Founded in San Francisco in 2011, Wild Rumpus is a contemporary chamber music ensemble that collaborates with emerging composers to realize, perform and record new work. We aim to challenge and delight audiences by revealing beauty in unexpected places and resonances that transcend boundaries of generation, geography, and genre.
Vestige, our first album, is an ambitious melding of the contemporary chamber and avant-garde rock worlds. On it, we present five pieces selected from the over 30 works we've commissioned to date, plus an unconventional arrangement of a Radiohead song by artistic director Dan VanHassel. The album is set to be officially released on Pinna Records in June 2019.
This album has been over three years in the making! Initial funding came from a Project Grant awarded us by New Music USA, which allowed us to complete all of the recording and begin the mixing process. This was done primarily at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley and 25th Street Recording in Oakland.
What remains now is to finish mixing and mastering the album, to design the packaging, and arrange the pressing, printing, and assembly of the finished product, as well as to properly license and promote the release. The packaging will feature a beautifully evocative monotype by artist Gloria Huet.
We need $5,000 to get all this done. The expenses break down roughly as follows:
To give a taste of what you'll be getting, below you can explore a playlist of un-mastered excerpts of the album recordings, followed by a description of each piece:
Joshua Carro’s Spectral Fields in Time (2013) for percussion, electric guitar, piano, bass clarinet, trombone, and contrabass “is part of a cycle of works which are a direct response to the experience of realizing the greater sense and possibilities of sound when not constricted by traditional constructs and or expectations. The piece was created by amplifying the lowest frequencies of a cymbal, and having the ensemble echo those pitches in a series of long phrases that gradually build to the excruciating climax."
Dan VanHassel says Incite! (2013) for electric guitar and piano “is inspired by my past as a heavy metal fan, and also by Balinese gamelan music, which I’ve studied a bit over the last few years. The two are connected in my mind, since they both tend to involve fast, aggressive rhythmic figures.”
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi originally appeared on Radiohead’s 2007 album In Rainbows. The song’s rich harmony, hypnotic polyrhythms, and seamless form lend themselves to adaptation for ensemble performance, inspiring Dan VanHassel’s arrangement (2014) for soprano, flute, clarinet, trombone, cello, contrabass, electric guitar, piano, and percussion.
Per Bloland’s Solis Overture (2014) for electric guitar, piano, violin, violoncello, percussion, and electronics is an overture for an opera based in part on the life and work of the obscure (possibly fictional) Norwegian author Pedr Solis. Unlike most overtures, its composition preceded that of the opera; it's almost a sketch for the larger work. It incorporates a traditional melody of the Sámi people (known outside Scandinavia as the Lapps).
In Reflect Reflect Respond Respond (2015) for two sopranos, flute, clarinet, trombone, percussion, piano, electric guitar, violin, cello, contrabass, and electronics, Jenny Olivia Johnson explores the experience of loss and related psychological states: sadness, obsession, and the compulsion to repeat traumatic experiences. Taking J.S. Bach's chorale settings of "Jesu, meine Freude" as its inspiration, the piece, with the electronic assistance of audio delay lines, propels the listener into an ecstatic state.
Jen Wang’s Adrogué (2015) for piccolo, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, tenor trombone, percussion, piano, electric guitar, soprano, violin, cello, contrabass, and electronics is named after a poem by Jorge Luis Borges, in which the memory of a childhood home haunts Borges as an old man. Jen says, “I loved the murky, dreamlike language and the fluidity of time and place in the poem, and I wanted to capture that ambiguity in this piece.”
Wild Rumpus was founded as an "experimental laboratory for new music,” allowing emerging composers to develop their ideas in collaboration with the musical performers they're writing for. These are some experiments that produced amazing results—we can't wait to share them with you.
Risks and challenges
Once funded, there's nothing standing in the way of our completing this project. The only risks are potential delays in mastering due to schedule availability, or in print or manufacturing turnaround times. As soon as we've collected enough funds to pay for it, we'll schedule the mastering session. Likewise, once we've got the funds for package design, we'll commence that, which will allow us to project the date for delivery to the manufacturer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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