Dutcher Snedeker

Pianist, Sound Engineer, Booking Agent

365 Day Music Journey: Week 3

So this post is slightly off from the normal postings, as usually they will appear on Sundays after I have listened to my final album for the week. However, this delay was to time it with the unveiling of my brand new website! In addition to all Wordpress posts being relocated here, there is a variety of content all centralized in one fantastic looking template! Alright, enough about the site, you can check it out at your leisure after reading this post.

This week was interesting in terms of choices, as I let a lot of external sources influence my listening choices. TesseracT and Scale the Summit both released their new album on the same day, however I have very different opinions about both bands. I let a podcast interview dictate one listening experience, the anticipation of hearing another artist's music live influence another album choice, and I chose an EP from a band I will be meeting and performing with next Saturday. It was a very organic song choice, rather than scrolling through album reviews or taking the opinion from a friend. I chose to dive in to most of these albums, even if the results were varying and the experiences not always positive. I welcome you to this definitely different week in listening, feel free to draw your own conclusions as always suggested. 

 

In Another Life by Bilal

I was first introduced to Bilal through Black Radio, a Grammy winning album from the Robert Glasper Experiment (that I continue to draw inspiration from). His voice was striking, and had a character that stood out from the rest of the talent hired to do that album (Lalah Hathaway, Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, etc). I then heard him on Black Radio 2 and was reminded of his collaborative spirit earlier this year on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” release. After this album dropped, I found out about “In Another Life” coming out this year, and I kept it on the back of my head as something to check out.

It’s such a cool album, so many different moods grounded in creative song writing. Grooving throughout, it keeps me as a listener engaged with its expression through soulful singing, tasteful instrumentation, and an attention to detail. There were drums that were laid back and tight in the pocket, guitar tones that reminded me of the Beck tune “Nicotine & Gravy” off of the album “Midnight Vultures,” and there was a good amount of vocal variety from Bilal’s expressive range to hip hop verses from Big K.R.I.T and Kendrick Lamar. It’s a cool album, and it’s just another great release from this artist, I’m glad I finally got to listen to a full album from his catalog.


Polaris by TesseracT
What can I say about TesseracT that hasn’t already been said by any modern metal fan? This group has captured my attention from my first time hearing their debut album “One.” Since that album release, they have put out the “Perspective” EP with Elliot Coleman on vocals, “Altered State” and “Odyssey/Scala” with Ashe O’Hara fronting the band. Even their debut EP “Concealing Fate” had a different vocalist, Julien Perier.

This band formed from the disbanding ashes of the early 2000’s hit band “FellSilent,” a group known for their progressive sound, groove-based riff construction, and tight musicianship with a killer live experience. The split basically saw members forming Monuments and Heart of a Coward in addition to TesseracT. Each album has been a progressive, but “Polaris” marks the return of their debut album vocalist, Daniel Tompkins, who has been involved in plenty of great projects during his years away from the band.

This album is right away a punch to the get, with deeply grooving riffs, tight production, and some great lyricism winding overtop. It hits you hard with each syncopation and eases you in and out of sections with some great atmospheric sound and vocal harmonization. I have been waiting for this release for months, and I’m glad that it comes out tomorrow for everyone to enjoy. Seriously, if you enjoy creative, rhythmic metal writing and some powerful, present vocals, “Polaris” is going to get you grooving no matter where you are. I myself enjoyed this album while on break at my high school job! The video above is a great example of moving forward in not only music but in how they put together music videos beyond the standard, well-shot full band playthrough videos we as listeners tend to see on YouTube.

 

Absolute Garbage by Garbage

This album was a pick at random from listening to Chris Hardwick interview the group’s lead singer, a delightful Scottish woman named Shirley Manson. Their conversation about life, struggles through fully realizing their potential in their craft, and just joking about their profession in general really got me interested to hear the music behind musician.

The group’s general label is “alternative rock” from Scotland, but it carries a variety of styles that makes up their sound. Part industrial rock, part trip hop, part electronic rock, we hear rock as a basis but with so many extra elements layered overtop. Personally, while it was interesting to see their take on pop rock structures, their grunge-styled vocals and mood didn’t resonate strongly with me. I was not comparing them to mainstays like Nirvana in terms of the style, but rather I couldn’t place myself in the mood of their songs. I can see why they have a strong following, and I can hear the years of refinement in their sound and songwriting, but I personally feel the experience of their album is best when it is live. I would say go sample the album if you’re interested in material that feels very early 2000’s alt rock (which works because the album is from that time period). The track above also makes it feel like something from the 90’s that you’d find in a movie sound track too.

Recent Release


Three Books by Those Willows
Next weekend, specifically on September 26th, I was invited to join the group M.O.T.H. to perform a show with a variety of acts from Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Portland. This particular group hails from Oregon, bred in Detroit, and they bring with them a folk spirit creatively expressed through the music language of jazz. There is a form that grounds each track, but each tune has such a distinct clarity in direction. Dynamics vary, educated choices are made in expressive moments, and the instrumentation allows for a lot of variety in arrangement. Each track on the EP invites you to relax and settle into a comfortable groove. Some moments you’ll find yourself being still and taking in the sounds, and others you’ll move to the beat with genuine enthusiasm. I’m very excited to be able to perform with them this Saturday at New Church! Details can be found here: 

 

No One to Know One by Andy Akiho

In anticipation of hearing a full set of this composer’s music, I listened to this album in full. Before, I had only ever really heard the title track, as it was my first introduction to his style and truly masterfully use of jazz, varying instrumentation (including his personal performing instrument, the steelpan), and very distinct moments of unique timbres and colors. I was fortunate to meet him at this past summer’s “Bang on a Can Marathon” in North Adams, Massachusetts, where I drove with a friend to see current and past members of the GVSU New Music Ensemble perform.

Andy Akiho is a friendly spirit, bashfully acknowledging praise and dozens of prestigious awards while delighting in performing and sharing his compositions for an audience. He performed with members of New Music Detroit at this past weekend’s “Strange Beautiful Music Festival” at the Max M. Fisher Center in Detroit. He captivated audiences with his distinct blend of jazz, contemporary classical, and even metal set to a theme mainly of synesthetic project pieces (based on color) and energetic ensemble performances. So much has been said about this man that I don’t do this review of his music justice, he’s such a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary music world today.

Go listen to his album, you will be treated to some of the best music currently out there, period. It’s music I am desperately wanting to perform and constantly get inspiration from.

