Synchromy presents the 5th annual Urban Birds, a musical experience for all ages that showcases local birds, live music, and artists of Southern California on May 7th at Pasadena’s Arlington Gardens and May 13th at the Audubon Center at Debs Park.
Exploring themes of nature and migration, this year’s Urban Birds will feature musical improvisation and sound-producing art installations created by Ashton Phillips, Carolyn Chen, Daniel Corral, Kelly Heaton, Cassia Streb, Tim Feeney, and Thadeus Frazier-Reed. As always, this family-friendly event includes live owl and raptor demonstrations by Wild Wings, crafting stations by local artist groups, an instrument “petting zoo,” and hands-on activities for all ages.
Come try out my chimes and listen to parts of 4 for 20 — a holarchical composition of mine in which rhythmic relationships mirror the just intonation intervals of the chimes in a meditative harmony study.
Join me at 2220 Arts + Archives this Sunday, when I’ll be joined by Erin Barnes, Cory Beers, and Andrew Lessman in performing Polytope, my microtonal quartet for Launchpad Proswith live feed video. Squash & Biscuit will also perform.
Online video/sound piece Music for Your Inbox $7–$14
As part of the development process for a collaboration with Alexander Gedeon and DaEun Jung, I made a 13 minute video/sound piece for Music for Your Inbox called Candoro.
Inthis video, the soundscape around the Candoro Marble Company in Knoxville, TN is treated with JI magical realism, echoing the surreal navigations of our three bodies around the physical space of the building’s Beaux-Arts architecture.
The video was shot during our time at the Loghaven Artist Residency last September.
4 for 20 began as a sketch for a concept I’m developing for my upcoming COLA IMAP performance in June, 2023. The piececreates a contemplative space through a series of gradually changing chords on 20 just-intonation chimes. These chords manifest through shifting polyrhythms connected to the frequency of each chime.
This piece continues my 8 years of making just-tuned chimes, as well as my gradual descent into the wooly world of Erv Wilson microtonality. The chimes are tuned to a 1•3•5•7•9•11 Eikosany, and each musician plays 5 of them.
Serene and poignant,5 for 40 creates a soundscape for our disquieted times using repurposed organ pipes. From a church decades-since demolished, these pipes have been retrofitted to be human-powered, changing the nature and source of their sound. Synchromy has set 5 for 40amongst the Tabebuia Trees of a quiet terraced garden.
I wrote the score for 5 for 40in August of 2020. The skies of LA were a thick grey from the nearby Bobcat Fire, and the air was smokey. Whole charred leaves from the San Gabriel Mountains drifted into our backyard and, combined with half a year of pandemic isolation, made the world seem particularly apocalyptic. 5 for 40 was my response to that time, along with my continued interest in presenting music outdoors. The stillness of the piece hopefully offers an invitation to be present outside and just listen – to sounds both intentional and unintentional.
Note: 6-inch Sandwiches from the Eastside Italian Deli are available for pre-order, and must be ordered a week before the event. They will be distributed to you at the park when you arrive.
The Los Angeles Electric 8 created a beautiful recording of my piece Circle Limit III – produced, mixed, and mastered by Felix Salazar. This album is out today on MicroFest Records!
The best way to hear Circle Limit III is a limited-edition double disc package, including a stereo CD and a 4.1 surround Blu-Ray.
Circle Limit III is also available to stream on most major platforms, including a stunning surround mix on Apple’s Spatial Music.
“…a stunning wall of sound as aural complement to Gehry’s steel”
— LA Times
“…Circle Limit III, by Daniel Corral, gracefully flowed outward in a warm ambient wash. The piece was never static… with the sound rising, falling and slowly shimmering in the bright afternoon sunshine. The harmonies were lush and comforting and worked to subvert the frenetic sounds of traffic out in the street. Circle Limit III was perfectly chosen for the sidewalk and fully captured the imagination of the crowd – listening and looking down Grand Avenue became a strangely calming and unexpectedly peaceful experience.”
