blaine siegel

What I'm up to in the first half of 2016 by David Bernabo

This may be more of a list to keep myself organized, but I do hope that you, the reader, will check out a few of these events, products, and showings.


Causal Loop, my two-person show with Blaine Siegel opened at SPACE gallery on 2/12. It is easily the happiest I have been with an art show. The staff at SPACE have been wonderful and my two year-long worries about how to fill the space were easily relieved. I love the pieces that Blaine has created for this, and many people have commented on the fluidity and dialogue created by our juxtaposed pieces. This show runs through March 27.

Also, my film, Food Systems, Chapter 1: A Night Out, which documents local restaurant history and culture, is screening (20 times!) at Historic Howell Theater in Michigan.


March is action-packed. In 2014, I start composing the score for Mark C. Thompson's movement theater piece, Kimono. Now, the finished piece will have a string of performances at Off the Wall. Mar 18-19, 24-26 @ 8:00 pm,   Mar 20 @ 3:00 pm

March 11 - Lightlab 13 at SPACE Taylor Knight and I founded the Lightlab Performance Series two years ago. Now, Anna Thompson has joined our curating team. As part of the Causal Loop exhibit, we programmed the 13th Lightlab event. This event will include the 14th? performance of MODULES (Taylor, Anna, Jil Stifel, and myself), Roberta Guido, and a few other performers.

March 16 - Artist Talk at SPACE Curator Adam Welch directs an artist talk with Blaine Siegel and yours truly. Come see if I have anything to say about my work. Spoiler: I do.

March 17 Rangda at The Andy Warhol Museum I have the privilege of opening for the powerhouse rock/jazz/other trio, Rangda. Rangda is Sir Richard Bishop from Sun City Girls, Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance, and Chris Corsano, most famously known for working with Bjork, but also known for a wealth of amazing solo and collaborative records. My set will contain solo guitar pieces along with some new work for guitar and pitched cowbells. 

Also, The Glassblock, the new web magazine that I founded with EAT THAT, READ THIS's Adam Shuck may launch near the end of March. Stay tuned.


April should be wonderful! I head to Middlebury to work with choreographer Maree ReMalia, choreographer/dancer Jil Stifel, the aforementioned Blaine Siegel, and videographer David Cherry for a week of experiments and collaborative dance making. I also get to screen a short edit of my upcoming documentary, Food Systems, Chapter 3: The Ecosystem.

Speaking of Food Systems, I will premiere the finished version of Food Systems, Chapter 3: The Ecosystem at the Food Innovation Symposium in late April. Additional screenings will follow in May.


and then . . .

at some point, I will release a new solo record called The Inn. For this record, I play all of the instruments myself. The album started with a few drum sessions and then I wrote all of the songs to the drums improvisations. The four-piece Host Skull band may start playing some of these tunes, but I used a bunch of weird tunings on the guitar and didn't write down any of the songs, so we'll see. But along with the two Host Skull records and the first Vale and Year record, this is easily one of my favorite records that I have made. I feel like there are advances with the harmonic scope of the record. Also, it is the first time that I have successfully written and sung four-part harmonies. Stay tuned for a listening party this Spring along with a few music videos.

All the best,


waywardland by David Bernabo

I am thrilled to be part of Jil Stifel and Ben Sota's new work, WaywardLand.  The piece is an evening length dance work that will premiere as part of the New Hazlett Theater's CSA Program. Here is a bit of information.

A new work that searches out the intersections between, modern dance, contemporary circus and physical theater. We look for the very root of our species nature, finding entanglement, support and relationships as we meet, dance, fly, balance, and rock through this WaywardLand. by Jil Stifel and Benjamin Sota, with Anna Slowdanger Thompson, Taylor Slowdanger Knight, set be Blaine Siegel, sound by David Bernabo, costumes by Casey Lee Droege, and lighting by Scott Nelson.

Thursday, Feb 12 @ New Hazlett, 8pm (one night only!)

I have been very fortunate to work with all of these people before. Taylor and I co-curate the Lightlab Performance Series and have performed together in the majority of pieces that I have danced. Likewise, I have worked with Anna in a number of pieces - she was also part of the original MODULES crew. Jil gave me my first taste of dance when we danced a short duet in one of Gia Cacalano's pieces. Oh, Ben and I have never worked together! First time! Blaine and I have been a part of a number of things together, and I am excited to announce a duo art show in 2016 (that I will announce later). Casey has graciously involved me in a number of her awesome projects! and Scott and I worked together on Sprout Fund's Tenacity. Working with Scott is actually very exciting as he can maintain an incredibly high level of creativity and professionalism. I'm a bit envious of that professionalism. 

Anyway, this is all to say that you should check this out! Besides there being a number of things in this piece that don't exist in Pittsburgh dance, the piece is really quite wonderful - lots of surprises, subtlety, and some fun. 

This has actually been one of the most challenging music projects that I have undertaken in a while, but I'm happy to say that the music is feeling really good and there is new ground being covered. The music has grown to include three main strains: accordion music, drum groupings, and ambient or drone-based pieces. Years ago, when my grandfather passed away (1994), I inherited his accordion. It has made appearances here and there - Vale and Year's lost album, Greg Cislon is Truant, my score for Mark C. Thompson's Kimono, and  2007's Graphic Scores CD in duet with violaist Ben Harris. In Waywardland, it exists as a standalone piece called "The Momentary," which is one of my favorite recent pieces. I'm very happy with how it plays against the movement. It also exists as a drone and looped element. One haunting inspiration is Antony's score for Robert Wilson's The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, especially this piece:

There is much to love here, but what I gravitate toward the loop - it does not call much attention to itself. As you may know, I generally hate looping or, at least, looping pedals.

I won't ruin too many of the surprises, but I'm happy that an old composition is seeing the light of day. In the last month of my high school career, Eric Graf, Greg Cislon, and I started recording a record that was as they say "eclectic." It was also partially a plunderphonic record before I knew what that meant. There were heavy doses of Ornette Coleman, Luigi Nono, Stockhausen, Luc Ferrari, Pierre Boulez, Iannis Xenakis, Mark Dresser, Varese. It was a time where I had a lot of free time, audio galaxy provided a wealth of free and relatively obscure music, and allmusicguide was my, ahem, guide to "related artists." At the time, I was heavy into Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time," but thanks to audio galaxy's fragmented downloading method, I only had the slower duet sections. (There was another piece labelled as "O Sacrum Convivium" that I had forever held as one of the most beautiful pieces, but I haven't actually been able to find who composed it and if that is the true title.) Anyway, I composed my own version of a Messiaen piece for violin and piano.  My classmate Muriel is on violin and I am on piano. 

Another collaborator: David Cherry created the trailer (below). Back in 2004, David ran a collective publishing organization called Incredibly Thin. Through Incredibly Thin, I met a number of folks, including Blaine. Anyway, small town Pittsburgh. Check out the trailer and hope to see you a week from Thursday!

One more: I was able to work with Kelly Miskis on some of the vocal bits for the score.