AU Musical Events: The Music of Steve Antosca

Events, events, events! AU’s Dept. of Performing Arts sure knows how to end a semester. This weekend brings several events, which I will further cover this week. The first comes this Friday night: AU Workshop’s Spring Concert. Led by saxophonist and AU musician in residence Noah Getz, AU Workshop is a large ensemble that plays in whatever genre or style they feel like in the moment, often meshing popular music with jazz and avant-garde style.

Titled “The Music of Steve Antosca,” this is the latest in the Workshop’s “Living Composers Series” which highlights, well, living composers. Steve Antosca is a D.C.-based composer who blends live instrumentation with electronic processing to create improvisatory technological soundscapes. According to the facebook page for this event, his work has been described as “spectacular and wonderfully provocative” by the Washington Post. Side note: this guy taught me as an adjunct prof during my first ATEC class here at AU.

Back to the topic at hand, this should be a really exciting event! It’ll be cool to hear the ways that our student musicians adapt to the strange and adventurous compositional style of Antosca’s works.

The event will be this Friday (April 17) at 8pm, in the Abramson Family Recital hall in Katzen. Come to hear the very reverberant walls echo with warped instruments and space sounds!


AU Musical Events: A Blast of Brass, 4/11-12

Boy, do I love spring in the AU Department of Performing Arts. It seems as if every new day brings a new performance or event, which means fun and easy blog content! But actually, it is great to walk around Katzen knowing I’ll probably run in on some concert or other. It’s an exciting artistic environment!

As you all know, tonight is our AU Jazz Orchestra’s spring concert, sure to be a wild time, but do you think our performing arts students and faculty will take the weekend off afterwards? No way! Instead, AU’s Chamber Singers are partnering up with the Rockville Brass Band to bring you “A Blast of Brass!” on both Saturday and Sunday.

Led, respectively, by our own Dan Abraham and the appropriately-named Nigel Horne, these two ensembles will join in a rendition of John Rutter’s “Gloria,” as well as traditional British Brass Band works by Eric Ball, Peter Graham and Richard Strauss. What a sturdy trio of names.

The events will occur at 8pm tomorrow and 3pm on Sunday afternoon, both in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for AU community members and seniors. RSVP for the facebook event, and find tickets here!

Four CD’s of Beauty and Wonder

Howdy loyal patrons, friends, enemies, and all other readers who don’t fall into those categories!

We have four new exciting CD’s in for your perusing benefit!

Intimate Letters – Juilliard String Quartet – CD 10394

Hanson Conducts Hanson – Howard Hanson – CD 10395

Toward the Unknown Region – Vaughan Williams – CD 10396

Sprung Rhythm – Inscape – CD 10397

Come by and check them out!

Also, the Hanson and the Vaughan Williams are on reserve since the AU Symphony Orchestra will be performing selections included on these discs on April 24th and 25th.

AU Musical Events: AUSG SUB presents Run The Jewels, TONITE

Looking to turn up to some non-stupid music? Tonight is your night, my friend. AUSG’s Student Union Board is bringing none other than hip hop power duo Run The Jewels to AU!

Run The Jewels is the collaborative project of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and New York rapper/producer El-P. Both are rap lifers, having been in the game for decades. Mike has stunned for years with appearances on Outkast & Dungeon Family joints. El-P, meanwhile, was central in the New York Definitive Jux label and its scene, producing beloved records by Company Flow, Cannibal Ox, Aesop Rock, and more. Both also boast a long string of successful and critically acclaimed solo albums.

Arguably more important than their legacies, however, are the moves the duo is still making to push hip hop forward as a musical form. Last year their second album, simply titled Run The Jewels 2, exploded onto the scene in an otherwise dry year for rap with a dream combo of lush but hard beats and a nasty attitude. The pair, boasting their best rapping chops, flow over El-P’s jagged beats with an intensity that it feels like they’ve waited their whole careers to unleash. Relentless touring, a steady output of videos, as well as goofy online asides like the Meow The Jewels project, have kept them in the public’s mind since this great album lapped up all the critical praise in 2014.

Opening for the duo is none other than classic comedy rap superhero Biz Markie. Known as the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop,” Biz made a name for himself in the ’80s with his goofy style. Whether you’re a hardcore Biz fan or just want to sing along with “Just A Friend” while you wait for the main act, he’s sure to pump up the party.

