by Beth Custer
Swim! was written for Zeitgeist during our collaboration on Vinculum Symphony Twin
Cities. Vinculum Symphony is a large-scale, multi-movement, evening length work that
brings together chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders, people who
invent and perform on their own creations. Vinculum uses musicians and inventors from the city or town it is performed in and evolves and mutates to reflect that city. During my McKnight Composer Residency through the American Composers Forum in the Twin Cities, I spent some time gazing at and wandering around the Mississippi River. I got a lot of ideas for new pieces while bicycling alongside her to Zeitgeist’s studio. I have a great love of water, and truly wish we could swim to get there!
Beth Custer is a San Francisco based composer, performer, bandleader, clarinet teacher, and the proprietress of BC Records. She is a founding member of the notorious silent film soundtrack purveyors the Club Foot Orchestra, 4th world ambient ensemble Trance Mission, the quintet of esteemed clarinetists Clarinet Thing, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, the Latin-jazz-rock influenced Doña Luz 30 Besos and she now leads The Beth Custer Ensemble. Beth has composed for the dance/theatre troupe the Joe Goode Performance Group for over 10 years. She has also composed for a season of CBS/Film Roman’s cartoon The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat and for numerous public television, independent film and theatre productions. As a freelance clarinetist, Beth has performed with Fred Frith, Amy Denio, Chris Cutler, Ralph Carney,
Connie Champagne, Will Bernard, Jin Hi Kim, Miya Masaoka, Grassy Knoll, Violent Femmes, the late Snakefinger and many others. Beth is one of four recipients of the prestigious 2002 Meet The Composer Residency Grants.
Swim! appears on Zeitgeist’s album If Tigers Were Clouds (innova recordings, 2003)