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For two of the three sections of Last Gasp! (First Draft), I am working with recorded music by two wonderful living composer/performers, Briggan Krauss and Mary Jane Leach. I am grateful for permission to use their music—and to speak over parts of it. I met each of them about twenty years ago, and we have all continued to create and perform new work since then.

Briggan Krauss is a key player in New York City’s downtown and creative music scene, known for connecting extreme edges of technique with the unexplored tonal possibilities of the saxophone. His most recent solo album was recorded at the Saalfelden (Austria) Jazz Festival 2017. He is a composer also interested in electronic music and sound art, and Descending To End was his highly acclaimed third release for Knitting Factory Records. Krauss is currently a professor in the Performance and Interactive Media Arts [PIMA] MFA program at Brooklyn College. For more information see http://www.briggankrauss.com and https://briggankrauss.bandcamp.com.

It’s been a busy year for Mary Jane Leach, with concerts in far–flung locations—Winnipeg, Milan, Florence, London, Knoxville, and Hong Kong. Two older pieces became “hits” with their release on a Blume LP, Pipe Dreams. “Feu de Joie was written for bassoonist Shannon Peet and is an homage to the bassoon and its wonderful sound. Since my primary interest in writing is to hear what happens when notes are combined, I didn’t want to write a solo piece for just one line of music, so I wrote Feu de Joie for six taped bassoons and one live bassoon (the concert format).” For more information see www.mjleach.com.

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This year, on March 9th at 8 pm, I’ll be performing a new solo, Last Gasp! (First Draft), at the BAAD!ASS Women’s Festival. I’m delighted to have been invited back to the festival for a third year and to have been allotted more time on the program with each invitation.

With mordant humor, talking as well as movement, video projections, and colorful costumes, my new piece, Last Gasp! (First Draft), considers personal end–of–life preparations within a perspective of possible planetary apocalypse and/or exhaustion.

March 9th is also the day after International Women’s Day and the day before the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in 1959. In 1959, March 9th was the day Barbie was launched, and in 1961, March 9th was the day Sputnik 9 carried — and successfully returned from orbit — a dog named Chernushka (Blackie), nameless frogs, and a guinea pig.