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Outer Space by Eduardo Paminella: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQwwBeuRGhA
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Pond 5 Public Domain Project: https://www.pond5.com/free
Citizens up and down the Hudson River are invited to participate in the creative process for Fathom—Hudson River Data as Music, a new multimedia performance piece by composers Ben Neill and Mimi Goese made possible with funding from the prestigious national organization New Music USA. Fathom bridges music, art and science, raising environmental awareness through creative technologies and poetry. This open call for video asks individuals to share their unique visual perspectives of the Hudson River, particularly during Hurricane Sandy, for potential inclusion in Fathom. Any/all videos will be considered that:
• Feature the Hudson River prominently in some way
• Are Quicktime movie files with a minimum size of 1280 x 720p
• Videos may be uploaded HERE or send downloadable links to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Videos must be uploaded via a computer; smartphones and tablets are not possible to use for uploading
Movies with sound are encouraged and video of Hurricane Sandy is of particular interest for this project. All producers of movies used in the final productions will be credited.
For more information contact email@example.com
The visual component will blend the compiled videos with river data animations, complementing Fathom’s musical composition to create a personal, compelling and dynamic interpretation of the Hudson River. The premiere performance of Fathom will take place on Nov. 17, 7pm at Towne Crier Café, 379 Main Street in Beacon, NY; to attend the performance please click here to register at bire.org/events.
Fathom was commissioned last fall by Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries of Clarkson University for their Science Café Series and is based on data provided by the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON). Neill and Goese are translating Beacon Institute’s environmental data on the Hudson River into music algorithmically using several different computer programs. The REON data, currently visualized as graphs (see bire.org/REON-data), will be sonified into electronic music and will also serve as a score for live musicians. Each parameter of river data chosen for Fathom, including barometric pressure, wind speed, temperature and electrical conductivity (salinity), will become a different sound, instrument or vocal part.
The sections in Fathom correlate to data collected prior to, during and immediately following Hurricane Sandy, weaving stories and history of life, industry and beauty of the Hudson Valley.
What a spectacular, gorgeous find. Emotional and symphonic, the music on this recording is from lower Hudson Valley duo Mimi Goese and Ben Neill’s multimedia musical theater performance “Persephone,” which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and is based on fragments of the works of Berlioz, Schumann, Bruckner, Grieg, Donizetti, Gabrieli, Beethoven, and Strauss. The result is a performance-art lover’s dream come true. Goese (vocals) and Neill (“mutantrumpet,” electronics) are joined by cello, drums and bass as they navigate the romantic and abstract, both musically and lyrically, from the very first moments of this record.
A bit reminiscent of Jane Siberry, Goese belts out a hypnotic refrain on lush opener “Roma” (“For all the love, we all need a little kindness now and then”) amid swirls of compelling strings and keys and Neill’s electronica and invention, the mutantrumpet. The larger-than-life “If You Lie Awake” begins with a sonorous bang, launching into a neoclassical piece of epic proportions in which Goese’s vox border on haunting as she repeats the breathy line “Don’t let go.” Mid-album track “Elegy” has a downtempo and dramatic trip-hop feel. Listen to this record with headphones, because there are a lot of subtle nuances in the layers that should not be missed. Anyone who appreciates art rock or stylistically complex bands such as Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, or Portishead should not pass this one by. It could very well be your new favorite record; I know it’s mine. Mimigoeseandbenneill.com.
With our upcoming performance on the Moogfest only a week away, I spent some time recalling my experiences with the late great Mr. Moog…
BEN NEILL – BOB MOOG DIARY
My relationship with Robert Moog began in 1982 thanks to a small ad in the back of Keyboard Magazine for Big Briar, Inc. In fine print it described how Robert Moog was accepting custom projects at a new company based in Asheville, NC. At that time I was just beginning to develop ideas for the mutantrumpet, my self-designed instrument which has been at the center of my work as a composer and performer ever since. I had just moved to New York from Ohio and had begun developing my first compositions. My conception of the mutantrumpet was always to have a strong electronic component, which I was already doing by connecting it to a Korg MS-10 synthesizer. The MS-10 had a patch panel which allowed me to insert an audio input from the mutantrumpet that could generate controls for the synthesizer. However, the prospect of an electronic system that could be integrated more fully with my expanded, multi-belled acoustic instrument was highly appealing. And the idea of having it built by the illustrious Moog was even more exciting.
As a result of the ad I contacted Moog in early 1983, first writing him a letter outlining my ideas for the mutantrumpet. Not long after that I visited with him for the first time at his circular mountain home in Leicester, NC, about three hours from my hometown of East Bend, NC, where I spent my first 18 years. To get to the house you literally had to drive through a cornfield; I can still remember the anticipation and astonishment to find Moog’s ultra-modern house and the adjacent workshop where he was working on a variety of projects in this remote corner of North Carolina.
Our record was reviewed in Neu Futur Magazine this month
Mimi Goese and Ben Neill – Songs For Persephone (CD)
Posted by James McQuiston on October 1st, 2011
The interplay that is created by Goese and Neill on their Songs For Persephone ensures that the CD will remain in a purchaser’s player for months to come. This is not noticed only in the instrumental side of things, but also through the whole effort that follows from the disc’s initial track, Roma. The stylistic choices that are made during Songs For Persephone are nothing less than inspired; blending together disparate genres like 80s new wave and the deepest, darkest sides of indie rock, it is not surprising that tracks like “A Lovely Goodbye” stick with listeners long after the disc finishes.
What may strike listeners the most would have to be the differential threads weaved through the album. Rather than having different trends and topics that follow through the course of an album, Goese and Neill make different collections of songs shine in a slightly different context than one would have if they listened to the entirety of the album.
The final trilogy of songs – New Green, Cusp, and World’s End – create a miniature epic that stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the tracks encountered during Songs For Persephone. The duo may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but what issues forth from Songs For Persephone could just be the most compelling music that I have heard this year. Pick this disc up at any well stocked indie rock store, or see which of your favorite online retailers carry copies of the release.
Top Tracks: Roma, Stargazer
Our release show at the Cooper Square Hotel last week was a blast! Thanks to all who came out, you can see some pictures of the night here