2018 Tilt Kids Festival: Billy Martin’s Stridulations For The Good Luck Feast

March 18th 2018, ISSUE hosts an interactive performance of the rhythmic game and composition Stridulations For The Good Luck Feast with Billy Martin, joined by TILT Brass and fellow musicians as a part of 2018’s Tilt Kids Festival, produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF). Stridulations, a study of musical phrasing, counterpoint and improvisation, is a suite of percussion compositions that functions as a collaborative game. The game is not performed to win or lose, but created by players whose primary challenge is collective improvisation.

As the final event of the 2018 Tilt Kids Festival, the event is a celebration of the week’s activities and is designed for children aged 5 through 10 years old. The event shares how rhythmic phrasing contributes to our musical vocabulary and our ability to listen, with musicians from TILT Brass also demonstrating how we apply tonality to these rhythmic patterns. Participants gain a heightened sense and purpose about making music, connecting with others and how to communicate using sound.

Instrumentation includes small bamboo sticks harvested from Martin’s bamboo grove in New Jersey, woodblocks, and recycled bottles as instruments. The event also includes performative demonstrations from Billy Martin’s “Whirlygig Dragons,” a percussion ensemble featuring Martin, Payton MacDonald, Misia Vessio, Kalun Leung, as well as TILT Brass performing a rendition of Stridulations, featuring Chris McIntyre (trombone, Director), Chris DiMeglio (trumpet, voice), Hugo Moreno (trumpet), and Jen Baker (trombone).

Among the most valuable undertakings in Billy Martin’s ongoing artistic exploration is teaching. “When I teach,” he explains, “I learn and discover methods to build my vocabulary and style, and I love to help others do the same.” His experiences as a teacher, student, and musician led him to create and direct Life on Drums, a cinematic exploration of percussion and the creative process with his childhood drum instructor, Allen Herman.

Entry is $25 for a child with an accompanying adult. Entry for additional children or adult participants is $10.

Billy Martin was born in New York City in 1963 to a Radio City Rockette and concert violinist. At age 17, he devoted himself to music and dove into Manhattan’s thriving, eclectic musical landscape. In the years to follow, he honed his craft everywhere from Broadway orchestra pits to Brazilian nightclubs and burgeoning underground performance spaces. From the roots of the downtown scene he emerged with Medeski Martin and Wood, bridging the harmonic complexity of jazz, the conversational fluency of free improvisation, and the groove and swagger of classic R&B and funk. A series of albums and high-profile collaborations with John Scofield, John Zorn, iggy Pop, Natalie Merchant, and others, brought the band international acclaim.Martin has relentlessly pursued diverse musical contexts, from free improvisation to chamber compositions to film scores. Much of his work is available via his Amulet Records label, which recently released the Road to Jajouka—a series of collaborations (produced by Martin) between the Master Musicians of Jajouka and such artists as Ornette Coleman, Flea, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Lee Ranaldo, Bill Laswell, Mickey Hart, MMW and more. Martin is also an accomplished filmmaker and visual artist, whose work has been exhibited in solo and group installations around the world including 2014’s Cartegena de indias Bienal in Colombia and the Drawing Sound series at The Drawing Center in NYC (2015). What began for Martin as tireless enthusiasm for music, percussion, and improvisation evolved into a wide ranging search for the roots of inspiration. Martin is currently associate director and has recently been elected President (for 2018) of the Creative Music Studio, a non-profit organization in New York founded by Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry.

