Menagerie — The Trial of Spock

Christopher Froh is committed to influencing and expanding percussion repertoire through commissions and premiers, more than a dozen of which (including A is for…) are owed to his unique “Six-pack” for New Music program. A student of Michael Udow, Julie Spencer, John Beck, and Kenneth Harbison, and Keiko Abe, Froh currently serves the faculty at the University of California, Davis. Froh has premiered works by dozens of composers including John Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Liza Lim, David Lang, Keiko Abe, and Francois Paris.
Froh is a core member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Empyrean Ensemble, and principal percussionist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with a broad array of ensembles including Alarm Will Sound, the Honolulu Symphony and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Solo festival appearances include performances at the Festival Nuovi Spazi Musicali, Festival of New American Music, and Other Minds Festival. His score for the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s exhibition of “Thoreau’s Walden: A Journey in Photography” is currently touring the U.S. His critically acclaimed solo recordings can be heard on the Albany, Bridge, Equilibrium, and Innova labels.

Percussionist Ian Antonio grew up in Albany, NY. After studying with Richard Albagli and performing with the Empire State Percussion Ensemble, he attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Jatmes Preiss, Duncan Patton, Christopher Lamb, Eric Charleston, and Claire Heldrich, served as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and worked with the Wild Ginger Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, and the Wet Ink Ensemble. Earning a B.M. in 2003, Ian received the Kraeuter Musical Foundation Award.

Antonio worked with Eduardo Leandro at SUNY Stony Brook, where he earned his MM in 2005 and a DMA in 2009, and served as their professor of undergraduate percussion. Ian now continues performing with the Wet Ink Ensemble, and tours extensively with the rock quartet Zs, piano/percussion quartet Yarn/Wire, and Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf. Ian also performs with several prominent groups including S.E.M. and the International Contemporary Ensemble. His playing can be heard on the Albany, Bridge, Social Registry, Carrier, Three One G, Warp, Tzadik, and Planaria record labels.

Queens-based percussionist Russell Greenberg is interested in new music ranging from current compositional trends to electronic media, improvisation and rock music. Russell received his BA in music from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he studied percussion with William Winant, and with Eduardo Leandro at Stony Brook University, where he earned his MM in 2004 and a DMA in 2009. Russell is a co-founder of the new music piano and percussion quartet, Yarn/Wire, tours actively with the innovative pop band Hi Red Center, and has worked with a number of other groups including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Wet Ink Music, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, sfSound, and the experimental theater troupe Two-Headed Calf.  Greenberg has also penned music for the Off-Off Broadway theater production of Clubbed Thumb’s Gentleman Caller as well as a soundtrack for a short film by the WWE wrestler, John Morrison.
Greenberg is a faculty member at Suffolk Community College. He has recorded for the Bridge, Mode, Albany, and Joyful Noise record labels.

The ever-evolving Aiyun Huang enjoys a musical life as a soloist, chamber musician, conductor, producer, and teacher. She was the First Prize and Audience Award winner at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2002. She has appeared at venues internationally including the Weill Recital Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s Green Umbrella Series, the LACMA Concert Series, Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Agora Festival in Paris, the Banff Arts Festival, 7éme Biennale d’Art Contemporaine de Lyon, Scotia Festival, Centro Nacional Di Las Artes in Mexico City, and the National Concert Hall and Theater in Taipei. In both 2007 and 2008, she was a featured percussionist at the Cool Drummings festival in Toronto. She is a founding member of the Canadian trio Toca Loca with pianists Gregory Oh and Simon Docking. She has commissioned and championed over 100 works in the last decade working with composers internationally.

Huang is a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) in Montreal. Currently, she is the Chair of the Percussion Area as well as director of the McGill Percussion Ensemble at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

The music of composer-theorist Ben Leeds Carson is heard at numerous and international festivals of music, including Apsen, “June in Buffalo,” the New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano (2004), Sydney Conservatory’s Music and Social Justice conference (2005), and the Gerngesehen Festival in Cologne, Germany (2009); the Music Performance Program at Columbia University hosted a full concert of Carson’s music in March of 2009.  His work has also taken the first prize in chamber music (2001) for the London-based International Bass Society.

Carson has studied with John Peel, John Rahn, Brian Ferneyhough, and Roger Reynolds, with degrees from the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego. He has lectured at Paris University VI, Columbia University, Thurgood Marshall College, and as a resident artist-scholar for the Institut Recherche Coordination Acoustique/Musique at the French Ministry of Culture’s Centre Georges Pompidou. is currently Assistant Professor of music, American Studies, and New Media Studies, at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Sound Engineering:
A is for Azimuth and Arnica—Eric Parson
Mediations, Tenors-—William Coulter, post-production by Eric Parson

Art Direction: Alex Inczech

Image Credits [All are used by permission]:

Arnica acaulis. [Common leopardbane;  Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.] Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 3: 533. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society. Archived at the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Arnica Montana [woodcut engraving]. From “Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy” by David Culbreth, M.D. (1927). Archived by the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.