Photos from The Rubin

Posted by: admin on August 11, 2011 @ 4:25 pm
Filed under: Curtis Macdonald (news)

Some photos from Curtis Macdonald‘s recent performance at The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC:

Curtis Macdonald Group - Live at The Rubin Museum

photos by Ed Berger

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The Rubin Museum of Art

Posted by: admin on August 2, 2011 @ 3:59 pm
Filed under: Curtis Macdonald (news)

Come join The CMAC Group for a very special performance this Friday, August 5th at the Rubin Museum.

The Rubin Museum is New York City’s home of Himalayan Art.  It’s also home to a gorgeous, wood-paneled recital hall with soaring acoustics.  The band will be premiering some brand new music and the performance will be without amplification of any kind.

Curtis Macdonald – Alto Sax
Jeremy Viner – Tenor Sax
David Virelles – Piano
Chris Tordini – Bass
Adam Jackson – Drums

One set at 7pm

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Community Immunity tours Canada

Posted by: Curtis Macdonald on June 15, 2011 @ 4:18 pm
Filed under: Artists, Curtis Macdonald, Curtis Macdonald (news)

Hello Greenleaf community!
The guys and I are really excited for this year’s Canadian tour. If you find yourself up north, please stop by and introduce yourself! Additionally, you can follow all the happenings on twitter, follow me @cmacsound.

June 19 – The Rex
9:30 & 11pm

June 22 – The Cellar
8 & 9:30pm

June 24 – Yardbird Suite

June 25 – The Beat Niq
9 & 10:30pm

Curtis Macdonald – Alto Sax
Jeremy Viner – Tenor Sax
Bobby Avey – Piano
Chris Tordini – Bass
Adam Jackson – Drums

  • Date: Sunday, June 19th
  • City: Curtis Macdonald in Toronto
  • Venue: The Rex
  • Address: 194 QUEEN ST. WEST
  • Country: CA

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    Community Immunity release concert April 17 (Sunday)

    Posted by: admin on April 15, 2011 @ 6:23 am
    Filed under: Curtis Macdonald (news)

    The New York Times mentions the release performance of Community Immunity:

    Community Immunity (Sunday) This triple bill takes its name from the new album by the saxophonist Curtis Macdonald, just out on the Greenleaf label. Mr. Macdonald spearheads the festivities at 9 p.m. with his sleekly modern band. Preceding him, at 8, is an exploratory trio led by the pianist Kris Davis. Closing shop, at 10, is Chris Speed’s Yeah No, an electro-acoustic outfit led by Mr. Speed, a saxophonist and clarinetist, and featuring the drummer Jim Black, the bassist Skuli Sverrisson and the trumpeter Shane Endsley. Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues, Gowanus, Brooklyn ,; $10. (Chinen)

    Doors @ 7:30pm

    *first 12 people to arrive will receive a free copy of Community Immunity!

    The Kris Davis Trio /8pm

    Kris Davis, Piano; Tom Rainey, Drums; Eivind Opsvik, Bass.

    The Curtis Macdonald Group /9pm

    Curtis Macdonald, Alto Sax; Jeremy Viner, Tenor Sax;

    David Virelles, Piano; Chris Tordini, Bass; Adam Jackson, Drums.

    Chris Speed‘s yeah NO /10:30pm

    Chris Speed, Tenor Sax; Shane Endsley, Trumpet;

    Skúli Sverrisson, Bass; Jim Black, Drums.

    $10 cover for the entire night!

    Littlefield is located at:

    622 Degraw St. Brooklyn, NY

    pre-purchase recommended

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    musings on nancarrow

    Posted by: Curtis Macdonald on February 27, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
    Filed under: Curtis Macdonald (news), Music, Music Technology

    Authored by Curtis Macdonald:

    Conlon Nancarrow among his Piano Rolls

    After a long hiatus, I’ve delved into more of Conlon Nancarrow‘s work for player piano.  Inspired by an excerpt from Study No. 33, I’ve programmed a drum set improvisation to its rhythm.  Consider this track a long awaited sequel to this one which prompted Nancarrow expert Kyle Gann to post about it here.  The drum sounds are from my personal collection and seem to compliment the rawness of Nancarrow’s piano quite nicely.  Click Here to listen to the audio.

    Here’s how I did it –

    Each drum sound is a sample controlled by a MIDI note, which I synced to the piano’s audio.  I placed each sound on the timeline manually and by ear to ensure accurate placement without the reference of grids or quantization.  Working with MIDI in this way can be a very tedious process, but I believe it is in the same spirit as Nancarrow’s work where he meticulously punched small holes one-by-one onto a hardcopy piano roll.  In concept, I find the process quite similar to collage-art or the building of a mosaic.

    Working in an environment absent of notation reminds me as a composer to seek out new ways to organize rhythm and frequency, and as an instrumentalist to pursue ways in which to broaden and ultimately strengthen my performance capabilities.

    “Since our appreciation has been limited, for the most part, to the simplest rhythms, and since it is difficult to play accurately more complex ones, it is necessary to form rhythmic scales of the simplest possible ratios… we employ the simplest overtone ratios which can be found to approximate each interval… It would be interesting… to hear such rhythms cut on a player piano roll.”
    -Conlon Nancarrow

    In many ways Nancarrow was a pioneer of MIDI composition decades before computers and software became widely available to composers.  His music demands a complexity that far exceeded the abilities of the musicians of his time, which in turn has inspired new performance practices and compositional methods for subsequent generations.  Today, ensembles like Calefax have set to the task of adapting his music for live performance.

    Related links:

    For further study of Conlon’s player-piano études:
    Electronic Realizations of Conlon Nancarrow’s Study No. 37 for Player Piano

    “You claim that I write monstrosities which only the composer can play. What if they were meant only for the composer?”
    Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

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