Pollock Plays Jazz

A new composition for flute and guitar, co-commissioned my good friends Mark Delpriora and Laurel Zucker.  The piece is a book of eightpieces freely exploringsharp contrasts in mood, instrumental color and style. Several are also homages to favorite composers like Ralph Towner & Ennio Morricone, who’ve used the guitar in uniquely expressive ways.  “Pollock” was premiered at the 2006 Festival of New American Music in Sacramento. Mark & Laurel also gave the New York premiere of the piece in December ’06 at the New York Flute Club.  Laurel liked the piece so much she decided to record it for her label CantilenaRecords.  The disc, eponymously titled… “Pollock Plays Jazz”, was released in June of 2007.

March 2007

A benefit concert for the Jazzschool and the Berkeley Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. With YPSO Music Director David Ramadanoff and Master of Ceremonies Jake Heggie, the program featured my composition Trane of Thought .

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November 2006

Friends Mark Delpriora (guitar) and Laurel Zucker (flute), premiered Pollock Plays Jazz, at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento. The piece was commissioned by Mark & Laurel, who also gave the East Coast premiere in December ’06 at the New York Flute Club. It was released on Cantilena Records in February 2007.

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February 2006

I helped organize and performed in the Instant Message Festival at ODC Theater. IM ’06 featured performer/composer/improvisers Fred Frith, Paul Dresher, Ned Rothenberg, Music Without Walls, and the sf Sound Group, led by Matt Ingalls.

ODC Theater Residency

In 2006 I was named Artist-in-Residence at ODC Theatre, San Francisco. The Residency Program is a comprehensive, three-year program including presentation, development, and advocacy support for emerging and mid-career artists of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m especially thankful to mad-genius Theater Director Robert Bailis, for being a true believer, inspirational ODC founder Brenda Way, the ODC artistic and administrative staff, and my fellow artists, who are an amazing, provocative group.  My primary focus will be on the opera in early development, but plenty of other activity is planned, included performing and collaboration.  The first event I was involved in was the Instant Message Composer/Improviser Festival, where I performed with Sheldon Brown, Graeme Jennings & Dana Pandey.  Also on the festival were Paul Drescher, Ned Rothenberg, Fred Frith, and Matt Ingall’s SfSound.  More to come, stay tuned for details…

On a Train Heading South

On a Train Heading South was commissioned by ODC/San Francisco as a collaboration with choreographer Brenda Way and lighting/stage designer Alex Nichols.  It is a dance theatre work exploring media saturation and human inattention to the environment and climate change.  The central character is Cassandra, and the piece is set in an iconic ballroom environment in which she struggles to gain the attention of the crowd of party-goers.  The set features an arc of twelve blocks of ice suspended over a silver floor – a double-edged vision of loveliness and self-absorption.  The ice blocks melt throughout the performance – an aural and visual component of the half hour piece.  On a Train Heading South is a cautionary tale about our own natures and the nature that sustains us. It was premiered in March 2005 as part of ODC’s 34th home season at the Yerba Buena Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, and toured the U.S. including performances at the Joyce Theater in New York.

February 2005 – 2006

On a Train Heading South toured the U.S. including shows at the Joyce Theatre (New York) and the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts (San Francisco). Commissioned by ODC Dance and created with choreograher Brenda way and visual designer Alex Nichols, the piece examines inattention to global warming through the lens of the Cassandra myth. On a Train garnered significant media attention and praise, including a presentation at the 2005 Sierra Summit and an interview on WGBH’s Living on Earth, the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by National Public Radio.