Find other projects
This project was successfully funded on September 4, 2014

Commissioning Music of Considerable Duration

by R. Andrew Lee


Download Video: Closed Format: MP4 Open Format: OGG / WebM

UPDATE: Thank you, thank you, thank you! With your donations we've reached the initial goal of $4000 to commission these fantastic composers. You have helped support these artists and broadened this fascinating area of the repertoire. Now it's time to up the ante.

First, I really want to be able to give Adrian and Randy each $2500 for their music. This is still on the low end for the amount of work they've put into these pieces, and they deserve every penny and more.

But that only takes us to $5000. Now we're looking for additional funds to help with travel costs for performances. Over the last few days, I've been in contact with the Wayward Music Series in Seattle as they have one of the best venues for these pieces in the country. Additional funds that we raise will allow Randy and Adrian to travel out to Seattle with me to share in the performance, give talks, and frankly enjoy the fruits of their labor a bit. These new funds will also go toward covering some of the costs of a NYC premiere. And believe me, I can't wait to be performing in New York again.

Thanks again for all your support.

As a pianist, I have a considerable interest in music of extended duration. I have enjoyed recording and performing works such as Tom Johnson’s An Hour for Piano and Dennis Johnson’s 5-hour masterpiece, November, but there remain relatively few recent works in the piano repertoire that explore long durations. As such, I am working with two composers at the moment to expand this fascinating area of the repertoire: Randy Gibson and Adrian Knight.

I was first drawn to Randy's music through the album Aqua Madora, a work for just intonation piano and sine waves. Randy has been a student of La Monte Young, one of the first minimalist composers, for over a decade. You can hear the influence of Young's musical language in Randy's compositions, but it is evident that he has found his own, clear compositional voice. For this commission, Randy has written Four Pillars Appearing from the Equal D under Resonating Apparitions of the Eternal Process in The Midwinter Starfield, a structured improvisation for piano and live electronics, which will be approximately three hours long.

It was a Twitter algorithm that first suggested I follow Adrian Knight, and for that I am extremely grateful. When I first poked around his website, I (as I often do) looked for the longest pieces he had written, and was immediately impressed with Unruhe for six guitars. I quickly fell in love with his piano music and began discussing a commission with him not long thereafter. The result, which I just received this summer, is Obsessions. It is an absolutely stunning work that I anticipate performing for decades to come.

For these pieces, Randy and Adrian have agreed to a commission of $2000 each. At a glance that may seem like a lot, but given how long these pieces are, I can assure you that this is an underpayment.

And that is where your support becomes vital. None of the money raised here will be going to me; it will all go to supporting these fantastic artists. Should we exceed the goal of $4000, I can offer a more reasonable commissioning fee. Should things get a little crazy, additional funds will go towards recording these works.

Since there is no physical product being created through this fundraiser, I wanted to do something special for supporters. While I was in the studio this summer, I recorded a few things that will only be available here. The first album is an EP of music by Randy and Adrian. The second has music by Erik Satie as well as works by Eva-Maria Houben and William Duckworth that were inspired by Satie. There are other perks as well, but I really wanted to highlight these exclusive albums. Once the deadline on this fundraiser is passed, they will no longer be available.

Thank you for taking the time to consider supporting this project. Any support you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Even a simple tweet, facebook post, or email will go a long way toward helping me meet this goal.

I consider myself honored that these composers would write such incredible music for me, and I am humbled by your support.

Thank you.


Randy Gibson Bio

Randy Gibson is a composer and performer based in Brooklyn. He works with structure, evolutionary and naturalistic compositional models, and improvisation to create enveloping and ritualistic works in Just Intonation.

Since 2003, Gibson has studied with seminal Minimalist pioneer La Monte Young. Continually humbling and revelatory, his studies with Young have brought great clarity and devotion to his work. Through his studies of R?ga singing in the Kirana tradition with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and Jung Hee Choi he has begun to glimpse the universal truth of sound.

By presenting his work with visual and ritualistic elements (incense, video, lighting), Gibson offers the audience a way into the frame of mind to embrace stillness and become absorbed in the sonic experience.

In late 2009, inspired by La Monte Young’s systemic and eternal approach to pitch and Vertical Hearing, Gibson wrote a set of tuning theories called *The Four Pillars* which has provided the harmonic underpinnings for all of his subsequent work.

