Closing Weekend for “The Wanderers” at The Overture Center!

Presented by Forward Theater Company
Thursday, September 8th through Sunday, September 25th (TICKETS)
@ The Overture Center for the Arts Playhouse Theater (Madison, WI)

a play by Anna Ziegler
Directed by Mikael Burke (Chicago)
Wisconsin Premiere!

Esther and Schmuli are young Orthodox Jews whose future is written in scripture. Abe and Sophie believe they can write their own destiny. On the surface, these two couples couldn’t seem more different. But when a Hollywood actress upends Abe’s world, the hidden connections between all of them start to appear. This funny and mysterious drama explores the question of whether happiness lies in what we have, or on the road not taken.


“As perfect a piece of theater as I’ve seen in many years. The script by Anna Ziegler is a revelation, touching on family truths, marriage, and personal histories…Go see this show. It’s magnificent.”
– DC Theatre Scene

Buy Tickets here

With Cassandra Bissell, Elyse Edelman, Alanna Lovely, Paris Hunter Paul, Greg Pragel

Featuring Special Local Guest Musicians YID VICIOUS Klezmer Ensemble!

Scenic Designer: Sarah Ross
Lighting Designer: Brad Toberman
Costume Designer: Karen Brown-Larimore
Sound Designer/Composer: Brian Grimm
Props Master: Pam Miles
Technical Director: Kevin Zimmer
Stage Manager: Kira Neighbors
Asst. Stage Manager: Abbi Hess


I had such a blast recording music with Madison’s own Yid Vicious Klezmer Ensemble for the score of “The Wanderers” by Anna Ziegler! I’m so honored to have collaborated with such fine musicians & friends and can’t wait for you to hear their beautiful playing in this production!

Pictured members of Yid Vicious:
Matt Appleby – guitar
Kia Karlen – accordion & horn
Geoff Brady – vibraphone
Greg Smith – flutes & clarinets

Also pictured:
Brian Grimm – composer, cello at the playhouse theater
Zelda Brethauer – sleeping studio assistant


17th Unniversary Suite

This Valentine’s Day we’re celebrating
Susan & John’s 17th Unniversary!

Recently, I was commissioned to write some original music for Susan & John’s 17th “Unniversary”. Susan (aka “Aunt Mickey”) is a dear friend of my partner Anne’s family (Anne is featured on viola!). Susan is a flutist with a great sense of humor who loves everything from Jazz to Experimental Improvisation to New Music and anything deemed whacky by ordinary standards!

Movement I the “Scorpio Serenade” (title suggested by Aunt Mickey) starts on a bit of a reflective note and somber tone. This waltz (again per the suggestion of Aunt Mickey) leaves some space to think back on how difficult a year 2020 was for most of us. Susan and John who had some especially terrifying, exciting & life threatening events transpire. On top of the fact that we are a bit stuck in the home and stuck in the moment, as represented by the flute’s continuing ostinato line… It is a bit somber because were are unable to be in each other’s physical presence to enjoy or celebrate life’s moments together. But as you will experience during the solo section, we are passionate none the less!

As we keep moving forward with hopeful energies, we find ourselves in Movement II, the “Joyous Dance”! Here the foreground cello and viola parts represent the two souls of our lovers, intertwined in a celebratory dance. The flute soloing in the background represents the pure energy of their joy radiating off of the dancing souls. Special thanks to Iva Ugrčić for her spirited flute contributions to this track!

In Movement III, a “Tapestry of Moments”, we find the friends and family who make up the small irreplaceable, separate moments of our lives sewn together into the single, unbroken, continuous, forward moving melody that is our existence here on this earth. Our life as a “tapestry of moments”. Aunt Mickey requested that I involve a number of good friends and so I reached to everyone to help me form the “17th Unniversary Unsemble”! If you listen closely, you can hear individual melody notes played by many separate players which have been carefully pieced together to form this single, minimalist melody line. There is also a surprise element to this musical, life collage.

Susan and John, we hope you enjoy it & can’t wait to debut it for you during the Zoom celebration this Valentine’s Day!