My bass quartet Neuston was recently premiered by the UCSD bass quartet. Also, Partch LA commissioned me to write a trio for their ensemble, titled Mount San Antonio 1944. That piece will be premiered in early June!
I was recently asked by pianist Lorenzo Marasso to write a short piano piece in response to Bach’s Invention #13 in Am. My piece is cleverly titled Canon in A Minor. It’s a strict canon at the octave, with the two voices one 16th note apart from each other.
“Having Fun with Elvis on Stage” is a 1973 album collaged entirely from Elvis speaking on stage between songs at live concerts – no music. AllMusic’s Mark Deming declared “hearing it is like witnessing a car wreck, leaving onlookers too horrified and too baffled to turn away.” Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage reimagines this vilified recording as the libretto for a sort of ghost opera, combining pop art nostalgia with new technology and classical instruments to create a memetic hologram of the endless purgatory of celebrity afterlife.
Members of the Now Hear Ensemble (Federico Llach, Brian Walsh, and Daniel Corral) will perform my original live musical score along with the original LP as if they were the pit orchestra for opera or musical theater – sometimes harmonizing with the words, painting emotions in the spaces between, or reacting theatrically. Meanwhile, Gedeon’s “Elvis” persona becomes a vehicle to explore all things banal and absurd in pop idolatry, as well as the performative aspects of ‘stage presence.’
The performance of CHFES will be preceded by a screening of Count In, a video piece by Daniel Corral that combines the voice of Poly Styrene (from 70s British punk band X-Ray Spex) with musical minimalism and colorful video. The result is a mix of Steve Reich, James Turrell, X-Ray Spex, LaMonte Young, and Sesame Street Pinball Number Counts.
I have some cool shows this fall that I am excited to share info about soon!
In the meantime, I just recently installed a set of microtonal chimes at Djerassi in Woodside, CA, USA. Stellate Hexany Earth Chimes are 14 microtonal steel chimes, tuned in a 1-3-5-7 Stellate Hexany. They are hung in a straight line for visitors to play with a stick.
The fundamental frequency is an upper 2/1 (octave) partial of the Schumann resonance 7.83 Hz. This Schumann resonance is basically the resonant frequency of the Earth’s electromagnetic field, and this resonant frequency is activated (or at least implied) when its upper partials are played on these chimes.
I hope you can join me for the world premiere of Summits on March 20!
Summits is a new song cycle using texts I have collected over the last decade while hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains. Each song is based on entries I have documented in various summit registers (notebooks often found at the top of mountain trails). These personal chronicles from regional pinnacles portray the wisdom, humility, and humor that can only be found on a mountain peak.
Summits is written for voice, string quartet, and guitar/accordion, and I am happy to be joined by singer Joanna Wallfisch and the Koan Quartet in bringing it to life.
We will premiere Summits at the Soundwaves Concert Series on March 20 in celebration of their 50th event!
Treat your senses to the sonic/visual mandala of Polytope, performed live at the Think Tank Gallery on October 17 and 19 as part of the LAX Festival! Musicians Erin Barnes, Cory Beers, and Andrew Lessman will join me in performing this work of JI electronic minimalism and live feed video shadow play. You can get tickets from the LAX Festival website. I hope to see you there! Think Tank Gallery 939 Maple Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 9001
I’m very excited to announce the premiere of Polytope this coming March! Polytope is a multimedia microtonal performance for MIDI quartet. To perform Polytope, I’ll be joined by Erin Barnes, Cory Beers, and Andrew Lessoman. Performed entirely in darkness, it’s a mesmerizing dance of silhouettes of fingers over colorful glowing MIDI buttons, captured on live feed video and projected large and bright as a moving, visual score. Polytope is rhythmically charged in the vein of musical minimalists such as Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, or Arnold Dreyblatt, but harmonically inspired by the microtonal explorations of James Tenney, Erv Wilson, or Harry Partch. The multimedia style of presentation is somewhere between a string quartet, Kraftwerk, James Turrell, and an Indonesian dhalang (master shadow puppeteer). Three performances of Polytope are scheduled in March:
Automata, Los Angeles, March 18
Wayward Music Series, Good Shepherd Chapel in Seattle, March 23
This Saturday 8/27/16, I will be joined by Jeremy Kerner and the Isaura String Quartet in performing Refractions at the Carlsbad Music Festival! The performance will be at 12:30 at St. Michael’s Chapel. Here is a brief Instagram excerpt of Refractions:
Danny Holt and Molly Gebrian have recorded my Ultramarine, and it will be included in their upcoming Trios for Two album on Innova Recordings! Check out their Kickstarter campaign and consider supporting the album.
