Motion Blur Video

To feature the release of Misdemeanors, Minor Vices performed at Sugar Maple, one of Milwaukee’s most supportive venues for new music.  At the conclusion of Chris Burns’ welcome/introduction to the show, he tapped a “Publish” button on his phone, making Misdemeanors live to the general public.  Along with the featured studio release, Minor Vices performed Motion Blur, a structured improvisation from the mind of Chris Burns.

While the entire performance was not released on video, preserving the new audio release of MisdemeanorsMotion Blur is available on YouTube.

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Minor Vices Studio Recording

Minor Vices has been performing for over a year now, and while we continue to grow as an improvisational group, we have become acutely aware that we have very little audio or video documentation.  Fortunately that changed this past summer, when we gathered at the Kenilworth Square East studio space to record “Misdemeanors”.

From BandCamp:

Misdemeanors is a set of twenty-six miniatures, one for each letter of the alphabet. Written by Christopher Burns for Minor Vices, each movement sets a particular challenge or puzzle for the ensemble, who improvise in response to the given constraints. The result is vivid and imaginative music, articulated through bright colors and sharp contrasts.

After some minimal post-production work by Christopher, the final recording was released to BandCamp in October 2013.  You can listen to, or download the entire release here:

Minor Vices – “Misdemeanors” on BandCamp

As an additional bonus, Kevin had a pretty sweet camera with him, and was “on the ball” enough to get some good shots and share them with us.

“For Laura”

This past November, I was involved in a collaborative work led by Milwaukee composer Amanda Schoofs and choreographer Laura Murphy.  The piece was entitled “An Inherent Presence,” and was one of five collaborations performed for Intersect; an evolution of Danceworks’ previous interdisciplinary projects, directed by Dani Kuepper.

Amanda Schoof’s musical score, “For Laura”, superimposes dynamic, raw motion with provocative poetic fragments, and exists in the space between composition and spontaneity.  The music is realized by Steve Schlei on an iPad playing the TC-11 synthesizer app, Trevor Saint on glockenspiel and myself on tenor saxophone.  The dancers involved were: Alberto Cambra, Kim Johnson-Rockafellow, Dani Kuepper, Gina Lauenzi, and Christal Wagner.

Here’s an excerpt from Milwaukee Magazine’s review:

“The purest collaboration of the evening was an improvisation called “An Inherent Presence,” developed by choreographer Laura Murphy. Two onstage musicians—tenor saxophonist David Collins and Steve Schlei, playing the TC-11, a programmable synthesizer app on an iPad. The music was composed by Amanda Schoofs, though like the movement it was likely a structure that the musicians interpret in different ways for each performance. A quartet of dancers started out clustered in the back corner of the stage, and the music spurred them into different energy levels. Christal Wagner seemed to initiate different sections of the piece by articulating a gesture or motif, which was then expanded by the other three. And they all ran with it—with a kind of controlled, technically assured abandon that was thrilling to watch.”

Paul Mitchel was kind enough to share some photos he took during our dress rehearsal.

Please visit Paul’s website for information about his work.

http://paulmitchellart.com/home.html

Later this month, Amanda will be directing a recording session of “For Laura”, to be released later this year, so stay tuned!

Minor Vices at UWM Recital Hall

I’m very excited about the opportunity to perform with Minor Vices next week.  The performance will be next Thursday, July 11 (7:30 pm, UWM Recital Hall, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd., free admission).

Here’s a short description of the event from Christopher Burns’ previously released promo materials:

“Minor Vices is performing new structured improvisations created expressly for the ensemble. Part of the evening will be devoted to “Xenoglossia,” in a version quite different from what you’ll hear on the record — the software can be used to transform the acoustic sound of the six Minor Vices musicians live, creating an unusual hybrid between instrumental/vocal improvisation and electroacoustic music. The other new work is “Misdemeanors,” a prose score which poses a series of twenty-six challenges for the musicians to solve.”

Minor Vices is David Collins, saxophones; Adam Murphy, clarinets; Trevor Saint, glockenspiel; Kevin Schlei, percussion and electronics; Amanda Schoofs, voice; and Seth Warren-Crow, percussion and electronics, and Christopher Burns playing electric guitar and piloting the laptop.

Hope to see you there!