The biggest artistic benefit from my 12 years of subway playing has been the development of my sound, which I believe has acquired a maturity and patina that was missing from my earlier music. I wanted to document this in the folk-influenced music of the my solo album’s first half. The video below is an example of this. The other half of the album will use a wider sonic palette that incorporates extended techniques and elements from the many different genres I’ve been involved in throughout my life. These more experimental pieces are like musical dramas, with dialogues and arguments that take place as these stylistic elements interact. Listen to the playlist (A, B and C) for examples of this, recorded at a live performance in 2019. Click the diamond symbols to hear the full performance on BandCamp.
with Matt Crane, Drums
The attack of the bow on the violin string can be as sharp as the stick on the drumhead, and the mallet and brush can be as lyrical as the violin’s bow.
These three examples demonstrate the versatility of both instruments. In “Rachel” (or “Monocalcium Phosphate”), radio interference caused a reading from Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street to end up on our recording – creating a rather haunting effect. Click here to view my transcription of this piece.
Matt and I started playing in Seattle in 2003. He moved to NYC in 2006 and one of the main reasons I moved there in ’07 was to keep playing with Matt. We are now both in New England and I am looking forward to developing our music further.
Zach and I first played together in an old-time/Americana band around 2013.We began playing improvised duos and developed a language that draws on our common background in experimental, classical, jazz and folk music.We released our album, Scythe Paths Through the Nettles, in early 2021.
“…one of the most lavishly entertaining, surrealistically psychedelic bands to emerge in New York in this decade.”
I started String Power in 2007, recruiting many of my versatile string playing friends to play a wide variety of genres. Wildwood Flower is done in the style of Shape Note singing. Our version of Fables of Faubus strives to reflect the urgency of Charles Mingus’s original version. My composition Brutal Fanfare is influenced by a lot of the music in our repertoire. The video is our rendition of Raining Blood by Slayer.
An actor in a status quo musical rebels and derails the production…
Inspired by the John Cassavetes film “Opening Night,” Bad Actorbegins as a musical presentation with a self-help theme and soon goes awry as one of the actors sees the ominous truth behind the production’s message and goes off script. I wrote the lyrics and music, and director Kristofer Kauff and I collaborated on the book. I chose a particularly cloying, exaggerated musical theater style to represent the secretly sinister status quo messages. The songs in the playlist are my original demos. Click the cloud on the right to hear more. The photos and video are from a workshop production at the Tank in NYC in 2017. Cast: Noah Brendemuehl, Jordan Griffey, Cassy Jewel, Marie Putko, and Paige Taylor as the Bad Actor.