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Gliss me

This weekend’s American Modern Ensemble program “Musical Mavericks” was a festival of composer-performers … featuring an impressive roster of Downtown Usual Suspects, like Todd Reynolds, Robert Dick, Pamela Z, and Micro-tonal Master John Eaton. It is awfully fun to see these guys do Their Thing in person, but my personal takeaways for the evening were:

1) Michael Lowenstern is one fantastic bass clarinet and a really fun composer to boot. I’ll be buying his 1985 on CD, and picking up whatever else I can from the iTunes Store.

2) Rob Paterson (now sporting a spiffy new website) continues to write winning music, as well as consistently put together impressive programming for his ensemble. This is both happy and depressing for me. Rob played his 5-octave marimba piece, Komodo on the program, brilliantly showing off his head-scratching six-mallet technique.

3) Composer/Bassist Sean McClowry writes great stuff. He played his April ’94, winner of the AME’s 2nd Annual Composition Competition, and it’s a stunner. Definite highlight of the program.

But the burning question on my mind after last night really is: Why doesn’t every flute come equipped with Robert Dick’s glissando headjoint? That little number is pure genius, and a bargain at $2k a pop. Can I start a petition to get these suckers installed on everyone’s flutes by the time my next wind piece is due…?

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