23.Artist/Ensemble narrative Composer, electronic musician, and pianist Chris Brown has been performing his electroacoustic music throughout California and the U.S. during the last 8 years. His compositions are characterized by a unique sound palette developed through his parallel work as an instrument inventor and builder. With the amplification of microsounds as a primary technique, Brown has brought into the realm of live performance sounds heard only before in tape and computer music studios. Since 1983 he has performed with a microcomputer controlled signal processing system that further extends the ranges of both his original instrumentation and of the traditional instruments. He performs both as a soloist, and with collaborators William Winant, percussionist and Larry Ochs, saxophonist in the ensemble ROOM. He has given lectures and workshops on technology and musical instrument design, and currently teaches Electronic Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute. His music has been featured at New Music America Festivals in San Francisco, Hartford, Los Angeles, and Houston.
Chris Brown began musical studies at age 6 and before leaving high school had been a scholarship piano student at the Chicago Musical College and the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik. He won the Young Artist Award in Santa Cruz in 1972 with subsequent performances with the Santa Cruz Symphony. He graduated with Honors in Music from UC/Santa Cruz in 1974, where he studied electronic music with Gordon Mumma. He toured California performing the piano music of early California composer Henry Cowell, before taking up instrument building in 1977. In 1983 he was commissioned by the Berkeley Symphony to compose and perform in ALTERNATING CURRENTS, for electroacoustic instruments and orchestra. In 1985 he received an M.F.A. from Mills College (winning a composition prize), where he studied computer music with David Rosenboom at the Center for Contemporary Music.
25. My management experience includes 1-1/2 years employment as Music Co-ordinator of the City of Palo Alto Arts Dept. (1975-6), where duties included booking performers, facilitating contracts, doing publicity, and supervising production. Since then I have been an active member and, during the last 5 years, chief administrator of Ubu, Incorporated, the fiscal agent for this application, and a producer of experimental music, theater, and dance in the SF Bay Area. While I have the experience necessary to carry out these functions, my primary interest is in my compositional and performance work, so I hope to pass these duties on to others as soon as my financial circumstances permit.
PROPOSAL 1. REPERTORY:
A. Solo Concert
Conjunction for J.K.P. (1983) by Chris Brown ( 7 minutes) for keyboard(on tape) and Chromatic Wing first performance July 1983 Rockefeller Chapel/Univ. of Chicago
His Master's Voice (1985-6) by Chris Brown (15 minutes) for amplified piano and computer controlled interactive electronics first performance November 1985 Roulette, New York City
Alternating Currents (excerpts) (1983) by Chris Brown (10 minutes) for electroacoustic instruments and synthesized orchestra(on tape) >>>intermission<<<
Post Mortem (1984) by Chris Brown (25 minutes) for amplified piano solo with computer sequenced electronics first performance July 1984 Advance Arts Series, New College Gallery, San Francisco
B. A Concert by ROOM all compositions with: Larry Ochs, saxophones William Winant, percussion Chris Brown, piano and computer controlled electronics
The Match by Steve Lacy, arranged by Larry Ochs (10 minutes) first performance by ROOM May 1984 Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Post Mortem (1984) by Chris Brown (25 minutes) first performance by ROOM May 1984 Santa Cruz
Iceberg (1985) by Chris Brown (15 minutes) for percussion and electronics first performance November 1985 Schoenberg Hall, USC, Los Angeles
His Master's Voice (1985-86) by Chris Brown (20 minutes) solos, duos, and trios with interactive electronics yet to be premiered by ROOM
Lobster Time (1986) by Larry Ochs (10 minutes) first performance March 1986 at Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland
7. REASONS FOR TOURING
During the past three years my performance opportunities have increased locally, as well as for individual performances out of state. Frequent local performances require developing new material, while out of state events have resulted in successful but isolated performances. So alot of time has been spent developing repertoire, and comparatively little time spent performing and polishing it. While the Bay Area has a dedicated audience for the new music that it has spawned, much of the rest of California doesn't get the chance to hear it. While the audience for electronic music is as yet limited, my music has a strong live performance element, which should project well to as yet unsophisticated audiences. I plan to focus in marketing on pockets of interest surrounding electronic and recording studios at educational institutions around the state, as well as at community cultural centers. My interest in touring is both to increase the audience for experimental new music and to develop my own and my ensemble's performance experience.
8. TOURING MARKETS 1987-88
I will approach the 87-88 season planning three short tours of different geographical areas. In general I will first approach educational institutions such as state and community colleges, whose music departments and recording studios could serve as a focus for contacting potential audience. Primary targets for tours are: 1) the South Bay Area around San Jose and the Silicon Valley, and including the Santa Cruz/Monterey area; 2) the Central Valley, including Fresno, Modesto, and Sacramento areas (my radio show on KPFA Ear on the Air is regularly heard via KFCF in Fresno, and I have some fans and contacts there, having done recording sessions at the NPR station there); 3) the Southern California coast, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, where opportunities outside of educational settings (such as galleries and cultural centers) could make a longer and more extensive tour possible. I will also target Sonoma and Mendocino counties, where some contacts have already been made.
9. PROJECTED 87-88 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
JAN 20-30 Solo appearances w/ Joseph Celli in Bay Area/various sponsors - new and returning sponsors
FEB - eastcoast tour including Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, Hartt School of Music, Experimental Intermedia, NYC, and others
APRIL - South Bay tour - new and returning venues (Kuumbwa, UCSC, etc) 25% fee support
JULY - Ubu, Inc (summer mini festival, self produced), local
SEPTEMBER - Central Valley tour, new venues 35% fee support
OCTOBER - Ubu, Inc. fall mini fest, self-produced
DECEMBER - Southern California tour, new and returning venues, 35% fee support
10. BOOKING TIMETABLE
Contacts and some bookings for the out of state tour should be completed by July this year. At this point I will begin working on contacts for the California tours, starting with the South Bay. My general timetable this year is to make contacts a year in advance and try to get contracts by 9 months in advance. In fact most of previous bookings have happened inside a shorter time frame, but in trying to advance my touring opportunities, I will try to lengthen this. I am not yet familiar with Booking Conferences, and I could very much use this type of help from the CAC. Should my touring plans be successful in the next two years, I will definitely be seeking a professional manager to take over these tasks.
Touring Guide Description -
Composer and pianist CHRIS BROWN has since 1978 been developing an ensemble of new instruments that provide his music with a unique and exciting new sound. His music combines the freedom and spontaneity of improvisation with the extended structures and sonorities of electronic music. Employing inexpensive materials collected from our contemporary industrial environment, he uses the amplification and electronic modification of microsounds in creating live performance instruments to produce sounds heard before only in tape and computer music studios. He performs solo on piano and his original instruments, or with his ensemble ROOM which includes the renowned percussionist William Winant and saxophonist Larry Ochs (of the ROVA quartet).