BRIEF CANDLES 

 

"On the last weekend before the cancellations, before the venues shuttered and gathering in a room to experience live music emerged as a threat to public health, I went to a show at Adobe Books in the Mission District of San Francisco. Eight musicians set up on the floor, with mismatched chairs and benches bringing observers within inches of the performers. There was brass and guitar, percussion and strings, and it was intimate enough to hear fingers meet frets. Leading the winsome baroque pop ensemble was Matt Robidoux, a San Francisco composer and improviser steeped in the experimental music community orbiting Mills College. That night at Adobe they were playing material from Robidoux’s latest album, Brief Candles, which evokes the mix of pop and new music created by earlier Mills figures such as “Blue” Gene Tyranny."

 

—Sam Lefebvre, KQED

"The way Robidoux mixes his improv with actual strong structure gives Brief Candles a cherished ‘infinite number of plays’ status. His involvement with Sunburned Hand of the Man and the underground noise and improv scenes of Massachusetts may have something to do with this. Maybe he’s moving from this background into pure song writing and Brief Candles is the release that finds him midway on his journey. Either way I wish him luck. Anybody that can put a smile on this face at this time of year deserves some support.."

—Idwal Fischer

For three flutes and electric battery fans, viola da gamba and electronics. Performed as part of Shadowbox: Dirt and Copper with Laura Steenberge on February 1, 2020, Space 124 at Project Artaud, San Francisco, CA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonifying Differently Structured Possibilities, a multichannel audio performance using EMF sound emitted from the lights in Dana Hemenway’s sculptures as a starting point for processed improvisation. In collaboration with Sally Decker and Mitch Stahlmann, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA, October 5, 2019. 

Recorded April 2019 by Eclipse Quartet:

Sarah Thornblade, Sara Parkins,

Alma Lisa Fernandez, Maggie Parkins.

"Irish Collection (2017) and Irish Need Not Apply (2019)

are vulnerable and honest excavations...by mining Irish and

Irish-American cultural exports for source material—alternately

connecting himself to his heritage and distancing himself

from it—Robidoux traces the shaky line between pride and insularity,

oppressed and oppressor."

—Leah B. Levinson, Post Trash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

frog pond long gone is a site-specific realization of a text score of the same name, written in homage to the late Pauline Oliveros: “I was deeply impressed by the sounds from the frog pond outside the studio window at Mills.  I loved the accompaniment as I worked on my pieces. Though I never recorded the frogs I was of course influenced by their music. Since that time many other composers have also been influenced by the sounds from the pond.”  

 

The source material is a realization of this piece by a recorder ensemble, each member with push-lights, and the instructions “listen to / accompany the environment.  Press and depress the light, before and after sounding”. A video document revealed only the lights themselves, embodied in sound yet disembodied from the performers.  


The installation approaches the text score with multi-temporality: the central object of a Mills campus eyesore (the emptied pond) becomes a daily site of acknowledgement.

interpretation of a LaMonte Young event score on plastic recorders, Montreal QC, March 28, 2018

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