Archer Spade is commissioning three exciting new pieces from three of our favorite composers. Archer Spade is the duo of trombonist Dan Blacksberg and electric guitarist Nick Millevoi. We’ve been performing together for over a decade in many different contexts, and we started Archer Spade in order to have a group that draws upon our collective musical experience to broaden the repertoire of composed music for our instruments.
This project will give us the chance to commission composers to write music specifically for our duo. Since December 2010, we’ve mostly performed pieces we composed for ourselves, as well as several arrangements of pieces by other composers, but it’s always been our goal to play works composed specifically for us by our favorite composers. With this project, we have the opportunity to work directly with experienced composers who will use the model we’ve created with our own compositions to make new works that will challenge us as individual performers and as an ensemble. The new directions that these pieces push us in will also give us new ideas and techniques that we can bring to our own compositions.
Now we need your help! To make this happen we need to pay the commission fees to the composers. We also need to be able to meet with these composers to workshop these pieces so that we can tailor them to our specific sonic vocabularies and make sure they are truly a step up for us as an ensemble. Your donation will allow us to afford these commissions and do the best job we can to premiere these works.
We’ve chosen to work with Gene
Coleman, Dave Soldier, and Johnny DeBlase because we love their music, and because we have strong relationships with all three. We’d love to tell you a little about them:
Gene Coleman is a Philadelphia-based composer who really helped inspire us to start Archer Spade, and whose ability to integrate complex notation with improvisation in his own music has been a big influence on us. We’ve also performed a number of his works with his Ensemble N_JP.
Dave Soldier lives in New York City, and has been a huge inspiration for both of us since we first heard his Ice-9 Ballads. His eclectic output ranges from compositions for string quartet and orchestras, to arrangements for pop band, to producing hip-hop tracks with kids to founding the Thai Elephant Orchestra.
Johnny DeBlase is one of our closest friends and collaborators. He and Nick make up two-thirds of their band Many Arms and he’s been extremely supportive to Archer Spade. He is in the great prog-rock trio Zevious and lives in Queens, NY.
The outcomes of this project are to give each piece a proper premiere upon their completion and to eventually make a recording of all these works along with our own compositions. We already have a date to premiere Gene’s piece in April 2012 on a concert of works based on the ideas of Buckminster Fuller. We are currently working on the best "where and when" for both Johnny’s piece and the piece by Dave.
We’re turning to all of you to help us with this project because we want to fund these compositions in a way that gives this music a life that’s bigger than the relationship between musician and composer. This is the best way we can think of to support the new music and our elders and peers. We hope that you will join us in making this commissioning series a reality.
- (60 days)