News / Blog

Announcing our 2019/20 Emerging Composers Partnership collaborators!

Please join us in congratulating Robyn Jacob and Andys Skordis, the composers selected for our 2019/20 Emerging Composers Partnership! We look forward to collaborating with both Robyn and Andys to create new works by each, which will be premiered next season. Read more about these outstanding music-makers below and click their names above to hear some of their music.

We received 109 applications this year! The remarkable variety and depth of creativity displayed by all of the proposals was truly inspiring, and we have no doubt that adventurous music in our field is alive and well! Thank you to everyone who submitted music and ideas this year.

Applications for the next round of submissions to the Emerging Composers Partnership (projects to be completed in the 2020/21 season) will open on August 1 and will close on October 31, 2019. 

Robyn Jacob is a pianist, singer, composer and educator who lives and works on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver BC). She has been striving for beauty that defies category in Canada and internationally with her avant-pop project Only A Visitor, who released their second full length album Technicolour Education in early 2019. Committed to writing and performing avant-garde music, recent composition projects explore writing for voice and small ensemble, and balancing between the pop and new music realms. As a music educator she believes in discovery through teaching, and learning through discovery, and has taught youth workshops on free improvisation and deep listening.

Since 2012 she has been part of the multi-disciplinary arts collective Publik Secrets, currently artists in residence at the Hadden Park Field House with the City of Vancouver. In 2013 she toured Bali with Gamelan Gita Asmara, and has since been co-directing Gamelan Bike Bike. For four years she was host of The Rib on CiTR 101.9FM, a show dedicated to the dissemination of local experimental musical talent. Robyn has received a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of British Columbia, and has completed three residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She has been teaching music and piano privately for over 10 years.

Andys Skordis is a Cypriot composer, born in Nicosia in 1983. He graduated from Berklee College of Music where he studied composition and film scoring, and pursued his post-graduate studies in composition with Richard Ayres and Wim Henderickx at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. Additionally, he studied Karnatic music with Dr. Rafael Reina and Balinese Gamelan at ISI Denpasar in Bali.

As a composer he finds inspiration in the primordial human nature, which is reflected through a contemporary methodology in his compositions. His recent works find stimulation from ceremonial and mystical happenings from around the world. These incentives are expressed as a representation of a contemporary ritual characterised by tension and mysticism in his music.

Andys has composed music ranging from opera, orchestral and chamber pieces, vocal works, Gamelan, as well as music for theatre, dance and short films. His music has been performed by professional ensembles and amateur groups worldwide, in concert halls and unconventional spaces like quarries, abandoned buildings, temples, floating stages, and so on. Additionally, he has been awarded with various prizes including the Buma Toonzetters Prize, one of the highest composition prizes in The Netherlands, and more.

Besides composing, he is currently teaching Contemporary Music through non Western techniques at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam, as well as other foundations in Europe, Asia and America. Additionally, he is the artistic director of the ensemble Patsiaoura, the music curator for Xarkis Festival and Artists Residency, a founding member of the improvisational ensemble The Brain Masturbation, and a professional collaborator with the Greek National Opera, and is involved in interdisciplinary projects and educational workshops.

Third Coast Percussion’s Emerging Composers Partnership is made possible by Louise K. Smith and the Sargent Family Foundation.

Posted in News
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Intern Spotlight: Charlie Mogen

It’s time for the final Intern Spotlight of 2018, featuring Charlie Mogen! Charlie worked for us in the summer of 2016, and he is now the interim professor of percussion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD. Charlie is also an intern with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series, where we will be performing on Sunday, December 9, featuring music written for us by Philip Glass and Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange). We’ve loved working with him again in preparation for our show. Find out more and get tickets here! Thanks for all your work, Charlie, and we’ll see you soon!

ABOUT YOU

Where are you from?

Sioux Falls, SD

What is one thing about yourself that you want everyone to know?

I’m generally a very easygoing person but will physically fight anybody who doesn’t think a hot dog is a sandwich.

A link to something about you (website, video, post, etc.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qTJW5Ethdo&t

This project is a few years old, but I’m still proud of how the lighting/multi-angle cameras worked out. Really dig a nice multi-media production!

What are you up to these days?