Payton MacDonald (b. 1974, Idaho Falls, Idaho) is a composer, improviser, percussionist, singer, and educator. MacDonald was a founding member of new-music chamber orchestra superstars Alarm Will Sound and has also toured internationally as a solo marimbist and a member of various chamber ensembles including Galaxy Percussion, NJPE, Present Music, and Verederos. He has commissioned many works from today's leading composers, including Charles Wuorinen, Don Freund, Elliott Sharp, and many others. And many of the world's best ensembles have performed MacDonald's music, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, et al. MacDonald has performed in the world's best venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Barbican, and many more. MacDonald studied music at the University of Michigan (B.F.A.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M., D.M.A.). His composition teachers include Sydney Hodkinson, Robert Morris, Dave Rivello, Bright Sheng, and Augusta Read Thomas. His percussion teachers include John Beck and Michael Udow, and tabla with Bob Becker and Pandit Sharda Sahai. Further studies include Dhrupad vocal with the Gundecha Brothers. MacDonald has been to India many times, including for nine months as a Senior Fulbright-Nehru Fellow. The Los Angeles Times described MacDonald as an "...Iinventive, stylistically omnivorous composer and gifted performer..." MacDonald serves as a Full Professor of Music at William Paterson University and he is a Co-Artistic Director of SHASTRA, an organization the brings together the great music of India and the West.

Kalun Leung (Canada) is a New York-based trombonist, improviser, and a member of the award-winning Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, Little Suns, Eco-Music Big Band, and people.of.earth. He led the Salsa Montréal Collective and Trubači McGill, the latter which earned him the Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC) for his research in Serbia. In March 2017, Kalun recorded his first concept album at National Sawdust with the improv troupe So Wrong it’s Right, featuring the avant-garde trombonists David Taylor, David Whitwell, and Felix del Tredici. He is currently exploring the use of smart textiles in the performing arts as a Research Fellow at Tek-Tiles, the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator R&D lab at Pratt Institute. Kalun completed his Master of Music at McGill University, and his Bachelor in Business Administration at the Schulich School of Business. In 2017, He was awarded the Exemplary Service to the Community and State by the New York State Senate.

Born and raised in New York City, drummer and singer/songwriter Misia Vessio shines through the melting pot with her musicianship, ambitions and dreams. Having a severe stutter throughout her childhood, Misia took to the drums to speak her mind. A recent graduate of The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Misia is a touring musician who's anticipated debut EP will be released in Spring 2018.

Led by composer, trombonist, and concert producer Chris McIntyre, TILT Brass is a Brooklyn-based organization dedicated to creating new content and contexts for contemporary brass music by producing inventive concert programs, recording projects, and commissioning initiatives. TILT boldly positions itself as the vanguard presenter and advocate for new brass music in New York City. Founded in 2003 by McIntyre and Gregory Evans, TILT Brass’ various projects present the work of living composers with over 50 premiere performances to date. Its personnel includes many of the brightest stars from the local brass community in ensemble configurations ranging from solo and chamber groups to experimental brass orchestra. TILT can be heard on releases by the Tzadik, New World, Non-Site, and POTTR labels. www.tiltbrass.org

Chris McIntyre leads a varied career in music as a performer, composer, and curator/producer. He interprets and improvises on trombone and synthesizer and composes for TILT Brass (Co-Founder and Director), UllU, Ne(x)tworks, and choreographer Yoshiko Chuma. McIntyre is a member of Either/Or, has performed with ensembles including SEM, Talea, The Knights, Tri-Centric and Flexible Orchestras, and in composer-led projects of Zeena Parkins, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Fast Forward, Elliott Sharp, Daniel Goode, Nate Wooley, David Behrman, James Fei, and John King. He had the honor of performing with Merce Cunningham Dance Co. during its Legacy Tour in 2011 (Bard, Dartmouth, and Kennedy Center.) He has recorded for Tzadik, New World, POTTR, Mode, and Non-Site Records. Curatorial work includes projects at Issue Project Room, The Kitchen, Guggenheim Museum, and The Stone, and Artistic Director of the MATA Festival (2007-10). www.cmcintyre.com

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. www.fiaf.org

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org

Tilt Kids Festival invites kids and families to discover, play, imagine, think, and create, with performances and events that challenge the boundaries of art forms. From theater to dance parties, music concerts, innovative workshops, conversations, and visual art installations, Tilt is designed to stimulate and inspire the audiences of today and tomorrow. Tilt Kids Festival is co-curated by Rima Abdul-Malak, Cultural Attachée of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Lili Chopra, Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF); and Violaine Huisman, writer, translator and curator. www.tiltkidsfestival.org

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