MUSIC 'TROPENDRIFT' / 'TROPICAL DRIFT' ON
‘Tropendrift’ / ‘Tropical Drift’, a bilingual book by
Albert Hagenaars, was published in Poetry Centre Perdu in Amsterdam in
December 2003. John Irons signed for the English version,
poet/musician Scott Rollins introduced the collection.
later the same publisher, In de Knipscheer, released a CD containing
electronic music by Dirk Stromberg, based on 18 poems in English
version from the book.
After the CD was sold out, it was not reproduced, until recently, when the 18 compositions appeared on Bandcamp. This is an
online music company founded in 2007 and operating in Sea Ranch,
California. The entreprise provides music distribution and
merchandising, especially catering to independent artists.
The tracks of ‘Tropical Drift’ can be listened to separately as well
as a on the full album
Here’s the first track from ‘Tropical Drift’:
‘Bangkok: R & R’
This music can also be heard in the video ‘Bangkok: R & R',
released by Bongersproductions in 2010.
Bangkok: R & R
Chieng Mai: The Fortune-Teller
Mae Sai: The Border
8 Dec. 1942. 04:15 am
THE GODDESS OF LOVE
The Goddess of Love I
The Goddess of Love II
The Goddess of Love III
DANCE OF THE MONKEYS
Dance of the Monkeys I
Dance of the Monkeys II
Dance of the Monkeys III
ABOUT DIRK STROMBERG
Dirk Johan Stromberg is an American music
technologist, composer and improviser. His body of work explores
dynamic interaction between performer, technology and performance
practice. Designing both hardware and software has led to the
development of network-based audio cards, embedded hardware, and
e-instruments. Dirk’s music has been performed in Europe, Asia and
He as thrice worked on Art Creation Funds
supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore –a major arts
development grant. First as an instrument designer in 2010 for Joyce
Koh’s ‘On the String’ then as a collaborating composer, system
designer, engineer and e-luthier for Robert Casteels’ 2014 work
‘2014:time:space:’, which has subsequently toured Europe and Asia as a
collaborative community work. He is currently collaborating on his
third Arts Creation Fund as a composer and technology integrator for a
premiere exhibition in December 2017.
He has been a composer in residence at
(Studio for Electronic Instrumental Music) and Brooklyn Center for
Computer Music and has received recognition for his work from ISAM
(Institute for Study in American Music) and MATA (Music at the
Anthology). He has also been an artist in Residence twice at SLOSS
Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, which culminated in the
trans-disciplinary work ‘Convergence’ in 2016.
Dirk Stromberg has been invited to present his
work as a composer and technologist at a number of international
conferences and festivals including, Music Tech Fest (Umea, Sweden),
Sound Islands ’15 (Singapore), and Temp’Ora (Bordeaux, France).
He has released two albums with the Turkish improvisation group
Islak Kopek as a performer and engineer and his music appears on a
number of compilations. His 2008 album, ‘Islak Kopek’, was in the Top
20 albums in Turkey for 2009. Publisher In de Knipscheer in Haarlem
released a two-CD set of his composition, ‘Tropendrift’, in 2006, a
collaboration with Dutch poet
Dirk Stromberg is a founder of the Contemporary Music Festival in
Vietnam (Duong Dai Festival – 2007-Present) and is currently on
faculty at LASALLE College of the Arts. He was formally on faculty as
Istanbul Bilgi University, Saigon Technology University and School of
the Arts (SOTA), Singapore. He holds a Masters of Music from Brooklyn
College and a Bachelor of Music from Texas Tech University.
INTRODUCTION BY DIRK STROMBERG
I first read ‘Tropical Drift’ in December 2004. I was immediately
attracted to it because of its sexuality, longing and beauty. Inspired
by ‘Tropical Drift’, I dropped my plans to move to Europe and set off
on a three-month trip to Asia to try and gain a better understanding
of the aesthetics underlying the book.
