November 4th – 9pm
“The trio allowed silences to stretch and breathe, both drawing out tension and heightening the contrast between their playing and the ambient noise in the hall. Amidst the strange clamor of these pieces, silence became unusually charged.” – Cleveland Classical
Chartreuse string trio is violinist Myra Hinrichs (Chicago), violist Carrie Frey(New York City), and cellist Helen Newby (San Francisco). The tricoastal trio pools the strengths of their cities of residence, commissioning new works from composers across the globe and collaborating with fellow performers on “Chartreuse +/-” projects. The trio has toured extensively in the U.S. Northeast, the Midwest, and California, as well as in Norway.
Uniquely committed to repeat performances and developing the string trio repertoire through adventurous commissions, Chartreuse has premiered works by Kurt Isaacson, Peter Swendsen, Katherine Young, Marek Poliks, Bethany Younge, Leah Asher, David Bird, Tyler Futrell, Daniel Tacke, Kristina Warren, and Aaron Holloway-Nahum, among others. Cleveland Classical described the trio in concert as “a maelstrom almost tactile in its grittiness.”
Equally devoted to education, the trio has given performances and workshops for students of all ages at institutions including SUNY Fredonia, Oberlin College’s Winter Term Chamber Music Intensive, the Norges Musikkhøgskole in Oslo, Toneheim Folkehøgskole, Tromsø University, middle schools in Philadelphia and Cleveland, and Kendal at Oberlin. http://www.ensemblechartreuse.com/
Randall Hall is a leading interpreter of contemporary music for saxophone.Equally at home in concert halls and alternative venues, his performances of new compositions and improvisations feature his mastery of extended techniques and cutting edge electronics. Innova Recordings describes his music as “high-octane, supercharged sax” while The Wire says he plays with “utter confidence,” “fire and teeth,” and “unexpectedly tough beauty.”
Internationally active as a performer and clinician, Hall has given concerts throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including concerts at the Karnatic Lab (Amsterdam), Logos Foundation (Belgium), Werstatt für improvisierte Musik (Zürich), Zeitgeist Gallery (Boston), Center for New Music (Iowa City), Electronic Music Midwest (Chicago), Outside the Box Festival (Carbondale), and the Electro Acoustic Juke Joint (Mississippi). An active educator, he has given lectures and master-classes on the aesthetics and techniques of new music at institutions around the world, including Harvard University, Cornell University, the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Bowling Green State University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, the Luxembourg Conservatory, Concervatorio Superior de Música de las Islas Baleares, and the World Saxophone Congress. Dedicated to the continued development of new music, Randall Hall collaborates closely with composers and has premiered pieces by James R. Carlson, Joann Cho, Stuart Duncan, Kevin Ernste, Figure, Stephen Gorbos, Jing-Jing Luo, Colin J. P. Homiski, Jonathon Kirk, Christian Lauba, Nicolas Scherzinger, Mary Stiles, and Paul Swenson.
Randall Hall is the recipient of numerous honors including a Fulbright Grant, Frank Huntington Beebe Grant, Presser Music Award, and the Premier prix in the Concour Région Ile-de-France. He studied saxophone with Claude Delangle, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Jean-Michel Goury, Kenneth Radnofsky, and Ramon Ricker. Dr. Hall holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (DMA), the New England Conservatory (MM), the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt, France (Premier prix), and Warner Pacific College (BS). He is Associate Professor of Music at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he teaches saxophone, improvisation, music theory, and liberal studies. http://www.randallhall.net/
10 year anniversary in October
October 19 – 9pm
Boduf Songs is the name taken by Mat Sweet, originally from Southampton England. Sweet has released a number of limited edition CD-Rs by himself and friends working in various combinations and playing music that ranged from pure electronics to heavy rock on his Bluebaby Recordings label. Boduf Songs was Sweet’s first attempt at recording himself playing his own songs. The album was recorded with an acoustic guitar, some cymbals, violin bow, toy piano, manipulated field recordings and a computer.
