The Cedar Commissions 2014-15

416 Club Commissions 2015
The 2014-15 Commissions featured Toby Ramaswamy, Israel Vega, Ahmed Gaashaanle, Joey Van Phillips, Gao Hong, and Crystal Myslajek.
In 2010, The Cedar launched a new commissioning program built on the success of its 416 Club, a longstanding series featuring local musicians and collaborations at The Cedar. Now known as The Cedar Commissions, each year the program enables Minnesota-based artists to create and perform innovative new work. To date, the series has supported the creation of new music by more than 30 emerging artists. This program is made possible with support from the Jerome Foundation.
Tuesday, January 27 2015
Toby Ramaswamy

The premiere of a single piece that explores the ways traditional Indian culture and modern American culture interact with one another. Inspired by conversations with other American born children of Indian immigrants, this piece combines the melodic and structural traditions of the centuries-old practice of Hindustani music with the soundscape experimentalism of 70’s and 80’s New York guitar composers Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca. To create this composition, Toby took vocal lessons from local Hindustani Singer Pooja Pavan, and then abstracted the material he learned onto a 15 person electric guitar ensemble. Toby performed with: Tom Steffes, Jaak Jensen, Katie Hare, Jon Hoffman, Ross Koeberl, Daniel McCausland, Julian Manzara, Sean Schultz, Josh Olson, Alex Brodsky, Eric Mayson, Zach McCormick, Cody Nelson, Kyle Swanson (All Electric Guitar and pedals)
Israel Vega – The Psychosis of the Angel.

A performance of five new, original songs that will take the audience on a journey through battles of paranoia, delusions, abandonment, and confusion, imprisonment in a psychiatric ward, the challenges of accepting illness as part of one’s identity and finally, returning home, a different person. The compositions will combine traditional son jarocho with electronic music, and recorded sounds of urban life.
Wednesday, January 28 2015
Ahmed Gaashaanle

30 minutes of new music rooted in traditional Somali music (based around the pentatonic scale) that sends messages of peace and understanding using variations of the Somali dialect spoken in different regions and among the different tribes of the original Somaliland.

Joey Van Phillips

A fusion of classical percussion and hip hop, this performance consists of full percussion ensemble of 8-12 players providing live hip hop beats, playing the role that a DJ or traditional backing band typically might. This work featured musicians JT Bates, Dave Hagedorn, Martin Dosh, Ryan Olcott, Peter Leggett, Aby Wolf, Joe Mabbott, Cory Healy, and Tim Glenn, and vocalists Dessa, POS, Joe Horton, Cecil Otter, Medium Zach, Sims, Omaur Bliss, Jacob Mullis, and Amy Hager of Fort Wilson Riot.

Thursday, January 29 2015
Gao Hong – Gao Hong on the Highway.

Drive along with a mixed-media comedic performance piece featuring Gao Hong, her Chinese pipa, and her driving mishaps. Gao Hong will take the stage against a background of YouTube clips and unique animations while she accompanies all of the action. The piece is a collaboration between Carleton College Media and Design Specialist, Dann Hurlbert, and with video editing work by PEPS student workers Anna Schmiel, Ian Kpachavi, and Stefan Payne-Wardenaar.
Gao Hong comments, “This project is unlike any I have ever attempted. Against a backdrop of videos and pre-recorded music I composed using a synthesizer and a looper, add both traditional and modern melodies and techniques on my pipa as I share humorous stories of my feeble attempts to navigate Minnesota’s roadways.”
Crystal Myslajek – Circadia

An immersive audio-visual experience inspired by minimalism that is a meditation on the passage of time. Specifically, the work will be a reflection on how, in our rushed pace as 21st century humans, it is perhaps impossible to fully perceive the slower-paced, global-scale cycles and changes that are transforming our shared landscape and future. Crystal will perform with Liz Draper. Chris Hepola and with films by John Marks. Works for 2 pianos, double bass, voice, and drums