Friday, September 13, 2013

Jesse Stacken on his Messiaen Project

Here's an interview with pianist, composer, and all-around music lover Jesse Stacken. He is currently involved with his Messiaen Project, where he writes a piece every week using the compositional techniques of the modernist master composer Olivier Messiaen. Recordings of the pieces are posted weekly on his blog.

The interview is great, and Jesse's honesty and openness about his creative process is really refreshing. I particularly enjoy his perspectives on musical influences, the effects of social media, and the struggle to stay true to your own creative instincts.

"At the end of the day, I guess I try not to worry about what others think or what others are doing, and just be myself, with myself, experiencing the beauty of nature, and allowing what I love to be apart of the music I create. It’s not always easy to do that, but a little struggle and discomfort is good."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Old Time Musketry at Pete's Candy Store tonight!

OTM is playing our first show in Brooklyn since our tour last month. The tour helped to solidify an album's worth of new music which we will hopefully be recording soon. We will be on a bit of a hiatus after this show, as I'm getting married next week, and our drummer Max Goldman is on tour with dance music legends Midnight Magic for a while.

SO COME CHECK US OUT TONIGHT!! That's at Pete's Candy Store at 9pm.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

John Zorn at 60

Just listened to the Fresh Air interview with John Zorn. A glimpse into the mind of an intensely focused and driven individual.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Old Time Musketry August tour dates!

So excited to take to the road with Old Time Musketry this week on our east coast/midwest tour! Please help us spread the word if you have friends in any of these cities who would like to hear some indie/folk/jazz from Brooklyn!

More about the band here:

August 8th: The Windup Space, Baltimore, MD w/ Snail Knights and Talking Points.

August 9th: The Electric Maid, Washington, DC

August 10th: Private Event, Huntingdon, PA

August 11th: Merrimans’ Playhouse, South Bend, IN

August 12th: The Black Sparrow, Lafayette, IN.

August 13th: The Whistler, Chicago, IL

August 14th: The Garden Theatre, Columbus, OH

We've got some new music in the works, preparing to record a second album....

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pandora's Box

I've been reading up on the unfolding saga of Pandora's fight to decrease royalty payments to artists. Pandora is currently in the process of lobbying congress to lower their already absurdly low royalty rates by 85%. The singer David Lowery recently wrote in a blog post about being paid $16.89 for over 1 million plays on Pandora of the hit song "Low".

He was also interviewed on NPR's Studio 360.

Many other artists, including Pink Floyd have been speaking out about this issue, and also about Pandora's attempt to get artists behind them by writing "letters of support" for internet radio.

Pandora's founder Tim Westergen claims that the 85% royalty cut is "misinformation", but doesn't really address what they're hoping to achieve in their negotiations with Congress.

Internet radio streaming services like Pandora and Spotify offer an incredible experience for listeners, but the fact is that they make no sense as business models. Both of them lose money every year and they'd prefer to find ways to pay artists less rather than improving their business models. At least Spotify has a subscription plan! It will be interesting to see what becomes of these companies in the near future.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Minerva at Spectrum tonight!

Minerva is playing at Spectrum in the Lower East Side tonight. I'm excited to play the Steinway grand!
This is the 2nd installment of the Canyons music series, here's tonight's lineup:

Tuesday, July 2

@ Spectrum (121 Rivington)
Admission: 10 bucks (suggested)

8pm, Minerva:
Carlo Costa
JP Schlegelmilch
Pascal Niggenkemper

Ben Gerstein, trombone
Gian Luigi Diana, laptop/live electronics
Morgan O'Hara, pencils/live transmission drawing

Free-improvisation for trombone and live electronics with attention and performative drawing.

Todd Neufeld
Eivind Opsvik
Flin van Hemmen

Flin will be premiering a brand new piece in which preconceived sound meditations and improvisations will be in close dialogue. Possibly these lines will be blurred until one is not sure which is which, for life is a composition. Eivind plays bass, Todd the acoustic guitar, and Flin will play piano as well as drums.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Solo show at the Lily Pad tomorrow

I'll be heading to Cambridge, MA tomorrow to play a solo set at the Lily Pad. I'll be sharing the bill with two great singer-songwriters, Abby Payne and Erik White. I'll be playing some new music for piano and electronics. I've been exploring playing piano along with loops of electronic sounds and pre-recorded samples, getting into some real mad scientist territory. The show info is here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Minerva Midwest Tour!

Tomorrow I take to the road with the collaborative trio Minerva for seven straight nights of concerts, followed by a recording when we return to New York. It's the first time that this group has played outside of NYC, and we're excited to get to do so much consistent playing to develop the new music we're going to record.

The band is:

Carlo Costa - Drums
Pascal Niggenkemper - Bass
JP Schlegelmilch - Piano

Here are the dates!

May 16th: Minerva at Mahall's, 13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH - 8pm
May 17th: Minerva at Trinosophes, 1464 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI - 8pm
May 18th: Minerva at Heaven Gallery, 1550 North Milwaukee, 2nd floor Chicago, IL - 8pm
May 19th: Minerva at Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL - 8pm
May 20th: Minerva at Merriman’s Playhouse, 1211 Mishawaka Ave, South Bend, IN - 8pm
May 21st: Minerva at Black Sparrow, 223 Main Street, Lafayette, IN - 8pm
May 22nd: Minerva at the Garden Theater, 1187 North High St Columbus OH, 8pm

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Throughout CD Release Show at Cornelia St Cafe!

