Seicremllams EP Released...Digitally...

Hey all. Hope the season isn't too stressful so far. I'm here to mention that I've gotten sick of sitting on it, and have released the Seicremllams EP by An Historic - digitally, anyway.

I had been hoping to save it and release the tape and digital versions concurrently, but long story short there have been a series of unforeseen delays with the artwork that have prevented me from releasing the physical version as planned. So, rather than let it collect dust on my hard drive for over a year (like last year's Cutoff split did), I've decided to get the songs out there into the world. Seicremllams is intended to be a companion EP to an upcoming full length release (Small Mercies, recorded this summer and in the final stages of mastering right now), providing alternate versions of some of the tunes that will be on that release. This was my most focused experiment in home-recording yet, being almost completely done in two day-long sessions, so my usual desire to nit-pick to death was held back. The sound quality is a little raw but is cleaner than previous self-recorded releases, a bit more spare in the arrangements, and despite having some vocal and instrumental overdubs I think gets pretty close to my live sound, which is something previous releases have not been able to do - every song was built around a single take of vocals and accordion recorded simultaneously, and every other layer was shaped around that foundation.

The photo currently serving as artwork was shot and tweaked by Rowan Bee, from a series of photos taken at the end of last year:

So at the moment, the EP is available on my bandcamp page digitally for free/p.w.y.c. download, or streaming. I've set up a pre-order option, so if you have a cassette player and want the tape (but also want to hear it NOW NOW NOW) you can pre-order the cassette release (only 95 available) which will also guarantee you a copy of the tape when it is released, one way or the other, sometime early next year. (If necessary, I'll make my own artwork, although in this case I was hoping for some more competent artwork to include with this release.)

A Happy New Year to you all!


Performance Updates

Not much performing as of late. Been learning a ton of new music with Dr. Caterwauls, with the Wesleyan ensemble AND recently with Anthony Braxton's large ensemble, as well as for other miscellaneous performances. My brain is buzzing a lot as of late.

First and most prominent update - a date change. The Matlock/Rhodes/Slattery set with Emerging Voices Project has been moved to Friday, November 30th at Neverending Books. The start time is now 8PM. I'm very excited to have these folks in New Haven and it should be a fun evening.

Secondly, a new, last minute performance. I'll be performing primarily on accordion with Anthony Braxton's large ensemble (Compositions 100, 102, 147 and 169 among them, if you're wondering). The performance is at Crowell Concert Hall in Wesleyan's Center For the Arts in Middletown, at 8PM. The ensemble is quite varied this year and includes various woodwinds (including bassoon, bass clarinet and contralto clarinet to round out the low end), piano and mallet percussion, one student playing a very warbly but marvelous Yamaha electric keyboard, viola, trumpet, a vocalist and some others I'm forgetting too. It's been really wonderful to work on this stuff with this group over the last few weeks, and the concert should be a blast.

Finally, on December 15th, the quartet that has existed in theory for several months will cross over into the performing world. A quartet of Benjamin J.M. Klein, Anne Rhodes, Maura Valenti and myself will perform a set of improvisations and compositions alongside solo sets by Nick Millevoi and Keir Neuringer. The performance is part of the Uncertainty Series and is happening at The Big Room on December 15th at 8PM.

Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that Dr. Caterwaul's is opening for The Cankickers, who are back for a tour throughout the winter of 2013. We're joining them at Cafe Nine on January 2nd, with doors at 7PM. More details as they come.



Closing in on the album art for the "Seicremllams" EP cassette release. As the release draws near I'll be leaking some of the tracks for it online.

In the mean time, here's a rough mix of "I'll Regret This Tattoo When You Regret Ending The World," from the followup LP recorded with the help of Dr. Caterwauls and Carl Testa, entitled "Small Mercies."

This September marked the release of the October '11 performance by the Syntactical GTM Choir on New Braxton House recordings. It's available online in MP3 and FLAC formats at the Tricentric Foundation Website.

Finally, I'll be releasing a cassette of G. Zarapanecko material, two new tracks composed for a film, as well as one remix and one track from "Little Black Dots on the Air." Stay tuned for notice on that - I'm very excited for my first physical release by this project.

In upcoming performances, I'll be helping out in an undisclosed fashion on the performance/discussion by vocalists Anne Rhodes and Kyoko Kitamura as they discuss and perform the Ghost Trance Music of Anthony Braxton as well as original compositions by each of them. Performance is at the Downtown Music Gallery in Manhattan, 11/11/12 at 7PM.

