This is the uStream embed page for “Sudden Presentations!”, our instant spur-of-the-moment live stream show.
Welcome to the Online Lesson Page!
I have more than 35 years of hardcore real-world experience in this business we call Music, and I’m prepared to offer you either continual (weekly, monthly, every 3 weeks, or whatever works for you) or one-off lessons by video chat through Zoom, iChat, Skype or What’s App, covering any or all of the following topics:
- Piano Technique
- Jazz Harmony
- Studio Operations
- Synthesizer programming
- Ableton LIVE
- Music Technology
- Stage Rig Design/Consultation
I teach from my electronic music studio in Newburgh NY.
- Lessons are approx. 1 hour in length. FYI, I tend to go over. I get excited about this stuff.
- My usual price is $80 per hour. This is negotiable – if you’re really into it but are on a budget, I’ll be happy to work with you. The exchange of information is what’s important here.
- Payment is made through PayPal. Payment needs to be made before the start of the lesson, but I will NOT accept payment until the lesson is complete. That way, if something happens, or you decide this isn’t right for you and you need/want to stop (within the first 10 minutes), you haven’t lost anything.
- I am making my time available for you. If we have a set time and you need to cancel, please try to give me at least 24 hours notice.
Use the contact form below to get in touch. Tell me a little about yourself; include any questions you may have, what you’re looking to get out of these lessons etc. and what times might be good for you. (Don’t forget to tell me your timezone!)
Heres the E-Program for the March 18 2010 Musicians Concert. At the moment its not in order; Ill be fixing it over the course of the day.
1) “Driving Down South” 2) “I Can’t Seem To Find A New You” 3) “The Darkest Room”
– Harrison Roach, guitar vox; Cary Brown, Bass; Ian Carrol, drums; Neil Alexander, keys
– Dave Lewitt, drums
– Rebecca Harmony: Nintendo DS Lite; Neil Alexander: iPhone
“Children’s Album” (Sergei Arzoumanov)
– Oleg Arzoumanov, piano
“17”/Infinity” (Neil Alexander)
– Neil Alexander, Synths loops; Dave Lewitt, drums
David Nichols, piano (prerecorded).
“Improvisation On Cancion VI” (Federico Mompou)
– Stuart Isacoff, Piano
“Time Remembered” (Bill Evans)
– Stuart Isacoff, Piano; Neil Alexander, Synthesizer
2 Songs: 1) “Shot” 2) “Naysayer” (Scott Barkan Trio)
– Scott Barkan- Guitar; Nathan Allen- Bass; Ian Carrol – skins
Welcome to the official online home of Weird Wednesdays.
This is to let you all know – and we’re very sorry about this, really – that Weird Wednesday is now cancelled till further notice, or until such time as we find a new venue, re-invent the whole idea, or some such thing. Please stay tuned by signing up on Neil Alexander’s Mailing list here:
Weird Wednesdays is performance series of experimental music, that so far has happened at The Wherehouse Restaurant in Newburgh NY. The first and third Wednesday of the month your host Neil Alexander (that’s me) and a guest have been presenting cutting edge experimental music. We started November 4th ’09. There are still 2 more shows to post here, so stay tuned.
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Newer Audio will be hosted on Soundcloud and embedded here (older files will taken off Soundcloud but will still be available here); photos are hosted on Flickr and videos on Vimeo. This site will be updated after every show (when time allows). We’re also trying to set up a permanent web streaming situation. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, thanks for tuning in and checking us out. Here’s the latest:
Jan 20th: Rachel Evans (Violin. effects)
This was great fun, and a decidedly different direction. Rachel comes from the classical & neo classical world, including post modern minimulism, and avant garde and is an expert in all. Her approach to improvising is decidedly “non-jazz”, and I found it quite refreshing. 🙂 We have video for this one as well, but have yet to figure out an easy transfer system. I will get to it.
Audio Files (Hosted on Soundcloud, as usual):
Jan 6th: Greg Burrows (Drums, Percussion & Toys)
Greg’s a phenominal player/improviser. I first met him when we were both working at SUNY Purchase; he did an amazing with a completely improvisational group. I subsequentially used him on my CD “Alone At Last” (on the track “Dave T’s Lament“). Although we’ve stayed in touch, the opportunity to do something together had not materialized – until now. 🙂
Audio as promised:
And Video! hosted on Vimeo:
December 16th: Bob Meyer (Drums & Cymbals)
My longtime time friend-in-jazz, historian and drum collector Bob Meyer sat in with me on this edition. He’s tremendously sensitive and really listens. A fantastic night of music making.
