June 17--Best known for playing bass in the avant garde jazz trio the Bad Plus, Minneapolis native Reid Anderson based his latest project on his love of electronics.
"On a very basic level, I'm attracted to those sounds," Anderson said during a phone interview last week. "I love the sound of an analog synthesizer. I'm also interested in making music that I couldn't really have imagined any other way. The computer opens up doors I wouldn't have seen otherwise."
Anderson will premiere his new work, "The Rough Mixes," as the season finale of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's experimental Liquid Music series. The full SPCO won't perform with Anderson, but he will be joined by several of its musicians as well as visual artist Cristina Guadalupe, who will run a video installation in tandem with the 65-minute piece.
Here's what else Brooklyn-based Anderson had to share about "The Rough Mixes":
ON THE BIRTH OF THE PIECE:
"(Liquid Music curator) Kate Nordstrum got in touch with me and we had a discussion about doing something. I've always been interested in electronic music, and trying to find a way to bring it into live performance with some kind of personal take on it. This is something I've never done before, to write music for strings -- specifically classical musicians -- and to incorporate electronics in some manner."
ON THE WRITING PROCESS:
"It's been a real journey because normally if I'm sitting down to write music, I have my established method. This
is completely new territory for me, trying a lot of different approaches and seeing what works. It's a fairly abstract thing. Once we all get in the room together, that's where the music is going to live and breathe."
ON DABBLING IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC WITH HIS MAIN BAND, THE BAD PLUS:
" 'Dabbling' is a fair description. On the last Bad Plus record, I did contribute (some electronics) to the production. It felt like a natural move for us. These sounds have been around for a few decades now, but how we incorporate them and perform music with them, that feels like it's still in the process of being born, really. We're at the point where the technology has developed and people can say, given all the tools, how am I going to choose to use them?"
ON THE FUTURE OF "THE ROUGH MIXES":
"Well, my hope is that the piece will have a life far beyond the premiere. But, as of right now, there are no further concerts scheduled. I've been putting all my focus and energy (into creating it). I'm thrilled it's happening. It's been a real labor of love."
Pop music critic Ross Raihala can be reached at 651-228-5553. Follow him at Twitter.com/RossRaihala.
What: The premiere of "The Rough Mixes," written by the Bad Plus' Reid Anderson
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday
Where: The Music Room at SPCO Center, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul
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