Amy X Neuburg: Preview of Her Gig at The Stone

The avant-cabaret specialist Amy X Neuburg, who I interviewed back in December to preview her gig at Roulette for her last NY appearance is back in NYC this week, this time at another popular spot in the city for new music, The Stone, on Wednesday, May 30th at 8 PM. Amy had time to have another chat to talk about this show!

CM: Can you talk about the new material in the program? You also have a new setup?

AXN: My new looping setup allows me to create multiple sets of layered voice, each on its own channel, so that I can treat each channel differently, mix or crossfade channels, give each its own set of rules, and place it anywhere in the stereo field. (In contrast my previous looper had one mono output, with one set of loops audible at a time. You could switch between different chunks of layered sound, but you could not play them simultaneously.) So my first new piece for this current setup was a sound-art piece in quad, in which each of four speakers had its own channel of loops that altered slowly over time. I’ve adapted this piece for stereo sound. Continue reading


New York: Cultural Capital of the US (Yes or No?)

There might be cities in the US that have more spacious-sounding halls than Carnegie or Avery Fisher, and in some places there might be even more intimate spots than Joe’s Pub, The Stone or Le Poisson Rouge. Despite these possibilities, for someone like me that can’t travel to LA or other faraway cities, I would say that New York automatically wins for having all of those in one place.

But even more than just classical and new music venues, as you walk along the streets, you are surrounded by culture. You are forever reminded on Times Square about Broadway musicals (By the way, the Tonys are always held in New York). You always see artists selling their work. You always see people busking in the subway (I have seen quite a few inspiring ones, either violin or guitar, and have also seen an a cappella singing group). There’s always people trying to sell passes for stand-up comedy. There’s MTV Studios, and the crowds that come over for Broadway half-priced tickets. Almost every musician I know lives in New York, yet they’re almost always from out of town. You’ll see indie folk in small intimate places like The Bitter End, The Living Room and Cornelia Street Cafe. You’ll see slightly louder bands in places like Terminal 5, Webster Hall, and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Madison Square Garden, of course, for the biggest draws, has been a fixture of the city for 44 years.

Add to this museums (and especially that great design of the Guggenheim) and it appears that New York itself is saturated in the arts. New York’s skyline is even part of the fabric of the city’s cultural profile, possibly even the biggest part of it with those classic skyscrapers.

It gets lots more points for this, too: New York is quite a powerful city. When something as huge as New York was targeted on 9/11, it was obviously big enough for terrorists to mess with in the first place, but to see it thrive so well in the aftermath…that means so much more.

And where else will you see The Naked Cowboy?

Vicky Chow

Vicky Chow, a pianist who is well known as a member of the Bang On a Can All-Stars, is another great example of the hard-working, highly active new music community laden with creative artists and composers. Along with the All-Stars, Vicky has also been performing solo concerts regularly featuring the works of various modern and living composers, is one of the founding members of a Bang On a Can offshoot–the trio Typical Music, and is also the curator of a series of new music concerts held at the Gershwin Hotel called Contagious Sounds (which, by the way, she also participates in). In the coming year, Vicky will be releasing 2 new CDs: the new Bang On a Can All-Stars double CD to be released in February, and her second solo CD. She had a small break in her activities to chat with me about her work and her career. Continue reading

Cory Smythe

Photo courtesy of Peter Gannushkin

International Contemporary Ensemble‘s Cory Smythe, the pianist I just saw playing Ives Violin Sonatas, hymns, and “Happy Birthday” with Hilary Hahn at The Stone last October, is quite a great artist in his own right, and along with his journey through Ives he’s also been interpreting works by Iannis Xenakis, Alvin Lucier, Anthony Braxton, Magnus Lindberg, Donald Crockett, and many others. A graduate of the music schools of Indiana University and USC, Smythe is also a composer, and has an album titled Pluripotent available for download. On Tuesday, December 13, Cory will be appearing in concert with avant-cabaret artist Amy X Neuburg at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY. Mr. Smythe had a few minutes to speak with me. Continue reading

A Very Hilary Blog-Post III: Ives CD Geekout Party

Hilary Hahn: Ives CD Release Party
Monday, October 10th, 2011
The Stone, E. Houston Street,
Between Ave C and 2nd St, NY

The Stone is a very small, limited space venue in the area of New York known as Alphabet City. I get there and the place is totally covered in metal guards with no sign. If it weren’t for the small but devoted conglomerate of people waiting to get in for the first of 2 sets of the CD party, I would have completely missed the place. Continue reading