The Cedar received a grant from Jerome Foundation to launch a second round of 416 Club Commissions. We will commission seven local artists to create and perform new music. Artists will be chosen through a juried process by a panel of individuals involved with the local music community. Each artist will be paid $2,000 plus a $500 stipend for production expenses. Artists will be have the opportunity to use Cedar Seeder, our new crowd fundraising mechanism to raise additional funds for larger-scale projects.
The 2012-13 416 Club Commission recipients have been selected! Read the descriptions below to learn about this year's recipients projects. The dates of their preformances are next to their name.
The following seven musicians were chosen from over sixty applicants:
Ted Moore (Jan 6)- Inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, Moore is composing a piece for string quartet and live audio processing. He will be using SuperCollider, an open source programming language for processing live and recorded sounds. Moore is influenced by diverse genres of music, including the Romantic music of Beethoven, the musique concrete of Francis Dhomont, and jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Moore is currently exploring the possibility of incorporating an educational component to the project through collaboration with students in local English classes.
Nathan Hanson (Jan 13)-Inspired by Bulgarian choral compositions, Minneapolis native Hanson will be composing music for a seen (or more!) saxophone choir with elements of jazz, folk, blues, and electronica. Improvisation in many different facets will be incorporated into the performance. An accomplished jazz musician, Hanson has played with legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Mark Dresser. Hanson regularly plays with his jazz choir called Fantastic Merlins. This project is an exploration and tribute to the beautiful and diverse instrument that is the saxophone
Maria Isa Perez (Jan 20)-Through collaboration with Adriana Rimpel of the local Cuban band Malamanya, Maria will create five original songs that trace the Afro-Latina music scene in Minnesota. In order to accomplish this, the two women will journey to Puerto Rico where they will study music and then return to Minnesota to synthesize their two experiences. Perez frequently incorporates "spanglish" into her music to represent her dual heritages, both Minnesotan and Puerto Rican. An accomplished artist, emcee, and singer, she has already released two full-length albums dealing with the politics of cultural diversity in the Twin Cities.
David Gerald Sutton (Jan 27)- At just twenty years old, Sutton is composing and playing music to convey the experience of Alzheimer's disease. Using an electric string quartet, his original music will be paired with a light show and filmed to create DVDs. The money generated from the sale of the recordings will go towards Alzheimer's research. Sutton is currently studying music at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Miriam Gerberg (Feb 3)- Multi-talented musician Gerberg will be applying the compelling improvisation traditions of Turko-Arabic music with the shimmering sounds of the Javanese gamelan. This intersection of two worlds is new and uncharted musical territory which Gerberg will explore, along with the Sumunar Gamelan, Joko Sutrisno and guest Arab-American musicians. A well-established ethnomusicologist, composer, and founder of The Minnesota Global Arts Institute, Miriam teaches at Hamline University and has had her original music performed across the U.S., in Israel, Palestine, Holland, Australia, Japan, and Sumatra.
Pooja Goswami Pavan (Feb 17) - What happens when Eastern and Western music collide? Pavan's "Global Conversations" explores this idea. With the help of bouzouki player Greg Herriges, Pavan will fuse music from her native North India with other folk sounds hailing from The Middle East, Greece, Turkey, Japan, and Brazil. Pavan specializes in North Indian classical and semi-classical music and frequently partners with dance and theater companies such as Pangea World Theater, Katha Dance Theater and Ananya Dance Theater. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at both the University of Minnesota and Macalester College.
Nicholas Gaudette (Feb 24)-Composing and performing three different pieces for the upright bass and accompaniment, Gaudette will pair each composition with a different style of dance. Each piece is a collaborative exploration with dance artists from a range of cultural backgrounds, and plays with different yet resonant approaches to time signatures, rhythm cycles, and musicality. Gaudette is well versed in matching music with dance. He recently collaborated with the Maggie Bergeron & Company dance company in Minneapolis as well as solo collaborations for performances at the Walker Art Center as well as Bryant Lake Bowl. He routinely plays bass with the Orange Mighty Trio but also dabbles in classical and folk genres. His piece will merge the visual with the aural to test the limits of the instrument and create a compelling new role for the versatile upright bass.
