Cellist Ashley Walters (photograph by Todd. H. Carlson, from her Web site)
Last month the Los Angeles label populist records released a solo album of six performances by cellist Ashley Walters, who is also based in Los Angeles. This recording has not yet found its way to Amazon.com but Bandcamp has created a Web page that supports streaming, download, and the purchase of a compact disc. The title of the album is Sweet Anxiety, which serves as a reflection on one of the two tracks that emerged from her decade-long collaboration with composer Nicholas Deyoe, entitled “another anxiety.”
Next month Walters will come up from Los Angeles to give a recital at San Francisco State University (SFSU). She has prepared a program based on the contents of her album, which will include “another anxiety.” She will also perform the fourteenth of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza compositions, the one written for solo cello, a pioneering piece that explores a wide diversity of non-standard approaches to playing the instrument.
Walters will be in the Bay Area because she is currently touring with the great adventurous jazz improviser, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. (Details about Smith’s visit to San Francisco will be coming shortly.) As a result her recital program will feature Smith’s “Sweet Bay Magnolia with Berry Clusters,” which he wrote for her and is also included on her Sweet Anxiety album. The recital will also include “Plainsound-Litany” by Wolfgang von Schweinitz, who is currently teaching at the California Institute of the Arts. This is a study in intonation based on natural harmonics, which requires non-vibrato tuning and playing techniques in order to emphasize the resonances of double-stop playing.
This performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12. It will take place in Knuth Hall, which is located in the Creative Arts Building at SFSU, a short walk from the SFSU Muni stop at the corner of 19th Avenue and Holloway Avenue. Tickets are free, and no advance registration will be required.