Category Archives: Blog

2000 Moving Parts: Crafting Sounds

Sound of Late: 2000 Moving Parts
Saturday, March 11, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
Flutter Studios, Seattle

Somewhere in my home, amongst the heaps of scrap paper I have around, there is a To Do list, now several years old, scrawled upon a notepad; a bunch of checked off items, except one: “Buy a Harp.”

I don’t play, but as objets d’art, harps are remarkable pillars of craftsmanship: the wood, the strings and hardware, the assemblage. The visual anticipation of soothing sounds draws me to their constructed beauty. After the frame warps from strings’ tensions, as certainly a harp frame will do, people sell them off. I want one.

As I prepared for this interview, I kept saying to myself, “Each of us must have our own harp story.” So, I asked harpist Jennifer Ellis, “What drew you to the harp?”

(Photo credit: Jason Paige and Bonnie Lyn Paige)

The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books as a kid, and when the movie came out, my mom took me. There is this beautiful little harp solo in the score, and so I started poking my mom, ‘What instrument makes that sound? I want to play the instrument that makes that sound.'”

Years later, Jennifer joins us in Seattle. On Saturday, March 11, 2017 – together with Sarah Pyle on the flute and Andrew Stiefel playing viola – we’ll be listening to the collaborative trio Sound of Late.

The harp has some 2000 moving parts, inspiring the name of the show. I asked Jennifer to help me count to 2000. “A lot of where the moving parts come in is through the system we have to get flats and sharps.” There are 7 foot pedals; one pedal connects all of the “C” strings, one connects all of the “D” strings, one all of the “E” strings, etc.

When you move a foot pedal, it triggers a spring, which triggers a rod, which triggers the linkage, which triggers the discs, and the discs (2 per string) engage the string, fretting it like a guitar string. One disc raises the note a half step from flat to natural, and the second disc raises the note another half step to sharp. Jennifer manipulates these discs to develop sounds that most harpists try to mute.


That impetus to take things apart to understand them and put them back together is a wonderful one in our world.


I listened to some preview materials prior to the interview. There’s the identifiable harp strings providing sounds, but there’s other stuff; blurts and bits and twongs (I literally heard a “twong”); extra reverberations that help to fill spaces. John Cale would be proud.

I suggested to Jennifer: “The way you’re manipulating the harp, it adds texture and sounds, and it sounds like you’re accompanying yourself.”

I wasn’t far off. “Yeah! Yeah, that’s a fair thing to say!”

Many orchestral instruments play only one note at a time. The harp is played with both hands, 4 fingers each (the pinky finger is too short), so you can play eight notes at once. It’s a very rich instrument to play solo, but, says Jennifer, “it’s really fun to get the opportunity to expand and collaborate with others and play chamber music. Sound of Late is the best of both worlds, because you get to hear the harp solo and then you get to hear the harp with other instruments.”

In her work with the harp, Jennifer enjoys a sense of discovery; take something apart and you feel more connected with it, like something has been revealed to you. “That impetus to take things apart to understand them and put them back together is a wonderful one in our world. I hope people leave with a little glimmer of that feeling and are interested in applying it elsewhere in their lives.”

After the show, Jennifer will invite guests onto the stage to see the harp up close and ask questions.

“I hope this concert helps lift the veil and make the harp feel accessible and dynamic, interesting, and intriguing,” Jennifer added.

It’s your chance to see this beautiful object up close, and understand how it makes beautiful sounds, and develop a harp obsession of your own…

Sound of Late will perform on Saturday, March 11, 2017 @ 8:00 pm at Flutter Studios in Seattle. Full details are here.

GreatWall_GreatKent_BWxKent Karnofski has been a Seattleite most of his adult life. By day he is a research engineer at a local manufacturing firm, by night he is an extraordinary audiophile. In addition to his work with the Live Music Project, he is the curator and primary contributor at CommunityNoise.blog.

[LIVESTREAM] NOCCO’s Resonance: Celebrating Black American Composers

North Corner Chamber Orchestra (NOCCO) is celebrating Black American composers with a new work by composer Hanna Benn with text and film by Davida Ingram and additional original music by Alex Guy. Also on the program are works by Pulitzer Prize winning composers George Walker (b. 1922) and Scott Joplin (1868-1917) and a gorgeous string work by Alvin Singleton (b. 1940).

