MSP/Piano+: w Biggi Vinkeloe Spring 2014 US Tour • Duende (12 Apr) • Berkeley Arts Festival (16 Apr) • VAMP (19 Apr – afternoon) • The Emerald Tablet (19 Apr – eve) • Center for New Music (20 Apr) • Studio Grand (25 Apr)

Biggi Vinkeloe US Tour Spring 2014 (clockwise from upper left: Donald Robinson Biggi Vinkeloe, Joe Lasqo, Lisle Ellis, Teddy Rankin-Parker, Aaron Bennett)

I’m very excited to be joining German/Swedish saxophonist and flautist Biggi Vinkeloe for her US tour!

The tour has 6 Bay Area dates. Immediately below is a list of the dates, followed by info on Biggi and her crew, then details of each date adding info about the venues and other acts.

Biggi Vinkeloe Bay Area Tour Dates

Sat 12 Apr: Duende, Oakland (featuring Scott Walton on bass). 2 sets. (jump to show specifics)

Wed 16 Apr: Berkeley Arts Festival – featuring Teddy Rankin-Parker on cello (jump to show specifics)

— Set 1: Computer music from the CNMAT & Mills Tribes (John MacCallum, Sam Tarakajian, Shanna Sordahl, & Matthew Brendan Creer)

Sat 19 Apr (afternoon): VAMP, Oakland  - featuring Aaron Bennett on bari sax & Lisle Ellis on bass (jump to show specifics)

— Set 2: Medium-Size Band (Brett Carson, Joshua Marshall, Jon Myers, & Jacob Pek) w guest Rent Romus.

— Set 3: Ben Goldberg, Vijay Anderson, & Sheldon Brown

Sat 19 Apr (eve): The Emerald Tablet, San Francisco – featuring Teddy Rankin-Parker on cello & Lisle Ellis on bass (jump to show specifics)

— Set 1: Nava Dunkelman, Kristina Dutton, & Christina Stanley

Sun 20 Apr: Center for New Music, San Francisco – featuring Lisle Ellis on bass and Aaron Bennett on bari sax (jump to show specifics)

— Set 2: Computer music from the CNMAT & CCRMA tribes (John MacCallum, Bruno Ruviaro, Carr Wilkerson)

Fri 25 Apr: Studio Grand, Oakland, featuring Teddy Rankin-Parker on cello (jump to show specifics)

— Set 2: The one, the only… John Schott

Details for each show follow below. For Examiner.com critic Steve Smoliar’s preview of the San Francisco shows, please see: here.

Biggi Vinkeloe plays Bangalore („Bangalore Meine Liebe“ Werkstatt, Goethe Institut, Bangalore, 2011, photo by Selvaprakash L) 1.02

There is going to be a LOT of wonderful music in these shows, but something I’m especially excited about is that we’ll be using sound samples and field recordings by Biggi, especially ones recorded during her tour of India under the auspices of the Goethe Institut.

V. Nagabhushanachar (ವೀ. ನಾಗಭೂಷಣಚಾರ್, L) & Joe Lasqo (R)

These are from Bangalore, a city we both love in India’s Karnataka state — where I first lived in India, and the place where I began my studies of Indian music under Shri V. Nagabhushanachar (ವೀ. ನಾಗಭೂಷಣಚಾರ್). Many, many happy memories for both Biggi and myself.

A pioneer of blending voice samples and “found music” with wind instruments, Biggi has contributed other samples to these shows as well.

Crew Biggi

Don Robinson (L) and Biggi VInkeloe (R)

A sorceress of avant / jazz wind energy, and veteran of stellar collaborations with Roberto Bellatalla, Alberto Braida, Chris Brown, Lisle Ellis, Marco Eneidi, Ken Filiano, Gianni Gebbia, Vinny Golia, Giancarlo Locatelli, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Barre Phillips, Gino Robair, Cecil Taylor, Peeter Uuskyla, and Marie Wärme, among many others, Biggi Vinkeloe will réprise her long-standing collaboration with Bay Area master drummer Don Robinson, whom Coda Magazine has described as a “percussion Dervish”, and among whose most notable collaborators are Alan Silva, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Glenn Spearman, Larry Ochs, Bobby Few, Raphé Malik, and Joe McPhee.

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

It is my honor and pleasure to join Biggi and Don in these performances.

The following musicians will join this trio to make up a quartet or quintet on different dates:

Aaron Bennett

◉ Saxist/composer/bandleader Aaron Bennett, has been bending space in Bay Area jazz & improvised music for 15 years+. Also influenced by the music of W. Africa, Indonesia, India, & Japanese gagaku (雅楽), Aaron has collaborated with Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Marco Eneidi, Gianni Gebbia, Adam LaneAphrodisiacLagos-Roots, and ROVA Saxophone Quartet, among others. (Dates: Sat 19 Apr, afternoon, @ VAMP  |  20 Apr, @ Center for New Music)

The electro-acoustic world of Lisle Ellis

◉ NYC bassist and computer musician Lisle Ellis. Veteran of 40+ recordings (including Down Beat ✰✰✰✰✰ The Ornette Coleman Songbook), Lisle has worked with Paul Bley, Peter Brötzmann, Andrew Cyrille, Anthony Davis, Ben Goldberg, Frank Gratowski, Joëlle Léandre, Rudresh Mahanthappa (ರುದ್ರೇಶ್ ಮಹಂತಪ್ಪ), Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Myra Melford, Bob Ostertag, William Parker, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Stefano Scodanibbio, Cecil Taylor, William Winant, Pamela Z, and John Zorn, among many others. (Dates:  Sat 19 Apr, afternoon, @ VAMP  |  Sat 19 Apr eve, @ The Emerald Tablet  |  20 Apr, @ Center for New Music)

Teddy Rankin-Parker

Teddy Rankin-Parker, the sophisticated cello superfrique who’s blown in from Chicago (where he worked with AACM, Renee’ Bakers Mantra Blue Free Orchestra, Henry Grimes, and Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble) to shake up the Bay Area’s ideas of what cello-playing can be. Master of extended cello technique and slave to no musical preconceptions or boundaries, Teddy makes the space move around the warp drive instead of moving the warp drive through the space. (Dates:  Wed 16 Apr, @ Berkeley Arts Festival  |  Sat 19 Apr evening, @ The Emerald Tablet  |  Fri 25 Apr, @ Studio Grand)

Scott Walton

◉ Joining us on bass: Scott Walton. Showing dazzling technique and incisive taste in recent Bay Area concerts with Steve Adams, Gilbert Isbin, Sten Sandell, & Gino Robair, Scott has also worked with Vinny Golia, George Lewis, Bobby Bradford, Anthony Davis, Wadada Leo Smith, John Abercrombie, Davey Williams, Toshiko Akiyoshi (秋吉敏子), Clifford Jordan, Tim Perkis, and Philip Gelb. (Date: Sat 12 Apr, @ Duende).

Arbetslag och musikinstrument:

Biggi Vinkeloe: saxes & flute

Don Robinson: drums

Joe Lasqo: piano/laptop/percussion

Aaron Bennett: bari sax

Lisle Ellis: bass

Teddy Rankin-Parker: cello

Scott Walton: bass

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Sat 12 Apr: Duende, Oakland (featuring Scott Walton on bass). 2 sets.

Duende

I’m excited to play again in the unique venue which Chef Paul Canales and impresario Rocco Somazzi have made into an essential gathering place to enjoy exquisite Basque pintxos & the best of the Bay Area’s jazz and creative music – Duende (468 19th Street, Oakland – map).

Scott Walton

Regrettably our only opportunity to play with bass master Scott Walton in this series, we’re greatly looking forward to the intersection of his always perfectly placed and perfectly played lines with our orbital trajectories. A musician of rare taste, Scott is able to project a cloud of interlocking vectors that makes you think there are two bassists, while never over-playing.

back to overall tour description at top

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Wed 16 Apr, 9pm: Berkeley Arts Festival (featuring Teddy Rankin-Parker on cello)

At the East Bay’s indispensable focal point for new music, Berkeley Arts Festival (2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA map)

Set 2, 9pm: Biggi Vinkeloe tour (jump to description)

Set 1, 8pm: Computer Music from the CNMAT & Mills Tribes

MSP artist/mentat, John MacCallum

John MacCallum will perform his glittering masterwork of digital chill, …frozen into shards of ice…. Matthew Brendan Creer and Shanna Sordahl will present a lively just-intonation networked-computer duet, Baby Rattlesnakes. Sam Tarakajian will present Tecton, an electroacoustic piece “drawing on my love for the sound of the piano and . . . ”

John MacCallum is not only a computer musician and composer but also an important musical systems designer, who has created some of the of the MAX/MSP world’s key shared software resources at CNMAT. In addition to pure digital compositions, his work often brilliantly combines computer music with acoustic instruments or even uses the computer to drive live musicians (for example, Aberration, with Rootstock Percussion Trio). A fascinating area of his research involves the exploration of digitally warped time and tempo.

Matthew Brendan Creer

Matthew Brendan Creer was last seen at Berkeley Arts as a member of the mutant ensemble which premiered Gino Robair’s operas The Amanuensis and Neither Confirmed Nor Denied in Nov. A student of Mills electronics & computer masters John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, & Les Stuck, Matthew’s special area of research is the digital realization of just-intonation & alternative tunings.

Shanna Sordahl

Shanna Sordahl’s cello sound is strongly influenced by electronic music. Conversely, cello playing has completely re-wired the way she approaches electronic composition. She studied with Laetitia Sonami, Chris Brown, James Fei (正廷), & Matt Rogalsky for her MFA at Mills. Her work has been presented at the 2013 International SuperCollider Convention, and she’s collaborated with a variety of composers & artists including Trimpin, Wrekmeister Harmonies, & Alvin Lucier.

Writing about their piece, Baby Rattlesnakes, Matthew Brendan Creer notes: “Baby rattlesnakes are considered to be some of the most dangerous animals in the United States.  Unlike their adult counterparts, a young snake, unaware of how costly it is to produce venom, will use all of its reserve in a single bite.  This youthful exuberance, passion and lack of attention to personal limitations is an attribute valued by many types of artists…

This piece uses 2 networked computers + 2 performers, both influencing the parameters of each other’s programming.  Some of the techniques used include tuned pitches with corresponding rhythms, slow modulation techniques — and of course the occasional sound of a rattlesnake.”

Sam Tarakajian strumming a MIRA-enabled iPad

Starting from the Core Audio team at Apple, Sam Tarakajian found his way to computer-music toolmaker Cycling ’74, where he released Mira, an iPad controller for Max/MSP, and CNMAT, where he has been an instructor. Mira is the latest expression of a deep affection for the relationship between gesture, artist and sound, an emphasis that Sam is currently trying to bring into computer music performance.

His last piece, Breath, invited the audience to participate by pinching and swiping an iPad attached to Sam’s chest as he wandered through the crowd. Tonight’s piece, Tecton, is an electroacoustic piece “drawing on my love for the sound of the piano… and my love for destroying the things I love.”

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Sat 19 Apr, 2pm: VAMP, Oakland (featuring Aaron Bennett on bari sax & Lisle Ellis on bass)

The name says it all...

As part of the Oakland Drops Beats festival at the Oakland cultural resource (and ʿAlī Bābā’s cave of vinyl), VAMP (331 19th St., Oakland, map)

Set 1, 2pm: Biggi Vinkeloe tour (jump to description)

Set 2, 3pm: Medium-Size Band (Brett Carson, Joshua Marshall, Jon Myers, & Jacob Pek) w guest Rent Romus.

Formed in 2012, the Oakland-based Medium-Size Band has dedicated itself to the exploration of novel formal structures and directed improvisations. A composer’s collective where each member contributes pieces to the pool, MSB draws on a diverse set of techniques. Each individual member’s unique background contributes to the eclecticism and freedom of movement between different genres and musical perspectives.

Brett Carson

Brett Carson (piano) – Brett’s work draws from a wide variety of musical traditions, reflecting the influence of Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, John Zorn, Olivier Messiaen, Philip Glass, Claude Vivier, Sun Ra, and others. A member of the Atlanta experimental music scene, Brett moved to California to study at Mills College with Roscoe Mitchell, Zeena Parkins, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, and Les Stuck.

