Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bright Field – Music and Art at The Guggenheim with Luke DuBois, Ashley Bathgate and Vicky Chow. 6:30, Tuesday May 24th

Have you ever forsaken a deeply loved thing, only to return years later with a new found joy and celebration as you approach it? Twenty-two years ago, I gave my life to the commissioning and performing of what we call ‘new music’, eventually becoming a composer myself. Since then, with the exception of a little Stravinsky and Bartok, I haven’t played publicly a composition of those venerable ones who’ve gone on before us, not out of a disdain or dislike of that music, but out of a belief that the lifeblood of classical music exists not in the tradition, but rather in the creation of music in our time.

I’m thrilled to report that the music of Debussy and Kodaly have once again intersected my musical practice in a concert of duos with two of my favorite musicians, Bang on a Can All-Stars Ashley Bathgate and Vicky Chow. All three of us have been performing as Typical Music, a modular ensemble which expands and contracts with the base of a piano trio, often joined by fellow All-Star, composer and clarinetist, Evan Ziporyn.

Here’s the story: My video partner and artist Luke DuBois does these great lectures at the Guggenheim exploring the relationship between musical and visual art. The last one was Kandinsky. This one focuses on art during the period of 1910-1917 on May 24th at 6:30. The musical program and lecture accompanies The Great Upheaval exhibition in the rotunda.

Click here for more information and to reserve tickets


Bang on a Can Marathon in Philadelphia

To all my Philadelphia friends, come join us at the first ever Philadelphia Marathon at World Café Live. This promises to be a spectacle with tons of great music.

I’ll be playing Annie Gosfield‘s Lost Signals and Drifting Satellites for Solo Violin and ‘Tape’ during the 4-6 slot, and then joining the Bang on a Can All-Stars for our Kyaw-Kyaw Naing set later in the evening. Of course I’ll be there all day so come say hi!

All the details are here:

Friday night, April 9th, at Issue Project Room

I work so much with Luke DuBois and the live video portion of his arsenal, that it’s a real treat to play some of his music for a change. Here are some details about his new piece, ‘Moments of Inertia’:

R. Luke DuBois will present his piece, Moments of Inertia featuring Todd Reynolds on violin. The piece is an evening-length performance based on a teleological study of gesture in musical performance and how it relates to gesture in intimate social interaction. The work is written for solo violin with real-time computer accompaniment and video. Moments consists of twelve violin études — ranging from 3-5 minutes in length — each of which uses a different violin performance gesture as a control input for manipulating a short piece of high-speed film (300 frames-per-second) — of a person performing a social gesture. Taking its cue from principles in physics that determine an object’s resistance to change, the violinist’s gestures time-remap and scrub the video clip to explore the intricacies of the performed action.

Visit Issue Project Room’s Website to read more about this concert and Stephan Moore’s new piece to be premiered as well.

The Cinderella Principle – Robert Moses Kin and an extraordinary pairing with Kid Beyond

I’m out in San Francisco.  That, in itself, is enough, as I love this city.  However, add to that the wonderful collaboration that is going on here, and we have one very happy guy.

Last year I was approached to write a score for Robert Moses Kin, the dance company of choreographer/producer Robert Moses.  I was offered the opportunity to work with a musical collaborator as well, and we got to work.  Kid Beyond, a fellow looper and a fellow Ableton Artist, makes San Francisco his home, and as can happen in the collaborational world, our first rehearsal in December was also our first meeting.  I’ve been wanting to work with Kid Beyond for awhile, though he didn’t know it, and luckily for both of us, here we are, happily entrenched in making music together.

It has now all come together in The Cinderella Principle, Robert Moses’ stunning new work which explores the evolving family, and as many forms as he can find; same-sex adoptions, interracial families all share a collective space in this piece, which, in the end, is about the fundamental human desire to love and to grow love in the most profound terms.  Together with writings from renowned playwright, Anne Galjour, The Cinderella Principle is a series of smaller sections, almost moving tableaux which evoke everything from loneliness to hardened intent, to extreme joy.

The embedded track above is an unfinalized mix from one of my tunes from the show, built greatly from samples of Kid Beyond, and which will be performed live this weekend, on stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, here in San Francisco, February 25th-28th, 8pm.

Click here for tickets

And click here for all the details, including a broader description of The Cinderella Principle

Ableton Live introduction and performance by Todd Reynolds at MICA

An Introduction to Ableton Live, (one of my more favorite things to do, by the way) as part of my one day residency in Baltimore.   Click here for the complete details posted at

September 16, 2009
Noon to 1 pm

MICA, Falvey Hall
1300 Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21217
(410) 669-9200

Pamela Z and Todd Reynolds at Monkeytown with Luke DuBois

Alright, Folks.   Here’s a special one for ya.

Pamela and I have often performed on the same concerts, or same series, but never ever together.

