'The Shirt I Slept In' is the first release by Beth Custer on BC Records. It opens with an anthemic jazz explosion in 'Train Song' with Club Foot Orchestra, and makes it's way through a country tinged romp in 'Fall of the Imperialist' with the Will Bernard/Beth Custer Ensemble. Clarinet Thing plays a beautiful rendition of Custer's blues hymn 'The Lips That Kissed the Paper.' 'Shirt' includes several great guitar solos by Will Bernard over Custer's intriguing tapestries of samples, voice, and clarinets created for the dance troupe The Joe Goode Performance Group.
'Shirt' includes such luminary musicians as Kenny Wollesen, Will Bernard, Matt Brubeck, Stephen Kent, Jenny Shineman, Trevor Dunn, Michael Belfer, Ben Goldberg, Gino Robair, and Ralph Carney.
Beth Custer is a San Francisco based composer, performer, and the proprietress of BC Records. She composes for film, television, theater, dance and the concert stage and is a founding member of the Club Foot Orchestra, Trance Mission, Clarinet Thing, Eighty Mile Beach, and most recently, Doña Luz 30 Besos.
She has numerous CD's out with these bands as well as five CD's out on her own label BC RECORDS: 'The Shirt I Slept In' (BC1) and 'In The Broken Fields Where I Lie,' (BC2) both very stylistically diverse compilations of her music for film, theater, and dance; and 'Vinculum Symphony Live!' (BC3); 'The Maverick Strain and Other Stories' (BC4) contains music for her twelve year collaboration with the dance troupe The Joe Goode Performance Group; a recent EP 'Respect as a Religion' (BC5) is a precursor to a full CD release and features songs in reaction to the recent state of the world including 'The Empire of the United States.'
Vinculum Symphony premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a 50-minute, large-scale work that brought together a chamber orchestra with 10 experimental instrument builders including Bart Hopkin, Trimpin, Oliver DiCicco, Chico MacMurtrie, among others. She will be presenting the work in Minneapolis in Septemer, 2002.
Custer has been composer in residence for over 10 years with the Joe Goode Performance Group, and has also composed for several other dance and theater troupes most notably California Shakespeare Company, Campo Santos, Roco Dance, Magic Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and San Diego Repertory Theater. Many of these pieces appear on her first two releases.
Custer's soundtrack work includes a season of the cartoon 'The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat' for CBS/Film Roman, 'Independent View' theme for KQED television, and music for the independent films of Melinda Stone, Craig Baldwin, Cathy Crane, Camera Obscura, Will Zavala and Peter MacCandless among others.
Custer has received many awards including two residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts, a Wattis Residency at Yerba Buena, an Isadora Duncan Award for Joe Goode's Maverick Strain, a Bay Guardian GOLDIE Award, two WAMMIE Music Awards, a Meet The Composer New Residency Grant, NEA Grants, and a nomination for the Herb Albert Award.