Cedar Seeder, a crowd-powered fundraising platform geared toward local Twin Cities music, will also be available to these artists for an additional outlet for raising money. Check back with The Cedar's website for further updates!
416 Club began as a monthly event curated by a local artist and featuring performances by three to seven emerging, local musicians or groups. In 2011, thanks to funding from the Jerome Foundation, the 416 Club expanded to include collaborative commissions by local artists who haven’t before worked together. Commissioned pieces were showcased in the winter of 2011. Here is some feedback from several artists who participated in Round I:
[I]n March last year, I received the invitation via email [...] to do the 416 Club Commission. I loved the premise of creating new material with people I had not worked with before or wouldn’t normally gravitate to musically, and it made my pulse quicken to think about exploring new ground within a collaborative support structure. I started working with electronic beats with a producer and writing lyrics that reflected the emerging confidence and sense of adventure that I was feeling from the challenge of the project.
The music I made with the people I chose to work with me for the 416 series evolved into my new “electro-art-pop” project, A.Wolf & Her Claws, and I couldn’t be more excited about its potential. We are currently recording the work we created for the show, and are continuing to write new material to expand our set for live performances. The intention behind the 416 Club Commission may have been to put together some interesting shows for the Cedar’s winter season, but we are taking the results further than our blizzardy February night.
Creative growth aside, I want to stress a point of gratitude: the funding from the Jerome Foundation was key to making this project happen. I was overjoyed for the opportunity to stir up some new music and work with new people, but most working musicians have day jobs, children, and/or several other musical projects--and need to pay bills. Creating new material collaboratively takes A LOT OF TIME AND ENERGY, and the stipend from the Jerome foundation made it possible to pay the artists for our time.
I’m very thankful to the Jerome Foundation and to the Cedar Cultural Center for partnering on the 416 Series, and will most likely look back on my experience with the Commission as the start of something amazing in my musical career.------------ABY WOLF
This experience was remarkable in that it challenged me to think more broadly about my compositions and creative process. I appreciated the opportunity to work with an artist from a different musical genre or culture. My collaborator, Markus Lunkenheimer helped me understand the significance of creating and playing instruments that are visually and sonically interactive. From a songwriting perspective, Markus encouraged me to write in a capacity that has less to do with me (i.e., relationships, heartbreak, ego, wah wah) and more to do with music as a shared experience or product of the collective imagination. Finally, per usual, the Cedar Cultural Center staff went above and beyond to support me throughout the development of this commission.
The art comes first—period. But there are unavoidable financial considerations that can amount to significant distractions. Commissioned work, however, provides an artist a bit of a reprieve from the minding of her ledgerbook. The 416 Club Commission encouraged me to connect with artists with whom I might never have worked. And while writing my new material, the question at the forefront of my mind was How will this sound? as opposed to Can I afford this? Even a modest stipend can go a long way for artists who are accustomed to investing their own money, and uncompensated time during the songwriting process.
Through the commission, I’ve forged relationships with musicians with whom I intend to work again. I tried my hand at compositions I might not have had the courage to tackle (even a 7/4 time signature—terrifying for a rapper). And I intend to include at least one of the songs on a new disc.
It was a pleasure to participate in such a stand-out program, many thanks to the organizers, administrators, and funders who made it possible.
While the money was a bit tight for the scope of the project I undertook, it still nurtured the birth of a collaborative group of wonderful musicians and new music. Neither of these things would have been possible without the support from this grant. For me personally, it was an opportunity to make the beginning steps toward a sound and musical expression that has been calling me. And, because it included a performance aspect, the stakes were high enough to move me beyond sketches and unformed ideas all the way to completed pieces, a look and a sound that was performance worthy. I really have no complaints or criticisms. I am very thankful to have had the [416 Club Commission] opportunity.