Isometric by Jake Bowen
This one was interesting because normally I hear this guy playing one of three guitar and vocal roles in the metal band Periphery, but I had always heard some of his electronic compositions from previously released singles and interspersed within Periphery’s albums. This debut release features a variety of electronic tunes in a very ambient, trip hop style. It shows a side of Jake Bowen rarely heard, and fans of Periphery wanting to expand their knowledge on various solo/side projects in the group will want to take a listen. Plus, it’s a great album to zone into, letting its droning pulse and atmospheric textures relax your mind and take a breather for just a few minutes. 

V by Scale the Summit

I’ll preface this by saying two things: I never really got into Scale the Summit and every time I’ve had the chance to see them in a concert lineup I’ve left. So not being the strongest fan of their music, I decided to give their new album a try to see what might have been learned in the 2 year gap from their last release.


For those unfamiliar, they are a popular instrumental metal act that incorporates elements of progressive metal and jazz in their style. Lacking the exciting display of musicianship that Animals As Leaders has and just coming short of the lyrical guitar playing abilities of Plini, this group is peculiar to me. I want to like them along with so many of my friends that enjoy their music, but it feels all too familiar every time a “new” album comes along by them. You get broken, varying lead playing that does little to differentiate between soloing material and actual melodies. I come off sounding harsh, but I just expected more from them after they replaced their bassist (who arguably should be writing more lead lines based on his soloing, which was a highlight for me in the album) and their guitarist’s dedication to practicing and honing their craft, which is often shared through social media outlets.

Maybe someday I can get past their similar sounding grooves, indistinguishable song structures, and empty feeling song arrangements and gain some sort of appreciation for their music. It lacks personality, but it is the perfect band to study for guitar geeks and theory nerds if you are looking to dissect a band trying to emulate their influences through their song writing. Each song starts off great and ends decently, but the longer track times should imply some sort of development, but the meat of each tune tends to drag out past enjoyment for me. The track above is a highlight for me, but it’s still not enough for me to actively seek them if the full lineup isn’t good. This also isn’t me hating their success, more power to them for being able to live out their dreams and have music as a full time profession. Maybe I’ll try and get a lesson with their guitarist next time they happen to be around and gain some perspective. The video above also shows that they are having a bit more fun with the presentation of their music, so hopefully that spills into the live experience beyond just costume changes. 

Featured Artist: Wake Up Autumn

Michigan’s music scene is as grounded and diverse as the state’s natural environment. Each season brings a different mood, offering Michiganders the chance to find their comfort in the changing landscape. Some take comfort in the blues, soothing an aching soul from love lost or a hard day’s work. Others find inspiration in the symphonic realm, delighting in rich heritage of many of music’s greatest composers. Outside of the flavor palette of pumpkin spiced drinks and the donning of knitted sweaters, this transitional time from summer to fall is a magical part of Michigan life. One beautiful way that this mood is captured is through the acoustic sounds of Wake Up Autumn, a duo who is grounded in the experiences they share with many others in this state. The Grand Rapids folk duo, consisting of Josh Eid-Ries and Rachel Varley, have both been very active members of their city. Volunteering at the Well House, working towards educating the city on environmentally friendly lifestyle and business choices, and performing with other music and theater groups have led these two to create this project. The music is seeping with authenticity, it doesn’t sugar coat the music and it leaves the performers bearing their hearts for the world to hear.

 

 

The group’s genuine enthusiasm for performing the music they love and connecting with audience members is present in their constant smiles, gazing from each other towards listeners with such infectious joy. Often when they start to move to their own music, you see even the most uptight, prim-and-proper individuals begin to tap their feet, bob their heads, and let their visage down to take in the experience. Their music is grounding, reminding us all to enjoy life and recognize the great variety nature presents us Michiganders. Each track on their latest, self-titled release emphasizes a great part about this time of year: seasons changing, the great moments by one of the many lakes in summer, robin’s serenading the mornings and campfires closing out the evenings. My personal favorite track is “Robin Song,” a song that puts me into a reflective mood of more innocent times, seeing the colors of the trees and wildlife that inhabit them. Right from the beginning of that song you feel like you’ve come home to family and friends, sitting comfortably in good company. Tracks like these that keep the album spirited, expressing the group’s desire to keep engaging with the listener.

Sure, I could dissect the songs in minute detail with my music degree, I could point out every cadence and delivery while justifying the artist’s decision in a way that pulls even the most stubborn music snob out of their opinionated bubble. However, I would rather let the music speak for itself, because that is what Wake Up Autumn does best: communicate their passions and struggles through an engaging, genuine sound that delights in the variety life presents.

Go pick up their album! You can contact them through their Facebook page regarding CDs and you can find the music online through their Bandcamp site! Who knows, maybe they’ll be playing in your neighborhood soon?

Bandcamp: https://wakeupautumn.bandcamp.com/track/wake-up-autumn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wakeupautumnmusic

365 Music Journey: Week 2

Week 2! You thought I would have quit? You thought that there’s no way I could possibly keep this up? You probably placed bets and are waiting to collect your winnings? Or you probably forgot I was even doing this challenge, lost in life’s busy distractions from taking in bite-sized pieces of enjoyment. Either way, we are on the second week! Seven more albums, seven days of listening!

This week had a heavy focus on jazz, so if you were looking for some interesting releases to check out, you’ll definitely want to sample some stuff on this list.

For One to Love by Cecile McLorin Salvant

This vocalist is one of my favorites in the jazz scene right now. Many could easily dismiss her sound as too traditional, not in step with other vocalists in terms of being a part of innovation and progression.

What makes her sound so special is that it so strongly interprets the classic vocal stylings of Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald, while sporting a personality and drive in the lyricism that breathes new life into old standards. She performs often at Lincoln Center and has even done tribute presentations of classic, female jazz vocalists that allow her to share the history of their legacy while performing a variety of their works.

Her ability to captivate with every syllable keeps me attentive throughout, inviting me as a listener to journey through the story she is telling. Pair her strong vocal presence with an inventive supporting rhythm section, and you have a solid album full of ideas to explore. Seriously, if you are a fan of classic jazz hits or are in need of some inventive arrangements that are rooted in tradition, check this album out. Then go back and listen to the debut album, “Woman Child,” to see where it all began.

I also recommend checking out this 4 minute video describing the process of making this album, it just adds to the story!

