This is a brand new series of creative and improvisatory new music presented by Serious Fun, a group that features poetry with electronic and acoustic music. I recently meet with these three wonderful musicians over pizza at my favorite pizzeria “Bivio”, to talk about the lack of performing venues for creative music in New Jersey. Soon after, they emailed me and said they had a venue, and asked if I would be their first featured artist in a double bill with them. Absolutely was my response! It’s always nice to continue music relationships and that is true here with Serious Fun member John Hammel. John performed on two of the Composer’s Forum Concert series that Natascha Radke Henke and I presented at the Central Presbyterian Church of Montclair, back in the late 90’s and into 2000. John’s first appearance was in the opera “Mary Shelley”, libretto by Deborah Atherton and music by Allan Jaffe, where he sang the role of Dr. Polidari. His second appearance was in our spotlight on vocalists and vocal music singing in a concert reading of Regan Ryzuk’s musical theater piece “Jack The Ripper”. You can listen to John as he DJ’s 2 shows on Home Grown Radio NJ; Mondays 9AM-10AM “Sci-Quest” with Dr. Steve Candio, and on Sundays from 9PM-Midnight “Mozart to Motorhead”.
I am just getting to know Anthony LaMort who is a fantastic organist and performs on a variety of electric keyboards, as well as electronic sampling and processing. He has a intriguing feature on his website called Drop-By-Recital, where you can listen to his organ and piano music, as well as articles on improvisation.
Peter Biedermann is an incredibly diverse and talented guitarist. Peter combines acoustic and electric guitars ( 6 & 12 string) with various tunings along with electronic processing, to create a rich ambient sound and masterful guitar playing. He also has his own radio show on Home Grown Radio NJ, called “Sound in the Head”, on Wednesday nights 9PM-Midnight.
Joining me for this performance is the wonderful composer and performer Michael Early. I met Mike at my first residency in August 2012 at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Music Program. I was immediately impressed by his “sounds” and ideas on music as well as teaching, plus he’s really fun to hang out with! Mike performed with my big band in Oct 2012 on our Peace Concert-Tribute to Daniel Pearl-Daniel Pearl World Music Days at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. It’s not easy sampling and processing a 17 piece big band, but Mike did it with such ease, and produced some great sounds that night. At the most recent residency at VCFA in February, I performed free improvisation with Mike, fellow electronic music faculty member John Mallia, and electronic music students Ariane Miyasaki and Jason Malli. I had an absolute blast playing with these fine musicians, they all have “big ears”, and performing free improvisation with sampling, processing, plus Jason on wind synth created a beautiful palette for me to roam around and create sounds in a way that I don’t get to do that often…a real treat for me!
For this concert, Mike and I will continue to explore that world of sound with his electronic instruments and me at the piano, for a truly beautiful set of music.