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travis weller
composer / performer
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December 15, 2012

Building the bells for Concerto Laguna

Filed under: instrument building,preparation,Uncategorized — travis @ 11:08 am

A long day of cutting metal with an angle grinder!

September 10, 2012

Edges of a Canyon

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 1:14 am

This past weekend, I was part of two music events. The first, was a five hour concert I helped organize celebrating 100 years since the birth of John Cage — probably the most influential composer of the 20th century. The second found me at the Long Center in the audience of a Sunday evening performance by the amazing Country Music hall-of-famer Glen Campbell. He is on his final world tour at the age of 76. I was the only one on my row who didn’t qualify for the senior discount at Furr’s Cafeteria.

Both sides of this spectrum can be found represented in an online playlist I was asked to compile by the UT Visual Arts Center. It released to the public today.

This is not a playlist of ironic detachment. I honestly love all this music. One half, I first heard when I was a kid; played over the car stereo on family vacations, grocery stores, dentist offices, and yes… elevators. Streaming from heavily automated middle-of-the-road FM radio stations all over the country, this is music nearly every American was exposed to. The other half, I painstakingly unearthed as a young adult in the stacks of fine arts libraries and obscure sections of small record stores. Demanding of your ears and difficult to commodify, this is music you rarely hear about. In a whiplash inducing alternation, one selection was chosen from each half, for every year over two decades. We begin in 1959, a the dawn of a very active decade for American Experimentalism; and end in 1979 when Billboard Magazine re-branded it’s “Easy Listening” chart as “Adult Contemporary” — soft rock was ascendant. Seemingly a million genre-miles apart, yet somehow, in a strange conversation with each other here. Despite the fact that several of the longer Avant Garde pieces are excerpts, this playlist is almost as long as “Lawrence of Arabia” and not for the impatient!

Glen Campbell & John Cage

June 4, 2012

Critics table nominations

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 1:00 am

Critics table nominations came out today. Nominated in three categories!

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Chamber Performance
Austin Pictures, Miró Quartet and Jorge Caballero, Austin Classical Guitar Society
Barber, Dvorak String Quartets/Elgar: Quintet for Piano and Stings, Miró Quartet with Anton Nel, Butler School of Music
Cage: Musicircus, Steve Parker, et al., Blanton Museum of Art
Glass: String Quartet No. 5/Puts: Credo, Miró Quartet, Austin Chamber Music Festival
The Return of Bach’s Herd of Harsichords, La Follia Austin Baroque
Willow-Spence, Travis Weller, et al, Fusebox Festival

Ensemble
Bel Cuore Quartet
Line Upon Line
Miró Quartet
New Music Co-op

Original Composition/Score
“For So Long It’s Not True,” Steven Snowden
“I apologize Julius, for judging you,” Brent Fariss
“Musa,” Ian Dicke
“My Parents’ Phone Number,” Ethan F. Greene
“Murmur,” Jacob Hamrick “Short Ride in a Used ‘98 Honda,” Eli Fieldsteel
“Shovelhead,” Steven Snowden
Willow-Spence, Travis Weller

June 3, 2012

Cage orchestra pieces

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 1:00 am

Had the opportunity to catch the US Premiere of three simultaneous John Cage orchestra pieces in Charleston SC.

December 28, 2011

Charles Underriner

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 12:50 am

Charles Underriner performing Pisaro at the Willow Street series.

March 20, 2011

Site scouting

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 12:21 am

Site scouting for OWNYC in upstate New York

February 28, 2011

The Luminiferous Aether in Paris

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 9:25 am

My friend Chris Immel’s film “The Luminiferous Aether,” for which I provided the score, is screening at The Centre Pompidou in France!

August 2, 2009

Bathtub marimba

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 6:48 am

Leanne & Miriam playing the “bathtub marimba” at Smoke Farm

April 4, 2009

Sondols!

Filed under: new music co-op,Uncategorized — travis @ 10:48 am

In 1969 Alvin Lucier wrote a piece called “Vespers.” Part of the inspiration of the piece came from a chance encounter with a product being marketed for the blind. The product was called the “Sondol” and is a small hand-held echo-location device. It sends a directional “click” (using a pulse wave oscillator). A person using the device can perceive things about the room they are in using the echo that bounces off objects in the room. For whatever reason, the product never caught on and almost no sondols exist today. Lucier, in writing the score, gives instructions on what to do if no sondols are available. NMC, never settling for the easy way out, decided to design and build a close approximation of the sondol for our upcoming performance on April 11th.

Building…

Bill Meadows, Bill Bridges, Josh Ronsen, Holland Hopson (advice from afar) and myself all contributed to the effort. It took many hours of design refinement, but we ended up with a set of very effective instruments to realize the piece.

Finished set of 6 sondols:

March 15, 2009

The Luminiferous Aether

Filed under: Uncategorized — travis @ 10:47 am

Work is officially complete on the multi-year soundtrack project I worked on with filmmaker and friend Chris Immel. His two hour long piece features both original and placed music by me. The film will likely screen in New York sometime this summer. I have to say I’m very happy with it and, as with all long projects, its good to have it in the can.

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