The Echelon String Quartet hosted a day of lectures and performances at their alma mater, UW-Whitewater last week. As part of their closing performance, they played two of my arrangements, “Maps” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine, and an original, “Serenade in F minor.” Here are the wonderful recordings! Thanks a ton to them and UW-Whitewater.
There are three new Of the North videos after our last gig, which was March 14th at the Up and Under on Brady St. Oh, and there are two bonus videos of the Echelon String Quartet performing some of my arrangements as they opened up for us! We had the full 7-piece band, now including Tyson on additional percussion, and we even closed the show with two Of the North songs that I arranged to include quartet. Read the rest of this entry »
Of the North performed at Art Bar last night debuting several new songs and several new instruments. I constructed a bass drum out of an old accordion case and a bass drum pedal. It worked really well live though it was pretty low in the overall mix. I didn’t mind it being a bit quiet because it was a brand new addition anyway, so it’s not like anything was missing. Additionally, the bass drum was really audible on or near the stage which helped keep the band in tempo together really well. I do plan on dropping a piezo pickup in there for the next gig though.
Kevin, who normally plays guitar, also played mandolin on a few songs which I thought sounded fantastic. There was a lot of good feedback on the addition of the mandolin, so I think that’s something we’ll look to incorporate more and more.
This last New Year’s Eve Eve Of the North played a gig at Tonic Tavern with Pay the Devil. The show was absolutely amazing with a great turnout, a receptive audience, and a really fun opening act. This was my first show with the full band and it couldn’t have gone any better. Read the rest of this entry »
I arranged Florence and the Machine’s “Cosmic Love” for the Echelon String Quartet and they have since added it to their regular repertoire. This video comes from a Halloween themed event called the Barn Owl Ballyhoo in October of 2011.
This piece is my first attempt at writing for string quartet after years of experience playing in quartet settings. I decided to focus on ostinato and repeated material throughout the piece, hence the title. I created scales for each movement by using pitch sets separated by a major second, beginning with minor third sets for the first movement. Read the rest of this entry »
I wrote this wind quintet during the Spring 2007 semester. I decided to further explore a phrygian cluster (C, D-flat, E-flat, F) idea which I first used in a string serenade. The cluster expands outwards while maintaining the inner two pitches to B, D-flat, E-Flat, F-sharp. This harmonic movement is really the basis for the entire piece, though it is transposed and reinvented several times. Read the rest of this entry »
“Chop Suey!” is a highly successful metal song from Armenian-American rock artists, System of a Down. A favorite of mine and my high school rock band members, I arranged it for orchestra in my junior year of high school. My old band mate and orchestra stand partner, a music education major at UW-Whitewater, asked me to arrange the song for a cello ensemble for his senior recital. I gladly obliged, writing for a cello quartet plus one cello to perform a percussive accompaniment. I played the percussive part, and the rest of the ensemble came from the cello section at Whitewater. The piece was a wildly successful closer to a fantastic recital. Read the rest of this entry »
This piece is the product of an entire semester of uninterrupted effort. I spent nearly half of the semester planning and experimenting before I actually began to write this work for solo piano. I developed my own harmonic system for the piece by rethinking the way triads are formed in a scale. Read the rest of this entry »