Tangent is an in-progress album of chamber and solo pieces, often employing electronics and elements of contemporary pop production. Samples, which are at the heart of the project's aesthetic, are thoroughly and evenly woven through the fabric of each composition, enriching the sonic possibilities of each work and unifying the collection’s sound world. The project is made possible by a Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship from the Jerome Foundation and a Next Step award from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.
The Broken Loops and History is going to change demos have been professionally recorded. Please listen to these first.
1) Broken Loops [excerpt], 2015 (I. from Pidgin Cycles)
Keith Kirchoff, Piano
2) History is going to change, 2015
Sarah Porwoll-Lee, Bass Clarinet
While all of the pieces in consideration for the album use a blended stylistic approach, the following demos also take a primarily 'new classical music' stance.
3) Big Boy
Kyle Hutchins, Alto Sax
4) James Carville & Mary Matalin are impressive
5) Pidgin cycles: II. Here nor there
There are a few in-progress commissions that I would also like to consider for the album (unfortunately no demos are available for these now).
- Hi, chamber ensemble & elect. (Wild Rumpus, San Francisco)
- Cut-ups, vocals, bass clarinet & elect. (Joe Horton, Sarah Porwoll-Lee, Minneapolis, MN)
- Bank withdrawal, soprano, guitar, & elect. (The Dream Songs Project, St. Paul, MN)
- Riff Raff, sax quartet & elect. (Caprice Sax Quartet, Minneapolis, MN)
There are also a handful of pieces that feature more of a studio-based aesthetic. While acoustic instruments are still an indispensable element, on the whole they lean more heavily toward electronic beat-based musics (e.g. Aphex Twin).
2) Bridges and borders
3) Today is Sunday
4) We're from the internet
In the course of the Jerome Fellowship we will record and mix much of the above at a high level. If a New Amsterdam release is a possibility we would be happy to do track selection for the final album in coordination with NA feedback; while we're confident about the whole body of work we're also enthusiastic about putting together a collection that best aligns with the NA mission.
The recording and mixing stages of this project are being funded by a Jerome Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship and a Next Step grant award from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (these add up $25,000 of support). We will record the bulk of the material in Winter/Spring '17.
The recording & mixing stages will be overseen by two production/engineer studio mentors:
Stephen Lewis (aka Anatomy, Kill the Vultures)
Mike Olson, Intuitive studios
Rather than proceeding in the traditional producer/engineer/artist roles, Steve and Mike will act as studio mentors, meeting with me periodically over the course of the project for a series of in-studio lessons (this is part of the funded granting activities). In these lessons we will analyze the demos, identifying unique recording and production needs on a track-by-track basis. As a seasoned recordist and engineer in classical and electroacoustic styles, Mike will provide invaluable feedback in this stage. After developing our production vision and recording game plan will proceed with recording. Studio options include Wild Sound in Minneapolis, Minnesota Public Radio's Maude Moon Weyerhaeuser Soundstage in St. Paul, and Mike's own Intuitive Studios. After the recording stage, the mentorship activities will continue in the mixing stage with both Mike and Stephen. In this stage, Stephen's years of experience as a celebrated pop/electronic/hip hop producer will serve the project well.
In addition to smaller premiers, three larger events will feature the work on this album in 17'-18':
Keith Kirchoff's Electroacoustic Piano tour.
Kirchoff's annual tour is a tour-de-force of cutting edge music for piano and electronics. The tour reaches some of the biggest cities in the United States, and has also visited Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and England.
Wild Rumpus performs Hi.
This performance will include the full 10 piece chamber group, in addition to fixed media audio score and synched-to-sound video. The piece will follow the visual and emotional trajectory of six people who must smile continuously for 30 minutes.
Album release concert.
I am in the initial stages of working with members of the FIX collective to produce a concert showcase of my works (possibly as a concurrent event with the album release). These members will assist me to develop the event's lighting, image projection, sound support, design and outreach. The showcase will feature performances of all of the album's pieces, culminating in the chamber/multimedia presentation of Hi.
A NOTE ON LICENSING
There are a few pieces in this collection that use samples of previously published media.
History is going to change and Big Boy:
These two pieces use samples from movies (Back to the Future and Dick Tracy, respectively). I have proceeded with the belief that the use of these materials is legally protected under the fair use/parody provisions of copyright law. However, I know the New Am legal team may have concerns regarding the publishing of these pieces. If the fair use/parody plan isn't adequate and there isn't another cost-effective strategy toward publishing these, I would understand if it was necessary to leave them off of a potential NA release.
This upcoming commission will sample spoken audio from the hip hop musician Riff Raff's Vine feed. I don't know if the legal status of published Vines are comparable to entertainment media like music and movies, but I am proceeding with the assumption that fair use/parody provisions of copyright law will apply here too. Again though, I would understand if a legal gray area made it necessary to leave the piece off of a potential NA release.
We're from the internet, Tangent, and Bridges and borders:
These pieces draw spoken audio from a variety of sources (YouTube, UbuWeb, lectures, interviews, etc.). Unlike History is going to change, Big Boy and Riff Raff, the speakers here are anonymous and it doesn't particularly matter to the pieces who actually says any of the fragments. If it was necessary I could recreate any of the sampled voices, removing the question of licensing issues.