Gordon Beeferman’s setting of Jane Barnes’s dark, sorrowful, mysterious, erotic, manic poems in search of the elusive “in-between” for voice and piano, with the extraordinary mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin. Composed in 2009-10 and released in the fall of 2020.
for soprano, violin, clarinet, piano, 12 min. Written for the Washington Square Chamber Music Society. Texts: anti-fascist slogans and chants in Spanish, Greek, and Yiddish, plus speeches, interviews, and other writings by Crimethinc, Marek Edelman, Robert F. Williams, Clara Zetkin, and others. Premiere: March 27, 2020, Washington Square Chamber Music Society at Tenri Cultural Center, New York City
Dafna Naphtali (live electronic processing, voice) and Gordon Beeferman (piano)
Jazz Habitats series, New York, NY, March 31, 2019
Talea Ensemble performs “Rites of Summer (East Coast Version), April 16, 2015
Chris Cochrane (guitar), Gordon Beeferman (organ), Kevin Shea (drums)
Live at H0l0, August 24, 2017
Tunnel Visions (2015) commissioned by Peter Pohly for Stephanie Griffin and the 2015 Momenta Festival. Performed by Stephanie Griffin (viola) and Gordon Beeferman (piano).
ALPHAWHORE, the trio of Chris Cochrane (guitar), Kevin Shea (drums) and Gordon Beeferman (organ), performs fiery, sexy, often brutal, and always compelling improvised music, which they have collectively developed out of their experiences in avant-garde jazz, rock, noise, new-music, and other scenes. This is their first album, a 30-minute EP recorded in the summer of 2016, available exclusively on Bandcamp.
Gordon Beeferman, on his first full album playing Hammond organ, is joined by two remarkable collaborators, guitarist Anders Nilsson and drummer/percussionist Ches Smith. Beeferman’s set of compositions riff on the classic jazz organ trio through a 21st-century lens. Completed at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming in the fall of 2016, these intricate and extended pieces traverse unusual moods, forms, rhythms, and sound-worlds, opening up to feature each member of the trio, each unique virtuoso improvisers in their own right. The album is produced by guitarist Chris Cochrane (No Safety, THEM, Collapsible Shoulder).
“Beeferman splatters and smashes his way through a cosmic and complex set of psychedelic jazz and rock fusion-minded freak-outs, invoking Sun Ra and electric Miles.” –Brooklyn Rail
“Intricate interplay revealing impressive themes and variations.” –Jazzweekly.com
Play Before the Play
Gordon Beeferman has created a set of music for a new organ trio, collaborating with two remarkable musicians — guitarist Anders Nilsson and drummer/percussionist Ches Smith. The trio will perform Beeferman’s new concert-length set of five pieces that traverse and investigate unusual moods, forms, rhythms, and sound-worlds. These intricate, all-consuming compositions open up to feature each member of the trio, each unique virtuoso improvising soloists in their own right.
Gordon Beeferman – piano/compositions
John Hughes – bass
Vlatko Kucan – saxophones
Stephan Meinberg – trumpet and euphonium
Björn Lucker – drumset
live in Bremen, Germany, November 15, 2016
OTHER LIFE FORMS is an innovative avant-jazz quartet led by composer Gordon Beeferman (piano & organ), with Stephanie Griffin (viola), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums). Virtuosic, intense, and quirky, Beeferman’s compositions have a unique approach to integrating complex written charts with collective improvisation. The members of O.L.F. are among the forefront of the creative contemporary music scene, and bring a wide array of experience and sensibility to the music. This is their debut album, released November 2018 on Different Track Recordings.
“Beeferman’s musical world is a very special place that should not go unnoticed.” — Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
“Idiosyncratic compositional strategy… thoughtful structure but with an unmistakable spirit of uncanny exploration… This is music that isn’t afraid to take its time; Beeferman prefers patient, devious statements to overt, brash ones… an imaginative set of music…more than enough to keep Beeferman on the radar when it comes to forward-thinking, creative approaches to jazz and improvised music.” — Troy Dostert, All About Jazz
“The ‘jazz’ root in Beeferman’s music is indisputable. But so are the modern classical, advanced improvisation, non-committable-to-memory atonal whatchamacallit roots. The scores may look complex on paper but, for some miracle, the acoustic outcome sounds as natural as spring water.” — Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
Dafna Naphtali and Gordon Beeferman perform duet pieces for voice and piano with kinetic sound processing, fractal rhythms, and general polyphonic/kaleidophonic disturbances. Beeferman fleshes out protean fragments into strikingly visceral structures and landscapes that take the piano to its limit. Naphtali augments her high-energy live Max/MSP processing of Beeferman’s piano with extended vocal techniques/sounds/multi-modal singing and her custom take on hand and voice-activated electronics. Not just manipulation of live sound, this is a feedback loop of seamless interaction between two remarkable musicians. These pieces are improvised and were created entirely in the moment without overdubs or edits.
