Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Concerts: October/November, 2011

I'm going to try to maintain something of a list of upcoming performances, especially when groups of them are occurring together, as is happening over the next couple months. I hope it is useful (and not annoying). Please say hello if you are in the neighborhood of one of these!


Saturday, October 8, 7:30p.m. Sonorités, Montpellier, France

I will be giving the first performance of a new piece for solo electric guitar: melody, silence and playing fields have ears (4) with an ensemble assembled by Didier Aschour.

October 12–15, Field Fest, Q-02, Brussels, Belgium

Concerts, installations and talks, along with, among others, Manfred Werder, Annea Lockwood, Toshiya Tsunoda, Eric La Casa, Jason Kahn, Jez riley French and Emmanuel Holterbach.

Monday, October 17, 6 p.m., CRISAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice), London College of Communication

A field recording symposium along with Annea Lockwood and Emmanuel Holterbach (including a discussion of flussaufwärtstreiben).

The Carolinas, October 21th to the 26th

Friday, October 21, 9 p.m., Conundrum Music Hall, Columbia, South Carolina
Michael Pisaro / Greg Stuart, New Music Workshop

Transparent City (2.12)
fields have ears (4)
First performance of The Bell-Maker (performance version).

Saturday, October 22, 9:30 p.m., Nightlight, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
GregStuart/Michael Pisaro and Ryan Gustafson
A transparent gate (with ten panels) performed by Greg Stuart

Sunday,October 23, 2 p.m., WXYC Radio, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Beckett pieces (8a – 8e), from the harmony series (Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart)

Tuesday, October 25, 7 p.m. Experimental Percussion with Greg Stuart and Michael Pisaro, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina

Selections from the harmony series (Greg Stuart, Michael Pisaro)
Hearing Metal 3 (New Music Workshop, Greg Stuart)

Wednesday, October 26, 8 p.m., Recital Hall, Simons Center for the Arts, Charleston, South Carolina, Pisaro, Stuart, members of the New Music Workshop (Columbia, SC), and New Music Collective (Charleston, SC)

The rain of alphabets [harmony series no. 19]

This is the longest (and largest) of the harmony series pieces: over two hours, with fourteen musicians.

A few other performances in October and November:

Haptic performs Concentric Rings in Magnetic Levitation, a new, hour-long piece written specifically for the talents of Adam Sonderberg, Joseph Clayton Mills and Steven Hess.

Friday, October 21, 8 p.m., Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago
Sunday, October 23, 7 p.m., Studio Z, St. Paul, Minnesota

Thursday, October 27, 8 p.m., The Wild Beast, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Guitar (+1), Charles Underriner, guitar

rapport abstrait (with Brendan Byrnes, guitar), é la fora (with Ingrid Lee, harmonium), black, white, red, green, blue (solo guitar)

Friday, October 28, 8 p.m. Rolf Julius Memorial Concert, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

Works by Julius, Hans Peter Kuhn, Bernhard Leitner, Miki Yui.

First performance of asleep, stream, rice, violin (a ten minute piece for 4-channel audio, including recordings of Johnny Chang, violin and Greg Stuart, rice percussion, and the Big Sur River)

Wednesday, November 2, 9 p.m., Concert Minimal, O Tannenbaum, Sonnenallee 27, Berlin Neukölln

Lucio Capece, bass clarinet, Johnny Chang, viola, Koen Nutters, bass, and Hannes Lingens, accordion, play Sometimes from the harmony series.


Wednesday, November 2, Poetry as Score, Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London, 7:30pm (pre-concert discussion 6.30-7pm)

Jürg Frey- Landschaft mit Wörtern (selection) (2003)
Manfred Werder - 2009/4
Michael Pisaro - A single charm is doubtful [harmony series no.14] (2004-6)
Antoine Beuger - Confidential Letter #7 (2011)

Performers: Antoine Beuger, Angharad Davies, Sarah Hughes, Tim Parkinson, Michael Pisaro, David Stent, Carol Watts and Manfred Werder.

Grúndelweiser, November 3 to November 6, Cut & Splice, ICA, London

Members of Wandelweiser (Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey, Eva-Maria Houben, Marcus Kaiser, Radu Malfatti, Michael Pisaro, Burkhard Schlothauer, Manfred Werder) and Grúpat (Jennifer Walshe)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

mind is moving IX (a short update)

Getting ready to head to New York tomorrow, for Amplify11 and the Gravity Wave mini-festival at The Stone.

On Wednesday (September 14), for the second set, instead of mind is moving I, I will be playing a new piece: mind is moving IX for electric guitar and other objects (composed just this year: this will be the premiere). I will still be joined by Dominic Lash (who will be playing a slightly altered version of mind is moving IV).

The first set on Wednesday will see the first performance of A cloud drifting over the plain with the new ad libitum parts (for percussion, electric guitar, contrabass and piano).

