New York Downtown Music

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Rhys Chatham at the Kitchen Venue, New York, 1981

2014 kicked off with a podcast project for Birmingham Conservatoire’s Frontiers Festival.

The Festival aims to “seek the ‘extra’ in the ‘ordinary’ of New York & Birmingham” – and will gather together an impressive range of musicians / artists from between 22 March-5 April & 2-8 June 2014. I’m especially looking forward to a performance of Lou Reed and John Cale’s “Songs For Drella” on the 30th of March.

I’ve been working with the Festival’s curator Ed McKeon to record a series of interviews with influential composers associated with the Downtown scene in New York in the early seventies. Broadcaster Kurt Gottschalk and Jeremy Young have also assisted with capturing recordings from the Big Apple for the series.

Ed and I met in Paris in late 2013 to record interviews with Rhys Chatham and Tom Johnson – which was an enlightening way to spend the day.

The project’s introduced me a whole new style of music – and Ed’s been kind enough to share his expertise (and his extensive music library) to help realise the series so far.

Here are the first clips from Rhys and Tom’s interviews. The ongoing collection of podcasts can be found here on mixcloud.

Rhys Chatham discusses “A Secret Rose” by Frontiers_Festival on Mixcloud

Tom Johnson discusses the work of Robert Ashley by Frontiers_Festival on Mixcloud

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