Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fast Forward Austin

On this fine Sunday I have two things Fast Forward Austin related. One past, one future, both totally awesome.

As the weekend wraps up my head is still spinning from an exhilarating show last Thursday at the Gerswhin Hotel's Contagious Sounds Series.  To bring you up to speed, this concert series is curated by the Bang on a Can Allstar's pianist Vicky Chow and this particular event was presented by Fast Forward Austin,  a collective in Austin, TX who debuted their first annual Fast Forward Austin Festival last spring to much critical acclaim.  Thursday's show saw myself--a quasi-Austin artist, thanks to my time living there and wonderful friendships that remain--paired with ATX saxophone quartet Bel Cuore, who brought the house down with a truly face-melting (memorized!) set featuring music by Jennifer Higdon and Nick Sibicky as well as FFA co-founders Robert Honstein and Steve Snowden.  In fact, you can watch their entire set here, and I think you should!

For my part, I was thrilled to represent the exploding Austin new music community in addition to serving as a sort of Central Texas new music ambassador, excited to share some hot new tracks (if you will) with an East Coast audience.  I picked pieces I had commissioned from an all star, all-Austin cast of composers including Graham Reynolds and the entire FFA crew, Steve, Robert, and Ian Dicke.  The only "non-Austin" piece was a duo for percussion, piano, and electronics by Daniel Wohl, but it fit the theme just fine since I was joined by Vicky who happens to be this year's Fast Forward Austin Festival headlining artist.  If you're curious, you can watch my set here.
[Click for JAMS]

Which brings us nicely to...
Fast Forward Austin: April 15, 2012
I won't go on and on about how great this will be.  For your convenience I will list the Reasons of Greatness in a handy, linked, bullet-point format.