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.
A custom playback unit coded in PD combined with a cello, a used speaker, and one home-built transducer all came together for this piece. It’s terribly unfortunate that I lost the majority of the working code for this project before securing a recording Luckily, I was able to find this recording of a test run.
“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 »
Irresolution first began as a duet written with a floor mate from the dorms my freshman year. We worked on the guitar chord progression together, he wrote some vocals, and I wrote the cello part. During the Fall 2005 semester, I reinvented the piece by finding the original cello part, and piecing together the rest. The acoustic guitar part is similar to the original, and the piano melody is based on the original vocal melody, or at least what I remember of it. The mandolin and classical guitar parts were added to better use my fellow members of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, whose performance of this piece can be heard on the CD. Read the rest of this entry »