Thursday, June 24, 2010

Old News (Old Blog Posts Via Myspace)

MYSPACE POSTS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

The point of putting this archive together is that I am cleaning up my myspace page to be more minimal and profession, and am deleting them off the page, so I thought I would save them, especially for the dates for future reference. Also of note, because I primarily use myspace to host music I am involved in, a lot of the following posts are about different music that I have posted and taken off. If you are reading this and are curious about any of the music that used to exist on my myspace page, I can send some of this your way.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


David Bowie Video

Alright, so the footage from TDU is our quintet playing "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. So check it out at www.jmu.edu/taylordownunder/latenight12.html !!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Concert Footage

There is a video of us playing at Taylor Down Under on campus at JMU. You can view it by going to http://www.jmu.edu/taylordownunder/latenight12.html I haven't listened to the clip yet, only viewed, so I'm not sure what tune yet it is we're playing, but I will post later today once I hear it and let you know. CHECK IT OUT!!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Twinkie the Kid

I just changed the listing under the gigs, so any gig that was listed under the "Matt Johnson Quintet" is now "Twinkie the Kid" which is our official name for the group. We wanted to get away from the traditional jazz themed name, and get away from just featuring one specific person in the group, and so in the same vein of Human Feel, the Bad Plus, the Claudia Quintet, that is our name. It's in part to make us sound like a band, which we are, and not a chamber ensemble (which we sort of are as well, but I digress...). So come out and hear Twinkie the Kid!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

IN C

I recorded Terry Riley's piece In C on a fender electric precision bass, with 15 different tracks, 3 playing the pulse, and 12 playing the melodic material. This version is a little on the slower side of the recordings I've heard, but I like how the ebb and flow turned out, with un-expected crescendos and decrescendos based on the density of the layers playing at a given time. The 3 pulse tracks drop out for a few seconds every few minute cycle, and that adds more of a degree of change in what the listener is hearing. Also, the original piece has players playing the melodic material on or off of an eighth note pulse, but I changed the parameter to a 16th note pulse, so there is more intensity of rhythmic differentiation between the instrument layers. I have uploaded the first part of the recording, most of the middle, and the end of it. I hope to upload the entire recording online sometime down the road.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Intermission Six

New Music Piece recorded and put up today. I wrote some Program notes on a few Morton Feldman pieces for my Music Scholarship class this semester, and decideced to try to record it on 2 electric basses, originally written for two pianos. One of the bass parts was recorded note by note, starting and stoping to make sure each one really sounded...and the other bass part was recorded live straight through while inteteracted with the heavily edited first part. I had to make a few changes with the pitch register, but only on a few of the notes, and I also had to arpeggiate the chords to physically make the notes sound, instead of all at once. The performance notes that Morton Feldman includes at the bottom of the one page of musical fragments, "Composition begins with any sound and proceeds to any other. With a minimun of attack, hold each sound until barely audible. Grace notes are not played too quickly All sounds are to be played as softly as possible."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Christmas 2008 Recordings!

Just uploaded new recordings on the page. Over winter break I was able to meet up with the old quartet, and with the invaluable self-less Aaron Spring as our engineer, recorded about an hour and half worth of material. These recordings I posted are from that session, after Aaron finished his mixing on them. Little explanation for the tunes:

Song For Che- Dedicated to Che Guevara, written by Charlie Haden

Invisible- Ornette Coleman tune from his first record called "Something Else"

Free- The only completely free improvisation tune we recorded in the session

Parameter Wheel- an original idea of mine, where you have eight different small ideas that can be interpreted very openly, and when the musical signal from the bass raking the other side of the bridge, you have to change to a different idea on the wheel.

Sketch #2- a short piece taking some ideas off of a Morton Feldman's piece in dedication to the painter Willem de Kooning, but with a small amount of controlled free improvisation in my own.

Thanks for listening, and let me know what you think!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

COBRA

Hello all,

Got some audio from our second rehearsal of John Zorn's Cobra...it only took two rehearsals, but we have the rules down, and did two takes of the piece, which are now uploaded on www.myspace.com/smileymnbass The ensemble was 10 people strong, featuring voice, lap top, woodwinds, piano, strings, and a few made up instruments. As you can tell by listening there is a wonderfully humorous quality to the group, and this will be fun! We are performing the piece live at the Kress Cinema on April 10th at 5:00pm with Stephen Drury conducting, so mark that in your calendars now! Also planning on an Atlas Theatre performance, but more details on the way on that...

Enjoy the game!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobra_(Zorn)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Cobra Part 2

Howdy,

Uploaded the most recent takes of the Cobra rehearsal...It ended up being 7 parts, so I left off the last 10 minutes of the first take, but have the second two takes in their entirety, and the first 2/3 of the first take. First take was octet, second sextet, and third quintet. The piece is really coming together and this Kress Performance is going to rock! Thanks again for all the amazing music making guys, and once again.... myspace.com/smileymnbass to hear how the pieces turned out this time!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cobra at the Kress!

So we did it, after several months of rehearsing, we performed John Zorn's Cobra with NEC guest artist Stephen Drury conducting us at the Kress Cinema. He took a little more control over the game, but always in a very musical sense, and made us sound even better and more cohesive as a unit. The audio that is up currently is the concert performance, seven "takes" of the piece with a wonderful live audience. Thanks to all involved the played, and that came out to support it!

Beautiful music, and Happy Cobra!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Website

http://mattsmiley.blogspot.com/ New Blog Site I opened up, so far has been a commentary on music composition in the 20th century, and poetry, but who knows what will go up as I blog more and archive ideas I am checking out currently…enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scratch Music

Recorded above is our first rehearsal of Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Music. The piece is essentially small text pieces with instructions on what to do, and interact with other players and their pieces. One of the pieces for instances is "Swear" hence the profanity from time to time, which is part of the piece. So enjoy our different versions of scratch music, which will be updated when further rehearsals of the piece commence.

Enjoy!


Monday, June 08, 2009

Treatise

Treatise is a graphic score written by Cornelius Cardew. The idea behind the piece is that the composer left no text or instructions on how to interpret the piece, so the performer is supposed to come up with their own system to figure out the piece. I have been working on the piece for a month or so now realizing the score in "Standard" notation (standard notation with some text instructions) and recording it on multi-tracked instruments. I will keep some part of my recording of Treatise up on this site while I am working on the piece. It is written for guitar, double bass, electric bass, melodica and voice. During some sections there are as many as 5 guitar parts going on simultaneously, or three double bass parts, etc... When I finish the piece then I will know how many of each multi-tracked voice is heard, but as of now, enjoy the music and interpretation. For more information on the piece, clink the link on my page for my blogspot blog, and there are some entries on how I am specifically interpreting it.

Thanks

-Smiley

Saturday, November 14, 2009

MOOT FALL 2009


Just a quick post on the success of the Music of our Time concert we put on a few weeks ago at UNC. Music of our Time is a concert featuring 20/21st century composers, our last one featuring Elliott Carter, Morton Feldman, and Cornelius Cardew. As of now, the Cardew and Feldman are on the myspace page. We played a scratch music orchestra piece from Cardew that is a gradual transition from percussion to sustained long tones. We took 3 projections from Feldman, all graphic scores, and re-orchestrated 2 of them for the COBRA ensemble. SO ENJOY THE CLIPS!

Also, I have uploaded some of the TREATISE music back up, I just finished the entire 193 page piece, so also enjoy that


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