Anti-Social Music

Anti-Social Music, Inc., is a non-profit collective of composers and performers created for the purpose of presenting new music by emerging, primarily New York-based musicians. They formed in 2000 and somehow I weasled my way into their ranks in 2006. I’m pretty much not leaving until they kick me out.

The rest of ASM is far more experimental than I am, and they’re far more skilled as musicians. I’ve been fortunate enough to have them perform a few pieces of mine, and they were lazy/kind enough to put one of mine on a record.

ASM is an interesting part of my musical life, because it’s through ASM that I’ve learned to focus my writing and take more chances. Sometimes, it’s about having faith in your own apathy, and sometimes it’s about pushing yourself in uncomfortable directions. Sometimes that’s probably due to peer pressure, as it can be intimidating being part of such a stellar group.

Anti-Social Music + Gena Rowlands Band: The Nitrate Hymnal (2005)

ASM + GRB: The Nitrate Hymnal cover

My first involvement with ASM was prior to 2006. In 2005, ASM did a record of re-orchestrations of music from The Nitrate Hymnal, and I was grandfathered into that recording because of my involvement with the original work. We set the ensemble, divvied up the pieces to composers/performers, and reconvened for a three-day studio blitzkrieg. I had it easy, only playing piano (the string players had much more work to do).

Originally, I was just going to arrange the lost-on-the-opera-cutting-room-floor plot device, “Bloodsong”. However, late in the pre-recording work, Pat wasn’t able to take on “The End” in addition to what he was already doing, so I did it. (Thankfully, Pat said “I was going to do a string octet,” so I was able to start with a new idea and approach just based on that.) I also added audio to the pre-recorded “Dear Posterity”, similar to what I added live. It’s a subtle touch the audio needed in the live performance, but I thought it added enough to warrant inclusion on the record.

Bob also allowed me to help on the packaging artwork, which I think came out beautifully.

You can stream or purchase the album on bandcamp.

is the Future Of Everything (2011)

ASM is the future of everything cover

A few years into working with ASM—whatever that exactly means, I’m not entirely sure yet—I was finally comfortable enough to take some polytonal chances. There aren’t a lot of pieces I’ve written that fit ASM’s aesthetic, but they allowed my “correction (featuring J. Wriggle)” to be included on their 2011 release.

I managed to successfully pull off piano duties on Wriggle’s “Scooter’s Rag” and air organ on Hess’ “Peccata Mundi”, both of which are much trickier than they sound.

You can stream or purchase this album on bandcamp.

Pieces related to Anti-Social Music