If you are in NY I hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gravity Wave Festival, September 14/15, 2011, The Stone, NY

Amplify 2011: stones will happen in New York from September 1st to the 17th. While I imagine the entire (amazing looking) festival is likely of interest to people who purchase Gravity Wave discs, the label itself will celebrate a “mini-festival” under this larger umbrella at The Stone, on September 14th and 15th. A wonderful group of performers will be participating, including GW stalwarts Greg Stuart and Barry Chabala, along with two superb players of low instruments: Dominic Lash, contrabass and Katie Porter, bass clarinet.

Wednesday, September 14

7:30 PM: A cloud drifting over the plain (Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart, Barry Chabala, Dominic Lash)

This is the final piece from my larger cycle, Four Pieces for Recorded Percussion (2008). Most of the sounds on the recording (played back on Amplify’s excellent sound system) emanate from drops of water falling on all manner of objects (including many percussion instruments). Greg Stuart recorded eighty separate tracks of these sounds, which were then overlaid to create surprising rhythmic aggregates. The quartet of live performers move in and around the sustained rainfall of Greg’s fantastic recording.

9 PM: mind is moving (I and IV) (Michael Pisaro, Dominic Lash)

This is a duo version of this piece from 1996, the first time it will have been performed in this arrangement. The solo mind is moving I was one of my first recordings on the Edition Wandelweiser label (EWR 0106). The piece concerns the relationship between quiet, but often quite complex, overtone constellations and their surrounding silence.

10:30 PM: fields have ears (6) (Barry Chabala, Michael Pisaro)

This piece has been evolving steadily over the last couple years. The core of the work is a solo piece for electric guitar – which lays down a kind of harmonic grid (in combination with sine tones). The piece has with each performance accumulated new sounds: from turntables, radios and the performance locations themselves (including at this point Munich, Seattle and A coruña). It is something like an overgrown garden, where the rectilinear format of the original planting is at times covered and distorted by layers of overgrowth.

Thursday, September 15

7:30 PM: A transparent gate with ten panels (Greg Stuart solo) (double length set)

This 100-minute work will receive the premiere of the complete version during this festival. The basic set-up of the piece is solo percussion playing along with eight small speakers, laid out in an arc across the stage. The sounds in the speakers are derived from the same instruments (as performed by Greg) as those that are played live, creating a variety of “reliefs” between the live sound and the layered versions of itself being played back. It is organized into ten “panels” of 10 minutes each (with silences between the panels), a structure loosely based on Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise.”

10:30 PM: asleep, street, pipes, tones (Michael Pisaro, Katie Porter)

A live version of GW 004! Performed for the first time by Porter, bass clarinet, and Pisaro, electric guitar, at Experimental Intermedia in December of 2009, the piece is dedicated to Phill Niblock. The electronic parts consist largely of samples and field recordings and will (I hope) make full use of the Amplify sound system.

Two other nights might be of special interest to Gravity Wave fans.

The kick-off of the festival is on Thursday, September 1st at The Stone (a Wandelweiser evening):

8 PM: Antoine Beuger-approcher s'éloigner s'absenter (premiere)

10 PM: Michael Pisaro-hinwandeln, augen zu (premiere) 
both sets performed by the trio of Barry Chabala/Dominic Lash/Ben Owen

The full title, hinwandeln, zwischen himmel und erd, is taken from Hölderlin. It refers to the movement, back and forth, between waking and dreaming. The score simply gives indications of the number of melodic/harmonic events in a certain sequence, asking the performers to create, under these conditions, a harmonious community on the spot. augen zu, picks up, more or less where hinwandeln leaves off: on it's way to steady state, with eyes closed. The score was written specifically for this trio.

The day before the Gravity Wave festival starts, Radu Malfatti and I will perform two sets, each one devoted to music we wrote for our duo.

Tuesday, September 13 (at The Stone):

8 PM: Claude Lorrain 2 (Malfatti)

10 PM: Ascending Series (6) (Pisaro)

Radu and I first performed this pair of pieces in Munich a couple years ago. We knew we wanted to write two duos for the same concert, but said nothing about what the contents might be. We were both pretty shocked at how much overlap there was been the two scores, given the different directions our music has gone in the past few years. The two instruments, trombone and electric guitar, seem like an obvious, natural combination.

Please come and hear us live, if you can, and of course, Gravity Wave discs will be on sale at the festival.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gravity Wave 005 and 006 out now.

The two new Gravity Wave discs are now available - two more pieces in the Hearing Metal series. Below I have posted basic credit info for both CDs. I will probably update with further information on the pieces in a while, but am curious to see what listeners make of them, before saying too much myself. Greg and I are really proud of these and hope you enjoy them. (Ordering information is on the right side panel.)

