It’s hard to questionSeattle Rock Orchestra‘s reputation as “the coolest orchestra in town.” You may have seen their full orchestra cover sets of The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Muse, Stevie Wonder, but they’re a flexible ensemble that also likes to show a more intimate side of genre pollination.
These videos were filmed in conjunction with On Stage with Classical KING FM, a concert series designed to spotlight brilliant local musicians and a little something extra, whether it’s food, wine, dancing or exclusive talks. If you like those videos and want to hear more, you can stream more selections from this performance below and on ouron-demand audiopage!
For information about the 2016-17 On Stage with Classical KING FM season, including a reprise performance of SROQ + Tamara, clickhere!
In December 2015, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and The Nouveau Classical Project presented the world premiere of Miller’s Peace Symphony: 8 Stories at Seattle’s Cornish Playhouse. Second Inversion was able to capture some of this piece, which you can read about below.
“Inspired by the everyday stories of the last remaining survivors of the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the idea behind this work came from Miller’s personal interaction with eight Hibakusha (被爆者 Atomic bomb survivors) on Peace Boat’s 83rd Global Voyage (Peace Boat is an international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment) where Miller recently served as a guest educator and artist-in-residence.
Hibakusha’s stories highlight the humanitarian consequences of these weapons of mass destruction, educate youth, and help to bring about a nuclear free world. Miller has sampled the words and stories of Hibakusha to create electronic and acoustic musical portraits that resonate with some of the deepest issues facing modern society.” –Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky)
The stories Miller engages come from several of the last survivors of the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and he takes their tales and weaves together a sound portrait of one of the most powerful moments of the 20th Century.
A few excerpts from an interview between the chair of Cornish College of the Artswith DJ Spooky about Peace Symphony:
Tom Baker: First of all, how in the world do you find the time for all that you do as a creative artist? And secondly, do you find the time to notice the rhythm of the space between things with what must be an incredibly busy life?
Paul D. Miller: I would say everyone is feeling that they never have enough time in the 21st century. For me, music, art, and literature are all simply reflections of the same creative impulse. It’s a core issue in the 21st Century. Capitalism forces our attention span to be framed by the huge array of commercial advertising that inundate us. I guess you could say that I use my art and compositions to create more time and space to think about all the issues facing us, and distill it all in one form. Music is the language we all speak.
TB: This new piece, Peace Symphony, draws on a dramatic and profoundly disturbing time in world history. I know that you were artist-in-residence for Peace Boat (an international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment). Was that experience an inspiration for this piece?
PDM: Japan and Germany took radically different routes after World War 2. Japan has an amazing group of peace activists and so does Germany, but Japan has a very different relationship to its collective memory of the war. I wanted to talk about memory with the survivors to see what could be done with their story. It’s a story we Americans never get a chance to actually hear. That’s what this project bears witness to: it has to be about purple to people shared experiences. Anything else is government propaganda. I try make this as much about humanity as possible.
TB: Your work encompasses so many disparate pathways, though there always seems to be singular vision at play, even in the midst of intertwined collaboration. How do you reconcile these diverse adventures and creative work into an aesthetic focus?
PDM: Inter-disciplinary art is the legacy of some of my favorite composers – from John Cage on one hand and Nam June Paik on the other. Aesthetics in the 21st century is one of the most complex forces because it encompasses everything about what it means to be a creative person in this Era. DJ culture is a kind of template because it’s always about searching for new ways to reconsider history. That’s what a good mix does. It gives you a good idea of what is possible.
Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky is a composer, multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. His written work has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, among others, and he is the Editor of Origin Magazine. Miller’s work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries.
Continuing our series of “Steve Reich videos around Seattle,” we’re pleased to share Rose Bellini’s performance of Cello Counterpoint at On the Boards!
This is our second of threeSteve Reich videosin collaboration with On the Boards Ambassador James Holt, who is presenting a concert dedicated to the music of Steve Reich on Tuesday, February 2 at 8pm:
Counterpoint | Phase– A hypnotic evening of music in a non-traditional setting from the American master of minimalism.
