intermediate
A new film and music work by Brian Allen
Sunday, Feb. 8 – 7:30 p.m.
Winifred Moore Auditorium
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
Admission: $8
 

HEARding Cats Collective is proud to partner with Webster Film Series for the St. Louis premier of intermediate. intermediate is an abstract video and music piece created by artist Brian Allen. Joining Allen for the St. Louis performance is percussionist Rich O’Donnell, a highly creative improviser and inventor of unique instruments. O’Donnell’s playing combines precision instrumental technique with a love for electronics and complex rhythmic patterns. His “see-saw” drumming style makes use of innovative beaters and an entirely new playing mindset that allows for the creation of unusual timbres, rhythms, and ultimately percussion expression.

intermediate premiered at Fonoteca Nacional in Mexico City in 2014. Original videos, photographs, drawings, animations and texts are accompanied live by trombone, percussion, crickets and car keys. “intermediate” is the sound of a map being folded. It is the second in a trilogy of films, albums and books created by Allen. His first, “Obscure Relatives and Prepositions” premiered in 2013 year, and was performed at The Outpost, Webster Film Series, UCLA, University of Wisconsin Madison, Sala Jaime Sabines Tuxtla, Missouri State Composition Festival, Santa Fe University of Art & Design and other universities and theaters.

Brian Allen received music composition residencies from Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Diverse Works (Houston), a Meet the Composer Global Connections Grant to Mexico and his amplified trombone recordings were featured on NPR’s Sound Clips.

An artist/clinician for Edwards Trombones, Allen has taught privately and given workshops at more than 50 universities and high schools including Harvard, Berklee, Boston University, Luzern Conservatory, Jazz Institute at Anton Bruckner University, Prague Conservatory, UNAM, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Arizona State University. He was instructor of brass, jazz and electronic music classes at Brazosport College and Oregon Festival of American Music.

Into the Dark Too
Featuring: Symprov Trio
Sunday, Mar. 15 – 7:00 pm
Regional Arts Commission
$15 / $10 for students, artists

HEARding Cats Collective is proud to present the return of Symprov Trio – an ensemble of virtuoso current and former St. Louis Symphony Orchestra musicians interacting with free improvisation. Featured musicians include Asako Kuboki (violin), Timothy Myers (trombone), and Rich O’Donnell (see-saw drums). This concert continues an exploration begun by Rich O’Donnell in 2013 where audience members experience the concert in darkness – highlighting how one’s brain shifts perceptive resources from sight to sound in the dark, heightening humans’ experience with the music.

Asako Kuboki began her violin studies at the age of five in Japan. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Sylvia Rosenberg and Victor Danchenko. Kuboki performed extensively with the New Horizons Chamber Ensemble in Baltimore, a contemporary music group that worked in collaboration with composers, poets, and visual artists, for five seasons. She has also played with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and the Key West Symphony Orchestra. In 2001 Kuboki joined the St. Louis Symphony. Since relocating to St. Louis she has continued performing chamber music and solo recitals throughout the U.S., and at international music festivals.

Timothy Myers has held the St. Louis Symphony’s William J. Orthwein Principal Trombone Chair since 1997. Mr. Myers originally joined the St. Louis Symphony in 1983 as Assistant Principal Trombone. A graduate of Northwestern University, Myers studied with the late Frank Crisafulli and the late Arnold Jacobs, both legendary members of the famed Chicago Symphony low brass section. Myers has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra and has given a number of solo recitals in the Midwest. He has also toured with the Summit Brass. He has a great interest in new music and has premiered many solo trombone works for St. Louis audiences.

Rich O’Donnell’s career as a professional musician spans six decades. In addition to his virtuosity as a percussionist, O’Donnell is a prolific composer, innovator and inventor of percussion and electronic instruments, a teacher, and a writer. He is currently director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University, St. Louis

These days, O’Donnell’s primary percussive interest involves improvised music using his self-created see-saw drumming technique. See-saw drumming is based on reciprocal motion and makes use of two beaters per hand (and foot). Using two beaters per appendage gives O’Donnell the ability to create complex layers of polyrhythms and hemiolas that provide new insight into rhythmical structures. He no longer thinks in terms of downbeats and bars, but rather convergence, overlays, and cycles of the various layers. This technique can be fast and dense, but it can also be elegant and in the pocket. Some of the new rhythmic explorations O’Donnell achieves with see-saw drumming include:

Harmonic rhythms—poly-rhythms or poly-tempos with an integer ratio (i.e.: 3:4:5) that are synchronized like the ratios found in the harmonic series. Pattern shifts occur within the common subdivisions.

Moire patterns—synced, epicycle patterns outlined by accents or short rests (negative space). The listener’s perception determines which pattern is dominant – just like the changing patterns seen when looking through two window screens.

Swarms—like swarms of insects, birds, or fish, where the rule is to keep the distance as close as possible without touching, (the sonic analogy is that each voice plays close to the same speed, without synching). A slight shift will “push” the whole group.