Happy 17th Unniversary to Susan and John,
And a big special thanks to everyone who contributed their musical talents to this project,
~ BCG 

performance credits listed on bandcamp: https://grimmusik.bandcamp.com/album/17th-unniversary-suite

9/20 | Musique Concrète élégie “They’re Still Here” by BC Grimm now available for download, honoring loved ones who’ve passed


They’re Still Here” Liner Notes

Composed, Recorded and Premiered in August of 2018 by BC Grimm (b 1986) for the 2018 Madison New Music Festival. All instruments performed by BC Grimm. Available for Download on September 20th, 2019 to mark one year since Grandma Joyce’s passing. This release is also in remembrance my Grandma Nerren who passed away this summer, her 97th birthday would have been on September 17th. Much love to both my Grimm and Nerren families.

[About the Work]
Those who have passed away continue to pop up in the everyday moments of our lives. This work explores the modern dichotomy of navigating grief and mourning whilst carrying on with your work day and life obligations. You’ll hear field recordings of my day-to-day experience fused with instrumental composition and sound design. These “scenes” reference and even recreate real life moments I had in 2018 while in the wake of a series of close friend and family deaths. Many scenes are embedded with inside jokes or nods to the loved ones who passed. In addition, some scenes imagine what may be taking place for the dying at the transition between this world and the next. I felt that I didn’t give myself permission to truly process my grief publicly when this was all happening – how many of us are quietly carrying around these feelings at the same time?

A month after the premier of this work, I felt like I’d had a chance to process and contextualize my feelings and was scheduled to perform the piece a second time on 9/20/2018. Ironically, that was the day my Grandma Joyce passed away and the themes of this piece played out in front of me once again, in real time. I received “the call” right before leaving for work in the morning and had 3 jobs to work that day… run to the next run to the next run to the next. But on that day, I told everyone of the news I’d just heard and what I was going through internally. It helped me to get through that day without breaking down. I just couldn’t believe it had happened again, like clockwork. I’d like to thank Taralie Peterson, who performed a set of free improvisation as a duet with me that night. It was the first time that whole day I was able to let out and explore my feelings about my Grandmother’s passing.

[Dedications]
The 2018 composition, recording and performance of “They’re Still Here” is dedicated in loving memory to Patrick Kelly, Ross Sutherin & Brian White-Stout and to the Grimm, Sutherin, Kelly, Morrow, White-stout & Brethauer families. I’d like to dedicate the 2019 public releasing of this music to my Grandma Joyce & Grandma Nerren, and to my Nerren and Grimm families. Both grandmas passed away in the last year since the making of this piece. I miss you both very much and think of you often when I play cello now.

[Album Art]
A special heartfelt thank you to one of my Art heroines growing up, Aunt Jean (daughter of Grandma Joyce) who made the Album Art for this release. I’m so glad we were able to collaborate on this special project.

[On Listening]
“They’re Still Here” is meant to be listened to and contemplated in one continuous sitting. Therefore the movements haven’t been separated, to facilitate the best listening experience (as it was performed live).


PROGRAM NOTES

[00:00] SCENE I “Passing of a Friend, The Work Day Begins”
Tenor Viola da Gamba with field recording

[02:31] SCENE II “News Cycle On Fire: Rbt. Mueller’s Lonely Russia Probe”
Gaohu Cantonese fiddle with foley, field recording, 1940’s radio broadcast, singing bowls, violoncello, dizi flute, bawu flute, xiao flute, sheng mouth organ

[04:25] SCENE III “Do I Tell The Children? No, Teach On.”
Violoncello with field recording, pipa lute, tenor viola da gamba, contracello

[06:27] SCENE IV “Fluorescence Hums The Harmonic Order of Nature”
APC40 (electric hum in Just Intonation)

[10:31] SCENE V “Morning Routine, Scrambled Brains”
Field Recording with foley

[13:00] SCENE VI “A Call With My Brother, Wise Counsel”
*Sarangi-Cello in pipa tuning with claps, cajon, Tyler’s motorcycle

[14:55] SCENE VII “Ask The Corn Spirits”
Bawu flute with gaohu fiddle

[17:28] SCENE VIII “Hermie’s Chimes, They’re Still Here”
Guqin Zither (tuned to Hermie’s chimes) with pipa lute, gaohu fiddle, dizi flute