Tonight, February 19, 2017 they performed the following program:

Hanna Benn – Sankofa (world premiere)
Joplin – Selections from Treemonisha (1912, arr. Rick Benjamin) 
Walker – Orpheus for Chamber Orchestra and narrator (1994)
Alvin Singleton – Eine Idee ist ein Stück Stoff

For more information about the project, visit NOCCO’s website.

NOCCO is a conductorless orchestra of chamber musicians that performs a full spectrum of art music in a variety of spaces accessible to diverse audiences. They envision a community where the sharing of live, immersive events between musicians and listeners illuminates the profound and joyful interconnectedness of humanity.

Steinways & Screws: Myers plays Cage

Cornish Presents: Jesse Myers
Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 8pm
PONCHO Concert Hall, Seattle

“It transforms the piano into something not recognizable as a piano,” says pianist Jesse Myers, as we peer into his Steinway.

In 1940, while a faculty member at The Cornish School, John Cage devised methods of converting the piano into, as he described, “a percussion ensemble under the control of a single player.”

Originally aimed at a dance accompaniment, his innovation was to insert objects – screws, nuts and bolts, pieces of rubber – between certain piano strings, in specific locations. The foreign objects create unfamiliar timbres that result in sounds more like a wood block than a piano.

Jesse Myers uses screws to modify the sound of the piano. (Photo by Kent Karnofski)
Jesse Myers uses screws to modify the sound of the piano. (Photo by Kent Karnofski)

On Friday, 17 February, at the same Cornish where it all began, Jesse will be performing Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano. Jesse played some for me.

It sounds like a small ensemble of instruments, mostly percussion, with one piano, playing a song together. Instead of each instrument playing its own track, one instrument plays a note, then another instrument plays a note, and then another instrument plays a note, and so on. Sometimes one instrument plays a bar or two. Thus, there is a disruptive continuity, as so many small parts are rhythmically tied together.

I find the result to be pleasing and coherent, yet challenging. (I’ve been trying to count how many instruments I’m listening to, and understand what all of them are.) The piece will arrive at a nice spree of notes, then something fittingly discordant, followed by a short melody, then a clock striking 1 o’clock. Begin again.

“Do you think Cage was a genius?” I assured Jesse that I do not frequently use this term. (People are generally familiar with others tagged with the “genius” label – Beethoven, Einstein – but Cage is out there in the cold obscurity.)


Cage claimed that music consisted of combinations of different sounds, and therefore if you were making noises, you were making music.


Jesse pondered, “You can’t talk about music over the past 50 years without talking about John Cage. He completely changed how we think about contemporary music. So, yes, I would have to say he was a genius.”

I keep wondering, if Cage was a genius, why is he not more prominent in today’s performance spaces? Cage claimed that music consisted of combinations of different sounds, and therefore if you were making noises, you were making music. This assertion gave him space to innovate without rules or interference, and his fertile mind deserved the space.

Cage can be challenging, and sometimes (in my experience) unlistenable. I think this is a show where people not familiar with Cage’s work could invite him in from the cold. Jesse and I agreed that an audience should find this evening, these works, to be quite enjoyable.

“I just want the audience to relax,” Jesse tells me. “This is beautiful music, and people should be able to sit back and enjoy the sounds. If we could throw a couple of bean bags on the floor for people, I’d be all for that.”

The reader can get a preview from Jesse’s SoundCloud; here is Sonata V.

Jesse Myers will perform on Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 8:00 pm at PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish College of the arts. Full details are here.

GreatWall_GreatKent_BWxKent Karnofski has been a Seattleite most of his adult life. By day he is a research engineer at a local manufacturing firm, by night he is an extraordinary audiophile. In addition to his work with the Live Music Project, he is the curator and primary contributor at CommunityNoise.blog.

Community update: February 2017

30 new friends in 60 minutes: new music speed-dating. (Credit: Jim Holt)

In this edition: A new intern, so many jobs, local media & grant deadlines, and more!

LMP news

We went to a music festival!
In a typical LMP week, we’ll meet a few new folks – composers, performers, arts admins, idea people. So imagine the excitement of meeting 100 new friends in one day! Last Saturday, we did just that at NUMUS Northwest. The festival kicked off with speed-dating (let’s call it “speed-friending”): 30 up-close conversations in 60 minutes. We attended sessions on group improvisation and time management, and just when things were getting intense, two concerts (afternoon and evening) came to the rescue, giving us a moment to take a breath while taking in a rich variety of new composed music from Pacific Northwest artists. What an incredible day! (Photos here.)