Josh Marshall

Joshua Marshall (saxes) is an Oakland-based saxophonist and composer/improviser. His work involves architectural innovation, narrativity, systematic improvisatory practice, and live digital media. He has studied with Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, Evan Parker, Zeena Parkins, Butch Rovan, I.M. Harjito, and Steve Adams of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet. Joshua has played and/or recorded with Opera Wolf, Rent Romus Lords of Outland, Architect/Enchantress, Bill Noertker’s Moxie, ELL3, Cheer Accident, Josh Allen’s Deconstruction Orchestra, Key West, Mister Sister, Ikue Mori (もりいくえ), Robocop, the Andrew Weathers Ensemble, Modest Machine, and MDK.

Jon Myers

Jon Myers is a composer and percussionist from Boston, MA interested in fractal and cyclic forms.  He plays in various traditional and contemporary contexts from jazz and Javanese gamelan to new music chamber and percussion ensembles in addition to performing with radio-feedback instruments and computer programs of his own devising.  He is currently studying composition at Mills College in Oakland, CA. His composition Mobile was premiered in Oct 2013 at the Berkeley CNMAT.

Jacob Pek (L) and Jennifer Wilsey (R) at The Luggage Store, 21 Jun 2012

Jacob Pek is a guitarist from Las Vegas, NV. He’s currently based in Oakland, CA where he studies with Fred Frith & William Winant at Mills College. His music follows in the lineage of Sun Ra and Karlheinz Stockhausen — a “Cosmic Spirit Music” inspired and informed by jazz, jamming, bird song, Bach, Jimi Hendrix, and the reality of interwoven realms. He plays in the wonderful quartet Gestaltish with Rachel Condry, Gretchen Jude, and Jennifer Wilsey.

Rent Romus, Godfather of Avant Soul

The hardest-working man in Avant-Joik, organizer of innumerable Bay Area events, Rent Romus, multi saxo-flauto-toyist, bandleader, and producer, is constantly expanding the confines of standard musical forms of composition and improvisation and focused on presenting and supporting the local experimental and avant-garde community. From his beginnings as a student of jazz while being exposed to the tutelage of Stan Getz to today, Rent Romus has recorded and released 22 recordings as a leader which have included Jason Olaine, Steve Rossi, Chico Freeman, John Tchicai, Jonas Müller, Stefan Pasborg, Toyoji Tomita (富田豊治), Dave Mihaly, Bill Noertker, CJ Borosque, Philip Everett, Ray Schaeffer, Paris Slim, Jesse Quattro, Scott R. Looney, Bob Marsh, Jim Ryan, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Tobias Fischer, and Thollem McDonas. As a producer and artist business activist he runs Edgetone Records a label for all forms of improvisation and experimentation. He is the founder and Executive Director of Outsound Presents under which he curates the SIMM Series, the Luggage Store Series every Thursday, both in San Francisco, and The Outsound New Music Summit, a national experimental music festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area every summer in July.

— Set 3, 4pm: Ben Goldberg, Vijay Anderson, & Sheldon Brown

(L → R) Vijay Anderson, Ben Goldberg, e Sheldon Brown a Novara Jazz Festival in Italia

The trio, which began in 2007 in Oakland, features the unique instrumentation of alto sax, clarinet, and drums, and were recently featured at the Novara Jazz Festival in Italy.

The group specializes in a unique form of improvisation, which focuses on a subtle, continually expanding blend of shifting counterpoint and rhythm, inviting the listener to contemplate the spontaneous unfolding of melodic and harmonic structures. This approach explores the musical and intellectual legacy of masters such as Steve Lacy, Denis Charles, Ornette Coleman, and Thelonious Monk with the goal of creating something unique and new. As one fan stated at the group’s Italian debut, the trio pursues the “Advanced Tradition”.

As Ben Goldberg said in describing this trio’s appearance at The Stone as part of his recent week-long NY residency there:

“Vijay Anderson, Sheldon Brown, and I have a weird ability to create things that sound like they were created using some kind of weird ability.”

Those who have enjoyed this trio’s invention of Oort Cloud Dixieland in their open form trad/space improv sessions presented by Oakland Freedom Jazz Society at Duende understand how true this is…

Ben Goldberg

Some brief excerpts from Ben’s longer bio:

“While getting a B.A. in music from UC Santa Cruz, I studied clarinet with Rosario Mazzeo, the dean of twentieth century clarinet teachers. I started playing and studying klezmer music, which has a virtuosic clarinet tradition. I began to think about how to use the clarinet in jazz and improvised music…

Steve Lacy provided a good example. He had devoted himself solely to the soprano saxophone and his music really touched me. I was playing in The Klezmorim and for some reason there were a bunch of tours in France that included hanging out for a week or two in Paris between gigs. I used to go down to the Sunset to listen to Steve and ask him for a lesson. Finally he relented…

In Sweden I met Ziya Aytekin (Зия Айтекин), a traditional zurna player from the Caucasus.  I heard how much his music had in common with, for example, the late work of John Coltrane. I wondered if I could use klezmer music to explore this connection between the traditional and the “avant-garde.”

One day I got together with Dan Seamans and Kenny Wollesen, with whom I had often played traditional klezmer music… This group became New Klezmer Trio. Joe Lovano said that Mel Lewis could play a downbeat that was so strong it would last for eight bars.  Perhaps there are some downbeats that keep ringing for the rest of your life.  For me, New Klezmer Trio was this downbeat…

I received a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition from Mills College, where I studied musical analysis with David Bernstein, and composition with Alvin Curran, Pauline Oliveros, and Christian Wolff [and received…] a Jazz Study Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts which funded private study with the saxophonist Joe Lovano.

Guitarist John Schott and I began working on music of the bebop era — Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker. We soon found the songs transformed through elongation, repetition, dwelling, thickening the melody, and other approaches… Further study involved the post-serialist notion of combinatorial structures containing a specified number of notes…”

Among many awards, a recent one is 2011 Downbeat Critics’ Poll, which named Ben as the #1 Rising Star Clarinetist. Ben has also been nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for a 2013 Jazz Award in the category of Clarinetist of the Year.

Vijay Anderson (photo - Peter Varshavsky / Пётр Варшавский)

Vijay Anderson is an Oakland-based drummer, bandleader, and composer who studied with Roscoe Mitchell, William Winant, David Bernstein, and Fred Frith at Mills College and Eddie Marshall, Francis Wong (世明), Hafez Modirzadeh (حافظ مدیرزاده), and Wayne Wallace at SFSU.

Vijay has worked with Vinny Golia, John Schott, Darren Johnston, Smith Dobson V, Lisa Mezzacappa, Aaron Bennett, Ava Mendoza, Marco Eneidi, Adam Lane, John Tchicai, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Swell, Kenny Wessel, Ken Filiano, Steve Adams, the Bill Horvitz Expanded Band, among many others.

Currently Vijay performs with Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait And Switch, Sheldon Brown’s Distant Intervals, Jayn Pettingill’s Verb, Marco Eneidi’s Shattered, and leads two of his own bands, the Vijay Anderson Quartet, and the Touch and Go Sextet. His first record, Hard Boiled Wonderland was released on Nottwo Records.

Sheldon Brown

Composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been involved in the San Francisco Bay Area creative music scene for over 20 years. Since 1994 he has led his own band, Sheldon Brown Group, which performs his own compositions, and he recently formed Sheldon Brown Quintet, which performs the music of Herbie Nichols, and Distant Intervals, based on poetic speech melodies.

Sheldon has performed internationally as a featured soloist with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, and with Sosa recorded on 5 albums and performed at international venues such as The North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag, New Morning in Paris, Tribute to the Love Generation in Tokyo, and many others.

Sheldon performs with many groups in the S.F. Bay Area, including: Clarinet Thing, Darren Johnston Quintet, Ian Carey Quintet + 1, Club Foot Orchestra, Laurie Antonioli, Azesu (featuring Orestes Vilato), Mike Pattonʼs Mondo Cane, Admiral Ted Brinkley’s Large Group, and Aaron Germain Quartet

As a composer, Brown has written music for his own groups and many of the other groups he performs with. For Club Foot Orchestra he composed music for the silent films, Metropolis, Sherlock Jr., Pandoraʼs Box, and The Hands Of Orlac. He also wrote music for Club Footʼs scores for the cartoon series The Twisted Tales Of Felix The Cat, which aired on CBS.

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Sat 19 Apr, 9pm: The Emerald Tablet, San Francisco (featuring Teddy Rankin-Parker on cello & Lisle Ellis on bass)

The Emerald Tablet

At Ground Zero of the North Beach poetry, art, and music Renaissance, The Emerald Tablet (80 Fresno St., San Francisco, map)

Set 2, 9pm: Biggi Vinkeloe tour (jump to description)

Set 1, 8pm: Nava Dunkelman, Kristina Dutton, & Christina Stanley

Goethe’s Metamorphosis Of Plants (Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären)

The Dutton/Dunkelman/Stanley trio perform a series of compositions and improvisations based on the schematic application of field recordings from nature reserves throughout the East Bay. These pieces will use Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants (Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären) as inspiration. Goethe’s writings allow the observer to “see” nature as an interconnected web of relationships, not as unrelated, independent parts-and to develop a deeper understanding and intuitive connection. This can be achieved through artistic imagination, and by working with a subjectively inspired approach, as opposed to a traditional, mechanistic epistemology.

Through musical improvisation, the trio will engage with the orchestration of these natural settings, the influence of adjacent urbanization in these soundscapes, and the affect of anthropic and geologic sound on creature voicing.

Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン), photo by Mido Lee

Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン) is a Bay Area percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother, Nava’s musical interests span the globe from Japanes taiko (太鼓) to Indonesian gamelan to American marching band, and from classical to contemporary to the avant-garde. Nava studied percussion under Eugene Novotney at Humboldt State University before attending Mills College, where she studied with William Winant, as well as Fred Frith, Maggi Payne, Zeena Parkins, and David Bernstein, among others.

Since graduating with a degree in music performance in 2013, Nava has performed and collaborated with John Zorn, William Winant, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, Dominique Leone and many others, as well as formed the improvisational trio Dapplegray with Jeanie-Aprille Tang (恬怡) and Tara Sreekrishnan, which debuted in 2012 at The Stone in New York City. She also is a member of two marvelous duos: DunkelpeK with Jacob Pek, and IMA () with Jeanie-Aprille Tang (恬怡). Through improvisation, Nava enjoys discovering her own musical language by exploring experimental approaches to communication, progression, and space.

Kristina Dutton

Recently moved to the Bay Area from Chicago, violinist and composer Kristina Dutton works in the areas of : improvisation, new music, bioacoustics, soundscapes, extended techniques, preparations, interdisciplinary collaboration, and quiet.

ChrIstina Stanley

Christina Stanley is a Bay Area based violinist, composer, and vocalist who attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from ages 15-18 where she studied with Li Lin (㯤) and then earned a full performance scholarship to SFSU where she studied violin with Daniel Kobialka, Jassen Toderov and the Alexander String Quartet. After touring Europe and the US with various ensembles, she attended HB Studio in New York City where she studied theatre, movement and voice and then went on to earn an MFA from Mills College, where she studied violin with David Abel and composition and improvisation with Fred Frith and Roscoe Mitchell and won the Margaret Lyon prize for excellence in music. She is currently working as a solo artist as well as a member of various ensembles. She has been a featured performer for the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival at SF MOMA and has premiered works by George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell under conductor Petr Kotik. Her original painted graphic scores have been featured at the Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco, Temple Ad Hoc in Los Angeles and Rock Paper Scissors Gallery in Oakland. She is passionate about working with living composers and composing new music.

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Sun 20 Apr: Center for New Music, San Francisco (featuring Lisle Ellis on bass and Aaron Bennett on bari sax)

At San Francisco’s focal-point new music incubator and venue, Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map).

Set 1, 8pm: Biggi Vinkeloe tour (jump to description)

Set 2, 9pm: Computer Music from the CNMAT & Mills Tribes

MSP artist/mentat, John MacCallum

John MacCallum will perform his glittering masterwork of digital chill, …frozen into shards of ice…. Bruno Ruviaro and Carr Wilkerson will present Vowelscape

John MacCallum is not only a computer musician and composer but also an important musical systems designer, who has created some of the of the MAX/MSP world’s key shared software resources at CNMAT. In addition to pure digital compositions, his work often brilliantly combines computer music with acoustic instruments or even uses the computer to drive live musicians (for example, Aberration, with Rootstock Percussion Trio). A fascinating area of his research involves the exploration of digitally warped time and tempo.