I’m the interim professor of percussion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, working for Kate Nordstrum and the SPCO’s Liquid Music Series in St. Paul, MN, and slinging coffee on the weekends. Trying to figure out my next step but feeling good about my passions and prospects!

ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP

When did you intern with TCP?

Summer 2016

How did you connect with TCP?

I had the opportunity to work with Mathew Duvall (8BB’s percussionist) the summer before at Chosen Vale, we hit it off, and I asked him about any ways to intern for/get involved with the group. I was fortunate enough to get an internship with them that also included working with TCP– the rest is history.

Did you gain anything from the internship that you’d like to share?

I was extremely impressed with how organized the “business” aspect of the group was; no group member ever hesitated to do the nitty-gritty work necessary for a well-oiled musical machine.

What else did you do while you were interning?

Other than the work with Eighth Blackbird and a single (glorious, hi Ben!) day working with Ensemble Dal Niente, I spent a good chunk of time practicing (I’m also a percussionist), got to see a few shows (Florence and My Brightest Diamond were highlights), had the opportunity to premiere a Brian Chase piece with Make Music Chicago, and ate my fair share of tacos (I lived around the block from a late-night shop in Pilsen).

Did you leave a legacy or mark on the organization that you’re particularly proud of?

My summer with the group marked an early step the Grammy nomination process, so I like to tell my friends (facetiously, of course) that I had a direct hand in TCP winning the award the following spring.

Favorite memory?

A board member hosted a shindig in her beautiful Arts District apartment after a concert one summer evening. Great food, wine, and conversation were had.

SILLY THINGS

A GIF or YouTube link that sums up your experience with TCP?

https://i.imgur.com/40IkkYH.gifv

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Probably Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants

A funny or embarrassing story from the internship?

My fellow intern (Michael Goodman) and I were tasked with putting together “scratch pads” for an Emerging Composer event with Danny Clay and we somehow managed to approach it as inefficiently as possible. I think we spent three or four hours trekking around town buying sandpaper, plastic cups, tongue depressors, etc for what amounted to an arts and crafts project. Why we didn’t just go to the nearest big-box store I have no idea.


You can intern for Third Coast Percussion any time of year! For more information about internships, contact Sean Connors: [email protected]. Happy holidays, everyone!

Posted in News
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Intern Spotlight: Andrew Bockman

Welcome back to our Intern Spotlight series! Today, we shine the light on another of our summer 2018 interns, Andrew Bockman. We were lucky to snag Andrew in between his two years at the Eastman School of Music, where he’s now wrapping up a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Andrew, and best wishes for finishing school!


Where are you from?

Tampa, FL

What is one thing about yourself that you’d want everyone to know?

Outside of classical music I’m a huge fan of Fleet Foxes. I also like sleeping and turtles.

Give us a link to something about you.

Here’s a video of me performing a timpani solo I composed for my jury in the spring of 2018. It was written as a sort of “requiem” for the passing of David Maslanka, and is available from me if you’re interested!

What are you up to these days?

I’m just starting the final year of my Master’s degree in percussion at Eastman!

 

When did you intern with TCP?

Throughout the month of July, in the summer of 2018.

How did you connect with TCP?

I discovered this internship through the Arts Leadership Certificate Program at Eastman, which is an awesome program that gives students the opportunity to work with a variety of organizations and ensembles like Third Coast.

Did you gain anything from the internship that you’d like to share?

I learned a ton from simply being around everyone in the office and studio, particularly what goes into both performing in and running a full-time professional chamber group.  The administrative work that was required on a daily basis was staggering, and everyone was very organized in how they delineated and completed tasks. I also had the opportunity to sit down with members of the group over lunch and talk about everything they do, which was truly invaluable.

What else did you do while interning with TCP?

Since this was my first time in Chicago I took advantage of the city by visiting the Art Institute, going to a Cubs game, seeing the Chicago Symphony three times, and eating a lot of deep dish pizza.

Did you leave a legacy or mark on the organization that you’re particularly proud of?

Not that I’m aware of, other than a handful of bowed vibraphone notes that might make it onto a recording.

Favorite memory from the internship?

The group held an “intern appreciation night” where they took us out for food and drinks, which was a ton of fun and a very nice thing for them to do.

 

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

A combination of Scooby Doo and Winnie the Pooh

A funny or embarrassing story from the internship? 