We welcomed Lily!
We’re excited to introduce you to our spring intern, Lily Shababi! Lily is a Violin Performance major at Cornish College of the Arts, and is also a violinist for Orchestra Seattle. She is passionate about chamber music, traditional Persian music, and pursuing her dream of eventually becoming a dog owner. Sit back, put on a pair of headphones, and let her music carry you away

We felt your support!  
A big hug to our donors this month: Heather Bentley, Jessica Fredican, Mike Holzinger, Steve Layton, Jonathan Lyon, Jane Turbiner, and Hannah Turbiner Lyon, Bill Manos, Sheila Oh, Jamee Pineda, John Reale, and two lovely anonymous humans. And to our volunteers: Andrea, Emily, Jon, Kent, and Nick. You make everything possible! (Hey, do you love the LMP? Join us as a volunteer or consider supporting our work with a $5 monthly donation!)

Community announcements

  • As Town Hall prepares for the upcoming renovation of its historic space, they invite you to a behind-the-scenes tour of the building as it stands today, and how it has been envisioned for the future (February 16 & 22).
  • Musicians and music lovers may still take part in this survey about providing health education, advocacy, and access to healthcare to Seattle area musicians.
  • The Seattle Video Game Orchestra & Choir (VGOC) is currently recruiting all instruments for its upcoming concert season.
  • Northwest Boychoir seeks a full-time administrative assistant for its busy office in Seattle’s University District.
  • Bremerton Symphony seeks Principal Bassoon and Section Horn.
  • Cornish College of the Arts seeks a part-time master audio engineer.
  • KING FM is hiring a development coordinator.
  • Town Hall is hiring a house manager and event staff.
  • KEXP is hiring a lead audio engineer and junior software developer.
  • Emerald City Music seeks event volunteers and ushers for a concert in South Lake Union on 2/10 (8:00 p.m.), call time from 5:30 p.m. to end of concert.

Notable deadlines

  • February 16 – NEA Art Works Grants application deadline
  • February 22 – 4Culture Arts Facilities application deadline
  • March 1 – 4Culture Art Projects application deadline
  • March 6 – Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Youth Arts grant application deadline
  • March 27 – ArtsWA Project Support application deadline (level A – under $200K annual budget)
  • April 24 – ArtsWA Project Support application deadline (level B – $200K to $1M annual budget)
  • May 22 – ArtsWA Project Support application deadline (level C – over $1M annual budget)
  • Rolling – 4Culture Open Arts Grant; apply at least 6 weeks prior to event date
  • Rolling – Seattle Office of Arts & Culture smART ventures grant application deadline
  • Rolling – Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute facility grant; apply at least two months prior to event date
  • Rolling – Spontaneous Free Tickets; contribute tickets up to 1 week prior to performance date

Media calendar deadlines

  • Seattle Magazine – submit events 3 months ahead for the print calendar
  • City Arts – submit 6 weeks ahead for the online/print calendar (and/or send releases to editorial@cityartsmagazine.com)
  • Seattle Times – submit 14 days ahead for consideration in the curated classical listings (online & print)
  • The Stranger submit any time to the online “Things to Do” calendar; for the quarterly Seattle Art & Performance, submit at least 5 weeks before the start of the quarter in which the event will take place
  • Seattle Met – submit 2-4 weeks ahead of event for the online calendar
  • Live Music Project – submit 1 week prior to performance date (online); deadline for weekend email listings is Wednesdays @ 5pm

To receive this LMP monthly community update by email, subscribe to our newsletter.

Submit announcements for inclusion in this newsletter by the 25th of each month.

Community update: January 2017

Our board mascot, the fireball-of-awesome-projecting unicorn.

In this edition: A new muse, a call for volunteers, local media & grant deadlines, and more!!

LMP news

The Northwest has a new muse!
Ready for this? We’ve been getting excited about January 28th because it’s the very first NUMUS Northwest – a day-long, artistically-stunning event dedicated to the creation, performance, and experience of new music in Seattle. With a fantastic program of 7 workshops, 10 performances (think Oliveros and Cage), and time to breathe in between, NUMUS is open to musicians and non-musicians alike. The event is coordinated by 6 local music enthusiasts, including our director, Shaya Lyon. Peruse the schedule or jump in head-first and get a $20 day pass. Students are free at the door with ID.

