“Texture and Technology: Micah Hummel/Alex Meltzer Duo” continues PJCE Online livestreaming series in March. 

Micah Hummel (drumset) and Alex Meltzer (electronics, samples) invite the audience into their creative process with an open workshop and performance of music they have developed as a duo. As musicians continue to develop their work under covid-related restrictions, this video, shot on the mainstage at and with lighting design by Portland Center Stage, invites the audience to hear how they develop their music and to hear the “before and after” of a new composition as they collaborate.

Online event information:

Sunday, March 21st, 2021, 7:00 pm PST.
Information, registration and the online event at: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/hummel-meltzer
Tickets: $10 General Admission, $5 for those 65 or older and 35 or younger, free for PJCE Sustainers.

There is a deep human element to this duo’s creativity—they’ve long been friends but done even more work together lately since they are also roommates—and a technological element, resulting from the tools they’ve chosen. Using devices on Hummel’s drums that send data to Meltzer’s laptop, the music combines acoustic and sampled or synthesized sounds in an improvised succession of textures and timbres.

Listeners won’t hear the Tin Pan Alley-inspired song forms typical of straight ahead jazz, but instead will hear a carefully constructed set of sound worlds that move from one to the next intuitively. Quoting a mentor of his, Hummel said “jazz is an approach to music, not a genre of music,” and this band uses this method to push themselves into “new territory via improvisation.” 

The event will consist of the premiere of a 40-minute pre-recorded video produced by PJCE Executive Director Douglas Detrick and a Q&A with the artists joining remotely to answer questions from the audience and offer their reflections on this music and their lives as artists in this moment.

About the Artists

Micah Hummel is a sought-after drummer, composer, and music educator based out of Portland, Oregon. After relocating from the Sonoran Desert in 2013, Micah has already established himself as an essential part of the creative music scene in the Pacific Northwest. Honing his craft throughout the last decade, Micah is known for his specialty in cross-genre sounds and contemporary music. Micah has performed around the globe in countries such as Germany, Austria, Canada, France, Switzerland, China, and Morocco. Micah always enjoys getting to share music with people and the opportunity to connect with other cultures through his instrument.

Alex Meltzer is a music producer and bassist based out of Portland, Oregon. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Alex studied Jazz Performance on Upright Bass at Arizona State University. After college, he relocated to Portland, Oregon and quickly became involved in the local music community, joining bands such as Coco Columbia and Old Wave. Moving to Portland also sparked a deep interest in music production and beatmaking, leading to several solo releases and the founding of his collaborative project with drummer Barra Brown, Korgy and Bass.

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create original jazz music that engages and supports our community’s diverse artists, cultures, and place. In operation since 2008, PJCE is the only organization dedicated to commissioning and performing original music by Portland musicians, building a broad audience through unique, collaborative, and community-oriented programming that builds bridges between communities in this vibrant city. Learn more at http://pjce.org.

Micah Hummel (by Reed Ricker)

Alex Meltzer (by Reed Ricker)