Don’t miss it, it’s sure to be an awesome time. Plus the music will be great! The event is tonight in the Tavern at 8. Free admission with your AU ID. This event is AU only so sadly your baby brother can’t come to this one, but that’s okay, you won’t want to share this experience with anybody!

Get there early, because it’s going to fill up fast!

Cool DC Events: DC Music Download’s 3rd birthday @ 9:30 Club

Welcome to February! A cold and dark month, February nonetheless manages to be a good month for birthdays. I bet you have a few friends with February birthdays. And then there’s all those presidents. Heck, even my birthday is in February! (No bias, I swear).

Another important birthday comes in February as well, that of DC Music Download, a music website that has become a large part of the D.C. scene, covering and supporting local bands in reviews and with events. This year, they’re celebrating their third birthday (an eternity in internet time), at none other than that classic D.C. venue, the 9:30 Club!

DC Music Download's Three Year Anniversary Show

This Saturday night (2/7/2015) at 7pm, the party begins with DJ Ayescold, known for the wide-ranging musical reference of her sets. After her comes Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists, a loudly emotional band of “lounge punks.” Next is a crew of punk veterans’ new project Loud Boyz, and closing the show are crucial local mainstays, the psych-rock band Paperhaus. These guys, who also own a house show of the same name, have supported the scene around them for years, and at this event the scene is paying them back with a record release show at the 9:30 club. Sure to be a moving event. There will also be a D.C. music photography exhibit present, anchoring the 3 year-old website as a part of its city’s legacy.

Anyways, it’s this Saturday, and tickets are $16. An extra cool twist is that $1 of each ticket purchase will go to supporting the D.C. Public Library’s Punk Archive! Which, you should know, we’re big fans of here. So do something cool with your Saturday night! Attend a “happening” event, see some cool music, and support the indie scene in D.C. at this great birthday party.

DC Music News: Punk at the Public Library!

Hello readers! First of all, welcome back to another semester of posts from me, your music library blogger. Woop woop. And now, our featured story:

So if you pay any attention to our blog (which you should be doing, duh), you’ll know that we’re pretty interested in D.C.’s punk heritage/scene. We are fortunate to exist in a city so central to the development of the punk genre and movement, and we get excited about the various punk-related happenings that continue to make D.C. so musically interesting. Also if you pay attention to us, you’ll know that we are, indeed, a library. So we’re pretty excited to share today’s piece of news with you!

Which is: the D.C. Public Library has established a “Punk Archive,” a comprehensive collection of media and artifacts related to the original D.C. hardcore scene of the 1980s. Last year, the Library began crowdsourcing both central texts (CDs, LPs, original footage and photos) and more apocryphal curiosities (t-shirts, concert posters, zines). They did this, in part, by holding events in which performers old and young played punk sets, with the request to bring an item of punk history as an admission fee. This was an excellent way to reunite the D.C. punk community of old and bring its feeling into a new millennium.

Now, the archive has been established as a part of the Public Library’s Special Collections and will continue to be built into the future. The Public Library’s website states that they are working on an “online portal for access to collections, and will further engage the public in the project through programming, volunteer training, exhibits and concerts.”

Sounds awesome! As a fellow punk-loving library, we tip our hat to this excellent venture, a new and unorthodox method of preserving some essential musical history, and an effort that seems right in step with the community-building potential of the original D.C. punk scene. A cool BBC video segment on the collection here.

AU Musical Events: A Little Night Music, 11/20

What a week for American University performing ensembles, huh? Looks like the absolute horror of finals season’s approach has inspired an impassioned response from the arts.

We already told you about our nite of jazz at “Jazz in the Fall” on Friday, but there’s another event coming even sooner: DPA professor and conductor Yaniv Dinur’s “A Little Night Music from Israel and America” tomorrow night!

This event is being put on in association with the Katzen museum as well as the AU Center for Israel Studies. Featuring our AU orchestra as well as performers Mary Voutsas on piano and Brian Prunka on oud (a fretless middle eastern string instrument), will follow Prof. Dinur’s journey from Israel to America, showcasing composers from both countries such as Ives and Cerrone from the U.S. and Weisenberg and Nebenhaus from Israel (both with the first name Menachem). Truly a unique assortment here!

This event will be tomorrow night (Thursday, 11/20) at 8pm in the Katzen Museum. It is free but you must RSVP. You can do that here, at the facebook event, and make sure to click “attending!” Hope to see you at this lovely night of exploring the musical and global progression of one of our beloved professors.