A demo CD-R got to kranky (among other places) and we were floored. Arrangements were made to release the Boduf Songs demo as it was, without re-recording. The immediacy of the songs overcame the technical limitations of the recording process. Sweet had created songs with memorable melodies, artful arrangements and carefully placed effects. The Boduf Songs album reminds the listener of a sunny English afternoon, with an ominous tinge of approaching clouds. Sweet’s collaged album art, taken from Victorian books, lends a surreal air to the album. Mat Sweet will be recording a second Boduf Songs album under more ideal conditions for release on kranky in 2006.
Chris Weldon from Columbus, Ohio has been experimenting/improvising with sound since around 1974. Wollensak reel to reel machines in looping configurations first.
University Electronic Music studio at all available hours.
After Bothering in Turpentine : circular saw, glass
Instruments may include gong, cello, tape recorder, recorder, voice, effects, loops, metal things, viola, electric guitar, bass, end blown pipe, drums, cymbals, bows, mallets.
Charalambides + Haunted Constellation
Charalambides are among the most beautiful and mysterious groups to have emerged from the American desert….They have created a glowing template of humanist/mystical improvisation that has kneaded brain muscles from here to Kokomo.” – The Wire
Charalambides founders Tom & Christina Carter dedicate themselves to a vision of iconoclastic music as transformative force. Touching on the outer limits of acid folk, psych rock, and improvisation, their sound remains uniquely personal & consistent. Formed in Houston in 1991, Charalambides has produced dozens of releases on labels like Siltbreeze, Time-Lag, Kranky, & their own imprint, Wholly Other. The duo perform at Rhizome in support of their forthcoming release, Proper, coming out with Drawing Room Records. https://charalambides.bandcamp.com/
Haunted Constellation open the night. Pat Peltier and Kelly Thompson offering electronic and wind driven free jazz hypnosis.
Tandem + Matt Weston
Taking inspiration from a mix of diverse musical heritages including baroque and tuareg, TANDEM meshes contemporary experimental musical influences such as electroacoustics, minimalism and free improvisation.
The trio deploys a large instrumental palette through the improvised gesture, playing music totally oriented towards the present.
Anouck Genthon is a French violinist and ethnomusicologist involved in the improvised music scene in an approach particularly sensitive to sound. Enriched by her double stance as musician and researcher, she guides her ear by improvised gestures through the surrounding sound-environment.
Ed Williams is a British guitarist and composer active in the Marseille experimental music scene. His approach to improvisation follows on from his training in Classical music theory and Electroacoustic composition.
Tom Malmendier was born in 1984, obviously self-taught, from the very beginning interested more in sound than in technique, his way to explore and to learn was to play with more and more musicians, everyone who accepts actually!
Tom is now very active in L’Oeil Kollectif in Liège, Ninglinspo, Nystagmus, Bobby de Nazareth, duo with Cecile Thévenot, duo with Phil Maggi and a lot of other bands…
Matt Weston returns from Albany, NY for percussion and electronic madness.
Matt Weston plays percussion and electronics, and has performed throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. He has appeared on CNN, VH1, and CBS TV.
He has studied and/or collaborated with Arthur Brooks, Bill Callahan/Smog, Bill Dixon, Kevin Drumm, Paul Flaherty, Charles Gayle, Milford Graves, Mary Halvorson, Le Quan Ninh, Bob Marsh, Ben Miller (ex-Destroy All Monsters), Roger Miller (Mission of Burma), Jim O’Rourke, Jeff Parker, Jack Wright, and many others.
His work has earned critical praise from such publications as the Wire, the Village Voice, Signal To Noise, Cadence, All About Jazz, Grooves, and Bananafish. His solo works have garnered international acclaim, as have his recordings with Barn Owl, Tizzy, and Thrillpillow.
He has recorded for the Tautology, Sachimay, Breaking World Records, Imvated, Crank Satori, BoxMedia, and Drag City labels. He currently records for his own 7272Music label.
Father Murphy (Italy) + Johnny Nevada
Father Murphy is the sound of the Catholic sense of Guilt. A downward spiral aiming at the bottom of the hollow, and then digging even deeper.
Through the years the band became one of the most peculiar musical entities coming out of Italy, part of that community that Simon Reynolds started to call the new “Italian Occult Psychedelia”.