Bruno Ruviaro

Bruno Ruviaro, originally of Brazil, formerly of CCRMA and now teaching at Santa Clara University, is a profilic composer and digital improviser, and has also collaborated with musicians and composers such Masaki Kubo (久保正樹), Chris Jones, Chris Froh, Juan-Pablo Cáceres, and SLOrk. His interests include the intersection of music & linguistics/speech, laptop orchestras, live-electronics, acousmatic music, and intellectual (im)property.

Carr Wilkerson

Carr Wilkerson of CCRMA not only composes and improvises, but keeps the Starship CCRMA in peak running condition, specializing in Linux and Mac OS systems. A master of hardware as well as software, in a previous life, he also played Scotty as a US Navy Nuclear Propulsion Engineer (“why yes, I am a rocket scientist, why do you ask….?”)

Bruno and Carr will present their recently premiered joint sono-phonemic piece Vowelscape, which applies research on the intersection of music, speech, and language going back to the Musilanguage Model (see: here), and follow with digital free improv duos.

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Fri 25 Apr: Studio Grand, Oakland (featuring Teddy Rankin-Parker on cello)

The scene at Studio Grand

At Oakland’s visually and acoustically beautiful multi-arts nexus, Studio Grand (3234 Grand Ave, Oakland, map)

Set 1, 10pm: Biggi Vinkeloe tour (jump to description)

Set 2, 10:45pm: John Schott

John Schott performs at Vexations Re-vex'd I, Berkeley Arts Festival, 23 Mar 2013

John Schott is a composer, guitarist, arranger and musical spelunker. A collaborator of Ben Goldberg, Kenny Wollesen, Trevor Dunn, Charlie Hunter, Scott Amendola, and currently leader of a trio with Dan Seamans, and John Hanes, John has released records in various combinations on Knitting Factory, Tzadik, Songlines, Nuscope, and Victo.

John was also (with Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard, and Scott Amendola), a member of the jazz/funk band T.J. Kirk, whose second album If Four Was One (Warner Bros.) received a Grammy nomination. His unique and brilliant release Shuffle Play: Elegies for the Recording Angel (New World) features John’s 16-piece Ensemble Diglossia, including ROVA Saxophone Quartet’s Steve Adams & percussionist William Winant, in a composition intermixing contemporary composition with the earliest surviving recordings, of circa 1880-1900. Other releases include John Schott’s Typical Orchestra and Drunken Songs for Sober Times. John can also be heard on records by John Zorn, Tom Waits, The Baguette Quartette, Steven Bernstein — and, especially, the incredible What Comes Before with Ben Goldberg and Michael Sarin. John’s trio with Dan Seamans, and John Hanes was recently featured in the Other Minds 19 festival.

What Comes Before, by John Schott, Ben Goldberg, and Michael Sarin

John may réprise his stunning and vibrantly emotional solo tour de force of “rembetiko banjo taksim” from March’s 40-musician Vexations [Re-vex'd] II improv marathon, a piece that bridges the worlds of avant-garde, Middle Eastern, and American roots music in an exploration of the tragic life of composer Erik Satie.

Listeners to the premier of this music struggled to pick themselves up off the floor after being hit with its emotional power…

Or… John may do something equally brilliant and evocative… you never know with a Junk Genius

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Join us for these beautiful shows with one of Europe’s most unique improvising voices and a glittering cast of co-conspirators…

Joe

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MSP/Piano: w Houston’s Sandy Ewen and “Jacob L”, Sat 12 Apr @ Crane House, Oakland 8pm + Set 2: RTD3 (Ron Heglin, Tom Nunn, and Doug Carroll) @ 9pm

The superb series and beautiful acoustics at the Crane House (near Ashby Bart - for address/directions contact joe@joelasqo.com) have made it into one of the most interesting places to hear improv & new music in the Bay Area.

Sandy Ewen and friend

Set 1, 8pmSandy EwenJoe Lasqo – “Jacob L”

Sandy Ewen's new album, Tributaries

Following her recording last year with Bay Area improv expats Damon Smith and Weasel Walter, and a stream of great recordings with the group Weird Weeds, Canadian-born/Texas-based guitarist Sandy Ewen has followed up with a brilliant album, Tributaries, based on her micro-collages.

Sandy Ewen

Sandy’s visual work is closely tied to her work in sound; she uses both mediums to explore texture, composition and materials.

Sandy Ewen - untitled, 2012, mixed media micocollage

Sandy’s microcollages, enlarged through projection and digital printing, are an exploration of material and technique. Using a unique process pioneered by the artist, natural materials and polymers are torn, liquefied, scorched, melted, cut, and fused. When enlarged, the microscopic nuances of these manipulations are manifested in exquisite detail.

Sandy Ewen, solo guitar 2012 (photo by David Dove)

As an improviser in both art and music, Ewen sees herself as guiding materials and space rather than executing a preconceived composition. “I like to explore mediums and materials and tease out their essence,” says Ewen.

Sandy Ewen - untitled, 2012, polymer microcollage

“Working with slide projections has focused my eye on the subtitles of natural processes of decay and transformation. Through my work, I am asking questions of the materials rather than dictating answers.”

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

I’m keenly looking forward to playing with Sandy and further exploring her multimedia perspective and the new musical strategies it gives rise to.

Plus, we’ll be joined by mysterious less-is-more master of multiple clarinets, “Jacob L“.

Set 2, 9pm: RTD3, the hypersensitive improv trio of Ron Heglin (trombone, voice), Tom Nunn (invented instruments), and Doug Carroll (cello).

RTD3 @ Meridian Gallery, 20 Feb 2010

L → R: Ron Heglin, Doug Carroll, Tom Nunn (Photo: Dill Pixels)

All 3 players span the full range from percussive to melodic… sometimes within the same note. Although Ron Heglin and Doug Carroll use conventional instruments, their explorations of extended technique (viz. playing the cello upside down) enable them to use their instruments as sound synthesizers of a most unconventional sort. Coupled with leading instrument inventor and improv phenomenologist, Tom Nunn, in the long standing improvising trio, RTD3, they become a 6-eared vibration-telepathy music monster whose sonic lair you’ll want to enter.

Ron Heglin (photo by Tom Djll / Djll Pixels)

Ron Heglin is a trombonist and vocalist working with extended technique on the trombone and with spoken and sung imaginary languages as a vocalist. His vocal music has been influenced by his study of North Indian vocal music. He works both compositionally and in an improvisational mode and is a member of the Bay Area music context as well as performing internationally. He is a founding member of the groups Music for All Occasions, Rotodoti (= RTD3 + Tim Perkis), Dynosoar (with Tom Djll and Karen Stackpole), and Brassiosuarus, has performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Brant, Logos Duo, Tim Perkis, John Bischoff, Kattt Atchley, Toyoji Tomita (富田豊治), and is my bandmate in Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic.

He has these words to say about his music “process”:

“I think we choose a tuning for ourselves early on and then gather those practices together to support and enhance that tuning and this practice becomes our way to know what we are experiencing in the everyday, and if we neglect these practices that constitute our music then we lose our awareness of what we are experiencing. Often it seems that when I begin to sing or play there are surprises in my consciousness and in my body and and there is this task of integrating this new information: this is the practice, or part of it. This is the edge of not knowing and the acceptance of this edge seems a very exciting place and hopefully continues to be a place where new integrations (or awareness of chaos) can take place.

Is this place the void?”

Tom Nunn playing his invented instrument, The Crab

Tom Nunn (interview, bio) has designed, built and performed with original musical instruments since 1976, and has built over 200 instruments.

His instruments typically utilize commonly available materials, are sculptural in appearance, utilize contact microphones for amplification, and are designed specifically for improvisation with elements of ambiguity, unpredictability and nonlinearity.  Tom has performed extensively throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, as well as in other parts of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and New Zealand, both as soloist and with other musicians.  Tom also performs with T.D. Skatchit, RTD3, Ghost In The House, Music For Hard Times (duo with Paul Winstanley) and has appeared on a number of recordings, including his solo CD, Identity, T.D. Skatchit & Company, Skatch Migration, and others on Edgetone Records. In 1998, he published Wisdom of the Impulse: On the Nature of Musical Free Improvisation.

In 2013 he was the subject of a major retrospective concert at the CMC in San Francisco and late last year opened his own sonic musical invention laboratory to the weird listening public as The Nunnery.

I recently joined Tom and Paul Winstanley at Crane House with  Music For Hard Times, and the wonderful acoustics there brought out all the sensitivity of his ear and imagination, so listeners can expect the beautifully unexpected.

Doug Carroll & friend

Doug Carroll is a cellist, composer, and audio engineer and has a BA in Music from the University of Alabama and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College. Doug attended music classes at the Royal Conservatory in Den Hague and Darmstadt International Summer Courses.  He completed composition studies including with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lou Harrison and Anthony Braxton; additionally, he performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s world premier of Ocean, with music composed by John Cage. With an emphasis in improvisation, Doug has also performed at Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Sound Symposium, and the Birmingham Improvised Music Festival with Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith.

His solo improvisations have received international acclaim for their stark originality and musical sensitivity (and plenty of acclaim here in the Bay Area too!). I’m delighted to be his bandmate Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic.

Doug Carroll's Music For Cello And Wild Animals

Doug is also an expert field recordist, especially of animal and bird sounds, and his blendings of solo cello with these field recordings offer a special world of beautiful animal-human collaboration. His interweaving of cello lines and birdsong in the album Music For Cello and Wild Animals is serenely mesmerizing and unforgettable,

Join us for a night of limpid and ear-opening free improv with masters from the Bay Area and beyond…

Joe

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Piano: w Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic, Tue 15 Apr, sfSoundSalonSeries @ Center for New Music, SF 9pm + Set 1: LANACANE (Lana Voronina) @ 7:49pm

I’m excited to once again join Jim Ryan’s unique multi-media ensemble Green Alembic at San Francisco’s focal-point new music incubator and venue, Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map).

Founded by Adam Fong and Brent Miller, members of the composers’ collective, The Collected, and assisted by many volunteers and distinguished curators, CNM has quickly grown into an essential orgone accelerator for the Bay Area’s new music communities across the broad spectrum from avant classical to free jazz.

sfSound (pictured, L → R: Christopher Jones, Erik Ulman, Matt Ingalls, Monica Scott, Kyle Bruckmann, Kjell Nordeson, John Ingle)

Tonight it will be our pleasure and honor to play under the auspices of sfSound’s sfSoundSalonSeries (sfSSS event listing: here, Examiner.com preview of show: here). Curated by master of extended-technique avant-clarinet and MSP guru, Matt Ingalls, and the sfSound team, the sfSoundSalonSeries has brought a steady stream of international and domestic sound art pioneers to CNM to demonstrate the results of their paranormal researches and expeditions to the sonic frontier. This year alone has seen fantastic shows involving George Cremaschi, Joan La Barbara, Natural Artefacts (Sweden), Tim Perkis, Danishta Rivero, Lucie Vítková (Czech Republic), and Jack Wright, among many others.

Set 2, 9pm: Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic

One alembic makes you smaller….

Infected by bebop at a tender age, Jim first took up the trombone in Minnesota, and by Mai ’68 was playing flute & sax, living in Paris, and jamming and performing with musicians like Sunny Murray, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp & Anthony Braxton, then shortly afterward beginning his musical association with Steve Lacy.

Jim Ryan

After stretching the boundaries of improv with the “Free Music Formation” in Paris and other European cities, Jim returned to the US, first jolting the scene in Washington, D.C., then moving to the Bay Area not so long before the Loma Prieta Earthquake (coincidence…?)

Since then, Jim has led a remarkable variety of improv groups, e.g. Green Alembic, Dark PrecursorForward EnergyLeft Coast Improv Group, the Electro/Acoustic Sextet of Oakland, Subjects of Desire, and Retro Blue, as well as participating in Marco Eneidi‘s American Jungle Orchestra. and the Orchestra for World Peace of Sun Ra trumpeter Eddie Gale.

Those who’ve heard Jim play have never been the same, and, after hearing his poems about surrealist elf sexuality, or seeing the powerful color energies of his paintings, are often never the same all over again.

