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 Toward 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.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New song and video collaboration with Meganoke



So in the midst of finishing a book and raising funds to help finish that book, I am reminded that I am also a musician, and receive this post-birthday surprise from my friend singer, lyricist, artist and dancer Meganoke. The song is one of several collaborations we've done this year, and there's more to come. The song title refers to bass line by Quincy Jones that you hear throughout. The production reflects my never ending love for dub music. Meganoke's voice sits perfectly within this world, and her melodies perfectly compliment the grooves, tones and atmosphere.

Meganoke and I will be creating more madness in the future. In the meantime, check out her website for more sounds, writings and photos.

Quincy
Director/Editor: Stephanie Chavez
Producer: Woven Feet
Makeup: Jennifer Lynn Larsen
Music by Chris Becker and Meganoke;
Lyrics by Meganoke

Friday, August 1, 2014

Indiegogo campaign to help publish my book "Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz"

Saxophonist Alisha Pattillo: photo by Pin Lim


I am raising funds to pay a copy editor and graphic designer to complete my book:
Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz.
You can make a donation on the campaign's Indiegogo page.


After nearly three years of work, I am self-publishing my book Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz. Given the subject matter of the book and its potential to reach a large and diverse audience, including students, educators, musicians and jazz music fans, I want the copy to be thoroughly and professionally edited and the cover and interior to look stunning.

My Story

My book Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz, a nearly three-year labor of love, is nearly done. The book is exactly what the title says: a collection of interviews with 37 female jazz musicians of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and representing just about every style of jazz one can imagine. The interviewees include Eliane Elias, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jane Ira Bloom, Jane Monheit, Sharel Cassity, Terri Lyne Carrington, Diane Schuur, Helen Sung, Connie Crothers, Ellen Seeling, Jan Leder, Sherrie Maricle, Cheryl Bentyne, Mindi Abair and many, many others.

The book’s subject, the contributions of women to the art of jazz music, has resonated not only with the interviewees, but with a growing audience of fans of this project who welcome a more thoughtful and inclusive attitude toward women musicians in what is still widely perceived as a male-dominated art form.

Given the range and diversity of perspectives presented, I believe the book will appeal to a wide audience, including high school and college-aged music students, seasoned jazz musicians and educators, both casual and “serious” fans of creative music and persons interested in women’s issues and gender studies.

The interviews are presented in a straightforward Q and A format. The book also includes a 24-page introduction with notes, as well as a short profile of each interviewee.

What I Need

After a great deal of research and conversations with several fellow writers, I have decided to self-publish the book using amazon.com’s CreateSpace platform. This campaign is to raise funds to pay my copy editor and graphic designer. I have both a copy editor and graphic designer on board with the project and ready to go, but I need to be sure I can pay them both a fair rate for their services.

$5,125 will cover the cost of copy editing and graphic design, including designing the book’s cover, interior text, typesetting and art preparation.

Thank you for your support. I do not take it for granted.
 
To make a donation and see a complete list of the musicians interviewed in my book,
visit the campaign's page on Indiegogo.