The duo, well known for their really intense live shows, something in between a ritual and an artistic performance, furiously performed all over Europe, playing all the most important festivals (Le guess who?, Liverpool Psych Fest, Incubate, Supernormal, …), toured North America with the likes of Deerhoof, Dirty Beaches, Iceage and Xiu Xiu and recently joined Jarboe on stage for a tour to promote a collaborative EP.
Their new album titled “Rising. A reqiuem for Father Murphy” was announced as their final. It will be released next April 2018 by Avant! Records and Ramp Local and will be followed by a last series of concerts/celebrations of life.
Johnny Nevada AKA Josh Eppert from Toledo will open the sonic room with his starved electronics and broken vocals.
Jack Wright/Zachary Darrup/Evan Lipson & Construction Telescope
Described 25 years ago as an “undergrounder by design,” Jack Wright is a veteran saxophone improviser based mainly in Philadelphia. Since the early 80s he has been touring through the US and Europe, finding interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 75 he is still the “Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation,” as guitarist Davey Williams called him back in the 80s. He continues to inspire players outside music-school careerdom, playing sessions with visiting and resident players old and new. His preferred partners over the years have been mostly unknown to the music press, and too numerous to list here. He’s said to have the widest vocabulary of any, an expert at leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and obscene animalistic sounds. (Someone heard a recording and asked if it was a baby elephant. Others say it’s electronics.) A reviewer for the Washington Post said, “In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king.” Wright has written a book released in Jan. 2017, The Free Musics. For more info, discography and sounds go to www.springgardenmusic.com and for other writing try this: http://jackiswright.wordpress.com/ Also check out his interview in Cadence Magazine July 2017, p. 55-73
Zachary Darrup is an improvising guitarist currently living in Philadelphia. During his early teenage years in the rural coal region of Pennsylvania a strange boy appeared like an angel, carrying a large cd booklet of wild musics of all sorts. This chance meeting at a pizza shop, plus tumultuous relationships with his home turf, school teachers, and other agents of law and rule enforcement led Zach to drop out and skip town, devoting himself to following music wherever it would take him–somewhere else. His techniques are informed by the musical possibilities of film language, jovial mockery and mimicry of plants, animals, and audience members, thoughtful room listening, word play, colors, and culinary experiments.
Evan Lipson (b. 1981) has operated as a musician since adolescence—intuitively seeking the liminal zones in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. Drawn towards aberrant perspectives at an early age, his formativeexperiences were primarily rooted in extreme and often discordant forms of rock, free improvisation, modernist composition, jazz, outsider pop, soundtracks, noise, and electronic music. Lipson has written music for several films, as well as a new collaboration with Duplex Planet-creator David Greenberger and Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levis. Lipson also may or may not have some degree of involvement or association with an organization known as Meinschaft. Past units include Normal Love, Satanized, Dynamite Club, Femme Tops, Psychotic Quartet, and the Weasel Walter Trio. Lipson has performed throughout North America, as well as Brazil, Taiwan and Japan. His music has been released on several imprints including SKiN GRAFT, UgEXPLODE, High Two, Public Eyesore, Badmaster, Caminante, New Atlantis and Damage Rituals. Lipson is currently scheming to actualize an all-in-one dystopian tiki lounge, mystical grotto, and occult ritual chamber. He has concocted over 70 original faux-tropical cocktails since 2013.
Construction Telescope is a long running collaboration between Jerry Glesmer & Jason Shapiro. Steeped in 1960s free jazz improvisation, they’re alway exploring the farther sonic realm of raw sound. Many horns, guitar, and the infamous mystery pipe. This version of TC will include local electo-acoustic genius Caleb Miller.