Bye Bye Blackbird by John Coltrane

Some folks might have seen a photo I took of this vinyl being played, as I wanted to celebrate a recent addition to my vinyl collection from WYCE’s sale at the Easttown Street Fair this weekend. This was a nice find, as it shows a strong quartet performing just before a Coltrane’s European tour.

The album contains one track on each side, showing the group’s willing exploration of different harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic avenues to travel down when interpreting the music. The quartet includes Coltrane, McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums), which already should get jazz fans excited at such a powerhouse gathering of musicians.  The title track, “Bye Bye Blackbird,” shows right away that Coltrane isn’t afraid to insert some harmonic ideas outside of the standard changes even before the soloing starts. This spirit of adventurous playing translates to all players, and the peak of exploration in the album definitely happens during the second track, “Traneing In,” where the intensity in the music’s energy is very present.

Interestingly enough, Coltrane chose to perform two tracks he had not performed in years, showing his willingness to revisit old material when presented with new ideas or means ways to navigate in and out of the form. According to the liner notes, “we find John Coltrane in transition. Just barely still in touch with the harmonic universe of Giant Steps and its relentless exploration of the changes, dense, vertical and with a unique, running rhythmic gait – mastery within the style about which Miles Davis had told him, ‘You don’t have to play everything’ – he was already off in the direction set by Chasin’ the Trane, recorded just a year and two weeks before this music.”

Definitely an interesting listen that I’ll make time for again, as 36 minutes can definitely teach me a lot about a player that begs to be studied. Plus, with McCoy Tyner on keys, it gives me as a pianist that much higher of an incentive to keep listening. Not “His Greatest Concert Performance” in my book, but the label given by producer Norman Granz definitely got my attention to pick this album up.

The Cannonball Adderley Sextet in New York: Live at the Village Vanguard The introduction to this album begins with Julian “Cannonball” Adderley discussing the intentions behind recording this album. Prior to this recording, he felt that NYC crowds though “hipness” was a state of mind, not an unspoken state of being. Yes, the applause was there and the appreciation was felt, but up until this release in 1962 (same year as the Coltrane release above) Adderley felt that they couldn’t really explore the music and have unrestrained creative freedom like his group could playing on the west coast.

With this statement setting the tone for the remainder of the performance, we find a great group of musicians really hanging out on some cool tunes. The group consisted of Cannoball Adderley (alto sax), Nat Adderley (cornet), Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, flute, oboe), Joe Zawinul (piano), Sam Jones (bass), and Louis Hayes (drums), which makes this group a force to be reckoned with in jazz. Tons of inventive ideas, a cool combination of tunes that show their bebop chops in addition to their drive for creative playing, and a constant hum of a very receptive audience makes this a great listen. It also opens up more avenues to explore the other projects each players was involved while also looking at this specific sextet’s output.

ATLiens by OutKast

This was a cool journey through a decade I remember in bits and pieces of, as I was born in 1992 and this album came out in 1996. This albums is the follow-up to OutKast’s debut album, Sothernplayalisticadillacmusik, released in 1994, and was an attempt to improve on elements of the first release while seeking to gain more respect for their growing scene in Southern hip hop. According to Wikipedia, “Lyrically, the group discusses a wide range of topics including urban life as hustlers, existential introspection, and extraterrestrial life. The album's title is aportmanteau of "ATL" (an abbreviation of Atlanta, Georgia) and "aliens", which has been interpreted by critics as a commentary about the feeling of being isolated from American culture.”

This album has a great vibe to it, speaking from a life of hardship and seeking to elaborate on a variety of subjects (listed above). I don’t think the Wikipedia entry does it full justice, but it serves as a shorthand description. As someone who only first heard OutKast’s “Hey Ya” played at a million middle school and high school events and recently saw Key and Peele’s brilliant parody of Big Boi and Andre’ 3000, this release was a refreshing departure from what I had known and it gave me a great sense of their roots as a group. The combination of psychedelic sounds with funk, gospel, jazz, and funk in their backing track arrangements supported the lyrical drive well without being distracting. I’m definitely interested in exploring more works in their catalog.

Is Your Love Big Enough? By Lianne La Havas

She was added to the list as one of my favorite female musicians last year when hearing her sing beautifully on the documentary “The Distortion of Sound,” a short film about the controversy of compressing sound during the recording process. La Havas is such a creative force, hailing from Britain as a multi-instrumentalist that has such emotion in her delivery and strength in her songwriting.

(Note: I only say “female artist” as a distinction of category, not in terms of any sort of gender specific separation of talent. She has my full respect)

What sold me on her performance is a video I’ll link below of her playing the song “Tease Me” at an event, just her and her guitar soulfully serenading a small audience. Even though I was watching years after the fact, I felt that I was in that intimate space experiencing such a captivating performance just as strongly as if I had actually been present. Each track on the album inspires me to not only carefully craft anything I put out, but also to deliver it with the same drive and passion that she shows with her collaborators. Such a great album, and I can’t wait to dive into her follow-up release.

My Friends All Left Me by The Lake Effects This release was very recent, as the EP release concert was this past Friday and was accompanied earlier in the day by a WYCE debut of a track from the album. Each member in the group currently attends GVSU, and each member brings a strong spirit to each track that is infectious upon listening. I couldn’t help but smile at such a great energy behind the music!

The quartet includes twin musicians Niko (guitar/vox/trombone) and Lukas (Sousaphone/Vox) Schroeder, Gabe Ellis (Keys/Vox/Trumpet), and Makenzie Mattis (Drums) operating in the Indie, Brass-Pop style they’ve quickly become known for over the past year. With performances all around Michigan over the past summer and a recent collaboration with the GVSU Laker Marching Band, this group already has a strong presence in the West Michigan DIY music scene. When these players aren’t composing or performing classically-based works, grinding hours at day jobs, or performing with small brass ensembles for various West Michigan events, you can find the majority of this group networking fiercely, working in great internships like ArtPrize, and presenting on some interesting research topics for academic conferences! It’s musicians like these that combine dedication and intelligence to create passionate, audience-friendly music that seeks to just have a good time and leaves the assumed pretentious attitude of classical academia in the classroom. Go enjoy one of their shows, they are a prime example of Laker pride working hard to do great things with their passions!