Jim Ryan reading his poetry (photo by Carly Hoopes)

Green Alembic is Jim’s “new approach to multimedia presentation of Image, Word, & Sound” … the group transmutes projections of original art used as graphical scores and spoken word into rare musical elements. The music is inspired by images which are projected throughout the performance, by spoken word pieces, and by spontaneous interactions among the musicians. The group’s aesthetic is focused upon the immediate creation of musical ideas, clear articulation, and sensitivity to the unfolding sonic and visual environment.

In addition to Jim Ryan (kalimba, flute, horn, word, original images & leader), the line-up will also include:

Doug Carroll & friend

Doug Carroll is a cellist, composer, and audio engineer and has a BA in Music from the University of Alabama and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College. Doug attended music classes at the Royal Conservatory in Den Hague and Darmstadt International Summer Courses.  He completed composition studies including with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lou Harrison and Anthony Braxton; additionally, he performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s world premier of Ocean, with music composed by John Cage. With an emphasis in improvisation, Doug has also performed at Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Sound Symposium, and the Birmingham Improvised Music Festival with Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith.

Michael Cooke (photo by Danny Nolan)

Michael Cooke, a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer of jazz and classical music. He plays a variety of instruments — saxophones, flutes, soprano and bass clarinets, and has a deep relationship with the bassoon.  Recently he has incorporated the Chinese shēng (笙), a free reed instrument, into this arsenal.  He is a cum laude graduate with a music degree from the University of North Texas.

Sheng (笙)

Ron Heglin (photo by Tom Djll / Djll Pixels)

Ron Heglin:  is a trombonist and vocalist working with extended technique on the trombone and with spoken and sung imaginary languages. His voicing has been influenced by his study of North Indian vocal music. He works both compositionally and in an improvisational mode. He has been a member of the Bay Area music context for over twenty-five years and has performed internationally.

Jeff Hobbs (L) & Bob Marsh (R)

Jeff Hobbs: is an Oakland resident, instrument repair artist at ‘Best Instrument Repair’ on 14th St. in downtown Oakland, and a ubiquitous presence on the improv, poetry slam, and outlandish Eastbaynia rock and R&B scenes.  He plays violin, doublebass, cornet, various clarinets as well as several other instruments. It’s great to have Jeff’s sonic inspiration as a bandmate in Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra too!

Jason Hoopes and friends...

Jason Hoopes:  is a bassist and composer from Oakland. He can be seen performing with Jack O’ The Clock, Fred Frith, Eat The Sun, Dominique Leone, John Ettinger, Sarah Wilson, John Schott, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and numerous others. Jason also works in dance, composing music for choreographers Peiling Kao (沛齡), Molissa Fenley, and Alyce Finwall, among others.

ChrIstina Stanley

Christina Stanley is a Bay Area violinist, composer, vocalist and artist. She is active as a performer, improviser, electronic musician and teacher. She has performed in Europe, the continental US, and Cuba as a vocalist, violinist and electronic musician. She has played SF MOMA and has premiered works by Roscoe Mitchell under conductor Petr Kotik.

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

It is my pleasure and honor to once again join this “improvisational chamber super-group of accomplished Bay Area musicians” (sfSoundSalonSeries).

Set 1, 7:49pm: LANACANE (Lana Voronina),

LANACANE (Lana Voronina)

LANACANE is the solo electronic music project of Lana Voronina, multi-media visual artist, performer, and event producer.

Expect to hear piano improvisation, samples, effects, beats, and much, much more…

Join us for a night of chamber and solo improv expeditions into a world whose center is everywhere and whose limit is nowhere…

Joe

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—— Past Performances ——————————————————

Note: Shows, releases, and other events below are only in approximate chronological order.

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MSP/Piano: 22-hour improv marathon on a structure by Satie, w 39 musicians + 1 dancer — Vexations [Re-vex'd] II @ Berkeley Arts Festival (beginning 2pm Sat 22 Mar, ending approx. noon, Sun 23 Mar)

In Sep 2012 Berkeley Arts’ 19-pianist Satie/Cage Vexations marathon proved that many strange, wonderful, and unintended things happen when you try to repeat its enigmatic theme 840 times over a 22-hour period.

In Mar 2013, I was honored that Berkeley Arts Festival gave me the opportunity to organize a possibly even more bizarre follow-up, with 35 of the Bay Area’s top improvisers in a wide variety of genres, ranging from free jazz to classical, who in Vexations [Re-vex'd] found out what strange, wonderful, and unintended things happen when you create something new from the enigmatic architecture of Vexations 840 times (post-show gallery).

Astonishing music ensued, and a wonderful time was had by all.

Erik Satie

So, what better way to greet spring in 2014 than Vexations [Re-vex'd] II?

Join us for up to 22 hours of magnificent and radical solo/duo explorations by 40 local improvisers, from 2pm Sat 22 Mar to approx. noon Sun 23 Mar, 2013 at Berkeley Arts Festival (2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA map) – who, if last year is any indication – will use the architecture of Satie’s Vexations to build idiosyncratic dream structures of pure percussion, music theatre/wordplay, searing abstract guitar & saxophone lines, digital and electronic sound art, and a wide range of acutely re-vex’ed piano interpretations.

Line-up:

Kersti Abrams, Steve Adams, Josh Allen, Kenneth Atchley, Jorge Bachmann ([ruidobello]), Nancy Beckman, Tom Bickley, Sheldon Brown, Nan Busse, Doug Carroll, Mark Clifford, Joe Colombo, Rachel Condry, Patti Deuter, Derek Drudge, Diane Grubbe, Ron Heglin, Jeff Hobbs, Motoko Honda (本田素子), Jaroba, Heikki Koskinen, Joe Lasqo, Dominique Leone, Robert López, Fernando López-Lezcano & El Dinosaurio, Ric Louchard, Bob Marsh, Josh Marshall, David Michalak, Tom Nunn, Timothy Orr, Mika Pontecorvo, Teddy Rankin-Parker, Don Robinson, Rent Romus, John Schott, John Shiurba, Shanna Sordahl, Christina Stanley, Eli Wallace, Drew Wheeler

First some background on the original Satie theme, and then more details of line-up and schedule….

Le jeune Satie

Composer, Rosicrucian, Dadaist, cabaret pianist, socialist, and founder/prophet/sole member of L’Église Métropolitaine d’Art de Jésus Conducteur (Metropolitan Church of Art of Jesus the Conductor), Satie remains a Rashomon of personae.

Whether playing pop and improvising at the Chat Noir cabaret; discussing compositional theory with Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc or Milhaud (later of Mills College…); or working and playing with artists like Cocteau, Diaghilev, Picasso, Bracque, Tristan Tzara, André Breton, and Man Ray; Satie always drifted serenely at the cross-roads of irreconcilable contradictions and could never be fit into a coherent frame.

La maison de Satie à Arcueil

Over the course of his 27 years in his final residence at the “House with Four Chimneys” at Arcueil, no one had ever visited his room. After his death, Satie’s friends discovered compositions that were totally unknown or thought to have been lost. These were found behind the piano, in the pockets of his velvet suits, and in other odd places in the chaotic, disordered space, and included the Vexations [1].

Never performed (or even mentioned) in Satie’s lifetime, the Vexations were revived by John Cage, leading to a premiere by an incredible team of pianists including Cage, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, John Cale, David Del Tredici, and others in 1963. (After the 840th repetition, someone in the audience shouted, “Encore!”…)

Causing strong hallucinations and failure to complete the performance to some pianists who have dared to try playing the piece alone, this endless ocean of mesmerizing unsettled waves is a pioneering work of minimalisme avant la lettre.

Très lent... pli selon pli...

Despite a score that’s only one page long, its strikingly eccentric and impractical enharmonic notation, ambiguous playing directions, refusal to resolve into any tonality, and, of course, unorthodox duration, make the piece challenging to play and remember, demanding a highly attentive trance state which is then aurally transmitted to the audience.

Satie à l'harmonium - dessin de Santiago Rusiñol

As enigmatic as was Satie himself, theVexations have been variously analyzed as a post-traumatic reaction to the end of his only known love affair (with Suzanne Valadon) or a secret numerological theology.

The flat-5 interval so prominent in the piece was traditionally known as the “Devil in music”; the piece unfolds in “inauspicious” 13-beat cycles; the number of notes in the manuscript, 108, is the product of 1-to-the-first x 2-squared x 3-cubed; and the number of repetitions, 840, is the product of all the numbers between 4 and 7… Coincidence….? Trail of red herrings…? “In-joke”…? If not, what meaning does this hold in any of the cultic systems that Satie participated in or devised?

The only thing to do in response is come and hear a part (or… if you dare… ALL!) of this unique Bay Area performance.

Here are the details of the team bringing this unique experience to your ears (in alphabetical order with start times and instrumentation):

Kersti Abrams

Kersti Abrams: alto sax

7:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Kersti will do duets with Mika Pontecorvo

Steve Adams

Steve Adams: sopranino sax, flutes, laptop

4pm, Sat 22 Mar

11:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Kenneth Atchley @ The Li Po Lounge (李白居)

Kenneth Atchley: laptop & electronics

5:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Jorge Bachmann (aka Ruidobello)

Jorge Bachmann ([ruidobello]): laptop & electronics

10pm, Sat 22 Mar

11:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Nancy Beckman

Tom Bickley and friend

Nancy Beckman & Tom Bickley, in the Gusty Winds May Exist duo: shakuhachi, Paetzhold contrabass recorder, “normal” recorders, laptop, small percussion, radios, EWI wind synthesizer, spoken word

3pm, Sat 22 Mar (trio with Dianne Grubbe)

6pm, Sat 22 Mar

Sheldon Brown

Sheldon Brown: saxophones & clarinets

midnight, Sun 23 Mar

1:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Nan Busse

Nan Busse: dance (& didgeridoo…?)

8:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

11am, Sun 23 Mar

Nan will dance; w music by Ron Heglin and Joe Lasqo

Doug Carroll & friend

Doug Carroll: cello & field recordings

8:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Mark Clifford

Mark Clifford: vibraphone & percussion

4am, Sun 23 Mar (solo)

9:30am, Sun 23 Mar (duet with Josh Marshall)

Joe Colombo performs at Vexations Re-vex'd I, Berkeley Arts Festival, 23 Mar 2013 (photo: Joel Deuter)

Joe Colombo: piano

7:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Rachel Condry

Rachel Condry: clarinets

3:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Rachel will do duets with Ric Louchard

Patti Deuter performs Cage's "Four Walls" @ Berkeley Arts Festival

Patti Deuter: piano

— Opening fanfare (2pm, Sat 22 Mar)

— Final Dozen (noon or after, Sun 23 Mar)

Derek Drudge

Derek Drudge: piano, percussion, field recordings, electronics

5am, Sun 23 Mar

Diane Grubbe

Diane Grubbe: flutes

3pm, Sat 22 Mar (trio with Nancy Beckman and Tom Bickley)

5pm, Sat 22 Mar

Ron Heglin (photo by Tom Djll / Djll Pixels)

Ron Heglin: voice, trombone, tuba

8:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

11am, Sun 23 Mar

Ron will do duets with Joe Lasqo, + dance by Nan Busse

Jeff Hobbs (L) & Bob Marsh (R)

Jeff Hobbs: violin

2:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Motoko Honda (本田素子)

Motoko Honda (本田素子): piano

4:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

8am, Sun 23 Mar

Proud father Jaroba & children, Chapel of the Chimes "Garden of Memory" solstice event, June 2011

Jaroba: saxophones, bass clarinet, invented wind instruments

3am, Sun 23 Mar

Heikki Koskinen playing the Morrison Digital Trumpet

Heikki Koskinen: piano, flute or tenor recorder, Morrison digital trumpet

7pm, Sat 22 Mar

11pm, Sat 22 Mar

Heikki will do duets with Rent Romus

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

Joe Lasqo: piano, laptop, percussion, solkaṭṭu (சொல்கட்டு)

8:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

11am, Sun 23 Mar

Joe will do duets with Ron Heglin, + dance by Nan Busse

Dominique Leone doing an arena gig...

Dominique Leone: piano

10am, Sun 23 Mar

Ze Bib! — Robert López and Shanna Sordahl

Robert López: vibraphone, drum set, percussion, w Shanna Sordahl, in the duo, Ze Bib!

