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Working out pitch material for All Your Thens for Now.



Saturday Night Speech Rhythms

Photo Aug 24, 7 45 32 PM

Updated Link + Photos

It appears that the previous link to The Ladies’ Tee moved on Tim Davis’ website. It can now be found here.

Photo Aug 15, 9 28 10 AM

Photo Aug 15, 9 27 55 AM

Reading Tim Davis’ The Ladies Tee : Words that are hard to say

Here’s my quick take on Tim Davis’ essay The Ladies Tee, the text for the forthcoming vibes and voice piece All Your Thens for Now. If you’re one of the percussionists playing involved in commissioning this piece, send me your recordings and I’ll post them here as well!

There are plenty of words to get tied-up on in this dense, but fast-paced text. This recording will attest to the fact that I need to spend some time practicing “thyroids”, “halide-ballast parking lights”, and “alloyed haloes.”

This fantastic essay is full of allusions to the magnificent (Italian renaissance frescoes) and the magnificently banal (defunct American chain restaurants). Santa Maria Novella is a 14th-century Gothic cathedral in Florence, and its main chapel, Cappella Tornabuoni, is filled with an expansive series of frescoes by the Renaissance painter Domenico Ghirlandaios.

Exterior of Santa Maria Novella


Nativity of Mary, fresco by Ghirlandaios in the Capella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella

“Herringbone parking lots” may be a reference to the photography book Thirtyfour Parking Lots by Ed Ruscha, who took aerial photographs of empty parking lots in Los Angeles on a Sunday morning (they really do look like Herringbone fabric). Thirtyfour Parking Lots was a followup to his previous (amazing) book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations.

from Ed Ruscha’s Thirtyfour Parking Lots

Mister Steak is a defunct restaurant chain, which seems to have lost out to Sizzler (also mentioned in The Ladies Tee). This is a shame, really, because they used to offer $1 lobster tails with the purchase of a steak:

“Halide-ballast” is hard to say, but apparently, they’re the norm for most streetlights. The type of lights in streetlights is exactly the sort of thing that you’d expect a photographer to know.

Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio was an Italian baroque painter who made several pieces featuring St. Matthew. All three hang in the Contarelli Chapel in Rome. The two pieces in the picture below, The Martyrdom of St. Matthew and The Inspiration of St. Matthew both feature the “big dirty angel” that Davis might be referring to in the text. The third Matthew painting by Caravaggio, The Calling of St. Matthew does not feature an angel.

I will write another post next week with images of some more of Davis’ allusions and references. In the meantime — send me your recordings! I will post them here.

Vibes + Voice : Tim Davis The Ladies’ Tee


A few weeks ago at The Strand in NYC, I picked up a copy of Photographs Not Taken, a collection of short essays by contemporary photographers edited by Will Steacy. In it, I discovered Tim Davis’ fantastically absurd story called The Ladies’ Tee and contacted him about the vibraphone and voice commission.

Davis, an internationally-exhibited photographer and writer who teaches at Bard College in upstate New York, has very graciously agreed to let us use The Ladies’ Tee as the text for this project. Mr. Davis numerous writings include lyrics for the band Cuddle Magic and he has made some great photographs of audiences, politicians (sort of), and decaying signage, among many other things.

The Ladies’ Tee is verbose (it took me about five minute to read out loud), fast-paced, written in the second person, and a lot of fun. It also is about Charles Mingus, which is pretty cool. It is full of great material and ideas, and already implies a lot of musical things to me. I’m really excited that Tim Davis is a part of this project and can’t wait to dig further into this essay.

New contribution level is now available!

Hope everyone is having a great start to summer 2013! And why not join the Lawton Hall Percussion Consortium to make it even better!

We have added a new contribution level to our commissioning project:
For contributions of $30, you will receive access to the score with full performance rights to the piece one year after its completion (Fall 2014).

The other two contributions levels ($100 and $50) are still available for participation, and we hope you consider joining us if you have not already!

Please visit the ‘donate’ page for more information and to contribute.

It’s the Final Countdown

Hey Everybody!

April 15th is our deadline to secure our commission retainer for Lawton, and it’s approaching fast!
That is 14 days away! Please consider participating in this fantastic project; all the cool kids are doing it!

If you’re on the fence, take a look at the perks of contributing now:

For a contribution of $100, you will receive:
-immediate performance rights to the piece upon its completion (Fall 2013)
-a digital (PDF) and hard copy of the score, signed by the composer
-one-on-one coachings with the composer (via Skype or in person)
-acknowledgement as a “Primary Contributor” in the score preface
-exclusive preview download of Abstraction is a Form of Decadence Elaboration is a Kind of Pollution, an expansive, 15-minute long work for solo glockenspiel, written by Lawton Hall and recorded by Trevor Saint (Spring 2013)

For a contribution of $50, you will receive:
-performance rights to the piece one year after its completion (Fall 2014)
-digital (PDF) copy of the finished score
-acknowledgement as “Additional Support Provided By…” in the score preface
-exclusive preview download of A:E D:P [see above] (Spring 2013)

Head on over to the Donate! page if you’re interested. Don’t miss this great chance!