Arrrg! News! Just booked a flight on WOW airlines and an hour too late discovered that checking (CHECKING!) my guitar will cost another $180 ($90 per leg; I connect in Iceland).
Breaking News! The 31 May Cologne Sharp-Fields gig that was for several hours cancelled is now uncancelled.
June 1st, Bonn.
In Situ Art Society
A Burning Ambience interview with Dr. John McGrath about his new book "Samuel Beckett, Repetition and Modern Music," mentions my two Beckett CDs (Beckett, on Clean Feed and Samuel, on New World) and my upcoming Clean Feed CD Barclay."
10 years ago I set the Samuel Beckett radio play "Cascando" for the New World Records CD "Samuel." By the time we had slogged through the other tunes in the recording session, it was clear that Cascando wouldn't fit on the CD. Hollenbeck said "We have time. Let's track it anyway." The other two looked ready to strangle him, especially Schubert who had required oxygen after tracking "Not I."
When I agreed to record "Barclay" for Clean Feed Records, the third and final CD of my Beckett project, I figured I was ahead of the game. One piece was already written. A few edits and it would be ready to go.
This plan has failed. Not only does Cascando sound as though I wrote it 10 years ago, it is horrifyingly similar to "Rockabye," from the Clean Feed CD "Beckett."
After cutting and pasting for a day, I now realize that I have to start over from scratch.
A few years back the Haydn Festival in Brühl, Germany commissioned me to reimagine the Haydn Sun Quartets for my String Feartet of violin, viola, cello, and electric guitar. As with most reimaginations, it was aesthetically satisfying to imagine away most of the original.
After the premier the String Feartet went into the studio to record the double CD "Haydn," which was released on Between the Lines.
Now just down the road a piece, the Beethoven 2020 Festival, a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, has commissioned me to reimagine the fantastic late string quartets, again for my String Feartet. Many thanks to them, and for the In Situ Art Society, which is the engine powering the project, for the vote of confidence.
For the first time in 14 years I will be playing in Wisconsin. So far there will be two solo acoustic guitar performances. July 27 I will be at the Arts and Literature Laboratory in Madison. July 28 I will be playing in Sturgeon Bay. And I'm beating the bushes for more possibilities. Speak up now or risk waiting until 2032.
For these gigsI will be playing material from my 2015 New Atlantis Records CD "burning in water, drowning in Flame," plus newer pieces.
The final third of my Beckett project is underway. These are instrumental settings of Samuel Barclay Beckett’s short plays. “Beckett” was released on Clean Feed Records in 2006. “Samuel” was released on New World Records in 2009. “Barclay” will be recorded in July and released on Clean Feed in September. This fall the new set of music will premier at CD-release concerts in Cologne, Münster, and a third German city.
Matthias Schubert, tenor saxophone ➤ Scott Roller, cello ➤ Dirk Rothbrust, percussion ➤ SF, guitar
Supported by Musikfonds e.V. with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.