1am, Sun 23 Mar

3:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano y El Dinosaurio

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano

Fernando López-Lezcano: El Dinosaurio brain-transplanted homebrew synth & laptops

— 6:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

9:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Ric Louchard

Ric Louchard: piano

3:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Ric will do duets with Rachel Condry

Bob Marsh / M. Mercure et le «SIlver Park» à R-de-Choc, 21 mai 2010 (pour plus de détails sur R-de-Choc et son organisateur, Pascal Marzan, svp. voir: http://r-de-choc.blogspot.com)

Bob Marsh: Silver Park (invented instrument), voice, tap dance, spoken word

8pm, Sat 22 Mar

9pm, Sat 22 Mar

Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall: saxophones

6:30am, Sun 23 Mar (duet with Don Robinson)

9:30am, Sun 23 Mar (duet with Mark Clifford)

David Michalak

Tom Nunn playing his invented instrument, The Crab

David Michalak and Tom Nunn, as duo T.D. Skatchit: skatch boxes and tape

10:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Timothy Orr, 2012 (photo (c) Sidney Erthal)

Timothy Orr: drums

2:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

4:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Timothy will do duets with Drew Wheeler

The polychromatic Mika Pontecorvo

Mika Pontecorvo: laptop. guitar, and…?

7:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Mika will do duets with Kersti Abrams

Teddy Rankin-Parker

Teddy Rankin-Parker: cello

12:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Don Robinson performing w the Kris Tiner Trio @ In The Flow Festival, Sacramento, 14 May 2012 (photo by George Thomson)

Don Robinson: drums

2am, Sun 23 Mar (duet with John Schott)

6:30am, Sun 23 Mar (duet with Josh Marshall)

Rent Romus, Godfather of Avant Soul

Rent Romus: saxophones, toys

7pm, Sat 22 Mar

11pm, Sat 22 Mar

Rent will do duets with Heikki Koskinen

John Schott performs at Vexations Re-vex'd I, Berkeley Arts Festival, 23 Mar 2013 (photo: Joel Deuter)

John Schott: guitar

2am, Sun 23 Mar (duet with Don Robinson)

6am, Sun 23 Mar (solo)

John Shiurba

John Shiurba: guitar, preparations, electronic FX

7am, Sun 23 Mar

10:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Ze Bib! — Robert López and Shanna Sordahl

Shanna Sordahl: cello & electronics/laptop, w Robert López, in the duo, Ze Bib!

1am, Sun 23 Mar

3:30am, Sun 23 Mar

ChrIstina Stanley

Christina Stanley: violin

5:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

Eli Wallace

Eli Wallace: piano

9am, Sun 23 Mar

Drew Wheeler in a quiet moment...

Drew Wheeler: guitar, FX, laptop

— 2:30pm, Sat 22 Mar

— 4:30am, Sun 23 Mar

Drew will do duets with Tim Orr.

I’m honored to join with these stellar musicians and looking forward to being sucked in to the abyss of Satie’s enigmatic Vexations and much, much further.

...or… if you dare… ALL!

Come join us on our journey beyond normal consciousness…

Joe

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MSP/Piano: Post-jazz compositions for improvisers w Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Mon 10 Mar @ Duende, Oakland, 10pm | Set 1: Gangsa: Electroacoustic Percussion by Chris Brown & Lightbulb Ensemble, @ 8pm | Set 2: Darren Johnston Trio +1 @ 9pm


Duende, Oakland - the Bay Area's place for choice pintxos and creative music

I’m excited to once again play Aaron Bennett’s unique compositions for improvisers with the Bay Area’s most startling post-jazz ensemble, the Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra — especially in the unique venue which Chef Paul Canales and impresario Rocco Somazzi have made into an essential gathering place to enjoy exquisite Basque pintxos & the best of the Bay Area’s jazz and creative music – Duende (468 19th Street, Oakland – map).

The Oakland Freedom Jazz Society

And even better, we’re playing under the auspices of the Oakland Freedom Jazz Society, whose curator Fernando Carpenter has made the Duende Monday Night Series into a Mecca for lovers of the now-moment in Bay Area jazz. (Fernando is also the ringleader of the essential Oakland cultural resource and ʿAlī Bābā’s cave of LPs, VAMP, which will put on a pop-up record shop at the show.

The name says it all...

It’s aways adventure at warp-drive to play with Aaron Bennett’s EMTPO, and I look forward with special pleasure to bringing the superluminal energy of his fantastic “comprov” charts to Duende’s beautiful performance space.

If you’ve already heard the first album of Aaron Bennett’s unique compositions released by Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (cover below), you’re already coming to this great show. If not, run, don’t walk, to get a copy at http://emtpo.bandcamp.com/ and hear what the fuss is about.

Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (cover art: Nancy Bennett)

Among Aaron’s many stellar contributions to the Bay Area improv and new music scenes (like sax trio arrangements of Bollywood standards) are fantastic “breathing chart” compositions for large improvising groups that deliver heightened coherence and adventure at the same time. They stand as Himalayas of group improv music. And Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra is the Mt. Everest.

Vapor Trails of Structure in Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Improv...

To quote Aaron: “The members of this ensemble utilize the electro-magnetic field of their collective mind to attain a unitive transcendent state of sonic consciousness and in turn, create sublime and/or unusually expanded sonic experiences for their listeners.”

The electro-magnetic field is tuned and amplified by means of unique “breathing chart” compositions using a special graphic notation Aaron has designed for large improvising ensembles to focus and unleash aural energies. The resulting sound is like nothing else and has amazed audiences in a string of orgone-accelerating Bay Area performances over the last year.

We’re excited to premier Aaron’s new charts “5” and “Y“, and may revisit some old standards such as “X“.

(For a more detailed interview with Aaron about this music, please check out Craig Matsumoto’s post: Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Improv).

Aaron Bennett in Space

Bio note: Saxist/composer Aaron Bennett has been bending space in the Bay Area jazz and improvised music communities for more than 15 years. Beyond his studies in composition and performance of western music at California Institute of the Arts, Aaron has also studied and played the music of West Africa, Indonesia, India, and Traditional Japanese 雅楽 (Gagaku) music. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad including performances with Wadada Leo SmithPeter KowaldJohn ButcherDonald RobinsonMarco EneidiGianni GebbiaWeasel WalterAdam LaneLarry OchsSteve AdamsJohn RaskinVictoria WilliamsAphrodesiaLagos-RootsThe ROVA Saxophone Quartet and many others.

Aaron Bennett in Time

He leads his own groups Go-Go-FightmasterElectro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra and performs in the Oakland Active OrchestraLisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & SwitchVijay Anderson Quartet, and Guerilla Hi-Fi. Aaron has composed for large ensembles, chamber groups, plays, films, dance performances, wind quintet, saxophone quartets and trios as well as pieces for solo instruments.

In addition to Aaron Bennett (sax & compositions), the line-up for this show will also include:

Kristina Dutton – violin

(L → R) Kristina Dutton, Teddy Rankin-Parker, and Daniel Pearce perform at the Emerald Tablet, San Francisco, 09 Jan 2014

Rob Ewing – trombone

Rob Ewing

Jeff Hobbs – violin, or cornet, or…?

Jeff Hobbs (L) & Bob Marsh (R)

Darren Johnston – trumpet

Darren Johnston

Joe Lasqo – piano, laptop, solkaṭṭu (சொல்கட்டு)

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

Bob Marsh – accordion and/or guitar (and spiritual guidance counselor)

Bob Marsh performing in Sonic Suit #1, Outsound New Music Summit, 2011 (Photo- PeterBKaars.com, http-:www.peterbkaars.com)

Lisa Mezzacappa – bass

Lisa Mezzacappa

Crystal Pascucci – cello

Crystal Pascucci

Teddy Rankin-Parker – cello

Teddy Rankin-Parker

Preceding us at the beginning of the evening in Set 1, 8pm will be a rare performance of Chris Brown’s electro-percussive masterwork Gansga, featuring the LightBulb Ensemble.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown, composer/pianist/improvisor and professor of music at Mills College in Oakland, composes music that most often includes close interaction of acoustic and electronic instruments.

Gangsa (2010) is one such piece, that features 4 Philippine flat-gongs played in phasing rhythmic patterns while a computer creates interlocking transformations of their sounds in real time.

Gangsa of the Indonesian gamelan

Although the term gamelan baru (“new gamelan”) is usually applied to neo-Indonesian music (where “gangsa” is an instrument in the gamelan ensemble), here Chris widens its field of application to the greater tradition of South-East Asian metallophones, extending far beyond Indonesia, in this case, to the Philippines, where Chris spent his childhood.

Gangsa of the Philippine Cordillera (Photo - Ash Velasco, isnatako.blogspot.com)

The flat-gong gangsa pictured above is played among the native peoples of the Cordillera mountains in Northern Luzon in the Philippines, a center of resistance to Spanish colonialism for 300+ years and where many today continue to struggle against economic neocolonialism.

Gangsa is only one of the electro-percussive tours de force from Iconicities, by Chris Brown, w William Winant & Ensemble

In an exploration of the “wrinkles and crumples of temporal dissonance”, Chris Brown’s Gangsa employs a polymetric rhythmic structure of growing and shrinking patterns in 8, 7, 6, and 4 beats which form a complex composite cycle.

These are then time-crumpled by means of half-cycle displacements played back from sample buffers for each gong, creating a deep hocket.

Further time-wrinkling is effected by means of an exponential tempo curve that temporally warps the structure from 30bpm → 62½bpm and back again over the first and last composite cycles, while occupying a high mesa of 125bpm for the middle 8 composite cycles.

Following this mesmerizingly precise experience of new meanings of time and pulse will be an improvised piece for the ensemble with computer driven percussion.

(L → R) Chris Brown, Tim Perkis, and Scot Gresham-Lancaster perform as Fuzzy Bunny

Chris Brown’s music has evolved within the intersections of many different traditions and styles. Following early training as a classical pianist, he was influenced by studies of Indonesian, Indian, Afro-American, and Cuban musics, and then took off on branches provided by the American Experimentalists in inventing and building a personal electronic instrumentarium. At first these were amplified acoustic devices; then he went on to build analog circuits that modified their sounds, and custom-made computer systems that interactively transformed them. More recently, he’s extended this fascination with instrument building to the design of computer network systems that interact with acoustic musicians and with other computers and musicians connected over the internet.

Collaboration and improvisation have been primary in the development of his music for various traditional instruments and interactive electronics. H’es had commissions for such pieces from the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, among others. He was a member with percussionist William Winant, saxophonist Larry Ochs, and electronic musician Scot Gresham-Lancaster of the pioneering group Room (1984-94), which explored the intersection of composition, improvisation, and electronics.

Lava, by Chris Brown

One of my favorites among his works is his 1992 composition Lava, for 8 instruments and interactive electronics, an hour-long, quadraphonic sound environment that virtuosically employs live-sampling to create spatially flowing counterpoints of timbre and rhythm.

As pianist with the Glenn Spearman Double Trio he has performed and recorded music in the free-jazz tradition at venues including the San Francisco and Monterey Jazz Festivals, the DuMaurier and Victoriaville Festivals in Canada, and in Europe. He has performed and recorded with such prominent and varied improvisors as Butch Morris, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, Barry Guy, Ikue Mori (もりいくえ), Dave Douglas, and John Zorn. He has also been active as a pianist in performing the music of composers such as James Tenney, Henry Cowell, Christian Wolff, William Brooks, David Rosenboom, John Coltrane, Luc Ferrari, and Terry Riley.

The Hub

Between 1986-97 he was also a member of The Hub, an ensemble of computer musicians who developed “Computer Network Music”, a genre whose sound arises from the interdependency of multiple computer-music systems. The Hub toured extensively in the US and Europe, released 3 CDs (much of whose material has been recently re-released, with previously unreleased tracks, as the magnificent Boundary Layer box set by Tzadik), and collaborated with such composers as Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and Ramón Sender. The Hub also participated in several media projects, including remote-site concerts (distance-musics), and a live, video-generated realization of of John Cage’s chance-operations score Variations II. Bay Area audiences have recently been fortunate to hear to stunning concerts from a revived Hub which has vigorously popped back up from the rhizome.

Other pathbreaking projects by Chris include the TRANSMISSIONS series, is a collaboration with composer Guillermo Galindo using 4 FM radio transmitters to interact with an audience carrying portable radios & Talking Drum, an installation involving networked rhythm-machines spread throughout a large space which has been produced in Montreal, San Francisco, and Holland.