LINEUP: Nagoya Marimbas: Erin Jorgensen & Memmi Ochi Cello Counterpoint: Rose Bellini New York Counterpoint: Rachel Yoder Violin Phase: Luke Fitzpatrick/Marcin Pączkowski
Pre-sales for this event are sold out. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
CellistRose Belliniis an avid performer of a wide variety of music,especially contemporary and experimental music. She regularly performs with classical music ensembles, modern dance companies, bands, and chamber and orchestral groups from Seattle to New York City to San Francisco.
A founding member of mixed-chamber ensemblesREDSHIFTandHotel Elefant, Rose also regularly appears with theSeattle Modern Orchestraand Seattle Rock Orchestra. Other notable appearances include with the Wordless Music Orchestra, Ensemble Signal, FLUX Quartet, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, East Village Opera Company, Phoenix Ensemble, folk and rock bands, and in venues from ranging from neighborhood bars to Carnegie Hall.
Rose frequently collaborates with living composers from around the world and often premieres and records new works for cello and for chamber ensemble. A doctoral graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, her primary teachers were Emilio Colón and Janos Starker.
As an arts entrepreneur, Rose has established herself as a resourceful fundraiser and leader in the music and arts community working in development for a variety of organizations. Rose serves on the board of theSwitchboard Music Festival in San Francisco, CA.
2015 has been a huge year for us! Besides filling the 24/7 stream with new music and insights, we kept busy out in the community, on the blog, and making videos! This is the final post in a series of “Top 5 of 2015” lists (check out our Top 5 Videos and Top 5 Albums) before we plunge into 2016. Here are our top 5 moments/events/milestones/projects/good times:
She gracefully navigated through the zigzagging maze that is Cage’s musical mind and shed light on some fascinating aspects of Cage’s life: his love of mushrooms, cats, anechoic chambers, technology (it’s arguable to say Cage may have predicted the internet), dance, and so much more. Dive in from the beginning and let her guide you through this incredible series! Stay tuned for more great creative features and clever wit from Maggie M. in 2016!
#4: Live Broadcasts
In 2015 we presented SEVEN live streaming broadcast concerts from Town Hall Seattle and Meany Hall, including Third Coast Percussion, Catalyst Quartet, Deviant Septet, SYSO Alums and Mentors, Johnny Gandlesman, ETHEL and Robert Mirabal, Ensemble Variances with Lisa Bielawa! These broadcasts allowed us to connect with concert-goers in the community while reaching audiences nation and world-wide on our 24/7 stream! Many of them are also available on our live concerts on-demand page Stay tuned for plenty more in 2016.
#3: Music Videos (& a New Music USA Grant)
We’re grateful for all of the foundation support we’ve received for Second Inversion this year! Our grant from New Music USA was particularly exciting because it to helped fund our music videos. Our video stars include Joshua Roman, Turtle Island String Quartet, Jherek Bischoff, Ashley Bathgate, Danish String Quartet, musicians from OneBeat, Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz, and so many more. It’s been a wildly fun journey connecting with artists who are passionate about sharing new music with audiences. We’re incredibly grateful for the time they donated to be a part of this project! Check out the complete video collection on our video page.
#2: Northwest Folklife Festival
In 2015 we had our first Northwest Folklife Showcase – really, our first public performance of any kind! The Passenger String Quartet and Seattle Cello eXperiment performed for an absolutely packed Center Theatre. It was an amazing opportunity for us to contribute to Folklife’s diverse music and cultural offerings and to connect with new audiences. Some showed up expecting a more traditional “classical” concert and instead were able to Rethink Classical. Needless to say, we’ll be back for a 2nd showcase in 2016!
#1: Joshua Roman named Artistic Advisor
In March of 2015, Second Inversion brought Joshua Roman on board as the Artistic Advisor! Joshua has helped us “Rethink Classical” with our Seattle community and our national and global audiences by posting to our blog, introducing music on our 24/7 stream, and collaborating on new ideas and initiatives. Stay tuned for more from Joshua in 2016!