December 2nd: Joe Pascarell (Buchala 200e Modular Synthesizers)
Joe and I share many common musical interests. We worked together for 10 years (he’s the guitarist and front man in The Machine) and we’ve dreamed about performing like this for years.
Some MORE audio: 🙂
Here are the pix (also on Flickr):
November 18th: GJ Tronic (aka Cookie Jarvis) (electronic drums; live loops; effects)
GJ and I have known eachother for quite a while, and while we’ve talked about doing something we’d never actually gotten round to it. It was pretty amazing. If the series continues he will certainly become a regular.
I’d also like to mention my very good friend Rob Smith, who owns both a Moog Voyager and an original Minimoog – and was kind enough to let me use ’em. I am truly grateful!
here’s a couple of pix from Nov 18th:
November 4th; Special guest Jesse Martin (guitar, effects)
Jesse & I go way back, to the early 1980’s when we would set up in someone’s house/apartment (his or mine), and play for hours & hours. Many of these sessions were documented on casette; but for some reason or other, we never actually performed in front of anyone. I’m proud to have him as my first guest.
Audio from November 4th:
NEIL ALEXANDER & NAIL PRESENT: A 400 YEAR MUSICAL JOURNEY
Neil Alexander, Keyboards – Nadav Snir-Zelniker, drums – Dan Asher, basses
With Special Guests ZACH BROCK (VIOLIN) and PREMIK RUSSEL TUBBS (SAX, FLUTE & EWI)
1) (At The) Water’s Edge (Neil Alexander) [NOTE: this song was NOT performed.]
2) 1609 – “The Hunt’s Up” (Thomas Ravenscroft)
3) 1709 – Medley: 1) Violin Sonata #1 (Gm) first movement; 2) Fugue #21 in Bb (from Well Tempered Clavier) (Johann Sebastian Bach)
4) 1809 – Piano Concerto #5, 2nd movement. (Beethoven) (arr. by N. Alexander)
5) 1909 – Birth of the Blues : Blues Walk (Clifford Brown)
Intermission: Unveiling of “Street Noise” by Clayton Buchanann
6) 1929 – Rockin in Rhythm (Duke Ellington); Body and Soul (Edward Heyman/ Robert Sour/ Frank Eyton/ Johnny Green)
7) 1949 – Medley: 1) I’m So Lonesome I could Cry (Hank Williams); 2) How High The Moon (Morgan Lewis/ Nancy Hamilton); 3) Ornithology (Charlie Parker/ Benny Harris)
8) 1969 – Tomorrow Never Knows (suite) (Lennon/McCartney); arr. By Alexander
9) 1989 – History Lesson – (Neil Alexander & TellaVizion)
10) 2009 – 1) Don’t Look Back 2)Everyman (Alexander)
Everyone loves a good story, right?
This all started back in the summer of 2008. That was when I began to hear about the “Hudson Champlain Quadracentennial Celebration” (from now on called the “Quad”) – the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage up the river that bears his name.
It was around this time that Betsy McKean, a very charming and wonderful person who works in the City of Newburgh records office contacted me about how NY State was promoting this event. There were going to be available several “Mini-Grants” for folks wanting to do an event connected with the Quad. Whether it’s a historical event, or an art show or almost anything – money was going to be available.
She gently (and quite correctly, as we shall see) insisted that I apply. I then had to come up with an “event” related to the Quad, and one that could be funded. (A concert! Of course!) It was then I got the idea for a sort of “400 Year Musical Journey” (although it wasn’t called yet). But Betsy and I discussed the possibilities, and she even helped me research a few things on the net. It was conceived as a way to treat NAIL as a a semi-classical ensemble, which has been one of my intentions from the start. (NAIL is registered as an Ensemble with Chamber Music America.): NAIL as a true 21st century group, doing festivals, clubs and concert halls.
As someone who grew up around the Hudson River, it was always a presence in my life. I live within site of it now; all I have to do is walk 20 feet to the corner and look down the hill. I had even already written a tune, called “(At The) Water’s Edge”, which is the feeling of joy I get from doing outdoor concerts near the river. Yay.
So the paperwork was submitted, the idea finalized and filed away, nearly forgotten. And then, the little miracle: Application Accepted! I guess this means I had work to do.
More thinking & researching… I wanted to do an outdoor concert at one of the oldest intersections in Newburgh, where the two first main streets crossed – Liberty & Broadway.
There are 2 empty lots on 2 of the 4 corners. But the ownership of these lots was in question, so I turned my attention elsewhere.
