Sept 18th

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.


September 11th

Jack Wright/Zachary Darrup/Evan Lipson & Construction Telescope

roughhousing actuve music oakland b-w.

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

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

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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


May 22

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.


May 1st

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.


March 28th

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.
-Bradford Bailey
The Hum


Wave Garden Duo opens the night with Caleb Miller on modular synthesizer and Jordan Halsey on video synthesizer.