Friday, April 3, 2015

Vigil, In the Thrust . . . , and Windtopia


Filmmaker, performer and artist Jil Guyon

Filmmaker, performer and visual artist Jil Guyon's Vigil will be screened/presented as an installation April 23 at FAT Toronto (Art's Fashion Week). I created the electronic score for Vigil while in what I can only describe as a self-induced trance. The video, beautifully shot by Valerie Barnes, features Jil slowly crossing the Salt Flats of Utah dressed in a long flowing black dress and scarf. (Way to go, Jil!) Our previous collaboration, Widow, has screened at film and music festivals across the country, including the 2014 Dance on Camera film festival at Lincoln Center.


Chroeographer Malcolm Low

Choreographer Malcolm Low's multi-media work In the Thrust Towards the Future . . . I Want to Leave Something of Use will be a part of E-Moves 16 at New York's Harlem Stage April 10, 11, and 17. I contributed music and sound design to this work, which is inspired by the Great Migration, the "decades-long migration" of black citizens from the South to the northern and western cities of the U.S. In the Thrust . . . recently premiered in Atlanta at Tanz Farm, and I look forward to seeing it presented in a slightly different version at Harlem Stage. Malcolm has been using my music in very innovative and unusual ways.



Photo by Mark Chen

I've also just begun creating music and sound for an unfolding, multi-media project by photographer Mark Chen, who has created projections and video to accompany live performances by Houston's Trio Oriens. Mark's work is incredible, and it is exciting to be exploring the possibilities of his medium in relation to sound and music. The project, entitled Windtopia, explores the future of the environment of our planet, and what sacrifices society will (or will not) make when faced with the possibility of its own extinction. There's a lot more to it than that, but I'll leave it there for now!

Happy Passover and happy Easter.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

In the Thrust Towards the Future . . . I Want to Leave Something of Use at Tanz Farm, March 26-28


This week choreographer Malcolm Low (pictured below) will present his multi-media work In the Thrust Towards the Future . . . I Want to Leave Something of Use at Tanz Farm. I contributed original music and sound design for this piece, and wanted to share a special edit of some of the material from the score with you! Head over to Bandcamp to listen and download (fo' free) this special edit.

My score features contributions from Jacqui Sutton (vocals) and Lynn Wright (electric guitars). The person you hear speaking at the end of this special edit is James Baldwin, who is a source of inspiration for the work, along with author Isabel Wilkerson's book The Warmth of Other Suns, The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, which documents the migration of black citizens from the South to the Northern and Western parts of the U.S.

I am a big fan of Malcolm's dancing and artistic vision, and look forward to more collaboration with him in the future. If you're in Atlanta, I hope you can check out this performance. If you are in New York City, the piece will be presented again in a shorter version at Harlem Stage.

In the Thrust Towards the Future . . . I Want to Leave Something of Use
Choreography / Direction by Malcolm Low
Original music contributions by Chris Becker
March 26 - 28, 2015
Tanz Farm
1200 Foster Street NW, Atlanta GA

April 10, 11 and 17, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Harlem Stage Gatehouse
150 Convent Avenue, New York, NY

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Speakeasy

Speakeasy work in progress showing at Gina Gibney Dance Center from Malcolm Low on Vimeo.



This is an excerpt from choreographer Malcolm Low's work-in-progress "Speakeasy" with dancers Lukas Zieba and Mei Yamanaka. The music is a track titled "Shimmy Shimmy Ya Ya" from my CD Saints & Devils. Louis Romonos is on all of the drums and created the drum arrangement. Charlie Miller is on trumpet and flute. And Lynn Wright is on electric guitar. The track begins with the voice of my grandfather Foster talking about playing music at picnics during the Great Depression.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

February, March and April music, video and dance

Photo courtesy of Malcolm Low / Formal Structure

February is here, and I have several exciting collaborations scheduled for the months ahead across the country. Here's what's coming up!

Widow
Video / Direction by Jil Guyon, Score by Chris Becker
Thursday, February 12, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Capital University, Huntington Recital Hall
Columbus, OH
Part of the 2015 NOW MUSIC Festival
Dr. Rocky J. Reuter, Founder/Director
...

Trio Oriens Valentine's Concert . . . Love Journey
Saturday, February 14, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Morris Cultural Arts Center, Belin Chapel
7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX

"Two renowned singers, soprano Lina Huang and baritone Chia-Wei Lee, will join us for romantic song selections from Broadway, opera, and Chinese and Taiwanese folks songs arranged exclusively for the Trio Oriens by composers Chris Becker, Joe LoCascio, Robert Nelson, and Stephen Yip."

In the Thrust Towards the Future . . . I Want to Leave Something of Use
Choreography / Direction by Malcolm Low
Original music contributions by Chris Becker
March 26 - 28, 2015
Tanz Farm
1200 Foster Street NW, Atlanta GA

April 10, 11 and 17, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Harlem Stage Gatehouse
150 Convent Avenue, New York, NY





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Vigil

The New Year feels both exhilarating and sombre. 2014 was the same. Both wonderful and emotionally wrenching. This is a piece I sketched back in September that seems completely appropriate to share today. I may add something to it, I may not. More music is coming this year, and I'll be sharing that news and details soon. Peace. CB

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Composition for Dance

Me and the Thingamabloop in the Noiz Temple
I’ve been working hard on a score for choreographer Sasha Soreff for a dance entitled “Nerves.” The work is around 12 minutes, and will be danced by members of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program. (The Ailey School of Dance is the official school of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.) We’re working long distance, Sasha is in New York City, and I’m in Houston, TX.

Sasha and I have worked previously together on her evening-length work “The Other Shoe.” For this piece, which incorporates movement from an earlier work of hers entitled “The Dancer Who Wore Sneakers,” I'm composing the score using a combination of Ableton Live and Sibelius, working from rehearsal videos and notes from Sasha. The score features performances by cellist Olive Chen of Houston’s Trio Oriens and SPIKE the Percussionist on drums, hand percussion and one big noizy gong.

Details are below for those of you in New York City. This will be a great program of dance by some very talented young dancers.

Choreography performed by each of the four classes of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program
Ailey Citigroup Theater 
405 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:30pm
Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:30pm
Online Ticket Sales: 
Monday, November 10th at 12noon – Sunday, November 16th at 12 midnight

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tune in to Composer Talk: Drum Codes and More! Saturday, August 30, 2PM to 4PM CT, ktru.org


Tune in Saturday, August 30, 2PM to 4PM CT for "Composer Talk," with your hosts composer Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker. "Composer Talk" streams live at www.ktru.org

This time around we'll be playing tracks from percussionist Susie Ibarra's new album "Drum Codes," a powerful collection of music inspired by the coded drum and gong music of a Muslim matriarchal society in the Philippines called the Maguindanaon, music from trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack's new quintet album "Exploding Syndrome," music from Australian composer Jennifer Fowler, and composer Rebecca Oswald's "Aesop Fables."

Composer Talk is on Facebook! Give us a proverbial "like" and see what happens.

Just music and talk, you know, no big whoop.

"Composer Talk" streams LIVE at www.ktru.org and (if you have a HD radio receiver) on 90.1 HD-2.