Meanwhile, I got an email from one of our many Art “organizers”. There are a lot of artist trying to make a dent in the apathy of this town, and one of those methods is “4 Citys/4 Saturdays”. The 4 citys are Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Kingston & Newburgh. In Newburgh it’s known as the “River Artwalk” (Newburgh has no discernable center of town – it was bulldozed in the 70’s.). Artist/Photographer Tom Knieser is one, and it was from him that I first heard of “River Day” (June 6th 09) and and open call to artists to come down and set up by the river. I contacted him, and he put in touch with – that’s right – Betsy McKean. A price was agreed upon, and NAIL would perform for around 2 hours that day. It was a great show!
Then as you well know, Life happens. Next thing I knew I was knee deep in “Vishnufest” with the Mahavishnu Project. So it wasn’t until the end of July that I began to work in earnest on the “400 Year Journey”. But all things are interconnected…
Having known violin luminary Zach Brock for about a year, through the MahaVishnu Project, I had been trying to figure out a way to get him onto a NAIL gig. Well, here I had the perfect situation. Violin would add tremendous sonic character and authenticity to what I was trying to accomplish. (Besides, we’re funded.) So Zach was hired. I next turned to my old friend Erik Lawrence, but scheduling conflicts made that impossible. So I contacted another member of the MP, someone who among his many, many credits had actually toured with McLaughlin- reed and woodwind master Premik Russel Tubbs.
With these two cats in addition to Nadav Zelniker and new bassist Dan Asher, I now had a stellar band. I then made final music choices, starting with music of Thomas Ravenscroft, a British composer from 1609. I worked the format out – it was to be 2 sets; the 1st set would go in 100 year intervals: 1609, 1709, 1809, 1909. After intermission, we would pick up the pace, as music evolved faster, and jump to 20 year intervals: 1929, 1949, 1969, 1989. We would end with 2 of my original pieces, representing 2009.
Now I had the group, and the program concept. I needed a location. And one of my favorite spots in Newburgh is the Newburgh Free Library. It’s a massively wonderful place, and I’m very good friends with a lot of the librarians, especially the wonderful Chuck Thomas (on twitter as @infocowboy – stop by and say hello.) I keep trying to get them to put a cot in the basement for me, so I can live there. BUT ANYWAY…
Because we are funded, the kind folks at the NFL were all too happy to allow us to perform at their location. The outside spot – in front of the Library – forms a natural Amphitheater and is a great place to play. And – if it rains, we’ll use their indoor presentation room. All bases covered.
Then the music began to really fall into place: Bach in 1709, Duke Ellington for 1929, The Beatles for 1969. 1809 was the year Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto was completed and premiered; this was one of the 1st pieces I fell in love with and learned at the piano so it was a shoe in. 1909 was chosen as “The Birth of the Blues”; 1949 finds us in Bebop territory, with a glance at early country music a la Hank Williams. I spent 2 weeks arranging the material and writing scores and parts, which I haven’t even quite finished as of this writing. I wanted to represent 1989 with Hip Hop, and one of my former students is a rapper and stepped up to the challenge.
But wait – here’ where it gets really interesting….
I got an email about 2 1/2 weeks ago (more? Less? Hazy) from Clayton Buchanan, one of the Newburgh Artists mentioned earlier. Apparently a certain painting of his won an award at a Kent, CT. art show. The reason I got the email was because the painting was of….me. ME? How could this happen? Well, remember “River Day”? Clayton was there, taking photos. He was moved enough to create this painting, of yours truly:
Then another extraordinary thing happened (that’s 2, if you’re keeping score at home): A friend, fan and supporter named Mark Delano (@mark_delano on twitter) bought the painting with the intention of semi-permanently lending it to the Newburgh Library. Naturally it was decided that the painting would be “unveiled” and presented to the Library during our show’s intermission. Mark’s also been a tremendous help with the press, writing press releases and contacting local print and news media. I can’t thank him enough.
So now we’re a little more than a week away from the show. The last piece fell into place with a Hip Hop piece about the history of Hip Hop written with rapper Tell-a-Vizion. I still have a few charts to finish and my own press to do (i.e. this post). I’m still working on bits of the sound system (we need monitor wedges, for example), but it’s just about all come together. All that remains is the show itself! And yes – we’re working on streaming it on the web at our NAIL ustream page. I just have to get my hands on a camera…!
So – that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. I’m enjoying the ride. It’s even possible that there will be money left over for me. I think that was part of the idea…
Love ya’s – take care of yourselves. Perhaps we’ll see you at the show. It’s not one to be missed IMHO.