I'll also be performing the Earthseed Songs again with Anne Rhodes and Brian Slattery, with some new additions to the cycle on December 1st, at a TBD location in New Haven. Also on the bill are the Emerging Voices Project, soprano Elisabeth Halliday and saxophonist Zach Herchen, performing music commissioned for the duo. Stay tuned for event location info, time probably 7PM...

Dr. Caterwaul's (now featuring Chris Cretella!) is performing a vaguely holiday themed show with the Cygnet Sisters on December 9th at the Big Room, New Haven CT. The time will be late-afternoon/early evening and family friendly!

Finally, we've set the date for the Wesleyan New Music Ensemble concert - it'll be in the evening, specific time TBA, on Tuesday, December 11th.

Last but not least, here's the flier for the upcoming show with Mal Blum and Zoe Boekbinder. This is the first time I've done a flier by hand, and this flier is exceptional for no other reason.

Stay tuned as always for further announcements, details, clarification.


Summer Stasis

Well, it's obviously been entirely too long since I've updated this blog. I won't attempt to cover everything I've done since the last update, but chief among them was a sendoff for cellist Nathan Bontrager with whom I've played with in Broadcloth and Dr. Caterwaul's Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps for the last several years. So before he left, Broadcloth finished up recording our debut CD, and we recorded the debut releases for both Dr. Caterwaul's AND An Historic in the same session. Stay tuned for more info on all of those as it comes. Most recently, I performed Saturday with Anne Rhodes and Brian Slattery. The occasion was last minute but the deadline prompted three short compositions which set some of the central tenets of Earthseed, the fictional religion/philosophy created by Octavia E. Butler in her books "Parable of the Sower" and "Parable of the Talents." I've wanted to engage with Butler's text for awhile, and this was a great opportunity to do so without getting into as large-scale of a composition I eventually hope to. Here's an excerpt from the first performance: Expect these compositions to be developed and performed again, and potentially added to.

 Immediately ahead, An Historic is coming out of a bit of a stasis with some new material and performances. Still waiting on the art for the upcoming "Seicremmllams" tape, but now that the LP is finally recorded (currently being mixed), I've felt OK moving on to new material with gusto.

An Historic will be performing:
 10/21 with Brian Slattery at the Rhymes with Opera Fall Salon, 2012. Christ Church NYC, 520 Park Avenue, 6PM.
 10/27 with Mountain Wasp, Clara Engel. At Le Cagibi, Montreal, PQ. 9PM.
 11/27 with Mal Blum, Zoe Boekbinder and Jacket Thor. Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT. 9PM.

 There are a few other things up in the air at the moment - stay tuned. And check the sidebar for more upcoming performances including a Halloween show with Dr. Caterwaul's and the Cygnet Sisters.


Gebrauchsmusik Release!

Today marks the small, mostly unheralded digital release of "Gebrauchsmusik" the short collection of music I've written for dance over the last three years. Developed simultaneously with works by dancer Judie Clark and her students, these pieces represent an extremely wide sonic framework, from full electronic/keyboard pieces to electro-acoustic processing, solo piano (and sometimes clarinet) to (synthesized) ensemble pieces. The other thing they all have in common is being recorded very quickly, with the final leap from sketch to arrangement being made in the recording process, allowing some unfussed-with good ideas to slip through to the final product (as well as some outright glaring mistakes). I have learned a lot from the work done on these over the past few years, and I hope some of that comes across in this collection.

Check it out HERE, free to stream and download (although you have the option to donate if you wish.)


New EP, Opera Clips, Broadcloth Tour, Upcoming Shows

First off, I've decided to release an EP of some of the music I've composed for the dance classes I've worked for in the last 3 years. Titled "Gebrauchsmusik" after the German ideal of "utility music," or music that had both functional merit as well as artistic, one of the only things each of these pieces have in common is their intended use. Otherwise you find a range, from solo to studio "ensemble" pieces, from through-composed to fully improvised and various stages in between, from tonal to completely atonal. The other common thread is them all being recorded in a hurry, which provides for some wonderful accidents under pressure as well as a few glaring mistakes. But the short amount of time between inception and final draft forced me, while working, into some corners that I don't usually find myself in, which places these pieces between the cracks of all of my main focuses. I hope they provide some enjoyment, or at least insight. I'll be releasing this in early July.

Above are two clips from Sunday's performance of Red Giant in New Haven. Rhymes with Opera did a fine job interpreting the music and working with them last weekend was truly a blast and a privilege. The company got a nice multi-channel recording from the room, and I'll post some bits of that in a few weeks when it is available.

