Slow Six / Todd Reynolds Collaboration

Slow Six and Todd Reynolds will present a new collaboration at Joe’s Pub this Saturday. Both artists have a long history of ground-breaking music and multimedia performance. While they have shared the same bill in the past, this is their first time playing together. The program will feature premieres as well as new takes on older works. Some of these pieces will be included on an upcoming album to be released next year.

Slow Six is headed by composer/violinist/programmer, Chris Tignor. The group also consists of Lee Whitier (video), Jeffrey Guimond (Fender Rhodes), Peter Cressy (guitar), Stephen Griesgraber (guitar), Maxim Moston (violin), Marlan Barry (cello), and Leanne Darling (viola). Their brand of electro-acoustic music often focuses on rich instrumental textures with sounds ebbing and flowing throughout a piece. They work in multimedia contexts with video and dance and have presented work most recently at the Joyce SoHo with Anemone Dance and at ASCAP’s Thru the Walls at the Cutting Room.

Todd Reynolds is a violinist, composer, conductor, and arranger. He is a member of Bang On A Can, Steve Reich and Musicians, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, and is a founding member of the string quartet known as Ethel. His own music is steeped in Western and non-Western traditions such as Indian, Celtic, and African. Reynolds, like Slow Six, also works with technology during performance and has written and improvised countless pieces with electronics and computer processing. Last year, he played a set at the Knitting Factory with Luke Dubois, who created video projections while he played violin through the computer. Slow Six also played an enchanting set on that date.

This unusual team of soloist and ensemble should prove to be a wonderful addition to the new music arena. Their diverse combination of sonorities promises to be an exciting and fresh new approach. As Tignor puts it, “I think our generally longer-paced atmospheres offer great breathing room for Todd to bring in his unmistakable voice on violin.  We lay down these tangled webs and he cuts right through and we fold back over the edges.  It’s sort of a beautiful instance of contrasting elements working in support of one another.”

Reynolds responds that in this collaboration, he is riding the line between soloist and ensemble member. He comments that Tignor’s music “is as complete as it is open.” This is a great description of the way we can expect the two to interact. Within the minimalist and technological contexts of this performance, it will not be about soloist and ensemble as much as the integration of two artists and their collective sound.

Armed with a violin, laptop, MIDI foot pedal, and software plugins, Reynolds will interweave his sound into the ensemble. In addition, he will also present three new compositions. The first was originally a soundtrack to Bill Morrison’s MoMa-commissioned film, Outerborough, The second was a commission for Greenwood Cemetery by DanceTheaterEtcetera. The third will explore “loops as chord changes,” by layering live and prerecorded rhythmic elements.

Previously, Reynolds spent six years as a member of the group, Ethel. While this new collaboration will be different, he still must find the balance between composer and performer and how each role plays into the group context. His intention is, “to so seamlessly integrate into the environment that the lines between soloist and band will dissolve.” He does acknowledge that there will be room for soloistic improvisations, but this will be secondary to a shared listening experience between performers and audience members.

Tignor notes the peculiarities of ensemble playing, “It’s bigger than you and all-consuming so you’re constantly grappling with this animal larger than you, struggling some and letting it lead you where it will some.  It’s a scene.”

Slow Six / Todd Reynolds
a collaborative performance

425 Lafayette Street NY, NY 10003
$15 – reservations strongly urged:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.