[Below are select compositions listed in reverse chronological order. Click on the links to find audio or video documentation, or scores or text where indicated. Most of them represent a highly collaborative process with the people involved]

2018

Two Europeans

Written and recorded during a very short period of time in January when my friend Billie Howard gave me access to the High Concept Labs space (for about a week no one was using it). I was fascinated with the reverb in the space. I tuned my bass to an open D major chord (D-A-D-F#) and came up with this. As far as one can talk about a difference between improvisation and composition, this is not an imporivsation. This was written for Gerard Grisey and Cornelius Cardew. Reflecting on my access to the resources of that nice space, the original title of this piece was going to be Someday We Will All Be Free to Fuck Around. While I disagree with Cardew's political conclusions reading Stockhausen Serves Imperialism was definitely an influence. On the other hand, Grisey's music is just dope. A connection between this and some of his pieces should be obvious.

Selling Soul

Technically speaking this is a head written over a Bb Blues form based on the major 7ths that arise from each dominant chord's diminished scale. For example the possibilities over a Bb7 chord would be B & A#, D & C#, F & E, and Ab & G. Culturally and politically speaking, I think it's ironic how black folks have generally existed at the bottom of America's socioeconomic strata since its inception, but in modern times black musical traditions have constituted the main mediums in which ideology is disseminated. Commercialization changes the nature of the music to reflect the interests of the ruling class. This was written for the AACM.

Sound Mass [score]

A text based score presented as  a zine  that briefly explores the philosophical fallacy of individualism, how it shows up in the musical world, and acts as an exercise for a collective of people [with any degree of musical training] to meditate as a collective unit, and/or to facilitate a meditative experience for an audience.

Sound Mass [3.1]

The third presentation of Sound Mass with an all strings ensemble. Presented at Elastic Arts as part of their Thursday night improvised music series with: Peter Maunu [Vln], Billie Howard [vln], Wilson Tanner Smith [cel], Jakob Heinemann [dbl bs], Anton Hatwich [dbl bs], & Eli Namay [dbl bs].

Sound Mass [3.2]

The same as version 3.1, but with the additional instructions to play continual lines at a loud dynamic.

Sound Mass [2]

The second presentation of Sound Mass with an all non-pitched percussion ensemble. Presented at Comfort Station along with Katherine Young's Spring 2018 SAIC Improvisation Class with: Ben Baker Billington, Matt Caroll, Bill Harris, Lia Kohl, Eli Namay, & Phil Sudderberg.

Sound Mass [1]

The first presentation of Sound Mass with a mixed ensemble. Presented at Cafe Mustache as a part of the Ratchet Series with: Carol Genetti [v] Norman Long [elec], Chris Kimmons [elec], Zach Good [clr], Emily Beisel [clr], Angel Bat Dawid [clr], Xris Esp [tnr sx], Gerrit Hatcher [tnr sx], Josh Berman [crnt], Nick Meryhew [tbn], Peter Maunu [gtr & vln], Macie Stewart [vln], Lia Kohl [cel], Ryan Packard [perc & elec], Anton Hatwich [dbl bs], & Eli Namay [dbl bs]. There was interesting tension in this performance that I could not have planned. It made me feel very vulnerable in the moment, but sparked a lot of good conversation. Ask me about it if you want to. 

2017

The Only Authentic Expression of Self is Gastrointestinal [writing]

I eat, drink, burp and explore my environment... but there's more to it than all that (click on the link to see my political and cultural orientation). These sounds are captured and manipulated electronically. Written for my ghiddie (grand father) George Risk and the comedian Jerry Lewis.

The Only Authentic Expression of Self is Gastrointestinal 2

The Second version of TOAEoSiG documented in my apartment with Alex Grimes and Chris Kimmons. Grimes is shown manipulating my ampified burps with Rodrigo Constanzo's Max patch called Cut GloveChris Kimmons wrote a randomized ampitude and pitch shift Max patch that interfaced with the Cut Glove. The second version was performed at the comedy show Helltrap Nightmare. 

