Ladies and gentlemen. It’s a rare occasion that we get to witness unrestricted freely improvised musical conversations from three classical virtuosos – but that’s exactly what HEARding Cats has cooked up for the first course of our 2012 programming. St. Louis Symphony violinist Asako Kuboki, and trombonist Timothy Myers join percussion guru and sound-junkie Rich O’Donnell for a special trio concert in which the group will interact with one-another, as well as the live-electronic creations of the kyma/pacarana digital sound manipulator.
Rich O’Donnell’s career as a professional musician spans a half century. 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. He has been invited to Brazil in May 2012 to lecture on his see-saw drumming technique. For this concert, O’Donnell will make use of self-invented techniques and instruments, including his “see-saw” drumming, along with custom patches he’s created on the kyma/pacarana digital music controller. See-saw drumming allows O’Donnell to overlay multiple layers of rhythmic patterns that are impossible for one individual to play with traditional techniques. The resulting “percussion section” expresses multiple moods and ideas at once, that can roar or peep.
Joining O’Donnell will be violin player Asako Kuboki, who began her violin studies at the age of five in Japan. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory. 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. Kuboki’s interest in music of many different styles along with her love for chamber music has lead her to collaborate with St. Louis’ innovative jazz, world, pop, and electronica artists to release a number of CDs, and to perform at the Whitaker Jazz Festival, as well as at benefit concerts for nonprofit organizations such as Jazz St. Louis, Play It Forward, and Live Feed.
Finally, principal trombonist Timothy Myers will round out the trio. Myers has held the St. Louis Symphony’s Principal Trombone Chair since 1997. He 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. He has a great interest in new music and has premiered many solo trombone works for St. Louis audiences. From 1990 to 1992, he was a Visiting Artist at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and he has held adjunct teaching positions with many of the universities in the St. Louis area. For more info, visit www.heardingcatscollective.org.