The venerable (by new-music standards) American Festival of Microtonal Music is this week and next, three concerts at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. The concerts are Sunday, April 29; Wednesday, May 2; and the following Tuesday, May 8, all at (the-ungodly-hour-for-those-of-us-coming-in-from-out-of-town) 10 PM. I’m performing May 2. We’ll be playing my quintet The Day Revisited, for flute, clarinet, two keyboard samplers, and fretless bass, all in a 29-pitch unequal scale. Pieces by Elodie Lauten, Joseph Perhson, and Johnny Reinhard are on the program as well. The Bowery Poetry Club is at 308 Bowery at Bleecker St. Read more about it all here.
Of course, this means I drive down to NYC with a car full of equipment – two MIDI keyboards, three amps, two keyboard stands, three music stands, a fretless bass, my computer, and all associated cables and sheet music which I hope I can remember – for rehearsals and performance, and since it’s New York I can’t park outside the rehearsal space but have to go down the street and park in a garage and carry everything all at once up several flights of stairs and then carry it all back down again once rehearsal’s over. Many, many of you know what I’m talking about. I’m getting too old to make music this way. I went to study with Ben Johnston in 1983 saying, “I love his music, but I’m not getting into this microtonality stuff, because it’s too much work for nothing!” And I was half right: it’s too much work. (Frank Oteri has an article over at New Music Box called “Complaining Doesn’t Work,” and I wanted to test out his intriguing theory. I dunno if he’s right, though, I already feel better.)