More music to listen to

So I’ve got a set posted in the sweet little music player here on my site called kplv on tranqs.

I was asked by the always brilliant duo The Fun Years to play an opening set for them when they did a quick New England tour last year (two years ago? I don’t know, whatever.) It was a really cool gig at this place in Somerville where really really smart people hang out called The Echo Nest.

I put together a mashup set of classic keepalive tracks, unlockedgroove classic bangers and some ambient stuff I was working on – the catch is – it was all at 48bpm. That’s like watching grass grow. But it’s not – I swear! I think it’s a really cool set – not too long, but perfect for a relaxing chill on the couch, or in the rotation while you’re wasting time on the interweb. If you listen to any of it, check the end – I love it. You can stream it in the player to the right, or download the mp3 here.

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By | March 31, 2008 | Announcements

New Puzzle Remix

Check it: fresh stylings of an old rocka.

I’m just finishing a new remix of one of my favorite jams called “puzzle”. I’ll be polishing things up for the next couple weeks but wanted to post it up for a few peeps to check it out. The remix lives here. Please let me know what you think. You can check the original out here.

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By | March 25, 2008 | Announcements

Tender Hooks in NYC and Philly

So I’m back in Boston and it’s still too cold to ride a bike without gloves on.

And what am I doing? Lots of little work, catching up on tax stuff, blah blah blah. In a couple weeks I head to London to perform Ainadamar at the Barbican. After that I’m headed to New York to work on a new piece with friends Anna Clyne and Joshue Ott.

Tender Hooks is a really sweet idea – it’s like a Double Laptop Concerto with orchestra. There’s an audio laptop (me) a visual laptop (Josh) and an Orchestra. Josh and I have connected our computers so that when he pushes harder with the pen, things happen to the sound and when I send certain commands to him, the visuals move in concert with what’s coming out of my computer. This is much more than the visualizer from winamp you used to spend all your time looking at in college. We’re carefully choreographing what will work best and meld well with the orchestral score.

THEREMINAnna has written a piece with these ideas as a firm foundation. Essentially it promises that the electronics will be an organic part of the piece – not a last-minute addition that takes away from beautiful music. Also I’m really excited to use the Theremin controller we’ve purchased for the project. Hopefully this will get away from the “checking of the email” syndrome of many performances with laptop.

Tender Hooks will be performed at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall) on Friday, Apr. 25 at 7:30pm. We’ll also be doing it on Sunday, Apr. 27 at 7:30pm at UPenn. There’s more info on getting tickets here. Come check it out!

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By | March 20, 2008 | Projects

Ayre tour finishes and it’s on to Ainadamar in Philadelphia

Yet another round of goodbyes wrapped up the most recent Ayre tour.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to the incredible people that I spent the last two weeks with. I have learned so much from them and love every moment spent making fun of ourselves, etc. I feel very lucky to have been involved with the project and can’t wait to do it again. Holland, here I come.

No rest for the wicked. I was in Boston for no more than 14 hours, and hopped on the train to Philadelphia. Wow. So Here I am, sitting in a fab 2br apartment. I can stumble out the door and eat at any one of the local establishments. (Today I ate at Little Pete’s an all nite diner stronghold in a truly gentrified neighborhood). There’s a Steinway in the next room begging me to write music on it. There’s the ubiquitous high speed connection that feeds me plenty of distraction and lets me sit on facebook for hours at a time. There’s even DirecTV satellite business happening.

But much more importantly there’s the Curtis School of Music around the corner. This school and these kids are pretty amazing. Every day things at the school stop dead for tea time. How cool is that? Anyway, I’ve been asked to man the laptop once again in their production of Ainadamar that’s going down at the Kimball Center here in Philadelphia. Good stuff.

In the meantime I am working on a couple deep techno tracks as well as formulating ideas for a couple big pieces that I will be writing this fall. More to follow.

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By | March 6, 2008 | Day to Day

Ayre tour kicking total ass

So having just finished the first leg of the Ayre tour with the Orquestra Los Peligrinos or Marranos or whatever we’re called on a specific day, I can say truthfully that I love my job. Music has always brought me happiness, but it seems to keep getting better and I believe that the happiness infects other parts of my life.