On August 28th at Monkeytown, we share an evening along with my partner-in-crime, Luke DuBois working his video magic on those multiple screens.  I promise an evening to remember, and it will be my inaugural performance at this remarkable venue.  Please come join us!

Monkeytown serves food.  GOOD food.  This is  perfect date hang for dinner and/or dessert. Festivities begin at 9pm.

Working separately and together, Z and Reynolds/Dubois will surround you with moving images and a sonic frenzy of sampled concrète sounds, voice & processing, and violin & processing. Make reservations early because seating is limited

And here’s a facebook event page to whet your appetite as well.

Terry Riley and the 45th Anniversary of ‘In C’

Tonight, at Carnegie Hall, David Harrington and The Kronos Quartet have assembled a wonderful cast of characters to play and celebrate the 45th anniversary of Terry Riley’s landmark work, In C. Today, as I sit on my porch in the beauty of the Berkshires in northwestern Massachussetts, writing music toward an upcoming deadline and unable to get down to New York, I feel intense gratitude for Terry Riley’s spirit and work, and the impact both the man and the music have had on my own musical life and journey, and thought I’d put some sentiments down on paper. er… screen.

This is the eighth year that Bang on a Can will host a summer festival and educational institute up here at Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art, (MassMoCA), and Terry has been our artist-in-residence several times. The first time was several years ago, and it was there that I first met him in person. The Bang on a Can All-Stars had already been traveling with him for a time, and needless to say, I was excited to meet him after so many years of enjoying and following his music. I remember Evan Ziporyn saying to me, ” You’ll love him, Todd. It’s sort of like he’s the father of us all.”

I’ve endeavored for years to travel to India to study, to learn, but this man is the one who actually did it, who spent years studying with Pandit Pran Nath and living there at times, thereby soaking up that wonderful culture alongside LaMonte Young. Of course, during Terry’s first tenure at the Festival, he taught Raga class which was inspirational, but even more precious was time I got to spend with the man himself, whose being is imbued with a calm life force borne of spiritual connection and practice.

A few more links:
Cantaloupe Music, ‘In C’, Bang on a Can

New Sounds Live, Terry Riley and David Harrington.

Grand Valley State University, ‘In C’ YouTube trailer

In C has served as a ritual beginning for each of our Bang on a Can Institutes for many years, and our recording of it on Cantaloupe remains a favorite. This piece is the quintessential community work, open to an undefined number of players, an undefined instrumentation, with an undefined time length, and the players involved use the score to create an absolutely unique performance every time, with an arc as organic as is possible in music. Each summer, on the first day after faculty and fellows arrive, in a welcoming, bonding gathering around In C, I find myself playing everything from violin to marimba and walking around the room participating both as listener and player, always a rapturous experience which sets the tone for our three subsequent weeks of making music together.


Terry Riley, with his kind face and flowing beard does have that sort of guru visage, and I’ve learned much from simply talking, playing, and being around him, and I’m pleased to call him my friend. It is no secret that my own performance and composing life has been greatly influenced by the Minimalists and my work with them, with constant pulses and drones and interlocking rhythms being a cornerstone of how I hear and write music, and from In C, I take more than a few cues. As a ‘post-minimalist’, however, it’s not the ‘minimalism’ which so much interests me. It’s not the groundbreaking use of tight, finite, small amounts of musical material, but rather the organic connection to time and humanity that those structures tend to create for me, as is so evident in this seminal work – the heartbeat, as it were.

Deep behind this music is ancient history and tradition. African music, Indian classical music, folk music, the singing voice, tribal and community sentiment are all evident here, where individuality, often celebrated as the bedrock of American culture, is offered up as a contribution to a larger whole.

It is that conversation that we can have musically, the ‘chamber music’ of it all, which is dependent on a willingness to jump on and ride the bus together to a transcendent experience; that is what I celebrate. It is what I enjoy so heartily, and believe in so deeply. There is something so fundamentally truthful, authentic, and foundational about this piece which makes it the landmark work that it is. And Terry Riley, well, there are aspects of his practice that I will always seek to emulate. The gentle giving up of total control, the releasing of the score as birds into the sky, the celebration of each human being’s individual contribution.

Many of my most celebrated and dearest colleagues will be part of tonight’s event, as well as original performers of the first recordings and performances of the work. In addition, members of the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble from Michigan have been included. Later this year they will release a version of In C on Innova records, complete with a number of remixed versions, my own humbly included.

Ironically, In C was written in the year of my birth, 1964, and that reminds me that this will be my own 45th year on the planet. Here’s hoping that our lives become as rich as this piece is, with as many incarnations and instrumentations, more and more performances, and perhaps an offering someday which contributes as much to global community as Terry has. May this Carnegie/Kronos curatorial effort be only the first of many which celebrate the man, the music, and most importantly the central position that collective music-making takes in all of our global cultures.

In (C)elebration.

Todd Reynolds