We’re looking for volunteers!
From software development to calendar maintenance, LMP relies on volunteers to provide thousands of Seattleites with information about upcoming concerts. Volunteers can hang with LMP staff at cafes or contribute from home whenever the mood strikes. Occasionally, there are bagels. Got an hour? We’ll fill it! Join us

We met our first fundraising goal (whoah!) 
A heartfelt thank you to our donors this month, who helped us cross our first $10,000 finish line and kick off the next: Winston Addis, Gilbert Bendix, Heather Bentley, Celia Bowker, George Bozarth, Paul Carlson, Koala Coach, GraceAnn Cummings, Cami Davis, Jessica Fredican, Mike Holzinger, Lenore Jackson, Emma Lynn, Jonathan Lyon, Jane Turbiner, and Hannah Turbiner Lyon, Bill Manos, Sheila Oh, Jamee Pineda, John Reale, Tim Schmuckal & Kate Ross, Alex Slover and Ursula Sahagian Slover, Paul Taub, and Raymond Wachter! And to our volunteers: Brendan, Mason, Jon, and Nick. You make everything possible! (Hey, do you love the LMP too? Join us as a donor!)

Community announcements

  • Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare (SMASH), a non-profit dedicated to keeping our music community healthy and thriving, is conducting a survey to learn how to meet healthcare needs.
  • As Town Hall prepares for the upcoming renovation of its historic space, they invite you for a behind-the-scenes tour of the building as it stands today, and how it has been envisioned for the future (January 12 & January 26).
  • New Works for Percussion Project announces their 2017 commission consortium for solo percussion by composer Dave Molk – register here.
  • Seattle Art Song Society will hold general auditions for singers and pianists on January 20.
  • Bach in the Subways Seattle is seeking pianists to premiere a work by Kristoffer Zegers featuring 25 pianos and 50 pianists – contact GraceAnn Cummings if you’d like to perform.
  • Seattle Chamber Music Society is seeking two part-time, seasonal marketing & community engagement coordinators for its 2017 Summer Festival to work toward the marketing, community engagement, and event production of the SCMS Broadcast in Park program, Music Under The Stars.
  • The Seattle Times has replaced their comprehensive classical listings with a shorter curated list that is published Fridays, both in print (in Weekend Plus) and online (seattletimes.com/entertainment).
  • KING FM is seeking a part-time board operator, a research intern for Second Inversion, event volunteers, and fund drive volunteers.
  • KEXP is hiring an Upstream program liaison and an IT operations engineer.

Application deadlines

  • January 12 – New Music USA Project Grant application deadline
  • January 25 – NEA Art Works grants for organizations registration deadline (submit by February 7)
  • February 22 – 4Culture Arts Facilities application deadline
  • March 1 – 4Culture Art Projects application deadline
  • Rolling – 4Culture Open Arts Grant; apply at least 6 weeks prior to event date
  • Rolling – Seattle Office of Arts & Culture smART ventures grant application deadline
  • Rolling – Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute facility grant; apply at least two months prior to event date
  • Rolling – Spontaneous Free Tickets; contribute tickets up to 1 week prior to performance date; exceptions can be made, schedule-permitting

Media calendar deadlines

  • Seattle Magazine – submit events 3 months ahead for the print calendar
  • City Arts – submit 1 month ahead for the online/print calendar (and/or send releases to editorial@cityartsmagazine.com)
  • Seattle Times – submit 14 days ahead for consideration in the curated classical listings (online & print)
  • The Stranger submit any time to the online “Things to Do” calendar; for the quarterly Seattle Art & Performance, submit at least 5 weeks before the start of the quarter in which the event will take place
  • Seattle Met – submit 2-4 weeks ahead of event for the online calendar
  • Live Music Project – submit 1 week prior to performance date (online); deadline for weekend digest is Wednesdays @ 5pm

To receive this LMP monthly community update by email, subscribe to our newsletter.

Submit announcements for inclusion in this newsletter by the 25th of each month.

Community update: December 2016

Super-volunteer-coders Nick and Sheila hard at work.
Super-volunteer-coders Nick and Sheila hard at work.

In this edition: A road trip, a love note, an orchestra map, local media & grant deadlines, and more!

LMP news

We went on the road!
What if you could spend an entire day dropping in on artists to see them at work? You might come across a composer jamming on an electric theorbo, a conductor studying scores in a bustling cafe, a Henry hanging out with a herd of harpsichords, or a vocalist singing about the earth opening up while dreaming about puppies. We spent Tuesday on the road visiting as many Seattle composers, performers, presenters, radio broadcasters, and arts organizations as we could – and we livestreamed each visit on Facebook. Starting with an early-morning sipping chocolate and winding down with a morsel of Bach in a sunset-somber Benaroya Hall, our day was SO much fun that we’re already thinking about doing it again.