Gibson’s music has been presented around the world including at festivals in Germany, Korea, and Mexico. His works have been commissioned by choreographers (2004-2005’s *Separate Haven* commissioned by Kim Olson/Sweetedge), record labels (2010’s *Analog Apparitions* commissioned by The Tapeworm), ensembles (2010-2012’s *Circular Trance Surrounding The Second Pillar with The Highest Seventh Primal Cirrus, The Utmost Fundamental, and The Ekmeles Ending from Apparitions Of The Four Pillars*) commissioned by Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble), and individual performers (2013’s *Nine Minutes for The Four Pillars in duet with The Paris Drones recalling The Midwinter Starfield* commissioned by Erik Carlson).

In 2010, under a grant from the American Music Center, Gibson traveled to London to premiere *The Third Analog* *Pillar*. The performance was hailed by Liminal’s Scott McMillan as "a moment of relative calm, of stillness, and of pleasingly soporific and mind-emptying purity." His solo just intonation piano album, *Aqua Madora V-ii-2008 21:07:26" - 21:54:40" (NYC),* was selected by Textura as one of the top 10 albums of 2011.

Gibson is the artistic director of Avant Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to collaborative artistic endeavors, and, since, 2010, has curated the annual Avant Music Festival of composer-driven performances.

Adrian Knight Bio

Adrian Knight is a Swedish composer and musician. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Reviewing the 2011 album Time Of My Life, I Care If You Listen stated that “[Knight’s] music has been described as “eerie,” “mesmerizing” and “serene,” but to these descriptors I would add “stunning.”

Since 2011, he has struck up a series of collaborations with talented and unrelenting left coast groups, such as The Living Earth Show, Mobius Trio and Nonsemble 6. He has also had the privilege of working with the Minnesota Orchestra, Red Light New Music, Loadbang, Juraj Kojs, Yale School of Drama, Audiorama Stockholm among others.

His works are published by Pink Pamphlet and distributed exclusively by Schott New York and the Swedish Music Information Center. He is a member of Fylkingen and FST (Society of Swedish Composers). He writes and performs with Max Zuckerman as Blue Jazz TV.

He holds degrees from Yale School of Music and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

R. Andrew Lee Bio

Pianist R. Andrew Lee is one of the foremost interpreters of minimal music. He has been described as having “consistently impressive solo releases... asserting a vision of musical Minimalism far broader than the limited patch that abused term usually signifies.” (Steve Smith, New York Times), and his CD, Eva-Maria Houben: Piano Music, was chosen by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as one of the Top 10 Classical Recordings of 2013. In his tenure with the Irritable Hedgehog label, he has recorded six albums, including the first perfectly-timed recording of Tom Johnson’s An Hour for Piano and the premiere recording of Dennis Johnson’s 5-hour minimalist epic, which was selected by Time Out New York as the best classical recording of 2013.

Lee has dedicated himself to the performance and recording of new music. He has premiered or released the premiere recording of compositions by many composers whose work lie on the boundaries of minimal music. These include Ann Southam, Paul Epstein, Jürg Frey, Eva-Maria Houben, William Susman, Dennis Johnson, Scott Unrein, and Ryan Oldham. Upcoming projects include a recording of previously unreleased piano music by William Duckworth, and the premiere of a work by Scott Unrein that is meant to last from sunset until sunrise.

Lee has performed in a number of venues dedicated to experimental music around the world, including the STUK Arts Centre (Leuven, Belgium), Café OTO (London), ISSUE Project Room (New York) and Gallery345 (Toronto). He has also been invited to speak and perform at music departments known for their exploration of the avant-garde such as the University of Huddersfield and the California Institute of the Arts.

The intersection of minimal music and temporality is a primary research interest for Lee. As such, he has presented papers and lecture-recitals at several international conferences, most recently the Fourth International Conference on Minimalist Music (California State University, Long Beach) and Time's Excesses and Eccentricities in Music, Literature and Art (Université de Caen Basse- Normandie). His writing has been published by Divergence Press. Lee also serves as a contributing editor for I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

Lee currently teaches at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and was most recently Artist-in-Residence at Avila University. He also serves as faculty for the nief-norf summer music festival. Lee received his DMA in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the direction of Prof. John McIntyre. He has also earned a masters in piano performance from UMKC and a bachelors in piano performance from Truman State University, where he studied under Dr. David McKamie.