“An extraordinary and stunning release…extended and multidimensional..almost of orchestral and theatrical proportions to use an inadequate comparison. The music really breathes and is full of energy, not losing itself in meaningless experimentalism and stays focused and very together.” (Vital Weekly)
“live interaction between the collaborators makes for some truly groundbreaking improvisation” (Peter Thelen, Exposé)
“The well-thought-out evolution…slowly unfolds into something more like a sonic daylight.” (Chain D.L.K.)
“Naphtali & Beeferman have hit the nail on the head with this release.. a feedback loop of seamless interaction” (Sigil of Brass)
“Quirky & playful… unpredictable, yet constantly active … balances scuttling tension with slurred alien tribal-ness.” (Musique Machine)
For 4 voices (SATB) and piano four-hands, texts by Laurie Stone. Commissioned by Lenore Davis for St. Urban. Premiere May 18, 2016 at St. Urban salon concerts. Duration: 25 minutes.
Laurie Stone; for voice and piano. Premiere: Sharon Harms, soprano; Joanna Chao, piano; Argento at the Play Loud! Festival, November 6, 2014
Viola and piano. 26 minutes. Commissioned by Peter Pohly for violist Stephanie Griffin. Premiere: Momenta Festival, New York, October 4, 2015.
Solo bassoon, 20 minutes. Commissioned and premiered by Peter Kolkay. First performance: Vanderbilt University, February 2015; second performances: Here and Now Festival at Bargemusic, Brooklyn NY, Sepember 2015
text: Charlotte Jackson. Premiere: AIDS Quilt Songbook, Phoenix Concerts, New York City, November 14, 2014
Four Parts Five is a quintet tour de force that takes virtuosic rhythmic ensemble playing to a new level. It’s a densely harmonious, frequently hair-raising, and deeply groovy piece of music: imagine György Ligeti, Philip Glass, Igor Stravinsky, Steve Coleman and Conlon Nancarrow having a dance party – with Morton Feldman and Count Basie watching wryly from the corner. Performed by an ensemble consisting of Beeferman (on piano and Hammond B3 organ), Peter Hess (woodwinds), Anders Nilsson (electric guitar), James Ilgenfritz (bass), and Adam Gold (drums), the album’s four pieces showcase tight, disciplined ensemble playing that spans the sparse, punctuated spaces of “1” and the spiraling, expansive curls of “4” with equal facility.
“Packed with humour, mischief, and an urge to dance.” –The Wire
Pianist/composer Gordon Beeferman turns the traditional piano trio inside out with these nine completely improvised pieces. “Out in Here” documents a subversive and elegant mind-meld with two exceptionally creative collaborators, bassist James Ilgenfritz and drummer/percussionist Michael Evans. This entirely acoustic record conjures up electronica, noise, free jazz, and new-complexity, in a sublimely creative fashion. Disquieting, occasionally absurdist, and beautiful, this is music for our surreal age of unpredictability and unrest.
Bed Head (2014)
Hourglass Daydream (2014)
Puddle Jump (2013)
Bad Strategy (2011)
Fresh Press (2006 rev 2011)
Get Got (2010)
Vertical (2005 rev 2011)
For full orchestra, 10 min. Commissioned by the BMI Foundation/Carlos Surinach Fund for David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony Orchestra; Premiere: March 14, 2003 at the Troy Savings Bank Hall, Troy, NY, by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Alan Miller. Additional performance by New England Philharmonic, Richard Pittman, conductor, 2004.
fl, ob, b. cl, hn, tp, tbn, 2 perc, piano, vn, va, vc, cb; 5 1/2 min.
Premiere: May 6, 2014, by the Orchestra of the League of Composers at Merkin Hall, NYC
text: Timothy Schirmer; for voice and piano, 4 min.
“The Enchanted Organ” is a burlesque opera that celebrates sexuality and satirizes the porn industry, while parodying four hundred years of the operatic tradition. Composer/librettist team Gordon Beeferman and Charlotte Jackson bring wit and polymorphous perversity to this journey through “the Magical Kingdom of Porn,” a place where past and present, straight and queer, and dead and living converge. Drawing on influences as diverse as classic 70s porn soundtracks, baroque oratorio, Ancient Greek hymns, and the Nutcracker ballet, this work-in-progress is as close as you’ll get (or want to get!) to “aural sex.”
Duration: two hours, with one intermission. Instrumentation: alto sax/recorder/bass clarinet, violin, guitar/elec. guitar, bass/electric bass, organ/piano/harpsichord (2 players), drumset
Act I was premiered as a work-in-progress at Dixon Place, June 22-23, 2012, directed by Beth Greenberg.
“An Edifying Masque” from Act Two, performed at Operotica, New York City, January 2015
For more information, including videos and photos of our 2012 preview production of Act One, visit www.enchantedorgan.com.
fl, ob, cl, hn, tp, tbn, 2 perc, piano, vn, va, vc, cb; 5 1/2min.