Hearing Metal 2 (La table du silence)
Michael Pisaro (2010/2011) (after Constantin Brâncuşi)
to Yuko Zama
Michael Pisaro: radio, guitar, sine tones, recording, assembly, mixing, mastering
Greg Stuart: percussion, recording
Greg Stuart plays almglocken, bell plates, brake drums, chimes,various metal instruments/objects with contact microphones, cymbals, glockenspiel, gongs, steel drums, tam-tams, vibraphone
Organ samples by John Pisaro
Field Recordings from Big Sur, California, Neufelden, Austria, and Haan, Germany
Hearing Metal 3 (Prometheus, 1911)
Michael Pisaro (2010/2011) (after Constantin Brâncuşi)
to red fish blue fish
Michael Pisaro: sine tones, mixing, mastering
Greg Stuart: sixteen suspended cymbals, grains/surfaces, recording, mixing

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Excerpts for Hearing Metal 2 and 3

In advance of the release of Hearing Metal 2 and 3 in the next week or so, I'm posting three minute excerpts from each disc (click on the links below).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yuko Zama's designs

We finalized the artwork yesterday, so I'm posting Yuko Zama's wonderful designs for the next GW discs. The parallels between the two covers reflect the fact that, although these are two parts of the Hearing Metal series, they can be played back-to-back as one 107 minute piece (005 has a duration of 62 minutes, 006 of just over 45 minutes).

We are sending them to the printers next week, just a bit ahead of schedule.

Hearing Metal 2

Hearing Metal 3

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hearing Metal 2 and 3

The next releases on Gravity Wave are scheduled for September, in connection with Amplify 11 / stones (including a GW mini-fest on Sept. 14th and 15th).

Two recent compositions by Michael Pisaro, with his collaborator, Greg Stuart, percussion.

Hearing Metal 2 (La table du silence) (2010/11) (GW 005)

Hearing Metal 3 (Prometheus, 1911) (2010/11) (GW 006)

In homage to Constantin Brâncuşi.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two new Gravity Waves hit the street

The next discs of music by Michael Pisaro on Gravity Wave are now available.

GW003: Close constellations and a drum on the ground (2010) began as scored work with electronics but then developed a life of its own in the studio. It consists of the alternation of sedimentary layers of low percussion samples (mixed with guitar and many noise sources) in slow rotation, and clusters of slowly modulating high sine waves pierced by bowed crotales. (40’20”)

Greg Stuart, percussion

Barry Chabala, guitar

GW0004: asleep, street, pipes, tones (2009) is an investigation of the sounding properties of pipes and streets interspersed with a duo for bass clarinet and electric guitar.

The investigations form ten three-minute episodes, assembled in studio by Pisaro from samples—mostly organ, but also tiny snippets of vocal music and a single piano chord—and field recordings.

The instrumental parts, arranged in nine sections, also three minutes each, develop over the course of the 63’40” duration of the piece from a single tone into long descending melody.

In most sections the samples and instruments are augmented by sine tones.

Barry Chabala, guitar

Katie Porter, bass clarinet

Brief organ samples are taken from three recordings: Eva-Maria Houben, dazwischen/immer anders (EW 0407/8), Burkhard Schlothauer, abregistrieren (EW 0501), and André O. Möller, musik für orgel und eine(n) tonsetzer(in) …2003… (EW 0702), all performed by Eva-Maria Houben. Thanks to Edition Wandelweiser for permission to use them.

Follow the link to the right to order or go to erstdist:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two more Gravity Wave releases on the way

We are proud to announce that GW 003 and 004 will be released in early March 2011, and will be available from ErstDist around that time.

Final versions of both pieces are being mixed and mastered now, and below are Yuko Zama's final cover designs.

Gravity Wave 003: close constellations and a drum on the ground

close constellations and a drum on the ground (2010) began with Greg Stuart’s suggestion that I use samples of his percussion playing to make an electronic piece. He recorded over an hour of percussion playing solely for this purpose. Initially there were live parts for crotales and guitar, but these two (as recorded by Greg and Barry Chabala) are now embedded into the final version of the work. Some of the sections are very dense, with up to 50 simultaneous tracks of percussion, treated samples of percussion and guitar, sine tones and field recordings. This piece is dedicated to Luka Zagoricnik.

Gravity Wave 004: asleep, street, pipes, tones

The instrumental parts for asleep, street, pipes, tones (2009), played by Katie Porter (bass clarinet) and Barry Chabala (guitar), were recorded by Devin Maxwell at his studio in Brooklyn in January 2011. In this piece there are many samples as well, especially from various Wandelweiser organ works. The piece alternates (with occasional overlap) small environments created with the samples and electronic sounds with a simple duo for live instruments. It was premiered at Experimental Intermedia in December of 2009 and is dedicated to Phill Niblock.