[21:07] SCENE IX “Funeral Grave”
solo Violoncello

[22:22] SCENE X “Temple of Ancestors”
Sarangi-Cello in pipa tuning with pipa lute, synthesis

[24:29] SCENE XI “Transfigurations”
Guqin zither with pipa lute, Russian folk harp, singing bowls

[27:27] SCENE XII “Schoolyard in Snow; Children Play On”
Tenor Viola da Gamba, APC40 (electric hum in equal temperament), field recordings,
foley

  • “sarangi-cello” (d, g, a, d’) is tenor-violin (normally G, d, a, e’ or G, d, a, d’) tuned in pipa lute tuning with alternating wound and plain gut strings. I use a Nakatani-Kobo bow to help create a ‘sarangi-style’ on cello. The bowed Sarangi of North India and Pakistan is normally tuned to Sa=E (e, b, e’). I have my cello modeled after this tuning but a wholestep lower where Sa=D, where my guruji pt. Sugato Nag tunes his sitar. The sarangi has 3 melodic strings and the cello has 4, so I have tried a number of different tuning schemes and have settled on the Pipa Chinese lute tuning – as it is the most settled and advantageous one I have tried: d wound gut, g plain gut, a wound gut, d’ plain gut or silk. Alternate tunings I have used: (1) d, a, g, d’ (2) d, g, g, d’ (3) d, a, a, d’

5/10 | Encore Performance of Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” @ Music Hall!

 

Wed, 5/10 | Free, 6:30pm @ Music Hall

925 Bascom Mall Madison, WI

Sound Out Loud’s Encore Performance of

Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire”

Featuring Soprano Mimmi Fulmer

Music History Introduction by Lee Blasius

Le Pierrot Lunaire is in music what Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is to painting or James’ Joyce’s Ulyssses is to literature. These three revolutionary works, written in the first decades of the 20th century, have completely redefined the accepted aesthetic standards of their time and opened wide new paths to artistic creation.

Le Pierrot Lunaire is a rarely played piece because of the challenge it presents to the singer. Schoenberg uses a vocal technique, the “Sprechgesang,” that combines spoken and singing voice, a formidable task for a singer.  – Marc Vallon , UW Faculty

American soprano Mimmi Fulmer first performed “Pierrot lunaire” in 1978 at the famed Tanglewood Music Festival. Sound Out Loud is thrilled to be performing this work for the again the guidance of such an experienced & knowledgeable performer of the work. Mimmi and Ric Merritt have crafted a performers’ singing-translation of this work from German to English. Friday, March 17th we will perform it in it’s original German text.

Mimmi Fulmer performs repertoire ranging from early music to premieres of works written for her. Her distinguished career in new music includes premieres of nine roles in eight operas. An expert on Nordic repertoire, she is the editor of a three-volume anthology of songs from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Her discography includes six CDs of American music and a CD of songs from Finland, Sweden and Norway, and she has been included in the Fulbright Specialist Roster in American music.


Excerpt from March performance notes:

“Pierrot lunaire” was composed by Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951) in 1912 and is his 21st Opus.  It’s 21 short movements (3 cycles of 7) explore the poetry of Albert Giraud (1860-1929), originally published 1884 in French.

‘Pierrot’ is one of Schoenberg’s last works of “free a-tonality”, before Opus 23 which introduced his 12-tone Serialism approach to composition – forever changing the course of 20th Century music.  In this new dodecaphonic democracy, all notes were equal, and weightless of tonicisms.  It helped form a great schism in the 20thC between two great approaches to composition: Serialism (eg. Schoenberg) vs Neo-Classicism (eg. Stravinsky).  Part of the pre-serialism brilliance of “Pierrot lunaire” is Scheonberg’s invention of sprechstimme.  This new vocal technique was a form of speak-singing, which allows for a beautiful ambiguity in pitch – removing Schoenberg yet one more step from tonality.  In sprechstimme, the singer glides up and down from one note to another – only ever sustaining three “traditional” pitches in the entire 40 minute piece.  All of this results in a dazzling display of colors and orchestrational puissance to tell the tales of this tragic clown.