Speak Easy EP 2015

This release came earlier this month from a lot of great East Michigan talent, and even in just 3 tracks the group shows it can write some solid songs and showcase some great musicianship. I know bassist Joe Vasquez and guitarist Olin Clark from recent jazz performances, both proving to be on point as players. Combine their talents with the solid musicianship of Connor Ralph (guitar, vocals), Spencer Ralph (drums, vocals) Piere Charles (keys), Ryan McMahon (Percussion), and additional bass work with ukulele from Nathan Walker, you have a great group to listen to on this release.

Each track grooves nicely, with some catchy songwriting that reminds me of Red Hot Chili Peppers as much as it stands apart from other acts in the Michigan scene. They’re definitely going to do some great things, so keep an eye out for the next time they are in your city!

365 Day Music Journey: Week 1

So for this project, I am challenging myself to listen to a new album every day, taking in a wider variety of music and forcing myself out of a music rut. I often find that asking friends for suggestions yields a rabbit hole of similar artists or discographies that I have yet to explore. It’s going to be a fun year! This week was a combination of some suggestions and some albums I just wanted to check out that were very recent. I started last Monday, so it hasn't been a full week, but the updates will go up on Sunday every week from now on. In the list, I will offer up my impressions, having only heard these albums once straight through. These will reflect the music along with the context that I listened to them in. I want to be able to revisit these albums later, but I’m not going to try and digest a full body of work in one sitting while trying to stumble through some attempt at a prolific response. I love music, and I just want to be able to open up the possibility of a brand new music experience.

Modern Flows EP Vol. 1 by Marquis Hill

This album came out in the fall of last year from the fantastic trumpeter/educator Marquis Hill! His Blacktet is such a strong blend of jazz, hip hop, and soul, combining the talents of jazz musicians as well as spoken word poets, rappers, and strong vocals.

I listened to this EP while playing dominoes with some GravesTones folks after a great show at the Tip Top Deluxe on Saturday. Tom Hymn and our group had supported Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish band, so the energy level was very high between all of the acts. It was nice to relax after a great performance and be completely receptive to the vibe the Blacktet delivered in this release. So much talent in both the songwriting and the creativity of the group, I’m definitely going to keep myself informed on Marquis Hill.

Eldorado by Electric Light Orchestra

According to the information on Wikipedia, “Eldorado is the first complete ELO concept album; bandleader Jeff Lynne conceived the storyline before he wrote any music.[1] The plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character who journeys into fantasy worlds via dreams, to escape the disillusionment of his mundane reality. Lynne began to write the album in response to criticisms from his father, a classical music lover, who said that Electric Light Orchestra's repertoire "had no tune".[2] The influence of the Beatles is prevalent, especially in the melody of the verse of "Mister Kingdom" which to some degree resembles the Beatles' "Across the Universe".

The concept, reading it now after having listened to this album, makes sense in the music. Each track is its own great experience while somehow being linked together intuitively. I often don’t listen to the lyrics as much as I examine the music as a whole, so if the concept was described in the verses, I did not catch it. However, I did feel that while each track had a very diverse blend of classical elements, jazz, funk, and some of that strong Classic Rock vibe, it was not a disjointed jumble of musical ideas. It definitely feels like a strong showcase of Jeff Lyne’s writing abilities in response to his father’s criticisms. It was great album to listen to while working, because it put me in a zone that did not blur the music while still being focused on the task at hand. I’d heard some of their stuff before when I was in middle school, but now having heard a full album, I want to learn more of how they put songs together!

River of Dreams by Billy Joel

I would have been a 1 year old when this album debuted, but there is no denying the strong presence of Billy Joel in American music. Everybody and their mother has asked me to play “Piano Man” at some point, because why wouldn’t you play it if you played piano? Because I have feelings Karen….geeze….

Anyway, this album was fun departure from my disdain for hearing his name rarely outside of the Piano Man. The vocals were great, the songwriting was fun while being very grounded and confident, and there were plenty of tunes that got my head bobbing while I was enjoying some lunch and getting some work done. It has a cool spirit to it, and it definitely sheds some light on the man behind some of karaoke’s favorite tunes. I’d jam to this in the car or listen to it casually again for sure.

Vows by Kimbra

This debut album from Kimbra came out before last year’s “The Golden Echo,” and it is such a delicious layered sound cake for your ears to enjoy. So many interesting choices to layer certain loops, electronic and acoustic sounds to make a groovy album that feels deliberate and fresh. I had heard her in the collaboration with Goyte, but it’s nice to finally listen to hear music showcasing more of her personality. It’s such a smorgasbord of different styles, from bubblegum pop to 60’s doo wop to avant-garde, but crafted in a way that it resonates with a wider audience. It gives variety without sacrificing songwriting strength. Definitely gets me interested in listening to her latest release.

Never Listen by With A Smile

Okay, let me preface this impression by clarifying two things:

  1. I am a James Knoerl fanboy, ever since seeing him and Matt Ryan play Liquid Tension Experiment songs in my middle school cabin at Blue Lake, I knew he was gonna keep slaying his way to the top. He’s done some awesome things, including attending Berklee School of Music.
  2. Heavy Blog is Heavy has a great review up of this EP, so you should check it out: http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2015/09/04/hey-listen-to-with-a-smile/

This album was his first EP of original music, and what a showing! It’s got jazzy grooves that liken to Tigran Hamasyan and Robert Glasper, it’s got a Tori Kelly cover with some great musical moments, and it’s like a delicious, bite size sampler of ear candy for those craving some skillful musicianship and creative music. So happy for this man! It was fun to sample this album with a friend.

Omivorous by The Yeqy

This is a prog metal, avant-garde, jazzy album straight from Belgrade, Serbia. The band name is taken from its creator’s name, Milan Jejina Yeqy, who plays drums for David Maxim Micic’s solo project Bilo and Destiny Potato. It features a host of great guest artists, included Micic and prog metal/jazz guitarist Jakub Zytecki. It’s such a tasty album, full of odd-meter grooves, cool instrument sounds, interesting song arrangements, and shamelessly skillful musicianship. Listening to this at my buddy’s house definitely got us both grooving! It’s awesome music, and if you want to see a full performance of the EP, you’ll definitely want to check this link out: https://youtu.be/-pvjFiOgpSk

Die Bibliomusik Series at Mary Idema Pew Library

One of the great things about studying music is collaborating with other musicians to put on different shows. Whether it is students coming together to form a band or students choosing to add additional numbers to their recital programs, you can always find an instance of students taking initiative to perform the music they desire while creating an experience for their audience members. One great new series that has started at GVSU is the Die Bibliomusik series that has been taking place in the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale campus. The different "permutations," as they are referred to by coordinator and student composer/oboist Julia Gjebic, take place typically in10704409_568554739956556_2178852543587789958_o the library's lower level atrium, usually in one of the two presentation rooms that are available to reserve by students and faculty. These shows are mainly focused to highlight "New Music" works, that is works created in present times that can incorporate classical instrumentation in new ways. Another great feature of this concert series is that it typically highlights the efforts of the composition studio at GVSU and the student performers who often play their works. I myself have played several of these concerts, premiering works written for solo piano, piano and electronics, and mixed chamber ensembles.

