A thread of piano music runs through my work since 1999, focusing on small pieces that, through their associations with texts, reflect a wandering and sometimes weird experience of history and the world. Centaur Records has released representative works from this collection in Pieces, Threaded: 1999-2009 (CRC3105, 2011), as a part of its distinguished catalogue of American piano music. My “piano music” page also features video of Jacob Rhodebeck interpreting “Fors Seulement…” fors seulement condition, and Coda: “You Are Not I”, at UC Santa Cruz.

 

Music for Percussion (Albany Records TROY1225, 2011) is focused on my 2007 work A is for Azimuth and Arnica, commissioned by Chris Froh. The composition is designed to be re-shaped in multiple ways, depending on which objects and texts the performer “finds” for the work. The disk features five different interpretations, including two by Froh, and others by percussionists Ian Antonio, Russell Greenberg, and Aiyun Huang. Please also have a look at video of Antonio & Greenberg’s Santa Cruz performance of Mediations, Tenors

 

 

On March 26th, 2009, the Music Performance Program at Columbia University presented Anahistoric: Music of Ben Leeds Carson—a dynamic and unusual concert at Philosophy Hall. New York piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire led the evening with several works, including Anahistoric, joined by cellist Katie Schlaikjer of New York’s CORE Ensemble. Distinguished soloists included saxophonist Rhonda Taylor, trumpeter Glen Whitehead, and contrabassist Christopher Williams.

 

 
Reviews

Carson’s ‘Piece for Four Strangers’ was a fun introduction to the symposium…and brought out a range of concepts around performance: being in a system in the moment that produces contemporary visibility; engaging a process to test the way something works or develops … and transitions [in states of consciousness] as a way of forming a sense of self.

—Gretchen Till, “Loose Ends: Writing Texts” (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance <http://iLandart.org>, March 31, 2012)

[Carson’s] ideas…the establishment and erosion of musical boundaries, the evolution/devolution of melody, and the use of silence as a structural component…take shape in swiftly scurrying flurries, motifs fast or slow…sudden fortes that produce an impact out of proportion with their amplitude. To say that [Persistent Names of Lost Spaces] is too long…would be paraphrasing the prince … chiding Mozart for writing ‘too many notes.’

Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2012