Broadcloth is on tour again VERY soon, this time heading South. I'm very excited for this run of shows. Check the sidebar for the information about each of the 7 tour dates, as well as info about our just-confirmed homecoming show in New Haven, at Intercambio on June 29.

Finally I've got a few odd shows coming up - this Friday, a long overdue An Historic duo show with Brian Slattery, at Greenwell Organic Coffee and Tea (6PM), Saturday and Sunday as part of the CitySeed Farmers Markets, as well as Saturday evening  as part of the Ideat Village Festival, all with Dr. Caterwauls. Check the sidebar for more info.


with Nina Nastasia at BAR

Once again a show has come up that I've forgot to post about on my blog (although in my defense I was added only a week ago...) If you're in New Haven, come to check out An Historic solo, my first set in awhile, opening for Nina Nastasia. This promises to be a fun show, and I've been itching to do more An Historic sets recently. The next after this is June 15th at Greenwell Organic Coffee and Tea in New Haven, duo with Brian Slattery.

 Also approaching, of note, is this date:
   Dr. Caterwaul's is opening for Secret Swing Society, from Amsterdam. They're a quality quartet, and we are definitely looking forward to that date, and returning to the Outer Space. 7:30, on June 11th.


Interview with Tri-Centric Orchestra Blog

This is probably the first actual written interview I've done, and what an honor that it comes from the Tri-Centric Orchestra's blog, which has provided interviews and information about various projects that members/affiliates of the Tri-Centric Orchestra are involved in. The Tri-Centric Orchestra is a large group devoted to performing the music of Anthony Braxton, and involves some incredibly talented musicians of extremely diverse backgrounds. Check the interview out HERE.


Opera Podcast

I recently recorded a tri-city podcast with George Lam and Ruby Fulton, co-artistic directors of Rhymes with Opera, who are premiering my opera "Red Giant" in just under two weeks. Have I mentioned how stoked I am for this? Yes? No? Some of that should come across in my babbling on this podcast. Check it out here!


a few upcoming things

on Tuesday, May 8th. I'll be joining Nathan Bontrager and Jonny Rodgers in accompanying Brian Francis Slattery in a reading from his latest, highly acclaimed novel Lost Everything.  The reading takes place at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT. We'll be reprising this to some extent with the help of Michael Paolucci and Sarah Alden at WORD in Brooklyn, NY on May 17th. Very exciting stuff - watch Brian talk-sing his way through some really vivid passages from his novel (and in one case play the banjo at the same damn time!). It promises to be really exciting stuff.

on Saturday, may 12th, Dr. Caterwaul's (minus Nathan) will be performing at the New Haven Artwalk at 2:30. We'll be on the Central Ave stage (corner of Central Ave and Fountain St.).

And the next An Historic gig is scheduled for June 15th at Greenwell Organic Coffee and Tea, at 6PM. I'll be accompanied by Brian Slattery for this one, and it promises to be a bunch of fun.

Between that, the opera. Oh yeah. That thing.


Discography/Compositions section finally updated!

Now features the most current and complete list of compositions and updated links to all extant recordings, including the most recent Broadcloth and An Historic live releases, and some of the more recent session work.


Recently, and Ahead

This post is much belated, and my apologies for letting it build up in this way.

I have a few upcoming dates on the "new music-y" side of things, rather than the songwriter-y side. Tonight, April 13th, in Hartford, Broadcloth is performing a set as part of the Hartford Phase Shift series. This is our Hartford debut, despite living so damned close to the city, and we're excited. Composer/performer Ben Klein has cultivated a really nice series up there, and we're excited to be there. Tomorrow night, Ben Klein and I are doing a duo set as part of the Uncertainty Music Series. (Also on the bill is a duo of Anne Rhodes and harpist Maura Valenti, performing a set of Anthony Braxton's Ghost Trance Music.) The music I've written for this duo is rather unlike anything I've done before, focusing primarily on vocals in a way my writing hasn't for several years. It's been a blast to work on, and will be an interesting challenge, with a result I hope is intriguing. I'm also very pleased to be performing in a new quartet with the members of Not The Wind, Not the Flag and Carl Testa, which will have its debut on April 25th at Elm Bar in New Haven, as part of the ongoing biweekly Uncertainty Series installments that have been happening there. I am beyond excited for this date, and, well, more to come.

