Upcoming Show: Phantom Orchid

It’s one month away from the big day, and it’s time to unveil the big news!

What news is that, you ask?

On Friday May 12th at 7:00pm Eastern Standard Time is the world premiere of my first full-length work, Phantom Orchid.

Phantom Orchid is a concept album which combines contemporary classical music and jazz to tell a story about the pursuit of happiness and the dangers that can arise along the way. It takes its name from the phantom orchid, an elusive plant that can be found growing on the dark floor of dense forests in the Pacific Northwest. This orchid is becoming increasingly hard to find as its natural habitat becomes more rare.

This concert partially fulfills the requirements for the Master of Music degree at New York University. It is free and open to the public. There will be a reception after the show.  Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the flyer.

Phantom Orchid is:

Patricia Cardona, flute and electronics
Gabe Terracciano, violin
Ammon Swinbank, flute and composition
Nial Radhitia Djuliarso, piano
Jonathan Scott Gardner, bass
Paul Shaw, drums
Blair Perry, clarinet

Friday May 12, 2017

Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Free and Open to the Public

Click on image to enlarge.

Artwork by Alex Pappas.

Upcoming Gig: the Chapel

Alright, here we are into September already.  Growing spiders lurk in trees next to solitary yellow leaves and, despite the lingering warm temperatures, there is a subtle bite in the air.  School has started (for those who are still stuck going!) and the Autumn Equinox is less than two weeks away.  And on September 27th, I will performing at The Chapel Performance Space with the wonderful Eric Barber.  Here is the text from the listing on http://www.waywardmusic.org/event/eric-barber/:

HUSH – music of the lower decibel persuasion


We’ll be creating some beautiful improvisations in the Chapel that will focus on the wide dynamic range from medium to quite quiet. Featuring Carmen Rothwell, bass; Mike Gebhart, percussion; Christian Pincock, trombone; Ammon Swinbank, flutes; and Eric Barber, saxophones.

Here is more about Eric Barber: http://www.ericbarbermusic.com/.  I will be very grateful to all those who are able to make it out to this event.  It will be the first time that I perform at The Chapel, and I look forward to it with eager anticipation.

Extended Horizons, 9.1.2014

For this improvisation I used a new fingering I learned that readily lends itself to some pretty cool multiphonic tremoli.  I enjoyed exploring this fingering in washes of sound and then making little melodies out of the fingering and similar ones.  The style of the tremolo-multiphonics is inspired by Neil Welch, from whom I was very fortunate to receive a lesson a couple of weeks ago.

Please enjoy 🙂


Extended Horizons, 8.16.2014

Here it is August already, and school is about to start.  Not that I will be going this year – instead, I am busy putting together my portfolio to apply for Grad School.  I am not sure what my Master’s will actually be in, but I do know that one way or another I will be studying composition, improvisation and the flute.  I could end up in Northern California, Southern California or even New York.  So stay tuned, there will be more about that process to come.  In the meantime, here is the first official installment of Extended Horizons.  For this improvisation, I used an unconventional fingering that produces several different multiphonics.  With this fingering, and similar ones, I created a kind of ‘bamboo’ melody which I then interspersed with tremolo sections in which I experimented with some of the multiple tones that can be produced by this fingering.  I recorded this improvisation on the top floor of Kerry Hall at Cornish College of the Arts, the same room in which Nellie Cornish slept when she still ran the school.  This isn’t the most ideal for practicing because it makes you sound so good, but it worked well for recording, because it made me sound pretty good!  So while the sun set over glittering blue-grey Seattle, I played this little number for you….


Clean Up: Extended Horizons

I have been looking over my work for the past month and have decided that it is time to take my improvisation project to the next level. One pattern I have noticed is the tendency to improvise for long stretches of time, often including multiple ‘pieces’ in one shot. While there is nothing wrong with that, it’s time to shift gears.  One of my long term goals is to learn to make coherent pieces when I improvise; free improvisation is not, and should never be confused with, idle noodling.  Another pattern I have noticed is how freely I can wander into wildly different material, riding whatever wave is coursing through my brain at the time.  Again, not a problem per se, but the more material I include at once, the harder it is to create those coherent pieces.  One last thing I picked up on – I often discover new sounds in the middle of improvising, and immediately forget what I did when it’s all over.

So to take all this to the next level, I am now setting two parameters for myself:

1) Each improvisation will be no longer than four minutes

2) Each improvisation will include the use of a handful of pre-determined sounds.  This way, the improvisation will hopefully be more focused and will explore the possibilities of the sounds and techniques in question without them going in one ear and out the other.

I will continue to post recordings once a week on Saturdays.  With each recording, I will include a description of my process and what inspired me on that particular day.  In doing this, I hope to grow as a musician, but also to create a piece of artwork (s) for you, my dear listeners.  Any feedback is welcome.  And in case you are wondering, the title of this project is ‘Extended Horizons’.  Thankyou for listening and please enjoy.


Sonic Exploration

Alright, finally here is another of my forays into solo flutelandia.  For this one, I began with a multiphonic in the first register.  The multiphonic is a major second apart.  I then explored the other possibilities of this fingering and others similar to it, finding some interesting timbres and intervals in the process.  It is amazing how much beauty can be found in the airy, imperfect spaces of the flute tone that we train so hard to smooth away.  In fact, at the moment I wonder why we strive so hard for that perfect tone, practicing and practicing for homogeneity in all registers instead of striving for greater knowledge and control of the flute’s sonic capabilities.  If we did this, I think we would have the freedom to create the sound that is right for any occasion whether it be a Bach Sonata or a an ethereal exploration of the spaces between conventional tones.

At any rate, this is my personal favorite recording so far.  I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I enjoyed playing it.


Beginning of a New Project

I have been doing a lot of solo improvisation at home lately.  Just by myself in my room – a luxury I haven’t had since last summer.  And this time, it comes with the strangeness of my new freedom.  I have been out of school before but this time, I have a degree.  I am working towards applying for grad school, but I also realize I don’t have to.  I should if I want a better “job” to pay off the debt I will be in until I hit retirement age – but I don’t have to.  I feel like I’m free-floating.  At any rate, I have been pumping out solo improvisations that use some of the new extended techniques I’ve learned as well as some I’ve know for a while.  I dive into the new stuff just to see what will happen; I experiment with familiar material to see where I can take it.  This is the first recording I have uploaded so far.  I began this improvisation with a long held note using an unconventional fingering.  I often use this technique to get me started: hold a tone and wait until I hear something before I play it.  The results are always surprising.  In this recording, what begins as hollow tones and delicate multiphonics becomes a wild exploration of a quote from a Robert Dick piece I learned a few years ago.  This quote takes me in a totally different direction than either the improvisation or Robert’s piece did, leaving me with a piece that sounds like a circus gone haywire. There will be more of this coming soon since I will be making a project out of recording my improvisations and documenting my process and the results.  I hope you enjoy this recording and the material to come.

And the Video

Also, here is the video of my recital. The sound quality is not as good as the Soundcloud version which I posted previously but hey, being able to watch it is kind of cool, right?

Recording Posted

I have just posted the Souncloud version of my senior recital, Medieval is a Two Way Choro, under SoundBits. I have also included it in this post. Thanks again to all who came and I hope to have more for you soon!