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Wild Human, music score: Patrick Breiner by David Bernabo

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Resting somewhere between documentary, tone poem, and podcast, the film Wild Human discusses how wilderness has been replaced by representations of nature and the wild. 

Throughout the film, much of the music is presented as live, improvised solo performances, filmed in areas that blur nature and city. Below is an unedited take from Patrick Breiner, performing an improvised piece on clarinet.

New Documentary Excerpt! Dennis Maher's "A Second Home" by David Bernabo

An excerpt from the feature-length documentary, Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory featuring Dennis Maher’s three-story installation '“A Second Home”'. Sound by Dubravka Bencic and Kevin Bednar.

Rent the full film here: vimeo.com/ondemand/sitespecific

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Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory
Directed by David Bernabo

Through a mix of stories and anecdotes, archival installation footage, and interviews with artists and razor-sharp co-directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory presents an in-depth look at one of the first site-specific museums in the United States.

Founded in 1977 in Pittsburgh, PA, the Mattress Factory is a contemporary art museum and experimental lab featuring site-specific installations created by artists in residence from around the world. Starting as a quirky, anything goes food co-op and artist studio space, the museum created a program of artist residencies in 1982 to focus on site-specific installation art and they never looked back.

The film parallels the installation of the museum’s 40th anniversary exhibition with an in-depth, story-driven journey through the museum’s long history of exhibiting site-specific art. Through interviews with artists such as Ann Hamilton, Sarah Oppenheimer, Vanessa German, Dennis Maher, Kevin Clancy, and David Pohl, the film provides an intimate, sometimes humorous, look at the indirect path a museum takes as it creates its identity.

By mining the museum’s extensive tape and video archive, director David Bernabo was able to unearth rare archival installation footage of James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama, Meg Webster, David Ellis, as well as performance art by Chrome and others. Detailed discussions provide the history and context for John Cage’s changing installation, Allan Wexler’s Bed Sitting Rooms for an Artist in Residence, and Dennis Maher’s three-story installation “A Second Home,” among other works.

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.