6/17 | New Album THE IDEATING KNELL for sale on Signal Dreams

‘The Ideating Knell’ by BC Grimm is now available on Signal Dreams!

Limited Edition CD
16 tracks 70 mins $7
Order your copy today!

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A few words on the album from Signal Dreams

 Madison, WI-based avant-jazz explorer BC Grimm is well known locally not just for his phenomenal cello work in live collaborations with artists like Julian Lynch, Spires That In The Sunset Rise, and the mighty Db Pedersen (to name just a few), but also the mind-blowing improvisational chops he showcases with his brother A.J. Grimm in cello-guitar duo The Brothers Grimm and his worldly and detailed production work as Brain Grimmer. More recently, Grimm’s work has been shifting focus toward his intriguing work with two different Chinese zithers, Guqin and Guzheng. We’re extremely proud to present ‘The Ideating Knell,’ a staggering album that combines Grimm’s deep experimentation with the zithers with his love of detailed processing. Honestly, nothing we could say about it could match the beautiful clarity of this statement from BC Grimm himself:

“‘The Ideating Knell’ is an experimental acoustic album of compositions for two ancient Chinese zithers, Guqin 古琴 & Guzheng 古筝. This record includes 6 ‘doppler phase’ pieces for guqin, emulating tape composition techniques to create the movement of sound to/from the vanishing point on the horizon line to/from the listener’s ears. There are 6 pieces for prepared guzheng using: dulcimer hammers, cajon brushes, chopsticks, mate straw, metal bowls, broken teaware, clay sculpting tools, snare wires, & seashell strands. 3 pieces revisit the title track composition from BCG’s 2011 solo guqin album, “Flock Migrates Over The Pines”: with re-recorded, reconstructed versions in two custom tunings, and a new variation on the theme in a traditional tuning. The actual notes in the composition’s score visually depict various forms & shapes of birds taking off into flight, or in formation during flight. Also, specially devised for this project is a new ‘Pentatemperment’ tuning system on guqin, which splits the octave into 5 equal steps, instead of 12 [ low to high: C-40c D0c E+40c G-20c A+20c C-40c D0c ]. Guzheng 古筝, a 21 string bridged zither spanning 4 octaves, and Guqin 古琴, a 7 string fretless zither spanning 1 octave, tune to pentatonic scales. Both instruments share a culturally important performance history stretching back about 2,500 years to the Warring States period.”

Artwork by Nathaniel Ritter. Price is postage paid in the US. Please see shipping rates for Canada/World.  

This Signal Dreams batch also includes: Troy Schafer ‘Untitled No. 1‘ & Derek Rogers ‘Prevais‘.

∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ ∵∴ 

5/01 | BC Grimm + Ben Willis + Betsy Soukup @ Canterbury House

Thurs, 5/01  $5  8pm @ Canterbury House (Ann Arbor, MI)

BC Grimm / Ben Willis / Betsy Soukup

I will be performing new works from my album The Ideating Knell, which is to be released on Signal Dreams records this May.  The 16 track album, The Ideating Knell, is an experimental acoustic album of compositions for two ancient Chinese zithers, Guqin 古琴 & Guzheng 古筝. This record includes 6 ‘doppler phase’ pieces for guqin, emulating tape composition techniques to create the movement of sound to/from the vanishing point on the horizon line to/from the listener’s ears. There are 6 pieces for prepared guzheng using: dulcimer hammers, cajon brushes, metal chopsticks, mate straw, metal bowls, broken teaware, clay sculpting tools, snare wires, & seashell strands. 3 pieces revisit the title track composition from my 2011 solo guqin album, “Flock Migrates Over The Pines”: with re-recorded, reconstructed versions in two custom tunings, and a new variation on the theme in a traditional tuning.

This show in Ann Arbor, Michigan will be extra special.  I’ll be playing with some low-end friends who’ve collided together from different music circles of my past.  Double Bassist, Ben Willis, as you all well know is one of my best buds & collaborators from the Madison music scene, in groups such as Watercourse Quartet & Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps.  Betsy Soukup, also a bassist, is one of my good friends from music school at Butler University, in Indianapolis.  I can’t wait to hang, catch up, and make some low pitched music with these fine people at Canterbury House!

~ BCG

》》Have a listen to some of Ben & Betsy’s material》》

: stay tuned for the upcoming announcements of The Ideating Knell release on Signal Dreams!!

