Spring is here! Fingers crossed, but it seems like New York is turning the corner; for the first time in a year, I have more live in-person (!) gigs this month than virtual ones.
Aside from the regular daily routine, I've been working on getting my next album in order. We recorded in late February, and the musicians blew my expectations out of the water, so kudos to Adam O'Farrill, Christian Li, Max Light, Walter Stinson, and Matt Honor (as well as producer Juanma Trujillo and recording engineer extraordinare Aaron Nevezie) for helping me realize my personal tribute to Charlie Parker. It'll be out in late August on Charlie Parker's 101st birth anniversary, and it's titled <3 Bird.
In March, I had a blast helping my friend Jacob Shulman with the recording of a suite of music he'd composed while living in Boston a few years ago. If you've been following Endectomorph the past few years, you'll probably recognize his name from the liner notes of Earprint's Easy Listening, but I'm hoping that more people will get to know his casually brilliant and emphatic voice on the saxophone.
The record is scheduled for a fall release on Endectomorph, so you'll be hearing more about it soon. In the meantime, I highly encourage checking out his website for not only music, but also deeply thoughtful and enjoyable essays on math, music, video games, and more.
In the aftermath of my half year re-immersion into video games, I've since acquired my friend Walter Stinson's old PS4 (he upgraded to the fifth generation) and have actually been using it more for watching Blu-Rays than for gaming. I've been slowly working my way through the complete films of Agnès Varda, which has been a delightful experience and an empowering one in terms of seeing what's possible when you get into art-making with few preconceptions in terms of the expectations of an existing craft and tradition. Even her titles and intro credits are distinctively personal from film to film, and of course the music in her films is always fantastic. Next up is a dive into the films of Ingmar Bergman (39 or so, via the Criterion Collection set).
I've also been slowly investigating the music of 20th-century Polish composer Witold Lutosławski, whose String Quartet blew my mind upon a random listening in the late winter. I've been reading his collected writings and remarks on music, and pretty much everything he says has been of practical use for me; he says music should be written as simply as possible to ensure the most personal execution by the musicians, and his approach to "semi-aleatoric" or limited chance notation is something I want to explore in my own music (primarily for the freedom of rhythmic expression).
Well, I have to eat quickly and then run to a gig, so I'll end things here, but please keep in touch and I hope to see some of you (in-person) again very soon. Thanks as always for reading and listening. Bird lives!