After setting up for TCP’s outdoor show at Wrigley Field I went to grab tacos for the ensemble and Colin. Immediately upon returning it started to pour, so I ran to deliver the tacos to safety and then ran back out to help cover the stage, microphones, and wireless packs dispersed around the field. It was a complete mess but fortunately all of the electronics, instruments, and tacos were safe, and the show went on.

A GIF or YouTube link that sums up your experience with TCP?

 


You can intern with Third Coast at any time of year! If you’re interesting in learning more about an internship with Third Coast, please contact Sean Connors at [email protected].

 

Posted in News
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Colin’s Corner: Wood Slats

Welcome back to Colin’s Corner, where we can all learn secrets and tricks from our studio manager and resident superhero, Colin Campbell. In this post, Colin explains his process for making wood slats, a very common percussion instrument that takes a bit of care in order to sound great. So many of us settle for mediocre woodslats, but with a little time and care, you can have beautiful, pitched wood slats that will last you for years (unless you play Music for Pieces of Wood 10 times a day for a while). Here are Colin’s tips. 

What kind of wood?

All of Third Coast’s wood slats are made from red oak, which is more economical and sustainable than many hardwoods, and widely available.

What size?

See the table below. (The dashes mean that TCP hasn’t made a slat that size…yet!)

I’m in Home Depot. HELP!

When choosing the size of plank to buy, YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Boards in hardware stores are labeled by ‘nominal’ dimensions, which means that the actual measurement of the wood will be slightly smaller than listed.

–The boards that I buy for pitched slats are 1” nominal thickness, and either 4” or 6” nominal width. This actually translates to a ¾” thick board with an actual width of about 3 ½” or 5 ½”.

There are so many planks…

I like to buy my boards in lengths between 3’ and 6.’

Hold each board by its edges and tap on its face. Even at this stage, the wood should have a clear and resonant tone when struck. Be careful not to buy any boards which sound “dead,” as this is most likely a result of internal defects in the wood’s structure.

Try to buy boards which are as flat and straight as possible. Setting a board flat on the floor will give you an idea if it is bowed, twisted/ warped, and/ or cupped.

How do I cut it, and what do I cut it with?

All of the saw cuts will be “cross-cuts,” meaning we will cut perpendicular to the long grain of the wood.

There are many techniques for cross-cutting wood. The one use will depend on your access to the particular tools. My personal choice is a compound miter saw/chop saw. I can make cuts precise, clean, and quick. BUT around the studio, I don’t have a compound miter saw, so I usually use a jigsaw.

We are only cutting the board to length — we are not making any additional cuts to tune the note harmonically, as would be the case with a wooden marimba or xylophone bar. This means that a particular slat might have a fundamental pitch, as well as an unwanted harmonic (say, a Major 2nd, for example) that is nearly as audible as the fundamental itself.

Make your first cut a couple inches longer than the listed dimension. Your first cut should give you a slightly lower pitch than the intended target. Now, make a series of smaller and smaller cuts to “sneak up” to the final pitch.

Listen carefully as you go, and compare your note with a pitched instrument like a marimba or piano. Strike different areas of the board to find a “sweet spot” where the fundamental pitch speaks most clearly. Once you have the board cut to length, circle the “sweet spot” with a marker or pencil.

Tell me more!

I’m still playing with the widths, but generally I like to use the 6” wide boards for everything Middle C and below, and switch over to the 4” wide boards above Middle C.

But remember: the measurements given are only a guide. There will be natural variability in the wood from board to board.

When cutting multiple pitches, always start with the lowest note/ longest board. That way, when (not “if”) you cut off too much and overshoot the pitch, you’ll still be able to use the board to make a higher note.

Finally, as I mentioned, the measurements are a guide. Remember to leave extra room and sneak up to the correct pitch, rather than cutting the board too short on your first cut.

Good luck!