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2/8 | Traditional Chinese Music for Lunar New Year

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BC Grimm’s 高胡 (gaohu – fiddle) & 琵琶 (pipa – lute) | photo Diwas Sherchan

Traditional Chinese Music for

Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

Sat, 2/8 | 6:00 – 8:00pm @ Imperial Gardens East

4214 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53704

This Saturday, I will be performing on three Chinese instruments from 6-8pm to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Imperial Gardens restaurant on the East Side of Madison.  Emay, our group leader, performs on 古筝 (guzheng – 21 string zither), Kyle plays flute & guzheng, and I will strum 古琴 (guqin – 7 string zither), 琵琶 (pipa – 4 string lute), & 高胡 (gaohu – 2 string fiddle).  We’ll perform all traditional Chinese music, so if your curious to hear what that sounds like – stop on by, eat some tasty Chinese cuisine & celebrate with us!

新年快樂! ~ BCG

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Head stocks of BCG’s 琵琶 pipa & 高胡 gaohu | photo Diwas Sherchan

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02/02/14 | Emay Music troupe backstage before their performance at the UW-Platteville Confucius Institute Lunar New Year Celebration!

MSND @ Bartell Theatre |6 shows down, 7 to go! |Score Talk

Strollers Theater | FB.Event | Isthmus | Bartell Theatre | DB Pedersen |

“Have you read the footnotes to this play?  I didn’t realize there were so many words for vagina –  it’s basically a porno!”  ~ db pedersen

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DB’s pit POV

Strollers Theatre
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
May 3rd through May 25th @ Bartell Theatre
William Shakespeare | directed by Greg Harris
Original Score by db pedersen & Brothers Grimm

$20 general admission
$15 for seniors, students, & Strollers members

Call || 661-9696 ext. 2
Web || strollerstheatre.org

second half of MSND runs…

Thursday, May 16, 2013 – 7:30pm
Friday, May 17, 2013 – 8:00pm
Saturday, May 18, 2013 – 4:00pm
Saturday, May 18, 2013 – 8:00pm

Thursday, May 23, 2013 – 7:30pm
Friday, May 24, 2013 – 8:00pm
Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 8:00pm

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Notes on the original live score, composed and performed by Brothers Grimm & db pedersen >

In approaching the score for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, db pedersen presented the Brothers Grimm with theme sketches and initial cue concepts that had been developed with dir. Greg Harris. We then spent the next few weeks of April attending rehearsals, observing the actors develop their character. In the nights following these observations we’d convene to have fast paced cue-composition sessions. One by one, we deconstructed db’s thematic material and built them up from the ground as a trio – finding our strongest instrumentation as we went. Our goal was to reduce the sauce of these themes down to a flavorful, simple substance – and hit tech week with a lot of room to grown organically in our accompaniment to the actors.

Main instruments
AJ ~ classical guitar
BC ~ cello & guzheng
DB ~ vocal-foley/sfx, throat singing, shruti box, various flutes, animal noises

Implements & Sough!

  • Pot Lid “tree” (struck//bowed) 
  • bowed Saw 
  • various 

    Bells 

  • Slide 

    Whistles 

  • Woodblock 
  • Wup-Wob Cards (bent//bowed) 
  • boxes of Twigs//Branches 
  • … & etc!

// All material played on the 21 string Chinese guzheng 古筝 zither for this production’s score is in emulation of the European harp & hammered dulcimer. The entire instrument has been customized & re-tuned to fit different theme material in each register/octave. It is a completely unique tuning, never before used on the instrument, designed specifically for this show. [ ~Traditionally, the zither is tuned in multiple octaves of a single pentatonic scale; adapting pentatonic mode to fit the key, from D1 – D5]

MSND custom guzheng tuning, from low to high >

E1-F1-G♯1-A1-C2-D2-F2-G2-A2-C3-E3-F♯3-G3-A3-B3-C4-D4-F4-G♯4-B4′C5

~ and we hope here is a score fitted!

all photographs copyright Jonathan J Miner//J Miner Photography 

(except for musician pit photos)

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New Guzheng Hammers!

Hammers and cups

Check it out > I just picked up some new Dulcimer hammers for the Guzheng from Spruce Tree! The leather side sounds gorgeous

Hammers and Zheng 1

If you want to hear how it sounds, join us @ Rigby this Thursday, 4/11!
THE RIGBY PRESENTS
Les Racquet (NYC)
Mind Born Sons (Mad)
Stray Passage (Mad)

Hammers and Zheng 2

9pm | $7 | 21+
FB.Event > http://on.fb.me/XouwmU