Bent Frequency Duo Project Recording

The debut CD of the Bent Frequency Duo Project: a premiere recording of new American works for saxophone and percussion.

Overview

As one of the Southeast’s most innovative and exciting music ensembles, Bent Frequency (BF) has been committed to presenting contemporary music at the highest level and has been a catalyst in the creation of many new works. The Bent Frequency Duo Project, a subset of the larger ensemble, features co-artistic directors Jan Berry Baker (saxophone) and Stuart Gerber (percussion). The BF Duo Project has commissioned 17 new works for saxophone and percussion and has given over 30 performances of these new works across the US and in Germany in the past two years. We are applying for support through New Music USA to release a CD of this music. This CD will be the debut recording of Bent Frequency.

The six American composers featured on this CD represent a diverse range of artistic aesthetics and compositional trends. Roulettes by Chris Burns explores a surprisingly wide timbral spectrum given the limited instrumental palette of saxophone and crotales. Jeff Herriott’s I Stood on the Shore and Looked up at the Birds creates an otherworldly soundscape through the combination of electronically processed saxophone mulitphonics and resonant metal bowls and pipes. You Don’t Need Eyes to See by Amelia Kaplan was inspired by the use of echolocation by the visually impaired. Devin Maxwell’s Seven Hills, OH is a musical memoir of his time spent in Cincinnati. In METTĀ Robert Scott Thompson blurs the distinctions between the ephemeral and the concrete through masterful integration of live and electroacoustic components. Child’s Play written by 2015 Guggenheim fellow Amy Williams combines virtuosic saxophone writing (employing multiphonics, slap tonguing, key clicks, and fast filigree passages) with elegantly simple percussion played on toy instruments.

The BF Duo Project has performed these works numerous times at music festivals across the country (New Music Greensboro, Unruly Music Festival, Sam Houston State Contemporary Music Festival), a residency in Nuremburg Germany for the Tage Aktueller Musik, and at many elite institutions across the US. Distributing a recording of these works will make this commissioning project as comprehensive as possible.

The BF Duo Project is requesting funding through New Music USA to allow us to record, publish, and disseminate these important new American works to the broader musical community. We’ve begun recording these pieces and the final editing and mastering will be completed by 1 Dec. 2015. We have secured a letter of intent from Centaur Records stating that they are interested in releasing this recording. We anticipate a release date in early 2016.

This project will cost $10,500. We have secured $6500 in funding through grants, private donations and recent touring activities and will be launching a Power2Give fundraising campaign this fall. We are requesting $2000 from New Music USA to help complete this project.

The BF Duo Project is very proud of these new works. This premiere recording represents the culmination of this project to date and is emblematic of Bent Frequency’s longstanding dedication to the creation and promotion of new works.

Project-related Media

METTA by Robert Scott Thompson

The Bent Frequency Duo Project performance of Robert Scott Thompson’s METTA (for soprano saxophone, percussion,and electroacoustics) at the Erikson Clock on the “Black Angels” concert, 3 December 2014.

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