From March 26th, 09:
In the interest of saving paper, I have decided to post the program for tonight’s show on the web in a format compatible (hopefully!) with most Cell Phones. If you’re reading this, then it’s working! Please Share this with you neighbors who might not have web access on their handsets.
Here is tonight’s program:
1) SOVA Eyal Sella Assaf Glizner, Piano Spencer Murphy, Bass Nadav Snir-Zelniker, percussion Alex Mackinnon, Drums
2) SPRING IS HERE Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Neil Alexander, synthesizers
3) RADIANT BEING Cary Brown Cary Brown, Piano Matt Garrison, Saxophone Spencer Murphy, Bass Dave Lewitt, Drums
4) SOLO IN 3 MOVEMENTS Dave Lewitt Dave Lewitt, Drumset
5) SHENANDOAH Traditional Neil Alexander & NAIL Neil Alexander, synthesizers/samples Nadav Snir-Zelniker, drums Spencer Murphy, Bass Dave Lewitt, Jeremy Kipp, hand drums Includes a vocal Sample of Pete Seeger DANCERS:
6) TIME ALONE Matt Garrison Cary Brown, Piano Matt Garrison, Saxophone
7) WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU George Harrison arranged by Neil Alexander & Dave Lewitt Dave Lewitt, Jermey Kip – hand drums Dave’s Students – hand drums With: Neil Alexander, Synthesizer Spencer Murphy, Bass Cary Brown, Piano
About The Performers:
Cary Brown took advantage of the many opportunities to learn jazz at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY while he was earning his classical piano performance degree there, as well as studying arranging and film scoring. He has toured the world with The Skatalites, The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, and The Sloan Wainwright Band. He is currently the Musicians’ Coordinator for the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and the Musical Director of the Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains. His new jazz piano trio release, The Cary Brown Trio is for sale on CD Baby.com and iTunes, and he is always thrilled to play for such wonderful dancers here at Purchase. ————— Assaf Glizner was born in Israel in 1984 and began studying piano at age 4. After leaving the army, Assaf left Israel to study Jazz at Purchase College, NY and is now finishing his second year. Assaf have been working in the dance conservatory as an accompanist for 2 years now. ———– Dave Lewitt has been playing classes here longer than anyone can remember. (Just when did you start working here, Dave?) He did graduate from SUNY Purchase in 1983 (?) (Details hazy). His sound has been described as “the drum department at your local music store being pushed down a flight of stairs”. In addition to playing classes, he teaches hand drumming, and has about 10,000 private students. He is also an avid (livid?) cyclist. ———– Primarily self-taught, Neil Alexander was performing, composing and arranging by age 14. In 2007 he released “Tugging At The Infinite”, his 4th CD as bandleader with “NAIL”. He works as both a player and programmer, and has composed more than 100 works for small ensembles. He has received grants from Meet The Composer and the NYS Council for the Arts; performed 20th Century works by Stravinsky, Cage, and others; taught Master Classes at high school and college level in modern music technologies; produced concerts in both small venues and large outdoor settings; and done sound design and music concrete (including assembling sound effect libraries and live tape manipulation). He has composed for independent films and/or been musical director for Modern Dance and Alternative Theater companies, and spent ten years touring with the notoriously successful Pink Floyd Tribute “The Machine”. In addition he occasionally performs solo. He and his wife Nita Rae own a private recording company, “Pdog Records” in upstate NY. http://www.nailmusic.com.
Being a professional ensemble means occasionally do shows of “programmed” material. Such is the case for our show on May 16th, part of the NCPL Sunday Afternoon Music Series. So for any show requiring a program, or short shows with a defined set list, I will post the program here as a sort of “e-program”. All (or most) of the info you’d find in a paper program, avaiable on your Handset. Multiple types of phones are supported. I’ve used this method quite a few times now, and it has been a hit. Try it out!
Current program: NCPL Sunday Afternoon Music Series: Neil Alexander & NAIL
When the show is over, we will move the info to the “Set List Archive” page, here:
This will work – and save a bunch of paper, too. 🙂
Here’s the painting that Clayton did of my performing down at the waterfront in Newburgh last month. This painting just won an award in the President’s Show of the Kent Art Association. More details to follow; but I thought you’d enjoy the image.
Finally – after a failed attempt to stream the gig and crashing iPhone apps (re: Audioboo!! You listenin’??), 2 days later I finally got one song up on Youtube. There will be more; I have 90 minutes of footage and will need to go through it all, but as soon as possible I will post more trax.
All in all, it was a tremendous experience – dare I say the musical “thrill of a lifetime”. I hope we get to do it again.
My best –