A Blog Post by Bill Stevens, Fragile Beauty, vol. V, No. 2 - A Mid Year Review

The 2024 Event Series that I am referring to as The Experimental Period has begun with releases of my compositions on this website and on my social media and music sites. I will be releasing additional pieces in September and October that approach composition and playing using concepts based on the study of Paul Klee (Pedagogical Sketchbook, 1923), new film music to Chris Markers film Le Jetee featuring a narration by Brainard Carey, John Cage's Lecture on Nothing featuring Francis-Marie Uitti reciting the Lecture with improvisations by Steve Wylie on cello and Ken Lieberson on bassoon and original compositions by myself and Ken Lieberson and finally a political statement, something to think about as we approach the November election. As each work is released via audio and video formats, I will go into more detail on the compositional and performing process at that time. 

As I continue to deal with my diagnosis of Embouchure Dystonia, I am learning more and more how to work around my issues of playing and finding new ways of making it work to my benefit. As my playing evolves toward a more minimalist practice with lines in shorter phrases I find that I am moving in a more lyrical direction expanding on the use of silence while I have found myself in a number of exciting continuing and new playing situations.  

I continue to perform monthly with Sound House and the newest trio with Ken Lieberson on bassoon and Steve Wylie on cello as we have begun to pursue a series of Fluxus improvisatory compositions that I have developed and most recently with two new groups, Equilibrium led by my long time colleague and friend Rich Russo and another group, this one led by the guitarist Bob Hall. On a bi-monthly basis I continue to play with my long time quintet whenever our drummer Eric Peters finds himself in New York City from his Binghamton home, as well as a re-connection in a duo with my friend from our days at Fredonia State, guitarist Steve Anagnost. I feel extremely fortunate that all of these groups have reached out to me to play knowing that I may not be able to play from one minute to the next and yet, they continue to ask me to join in each month. 

I am looking forward to continuing to share this new music with you in 2024 and I am very appreciative that so many of you have been listening and commenting on this music, my process and themes, as well as the feedback you are giving on my compositions and arrangements. It's going to be an exciting second half to the year and as always, thanks for being the most important part of my music.