We built fundraising software!
One thing we love about our work is that we get to develop software that is mission-driven, and last month we rolled out a prototype of Donation Dots – the dottiest of interactive fundraising platforms – in service of our goal to amplify local arts resources. The first ensemble to use Donation Dots is the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, an intergenerational ensemble comprised of student, community, and professional musicians. We think they’re great for providing a free educational and mentoring opportunity alongside a progressive performance experience, and we’re thrilled to be working on this with them. Check out the Donation Dots page for their Dec. 6 concert – we hope you delight in the dots!

86 trombones? No, wait, that's a full orchestra! LMP's Donation Dots fundraising platform in action.
86 trombones? No, wait, that’s a full orchestra! LMP’s Donation Dots fundraising platform in action.

We sent love notes!
Here’s one: “The performances were beautiful – a kind of beautiful that also manifested itself as the power to inspire a unified sense of love and healing upon all of us that attended…” ~ Signed, AJ in Seattle. Were you moved by a recent performance? Did it make you feel happy, sad, anything at all? Did it remind you of a special moment, or inspire you to try something new? Leave a note and we’ll pass it on to the artists.

Speaking of love notes…
A heartfelt thank you to our donors this month: Carol Banach, Brian Chin, Veronica De La Peña, Ann Farr, Jessica Fredican, Mike Holzinger, Jonathan Icasas, Kate Ladenheim, Desmid Bendix Lyon, Gloria Hollander Lyon, Bill Manos, Sheila Oh, John Reale, Michael Schell, Robert Weltzien, Evan Wilder, and one anonymous hero! And to our volunteers: Brendan, Mason, Nick, and Nikki. You make everything possible! (Hey, do you love building community around classical music? Join us as a volunteer or a donor!)

Community announcements

  • Wanted: Strings, percussion, and vocalists for large ensemble performance opportunity
  • The Medieval Women’s Choir is seeking an energetic early music enthusiast to join their board of directors – please contact Jean Millican for more information.
  • Seattle Art Song Society is holding general auditions for singers and pianists on January 20, 2017.
  • KING FM is seeking a part-time board operator, a research intern for Second Inversion, event volunteers, and fund drive volunteers.
  • KEXP is hiring a major giving officer.
  • The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute is seeking ushers.

Notable deadlines

  • December 5 – Seattle Magazine print calendar (March issue) submission deadline
  • December 15 – Upstream Music Festival submission deadline
  • January 4 – City Arts calendar (February issue) submission deadline
  • January 12 – New Music USA Project Grant application deadline
  • February 22 – 4Culture Arts Facilities application deadline
  • Rolling – 4Culture Open Arts Grant; apply at least 6 weeks prior to event date
  • Rolling – Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute facility grant; apply at least two months prior to event date
  • Rolling – Seattle Times calendar (digital and print); submit 14 days in advance
  • Rolling – Seattle Met digital calendar; submit 2-4 weeks in advance
  • Rolling – LMP calendar submission deadline is 1 week prior to performance date; deadline for weekend digest is Wednesdays @ 5pm
  • Rolling – Spontaneous Free Tickets may be donated up to 1 day prior to performance date

To receive this LMP monthly community update by email, subscribe to our newsletter and select “LMP & community news.”

Submit announcements for inclusion in this newsletter by the 25th of each month.

LMP On the Road: Giving Tuesday

What if you could spend an entire day dropping in on artists to see them at work?

Aaron Grad and his homemade theorbo.
Aaron Grad and his homemade theorbo.

You might come across a composer jamming on an electric theorbo, a conductor studying scores in a bustling cafe, a Henry hanging out with a herd of harpsichords, or a vocalist singing about the earth opening up while dreaming about puppies.

We spent Giving Tuesday on the road visiting as many Seattle composers, performers, presenters, radio broadcasters, and arts organizations as we could – and we livestreamed each visit on Facebook. Starting with an early-morning sipping chocolate and winding down with a morsel of Bach in a sunset-somber Benaroya Hall, our day was SO much fun we’re already thinking about doing it again.

We invite you to scroll down through our day, and come along for the ride!

Station 1: Sipping chocolate with Andrew Goldstein of Emerald City Music.

