Sunday, May 22, 2011
This is the major piece I wrote at my time spent at the residency this winter in Florida. It had been awhile since I wrote a score but it felt good to think of music in a visual sense again - this year has been all rock n roll!
This piece is for three instruments but has the potential to include more. I wrote this piece for the performers that were available at the residency; Nomi Epstein played the piano and Laura Cetillia played the Cello. I tip my hat to them for playing the music beautifully. The music itself is very dreamy and atmospheric. Cells 2.0 is a continuation of the cells series. Cells 1.0 was the first piece I wrote when I got accepted to the composition program at Dalhousie and it tries to focus on the dualities of improvisation and composition - trying to unite the two. The name Cells comes for the idea of using simple musical 'cells' as the basis for your improvisation.
I included the piano page of the score so you can get idea of what it looks like. I really enjoy making graphic scores and have more fun making them then writing the actual music sometimes!
Much thanks to David Berhman for helping me with the piece, and Holland Hopson and Matt Sargent for helping record and setup the show.
Cells 2.0 by zacharyfairbrother
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In addition to all that, we released a new tape on Night People - which can be purchased on their website, still waiting on artist copies - had an interview (a chopped and screwed interview, if you catch my drift) with Vice Magazine , and had a familiy from Louisiana tell me they were huge fans of mine and recorded themselves singing an Omon Ra II song.
Fortunately most of all this was recorded to video so let's start with the Lantern footage from the SOLD OUT first Unitarian show in Philadelphia. We played in the small side chapel, which was a beautiful space with a beautiful crowd - and the whole place seemed appropriate for a rock n' roll sermon. Dirty Beaches definitely excercised some demons.
This video is half our song "Get Out My Mind" and then all of "I Don't Know" both of which appear on our latest Night People release.
The footage was taken by Brent Wingen.
The following footage, also from the same show, is of Dirty Beaches and shows a new direction. Darker with even more of a hip hop influences. Combining the hysterical delivery of Screamin' Jay Hawkins with Alex's own dark, twisted, narritive. Track is called "Black Silk Stalkings"
This next video is of the Torres boys from Louisiana. Their father got in touch with me asking about lyrics to some Omon Ra II songs. He told me he sang Omon Ra II with his kids on the way to school. I couldn't really believe that some family actually listened to Omon Ra II on the way to school, but still I wrote them out the lyrics and explanations and the father replied.
“I really appreciate the lyrics and love the stories surrounding them. And yes my 4 kids (two boys two girls) are big music fans and love noisy rock and roll. I take requests from them on the way to school, this morning the girls wanted Alice Cooper, my youngest son requested Beck and my oldest one wanted to listen to “Those Egyptian Dudes, Omon Ra” (For a ten year-old he thinks he is a regular comedian). I’ll try to sneak a quick recording of them singing and send it to you.”
Well lo and behold the video surfaced. This was the most humbling, grateful things, to have experienced in my brief career - To have kids love your music. This generation is going to have some cool kids! This came at the right time because I was getting a little shell shocked from all the negative comments we recieved from our Vice article. Advice: Never read the comments. Here is the video!
The next stream of footage is from the Dirty Beaches/Lantern collab set in NYC on Friday the 13th! The show took place at Glasslands in Brooklyn. About a month ago Alex approached me about Lantern backing him up for this gig. We conversed a lot through email about the sound we wanted to go for but it was very much in the ether before we got together to see what it would sound like. Fortunately between the Philly and NYC shows we had a day off. We managed to get in a quick rehearsal Wednesday night and another in Friday afternoon in Bushwick. All the riffs we had we written in seconds and the show was a very vesceral experience. The way the songs went was not a typical verse chorus relationship - although that was definitely an archetype for the works. We used those ideas as platforms but let our physical reactions dictate the dynamics. We tried to keep things short - to avoid meandering 20 minute jams and we tried to give each other a lot of space even though we were playing rawkous free-proto punk. We played the four songs we wrote together and then the last, arguably best song, was completely improvised.
After the last song I broke all my strings. The crowd demanded more, so Alex gave me his guitar. While I was tuning the guitar, all of a sudden Emily and Sophie started rocking out. I was tuning up the B string and it had this spooky sound going up to the B It had this gothic western sound and I remember thinkings 'this is very Alex'. So I made that my riff and then Alex jumps into the audience. I thought the crowd might have been angry that Alex wasn't doing his regular gig but from my experience the sold out crowd seemed to love it. Unfortunately the last song from out set, the improvised 'encore', appears to not have surfaced, but there is a wonderful recording of the first songs. It makes a great bootleg. Who wants to put this out??
If that last song turns up, please let us know!
Alex is an extremely hard working musician and I am glad to see his hardwork is paying off. Before and after the show Alex conducted countless interviews, not to mention after we ran out of songs, the crowd still demanded more, so he went back out and performed a solo Dirty Beaches set, despite being extremely exhausted.
Alright I hope you enjoy the videos. Expect a Dirty Beaches/Lantern collab set again in the near future. And yah? Who wants to put out that bootleg???