Next Thursday, April 19th, I'm performing a duo set with guitarist Chris Riggs as part of his thesis concerts. This performance will be at Wesleyan University at the CFA Hall at 9PM. Chris has a unique approach to the guitar that utilizes no pedals or shredding whatsoever, and I am greatly anticipating this date. Broadcloth will be performing with Carl Testa at the Russell House at Wesleyan on May 6th at 8PM. This will, in effect, be a preview for our June Tour, which begins the 22nd. Further details for that will definitely be forthcoming.

Broadcloth also has a new release up for digital download, an unedited set of our recent performance at The Stone. We all felt it was a really strong performance, giving an accurate representation of what we've been up to. Download it HERE, either for free or with a donation, which will go towards our tour fund.

Finally, SAVE THE DATE! "Red Giant," my short-ish opera (with libretto by Brian Slattery) is being premiered in New York on June 9th at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Rhymes with Opera commissioned the piece and will be performing it, along with works by George Lam/Benjamin Rogers and Kathleen Bader. The performance begins at 8PM and is part of the NYsoundCircuit Festival. RWO will be bringing an encore of that performance to New Haven the following day, June 10th, at the Big Room in New Haven, CT. More details for both as the dates approach.

Unfortunately a scheduling conflict means I won't be able to participate in the debut performance of Anne Rhodes' 8' by 2' embroidered graphic composition, but y'all should still go see it on May 5th in Hartford, if you can. End shameless plug.

Check the sidebar for other upcoming dates. I'm especially excited for the accompanied reading for Brian Slattery's new book "Lost Everything." The band will feature all of Dr. Caterwaul's as well as guitarist Jonny Rodgers and violinist Sarah Alden. Dr. Caterwauls is also working on a date to host Ben Von Wildenhaus, a VERY intriguing guitarist. And sooner, rather than later, will be the cassette release of "Seicremllams" a new EP of self-recorded An Historic material. Stay tuned, as ever.


I've been a longtime fan of Peter Hammill, whether in brooding and introspective songwriter mode or going for more ambitious and/or grim topics with Van Der Graaf Generator. His career has been a real treat to explore at a relatively slow pace, and provided some key inspiration for some of my first songs. While I don't like all his material equally (and it encompasses such a wide range that it would be difficult for anyone to accomplish that), at his best he can create a pretty immediate mood through his choices in vocal delivery and general phrasing. Bucking the expected trend of someone who's been recording for 40 years, he's made some of the best albums of his solo career in the last decade, and this tune is from one of them, Incoherence. My version takes equal grounding from the original recording as it does on the recording from his live album with violinist Stuart Gordon, Veracious.


Stuff in March

Going to keep this brief and workpersonlike. Apologies for the brevity:

An Historic has a few gigs upcoming. Tomorrow night (March 2nd) at 1175 Chapel St New Haven (AKA Taco Hut Records HQ), I'll be playing a solo set on a bill with Chris Capello, José Oyola, and Brian Abraham, starting at 7:30. Ring the buzzer for apt 605. Next Friday, I'll be participating in a musical Round Robin with Clara Engel, Valerie Kuehne, Spiff Wiegand, Lucio Menegon, Elime Sorbsel, Beninghove's Hangmen and Upholstery. The venue is The Spectrum 115 23rd St, New York, NY. Two days later I'll be back in New Haven, hosting Clara Engel and Valerie Kuehne on the local stop of their "Draws Blood 2012" tour. This evening features the debut of Dr. Historic, which is a stupid name mashup to indicate Dr. Caterwauls playing all An Historic songs, as well as short sets by Sam Perduta and José Oyola. An Historic plays later in the month at a TBA location in New York on March 21st

Broadcloth has two dates coming up - first in Northampton, MA on March 14th, and later in New Haven (with our friends Prehistoric Horse - Valerie Kuehne, Lucio Menegon, David Grollman). Details for both are to be announced.

Besides the upcoming Dr. Historic thing, Dr. Caterwauls will also be playing at Best Video in Hamden on March 22nd at 8PM, and March 25th at the John Slade Ely house as part of a fundraiser for the New Haven Oratorio Choir between 4-6PM.

So that's March for ya. April will be a bit slower but will also feature some debut performances of music I'm really, really excited to play. More on that as it comes.


February 18th

Dr. Caterwauls will be playing an hour-long set, partially backing up the Cygnet Sisters, this Saturday, February 18th at the Acoustic Cafe, as part of the Black Rock Rocks day-long Mardi Gras festival. We hit at 2:00 PM (note the early time).