Chris is a featured composer, performer, and/or producer on over 30 recordings of new music, including CDs of his own compositions. He’s published articles on his innovative approach to live electronic music in Computer Music Journal & Leonardo Music Journal, as well as the article “Pidgin Musics”, on hybrid musical cultures, in Arcana: Musicians on Music, published by Granary Books. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at such institutions as STEIM in Amsterdam, Institute for Studies in the Arts (ISA) at Arizona State U., & the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA.

Since 1990 he has also taught electronic music, composition, world music, and contemporary performance practice at Mills College, in Oakland, where he is a Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music.

Lightbulb Ensemble performing Prāṇa (प्राण) by Brian Baumbusch, June 2013

The Lightbulb Ensemble is a newly formed composers collective that champions experimental music, instrument building, & contemporary gamelan. The ensemble emerged out of the culture of new music surrounding Mills College, as well as the Bay Area’s longstanding Balinese Gamelan Sekar Jaya.

The Lightbulb Ensemble performs on steel metallophones built and designed by Brian Baumbusch, and heralds a new genre of American Gamelan rooted in the tradition of American Experimentalism. Performing only new repertoire, the group presents in-house compositions & collaborates with active members of the American new music community, including The Paul Dresher Ensemble, The Jack Quartet, The Center for Contemporary Music, among others.

Brian Baumbusch

Lightbulb Ensemble’s personnel in this show will include Brian Baumbusch,

Nava Dunkelman, photo by Mido Lee

Nava Dunkelman,

Ryan Jobes

Ryan Jobes,

SoundCloud avatar of Scott Siler

Scott Siler

Peter Sloan performing “Noise-To-Signal” for trombone and lawnmower

and Peter Sloan.

Following in Set 2 will be the warm, wonderful Darren Johnston Trio +1.

The Darren Johnston Trio

The Darren Johnston Trio’s sympatico, curious instrumentation (Darren: trumpet, Matt Szemela: violin, and Doug Stuart: bass. The “+1″ in tonight’s equation is Jordan Glenn, drummer and percussionist extraordinaire), and diverse collection of musical interests allows them to create a sound that’s completely and uniquely their own. Fragmented improvisations lead into delicate ballads, which can be followed by a swinging uptempo. Drawing from Johnston’s original material written for such projects of his as his Nice Guy Trio, Darren Johnston Quintet, the United Brassworker’s Front, Broken Shadows, and other projects, along with a collection of covers ranging from jazz classics, to songs from Romania, Chile, Ethiopia, the French impressionists, and and neo-Balkan копаница, this exciting and unpredictable new group relishes in being in the moment above all else, and fluidly mixes “outside”, “inside”, and “sideways”.

Darren Johnston

Canada-born trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston has collaborated and recorded with an extremely diverse cross-section of artists, yet always finds ways to be true to his own unique voice in each context. From straight-ahead jazz luminaries such as bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, to experimental icons like ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Fred Frith and Myra Melford, rising star in the singer/songwriter world like Meklit Hadero, or traditional Balkan brass band giants Brass Menažeri. As a bandleader he has made his mark with the award winning The Nice Guy Trio, The Darren Johnston Quintet, the category defying Broken Shadows, and more.

Darren was featured as one of Downbeat Magazine’s “25 Trumpeters for the Future,” and has been listed multiple times in the critic’s polls. His debut quintet recording, The Edge of the Forest received 4 stars by 4 very different critics in the Downbeat “Critics Polls,” and was given an honorable mention by the Village Voice for the top 10 CDs of the year. Darren has a BA from the Cincinnati Conservatory of music, and an MFA in composition from Mills College. He’s received commissions for dance companies such as Kunst-Stoff, and Robert Moses’ Kin, and AXIS Dance, presenting organizations such as Intersection for the Arts, the De Young Museum, and the Yerba Buena Garden Festival, and his music has been used in independent films.

His original works have been supported by the Zellerbach Family Fund, Meet the Composer, and SF Friends of Chamber Music, most recently by the commission of a major work on the immigrant experience from the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Letters From Home, developed in collaboration with choreographer Erika Chong Shuch, for which he formed a multi-generational chorus with 80+ participants, the Trans-Global People’s Chorus.

Matthew Szemela

Praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” Mannes College graduate Matt Szemela crosses musical styles with ease. Originally from Maine, Matthew has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in New York’s Carnegie, Alice Tully, & Merkin Recital Halls, and abroad in Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, & Australia. Matthew has toured and recorded with singer-songwriter Nina Nastasia, recorded with Sufjan Stevens, and served as concertmaster of the Hustla Symphony Orchestra for Jay-Z at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Matthew has collaborated with tap dancer, actor, & choreographer Savion Glover on his production Classical Savion, and he has appeared with artists Sting, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Lana Del Rey, and Cassandra Wilson as well as the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, guitarist Vernon Reid (Facebook page: link) of Living Colour, Susan Sarandon, and Beyoncé Knowles.

Matthew’s credits in violin jazz include performances and recordings with Dan Levinson & his Canary College Dance Orchestra, Barbara Rosene & her New Yorkers, and performances with The Manhattan Ragtime Orchestra, Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, and Gregory Moore & The Cosmopolitan Orchestra. He was a long-time member of the Mahavishnu Project, the repertory ensemble for the music of John McLaughlin and his contemporaries. With pianist Eric Lewis, Matthew has performed at the American Jazz Festival in Paris, the Traumzeit Festival in Duisburg, the Montreux Festival in Switzerland, and the Ischia Global Film and Music Festival in Italy. And in 2007 Matthew portrayed an Irish rock violinist in the Warner Brothers film August Rush.

Matthew left New York for Berkeley, CA in the summer of 2011 where he performs with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and Quartet San Francisco as well as in the Darren Johnston Trio.

Doug Stuart

Doug Stuart is known for his 2-bass (Doug himself & Scott Brown), 2-sax (Aaron Bennett & Aram Shelton) and 1 drumset (Shaun Lowecki) band Catfish, which, by way of scream, preach and howling, aims to summon the spirit of artists like Eric Dolphy, Pharaoh Sanders, and Ornette Coleman, navigating open forms of improvisation through the lens of busted rhythmic cycles, melodic motifs, and an underlying love for the guttural feelings of jazz and blues. This unique outfit of two basses, two saxophones, and drumset explore the extremes of their instruments while remaining firmly rooted to their connection and interaction.

Doug is also features in recordings such as The Pear And The Pepper, and a member of the Oakland Active Orchestra.

Jordon Glenn

Jordan Glenn spent his formative years in Oregon drawing cartoons, taking dance classes from his aunt, and putting on plays with his sisters. As he got older he began making movies with his friends and studying lots of jazz, classical, and rock music. After receiving a degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon, he relocated to the Bay Area and since has worked closely with Fred Frith, William Winant, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Ben Goldberg, Todd Sickafoose, John Schott, Dominique Leone, Aaron Novik, Darren Johnston, Aram Shelton, Cory Wright, Lisa Mezzacappa, Karl Evangelista, Michael Coleman and the bands Jack O’ The Clock, Arts & Sciences, 20 Minute Loop, Beep!, tUnE-yArDs, and the Oakland Active Orchestra. He also leads and conducts the project Mindless Thing, a collaboration with poet / free-jazzer / sage Jim Ryan, as well as the long standing trio Wiener Kids and the 10-piece expansion, The Wiener Kids Family Band.

Join us for a unforgettable night of jazz, post-jazz and computer-driven electropercussivity at the warm, hospitable, hip, and in every sense delicious Duende.

Laister arte denoi!

Joe

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MSP/Piano w Troppo Giogio | Fisarmonicisti Futuristi (CZ: Lucie Vítková, UK: Joe Snape, CA: Joe Lasqo & Bob Marsh) Sun 23 Feb @ Berkeley Arts Festival, 9pm) + Set 1: Eric Glick Rieman, @ 8pm

Hopla — It’s Troppo Giogio | Fisarmonicisti Futuristi!

Two continents…

Two loosely-tethered laptopists named Joe…

Two tap-dancing accordionists…

What could possibly go wrong…?

Jednotná v rozmanitosti | United in Diversity

- Continent: Europa

Joe Snape (Oxford, UK): laptop, electronics

Lucie Vítková (Brno, Czech Republic): accordion, tap dance, and more

Εύρηκα !

- Continent: California

Joe Lasqo (San Francisco): laptop, piano, percussion, energized surfaces, solkaṭṭu (சொல்கட்டு)

Bob Marsh (formerly: planet Fomalhaut-b, now: Richmond): accordion, tap dance, and more

I’m keenly looking forward to joining Brno-based Czech composer/accordionist/dancer/sound artist Lucie Vítková and UK electronics enfant terrible Joe Snape, united with the incomparable footwork and soundwork of the Bay Area’s own Bob Marsh, for a unique evening of dragon-crocodiles and much more….

The show will be at the East Bay’s indispensable focal point for new music, Berkeley Arts Festival (2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA – map) at 9pm, Sun 23 Feb.

Our programme will certainly include free improvs, and may possibly also include two of my game pieces:

Brněnské drak (The Brno Dragon)

Drak nebo krokodýl? (Dragon or Crocodile?), a game inspired by the “Brno Dragon“, an elegant resident of the Brno Town Hall, who it is said took up residence there about 1000 years ago after being ousted from its lair along the River Svratka, where it had been tormenting and devouring the townspeople, before being killed by the clever chemical warfare strategies of a journey-man butcher.

An ambiguous phenomenon which can be looked at from two perspectives…

Whether to regard this fellow as a mythical dragon or mundane crocodile depends on framing and point of view, and so too in this game/piece players use ambiguous musical (motifs | events | patterns | phenomena) which can be perceived first one way, then another, appearing from one perspective as “dragon” and another as “crocodile”, or changing from foreground to background, to create a sonic hall of mirrors.

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Another game piece of mine which we may do is Sheldonian パチンコ.

Here we sonify the floor plan of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford by turning it into a giant pachinko (パチンコ) machine of musical behaviors, letting fly balls of improv to rebound from blocks of planned behaviours.

Pachinko, Electric City, Akihabara, Tokyo (パチンコ、秋葉原電気街、東京)

Pachinko is a rather more demented form of pinball in which the playing surface is vertical rather than horizontal (the balls shoot up to the top and then use gravity to fall through the playing surface).

The machines, whether newer electronic simulations of physical balls, or old-school mechanical ones, give off a chaotic mixture of sounds as the game proceeds, and the total sound environment provides the summation of these sounds in an indescribable thrum.

What improvisation game could be more suited to the pounding flamenco rhythms of ecstatic tap-dancing futurist accordionists?

Our European colleagues prefer to have their music speak directly without pre-conceptions and as little mental baggage as possible, so they’ve asked me to eschew the usual bio/photo info and leave an open canvas for listeners going to the show.

However, they have consented to let some brief video samples appear to give you a quick taste of what may be on offer…

For example, one of the most mind-opening aspects of Lucie’s work for me is embodied in a series of pieces with collaborator Pavel Korbička under the rubric of Akustický obraz (Acoustic Paintings), which combine dance, sound production, and ritual, often employing large, or even room-size, invented / site-specific instruments, sometimes augmented by sound from an unseen source that provides a stark a-physical contrast with the completely physical means of sound production that Lucie is employing. These slay me.

Check out Akustický obraz 10:

See what I mean?

For a peek into the quantum box of Joe’s mind, check out him out at play in the following video:

Turning to Team California…

Bob Marsh, the Ziggy Stardust of the Indeterminate

Also joining us (having previously left large swathes of stunned onlookers and listeners in the Midwest…) will be a treasure of our own Bay Area music scene.

Bob Marsh performs as Mr. Mercury, Receiver Gallery, San Francisco, 03 Mar 2007

Bob Marsh is a master improviser on any instrument (or surface… or sound-generating costume…), whose work involves shaping sounds words images motions sonic-suits ideas.