Station 2: Aaron Grad shreds an electric theorbo *that he made*!

Station 3: Dropping in on the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra with maestro Adam Stern.

Station 4: Visiting with Henry Lebedinsky of Early Music Underground. We’ve never seen so many harpsichords at once!

Station 5: Seattle composer Kaley Lane Eaton treats us to some of her own creations.

Station 6: Behind the scenes with Seneca and Jeremy at the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Station 7: A quick visit to KING FM and Second Inversion with the lovely Christophe Chagnard, Maggie Stapleton, Dave Beck, and Mike Brooks.

Station 8: Getting cultured at 4Culture with Christina DePaolo and Charlie Rathbun. Keep an eye on their many grant opportunities. If you’re serving King County through the arts, there’s something here for you!

Station 9: Seattle Symphony cellist Joy Payton shares a few captivating notes as the sun sets behind Benaroya Hall.

Station 10: Finale – LMP board shenanigans!

We hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did!

Community update: November 2016

Dead music revival
Dead music revival buzzer bonanza. Improv was had, and it was spectacular.

In this edition: A dead music project, a new intern, local media & grant deadlines, and more!

LMP news

We played Boothoven and Ghotzart!
Back in September, LMP board chair Kevin Clark half-joked that it might be fun to do a Halloween fundraiser for the Live Music Project called the Dead Music Project, where we’d program new pieces arranged in the style of long-decomposed composers. Thanks to the generosity and hard work of a few Seattle artists, we were able to make it happen this weekend. Several Seattle composers (very much alive) met the challenge and prepared modern arrangements of music written hundreds of years ago, as well as new works interlaced with old, familiar themes. Our intrepid ensemble performed these works with gusto, and we brought the evening to a close with a ridiculous, rousing, fantastic improv session compete with buzzers and kazoos. Thank you to all who created, performed, attended, and supported us as part of the Dead Music Project!

We welcomed our first intern!
Joining us this fall is communications intern Brendan Howe. Brendan enjoys building and strengthening musical communities and strongly believes in their capacity to enrich lives. His reviews, previews, and interviews can be found on the Live Music Project, KING FM 98.1’s Second Inversion, and VAN Magazine. At the LMP, he’ll be learning about tools for communicating and organizing information. He’ll also be heading up our Spontaneous Free Tickets program, so if you hear from him, please give him a warm welcome!

You lifted us up!
A heartfelt thank you to our donors this month: Jessica Fredican, Mike Holzinger, Emma Lynn, Bill Manos, John Reale, and two anonymous heroes! Thanks also to the Steinway Gallery of Seattle for the generous donation of space. And to our volunteers: Brendan, Donna, Emily, Jon, Josh, Kevin, Kiesha, Mike, Nick, and Spencer. You make everything possible! (Hey, do you love the LMP? Join us as a volunteer or a donor!)

Community announcements

  • Join the conversation about the future of King Street Station on Nov. 5 (and enjoy a pancake breakfast) as they unveil the design and explore the possibilities for the community art space.
  • The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with Town Hall will present a free interactive workshop on Nov. 7 for arts and cultural organizations to create their own Emergency Action Plan.
  • New Music Happy Hour returns on November 30, 5:30 pm at Queen Anne Beerhall.
  • The Office of Arts and Culture announced a new Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute facility grant to celebrate, nurture, present and preserve African American and Diaspora performing arts and cultural legacies.
  • The Quinton Morris Project is proud to launch the Key to Change violin studio in South King County, which will serve middle and high school students of color and lower economic backgrounds in Renton, Kent, Auburn, Maple Valley, and Federal Way neighborhoods.
  • Announcing NUMUS Northwest, a day-long event dedicated to the creation, performance, and experience of new music in Seattle; more details + call for submissions at the link!
  • The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is hiring an artist selection panel coordinator.
  • KING FM is hiring!
  • KEXP is hiring an events producer, donor services manager, and more.
  • Seattle Music Partners is seeking volunteer music tutors.