Premiere: May 6, 2014, by the Orchestra of the League of Composers at Merkin Hall, NYC
Alto sax/bass clarinet/flute, piano/organ, electric guitar, bass, drumset. 30 minutes. Performed by Gordon Beeferman and quintet, February 2013.
words by Jane Barnes; for tenor and full orchestra, 25 min. (unperformed)
6 min. recorded February 2012 by Gordon Beeferman.
text: Laurie Stone; for baritone, trumpet, bass clarinet, and trombone. 5 min.
premiere: loadbang ensemble, Tenri Cultural Center, NYC, April 2013
piano and string quartet, 9 minutes. Performed by the Momenta Quartet with Gordon Beeferman, piano; premiered at Gretna Music, August 2012. Additional performances at New York University, March 2013; and at Roulette, New York City, October 2013.
text: Laurie Stone. for bass voice and piano. 5 minutes. Premiere: Joe Chappel, bass; Gordon Beeferman, piano; AIDS Quilt Songbook, William Way LGBT Center, Philadelphia, May 11, 2013.
solo bass, 5 minutes. Commissioned and premiered by James Ilgenfritz.
for full orchestra, 25 min. Third movement (La Aurora, 15 min.) premiered by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, conducted by Cliff Colnot, April 11, 1999; additional performance by Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, Los Angeles, June 1999. First and second movements presented in a public reading by the Minnesota Orchestra, at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, March 2002.
written for Anita Cheng Dance; Premiere January 9-10-11, 2003, at the Merce Cunningham Studio, New York, by Gordon Beeferman, piano. 11 min.
Score for 4 soprano voices, 15 min. Written for Anita Cheng Dance; premiere January 13,14,15,16, 2005 at the Joyce SoHo, New York, Lisa Bielawa, soprano.
flute, viola, trombone, percussion, 25 minutes. Commissioned by the American Music Center Live Music for Dance program for choreographer Anita Cheng. Premiere April 28-May 1, 2011, Abrons Arts Center, New York, by Jen Baker, Stephanie Griffin, Margaret Lancaster, David Shively.
Shorter version for nine instruments (flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, horn, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass). 10 minutes. Premiered by International Contemporary Ensemble, April 2012, at New York University.
flute/picc, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, duration 25 minutes. Commissioned by Eleanor Eisenmenger/20th Century Unlimited. Premiere May 14, 2008 by the California EAR Unit at REDCAT/Disney Hall, Los Angeles.
In two movements, 16 minutes. Premiered at the Deer Valley Chamber Music Festival, Park City, Utah, August 5, 2006 by the California Quartet. NYC premiere by the Momenta Quartet, November 9, 2009 at Serial Underground at Cornelia Street Café; additional performance by Momenta at Roulette, December 2010.
solo bassoon, 4 minutes. Commissioned by the Albany Symphony. Premiere: March 4, 2007, Albany NY. Version for bass clarinet premiered by Amy Advocat, October 12, 2010, New England Conservatory, Boston. Version for baritone saxophone premiered by Josh Sinton, Anti-Social Music Drinks Alone at Douglass Street Music Collective, May 9, 2013.
flute/picc/alto, e.gtr, cello and perc., 21 minutes; written for choreographer Estelle Woodward; premiere: October 21-22, 2005 at the Chocolate Factory, Long Island City, NY
for piano, violin, viola, and cello, 8 min. Commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony; Premiered April 7, 1999 by members of the New York Youth Symphony at Weill Recital Hall, New York City.
mezzo-soprano and piano, 20 minutes. Commissioned by the Keighton Fund at Curry College. Premiere November 7, 2010, Milton, Mass, Lois Shapiro, piano, Sarah Pelletier, mezzo-soprano.
trumpet, alto sax, tenor/soprano sax, baritone sax/bass clarinet, piano, bass, and drums/percussion; full concert-length program
A chamber opera in four scenes plus a prologue, interlude and epilogue, 2 hours
Libretto by Charlotte Jackson
Instrumentation: flute/picc, Eb/Bb clar, Bass/Contrabass Clar, Alto/Bari Sax; Horn, Trombone; Percussion; Piano; Accordion; Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
Cast: soprano (2), mezzo-soprano, countertenor/alto, tenor (2), baritone, bass-baritone
Stage premiere: The Industry, Los Angeles, 2014-15 season
Premiere of Prologue and Scene 1 on April 1, 2006 at the Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn, NY, by Anti-Social Music and soloists. Concert performance of Prologue and Scene 1 by the New York City Opera / VOX 2007 Showcase, May 12, 2007; Scene two premiered at New York City Opera VOX 2009.
Laurie Rubin as Karen
Martha Sullivan as Louise, Michael Douglas Jones as Theodore
commissioned by Jack and Linda Hoeschler for Concert Artists Guild, with additional support from Premiere Commission, Inc. Premiere October 6, 2005 by Winston Choi, piano at Symphony Space Thalia, New York. 37 min.