Make Music NY 2013 set the scene for the debut of Alexa Dexa's composition "Spottings on Safari" for two to an infinite number of toy pianos and 1 CD player.
Inspired by the chance operations and indeterminacy of the works of John Cage, Spottings on Safari is created with the intention of providing children and adults with the opportunity to perform together while opening their horizons to the available composition techniques and performance choices outside the conventional parameters of concert music. Toy musical instruments can be more than just toys and radios can be more than just appliances lacking the potential for informed musical thought. They sport their own collection of idiosyncrasies and uniquely valid soundscapes, which Alexa Dexa seeks to explore and exercise in Spottings on Safari. The outcome is a subtle irony between the maturity of the compositional technique and its innate childish affability.
The debut took place in Sakura Park. Toy Pianists: Allison Tartalia Graham Wolff Hyeree Cha Kyle Maxwell-Doherty Masaya Ozaki Megan Hofreiter Tristan McKay
CD Player: Alexa Dexa
Performed as part of Make Music NY in Sakura Park Sponsored by Schoenhut Piano Company (http://www.toypiano.com/)
Between July 8th & August 7th, 2013, the link above will house the opportunity for you to help fund and bring to life my upcoming album & art book entitled "a bedtime anthology".
To learn about & contribute to this project inspired by the age-old tradition of reading bedtime stories to children, follow the link!
Did I mention that some of the rewards include a recording of me playing a custom phrase of your choice on my typatune?
February 2nd - March 6th 2013
The stops (via Megabus): DC - Charlotte, NC - Atlanta, GA - Mobile, AL - New Orleans, LA - Houston, TX - Austin, TX - Dallas, TX - Memphis, TN - Nashville, TN - Indianapolis, IN - Chicago, IL - Detroit, MI - Pittsburgh, PA - Philadelphia, PA - Long Island, NY
Some Notable Points:
* My favorite cosmic surprise on tour: I was riding a bus in Houston and saw a sign pointing in the direction of the Rothko Chapel, a place I've been interested in visiting for a few years due to my love for abstract expressionism and Morton Feldman's piece "Rothko Chapel" inspired in part by the chapel and Rothko's life and death. I spent Valentine's Day meditating in the middle of Rothko's glorious paintings and reading "Sanctuary The Spirit in/of Architecture" and the "Tao Te Ching".
* I was fortunate enough to make it to Soulsville, USA in Memphis to check out the Stax Museum. It was a really humbling and inspiring experience to see the breeding grounds for so many amazing artists. I may or may not have sampled myself in the replica studio room. Now I have to make it to Hitsville, USA in Detroit to check out the Motown Museum.
* A new question regarding me and my toy piano arose in Nashville! "Can you play that with your booty?" I kid you not. In Philly, I decided I could live with the consequences of discovering the answer to that question. It turns out my rump is capable of a few different tone clusters.
*Tikanis Stou Spitti Mou: phonetically spelled Greek for "What the hell are you doing in my house?" (Taught to me as an essential Greek phrase to have on hand by a Greek man at the house show I played in Atlanta)
*Craw Plause: when two hands come together at the base and open and close to mimic a claw and clap continuously for an appropriate length of time in honor of craw fish. (An AllOne/Alexa Dexa invention brought into existence in New Orleans during Mardis Gras)
*Sanctuary: a place where fearless birds open their wings to measure the arc of an endless sky. (I guess you could say this whole tour was a sanctuary for me and my toy piano.)
William Helms throws out a handful of thoughtful questions and I hand him back a collection of honest answers. Sort of like a background check for all those policin' ears.
September 26th at Xpo 929 in Brooklyn, NY marked the last night of my first DIY national tour that began on July 26th in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Here are a few of my Favorites:
*Atmosphere in a City- Madison, WI
*Crowd at a Show- The Berkley Front in Detroit, MI
*DIY scene- Milwaukee, WI
*Open Mic- Mia's in Flagstaff, AZ
*Question about my Toy Piano- Does that thing actually work?
*Comparison to another artist: Tie between Bjork and Fiona Apple
*Sound System- Garfield Artworks in Pittsburgh, PA
*Museum- Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ
*New (to me) College Radio Station- WMSE in Milwaukee, WI: Here's an archive of my interview at WMSE!
http://archive.msoe.edu/playlists/128k/Thu-Sep-06-2012-120202.m3u (It's about 20 minutes in)
*Songwriting Locale- Mt. Elden in Flagstaff, AZ
* Public Transportation System- tied for public bike shares in Madison, WI and the L in Chicago, IL (Obviously excluding the glories of the NYC subways and buses.)
*Nicest strangers- tie for Detroit, MI and Ann Arbor, MI
*Best Shoreline along Lake Michigan- Elk Rapids, MI
*Farmer's Market- Tie for Madison, WI and Cleveland, OH
*Lesson Learned- Things will always work out. Sometimes you need to ask for help, but you'd be surprised how many times people you've only just met will be willing to lend a hand. Humanity is real.
After performing a stellar show at The Local 269 in Manhattan, the amazingly free-spirited and hilarious Poingly (who played a wondrous set right after me and who you can and should check out at: http://www.facebook.com/poinglymusic ) invited me to come be a part of his internet radio show "The End of Irony" on Washington Heights Free Radio. As a former DJ on the Berklee Internet Radio, I couldn't resist the opportunity to be back on the internet airwaves. I know what you're thinking. How could I have missed this momentous moment in time? No worries. The link at the top of this post (for those of you who weren't so curious as to have clicked it already) will bring you to the archived show where you can listen to the glorious aural action transpire in its entirety.
(No. Not really!) That's the title of the cinematic theatrical performance written and directed by a charming man named Bryan Santiago for which I am currently doing sound design. (My first gig creating music for theater! Quite exhilarating!) It's been such a treat to use Bryan's script and accompanying video installation as a stimulus for my correlating compositions. (And let me tell you, this tale of the decay of the American Dream set in the 1950's is VERY stimulating!)
Someone's Trying To Kill Me will make its debut at HERE theater in NYC from Nov 18th - Dec 4th 2011.
You may have further inquiries as to the nature of this production and how you may procure entry to immerse yourself in such glorious theater! Here would be the answers! http://www.someonestryingtokillme.com/
Here's a link to the Backstage Review http://www.backstage.com/bso/content_display/reviews/ny-theatre-reviews/e3i3edf73215219ff22c2ee81c71eec49f5 (You can find a snippet about my sound design in the last paragraph)
unicornicopia - performing at roulette's john cage music circus (6-4-11) Sounds by Natalie Elizabeth Weiss, Omar Zubair and special guest Alexa Dexa
If there is one thing in life I love, it is happenings of simultaneous music productions operated by chance procedures involving some aspect of indeterminacy. John Cage's prolific energy expenditure to these concepts in his visual/aural compositions melts my heart! So I certainly couldn't turn down an opportunity to attend Roulette's Cage-ian MusiCircus in Brooklyn. It was there that I met Natalie Elizabeth Weiss and Omar Zubair, two spunky musicians who invited me into their set! You can listen to it by clicking the link above! (It's also where I discovered the existence of the musical desk bells which have now become part of my ever-growing musical toy collection!)
It was great fun playing at the Yippie Café last night! Thanks to all those who came out to make it a rollicking good time!
What really gets me amped up about this particular performance is that the Yippie Café streams its performances online with ustream! Which means you don’t have to be sad you missed the show or feel disheartened because you’d like to relive the moments! All that’s required is a polite push on the link below and you can enter a time and space of the past in all its glory.