August 23rd 9pm
Luke Stewart is a force on the Washington DC scene not only as a performer (in Irreversible Entanglements, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Trio OOO, Ancestral Duo and more) but also as a booker, promoter, radio DJ and more. “Works for Upright Bass & Amplifier” is a long form piece Stewart composed using written & original improvised structures. He’s been performing various portions of the piece live at art exhibitions throughout 2017. Video synthesis from Patrick Cain
Damon Sturdivant’s Beings and Jordan Halsey open the night
Bridges of Konigsberg featuring Peter J. Woods /KBD(uo) /Rosebud
Bridges of Konigsburg: “Peter J. Woods, Scrawl’s Christopher Burns, and David B. Collins unite as Bridges of Konigsburg, which feeds a variety of strained samples through the experimental music equivalent of shuffling several decks of cards – playing, Tarot, Uno, maybe Oblique Strategies, too – at blinding speeds. Their Fortifications are destined to melt faces, positing dins of alien guitar squeal, ribbed echoes, swollen delay, stretched effects, and a tinny, pressurized tinny-ness that at time that reminded me somewhat of Autechre’s classic, Confield. Sometimes there is the sense that lye is being mashed into the irregular grooves of these improvisations — or are they improvisations? — or that the grooves are self-cannibalizing, or that a robot from the future is intruding. ” – Village Voice
KBD(uo) have been sonically secluded in the sky parlor at the Robinwood concert house since July 2017. Now we…
Grimy power electronics via broken electronics and feedback.
Practitioner (music of Steve Lacy)
Michael Coleman is a pianist, improviser and composer. He graduated from Oberlin College where he studied history and jazz piano. After graduation, Michael headed out to Oakland, CA where he began his career as a composer and sideman, working with Bay Area greats such as Scott Amendola, Marcus Shelby, and countless other improvising musicians and songwriters. Michael is the composer and bandleader of the groups Beep!, Arts & Sciences and CavityFang. In his songwriting project Michael Rocketship, Michael plays all of the instruments and utilizes his home studio as a compositional tool, using experimental recording techniques to create unique textures and sounds. These are then pieced together to create a jigsaw puzzle of melodies and harmonies that are at once mysterious and familiar. Apart from performing and touring tirelessly with his own bands, Michael has toured the world with Chris Cohen, tUnE-yArDs, Sean Hayes, Miles Kurosky and Jug Free America.
Clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo and studied with Steve Lacy and Joe Lovano. Since 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music” (SF Chronicle), Ben has shaped a career through curiosity and experimentation across genres and styles. In 2012 he premiered Orphic Machine, a ten movement song-cycle based on the poetical writings of Allen Grossman. The New York Times has noted that Ben’s music “conveys a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising, the constant usefulness of musicians intuitively coming together and pulling apart.” The Downbeat Critics’ Poll named him the #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in both 2011 and 2013. Ben is part of The Out Louds; Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home; Ben Goldberg School; and Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen. He is a member of the avant-chamber jazz ensemble Tin Hat, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, and performs in a duo with pianist Myra Melford called DIALOGUE. He currently teaches Jazz Theory and Improvisation in the Music Department at the University of California, Berkeley. With drummer Hamir Atwa, Michael and Ben have a trio called Invisible Gu. Their first record, “Knuckle Sandwich,” is available on BAG Production Records.
Foster/Bennett Duo & Wave Garden
Michael Foster: saxophones, objects
Ben Bennett: drums, percussion, membranes
Michael Foster is a Brooklyn based saxophonist, improvisor, and multi-instrumentalist working within the fields of free improvisation, composition (both graphic and notated), Jazz, noise, punk, and industrial music and video. Since moving to New York, Michael has maintained an active gig and touring schedule, playing with Weasel Walter, Steve Swell, Pascal Niggenkemper, Psychic TV, Chris Corsano, Spiritualized, Kid Millions, Nate Wooley, Sean Ali, Han Bennink, Marina Rosenfeld, and many others. Current ensembles include: Foster-Michael Evans-Pascal Niggenkemper Trio, Andrew Barker Trio, Duo with Leila Bordreuil, GALM Quartet, While We Still Have Bodies, and Foster-Grollman-Bennett Trio.
Ben Bennett is an improvising percussionist who plays drums, percussion, and membranophones, which are combined with each other in various mutable arrangements, and played by striking, friction, breath, and other techniques. His instrumentation and his music are a radical distillation of the modern drumset and the diverse traditions of improvised music. He has toured in extensively in the U.S. and Internationally, playing with different groups, ad-hoc collaborations, and solo. He has collaborated with Michael Foster, Jack Wright, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Leila Bordreuil, Travis Laplante, Ilan Manouach, Brandon Lopez, Jacob Wick, Bhob Rainey, Judith Hamann, Nate Wooley, among many others.
