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.
“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.
OTHER LIFE FORMS is Gordon Beeferman’s avant-jazz quartet, with Stephanie Griffin (viola), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums). OTHER LIFE FORMS combines complex written charts with virtuosic individual and collective improvisation. Their debut album is out on Different Track Recordings (November 2018).
“The Rat Land” is the first operatic collaboration between Gordon Beeferman and librettist Charlotte Jackson. The two-and-a-half hour chamber opera chronicles the disintegration of a troubled and eccentric family in tragi-comic fashion. The plot centers on the adolescent daughter, Karen, coming of age as best she can amidst a post-Cold War American Grotesque. Caught between her nightmarish home life and a near-psychotic fantasy world of her own devising, she faces grown-up problems of violence, isolation, madness, and death. The opera is scored for eight singers and a thirteen-piece instrumental ensemble.
Scenes from “The Rat Land” were previewed at New York City Opera’s VOX showcase (2009, 2007) and the Improvised and Otherwise Festival (2006), under the direction of Beth Greenberg. Read the NY Times review of the 2007 performance.
Laurie Rubin as Karen
Gordon Beeferman’s IMAGINARY BAND is a (real) 7-piece group that explores the territory where classical ‘new-music,’ jazz and free improvisation intersect. Beeferman’s compositions range from the gnarly to the operatic, and are both incredibly detailed and very free; the band’s improvisational explorations are tethered to highly structured frameworks.
“[A] commanding avant-jazz ensemble…” Time Out New York