Research Blog: Carolan

•March 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Carolan

 

This semester, I am completing my undergraduate degree in multimedia performance studies at Davis & Elkins College. As part of my thesis project, I have created a research blog in support of the performance portion of my studies. The latest post (an introduction to Turlough O’Carolan) is up now. You can read it here.

The Tantrum

•January 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

CyberTrad (Live!)

•November 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Like so many others, I have been having a hard think about what happens now. Still seeking answers that may never come, but I am renewing my commitment to make art that is part of the solution, not the problem. I’m not wholly sure what directions this will take me in, I only know that complacency is the enemy.

Fortuitous perhaps, that I have something I care about so deeply to throw myself into right now. We are making stops in Baltimore, DC, and Charlottesville, as well as streaming the final show on Concert Window.  Hope you can join us this weekend, in person or remotely…

Friday in Baltimore: https://www.facebook.com/events/1820338658244164/??ti=ia

Saturday in DC: https://www.facebook.com/events/604680289717686/??ti=ia

Sunday in Cville: https://www.facebook.com/events/1855562647996721/

Sunday Concert Window: https://www.facebook.com/events/1801436226797848/

 

CyberTrad is here…

•August 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Yes, yes, y’all… My first independent solo project is coming out this fall! CyberTrad features traditional and original Irish and Breton music played on wooden flute, bass, vocals, and human beatbox. More info is available at cybertrad.com.

The official CD release is November 18th. Stay tuned for info on the gigs…

Kickstarter Countdown

•June 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Hi Folks,

As of this writing, there are just over 5 hours left of the CyberTrad Kickstarter, so don’t wait, pledge to back the project and reserve your copy of the CD! Many of you have already pledged, and for that, you have my thanks. At this point we have met our goal, so the CD production is funded! Any additional money raised will go towards publicizing the CD, and if possible, I’d love to hire a publicist to promote the album. A backer had offered to match pledges up to $500 in these last hours, so your precious dollars can go further towards making sure people hear this music. In the meantime, thanks  for your support, and thanks so much to all those who pledged! The Kickstarter is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattolwell/cybertrad/description

 

 

 

 

 

CyberTrad Kickstarter

•June 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

Hello Friends! At long last, CyberTrad, my first self-produced/solo recording project (with some amazing musical collaborators) is nearing completion. Here’s a little taste, and for those who would like to preorder the CD and support the project, we are live, so you can head on over to Kickstarter:

And the winner is…

•April 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Pleased and proud to have won second place in the D&E Poetry Contest. I submitted the following, written around 2001 after a week at Common Ground on the Hill…

Bear Lake

on the steps

the nights is passing away into dawn

the first spikes and feathers of blue light are painting the trees

slow calligraphy on the ancient bark

the towering shapes leap out in piercing contrast

cut from a page with the sharpest scissors.

 

the world is birthed in a swift movement

slipping into existence with a wet yelp like a newborn

to find the trees dripping with dew

the lanterns are wreathed in mist;

yellow staring eyes.

 

on the breaking edge of this emergence,

the sound of your voice enters my head like the wide-eyed stare of a child

calm and measured

a night bird beckoning from the darkness

tearing at the fragile fabric of my dreams with talons of ice and shadow.

 

the banjo rings like a church bell, painting your voice in swirling watercolors

it’s rhythm undeniable and persistent.

and as you play, I am struck by the slow fusion of player and instrument

your slender form rocking in time with the music

the boundary between your fingers and the neck is blurred into oblivion

 

the ship strains in her moorings,

ready to be away on the swell of the ocean current

and your fingers touch the strings

plucking from the depths of the water, things like fish with scales made of silver

 

I can see you sitting by the shore, spray catching in your hair

seaweed clinging to the smooth boundary of your cheek

the sound of your voice rising and falling with the waves.

 

and I as a water bird, wings ill suited to flight

webbed feet accustomed to the blue resistant thrum of the sea,

halting in my fluid path

bobbing in the tide, frozen by your laughter.

 

on the steps of the church

the night has passed away into dawn

the trees are revealed in their milky azure robes

and I have been cut

running with scissors