“The crux of Bennett’s output is formed through his anomalous showmanship and in the resourceful nature of the instruments he tailors. If there is “value” to be found in his art, then these aspects surely make for a sensible starting point. Recycled objects and household items are transformed into contraptions assembled for a purpose unknown to the performer until the very moment he drags them before baffled onlookers, inserting them into an orifice or smashing them with an unrelated implement. Such instances of universal obscurity add to the queer web of noise that makes the resulting sound so riveting from the perspective of the audience.” -Tiny Mixtapes
“Bennett and Foster began playing with drummer David Grollman, and their crazy improvisations landed somewhere between music and performance art. Their duo project resulted from their strong musical affinity, something that needs to be seen (as well as heard) to be believed, pushing the sonic boundaries of the drums/sax duo over the edge. At times their vocabularies overlap, so one is barely able to distinguish one voice from the other, Foster becoming compellingly percussive on the sax, while Bennett, who also makes his own instruments, blows on what I learned were membranes, like reeds—I recently caught them at drummer Andrew Drury’s salon series Soup and Sound. Their experimentation in sound, both together and separately, causes a dynamic shift and expansion of the sonic palette, plus a tense, vulnerable unpredictability. My bet is on these guys for adding to the healthy, solid future of improvised music.”
-Steve Dalachinsky, The Brooklyn Rail
Review of Michael Foster & Ben Bennett – In It (Astral Spirits 2017)
As the first patterns of In It begin to emerge, a realization of why Ben Bennett is increasingly considered a drummer of note. Following a killer solo effort on Astral Spirits last year (Trap), he returns to the label, joined by the Brooklyn-based saxophonist / improvisor Michael Foster, who, like Bennett, has assembled a remarkable laundry list of collaborations over the last five years. Together the occupy a startling and optimistic vision for the territories of improvised sound.
Foster and Bennett represent an interesting juncture in the history of music – a younger generation pushing the accomplishments of those previous, forward. Though perhaps easier to categorize their efforts as free improvisation, and thus free of politics and association, In It is Free Jazz through and through. An American music tinged with the blues, returning home. While the classification “free improvisation” is generally considered to be more benign, the term is among the most pregnant of all. It came to prominence on two fronts – used by Free Jazz players in an attempt to liberate themselves from the critical categories long associated with Jazz, and by European players who wanted to distance themselves from the American tradition from which they drew. Whether recognized or not, these terms are loaded signifiers. Free improvisation, as a history, category, or determinant, is a double edged sword. Particularly in Europe, its beginnings are bound to cultural appropriation, but it equally instigated an evolution in this music which allowed to become post-racial, and cross cultural – opening an astounding network of sonic conversations which stretch through the decades, and across the globe.
What is crucial to recognize, is that for a number of decades, younger generations of American improvisors have drawn more heavily on the territories opened the European scenes – presenting stronger connections to AMM, MEV, ICP, the scene documented by the German imprint FMP, and the English efforts which grew around Derek Bailey, David Toope, and number of others, than to Jazz. Given the diversity of approach, it is impossible to enforce any strict categorization, but what remains consistent through out (despite the many collaborations which occurred with Free-Jazz players), is a fracture with this music’s American roots.
Foster and Bennett’s efforts, as they appear across In It, represent a fascinating return – a music which, enabled by historical distance, hints at free improvisation’s roots in the blues. A hybrid music which draws on a blending of many pasts, to present a vision for possible futures. Theirs is a music of deep emotion, interplay, and call and resonance – formed by brilliant technique and a carefully honed ear. As great improvisation always is, these are sounds defined their silences as much as the note and beat, where listening has a greater role than what is played. A stunning debut by a duo that I hope to hear more from over the years, this is definitely one to get.
Wave Garden Duo opens the night with Caleb Miller on modular synthesizer and Jordan Halsey on video synthesizer.