I sincerely hope you can join me tomorrow night to celebrate the release of my first solo piano CD, Throughout: The Music of Bill Frisell. I recorded the music over a year ago and it's finally out this month on the SteepleChase LookOut label. It's been interesting to revisit this material after such a long time away. I'm playing things a lot differently now, and hopefully better, too.

Thursday, March 28th at 10pm
Cornelia St Cafe
$20 cover (includes a drink)

Time Out NY says:

"Progressive-jazz pianist JP Schlegelmilch celebrates Throughout, a warm and elegant new solo effort devoted to the works of guitarist Bill Frisell."

You can hear some clips of the music and read about the concept of the recording here.

If you can't make the show, Throughout is now available on Amazon and ITunes!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Gutai: Splendid Playground

The Guggenheim Museum used an electronic piece I composed in a promo video for a piece called "Water" by Motonaga Sadamasa which is currently installed in the museum's rotunda. I saw it in person last week, it looks amazing!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I'm excited for the 2nd performance tonight of MARS: A Play About Mining, at the Center for Performance Research in Williamsburg! I'm playing keyboards in the space-rock meets hillbilly music live score. All 3 nights are sold out!

From the NY Times listing:

The arts collective Superhero Clubhouse channels its environmentalist energies into a new dance-theater concoction, adapted from Tom Coiner’s graphic novel “MARS!” Choreographed by Adam H. Weinert and directed by Jeremy Pickard, with live music composed by Adam Miller, the work examines the history of Appalachian coal mining through a sci-fi lens, asking, “Must human progress always end in destruction?” — SIOBHAN BURKE

Thursday, February 28, 2013

NYC Live music update

On Monday I headed to Sycamore, home of the Radio Zero series, where I caught a set by the Danny Fox Trio. As I've written before, I have tremendous appreciation for groups that perform without reading onstage. Danny's music is pretty complex, too. Adam Schneit accurately described their group concept as a kind of modern Ahmad Jamal Trio, with lots of different grooves and sections navigated by musical cues. They've developed a really unique approach and they always seem to have new music.
Nice to see a good crowd on a Monday night, too! The Radio Zero series is really doing great, next month is curated by Kenny Warren, I'll be playing on March 18th with Two of Anything.

Last night I went to (gasp!) Manhattan to see Ethan Iverson's piano recital at Weill hall. Ethan is a longtime student of Sophia Rosoff, who helps present these concerts with the Abby Whiteside Foundation (Whiteside was Sophia's mentor). The concert featured two classical works, jazz standards, and Ethan's original pieces. I've never seen a program like this, it was very inspiring. I really need to check out more music by composer Louise Talma. Ethan opened and closed the concert with Talma's Alleluia in Form of Toccata, a wonderful neo-classical perpetual motion piece, a style that I love. The other classical piece was Stravinsky's Serenade in A, a piece that I've studied for a while and was eager to hear Ethan's interpretation. He sounded great, especially his rhythmic feel.

I was a little stunned when Ethan announced that he would take requests for the jazz standards he would play. I thought to myself that if I was playing in a recital setting like that I would want to be as prepared as possible in the material I chose. Ethan took five or six requests and then played continuously, improvising segues through the different tunes. This is definitely in the spirit of Sophia's teaching. In my lessons with her she would talk about how there really shouldn't be any difference between approaching jazz and classical music. Being in the moment while you play, getting out of the way and letting the music happen is a philosophy that Fred Hersch follows in his playing. This takes a lot of courage! It's something I'll be thinking about a lot as I prepare for my solo piano show next month..

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tonight at Douglass St!

I'm playing tonight at 8pm at Douglass St Music Collective with Noah Garabedian, Devin Gray and Kenny Warren. Also on the bill is Jonah Parzen-Johnson solo baritone, and Josh Sinton & Liz Kosack Duo.

We'll be playing compositions by all of us as well as my arrangement of Claude Debussy's "Des Pas Sur la Neige".

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Old Time Musketry CD Release Party TONIGHT!

Yes, it is upon us!

I'm very excited to invite you to a special concert to celebrate the release of "Different Times", the debut album by Old Time Musketry.

We're proud of this recording as a document of our music after more than 3 years of playing together. I'm honored to get to play with such dedicated, awesome musicians who are also my good friends. The band has evolved a lot over the years and continues to grow, we have a lot of new music to share with you! We would love it if you would join us for an evening of music and hanging out......

Sunday, January 27th at 8pm
The Firehouse Space (246 Frost St, Brooklyn)
$10 cover


Adam Schneit - Saxophone and Clarinet
JP Schlegelmilch - Piano and Accordion
Phil Rowan - Bass
Max Goldman - Drums and Melodica

The latest reviews from Downbeat and Time Out NY:

“4 stars“…”Old Time Musketry weaves through a variety of musical styles, never binding themselves to a single idea while asserting their own identity.”
–Jon Ross, DownBeat Magazine

“…a subtle yet engaging new release…The group’s idiosyncratic sound palette touches on klezmer, free jazz, R&B and sepia-toned marches.”
–Time Out New York

The First Four Notes


Earlier this week I attended a salon-style event at Ethan Iverson's studio where he and Matthew Guerrieri played a four-hands piano transcription of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Ethan remarked on the "salon" aspect of the evening, referring to the 19th century recreational activity of sightreading music for a small audience in the evening.
My listening was distracted a little because I had volunteered to turn pages for them, but it really inspired me to listen seriously to this piece again. I found the second movement particularly extraordinary.
Then Mr. Guerrieri gave a lecture based on themes from his new book about the Fifth, The First Four Notes. It was really fascinating, I can't wait to check it out. And I can't wait for his upcoming appearance on the Colbert report!