Each time something new is brought forward by composers, whether its another work from more seasoned composers in the studio or those who see it as a fun hobby to develop into a musical skill. Many repeat composers include Matthew Finch, John Jansen, Ashley Busch, and Richie Arndorfer, all composers who have contributed greatly to the program with regular performances of their works. Aside from student composers performing their own, like Arndorfer and Gjebic, regular performers of these works are usually players working closely with the composition studio or that participate in the New Music Ensemble, a nationally acclaimed ensemble led by resident composer and composition studio leader Dr. Bill Ryan.

These concerts have been a quiet success among the student body, especially for something so obscured from the typical public music interests as "New Music," a confusing name for first-time listeners to differentiate as a genre from the common phrase. However, the great thing about these concerts is that it takes away the typical expectations of a classical audience and performer relationship by inviting listeners to ask questions and to really get into the live performance. Plus, each permutation is placed in an informal setting, immediately setting a comfortable atmosphere for all parties involved.

I encourage anybody reading this to check this series out! Below are some photos, past permutation programs, and video clips of some performances that you can browse to get yourself familiar with the concert content in addition to the upcoming dates for the next shows! This is a great example of how far GVSU student initiative can go!

You can find some works performed in previous featured composer write-ups and some photos/videos in the links below! Get acquainted with how each concert feels and come to the next one on February 19th at 3 pm!

Instagram Album:  http://www.instalbums.me/a/vZ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bibliomusik

Jammies XVI: A Fun Showcase of West Michigan Talent!

The Jammies were once again the place to be, despite the crazy weather that pounded an already congested downtown. While I can only really speak to my personal experience, I will try to include some links to other content to find all of the information you'll need on how the night turned out overall! I had the great pleasure of kicking off the show with a set of improvised music in Brad Fritcher + Trois. This was our first time playing the main stage, a big difference from opening the show in the front lounge last year. Despite having the added bonus of better lighting and a better sound system to play through, it was the increased amount in space that had the most impact on me as a performer. [embed]http://instagram.com/p/zDuwWclZRc/?modal=true[/embed] With this quartet, we are so used to capitalizing on smaller spaces, playing to more intimate crowds and filling the space easily with our music. With this stage setting, it was an interesting dynamic of still being intimate in communicating with each other while having to try and connect with such a spread out audience. The result was a refreshing moment for me as a musician: realizing I just need to listen to what my comrades were playing, react, and go with each shift with full intention. Too often there is a desire in me as a chordal instrument player to try and contextualize choices in melodic lines (basically try and put weird music lines in a harmonic progression that makes sense to the listener), and this was a great reminder that it's a communal effort to make music in a group. It felt great to share a totally raw experience with those who braved the weather to attend the show.

Following Brad Fritcher + Trois' performance, I then joined Hannah Rose and The GravesTones. This group is definitely becoming a hit with West Michiganders, as it pairs the recognizable persona of Hannah Rose with some handpicked talent that fills out the band and supports her sound without sounding stale or sheepish. 10429839_10204495332157253_1845307804272433991_nWe took the stage and delivered a solid performance of different tracks off of the debut record, tunes that had people singing as much as they were dancing. The fact that the group can deliver crowd favorites while allowing the musicians involved the freedom to have fun with the music is a rare combination (usually leaning more towards one or the other.

The biggest surprise of the night for me was finding out after I had left the Jammies (for my Grand Haven gig with Andy Frisinger's group) that Hannah Rose Graves and Justin Wierenga took the "Best Blues/Soul Album of the Year!" 10959337_10205807528612212_8490809380954843452_nI'm so honored to be a part of their music, and every time I play with them there's a sense of family more than a sense of simply filling in a slot in the band. Our rehearsals last late into the night and celebrate life and music in such a powerful way, and each person I've come to know in the group has been amazing to perform with on and off stage. With talks of side projects and more shows with Hannah Rose to find more excuses to make music with each other, I can tell this group is going to continue to great things in West Michigan.

If you are kicking yourself for missing the night or just wanting to learn more about the Jammies in general, check out some of the links below! If you need more info on recent releases from Brad Fritcher + Trois or Hannah Rose and The GravesTones, you can find the links to previous write-ups below as well!

Jammies XVI Line-up: http://www.grcmc.org/wyce/node/6262/the-16th-annual-wyce-jammie-awards

Jammies XVI Winners: http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/02/see_the_list_of_2015_wyce_jamm.html

History of the Jammies: http://www.grcmc.org/wyce/local/jammies

BF+Trois: https://dutchersnedeker.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/brad-fritcher-trois-the-year-of-the-architects/ Hannah Rose Graves: https://dutchersnedeker.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/album-release-shows-hannah-rose-and-the-gravestones/

Hannah Rose Graves and The Graves Tones Live at Founders Brewing Company: Fantastic Show!

Despite a 9 pm showtime start that would normally deter some show attendees, a large amount of people came to support Hannah Rose Graves and The Graves Tones! January 15th was a fun night for all of the groups involved in the show! Starting off the night were The Sleeping Gypsies, a group out of Charlevoix that came ready to hang, merch and good vibes in tow! "The Sleeping Gypsies are a musical outfit consisting of four young men from northern Michigan who deliver a rollicking yet classy live performance. They assault unsuspecting listeners with an infectious blend of rock, swing, soul, and blues that is both interesting and accessible, recalling classic acts such as T.Rex and Van Morrison while also showing similarities to contemporary artists like The Black Keys and Mayer Hawthorne." (taken from their Facebook bio). They were a fun opener for the show!

Following this group were the Hip Hop stylings of rap duo Sultan Satire and Bubba, paired with a live DJ dropping some great beats! My lack of accurately articulating their musical performance comes simply from seeing them combine so many great elements into their performance. Some great trading on verses, some catchy hooks to get the crowd singing along, and having different costume changes throughout that added a little bit of comedy to their stage presence (the DJ himself remaining in a bear suit). The group was a great follow up and a nice contrast in styles, showcasing a group that is a great group to have in the mix of local artists in Grand Rapids.