We payed in Richmond, VA (Link to review of the performance) and then in Durham, NC at Duke. The performance at Duke was really energetic and I think we were really on. The first half of the concert is performed by the always spectacular Eighth Blackbird and features some amazing music by Henke and Crumb. I’m particularly fond of the Crumb – I had forgotten how beautiful the piece is. So now, I am in San Francisco chilling with the impossibly sick and flu-ridden Heemin Yang of UG fame for a few days before heading up to Seattle to continue the Ayre circus. Can’t wait.

Met up with an old friend last night which was really great. He convinced me to sign up for facebook. Oh how it pains me. But it’s like a drug.

Breakfast time.

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By | February 24, 2008 | Day to Day

Keepalive on Chicago Public Radio

Over the past week and a half, I have been doing a bunch of seminars in Chicago Public Schools. One of the High School seminars I did went really well and we had a representative of Chicago Public radio with us.

Catalina Maria Johnson was the reporter, and she recorded the whole thing and did some interviews with Gonzalo and I. There is an MP3 of the program and some info up here. Check it out! I’ll be doing more of these throughout the coming year. I’d like to hear what ideas you all have about bringing electronic music to young kids.

I have uploaded an MP3 of the rhythm we createdHere.

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By | February 12, 2008 | Projects, Uncategorized

High School Kids Are Awesome

So I went To Teddy Roosevelt High School in Albany park, Chicago today to do a quick little “masterclass” of sorts.

I went out with Gonzalo Grau, the Percussion player from the opera I’m here doing. We had a great time explaining Flamenco music to these kids and showing them what it’s like to look at the world through the eyes of an electronic musician – looking at how different sounds can be reinterpreted once they are inside a computer and you can have your way with them.

Here is a link to the loop we created from different sounds.

We used the sound of a kid hitting an empty box, dropping some pieces of metal on the floor, making sounds with their mouths, and shaking a bottle of gatorade. I was happy that these kids really dove into the idea and were totally stoked to see how I made the loop.

It really is awesome how Garage Band now ships with every new mac. Kids love being able to use tools that are given to them. That’s something that I never really realized. I have a lot of learning to do. Thankfully I will be doing two more of these little workshops while I’m here in Chicago. I hope to get a little deeper into the concepts behind reinterpreting things in your everyday life into works of art.

Thankfully my television just stopped working so now I might get some work done.

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By | February 1, 2008 | Day to Day

Headed to Chicago

I’ll be in Chicago as of the 30th of January, to do a few really cool things. I’m going to be performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar again, which is always fun. This time it’s with the Chicago Symphony and a few of the old standby’s in the original cast. I’m also going to be doing some ‘late night’ performances associated with the Opera, I’ll be playing with a Tabla player and the always wonderful Gingger Shankar (singer, violin). We wrote some badass tracks a couple weeks ago when she was in Boston, and now we’re going to unleash them with tabla and perhaps tamboura. Booya.

I’m also going to be doing some workshops in local Chicago high schools, about what it’s like to be an electronic musician, how it’s different than being a traditional instrumentalist, how it’s the same, and how Ainadamar came about. Can’t wait.

In the meantime I should be writing music for the Absolut Quartet which is about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. But I’m still a bit sick (uncontrollable cough). I am in the process of encoding every song I’ve ever written to .mp3 and posting it here. haha. I hope it doesn’t drive people away.

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By | January 28, 2008 | Projects

Back from Sundance

I just returned from the Sundance film festival in Park City, UT. I went with my girl and had a great time, even though I got sick. Apparently there is something called the “Sundance Flu” which I inadvertently got – could have been the -5deg fahrenheit temps.

Anyway, I was there hobnobbing with filmmakers trying to drum up more work. I met some great people, mainly musicians – fellow film composers that are really great. I hope to see them all again shortly.

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By | January 27, 2008 | Announcements

And it begins again

Any of you who know me well enough know that I never can leave well enough alone, so I am once again re-vamping the keepalive.org site to better serve what I need it to do. I will be hopefully adding a new custom music player soon, but for now will just add a prefab version. I aim to put every song I’ve ever written up (jflower jam overload) but we’ll see how long that takes.

In any event, I’m basing this new site on the wordpress blog engine, as it seems to be pretty badass and has some good looking themes that I can use. I know my boy Seth wants me to use ruby, but this was so much faster. I promise I’ll mess around with it soon.

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By | January 26, 2008 | Site News | , , |