CD: SCOTT AMENDOLA TRIO 'LIFT'
very excited to announce the release of my new record Lift.
AND I'm very happy to announce that it's on my own label, SAZi records. Lift features Jeff
Parker on guitar, and John Shifflett
on bass, 8 new songs of mine, and some gorgeous artwork
by my friend and comrade Victor Zubeldia. I highly recommend checking
Jeff, John, and I will be playing some live
dates in October to support
the release. Check the shows page for
details. I also recorded a
podcast about Lift,
the songs, the process, etc. Head over to the Audio/Video page
and you'll be able to click and check it out! Many thanks to Art Granoff
for making this happen. I'm hoping to take the trio out and about as
much as possible so keep an eye out.
AMENDOLA AWARDED COMMISSION TO WRITE PIECE FOR THE OAKLAND EAST
The trio hits the road starting Saturday, October 23rd
in Los Angeles at the Blue Whale. We'll be on the west coast only for
now. Come out and celebrate with us. We hope to see you!
audiofile audition review
AMENDOLA AWARDED COMMISSION TO WRITE PIECE FOR THE OAKLAND
EAST BAY SYMPHONY
BAY SYMPHONY AWARDS COMMISSIONS TO FOUR EMINENT COMPOSERS IN “NEW
CALIFORNIA COMMISSIONING PROJECT
Original works by Scott Amendola, Benedikt Brydern, Rebeca Maule
and Narada Michael Walden to premiere in 2009-10 and 2010-11
seasons OAKLAND, Calif., February 17, 2009 – Michael Morgan,
Music Director of the Oakland East Bay Symphony (OEBS), announced
today the winners of the New Visions/New Vistas commissioning
project, made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.
Scott Amendola, Benedikt Brydern, Rebeca Maule—n and Narada
Michael Walden, all eminent composers with backgrounds in non-classical
genres including jazz, Afro-Cuban, soul, R&B and electronic
music, were selected by Morgan out of a total of 130 submissions.
for New Visions/New Vistas entries, which actively sought submissions
from artists throughout California working in any non-classical
genre ranging from jazz and hip-hop to world music and R&B,
was distributed through multiple public and industry channels
in October 2008 with the support of an advisory panel composed
of renowned composers, musicians and producers, including Orrin
Keepnews, Laurie Lewis, Luis Medina, Walter Hawkins, Jon Jang
and Zakir Hussain. Composers who are legal residents of California
and have not had any of their music publicly performed by a
professional symphony orchestra were eligible to enter samples
of their work along with a written description of their proposed
piece for OEBS.
quality of the submissions and the imagination in many of the
proposals made it difficult to choose only four composers,” said
Morgan. “There were at least ten composers I would commission
if I could. I hope in the future to work with some of those
not chosen today. The process was very enlightening.”
Amendola, Brydern, Mauleon and Walden will individually be paired
with composer mentors for an intensive, one-on-one creative process
focused on the practical aspects of writing for symphony orchestra,
including advice on score and parts preparation and orchestration.
The esteemed mentors are Elinor Armer, David Conte, Laurie San
Martin and Laurence Rosenthal. The four finished pieces will
be performed and recorded by the Symphony in subscription concerts
at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre in the 2009-10 and 2010-11
his 19-year-history with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Morgan
has possessed a continued passion for expanding classical repertoire
while enhancing the Symphony’s role in the community.
The music director has achieved this through innovative programming
that reaches across cultural boundaries with projects such
as a concerto for live DJ and orchestra that was performed
with DJ Spooky in 2004, as well as last year’s concert
celebrating the Persian New Year featuring Iranian composers
and performers. With the generous, ongoing support of The James
Irvine Foundation, OEBS continues to cultivate emerging talent
through its commissioning programs and to present informative,
free composers’ forums, seminars and workshops for the
Bay Area community.
FRISELL'S ALL HAT FILM MUSIC RECORD
I'm on a Bill
Frisell record! it's some music for a Canadian
Film called All
Scheinman, Greg Leisz, Viktor
Krauss, and yours truly. Some fun down home
music. Check out the review below.
problem with attempting to define Americana is that it is an
all-encompassing term culturally speaking. As far as music goes,
Americana runs the gamut from the Grateful Dead to Willie Nelson
and just about everything in between. Equally, the music of guitarist
Bill Frisell is difficult to describe without embarking on a
short essay, and perhaps because of his eclecticism his music
defines the essence of Americana as well as any and better than
This original score for Canadian film maker Leonard Farlinger's All
Hat sees Frisell accompanied by familiar associates—Jenny
Scheinman on violin, Greg Leisz on steel guitars and mandolin and
Viktor Krauss on bass, as well as Scott Amendola on drums and percussion,
and Mark Graham on harmonica. Scheinman, Leisz and Krauss have
long accompanied Frisell on his ongoing journey into the country,
bluegrass and folk which has characterized much of his music this
last decade; not for nothing does All Hat sound like a
proper group outing.
Frisell has always been able to mine the simplest tune and extract
unexpected riches; the main theme, for example, is visited four
times and yet sounds radically different each time, going from
the beautiful acoustic guitar version with shuffling drum beat
and Scheinman's train-rhythm violin, to a Johnny Cash-style chug-along
romp, to a most graceful Southern waltz.
There are thirty one pieces ranging from thirty seconds to four
minutes long, but there is a powerful continuity about this score.
Frisell's music is often pictorial, and these sixty minutes are
like an uninterrupted journey through changing landscapes, as sun
and moon slowly chase each other's tails. One can easily imagine
the wide plains and prairies, fields of wheat and small, nondescript
towns either side of endless, straight highway. It's not all pastoral
reverie however, and there are several interludes where Frisell's
dark guitar-distortion rumbles, brooding and foreboding, like storm-heavy
In many ways Frisell is ideally suited to cinema composition as
it is remarkable how much he can weave in one minute, seemingly
without breaking sweat; the tune “Hardy Race” may be
the best one-minute square-dance ever, with mandolin and slide
providing the melody while Krauss, Amendola and Scheinman lay down
a delightful, bobbing rhythm. On All Hat the music rocks
and grinds at times, burns slowly at others, and melts into the
sunset, accompanied by Frisell's loops and ringing single note
Producer Lee Townsend (as much a part of the Frisell posse as any
of the musicians) has, as ever, done a beautiful job with this
wonderful soundtrack, music which is outstanding in and of itself.
Without having seen Leonard Farlinger's film, it is surely safe
to say that if it is as satisfying as Frisell's music, then it
is a must-see. All hats off to Frisell. - Ian Patterson, All
More to report soon. Please keep coming
'round. New stuff will be popping up here often.