Finishing the night was Hannah Rose and The Graves Tones, a group that continues to be a crowd favorite and one that I'm happy to have joined. Expanding the band for such a larger show, Hannah Rose Graves picked a wide variety of local talents to keep the grooves going and the crowd moving! The staple group includes Mario Copeland shredding on the drums, Justin Avdek holding down the bass, Justin Wierenga providing some great licks and tricks on guitar, myself on keys, and of course Hannah Rose serenading the crowd with her soulful, passionate singing. At Founders, a horn section consisting of Rolland R. Smith (sax), Forrest Evans (trombone), and Troy Macqueen (trumpet), harmonica player Craig "Griff" Griffith, and Eric Engblade (acoustic guitar, banjo, backing vocals) were added to really boost the sound and enhance the experience. The music played highlighted a variety of styles, mainly funk, blues, and soulful music that included items off of their debut album, "Everything We Already Knew" and tunes by Erykah Badu, The Doobie Brothers, Nina Simone, and James Brown, to name a few.

The show overall was a huge success and a great way to spend the night! Hannah Rose Graves and The Graves Tones have more show coming up soon, so come on out to enjoy the experience!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCY7E7J9-IY[/embed]

You can find info about all of the groups at these links below: Bamfomania: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bamfomania/592120010842243?sk=info&tab=page_info The Sleeping Gypsies: http://www.thesleepinggypsies.com/ Hannah Rose Graves and The Graves Tones: Debut Album - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hannahrosegravesandjusti Schedule/Other Content - http://www.hannahrosegraves.com

GVSU Student Composer Competition 2015

It's that time of year again! Ever year during winter semester, GVSU professor, resident composer, and the New Music Ensemble director Dr. Bill Ryan organizes a brilliant competition to involve a variety of students and faculty. The competition requires that all current members of the composition studio write short works for the GVSU New Music Ensemble that are inspired by whatever is currently displayed in the art gallery within the Performing Arts Center (not to be confused with the Calder Art Gallery).

The competition rules involve a few key elements:

- First, all submissions, while worked on privately with Dr. Ryan during lessons, are submitted anonymously, must be written for the instrumentation of the current New Music Ensemble (piano, cello, violin, percussion, oboe, tenor saxophone, clarinet, and flute),  and must be no more or less than 60 seconds

- Since the New Music Ensemble utilizes iPads to read scores, all documents are read and learned anonymously from parts distributed in one large PDF to each player, so nobody has any idea who wrote them aside from educated guesses

- During the day of the competition's live performance, each audience member gets a program listing all of the works and marks their favorites

- In addition to a prize for "Audience Favorite," a mixed panel of judges is chosen to pick their favorites and the winning Top 3

Last year, I had the opportunity to both compose for the New Music Ensemble and perform all of the student works with the ensemble! It was fun to secretly work out all of my pieces with the ensemble, but it was often hard avoiding moments of trying to directly coach the ensemble, as it would give away what pieces were my submissions.

This year, the same competition will be held and based instead on the piece "River Tattoo," an 8' x 85" adhesive vinyl on glass display created by artist Jim Cogswell. The piece is located in the Eberhard Center, a building part of GVSU's Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

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While I won't be submitting any works myself, I look forward to performing a collection of student works with the GVSU New Music Ensemble!

You can catch the ensemble's performance March 12th at the Eberhard Center from 7:00 pm - 9 pm.

You can also catch my submissions for last year, one of which almost took audience favorite, with full descriptions at this link:

https://soundcloud.com/dutcher-1/sets/gvsu-student-composer-competition-2014

Come to the show! https://www.facebook.com/events/1428900004067658/

*Photo credit to the event planners

"Solid Gold" live w/ Hannah Rose Graves on Localspins at WYCE and January Concert Updates!

Check it out folks! The previously audio-only performance I did with Hannah Rose Graves back in October now has video! Check out the live performance of "Solid Gold" off of the debut release from Hannah Rose Graves & Justin Wierenga titled Everything We Already Knew, available on CDBaby and iTunes!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/113750124]

You can also check out the group live in some upcoming concerts!

Upcoming Shows!

Jammies XVI: A Great Start to 2015!

10891503_10152620820841589_4172285108521488268_n The WYCE Jammies, presented by Bell's Brewery, is a large, Michigan-style grammys award ceremony and live concert featuring a variety of local musicians at The Intersection Lounge and The Stache. Every year, listeners, musicians, and TV/Radio personalities related to music gather in the venue and celebrate the efforts of every musician involved in the community.

The votes are tallied beforehand by WYCE and include a wide variety of household names and up-and-comers in the scene. With such a strong presence of musicians at this concert you will find a lot of dedicated folks that make up the diverse music scene in Michigan.

I am very excited to be returning to the Jammies with Brad Fritcher + Trois, as we were nominated last year for a variety of categories for our debut release and now we have category nominations for our sophomore release. What is different from last year is that we will be part of the featured performers taking the main stage, as opposed to playing the front lounge. This is very exciting, and I'm looking forward to sharing our music with a wider audience and having a good time.

What is also exciting is that a group that I recently helped record for and that had their album release shows at the end of 2014 will also be taking the main stage! Hannah Rose Graves and The Graves Tones is the live group performing the original blues/soul music crafted by singer Hannah Rose Graves and guitarist Justin Wierenga. The group has already performed with high praise by concert attendees, and it will be awesome to perform even more fresh, original music with these players.

The show will take place on February 13th starting at 5pm at The Intersection, with a more detailed schedule to be posted as the date gets closer.

For more details on all of the local groups performing, the nominations, and to sample/purchase the music mentioned above, check out these links: Brad Fritcher + Trois sophomore album release: https://dutchersnedeker.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/brad-fritcher-trois-the-year-of-the-architects/

Hannah Rose and The Graves Tones debut album release: https://dutchersnedeker.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/album-release-shows-hannah-rose-and-the-gravestones/

WYCE Jammies nominations: http://www.grcmc.org/radio/?npad=1&news_id=1940 Jammies XVI Concert lineup: http://www.grcmc.org/radio/?npad=1&news_id=1950

Truth in Jazz Orchestra: A West Michigan Premiere Big Band

416954_328565797180213_1713141733_n I am fortunate to be a new addition to one of Michigan's best big bands, a group that has kicked off a performance season with two great performances at Watermark 920 in Muskegon. I performed with the group over the summer as a substitute for their current pianist, but was recruited as a replacement member in the fall.