Anne, Nathan and I will scatter on to NY for a Broadcloth gig, later that evening. We'll be performing at The Stone in NYC at 10PM, performing a set including my chamber opera "Mere Distractions" and Anne's recently finished "Book One," an embroidered score for the group.

Nathan will be playing in the earlier set, an improvisational string quartet assembled by Al Margolis on Violin and featuring Julianne Carney on violin and James Ilgenfritz on bass.

A busy, but worthwhile day. I'll have a bit of downtime after that, gearing up for March.

More to come.


Stream the new "An Historic Live"

There ya have it. You can click through to download for free or donation. All money funds future recording and releases, getting people with, y'know, visual talent to do the art, and what not.

I've also just received the duplicated tapes for the upcoming Seicremllams EP. Looking like an April release, and once I get the art I'll set up a pre-order on my bandcamp page.

More news forthcoming.


New Performance Video and Video Tag

Below is the video from a live performance last weekend in Hadley, MA. It is the first recording of this song which has existed in more or less the same form since September of last year. I'm posting this to bring attention to the "video" label which will allow me to get away with the idea of not updating the videos page for awhile. Click through to find any video I've posted just in the main blog.


Upcoming Broadcloth Shows

Broadcloth is playing two upcoming gigs this January.

The first is in New Haven at 756 Chapel (guess the address!) this Friday, January 13th, starting at 8PM.

Broadcloth wil play alongside Jeffrey Young, Paul Pinto, and Gelsey Bell from ThingNY. Each will perform solo sets as described below, and the night will conclude with group improv:

Jeffrey Young (of thingNY) presents a new set of alternatively energetic and meditative work for violin, voice, and live electronics. Young is a composer and violinist from Brooklyn, NY who specializes in experimental classical and rock music.


Blending lo-fi noise with minimalism, Paul Pinto (of thingNY) gives the New Haven premiere of For Stefanos Tsigrimanis, a haunting and meditative elegy scored for two Califone turntables, guitar, voice and electronics.


Gelsey Bell (of thingNY) presents Tom Swafford’s one-woman distilled opera “This is the Real Me,” which Bell helped develop. Bell is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and scholar.

The second is on January 21st, being called the Chaos Academy Improv Night, at Home Audio, 132 St James Place, Brooklyn, NY, starting around 9 pm. The night will feature short sets from Ellwood Epps, trumpet, Montreal
(http://www.ellwoodepps.blogspot.com/), Flandrew Fleisenberg, percussion, Boston (http://lifeoffleisenberg.blogspot.com/), Sean Ali, bass, Queens
(http://seanali.tumblr.com/), Jeffrey Young, violin, Brooklyn (http://jeffrey-young.com/), Mara Mayer, bass clarinet, Brooklyn,
(http://maramayermusic.com/), in addition to a set from us. There will be various forms of improvised interaction between all of the performers as well. Entry with donation.

Down the line, we return to The Stone on February 18th, performing the 10PM set. Performing at 8:00 is String Surprise, a quartet put together by Al Margolis and featuring Broadcloth cellist Nathan Bontrager. Stay tuned for details on that gig.


An Historic Live on 2.3.12

Don't ask me how it is I decided on the date. It was an arbitrary choice that seemed pleasing to my eyes when written out.

On 2.3.12, An Historic Live, the first ever public document of the trio I've been working with, will be released for P.W.Y.C. download!

The trio features Brian Slattery on Violin and Carl Testa on Bass Viol, and is an ideal grouping to work with in terms of tweaking the initial arrangements I've come up with for some of these tunes. In other cases, they're providing me with the chance to hear some of the tunes aloud as I've heard them all along in my head. It helps a great deal to have worked with Brian and Carl in various contexts before beginning to work with them on An Historic material, so I feel as though we are able to talk about arrangement details without over-discussing them, and making the arrangements too clinical. I am very pleased with the result, which is a complete live set from December 10th, 2011. The 7 tunes on this release span the entire An Historic songbook, from the earliest tunes to some yet-to-be-recorded ones.

Save the date, clear up some bandwidth in advance, whatever you gotta do! I will post samples and album art as the date approaches.


New An Historic video!

The first ever An Historic music video. I shot and edited the thing myself (no one who actually knows anything about "film" or "filming" should have to take "credit" for this). The song is called "Is it Warm," and the release of the video is in anticipation of the upcoming cassette EP, "Seicremllams," out this Spring. The release will also be available digitally. Stay tuned here for more details!

Also, shows this Wednesday and Friday. Check out the sidebar for more info.

Happy New Year!