CCVI: Cultural Constructions Fall 2005

Hands and Mallets

Fall 2005 Cultural Constructions Ensemble
Left to Right: Andrew McGraw, Vessela Stoyanova, Victor Mendoza, Tim Feeney
photo credit: Jonathan LaMaster

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005 at 8pm
The Boston Creative Music Alliance (BCMA) presents:
Cultural Constructions VI: Hands and Mallets
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Theater
955 Boylston Street, Boston
MBTA Green Line: Hynes/ICA
General admission is $10
Tickets available at Twisted Village or (617) 354-6898

Victor Mendoza, vibraphone; Andrew McGraw, Southeast Asian percussion; Vessela Stoyanova, marimba; Tim Feeney, found percussion and electronics

Media Contact for Cultural Constructions VI:
Scott Menhinick, Improvised Communications
(617) 489-6561

On Saturday, October 22nd, the Boston Creative Music Alliance (BCMA) will present Cultural Constructions VI: Hands and Mallets, the sixth in a series of semi-annual concerts that bring together four local musicians, representing a variety of cultures and musical traditions, to create a new multicultural ensemble. This season's concert features percussionists from diverse genres, including Latin Jazz, Javanese and Balinese Gamelan, Balkan music, and free improvisation, performing new collectively composed and arranged works in the spirit of deeper understanding.

The performers will be Mexican-born Latin jazz vibraphonist/composer Victor Mendoza, ethnomusicologist and Southeast Asian music specialist Andrew McGraw, Bulgarian-born Marimba player and composer Vessela Stoyanova, and electro-acoustic percussionist Tim Feeney. Each is well-versed in the language of his/her respective genre, but together they will explore the more universal common ground they share as percussionists to create a musical amalgam that transcends their native cultures and musical styles.

The Boston Globe calls Cultural Constructions "a semi-annual, must-see concert event in Boston." Founded in May 2003, and funded with support from the LEF Foundation and the Berklee College of Music Alumni Grant Program, Cultural Constructions is curated by Boston-area composer/musicians Ellen Band, Ken Field (co-director), Tom Hall, Jonathan LaMaster, Michael McLaughlin (co-director), and Dennis Warren, in coordination with BCMA Artistic Director, Ed Hazell. The series has been profiled in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Weekly Dig, and is widely recognized for bringing together musicians with strong ties to both Boston as well as a wide range of cultures and musical genres. Past participants have represented ethnic Andalusian, Chinese, Jewish, Latino, Malian, Pakistani and Turkish traditions, as well as musical styles including bluegrass, free jazz, hip hop, and world music among many others.

About Victor Mendoza
Jazziz calls Latin jazz vibraphonist and composer Victor Mendoza "the genre's leading vibraphone practitioner" and "one of today's most resourceful composers." His recordings have earned him best of the year honors in publications including Latin Beat and Modern Drummer, as well as inclusion in the Smithsonian Institutions' first major Latin Jazz exhibition, "Latin Jazz: The Perfect Combination." The Vic Firth, Yamaha and Zildjian performing artist has collaborated live and on record with such other prominent Latin Jazz artists as Paquito D'Rivera, Danilo Pérez, Michel Camilo, Claudio Roditi, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio "El Negro" Hernández, and Antonio Sánchez. Also an educator at the Berklee College of Music, Mendoza has conducted master classes at major institutions, conferences and festivals around the world. More information is available at

About Andrew McGraw
Andrew McGraw, PhD, is a composer, performer and ethnomusicologist specializing in Southeast Asian music. Before completing his dissertation on Indonesian avant-garde music at Wesleyan University in 2005, he studied and performed Indonesian music in Java and Bali as a Dharmasiswa, Fulbright-Hays and Arts International award recipient. He has worked with leading Indonesian composers, including I Wayan Yudane, I Wayan Sadra, Pande Made Sukerta, I Made Subandi, A.L. Suwardi and members of the renowned Cudamani ensemble, and can frequently be heard live in New York playing with the traditional gamelan ensembles in residence at the Indonesian Consulate in Manhattan. He has taught music at Holy Cross, Bard, Simon's Rock, UMKC and the University of Chiang Mai in Thailand, and currently teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

About Vessela Stoyanova
Eclectic Bulgarian-born marimba player and composer Vessela Stoyanova holds degrees from both the National Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria (Percussion Performance) and the Berklee College of Music (Marimba Performance and Film Scoring). Her diverse body of work includes composing film and theater scores, as well as membership in ensembles ranging from Afro-pop to alternative art rock to Balkan fusion. Best known for her work with Fluttr Effect, a recent Boston Music Awards' Best Live Act nominee, she is also a co-founder of the international collective .WAV, a performer with Afro-pop bands Marimbira and Lovewhip, and a member of the Boston-based composer collective, The Human Connection. She has served as composer/performer for the American Repertory Theater (ART) productions of "The Bacchae" and "Antigone," as well as Tempest Productions' "EAT" and "Body and Sold." Her film scoring credits include music for short films by D. Franklin, C. Mallincrodt and T. Fredericks.

About Tim Feeney
Percussionist Tim Feeney explores the timbral possibilities inherent in everyday found objects. He considers his percussion setup a friction instrument, using bows, scrapers and rosined drumheads as implements and sympathetic resonators to capture and amplify frequencies that go unheard when an object is struck with a mallet. He supplements his acoustic console with an electronic instrument activated from a laptop or no-input mixer, which synthesizes and alters the spectral characteristics of sounds from pure sine tones to speaker pops and white noise. Feeney is a co-founder of the groups So and Non-Zero, as well as a member of Boston's Callithumpian Consort. He also regularly collaborates with theremin player James Coleman, cellist/electronic performer Vic Rawlings, saxophonist Jack Wright, and the trio, ONDA. He has performed at prominent venues, concert series, festivals and universities all around the Northeast and beyond.