The Only Authentic Expression of Self is Gastrointestinal 1

In this version electronic manipulation was done in post production with the programs SPEAR and Sonar 8.5 (a DAW). Filmed by Daniela Amortegui.

Salinity

A collaborative work between Alex Grimes [Cut Glove], A.J. McClenon [spoken word and electronics], and Eli Namay [piano] centered around social themes as framed in McClenon's personal narrative driven poetry.

Pedestal

A collaborative work between Alex Grimes [Cut Glove], Jon Ascolese, Burt, and Eli Namay. Burt Built a Pedestal on which I did a cardio workout for 3 hours in the middle of an art show at a very fancy house in Hyde Park. My breathing was amplified and manipulated by Alex through the Cut Glove. People became concerned towards the end of the show. This is a video documentation that was slowed down and coupled with the recording that came straight from the Cut Glove. Skip around to see different angles on the performance, and to see what the vibe of the space was like. 

2016

Beisel/Namay Composition 2

I collaborated with my good friend and clarinet player Emily Beisel on this piece. After about a year of playing together we became fascinated with the various compound sounds we could make between the double bass and bass clarinet. We wanted to write something that coupled this fascination with that of the pulse in popular music (death metal in particular). How far can you push a pulse until it is not a pulse? Recorded at the Experimental Sound Studio with Emily Beisel [bass clarinet], Eli Namay [double bass] & Tyler Berg [drum kit]. 

Smile

Written in collaboration with Alex Grimes, Daniela Amortegui, and Ruby Pinto. Grimes made a video score for me to follow that indicates positioning with the instrument. It becomes increasingly difficult to follow. At the end Pinto starts yelling at me. She approaches me from the audience first yelling "Hey" over and over again. She slowly starts to yell more frequently approaching me and urging me to smile. The piece is about street harassment. 

2015

Fire In the Raucous Wire

Written for Homeroom Chicago's 2015 10x10. The event pairs visual artists with musicians to produce works that integrate the two mediums. This piece was written in collaboration with Uriel Corea. My music reminded him of an aggressive bug, which can be seen depicted in the art pestering a depiction of Corea. Recorded at Elastic Arts with Josh Berman [cornet], Keefe Jackson [tnr sx], Ryan Packard [vib], Eli Namay [dbl bs], Anton Hatwich [dbl bs], & Phil Sudderberg [kit].

Composition 6

How deconstructed can a groove be while still being a groove? This short through composed piece asks this question. Recorded at Constellation with Spencer Jenich [prophet synth], Eli Namay [electric bass], & Phil Sudderberg [drum kit].

2013 and earlier

Jiggle

Things continually layered on top of a 15 beat rhythmic cycle. Recorded at Jackalope Coffee and Tea House with Sam Trump Harris [tpt], Landon LeMoine [alt sx], Danny Andrade [tnr sx], Jeb Bishop [tbn], Chris Kimmons [gtr], Spencer Jenich [keys], Eli Namay [elec bs], & Matt Roberts [kit].

27

Two long rhythmic cycles that I thought were dope. Recorded in a dirty practice space with Danny Andrade [tnr sx], Chris Kimmons [gtr], Spencer Jenich [keys], Eli Namay [dbl bs], & Matt Roberts [kit].

Spectral Study

A study I wrote for my senior recitle that combined the process Gerard Grisey uses on his piece Partials with notation taken from Anthony Braxton's Composition Notes used to guide improvisation through and inbetween the thick chords. Recorded at Jackalope Coffee and Tea House with Sam Trump Harris [tpt], Landon LeMoine [alt sx], Danny Andrade [tnr sx], Jeb Bishop [tbn], Dan Gillespie [vln], Evan Collins [banjo], Chris Kimmons [gtr], Spencer Jenich [organ], Eli Namay [dbl bs], & Matt Roberts [kit].