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"Fronted by West Michigan's legendary drummer, Tim Froncek, this group of 16 of the area's top musicians plays charts from the classic era of the big bands, up to today's best charts from the hottest writers. The band was organized by Dave Collee, Ed Spier, and Matt Lintula, who wanted a group able to play pro-level big band literature, and have fun doing it! We have assembled a great bunch of area musicians who enjoy the challenge of playing great charts in a large ensemble." (group bio from website) Like the group bio states, this group contains a variety of recognized performers and educators from around West Michigan. I am grateful to be a part of such a distinguished group, as it is a great opportunity to learn a variety of big band repertoire, collaborate with some seasoned players operating in Michigan, and to network with the many supporters of the music community in the area.

The group already has plans for 2015, including more performances at Watermark 920, a radio appearance, and plans to perform at a variety of lake shore festivals and community events. With such dedicated organizers and performers, the group welcomes the opportunity to play timeless music for a welcoming audience.

For more information on the group and information regarding performances, check out these links: Website: www.tijo.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Truth-In-Jazz-Orchestra/328564330513693

Current confirmed show dates for 2015 Both shows @ the Watermark 920 Tuesday, January 20, 2015 7:30 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2015 7:30 pm

Note: I hope to do a follow up post regarding the group as  I perform more shows with the group.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGkUPzD73kA&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Student Composer: John Jansen - Depth of Scale and Quantum Lilypads Sessions

Working on sound for the GVSU New Music Ensemble's concert at Colorado College over the summer this year. Recording with members of the Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble Left to Right: Krista Visnovsky, Dutcher Wright Snedeker, Kevin Flynn, Kevin Bays, Ian McIntyre, Wade Selkirk and Kaitlyn Huisjen.

A little over a month ago today, I had the privilege of joining some great musicians in two recording sessions for a student composer named John Jansen. The first piece consists of three continuous movements for electronics, flute, clarinet, alto sax, marimba, violin, and cello. It is a journey through space set to music. As described by Jansen, "Movement I. Pale Blue Dot (0' - 1' in the recording) is a tribute to Carl Sagan that outlines lifting off from earth, and from the space craft window, seeing our planet from outer space. Movement II. Deep Space Axis (1' - 4' in the recording) The journey continuing through deep space as we venture further into the black, time as we know it beginning to break down. Movement III. Answers That Need Questions (4' - 7'15" in the recording) We are at the edge now... linear time is gone, and we are surrounded by an array of separate realities, all screaming at once." The session involved some great performers (seen above) and was recorded at GVSU. This included Krista Visnovsky (violin), myself (piano), Kevin Flynn (cello)Kevin Bays (alto sax), Ian McIntyre (clarinet)Wade Selkirk (percussion) and Kaitlyn Huisjen (flute).

Left to right: Dutcher Snedeker (piano), John Jansen (composer), Ashley Stanely (flute), Kevin Flynn (cello)

The second piece was a trio for piano, cello, and flute entitled "Quantum Lilypads," and it included current GVSU student Kevin Flynn (cello) and recent GVSU grad and UofM graduate student Ashley Stanely (flute). The piece is divided into three distinct sections. The first sets a mixed-meter rhythmic engine that establishes a distinct groove between the performing players, building to a climatic transition. Contrasting sharply is a slow, lyrical second movement that borderlines on the etherial with how much expression is generated between the players. The third marks a triumphant return of the theme built on the mixed-meter engine with some new variations. The piece is a great example of Jansen's writing and his ability to connect seemingly unrelated ideas together into a succinct work.

Getting everything set for recording, including bringing up the music on my iPad 2 and connecting an Airplay Bluetooth page turning pedal to help with turning pages in ForScore

John not only composed the work that was recorded for his graduate school portfolio, he also did the miking, mixing, and mastering through River City Studios and at his personal home studio, with some on-site assistance from friend and the current chief engineer at River City Studios Austin Ruhstorfer.

John C.L. Jansen is a composer, guitarist, and audio engineer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He began his study of music at Grand Rapids Community College, where he received an Associate in Arts studying classical guitar with Brian Morris. Jansen also received an additional Associate’s degree in Music Recording Technology studying recording with Tim Heldt, followed by an internship at River City Studios. Jansen has participated in master classes with renowned guitarists such as Adam Holzman, and the Goran Ivanovic and Andreas Kapsalis duo, and has also received an instrumental leadership award. Jansen graduated magna cum laude from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor in Arts degree, and in 2014 was selected for the Composer of the Year award. At GVSU he studied composition with Bill Ryan, and was a part of GVSU’s New Music Ensemble, where he operated electronics and sound reinforcement. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in composition.

To find more recordings John Jansen has done (like his ArtPrize 2013 submission) and more about his current projects, you can find more information at https://soundcloud.com/john-c-l-jansen-1

If you want to hear the finished products, check them out here: [embed]https://soundcloud.com/dutcher-1/sets/john-jansen-compositions[/embed]

Student Composer: Richie Arndorfer - Solo Piano Works

Variety of works for solo instruments and mixed chamber ensembles Check it out! Just before GVSU went on Thanksgiving break, I helped out with a recording session for student composer Richie Arndorfer's graduate school portfolio. I had already performed Piano Patterns #1 (Pop Snacks) and Spectrum (fragment) for die Bibliomusik and Student Recital Hour, so that helped with the recording process. We Sat around in a Torpid State was brand new to the recording session, and the challenge was seen mainly in conveying the mood of the material. Each work is a nice addition to the New Music repertoire of solo piano music, and it speaks to Arndorfer's writing style as being both playful but very directed in his approach.

Check out the Soundcloud link below to hear all three recordings!

[embed]https://soundcloud.com/dutcher-1/sets/solo-piano-recordings-written[/embed]

Album Release Shows: Hannah Rose and The GravesTones

1512373_796648733722702_131696255451409981_n Packed_house__dance_floor_to_be_fully_occupied_soon__Come_on_out_for_the_album_release___grooves__soul__blues__puremichigan__party Successful_album_release_shows__Pick_up_the_album_for_yourself_online_or_at_future_shows___puremichigan__music__FramaticApp__Framatic Last night was the final and equally successful album release party for Hannah Rose and The GravesTones! Crowds were equally supportive at both the November 22nd show at Billy's Lounge in Easttown as they were with last night's show at the Speak EZ Lounge downtown!