My perception of the poetry
changed greatly during this trip. The work began to assume the rhythms
that friends sang to me, the time of the locations and the new world
of sounds that had enveloped me – those of tuk-tuks, wet markets and a
language that sang in a melodious monotone.
by my trip, I headed off to play on a cruise ship in Mexico in order
to finance my work on ‘Tropical Drift’.
After a few months on the
ship, I returned to NYC to finish translating the sketches into a
composition and to record.
During the recording process, I was
amazed at the depth of the book. So many layers of meaning and
sub-currents surfaced that I had not seen or clearly realized before
as I completed the sessions – over a year after first having delved
deeply into the book. After a couple of months, the work was on hard
disk and I took it with me to be mastered in the Philippines, the
country of origin of my wife Sheryl.
When finishing the recording
during monsoon rain at the Taal volcano, I realized the work had
finally come home.
‘Tropical Drift’ includes only 18 of the 48
spectacular poems of the book. The poems have been selected on the
basis of my own personal experiences and the desire to retain the flow
and form of the book.
The work consists of two parts, each with
three movements, which in turn comprise three subsections. Any
movement of the work can either stand independently or play its role
in the larger context of the composition, as the listener desires.
The author of the poetry prefers to have the subsections of the
movements that deal with the same theme segued together – such as the
‘Goddess of Love’ and
‘Dance of the Monkeys’.
The work is meant for a performance with all parts performed life with
the addition of some looping, automated diffusion and artificial
Click here for the
article pop-journalist Willem Jongeneelen wrote about ‘Tropical
Klik hier voor de
Nederlandse versie van het artikel onder de link hierboven.
Click here for
the review Willem Jongeneelen wrote about the CD
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Narrator: Douglas Cohen
Flute and piccolo: Andrea La Rose
Saxophones and flute: Christopher
Guitar: Alfredo Ma
Bass: Andrew Livingston
Dirk Johan Stromberg and Artificial
Andrea La Rose
plays flute, writes music and enjoys making weird noises. Her pride
and joy since 2002 has been her work as a flutist/composer/board
member with the punk-classical antagonists known as Anti-Social Music,
who in December 2005 released their debut cd ‘Anti-Social Music Sings
the Great American Songbook’. Her playing on her piece ‘Breakbeat’
from that cd has been singled out for praise by quite a few people:
“bristles with energy” (Dusted’s Mark Medwin), “righteous”
(pataphysics-lab.com/dotdotdot), “grabbed my attention and deservingly
so” (thephiLLer.com’s PhiLL Ramey), “fascinating” (onefinalnote.com’s
As a flutist, she’s also worked with the Choro
Ensemble, coloratura soprano Patrice Boyd, improv outfit Lente,
pop-lullaby crafter a million billion, and sound experimentalist John
Jannone. Her beginning band piece hey! was commissioned by an
elementary school band in Massapequa Park, NY, and for the premiere of
‘Seven Ways to Sunday’
she won an MTC Creative Connections award.
NY, and for the premiere of ‘Seven
Ways to Sunday’ she won an MTC Creative Connections
La Rose resides in Prague and is as active as ever with performing and
creates instrumental and electro-acoustic music for abandoned
warehouse, airplane, automobile, bar, beach, boom box, bus, cavern,
city street, coffee house, concert hall, desert, elevator, ferry,
film, gallery, garden, internet, ipod, lake, living room, loft,
mountain, neighbouring village, park, porter, pier, radio, river, sea,
subway, swimming pool, tavern, television and theatre.
He has collaborated extensively with artists in other fields,
including California performance artist Dee McMillin, Texas sculptor
James Magee and New York film artist Lawrence Brose.
composition with Louis Andriessen, Morton Feldman, Mauricio Kagel, Mel
Powell, David Felder, Lukas Foss, Stephen Mosko, Leonard Stein and
Morton Subotnick. He has completed studies in music at the California
Institute of the Arts (M.F.A.) and the State University of New York at
Buffalo (Ph.D.) where he held the Varèse Fellowship in Music.
compositions have been performed by notable musicians including the
California E.A.R. Unit and the pianist Anthony de Mare. In 1990 and
1992 he was composer in residence at the International Courses for
Contemporary Music in Darmstadt, Germany.
