Leading up to the Phonochromaticism concert on May 29th at the Center for New Music we will be talking to our composers and performers to get an idea of how their brains work and releasing one or two per day leading up to the show.
Per usual, the composers will initially be anonymous, but you are welcome to read this (spoilers!) and give yourself a competitive advantage in guessing before the official announcement!
Name and trade? What do you do, how did you get here?
Alex: My name is Alex Christie and I am a composer, improviser, and educator working the realms of acoustic music and electronic music. I like to experiment with the unusual sounds acoustic instruments can make. I tend to compose acoustic music that is influenced by electronic sound and electronic music that is influenced by acoustic sound. I like noise and I like working with the extremes of musical parameters.
Anne: My name is Anne Rainwater and I began playing piano at the age of three and became interested in contemporary music in high school. At Oberlin and Manhattan School of Music. After living in New York for a few years after graduate school, I decided to move back to the Bay Area where I grew up and pursue my career here. I’m so happy to be here in the Bay Area creating and exploring new music!
How did you figure composing music was for you?
Alex: I am driven to write music because I can’t really do anything else. It just kind of happened, but it feels natural and necessary to me. I think that sound is expressive and stimulating in a bunch of different ways. The music I make allows me to find beautiful and interesting things in sound worlds that traditionally may be considered “ugly”.
Why did you want to be a part of the Guerrilla Composers Guild and Phonochromaticism?
Alex: I know some people who are/have been involved with GCG and I have lots of respect for them. GCG is an organization that has the right idea: let’s help people make new music.
Anne: After living in New York for a few years after graduate school, I decided to move back to the Bay Area where I grew up and pursue my career here. It’s been such a pleasure working with the composers and other performers on this project – how great to have a whole recital of premieres!
What’s your color?
Alex: I chose indigo as my color for this project initially because it matches this really cool mushroom that bleeds green (but has indigo skin). Once I actually started working on the piece, however, the mushroom idea faded to the background, but it’s still a cool color. There also seems to be an odd history around indigo and whether or not it actually exists.
Final thoughts? What else are you up to?
Alex: Phonochrome has been wonderful. It’s a great feeling as a composer to have skilled performers approach your work with so much enthusiasm.
Anne: Currently, I’m teaching a chamber music class at Marin Academy High School, private piano lessons in Marin and San Francisco, and gigging around with friends. Recently, I’ve worked with members of the Aleron Trio, Nonsemble 6, and Phonochrome, and I have a piano-percussion duo called futureCities with my friend Jude Traxler.
This concert is generously sponsored by Gyre Music:
Gyre Music was founded in 2000 to promote the compositions of Frank Wallace, which are called “contemporary musical emancipation” by NewMusicBox.org. Gyre has published over 100 songs as well as dozens of solos and chamber works for guitar with flute, clarinet, mandolin, violin, English horn, cello, viola and piano. Scores are available as PDF downloads or fine Printed Editions with art work and design by Nancy Knowles. Many recordings of Wallace’s works are also produced by Gyre and are consistently praised for their sonic beauty. Gyre Music is at www.gyremusic.com.