The group centers around vocalist Hannah Rose Graves and guitarist Justin Wierenga, long time friends and the people responsible for crafting all of the songs later recorded on the debut record. The album includes a variety of local artists, including Mario Copeland, Jeffrey Niemeier, Melvin Pearson Jr, Justin Avdek, Craig Griffith, David Haddad, Jim Prange, Devon Walenga, and myself. With such a wide selection of genres and influences working together under the framework Justin Wierenga and Hannah Rose Graves created, the album is a soulful, bluesy, funky display of emotions and talents that immediately connects with audience members. The album was produced at Amber Lit Audio by Matt Ten Clay and mastered by Andy Reed.

Check out the links below to see a couple interviews/performances captured live for local radio shows and to find out where you can listen to and purchase the album!

[embed]https://soundcloud.com/mateoblanco/local-spins-on-wyce-2014-10-24-ep9-hannah-rose-graves[/embed]

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwRrxZQghYk[/embed]

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hannahrosegravesandjusti

Brad Fritcher + Trois: The Year of the Architects

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Winners_and_sponsors_

This album is out finally on bandcamp in digital AND Physical CD format! This album is a collaborative effort from everyone in the Brad Fritcher + Trois as well as St. Cecelia for offering the funds necessary to record, Michael Crittenden at Mackinaw Harvest Studio for all of recording and engineering time, and Nick Pennell for his great artwork. It is a testament to our progress as a group and a dedication to all of the musicians we have met and worked with in the past year as well.

The album was recorded in a 12 hour session between December 11th - 13th and features all original music:

Foolin' - A track I wrote and entered into ArtPrize 2014 that was "drafted" on a long car ride when I sang the melody to the tune into my phone. At a later date I fully worked it into the tune that would end up on the album.

Claey - A tune co-written by Brad Fritcher and myself during a manic, coffee fueled session that ended up with the slowest grooves on the album. Brad initially had the head to the tune written, and I helped flesh out the harmonic structure to his satisfaction. As Brad stated, "Claey is based on someone we've all known at some point in our lives. Was created under the influence of a large dose of summer humidity, doubled Americanos, live broadcasts and Esperanza Spalding."

Casper - A tune that sort of combines two keyboard influences in my life: Chick Corea and Robert Glasper. The initial feel to the tune had a Chick Corea vibe to it, but when the melody began to take shape the feel shifted towards something similar to what the Robert Glasper Experiment would do.

Jaga Jammin' - A tune I wrote while being inspired by a Norwegian group called "Jaga Jazzist," who combines elements of rock, jazz, and classical with their large ensemble to create this distinct fusion of styles and influences. I liked some of their odd meter compositions, so I tried to write an odd-meter groove to build a tune with for the group.

Must've Forgotten -  is a reharmonization of Lee Morgan's "Ceora" after studying the rhythms of Thelonious Monk and melodies of Ornette Coleman. It's a form meant to have strong voice leading through moments of cohesiveness and/or destruction.

Movement - Movement is a conversation between Logan Richardson and Bach. This track on the album has the only instance of overdubbing, specifically the added synth sounds and some of the trumpet improvisations.

Mind the Gap - A tune by our bass player, Ryan Wallace, that initially started with the bass line and was worked into a tune from there. It is grounded on a repetitive rhythmic figure and speaks to his early musical influences found in the "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" video game series, where players were often told to "mind the gap" while completing certain skateboarding challenges.

Listen/purchase the album in digital and CD form at this link: https://bradfritchertrois.bandcamp.com/releases

Check out other performances of tracks on the album here: Live @ The Book Nook: [embed]https://soundcloud.com/dutcher-1/jaga-jammin-live[/embed] Localspins Live Radio Broadcast: [embed]https://soundcloud.com/localspins/local-spins-live-with-brad[/embed] Blue Lake Public Radio Live Broadcast: [embed]https://soundcloud.com/brad-a-fritcher/sets/brad-fritcher-trois-blue-lake-fine-public-radio-2014[/embed]

Le Tombeau de Piano 2.0

[youtube=http://youtu.be/OQL03xuEBAs] Very glad I could make my private instructor's recital today at the Grand Rapids Art Museum! Dr. Giuseppe Lupis is a great presence at Grand Valley State University, and while it is his final year he has done so much for me in improving my playing, understanding the environment I'll be going into for grad school and beyond, and for how to conduct myself as a performer in general when approaching a variety of opportunities.

Below is program list for what was performed today, a list that includes two world premieres at the bottom. The Toilet Suite is a prime example of Lupis' desire to connect with audience members, inject humor into his compositions, and craft a memorable musical experience with added elements, like playing a flushing sound through a Bluetooth speaker and utilizing another student to present a plunger during the movement "Clogged." Adversely, "The Cowbell" is clear example of Lupis' command of the instrument, as it was a series of etudes based on the famous Paganini-Liszt etude "La Campanella." More humor and talents in composition are seen in his "5 Etudes on the Extreme Beauty of the Piano" and his "Approximately 5 Preludes" that include paying tribute to composers of great works for solo piano by sculpting pieces in their styles. His 8 Variations on "Twinkle Twinkle" shows his attention to history, remarking during the recital that Mozart originally did variations on this popular children's song. "A Few Excuses," later followed by "A Few More Excuses," blend jazz and classical elements in very beautiful ways, with emotionally driven melodies balanced by a rich harmonic palette.

Check out more content than the video above on his website, with links to Facebook and Youtube included, at this link: http://www.giuseppelupis.com/

Today_s_program_of_my_professor_s_music__Great_performer_and_fun__interesting_ideas_for_solo_piano___newmusic__piano__gram__live__recital

The "Orbit" Concerts were a success!

Cori Terry, Bill Ryan, and both collaborating ensembles of musicians and dancers! The GVSU New Music Ensemble backstage!

Such a fun collaboration between Cori Terry & Dancers with the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble! The combined presentation of our professor's great compositions with Cori Terry's choreography and artistic direction of such a talented bunch of dancers was a hit with audience members and fun for us to perform!

Check out http://newmusicensemble.org/ for updates on the ensemble's future performances! We are taking a small breather as the semester winds down to plan for the next semester!

©2015 Dutcher Snedeker. All rights reserved.