read more about the organization here.

"Quadrivium is a nicely sprawling, major dramatically vibrant work"

Grego Applegate Edwards reviewed Elizabeth A. Baker's Quadrivium:

"...after five listens I must say I am mightily impressed with it all.

I must say I do very much love this very living work. It is as contemporary as anything you will hear, and it is not afraid to combine deftly timbral and sound-color beauty in striking ways. The music is visceral. The words are frank yet poetic."

Read the rest of the review at Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review