Imagination and Innovation: The World of Raymond Scott
3rd December 2012
I've just recently produced a wonderful program on the incredible career of composer, bandleader, inventor, and electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott. The program is a three-hour retrospective on the incredible career of composer, bandleader, pianist, engineer, and electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott. This year is the 75th anniversary of the debut of the Raymond Scott Quintette in 1937. The first half of the program will cover Raymond Scott's early biography and imaginative compositional work for small group format and big band. The second half of the program will cover his work as an early pioneer in electronic music. Includes many rare and unreleased recordings plus interviews with special guests.
I had some fascinating
conversations on music and technology with Jeff Winner and Irwin Chusid
of the Raymond Scott Archives, composer/author Tom Rhea, composer DJ
Spooky, violinist David Harrington of Kronos, composer J.G. Thirlwell,
composer/artist Brian Dewan, and writers Will Friedwald and Daniel
Goldmark. You can listen to all six episodes of the program here.
Join us for Book of Rhapsodies
24th October 2012
We've just launched a Kickstarter page for a very exciting new project called Book of Rhapsodies. Get in on some of the incredible limited rewards HERE.
On the surface, this project is about rescuing some long forgotten compositions from the late 1930s on 78s and rearranging them for performance and recording in the present. But it goes beyond that into interpretation and improvisation and in some cases, radical re-imagining. The whole project started when I came across the surreal and beautiful late 1930s chamber jazz of Alec Wilder. I started collecting the original 78s and became a Wilder evangelist, telling everyone I knew about him. From there I found four other bandleaders active during that time who were working in a similar vein (unusual instrumentation, hybrid between jazz and classical.)
The music is a real adventure! We have performed these new arrangements live in NYC on occasional shows for the last year and have just begun recording. I've kicked in quite a bit of cash myself to prime the pump so we could record the fundamentals, but we are still a very, very long way off from being able to finish this massive undertaking.
Please help us by sharing the above link with friends. Thank you for your continued curiosity and support!
30th September 2012
This year we'll be performing two shows around Halloween. The first is a FREE show on Friday October 26th at the beautiful BAM Cafe in Brooklyn. Don't miss this great opportunity to see the band live. We'll be performing new arrangements from a second volume of stomps from late 1920s Chicago and Harlem. The second show is Saturday October 27th is a Victorian ball called PhantasmaGOREY celebrating the work of Edward Gorey at the Riverside Ballroom at the Upper West Side, hosted by Dances of Vice. More info and ticket link on the SHOWS page.
Celebrating Neil Armstrong (1930 – 2012)
26th August 2012
Neil Armstrong was an American hero, an inspiration to all. In 1949, twenty years before Neil made that fateful step on the moon, Raymond Scott wrote the music for a delightful children's book and record called "By Rocket To The Moon" with narration explaining outer space and imagining a trip to the moon. The record features the Gene Lowell Chorus. We've recently been performing some rearrangements of the music from this recording live. Enjoy the original!