tags: Lisa Coons

Interval 6.1 Blog 2/3

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

This is the second of three blog entries by curator Owen Weaver leading up to the 10/26 MATA Interval Series concert at the Actors Fund Arts Center.

Owen Weaver:

This is a place where I will discuss the music and artistic collaborations in the works for this show.  Special thanks to MATA and Issue Project Room for making the magic happen!

Episode II: Missa Materialis by Ian Dicke and Sculpture Piece No. 1 by Lisa Coons.

With one week to go until Interval 6.1 there’s a lot going on.  Pots and pans. MAXmsp. Intensive choir practice with Tigue Percussion.  And I received a HUGE box in the mail from Lisa Coons with a gnarly metal sculpture inside…

In today’s post I’d like to discuss two more pieces on the program, how they came to be, and who is in on the fun.

A Mass for Junk…

Missa Materialis was composed in Austin, TX at the behest of myself and dear friends/former classmates line upon line percussion.  We were in the grad program at UT Austin, they had their consummate chamber percussion band thing going as I was trying to find my thing, and we decided that it would be fun to collaborate.

Ian devised a theatrical five-movement requiem mass for consumer culture–with a lot of found objects and trash–fitting somewhere between Kagel’s Dressur and STOMP. (I know, it’s hard to reconcile those two worlds, but imagine it in the best possible way)

The piece was largely inspired by Vince Hanneman’s Austin landmark the Cathedral of Junk, which drew local and tourist gawkers alike to his backyard for decades until it was recently condemned by the city (progress, folks).


(more photos and words here:http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-cathedral-of-junk-austin-87157)

Later, Ian prudently revised the quartet into a trio so that line upon line could keep it in their extensive touring repertoire. In this format I’ll perform it next Friday with Amy Garapic and Matt Evans of Tigue Percussion. They are a new and fantastic percussion band from NYC via Ohio State University and The Eastman School of Music.  Excitingly, we are only the second ensemble to perform the piece on this, the NYC premiere.  The three of us have had a blast putting it together with musical saw hijinks, boomboxing, a rare duet for ratchets and lots of work on three-part vocal harmonies.  Amy even taught herself how to whistle just for this concert. Dedication.

As a teaser, here’s a video of the third movement from a line upon line recording session:

Art That You Hit…

I was lucky that my studies at the Hartt School overlapped with Lisa Coons’ one-year teaching fellowship in composition.  We were paired for a performance of her improvisatory Sculpture Piece No. 1 on Hartford’s Women Composers Festival.  Our collaboration clicked as we rebooted the form of the piece, which hadn’t seen a performance in a few years.  She also lent me a bunch of different implements with which to attack her sculpture, including a paint scraper, guitar strings, and crazy sticks she made with old-school telephone bells mounted on the end. I was sold.

She is the type of person who might linger near a construction site just to listen to the interplay of noise, and I love that about her.

The thing itself is not friendly. Welded together by Lisa from rebar and electric fence wire from her family’s Missouri hog farm, twisted metal branches flare out in all directions. When I first met Lisa and her sculpture she asked me if my tetanus shots were up to date.  Apparently, the last performer was prone to some bloodletting in performance…

In practice it functions not unlike John Cage’s amplified cactus–if the cactus were made of big metal spikes, not tiny needles.  As with the cactus, a contact microphone amplifies every pluck, flick, and caress, revealing a Whoville of sounds on every tine.  Contact mics=sonic microscopes.

The result is a structured improvisation for amplified sculpture that explores and relishes all the noises–beautiful and less so–that can possibly come out of this thing:


SXSW 2012, photo by Elisa Ferrari





Calder Quartet

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Tuesday, April 20
LPR Main Space


Calder Quartet

Nathan DavisSkrzyp Skrzyn [2010] (World Premiere)
2010 MATA Festival Commission
Co-Commissioned by the Carlsbad Music Festival

Fabian Svensson
Singing and Dancing [2008]
Lisa CoonsCythére (a trauma ballet in two parts) [2010] (World Premiere)
Daniel WohlGlitch [2009]

The Los Angeles-based Calder String Quartet presents a full-evening of World and New York premieres. Composers include NYC-based composer Lisa Coons’ Cythère (a trauma ballet in two parts), Swede Fabian Svensson’s puckishly-titled Singing and Dancing (written for and premiered by the Calders), Daniel Wohl’s textural study Glitch (also written for the group), and a world premiere by rising New York composer Nathan Davis, co-commissioned by MATA and Carlsbad Music Festival

MATA Sound Works

LPR Gallery Bar

MATA continues its annual presentation of sound works with daily presentations of multi-channel in Le Poisson Rouge’s Gallery Bar. Works by 2010 Commissionee Matthew Wright, MATA AD Christopher McIntyre, Antye Greie (aka AGF), and Bjørn Erik Haugen.

2010 Festival Composer Interview: Lisa Coons

Friday, April 16th, 2010

MATA Artistic Director Chris McIntyre sits down with composer Lisa Coons to talk about the upcoming premiere of her piece “Cythére: a trauma ballet in two parts” on April 20, 2010 as part of the 2010 MATA Festival. Lisa’s piece will be performed by the renowned Calder Quartet at Le Poisson Rouge at 7:30pm.

Lisa Coons

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Cythére: a trauma ballet in two parts [2010] (World Premiere)
Performed by the Calder Quartet, April 20

Lisa R. Coons studied composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City during her undergraduate degree and received her master’s from SUNY Stony Brook. Presently a graduate student at Princeton University, her portfolio includes music for acoustic and electronic instruments, turntables, traditional ensembles and even amplified percussion sculptures. She received an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award in 2005 for her string quartet Awkward Music and an Honorable Mention in 2009 for Cross-Sections, her electric guitar quartet. Lisa lives in New York and is a member of the composers collective called, simply, The Collected.

Cythére: a trauma ballet in two parts
1. Cutter

2. Skin/Landscape

Dither Electric Guitar Quartet – Taylor Levine & James Moore, curators

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 8 PM

Issue Project Room
@ The (OA) Can Factory
232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215

MATA Interval 2.3
Featuring Dither Electric Guitar Quartet:
Simon Kafka
Taylor Levine
Joshua Lopes
James Moore
Gavin Harper
Matt Hough
David Linaburg
Brett Parnell
Geremy Schulick
Kenji Shinagawa

Nothing Changes by Simon Kafka

Pantagruel by Joshua Lopes

100 by Florent Ghys

X-Sections by Lisa Coons

Telegraph by Wil Smith

— intermission —

Jumeaux by Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner
Taylor Levine and James Moore

Deprivation Music No. 5: l’amour du pain by Eric km Clark

Gavin Harper, Matt Hough, Simon Kafka, Taylor Levine,
David Linaburg, Joshua Lopes, James Moore, Brett Parnell,
Geremy Schulick, Kenji Shinagawa