He was awarded a
composition commission through the Individual Artists Program of the
New York State Council on the Arts for the score to Lawrence Brose’s
next film, Crossing.
Cohen was an early advocate for digital media
on the internet. He organized the NewMusNet Conference of Arts Wire
with Pauline Oliveros and later worked for Arts Wire as their Systems
is a professor at Brooklyn College, Conservatory of Music of the City
University of New York,
where he continues to teach and lead the school in new directions.
Saxophonist Chris Bacas
began his career at age fifteen as a sideman with a club band in York,
Pennsylvania. His first teacher was Tom Strohman: a student of Joe
Allard, and Professor of Saxophone at Lebanon Valley College. After
attending North Texas State, he began his jazz performance career in
earnest.In 1983, Chris began touring with the Glen Miller Band. The
Tommy Dorsey band was his next professional tour. In 1986 he joined
legendary drummer Buddy Rich and remained with him until
passing in 1987. Next, he played with the Artie Shaw Band.
appeared at Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens; the Nice, Northsea, Cork,
Santiago, Montreal, Texaco, Annapolis, JVC New York and Central PA
Jazz Festivals; the Hollywood Bowl; LA's Comedy Store; New York's Blue
Note and Birdland; Chicago's Jazz Showcase; and Washington DC's Blues
Alley and One Step Down.
Chris was a member of the Smithsonian's
Jazz Masterworks Orchestra under conductors David Baker and Gunther
Schuller. The orchestra's concert series was broadcast on NPR, and a
CD sampler was released in 1996. In 1999 Chris was soloist on both
flute and saxophone in the Mary Lou Williams' ‘Mass’ which was
performed and recorded in the National Cathedral. Chris also toured
Russia and Siberia with a group of Russian and American musicians in
1999. Since 1989, Chris has appeared on more than thirty recordings,
including three (‘Two Choices’, ‘Leave a Message’ and ‘Exits’) as
leader. Since moving to Brooklyn NY in 1999, Chris has performed and
recorded with Stefan Bauer, The Sound Assembly, Jonathan Townes
(ZOMO),Mario Pavone, Vinson Valega (Consilience) and Christoph
Sweitzer. Chris is an honor graduate of Brooklyn College.
to play and tour.
was born in 1976 in Dallas, TX. He started playing viola at around age
6. Andrew quickly became interested in multiple instruments and
composition. He studied with Steve Curtis privately in Dallas for many
was born in Costa Rica in 1981 and has been living in New York City
since 1995. Alfredo is currently completing an undergraduate degree in
music performance, classical guitar, at Brooklyn College CUNY as well
as studding music composition there. Music composition has become the
main drive in Alfredo’s artistic expression. Within the realm of
experimental music, computer music is of great interest to him.
Alfredo is seriously involved with the electronic music division at
Brooklyn College. He has presented his computer music compositions at
the International Electro Acoustic Music Festival (2004 and 2005) and
at the CERF Festival 2005, more than 30 years of computer music at
Andrew moved to Mississippi to further his studies in composition
under the direction of James Sclater. While in Mississippi Andrew
composed for a wide variety of projects. He composed for the
Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra of Mississippi and The Mississippi
String Quartet. Livingston scored a short film and wrote for numerous
soloists. While in Mississippi, Livingston stayed very busy as a
performer. He worked as a cellist, bassist, guitarist and pianist in
projects ranging in diversity from R & B groups to chamber orchestras
to comedy improv troupes. Livingston moved to New York in 2002 to
pursue a Master’s Degree in Composition from Brooklyn College. He
co-founded the improvisational group Lente with composer/guitarist
Dirk Stromberg. Since completing his degree he has become a full time
member of Mike Doughty’s Band as a Double Bass player and continues to
continues to compose and collaborate with ThingNY.