Notable deadlines

  • November 2 – City Arts calendar (Holiday Issue) submission deadline
  • November 2 – The Stranger: Seattle Art & Performance (winter issue) submission deadline
  • November 5 – Seattle Magazine February print calendar submission deadline
  • December 1 – City Arts calendar (Future List Issue – January 2017) submission deadline
  • December 1 – Omaha Under the Radar application deadline
  • December 15 – Upstream Music Festival submission deadline
  • January 12 – New Music USA Project Grant application deadline
  • Rolling – 4Culture Open Arts Grant; apply at least 6 weeks prior to event date
  • Rolling – Seattle Times calendar (digital and print); submit 14 days in advance
  • Rolling – Seattle Met digital calendar; submit 2-4 weeks in advance
  • Rolling – LMP calendar submission deadline is 1 week prior to performance date; deadline for weekend digest is Wednesdays @ 5pm
  • Rolling – Spontaneous Free Tickets may be donated up to 1 day prior to performance date

To receive this LMP monthly community update by email, subscribe to our newsletter and select “LMP & community news.”

Submit announcements for inclusion in this newsletter by the 25th of each month.

The Sound Ensemble: A crucible for new ideas in music

In Nature’s Realm
Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
The Chapel at the Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

“One of the best parts of going to concerts is having the freedom to disagree,” Bobby Collins tells me over coffee at Ada’s in Capitol Hill. “When I go see a live performance, I’m simultaneously enjoying and critiquing it, thinking things like, ‘That was interesting. I might have done it differently, but it works.’ We’ve all been to concerts where you go and the whole thing washes over you. But nothing challenged you or changed in you, and you forget about it the next day. That’s not what I’m interested in creating. I’m interested in creating immersive experiences of art.”

Bobby is the conductor and co-founder of The Sound Ensemble, a self-governed group of professional musicians seeking to “break down the expectations of the traditional concert hall and provide transformative musical experiences.” He also enjoys a good triple entendre: “[W]e create sound, we’re based near Puget Sound, and we’re a sound investment.” He says he likes to use the word “sound” – rather than a specific genre – when describing the product of the ensemble, in order to avoid labeling the many kinds of music they perform.

(Photo courtesy of The Sound Ensemble)
(Photo courtesy of The Sound Ensemble)

In 2015, Bobby connected with his former high school classmate and tubist Jameson Bratcher over the great experimental and community-building properties of music. They discussed what they could do to bring this into Seattle communities and formed The Sound Ensemble. Bobby sees great potential in the group, formed in August 2015 and now in its first full season, as a crucible for new ideas in music, and works to “bridge the gap between old and new music.”

As for being a sound investment, Bobby cites the ensemble’s 10-member core group of seasoned professional performers. His 10-year plan for the ensemble includes expansion to a sufficient size for orchestral performances (35-45 members), development of programs on Seattle’s east side, and steady wages for its members.

Predisposed to classical music, Bobby did not immediately take to contemporary forms and structures. “I had to get over an ‘Oh, that’s weird’ factor and see the beauty in [more textural soundscapes]. Although I love a good melody, I have always been drawn to dissonant music, and music that communicates powerful images or emotions,” he says. “When I encounter a piece I don’t understand, I want to take it apart until I figure it out. In entering into the world of contemporary music over the last five or six years, I have found a diverse palette of techniques that become powerful expressive tools in the hands of skilled composers. I am continually inspired and challenged as I learn how to harness those tools as a conductor and help realize their full potential.”


Great music prepares us to engage with those around us, those who are different from us.


As a child, Bobby was gripped by the idea of experiencing life through the perspectives of others. “I heard Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony when I was in a youth orchestra. I was immediately drawn in, and experienced emotions I could not have had otherwise,” he tells me, adding that great music challenges people to have experiences outside of themselves. “It prepares us to engage with those around us, those who are different from us.” Now, he is the enthusiastic and selective curator of The Sound Ensemble’s programs.

The Sound Ensemble’s next performance, In Nature’s Realm, pays homage to the eponymous Dvořák overture. Each piece in the program was inspired by nature, and allows us to explore nature through the minds of each composer. Also on the program: John Teske’s susurrus, Greg Dixon’s Cedar Forest, John Cage’s Litany for the Whale, John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Hrim.

Bobby plans on doing the entire 25 minutes of John Cage’s Litany for the Whale and is excited to perform Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Hrim; Anna inspired the theme for this concert when speaking on the podcast Meet the Composer.

“A concert is essentially a listening party,” Bobby says, and this is particularly true in the case of Greg Dixon’s Cedar Forest, in which a track is played through a sound system with a video accompaniment, without live performers on stage.

Another multimedia element will be introduced at their January concert, when the ensemble is joined by accelerometers for Marcin Paczkowski’s Deep Decline.

One of the cornerstones of Bobby’s vision for The Sound Ensemble is accessibility in terms of music, location, and cost. It is important to him that audiences be able to come and have their own experiences with this music. With help from donors, the ensemble has been able to keep ticket prices low: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $5 for youth symphony members.

