November 17th, 2015

CAP27 Max Kutner

On the heels of the release of the Evil Genius album “Bitter Human,” Max Kutner talks about how the trio came together and how it fits into a stunningly wide musical landscape that, for him, includes folk, rock, jazz, improvisation, and general ass-kickery.

Intro: “For Healthy Living” – Of Healthy Living
Other excerpts:
(Share in a) Regional Meat Vision” – Evil Genius
False-Hearted Lover” – The Royal US

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February 26th, 2015

CAP26 Writing About Music

It’s a listener request! In a slight deviation from our usual format, we convene a panel of three composers and one writer to discuss how people write about music: the words they use to describe the sounds, the instruments, and the process of composition/performance itself. Listener and author Geoffrey Wells reached out with this topic and I was eager to address it. Mr. Wells was gracious enough to join the conversation. In a wonderful coincidence, the accomplished and eloquent Jenny Olivia Johnson and the astute and penetrating Christine Chen were in LA just in time to join me and Geoffrey to ponder the role, responsibility, and limits of words describing music.

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January 30th, 2015

CAP25 Lauren Elizabeth Baba

Communal music-making, stylistic extremes, the importance of song titles, and the relativity of musical time. On omni-present fixture of the LA chamber scene, Lauren joins me and Max for some, as she calls it, “mumbling outside of your brain,” or as most people call it – talking. Lauren and Max also bond over the delicate balancing act that comes from performing in multiple projects while also advancing your own compositional objectives.

Intro: “Would You Like Some More Pastrami”
Other excerpts:
“144” for Large Ensemble
“Red Shoe” for River Song Quintet
“Once There Was a Giant”

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January 5th, 2015

CAP24 Stephanie Cheng Smith

Following the (pre-)release of her first physical album, “Night Travels,” Stephanie Smith reveals how these tracks came together, starting from Bach chorales arranged on a Dark Energy Synth and then dipping into her musical mainstays of violin and voice. We touch on the role of boredom in the creative process and what it’s like to switch gears between improvisational work, composition, and sound art/installation, the latter offering an introduction to her “Little Shits.” All in all, a wonderful glimpse into the workings of an eclectic and unique musical voice.

Intro: “head
Outro: “consciousousness
Other excerpts:
excerpts from “Night Travels” (released by khalija):
Good Night
Side B
Side A

Loud Sleep” – performance with twelve bells, twelve vibration motors, adhesive tape and magnets.

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December 8th, 2014

CAP23 Louis Lopez

I relentlessly attempt to force Louis Lopez to circumscribe his expansive musical identity only to be justifiably rebuffed. It’s akin to a very polite and effusive wrestling match. And why should he rein in an impressive collection of activities that span playing trumpet and electronics in projects like Grampus, scoring dance works by Szalt, and assisting in the operations of the record label pfMENTUM? (Short answer: he shouldn’t.)

Intro and Outro: from a collection of music called “Light Wires” commissioned by Rebecca Lemme for her dance work “Metanoia” (drums: Mike Lockwood)
Other excerpts:
Hot Air Balloon” performed by Grampus (from the album ILK ILK)
Music box melody from “Campon” – a dance choreographed by Stephanie Zaletel
Untitled performance with Steven Van Betten
“Where is the Sun” from the dance piece “longdrives” choreographed by Stephanie Zaletel (drums: Mike Lockwood)

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November 23rd, 2014

CAP22 Andrew Rowan

Enthusiasm and open ears are a mainstay for composer, arranger, and trumpeter, Andrew Rowan. Max and I invade his work area and inadvertently reveal some secrets behind his process of writing an as-yet-unwritten string quartet (no pressure, AR!). Also discussed are collaborative projects including Large Ensemble and River Song Quintet (both with Lauren Baba – her own CAP episode forthcoming!). Even Katy Perry gets a mention. Room enough for everyone at Andrew’s table.

Intro: “String Quartet”
Outro: “Utom” – for string ensemble and electronics
Other excerpts:
“Siren” performed by Large Ensemble
“Stoneware” performed by River Song

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November 16th, 2014

CAP21 Steven Kai Van Betten

Max and I sit down with the ever-amiable, earnest, and buoyant Steven Van Betten. We spend the better part of the hour transfixed as he chronicles his recent adventures in Ghana and his harrowing bout with malaria. Along the way, we get the skinny on the origins of Fell Runner and on how the music and spirit of West Africa came to dominate much of his current output.

Intro/Outro: “After It All Falls Down”
Other excerpts:
“Lullaby” by Fell Runner
“Ya Ya Kole” transcribed/performed for guitar

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November 9th, 2014

CAP20 Maxwell Gualtieri

Heralding a new chapter in CAP, I ambush Maxwell Gualtieri with a request to become my co-host (he ultimately says yes!). But not before he and I hash it out over issues like project diversity, influence saturation, and the potential (both good and bad) for over-extension. By his admission, this interview catches him at a particularly vulnerable and uncertain time in his artistic development, but he graciously allowed me to release the conversation knowing this is a state many artists find themselves in at one time or another. We both agreed it’s useful to hear someone wrestling with these issues, especially when they’re in the midst of it.

Max played guitar on my last album and he and I continue to work together on my upcoming projects, but I took advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the breadth of other projects he has been or is currently involved with including Saturn’s Rival, Ladies And Gentleman, Anthropic Ensemble, Stupid Man Suit, AKA, and others.

Intro: “Possession/Blossom” (exclusive excerpt from his upcoming solo release)
Other excerpts: “Part One” from Saturn’s Rival; “There” from Anthropic Ensemble; “GRNDR” from Stupid Man Suit

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January 9th, 2013

CAP19 Chris Kallmyer

I’m joined by the super insightful, generous, and dynamic presence that is Chris Kallmyer. Punk rock fostering community, the social architecture of classical music, creating “platforms for intimacy and exchange,” the challenge and necessity of documentation, and concerts in a coat closet.

LINKS
James Tenney, Meta-Hodos
John Cage, Silence
– R. Murray Schaefer, Tuning of the World, The Soundscape
Musicking, Christopher Small
Henri Lefebvre
Francis Alÿs
Machine Project

WORKS DISCUSSED
A Year in the Life of a Coatroom
the american lawn, and ways to cut it

Intro: Music for a Broken Fountain
Outro: winter strengthens the happiness of inhabiting

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October 31st, 2012

CAP18 Andrew Tholl

Welcome to LA! After a long hiatus, Andrew kindly agreed to be my inaugural west coast guest. We talk about the difficulty of incorporating “feelings” and other ethereals into academic research, the power of titles, LA’s own crossover chamber group wildUp, and the joys of mixing notatation with improv with recordings to create an experience that would make even the most ornery reception analyst smile.

Intro: the luxury of things falling apart

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