by Josh Goo
This piece was written for Nebula Ensemble and was inspired by the restructuring they did starting in the Summer of 2018. It felt like after 4 years Nebula made it through its caterpillar phase and, as of the premiere of this piece on their fall 2018 concert, Chrysalis, it has reached its own chrysalis phase, and now we wait to see the butterfly that will emerge.
This piece features a lot of indeterminacy and leaves a lot of decisions up to the performers, as it is a text piece (there are no notes written for the performers, just text instructions). This will allow the performers to interact with the audience, and take the audience on a journey as they listen to the ways the sounds evolve and adapt through their metamorphosis. In the end, I hope the listener will be able to both see and hear the unique journey of each performer and consider the unique journey they are on.
Read more about our resident composer, Josh Goo.
by Stephen Bailey
Amanita is a genus of mushrooms found worldwide. Species of Amanita almost always grow symbiotically with one or more species of tree, wherein the tree and fungus share nutrients between each other. Virtually all of the different species are quite beautiful to look at, but their interaction with humans ranges from being deliciously edible (as in the case of A. fulva), to powerfully hallucinogenic (as in A. muscaria), to deadly poisonous (as in A. virosa). The genus is notoriously difficult to differentiate and it is believed that members of the Amanita genus account for 95% of deaths resulting from mushroom poisoning. Another deadly poisonous species of Amanita, A. bisporigera, made a startling appearance in suburban Colorado this past summer, news of which, along with several unidentified mushrooms appearing in my own yard, ultimately served as the impetus behind this piece.
This piece seeks to capture both the spirit of these mushrooms and the environment associated with them, in all their varieties, and the confusing mix of tempting fascination and anxious fear associated with finding one in the wild.
Read more about our resident composer, Stephen Bailey.
Recent Compositions Arranged for Nebula Ensemble
by The Lively Robot (Jasper George)
Nebula Ensemble feels different now. I feel different now. Lots of things have changed, personally, professionally, and, even, globally. We are a new Nebula, and I have become a new composer, one who composes a different kind of music. To present the new Nebula Ensemble, and to present the new ME, we have put together a live performance of three of my recent compositions.
SAVE THE DAY !!
“SAVE THE DAY !!” is music that I was commissioned to write for a video-game streamer on Twitch.tv. SweatyandSon is an awesome father-son streaming duo, and when they aren’t playing video games together, they are making digital art. I’m honored they asked me to write them a theme song, and the only challenge was figuring out how to compose Reggae Chiptune music. = ^))
Feu de joie
“Feu de joie” was composed during a stretch of ten weeks where I wrote, produced, and released one new song every week. It is not only my favorite from this period, but, in a way, it documents what my life is like, right now. I live in my mom’s basement, and I don’t have a lot of music tools/equipment. But, I have a keyboard, a big imagination, and a heckin’ dope 80’s drum pack, so I can still make some seriously d0pe music, even with my limited tools.
Although I am isolated in my mom’s basement in Fort Collins, I have met tons of really cool people online. theNJHLS is an artist that I met on Instagram, and she makes abstract digital art that always wows and delights me. She created visuals for “Feu de joie” and they are being premiered tonight. (For more about theNJHLS, see below.)
I Fell in Love on Mars
“i fell in love on mars” is another piece composed during my 10-week composition stretch. I wanted to write a pop song that incorporated violin, so I got Arlo Adams to record the violin part for the track. Tonight, he will be playing it live! = ) This song is accompanied with several pieces of digital art that I created during these 10 weeks. I made the album art for each week’s music release, and I want to share some of the images that didn’t end up as album art. Enjoy!! =)
by Sarah Perske
I like to describe Guardian as a creepy Irish take on the spirituality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The wistful lyrics – which seemed to write themselves as I composed this song – portray a ghost-like protagonist whose chief aim is the benevolent haunting of a loved one. In trying to understand the meaning behind my own poetry, I saw a striking parallel with some of the sentiments of St. Thérèse, who equated showing love to all human beings with showing love to “the lord of her heart,” and expressed a desire to haunt the world in just such a manner when she said “I will spend my heaven doing good upon the earth.” There is also in these ideas a hint of something I call “The St. Nicholas Complex,” that is, the well-intentioned if mildly subversive desire to sneak around doing good deeds. The connection to our “Chrysalis” themes of emergence and metamorphosis is in the song’s idea of transformation into a higher kind of being after death through the love we show others in life. May we all be visited by – and aspire to become – such benevolent ghosts.
Read more about our our resident composer, Sarah Perske.
Exquisite Corpse is a game that was invented by surrealists in the early 20th century, and resembles the present-day game “Mad Libs.” In Exquisite Corpse, a group of individuals work together to generate a whole creation (such as a drawing, a poem, or, in the present case, a piece of music), with each participant adding a part to the whole after only seeing a small portion of what the previous participant contributed. To compose the Exquisite Corpse piece you will hear tonight, each of the composers of Nebula Ensemble sent the final measure of their one-minute “movement” to the next composer in the sequence. The next composer then wrote their own one-minute “movement” using the previous participant’s final measure as their point of departure, and then sent their own final measure (and only their final measure) on to the next composer in the sequence, and so on, until each participant had contributed to the whole. We could not be more delighted with the resulting piece of music, and we hope you will have as much fun listening to it tonight as we have had composing and performing it!
by Catherine Flinchum
As a performer and listener, I find a closer connection to music through movement whether it’s nodding my head or tapping to the beat or just moving my body with the melodic tune. Hiccup-pated Groove originates from elements of movement and improvisation and serves as the common ground for the listener to enjoy. As the groove progresses, the simplicity of the tune gradually turns complex with contrasting remarks and unexpected interruptions that can quickly surprise a listeners comfort zone. Despite the bumpy roads and smooth-sailing songs that come about, the groove will always be there to help the listener sit back, chillax and enjoy the musical ride.
theNJHLS is a photographer and digital artist based in Vancouver, Canada. Her unique lens as a self taught artist means pulling inspiration from influences as wide ranging as the occult, marine biology and Art Nouveau.
Thematically whether through photo or digital manipulation she works by medium of hidden patterns, drawing them out through a combination of color, shapes, texture, and symbolism. While this exploration is a common theme in all of her work, each image also serves as a maze, revealing successive layers upon further viewing.
Having recently completed a collaboration revolving around animation, she has been working on adding dimensions of time and movement to her ever-growing repertoire as she moves forward to embrace the next challenge.
For general inquiries, collaboration, or insomnia-fueled introspection she can be reached at: email@example.com