The Cherry Spoon Collective

This week I have the wonderful opportunity to play as one of the original members of a new improvising, new-music, ensemble in Minneapolis called The Cherry Spoon Collective. The “orchestra” consists of mostly traditional band and orchestra instruments: violin, cello, clarinet, bass, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, but also guitar, drum set, spoken word artist (“rapper” isn’t quite the right term in this context), and I play not just bassoon, but electrified bassoon. The members of the group are modular, with no set instrumentation for every performance, and everyone is an improviser at some level. We perform all new music, most of it commissioned for this ensemble. Many of the works are incredibly loose in structure, requiring the musicians to play in contemporary styles of rock, R&B, and hip hop, follow unusual road maps, unusual harmonic structures, solo over chord changes (or over no chord changes). It’s a far cry from Tchaikovsky, but just as listenable!

Cherry Spoon Collective, in rehearsal at Studio Z in St. Paul, MN

You can’t see it in this photo, but I’m using a series of effects pedals to create some extra sounds, as well as provide some basic sound support for my instrument in order to be heard while a drum set is playing. In order to access the effects easier I stand to play.

The Cherry Spoon Collective is performing this Friday, April 26, at Studio Z in St. Paul, MN. We’re performing the same set of music twice, at 7pm and at 9pm. It’s free, and all-ages.

Website redesign

Decided to do a bit of a re-vamp to the site. Removed some posts that were no longer applicable, and am cleaning up the posts and categories. Check the “Schedule” page for a calendar of upcoming performances and current projects I’m in.

Theater music for unaccompanied bassoon

In the spring of 2011 I performed the solo bassoon score to the one-man play on the life of Clarence Darrow by playwright Gary Anderson called “Naked Darrow”. The premier was held at Park Square Theater in St. Paul, MN. We recorded the musical figures at The Terrarium in Minneapolis in April 2013. These three excerpts from the play show the interaction between the text and the music written by Richard McKinney.
Naked Darrow will be performed off-Broadway in New York in 2013.

The first excerpt:
Darrow, after reminiscing about a past trial, is overcome with a bout of dementia.
The second excerpt:
Darrow remembers seeing a man executed in a public hanging as a child.
The third excerpt:
Darrow reacts to seeing a glimpse of humanity in two serial killer clients and worries about the consequences of public viewing of death penalty trials.

  • Authorship