Bob Marsh performing in Sonic Suit #1, Outsound New Music Summit, 2011 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, www.peterbkaars.com)

Originally from Detroit, Bob arrived in the Bay Area in 2000 after ten years in Chicago where he played with most of the avant improvisers in that rich and varied scene. Since his arrival on the west coast, Bob has been busy with several projects. He currently leads or directs Emergency (X)tet, a string ensemble focusing on textures and microtonics; the Che Guevarra Memorial Marching (and Stationary) Accordion Band, structured and free improv for six to fifteen accordions; Robot Martians, electronics and processed voice; the Out of the Blue Chamber Ensemble, a mixture of reeds and strings; Opera Viva, voiced physical theater; the Quintessentials, a quintet specializing in interpreting graphic compositions based on alterations to the Michelin Road Guide to France; the Free Reed Vibrating Society (inexplicable/self-explanatory), and the Illuminated Orchestra, structured improvs for large ensemble. Additionally Bob is a member of Rent Romus‘/Ernesto Diaz-Infante’s Abstractions, Moe! Staiano’s Moe!chestra and Tom Bickley’s Cornelius Cardew Choir. Bob tours frequently with his long term collaborator, saxophonist Jack Wright, and has recently been presenting a solo work involving violin, voice and tap shoes. Bob’s educational background includes a BFA in sculpture and an MA in humanistic clinical psychology. He has studied classical piano, classical guitar and vibraphone and has taught himself various other instruments. He currently is active with cello, accordion, violin, voice, vibraphone and electronics.

M. Mercure à R-de-Choc, 21 mai 2010 (pour plus de détails sur R-de-Choc et son organisateur, Pascal Marzan, svp. voir: http://r-de-choc.blogspot.com)

Bob plays well with others such as Jim Baker, John Berndt, Tom Bickley, Jeb Bishop, Kyle Bruckmann, Gust Burns, Gene Coleman, George Cremaschi, Matt Davingon, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Dina Emerson, Bryan Eubanks, R. Albert Falesch, John Finkbeiner, Tara Flandreau, Stephen Flinn, Jonathan Fretheim, Carol Genetti, Greg Goodman, Morgan Guberman, Greg Hamilton, Chris Heenan, Ron Heglin, Jeff Hobbs, Matt Ingalls, Kurt Johnson, Aurora Josephson, Andrew Lafkas, Adam Lane, Eric Leonardson, Jacob Lindsay, Fred Longberg-Holm, Toshi Makihara (牧原トシ), Tatsuya Nakatani (中谷達也), Tom Nunn, Suki O’Kane, Garth Powell, Bhob Rainey, Hal Rammel, Rent Romus, Scott Rosenberg, Jim Ryan, Joe Sabella, Jonathon Segel, John Shiurba, Blaise Siwula, David Slusser, Damon Smith, Adam Sonderberg, Karen Stackpole, Grant Strombeck, Tom Swafford, Ken Vandermark, Matt Weston, Sue Wolf, Theresa Wong (黃天欣), Michael Zelner, Michael Zerang.

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

It is my honor and pleasure to play with Bob frequently in Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra and Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic.

Eric Glick RIeman in the wild

Preceding us in Set 1, 8pm will be the incomparable Dr. Frankenstein of the recombinant mutated Fender Rhodes piano, Eric Glick Rieman.

Those who have been fortunate enough to experience SF Bay Area composer/improviser Eric Glick Rieman perform understand what it is to be taken somewhere they never imagined on a very unusual vehicle. At once gentle and radically experimental, Eric’s music has not only led to advances in instrument-surgery, but also many new playing techniques, as those who have seen his hands fly above the exposed tines of his sawed-off Rhodes can attest.

Here, have a look at Eric in action, performing What I Did Not Notice:

Performing on a variety of instruments, including the prepared/extended Rhodes electric piano, as well as (normal) piano, melodica, celeste, organ, Waterphone, and toy piano, Eric performs improvised and previously structured music in several settings, both solo and in groups, He has performed with the Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble in Oakland, CA, USA since 1999, and received an MFA from Mills in Electronic Music and the Recording Media in 2001. Eric writes for piano, Rhodes electric piano, and ensembles.

Matt Davignon (L) and Eric Glick Rieman (R) perform at the Transbay Skronkathon, Oakland, 28 Aug 2010 (Photo: Amanda Chaudhary - http://www.catsynth.com)

His recent compositions include explorations of Biosonicism (music created at the intersection of composition and biology). The Helix Aspersa Series is a series of graphic scores made in collaboration with snails. Felis Catus Series I is a series of graphic scores made in collaboration with a cat. Circle House and Chutes is a piece for indeterminate ensemble employing techniques similar to those pioneered by Temple Grandin to humanely handle cattle in a slaughterhouse to herd an ensemble through a score.

Rieman has recorded with Fred Frith (of Henry Cow, Naked City, Keep the Dog, Cosa Brava), Lesli Dalaba (of 2005 Tzadik solo release Timelines, Jeff Greinke’s Land, Elliot Sharp’s Carbon), Carla Kihlstedt (of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat Trio, Two Foot Yard, Cosa Brava), Stuart Dempster (Merce Cunningham Dance Troupe, Deep Listening Band), Zoë Keating, and Tom Heasley. He has performed with Ikue Mori (もりいくえ), Fred Anderson, Daniel Godston, David Boykin, Marcos Fernandes, Amy Denio, Matt Ingalls, David Slusser, Kristin Miltner, and John Ingle, and he has performed the work of Roscoe Mitchell, Éliane Radigue, Meredith Monk, Fred Frith, Cecil Taylor, Alvin Curran, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, James Tenney, and Alvin Lucier under the composers’ supervision.

Eric Glick Rieman and friends

He’s received a Subito grant from the San Francisco Chapter of the American Composer’s Forum to present the piece Presentism2 (for small ensemble) at the 8th annual Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival in Oakland, CA and a Meet the Composer grant to perform his piece, Agape for prepared Rhodes, tape, and percussion at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco. Eric’s work has been performed by the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble and the Cardew Choir among others. In January of 2011 he received a Meet the Composer grant to perform his compositions at the Pianoforte Foundation and the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, and he was recently commissioned by Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers (San Francisco).

Two of Eric Glick Rieman's collaborators composing or engaging in some other act of creation

One of the most fascinating things about Eric’s work for me is his biosonic involvement with animals. Take for example his account of his collaborations with snails:

“The three snails I’m working with, dubbed Arugula, Epazote, and Nasturtiums, were rescued from my mother’s house. My mother grows roses in her garden, and has a constant battle with snails, who eat her plants. So, as many gardeners do, she poisons snails. When I initially took the snails from her garden, they seemed sick, and it took a while before they seemed better.

I have collaborated with these snails by inviting them to explore paper, and then placing charcoal onto their mucus trails and the bite marks they make as they taste the paper. Some of the paper they’ve crawled on and eaten has already had graphic scores drawn on it.

They react differently to different weights of paper, and especially like to eat heavy grade paper. Four of the pages we’ve made together were used in my piece, Snail Road House, where the performers interpret these markings using a system of cues, and also interact in other improvisational structures.

I made a conscious decision not to bring the snails themselves into the performances. I don’t think this would be something they would enjoy.

So, what does it mean to collaborate? It certainly implies a degree of mutuality. I am truly trying to collaborate with these beings in a way that preserves a spirit of mutual exploration. I’m interested in having a true collaboration with another species.”

Lung Tree by Eric Glick Rieman Lesli Dalaba, and Stuart Dempster

I’d be hard-pressed to name favorites among Eric’s many beautiful albums, but one I would particularly recommend among the collaborations is Lung Tree, with Lesli Dalaba and Stuart Dempster.

Trilogy from the Outside, by Eric Glick Rieman

Not to be missed among his solo works is the epic Trilogy From The Outside, a lover’s tour of the sonic possibilities of a highly mutated instrument.

Join us for a unique, never-to-be-repeated international space expedition at the East Bay’s creative commons, Berkeley Arts Festival

Joe

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MSP/Piano: Full Renga-kai (連歌会) w Beckman, Bickley, Condry, Deuter, Kreith, Lasqo, Moskow, Santomieri and Wilsey, plus dancer Nan Busse, Sun 09 Feb, @ SIMM Series, SF, 7:30pm + Set 2: Eli Wallace Trio @ 8:30pm

9 musicians and 1 dancer welcome you to the Year of the Horse - 新年快樂!

新年快樂!Join us as we welcome the Year of the Horse with a kaleidoscope of unfolding lowercase sound and movement.

By a scheduling coincidence, the opening of the Year of the Horse falls close to our first 2014 performance of a full Renga-kai (連歌会), a game-like music and dance ritual derived from the ancient Japanese collaborative poetry form renga (連歌) — so we hope this accidental juxtaposition of these two great East Asian cultures reflects the potential for wider unexpected harmonies.

Outsound: A New Sonic Collective for the 21st Century

Time & Place: Outsound’s SIMM Series at 7:30pm, Sun 09 Feb (Set 1) at the Musicians Union Hall, 116 9th St @ Mission, SF (map).

Line-up: Nancy Beckman (shakuhachi, small percussion), Tom Bickley (Paetzold contrabass recorder, electronics/radios), Rachel Condry (clarinets), Patti Deuter (piano/toy piano/radio), Ben Kreith (violin), Joe Lasqo (laptop, piano, mṛdangam & solkaṭṭu), Sangita Moskow (sarod), Dean Santomieri (guitars), Jennifer Wilsey (percussion) + dancer Nan Busse.

Examiner.com preview of this show: here.

Carol Simmons, polymer clay, 36 Permutations on Black (carolsimmonsdesigns.com)

Expanding on John Cage’s “renga-piece” techniques, we’ve created a kaleidoscopic new piece called Renga-kai (連歌会), for 9 electro-acoustic musicians, plus dancer.

The piece will comprise 36 short duets which will pair each musician with every other and employ game-like shifting-time rules, using an extended methodology that generates fresh combinations of timbres, instruments, and events in much the same way as a mobile in moving air does among its sculptural elements.

John Cage and D.T. Suzuki (鈴木 大拙 貞太郎)

As is well known, John Cage was heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism and Japanese culture in general. This led to a fascinating series of “renga pieces” based on the Japanese collaborative improv poetry form, renga (連歌).

Fu Nanihito Renga, an example of a 100-section / 100-artist renga form, 1525 A.D., Kanazawa-city collection (賦何人連歌、大永5年(1525)金沢市)

With beginnings in the time of the Man’yōshū (万葉集), c. 760 A.D., renga evolved into a very sophisticated game played by connoisseurs who used its 5-line stanzas in an interplay of group-improvised linked verses, exchanged among the members of a (usually sake-soaked) poetry party.

Renga paper of poet Nishiyama Sōin (西山宗因連歌懐紙)

Japanese poetry fiends took renga to remarkable heights of sophistication, defining an elaborate aesthetic of seasonal symbolism, pivot-stanzas referring to moon and cherry blossoms, and special gold-and-silver dusted papers of different shapes, sizes and colors to brush their poems onto whilst sipping from cups of sake brought to them sushi-boat-style by special garden streams constructed for this purpose.

Renga-kai (連歌会) is a new form extending rules based on some of the “renga pieces” of John Cage, and their unique transformations — not only of Japanese verse forms for alcohol-soaked group poetry improv, based on structures of 5 + 7 + 5 + 7 + 7 — but also of concepts like “duet”, “listening” and “time”.

Time displacement: Ø

It generates a game that, like go (碁), is rich in strategy despite relatively simple rules.

Time displacement: t-1

Time displacement: t-२

Expanding on game-like rules Cage developed for his luminous and serene “renga-pieces”, we use the 36-stanza kasen (歌仙) form of renga, re-imagining each 5-line stanza as a duet in 5-line musical units, each filled with 5 or 7 sound-events which replace the 5 or 7 syllables of the original poetic form.

Time displacement: t-三

Our renga-rules allow the players to create an interlinked joint control of fluid time, creating meditative, ever-shifting ripples in highly-focused 31-event sound-poems which will be uniquely different in each performance.

The 36-stanza the kasen form includes three “moon stanzas” and two “flower stanzas”, which will be interpreted by dancer Nan Busse.

Modern Renga Banquet at the Shusuitei in the Kyoto Imperial Park (連歌の会席〜京都御苑内の拾翠亭にて)

And we’ll honor the renga tradition of alcohol-assisted creativity, by demarcating these sections with ceremonial libations (which may lead to some interesting musical results…).

