The Rush of the Brook Stills the Mind

July 1st, 2013













The Rush of the Brook Stills the Mind is an electro-acoustic percussion solo composed for me by Elainie Lillios. Elainie and I had been discussing a collaboration since 2011, and we began working on The Rush in earnest in early 2013.  In May, with Elainie’s new score in hand, from a studio in Fairbanks Alaska, I recorded a large sampling of percussion sounds from which she designed and built the interactive electronic part to the work. I performed the world premiere at the 2013 nief-norf Research Summit in June, and a subsequent performance at Sick Puppy (SiCPP) in Boston later that month. The composition is inspired by a poem by Wally Swiss of the same title. The program notes written by Elainie and the full text of the poem follow.

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Auksalaq World Premiere

November 15th, 2012

After 5 years of work, creation, and planning, we presented the world premiere of the telematic opera Auksalaq. I am so grateful to many people who contributed their time, talent, and energy to this artistic work about climate change in the Far North, especially to my creative partner and composer of the music and libretto, Matthew Burtner. » Read the rest of this entry «

Big Robot in Beijing

November 5th, 2012

Big Robot recently traveled to China to perform as guests of the Musicacoustica Festival (pictured above). While there, we also presented workshops on computer-acoustic music in several universities in the Beijing area. A great time was had by all….can’t wait for the return trip!


November 4th, 2012

I am so excited about the newest piece created as a result of a long-standing collaboration with Big Robot bandmate Michael Drews titled Surveillance. I have been working with a bicycle wheel for several years now, exploring my own take on this unique transportation implement turned percussion instrument. And Michael, who composed Surveillance, discovered that bicycle moving parts, with their intricate, modulating sounds; are superb match for computer-acoustic interactivity.  Bicycles as musical instruments have appeared in new and experimental music concerts for many years (for example, check out this fabulous video of Frank Zappa performing on a bicycle in 1963). » Read the rest of this entry «

John Cage at SICPP 2012

August 2nd, 2012

I experienced some fantastic moments in a simultaneous performance involving three of John Cage’s “number” instrumental solos: 31’57.9864” For a Pianist, performed by Steffen Schleiermacher, 26’1.1499” for a String Player, performed by Karinna Fox, and 27’10.544” for A Percussionist, performed by me; on an evening concert at the New England Conservatory Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice in June.  These works are part of a collection of indeterminate works collectively known as Ten Thousand Things. For an interesting read on this collection of works composed using chance operations, visit James Pritchett’s website. To view the performance, click here.

SICPP 2012 Summer Institute

July 20th, 2012

The New England Conservatory Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, also known to its participants as “Sick Puppy” was held at New England Conservatory in Boston June 15-23. An 8-day immersion into new and experimental music for advanced and professional musicians, SICPP began in the 1990’s when noted pianist and Artistic Director Stephen Drury began a contemporary music performance seminar for his students. Eventually Drury began to add composers, percussionists, vocalists and instrumentalists until it reached its present form, a new music institute that includes an Ensemble Program, an Electronic Music Workshop, and the New Works Program, which is a workshop for composers who have the opportunity to study with the Composer-in-Residence. » Read the rest of this entry «

Big Robot in Oklahoma

May 12th, 2012

Big Robot recently returned from concerts and presentations in Oklahoma, performing material from their upcoming DVD at the Cameron University New Music Festival, and at Oklahoma State University. Click here to view a performance of Jack Walk, taken during the trip.

Four Thousand Holes in New Yorker Magazine’s Top Ten Classical CDs of 2011

December 19th, 2011

New Yorker Magazine has listed the recording of Four Thousand Holes, composed by John Luther Adams, on its Top Ten Classical CD Picks for 2011 list. The work, which can be found on the Cold Blue Records CD of the same title, is a 33-minute tour de force scored for percussionist, pianist and electronics. Deal recorded the piece last year in Boston with his frequent collaborator, noted pianist Stephen Drury. » Read the rest of this entry «

Auksalaq Presented with Internet2 IDEA Award

October 13th, 2011

Internet2, the nation’s most advanced networking consortium, presented the Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) award  to Matthew Burtner of the University of Virginia and myself for the creation of the telematic and media-enriched opera, Auksalaq.
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Performances in Boston, Idaho with the Callithumpian Consort

September 25th, 2011

I just returned from two weeks on the road with the Boston-based new music group Callithumpian Consort, directed by Stephen Drury. Great fun and a busy time performing concerts and giving presentations. The group performed Steve Reich’s Sextet, Tristan Murail’s Le Lac, Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion by Bela Bartok, and The Credo in Us by John Cage. Audiences were great, the group rocked, and as usual, there was never a dull moment with Drury and Company. Click here to visit the website for the Idaho concert.