Unveiling on Sweelinck’s Street

This Tuesday, October 9, at 8:30 PM I’ll be presenting half of a microtonal concert at the Karnatic Lab in Amsterdam, at their De Badcuyp space, 1st Sweelinckstr. 10 in Amsterdam. The Karnatic Lab is a concert series run by Ned McGowan, devoted to music that takes off somehow from the classical music of southern India, and by extension therefore any music exploring microtuning in general. This concert features myself, Ned playing a duet with recorder player Susanna Borsch, and the Scordatura Trio, which consists of vocalist Alfrun Schmid, violist Elisabeth Smalt, and on keyboards my good friend Bob Gilmore. Bob is the Irish musicologist who wrote the excellent Harry Partch biography, edited a recent volume of the writings of Ben Johnston, and has now nearly completed a biography of Claude Vivier – while playing microtonal keyboard with his other hand. They’re offering music by Phill Niblock (a 23-minute piece wriggling slightly around an E-minor triad – now that’s minimalism!) and Guy De Bièvre.

I’ll be playing So Many Little Dyings, my 1994 sampler piece based on Kenneth Patchen’s voice, off of my laptop for the first time, along with the premiere of my new version of Custer and Sitting Bull, freshly sound-engineered by composer M.C. Maguire. Also a world premiere of a new piece I whipped up for the occasion called Charing Cross, named for where I was sitting when the idea poured into my head. It’s a quirky, cheerful little tune with 39 pitches to the octave, which is the most I’ve ever used, and the only thing in doubt about the performance (aside from whether I can remember the words to Custer) is whether I can get the 88-key keyboard I need. 61 just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I’ll post a recording after the concert, but I don’t want to spoil the premiere.


  1. mike says

    Good luck with the European premieres!!! Sounds inpressive!
    Start all correspondences with’ My recent European premieres,,,,,’

  2. mclaren says

    Why limit yourself to 88 notes? Go for 256:

    Or, if you have the stomach for it, 768 notes on the Wilson Generalized Keyboard…

    We need some commercials with half-clothed caressing generalized microtonal keyboards. “Are you man enough to handle 768 notes?”