-still-

As a bit of creative fun I decided to create a piece using some taonga puoro recordings I had made with Alistair Fraser. I listened through the recordings, and then started to create a piano piece that would allow Alistairs musical gestures to flow naturally and create a sense of balance between the taonga puoro and the ‘western’ musical parts.

The picture is from the trek in the Himalayas – a path leading down to Namche Bazaar. It seemed appropriate for the feel of the piece.

You can listen to that track here:

Concerts, Albums and Scores

The end of last week got kind of manic with a range of projects reaching finishing points.

– sending scores, parts, backing tracks and other performance details for the performers of a new multimedia chamber work “Flutter”.

– submitting full score and parts for a new orchestral piece “convoluted” for the NZSO SOUNZ Recordings in February next year (alas I won’t get to hear it live because I will be in Nepal)

– A fun concert at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Audience relaxed on beanbags, a great big reverberant space, acoustic piano drenched in electronics – All good things. Here are a few pics from the concert.

The setup for the concert.

The Grand Foyer space (top floor) in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

 

PLUS! on the weekend we also released the Scorelocks Collective Album “A Collection of Cues – Vol.1”. It is available on bandcamp now!

Country-Folk-Remix

Recently I have been working on a couple of remix projects. One for jazz-fusion band ‘Subject 2 Change’ featuring staff from the Otago Music Department. The other is a couple of tracks from the album ‘The Stone Soup Sessions‘ by John Egenes. 

Drawing from the stems available on the remix site John has, I selected two tracks to remix. The first is the track ‘Little Bird’ – a lovely little folky tune featuring acoustic guitar and vocals. I took that extended it out a little, edited the vocals and replaced the acoustic guitar with a percussive accompaniment. Here is my remix version:

The other track I went for is a song called ‘Crazy Sons of Bitches’. I took this country tune and rearranged sections, removed some stuff, and added some synth bass, electronica drums and some distorted harmonica to create this kind of electro-blues version of the tune:

Free downloads of both tracks are available on Soundcloud.

Seaward Moments

About a month ago I drove down to Invercargill to record in the Seaward Bush Reserve with woodwind maestro Adam Page.

The recordings are part of a new album I am working on, to be released later in the year, but as part of the recording we did an extra track that is now available to listen to.

Adam Page playing bansuri in Seaward bush reserve.

Adam Page playing bansuri in Seaward bush reserve.

Adam is playing a bansuri on this recording with some extra electronic manipulation… but the performance is as it was. This is about capturing a specific moment in time, a moment in space – a conversation with the landscape.

Here is the video:

The Long White Cloud (video)

This is the final video from the concert recordings.

At the concert this piece was performed under the title “They say a word is dead”. But after some discussions, and a long timing thinking about possibilities… the piece was re-worked, re-arranged and had some new parts written to make the piece better suited to support my PhD. Thus this new version took on a new focus and a new meaning – hence the new title.

The Long White Cloud – by Jeremy Mayall
for chamber ensemble

Featuring:
Lauren Grout – Flute
Adam Maha – Viola
Yotam Levy – Cello
Mike Booth – Trumpet
Chris Lam Sam – Keys
Chris McBride – Guitar
Nick Tipping – Bass
Brad Thomson – Drums
Jeremy Mayall – synths and electronics

and I was fortunate enough to be able to use the sounds and masterful playing of Richard Nunns on Taonga Puoro.

The Long White Cloud is my interpretation of NZ and it’s landscape and soundscape. This piece is a journey through the many sounds and worlds that this small land encompasses.

The piece is in 7 sections: 4 larger movements and 3 interludes.
Movement 1: At dawn with the Korimako
Interlude: The Tui’s call
Movement 2: Sea Chase
Interlude: A flightless night
Movement 3: Along the river Waikato
Interlude: Onomatopoeic Owls
Movement 4: Kokako, the bringer of water

This piece was written for a unique ensemble combining orchestral instruments with those from the worlds of rock, jazz and electronica. This suite combines a large number of genre inspirations, and exists in a world between traditional notation, guided improvisation, and studio construction. Unlike other pieces where the orchestral instruments provide a textural accompaniment (much like an expensive synthesizer) to existing ‘popular’ songs, this piece aims to give all the instruments equal placement in the overall composition. Through amplification and sound mixing the intricate textures from the flute, viola and cello should be able to exist comfortably with drums and distorted guitar.

The Long White Cloud from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.

Lighting: Aaron Chesham
Live Sound: Ben Mannell
Post-production audio mix: Jeremy Mayall

Camera Ops: Dan Inglis, Joe Hitchcock, Ben Woollen, Scott Granville, Ashton Ledger
Video Edit: Dan Inglis

The Foggy Field (video)

The next installment from the concert videos is here.

Writing a piece like this is always fun, because being partly improvised – you know that there will be some stuff that will happen as expected, and then there will be somethings that happen in the moment that really stop you in your tracks. Working with a performer like Mike Booth, you know that those kind of magic moments are bound to appear. In fact, in this video you can catch my reaction to one of those moments with a run that happens at around 4.17.

The Foggy Field – by J. Mayall
for trumpet, flugal horn, turntables and backing track

Trumpet and Flugal Horn: Mike Booth
Turntables and Backing track: Jeremy Mayall

‘The Foggy Field’ takes its inspiration (and vocal sample) from an interview with composer Philip Glass talking about his compositional process. It is a process of uncovering and fine-tuning images through a thick fog. Musically this piece explores the combination of minimalism, modal jazz, dance music, electronica, and soundscape. Listen closely to hear the sounds of NZ birds emerging from an electronic fog.

The Foggy Field from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.

J.Mayall – Concert Showcase/Live Recording

At the end of this week I am putting on a concert of original music that I have written over the past couple of years as part of my PhD. I have been exploring the possibilities of cross-genre hybridity in new music composition!

The concert will take place on April 7th 2013 from 7:30pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato. Entry is free.
___________________________________________

This concert showcase on April 7th will feature all new compositions written during this period of research, featuring ‘The Norse Suite’ for viola and cello, ‘The foggy field’ for trumpet and turntables, ‘Push for Miles’ for electric bass and backing, and ‘They say a word is dead’ – a suite for chamber orchestra, among other pieces. Top-class musicians from across the North Island will be coming together in Hamilton for this concert (and live recording).

Presented with the support of The University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts and PUMA NZ.

The production would not be possible with out the help of numerous talented people like: Brad Thomson, ACLX, Mannell Audio, ChasingTime Productions, Luminis Limited, Joe Hitchcock, and all the musicians who have given of their time and skill.

I am also looking into the possibilities of streaming the concert live! Still have to work through the particulars of this, but if it happens you will be able to watch it here.

(More details about the stream to come!)