Pitch Octave 3 length Octave 4 length
C 23 1/16″
C# 23 1/16″
D 22 1/2″
D# 21 9/16″
E 19 1/16″ (4″, W)
F 20 3/4
F# 28 1/4″ 21 3/8, 19 3/8 (4″, W)
G 26 1/2″ 18 11/16 (4″, W)
G# 26 7/8″ 18 7/16
A 24 11/16″ 17 7/8″ (4″, W)
A# 24 13/16″ 18 5/16″
B 23 1/2″ 16 13/16″ ; 16 5/8″

 

Pitch Octave 5 length Octave 6 length Octave 7 length
C 16″ ; 15 1/2″ 11 1/8″ 8 3/8″
C# 15 1/2″ ; 16 1/8″ 11 1/2″ ; 12″ ; 10 7/8″ ; 12″ ; 7 3/4″
D 16 1/4″ ; 16″; 14 3/4″ ; 15 1/2″ 11 3/4″ ; 11″
D# 15 7/16″ 11 1/2″
E 15″ ; 13 7/8″ ; 15″ 10 13/16″
F 14 5/8″ ; 14 3/4″ 9 3/4″ ; 10 11/16
F# 13 1/2″ 9 1/2″
G 13 9/16″ 9″
G# 13 3/8″ 8 1/2″
A 13 3/8″ ; 13 11/16″ 8 3/8″
A# 13 3/8″ ; 13 11/16″ 8 1/14″
B 12 3/4″ 7 13/16″
Posted in News
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Intern Spotlight: Noel Holloway

It’s time for another Intern Spotlight! This week, we are featuring Noel Holloway. Noel interned with us for several weeks this summer. Thanks for everything, Noel, and best wishes for your final year at Eastman!

Where are you from?

Albany, NY. Going into my senior year at Eastman.

What is one thing about yourself that you’d want everyone to know?

I have 2 dog children (Moby and Pepper). I also have 2 cat children (Bandit and Martini). I am also gay, which is fun.

Give us a link to something about you.

This is a video of me that I sent in to qualify for the Taiwan International Percussion Convention: Marimba Solo section. I was 1 of 4 Americans who qualified for this out of 50 participants, aged 17-29. I’ve improved a lot since then with those pieces, but I am really proud that I was able to do all of this music in one take. I was halfway through my sophomore year at Eastman when I recorded this.

What are you up to these days?

Currently focusing on a healthy mindset associated with my own music. I used to have a unhealthy competitiveness vibe with myself and got pretty burned out from that, so this summer I have been working on just focusing on the passion I have to music and being comfortable with where I’m at as opposed to compared to others.

Once I return to school, I will be preparing for my senior recital and grad school auditions! I’m going to apply to Northwestern, Miami, Yale, and MSM.

ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP

When did you intern with TCP?

June 5 – July 13, 2018.

How did you connect with TCP?

I met Dave when he came to Eastman for an ALP (Arts Leadership Program) talk and reached out to him and then Sean.

Did you gain anything from the internship that you’d like to share?

Learning what the day-to-day workflow of an ensemble like this entails. It was super cool to learn about the balance between “normal desk work” and rehearsing was for them. Also talking with the guys about finding donors, booking, grant writing, and a general difference between their non-musical and musical work was really cool to learn about.

What else did you do while interning with TCP?

I worked with the studio manager Colin a lot on different studio projects and took inventory of their studio. I did a lot of things here and there helping out TCP in general.

Did you leave a legacy or mark on the organization that you’re particularly proud of?

Besides helping out with their inventory and helping out with various projects here and there, I do not think I did anything monumental to “leave a mark” on the group, but I definitely think I made an impression with all of the people in TCP and a lasting connection/ friendship there.

Favorite memory from the internship?

Favorite memory would be driving to Notre Dame with Colin; it was a great time and was really exciting to help set up and move all the gear for their residency. Helping out at their Constellation show was also really cool.

SILLY THINGS

A GIF or YouTube link that sums up your experience with TCP?

Couldn’t really find one, but this is a great video.

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Him, from the Powerpuff Girls

A funny or embarrassing story from the internship? 

I was helping out with their show at Constellation, and was supposed to add more chairs in between to the audience since they were so full. I had never done anything like that before, so me and the other intern basically just clumped a bunch of chairs awkwardly in one of the aisles and only 2 people sat down (even though there were 10 chairs) because they were so awkwardly placed. Apparently we also blocked the exit which made the manager then had to fix since it was against fire code.


If you’re interesting in learning more about an internship with Third Coast, please contact Sean Connors at [email protected]. AND…..

Percussionists and wood-slat players of all ages: be on the lookout for our next visit to Colin’s Corner, when Colin will reveal the secrets of TCP’s wood slat collection!

 

 

Posted in News
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace
  • Pinterest
  • Email