Tuesday, January 7, 2014


The design and construction of the giant 10-foot long Bosch Hurdy-Gurdy was funded by a New Works grant from the Rhode Island Foundation in 2002. It is based on an image from a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, "The Garden of Earthly Delights."
19 JANUARY; RHODE ISLAND, USA: via Alec K. Redfearn :: Sandywoods Center for the Arts's event - January 19th I am going to be performing some of my compositions as well some of Steve Jobe's and Chris Turner's compositions with the expanded Jobe/Redfearn Chamber Ensemble. If that doesn't motivate you to get the hell off your couch and drive halfway across the state, we will be sweetening the deal with giant HURDY-GURDYS! It's going to be killer.

7 pm, doors open 6:30 pm
BYOB & BYOF (food)
$10 in advance and at the door

An evening of extraordinary music, featuring two acclaimed innovative composers, a host of talented musicians, and a wild assortment of "big instruments," including the amazing Bosch Hurdy-Gurdy, and many smaller instruments as well.

The hurdy-gurdy is a medieval stringed instrument played by turning a rosined wheel with a crank and depressing keys connected to tangents on the strings. The design and construction of the giant 10-foot long Bosch Hurdy-Gurdy was funded by a New Works grant from the Rhode Island Foundation in 2002. It is based on an image from a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, "The Garden of Earthly Delights." With a full range of sounds in the bass and contrabass range, the instrument has been integral to Steve Jobe's work since its completion in 2006.

STEVE JOBE is a "composer, instrument builder, avant-garde cabaret master and all-purpose madman." (Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal). His compositions are a wild blend of folk music sounds, compelling rhythms, and inventive tone color combinations. With pieces ranging from fiddle tunes to a string quartet, a couple of concertos and an opera, he is at once traditional in his emphasis on melody, but also unconventional in his tone color inquiries. If he doesn't have the instrument for the sound he hears, he designs it. Steve began composing in 1987 when he was commissioned by the Community College of Rhode Island to compose the lyrics and music for an original musical, "Walking on Air." A few years later he wrote the lyrics and music to an opera, "Joan of Arc" (then called Jeanne d'Arc), which premiered in Providence in 1993. With the help of his friends and colleagues, a concert version of the work was performed at Bell Street Chapel with a twenty-piece chamber ensemble including glass bells, hurdy-gurdy, accordion, and harmonica in support of a cast of a dozen or more.

In 1994, Steve began to explore the possibilities of chamber music, composing and arranging a wide variety of small ensemble pieces for theatre projects at the Rhode Island School of Design and for two productions of the Pan-Twilight Circus. In 2007, Steve was commissioned by the First Works Festival in Providence to compose Music for Three Hurdy-Gurdies. A substantial work, scored for chamber ensemble with vocalists, it featured all three of the hurdy-gurdies that he plays or has developed, two of them large-scale, one-of-a-kind instruments. Music for Three Hurdy-Gurdies had its premier in October 2007.

ALEC K. REDFEARN is a composer, accordionist, songwriter, improviser, videographer/video editor, audio engineer and performance artist. In 2005 he was awarded the MacColl Johnson Fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation. He has developed a unique style of playing the accordion, introducing elements commonly associated with the guitar such as distortion, drone, and noise. Alec grew up listening to classic rock, progressive rock, hardcore punk, and metal. He moved to Providence in the late 80's and became involved in the AS220 Arts and Performance Collective. At AS220, he became immersed in the worlds of dada and fluxus performance art as well as free improvised music. In 1990 he bought an accordion on a whim and quickly became obsessed with learning how to play it. He listened to gypsy music in all its global variations as well as Turkish and Arabic music, discovering their intersections with Western sounds.

Around this time he founded his first compositional project, Space Heater, an absurdist "miniature industrial" band. Space Heater eventually evolved into the Amoebic Ensemble. Redfearn composed the bulk of the music, a mix of classical, rock, and folk influenced by Weimar Republic composers, traditional European folk music, free jazz and no wave. When the Amoebic Ensemble dissolved, he founded Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores, combining the influences shared by Amoebic (folk, cabaret, jazz) with a melancholy atmosphere invoked by Redfearn's bleak lyrics and songs based on country and rock music. This genre-bending ensemble of unorthodox instrumentation performs music that spans old-time Americana, Appalachian, folk and Eastern European music.


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