The low price point for members of youth symphonies comes from conversations between Bobby and other musicians, in which they realized why they hadn’t gone to concerts when they were young: there was a real or perceived inaccessibility to those concerts. He aims to mitigate that perception – and reality – and provide quick-moving, engaging experiences for kids.

Further opening up channels of accessibility, Bobby tells me about The Sound Ensemble’s equally well-punned happy hour event, The Buzz. Ensemble members, composers, and audience members will have a chance to meet and mingle over a drink and some bar food.

“Ultimately,” he says, “we want to connect with the community and let them know that we’re just people who want to share some really cool stuff with them.” Agree, disagree, be transformed, or remain unmoved – whatever your experience, The Sound Ensemble wants to connect with you.

The Sound Ensemble will perform on Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 7:00 pm at The Chapel at the Good Shepherd Center. Full program and details are here.

BrendanHoweOakland native Brendan Howe grew up surrounded by music and has been performing since the age of six. He has been listening to a lot of Tom Waits, Sviatoslav Richter, and Kate Bush lately.

Community update: October 2016

Epic event-a-thon
There’s nothing like an LMP event-a-thon – except, maybe, an LMP event-a-thon with headbanging…

In this edition: An epic event-a-thon, organ trail, local media & grant deadlines, and more!

LMP news

We evented, epically
e·vent, vb 1. The act of submitting events to the Live Music Project calendar.
We had an epic volunteer event-a-thon last weekend! 7 volunteers submitted 100 events in 4 hours, joining the efforts of dozens of organizations already submitting their performances to the calendar. It’s not all visible yet, but we should have the full season on our calendar in the coming weeks.

Internal organ…?
Channelling a bit of Magic Schoolbus wizardry, we took several thousand people into the guts of a pipe organ and watched with amazement as the bellows and trackers danced to music played by Susanna Valleau.

We felt your support!
A heartfelt thank you to our donors this month: Jessica Fredican, Mike Holzinger, Joachim Lyon, John Reale, and Kate Ross & Tim Schmuckal! And to our volunteers: Andrea, Brendan, Cam, Ellen, Emily, Gillian, Jon, Maggie, Marjorie, Nick, Philippa, Thomas, and Veronica. You rock! (Do you love the LMP? Join us as a volunteer or a donor!)

Community announcements

  • The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is hiring a half-time digital media specialist.
  • KING FM is hiring for several positions – Webmaster and Internet Operations Manager, Accounting Manager, Membership Coordinator, and more!
  • Bremerton Symphony seeks Principal Bassoon and Section Horn.
  • Seattle Music Partners is seeking volunteer music tutors.
  • Second Inversion launched a Women in (New) Music blog series: an ongoing exploration into the past, present, and future of feminism in classical music which invites female-identifying artists to share their own experiences.
  • ECCHO (the Emerald City Chamber Music Organization) launched in September, providing weekly coaching to young chamber ensembles during middle and high school orchestra classes.
  • Join Town Hall Seattle for a behind-the-scenes tour of their historic building on Thursday, October 13th at 11am, complete with an outline for how they have envisioned it for the future.
  • New Music Happy Hour returns on October 27, 5:30 pm at Queen Anne Beerhall.

Notable deadlines

  • October 1 – CityArts calendar (November issue) submission deadline
  • October 6 – Seattle Magazine January print calendar submission deadline
  • October 17(ish) – Seattle Times 2016 Holiday Entertainment Guide submission deadline
  • October 19 – 4Culture Arts Sustained Support Grant application deadline
  • October 19 – Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Neighborhood and Community Arts Grant application deadline
  • October 19 – Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Arts in Parks Program Grant application deadline
  • November 2 – CityArts calendar (holiday issue) submission deadline
  • November 2 – The Stranger: Seattle Art & Performance (winter issue) submission deadline
  • Rolling – 4Culture Open Arts Grant; apply at least 6 weeks prior to event date
  • Rolling – Seattle Times calendar (digital and print); submit 14 days in advance
  • Rolling – Seattle Met digital calendar; submit 2-4 weeks in advance
  • Rolling – LMP calendar submission deadline is 1 week prior to performance date; deadline for weekend digest is Wednesdays @ 5pm
  • Rolling – Spontaneous Free Tickets may be donated up to 1 day prior to performance date

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Submit announcements for inclusion in this newsletter by the 25th of each month.