Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks

Clarinet Thing

© 2005 BC Records | BC 6

A collection of live recordings from the clarinet quintet’s 15 years of Bay Area performances. Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks features Ben Goldberg, Ralph Carney, Sheldon Brown, Peter Josheff, and Beth Custer on Eb, Bb, and bass clarinets.

There is nothing like blowing a horn. It oxygenates the body, clears the mind, and causes mood responses from meditative to giddy, ecstatic, to contemplative. I come from a long tradition of groups of horns blowing together in harmony and dissonance, both in and out of tune! All this blowing led me to form Clarinet Thing. In 1990 I sought out four of my favorite Bay Area clarinetists, Ben Goldberg, Ralph Carney, Sheldon Brown, and Peter Josheff, for their unique sound and approach to the clarinet, for their musicality, friendship, and sense of humor. It was essential to me that the group have a lot of variety in compositional styles. Each member is a composer and ensemble leader in their own right. ‘Agony churches and concert halls. Enjoy! And blow your horn. –Beth Custer