Transient Canvas: Wired


Transient Canvas releases their second recording on New Focus, "Wired", continuing to document their work commissioning music for bass clarinet and marimba, this time featuring works including electronics. This diverse collection includes works by Kirsten Volness, Peter Van Zandt Lane, David Ibbett, Lainie Fefferman, Rudolf Rojahn, Mischa Salkind-Pearl, and Dan VanHassel.


# Audio Title/Composer(s) Time
Total Time 54:32
01Year Without a Summer
Year Without a Summer
02Exergy Bubblebath
Exergy Bubblebath

Bass clarinet and marimba duo Transient Canvas release their second recording on New Focus, “Wired”, continuing to chronicle their tireless work commissioning young composers to write for their instrumentation. “Wired” focuses on works written for the duo with electronics.

The recording opens with Kirsten Volness’ work Year Without a Summer. Inspired by the impact a volcanic explosion in Indonesia ultimately had on wide reaching locations in Virginia, New England, and Europe, Volness’ rock inspired work creates a haunting atmosphere. In her program note, she asks the question, "As climate change and conflict continue to cause hunger, will we tap our toes in the little cantina at the end of the world?”

Peter Van Zandt Lane’s Exergy Bubblebath channels the rhythmic energy of 90s electronic music and acid house and the pitch language of late period serialist Stravinsky. A freer second section features a bass clarinet melody with marimba chordal accompaniment, before the infectious groove reenters briefly at the very end of the work.

Like the Volness, David Ibbett’s Branches revels in a pop influenced electronics track, establishing and then subverting expectations as the piece unfolds.

Lainie Fefferman’s Hyggelig consists of wavelike descending arpeggios in the marimba that emerge and recede, as the clarinet alternates between wind sounds and sustained long tones. By the end of the piece, the clarinetist has adopted the fleet arpeggiations of the marimba.

Somnambula by Rudolf Rojahn depicts being stuck in a perpetual waking dream, unable to escape. A harmonic cycle repeats as rhythmic material becomes increasingly complex, but the protagonists remain unable to escape the dreamstate.

Mischa Salkind-Pearl’s solm aims to mimic the experience of hearing the sounds of a foreign language without understanding the words. Fragmented sounds dot the instrumental and electronic parts as one might hear the component syllables of words divorced from their meaning. The listener enters into a vague, disconcerting sound world that captures the isolating sensation of being unable to understand a language.

Dan VanHassel’s Epidermis merges the clarinet and marimba into one entity playing syncopated rhythms, while the electronics provide a “noisy, protective layer.” As the piece progresses, the electronics become noisier and more disconnected from the instruments, which become more melodic.

Transient Canvas’ performances throughout this diverse set of new works are meticulously coordinated and persuasive across varied stylistic contexts.

– D. Lippel

  • Producers: Kirsten Volness, Peter Van Zandt Lane, Dan VanHassel, Keith Kirchoff, Amy Advocat, and Matt Sharrock
  • Engineers: Joel Gordon (Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, & 7) and Peter Van Zandt Lane (Tracks 2 & 3)
  • Mastering: Joel Gordon


  • Tracks 2 & 3 recorded on April 9, 2016 in Dancz Hall at University of Georgia in Athens, GA
  • Tracks 4, 5, & 6 recorded on October 28, 2017 at Blue Jay Recording Studio in Carlisle, MA
  • Tracks 1 & 7 recorded on December 15-16, 2017 at Blue Jay Recording Studio in Carlisle, MA

Program notes for Tracks 1-4, 6 & 7 by the composers; Track 5 by Matt Sharrock

  • Design: Marc Wolf (
  • Cover Photography: Tina Tallon


  • All tracks were commissioned by Transient Canvas
  • Year Without a Summer was commissioned with support from The Boston Foundation
  • Epidermis was commissioned with support from The Johnstone Fund for New Music
  • This album was recorded with generous support from The Boston Foundation

Transient Canvas

Praised as "superb" by The Boston Globe and "nothing short of fabulous" by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, Transient Canvas (Amy Advocat, bass clarinet & Matt Sharrock, marimba) has premiered nearly 80 new works, essentially creating an entirely new repertoire for their unique instrumentation.

Transient Canvas is dedicated to disseminating their repertoire and has toured extensively across the United States. In 2014, Chamber Cartel hosted their collaborative concert featuring Boston area composers and the work of Uzbekistani artist Igor Korsunskiy at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta. In 2015 they were featured at New Music Gathering in San Francisco, and at the Firehouse New Music Series in Brooklyn, NY. In Boston, Transient Canvas has been hosted by Equilibrium Concert Series, Opensound, New Gallery Concert Series (which pairs local art with local music) and Original Gravity Concert Series (which pairs local composers with local beers). Transient Canvas is excited to make their international debut in May 2017 at the Alba Music Festival in Italy, where they will perform works from their repertoire, and by Alba Music Festival faculty and fellows. Transient Canvas's recording of Andy Vores' "Fabrication 10: Itch" appears on his latest CD "One Head", released in January 2013.
31 Oct, 2018

Transient Canvas Wired Album Release Tour

Transient Canvas is giving two concerts celebrating the release of their new album, Wired, featuring works for the duo incorporating electronics. They'll play a show in Boston on their release day, November 2nd at 8pm, with soprano Aliana de la Guardia opening up for them. And they'll be playing at the Dimenna Center in NYC on November 10th at 8pm. Check out the links for the Facebook events …

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