Here are some sound collage pieces I recently put together, using minimalist phase techniques on (mostly) punk rock materials. It’s called X-Ray Glass, continuing my exploration of albums beginning with the letter X. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/155413048″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
This Saturday, September 12, there will be a CD release show at Automata for my new album on Diamond Pulses, with special guests Danny Holt and Mike Robbins! There will be two shows at 8 and 10pm, and I will perform Diamond Pulses at both. The 8pm show will also feature Mike Robbins and Danny Holt in a rare duo performance of Workers Union, a seminal and uncompromising work of musical minimalism by Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. The 10pm show will feature a performance by Danny Holt of Philip Glass’ Two Pages, an early exploration of additive processes derived from his time working with Ravi Shankar. Stream the album now from Orenda Records’ Bandcamp page: [bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1844134484 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small] ___ Saturday, September 12, 8pm and 10pm Automata 504 Chung King Court Los Angeles CA 90012 8pm: • Workers Union, performed by Danny Holt and Mike Robbins • Diamond Pulses, performed by Daniel Corral 10pm: • Two Pages, peformed by Danny Holt • Diamond Pulses, performed by Daniel Corral But tickets online here: https://www.artful.ly/store/events/6883# ___ Daniel Corral’s Diamond Pulses is a 32 minute aural experience combining electronic polyrhythms, microtonal tuning systems, classical minimalist influences, and noisy ambiance to open new sonic dimensions. Constantly evolving minimalist grooves recall Terry Riley or Cluster. The microtonal tuning systems recall Harry Partch, James Tenney, or Arnold Dreyblatt. Meanwhile, the counterpoint of noisy washes recalls the sound of ocean waves on the shore. This performance of Diamond Pulses will feature projections of live video of the piece’s colorful interactive score. ___ Mike Robbins and Danny Holt will also perform several seminal works of musical minimalism. At 8pm, they will play a duo version of Louis Andriessen’sWorkers Union, a minimalist masterpiece written for “any loud sounding group of instruments.” At 10pm, Danny Holt will play “Two Pages” by Philip Glass, an early exploration of additive processes derived from his time working with Ravi Shankar. Robbins is the director of Eighteen Squared, a new music ensemble specializing in the music of Steve Reich. Holt is a virtuosic pianist described as described as “the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete” (The Record). Danny Holt’s website: http://dannyholt.net/ Mike Robbins’ website: http://highstimulation.com/
I am excited to announce my new album, Diamond Pulses! Diamond Pulses will be released by Orenda Records on September 12. There will be a release show that day at Automata. Stream the audio from Bandcamp, then pre-order your copy from Orenda Records! [bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=1844134484 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5] More info soon!
I’ll have a few chamber music performances in June to announce soon! In the meantime, here’s an electronic piece I made recently. It fades in slowly, so have a bit of patience at the beginning. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204484331″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”250″ iframe=”true” /]
2015 has been a whirlwind thus far! I’ve been recording Collapse with TDM and playing on the east coast tour, including a show at Joe’s Pub as part of the Prototype Festival. Unrelated to TDM, here is a new piece I’ve been working on, for music box movement and electronics:
I’m back in LA, and there is a lot brewing, including several shows coming before Thanksgiving. More info soon! Here is a video for Asterisms, one of the sound installations I made over the last month at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Asterisms is an interactive sound installation comprised of directional music boxes floating through space. The audience is free to move through the space, winding up any and/or all of the music boxes and discovering aleatoric constellations in their spatial and aural collusions.