Michael Jones is a percussionist, improviser, and researcher based in San Diego, California. His work specializes in experimental and avant garde music, with a particular interest in the concepts of beauty, natural listening, and community. He has performed in North America and Europe, holding residencies at the Banff Centre for New Music (Canada), The Darmstadt Courses for New Music (Germany), and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (Boston) among others. As a researcher he has had his work presented at the Nief Norf Research Summit (Tennessee). He regularly performs with the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, Palimpsest Ensemble, and Renga SD, and serves as principal timpanist with the La Jolla Symphony. He has also performed with The William Winant Percussion Group, Empyrean Ensemble, Bang on a Can, and the Callithumpian Consort. Upcoming projects include a recording of composer Kevin Good’s 70-minute glockenspiel solo Slow, silent, singing and the commissioning of a new vibraphone solo by composer Peter Garland. He holds Bachelors of Music from The Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut and is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Program: Ghost Music by Matt Sargent for solo percussion:

Matt Sargent’s Ghost Music is an hour-long work for resonant metals. It draws much of its structural and thematic inspiration from John Taggart’s poem, Slow Song for Mark Rothko. Taggart’s poetry is concerned with repetition and recursion, and the way repeated elements construct and reach towards what comes next.

Sargent’s musical elements act in a similar way to Taggart’s words and phrases. Much of the piece is made up of only handful of short musical phrases that are repeated and increasingly subverted by both interjections of other polyphonic lines, as well as silence. These relationships shift and change as the work’s processes develop, interrupted only by interludes on temple bowls that emulate Taggart’s speech-rhythm directly.

Ghost Music is often described as a “sanctuary in a suitcase”, as its primary concern is the consecration of a space using the most humble and minimal means possible. As the work unfolds it becomes a piece not about its duration or the stamina of its performer, but about the determination, intimacy, and hope that Taggart’s host embodies as he sings, as he gives, and as he takes into his house.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019, 8:00pm to 10:00pm
1750 Arch St.
Berkeley, CA
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