The full ensemble:

Nancy Beckman

— Nancy Beckman (shakuhachi & percussion)

Nancy creates performance pieces, plays and teaches the shakuhachi, and performs with the Cornelius Cardew Choir. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University, a master’s in interarts from SFSU and ordination to teach shakuhachi from Myōan-ji (明暗寺, the famous “Temple of Light & Darkness” of shakuhachi history) in Kyoto.

The Gate of Light & Darkness at Myōan-ji (明暗寺門)

Tom Bickley and friend

Tom Bickley (Paetzold contrabass recorder, electronics/radios)

Tom Bickley (bio / site) composes electro-acoustic music, plays and teaches recorder, performs with Three Trapped Tigers (with recorder players David Barnett and Judy Linsenberg), co-founded and directs the Cornelius Cardew Choir, is a curator emeritus of the Meridian Gallery music series, and is on the Library Faculty (music, philosophy and political science) at CSU East Bay. His education includes degrees in music, theology, and library and information science and the Certificate in Deep Listening.

Rachel Condry

Rachel Condry (clarinets)

Rachel Condry is an Oakland based clarinetist, improviser, composer and educator.  Her work advocates for small sounds, lost or forgotten in the noisy drones of the modern soundscape.

Rachel’s musical interests span from pop to classical to free improvisation to acousmatic composition. She is often found collaborating with other disciplines such as art, poetry and dance.

She writes open scores and performs with the improvising quartet, Gestaltish who are preparing to release their first album. In 2005, Rachel made her Carnegie Hall debut with The Matt Small Chamber Ensemble, a group that blends jazz and classical approaches with free improvisation.  She’s also a founding member of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra with whom she has frequently been featured as a soloist, as well as the principal clarinetist of the Golden Gate Park Band, the oldest civic band in the nation.  Rachel holds an MFA from Mills College and a BA and BM from Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Patti Deuter performs Cage's "Four Walls" @ Berkeley Arts Festival

— Patti Deuter (piano, toy piano, radio)

Often found in Paris as well as California, ringleader of the original Satie/Cage Vexations at Berkeley Arts, and a student of Eliane Lust’s, Patti is an indefatigable macherin of the new music and piano scenes of the Bay Area.

From her studio-cottage nestled in the trees, where everything is keyed to one of four vibrant synesthetic colors (forming, I would say, a visual rootless 13th chord in second inversion… Scriabin would approve), passionate strains of Rzewski, Cage, Wolff, and other masters of 20th and 21st century piano escape to infuse the air.

Ben Kreith plays by the water, as the ancient masters of the Chinese gǔqín (古琴) zither did to sharpen their ears

— Ben Kreith (violin)

Violinist Benjamin Kreith has performed as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestra player throughout the US and Europe. He’s premiered solo works at the Strasbourg and Marseille festivals and performed as a guest artist with the Ying and Muir Quartets.

Ben helped to found the Ensemble CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, and has also performed with sfSound, Barcelona 216, and the Harvard Group for New Music. Recently he spent several years in Montana as a member of the Cascade Quartet and concertmaster of the Great Falls Symphony. He has taught at the Escola de Música de Barcelona and served as artist-in-residence at the University of California, Davis.

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

Joe Lasqo (MSP/laptop, piano, mṛdangam & solkaṭṭu)

Sangita Moskow

Sangita Moskow (sarod)

Sangita Moskow’s musical career reflects a personal global consciousness and delight in the wonderful variety of artistic expression.

Her sarod studies took place between 1969-1985 with classical North Indian maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Vocal training is a major component of classical Indian music study, and Sangita found herself combining vocals with the sarod early on.

Collaboration with Swiss clarinetist Hermann Bühler has inspired many compositions, some featured on their CD, Sojourn. Sojourn toured Europe for more than a decade and also received Swiss support for a 17-concert tour in Mexico.

Yakshi, the duo of Sangita & Mihai Manoliu, produced a CD of compositions and improvisations, preserving the rasa (रस, emotional power or “flavor”) of Indian rāgas via Manoliu’s use of modified tunings for the guitar to supply a harmonic underpinning for the sarod.

Planet Tree Music Festival producer/pianist/composer Lawrence Ball and Sangita duo-perform totally improvised music based on Indian rāgas, with the timbral overlaps of the sarod and piano providing a fertile ground. Their last performance occurred at the Planet Tree Music Festival at Pete Townsend’s studio on the outskirts of London.

Collaboration with electronic/ambient artist Robert Rich resulted in the CD Yearning, a combination of alāp (अलाप, unmetered free rhythm) on sarod with an electronic soundscape to create a unified field between Hindustani tradition and electronics; Yearning was voted a top CD for meditation and yoga by Yoga Journal.

Although primarily known as a sarodist, Sangita began her Indian studies as a percussionist on the North Indian classical tabla drums. She studied with Phil Ford, Pandit Shankar Ghosh (শংকর ঘোষ) and Zakir Hussain (زاكير حسين). She plays tabla with mandolinist Phil Lawrence and can be heard on the CD Mandolin Mandalas. Sangita played for a year in Lou Harrison’s gamelan orchestra at Mills College, and studied more gamelan in Bali. In 2010 Sangita began learning the bodhran, the drum that accompanies Irish music.

Not content with East-West synthesis, Sangita also pursues East-East synthesis, especially in combination with the Japanese shakuachi, performing with shakuhachist Stephen Ross in Hawaii, England, Europe and locally in a long musical collaboration. These Still Waters, Sangita’s CD collaboration with the late New York shakuhachi player Genji Itō (伊藤源次) is another wonderful example of Sangita’s East-East work and one of my personal favorites.

Among other collaborators too numerous to note in detail, ones which may be of particular interest to readers of this blog are: Tom Nunn, Polly Moller, Aurora Josephson, Karen Stackpole, Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, Genny Lim and Pan Asian Orchestra, Doug Carroll, and Guillermo Galindo, with whom she has given some stunning recent performances at Berkeley Arts Festival and the Chapel of the Chimes Garden of Memory.

Sangita’s received more than 10 awards for musical composition from the ASCAP Foundation as well as a Subito grant from the American Composers Forum.

Dean Santomieri at Berkeley Arts, 12 Aug 2011 (Photo by Neo Serafimidis)

Dean Santomieri (guitars & voice)

Dean Santomieri has been working with electronic music and musique concrète since 1971, as well as creating multi-image pieces, videos, and super-8 and 16mm films. Dean formed the electro-acoustic performing duo Donkey Boy in the 90s with Luther Bradfute, which employed live electronic music, slides or video, story-telling, costumes, and props in their many Bay Area performances. He’s collaborated with Joyce Todd to form the baroque performance group Theater of Memory, and also performed with Malcolm Mooney (the original singer with the German prog-rock group Can) & The 10th Planet, providing electronics and guitar. Dean formed a multi-media group with musicians Bruce Anderson, Karen Stackpole and David Kwan, for live performance of his short stories (narration accompanied by live music and video). This ensemble’s initial show, The Boy Beneath the Sea, was performed numerous times in the Bay Area, leading to his first CD release, followed by Crude Rotation and others.

More recently, Bay Area audiences have been captivated by Dean’s telepathic duo work with violinist and electronics maestra Thea Farhadian, and Dean will in fact have just returned from playing with Thea in Berlin for this show. I was highly honored to have Dean & Thea play in last spring’s Vexations [Re-vex'd] improv marathon as well.

Another notable collaboration to which Dean has recently added impressive ectoplasmic heft is the uniquely paranormal ensemble Ghost In The House, where his unclassifiable musical narratives show what happens when Ken Nordine’s word jazz meets Jung’s Red Book.

Jennifer Wilsey

— Jennifer Wilsey (percussion)

Improviser/composer/educator Jennifer Wilsey currently performs with improvising ensembles The Bloom Trio (with W. Allaudin Mathieu and George Marsh), Timeless Pulse (with Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner, George Marsh, and David Wessel), and Gestaltish (Gretchen Jude, Rachel Condry, Jacob Peck). In addition to ongoing activities as a concert percussionist, Jennifer’s past projects included work with The Good Sound Band, Wrestling Worms, Petr Kotik and the S.E.M. Ensemble, Stuart Dempster, and Anna Halprin, among others. Jennifer’s recordings can be heard on the Deep Listening, Mutable, Cold Mountain Music, and Pitch-A-Tent labels.

She received her BA in Music from UC Santa Cruz and MFA in Improvisation from Mills College, and is a Deep Listening Certificate holder. As an educator, Jennifer teaches percussion, percussion pedagogy, and directs the Percussion and Improvisation Ensemble at Sonoma State University. At Mills College she teaches Advanced Musicianship while serving as the Musicianship Program Coordinator. She also maintains a private studio, offering creative music lessons in Santa Rosa and Oakland, California.

Nan Busse

— Nan Busse (dancer)

Nan Busse, performing with Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Nava Dunkelman, Joe Lasqo, Cheryl Leonard, and Thollem McDonas, Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Jan 2014

Nan Busse has been creating dance-based art works since receiving her MFA from UC-Irvine (“a long time ago…”). Collaborating with choreographer Christopher Beck, she made pieces performed at Centerspace (Project Artaud) and New College; and with her partner, poet Tobey Kaplan, participated in the Link inter-disciplinary performance series.

Emily Mizuno (L), Nan Busse (M), and Peggy De Coursey (R) prepare backstage for the performance of Nguyễn Dance Company at the Metropolitan Theatre in Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam

Since about 1999 she has been unable to stop dancing – thanks to Yvonne Caldwell, Evelyn Thomas, Roger Dillahunty, Georgia OrtegaJohn Tanner, and the great Cassie Terman, and has toured in Việt Nam and the US with Nguyễn Dance Company. She works as an Education & Arts Therapist in the East Bay.

Set 2 (8:30pm): Eli Wallace Trio

Following the super-cooled lowercase-space of Renga-kai will be the Eli Wallace Trio, a monster trio of Eli Wallace (piano), Karl Evangelista (guitar), & Jon Arkin (drums) for some hot jazz.

The Eli Wallace trio combines a visceral and unfettered approach to improvisation within the framework of Eli’s original pieces. Influenced by language from free and post-bop jazz musicians, post jazz, and noise rock, the music pushes the element of spontaneous interaction to a new zenith, unpredictable yet cohesive. The birth of this group resulted from a casual jam session, one that burst with too much excitement and mirth to not produce a lasting relationship. Eli subsequently composed tunes as a vehicle to develop and hone their group sound and interplay, creating a diverse topography of musical landscapes that’s constantly evolving yet still firmly rooted.

The material in this show will be fresh from a recording session of these songs, such as Hedgehog and Bipartisan Discourse — great tunes which I had the pleasure of hearing this group perform recently at Mynah Music in Oakland.

Eli Wallace

Since moving to the Bay Area from New England not too long ago, pianist and composer Elli Wallace’s ebulliently energetic ideas and great chops have put him at the forefront of Bay Area jazz’s new generation of players.

Graduated from New England Conservatory, Boston, MA with a Master’s in Music (Jazz Composition) in 2011, Eli studied with Jason Moran, Jerry Bergonzi, Ken Schaphorst, Frank Carlberg, and Kati Agócs. After relocating to the Bay Area, he’s played with numerous musicians in all different genres of music from free improvisation, to straight ahead jazz, to rock/pop. Some of the groups with which he’s appeared include: Karl Evangelista’s Ai-Ai, Jim Ryan’s Virtual Assembly and Retro Blue, John Givens’ No Lovely Thing, and Bill Wolter’s Inner Ear Brigade. He also appeared on Dan Meinhardt’s first album Gone West, released in 2012.

His own recent project is a series of pieces composed specifically for solo piano that embraces his interest in jazz, improvisation, and contemporary avant-garde classical music; it culminates in a nuanced and complex combination of carefully notated passages intertwined with torrid and visceral guided improvisation. As a composer he has been commissioned to write music for jazz big band, solo piano, chamber orchestra, and dance performances; he was also awarded Honorable Mention after submitting his piece “Influx Rebellion?” to the EarShot Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings (in affiliation with Columbia University and the American Composers Orchestra).

Karl Evangelista

As well as organizing the incendiary Light a Fire Series, Filipino-American guitarist/composer Karl Evangelista ranks among a new wave of creative musicians grounded in jazz, 20th century experimentalism, and popular song, exploring the place of multiculturalism and ethnic co-existence in an increasingly post-cultural, trans-idiomatic cultural space. As the creative force behind boundary breaking group Grex, Evangelista has been called “essential current-and-future listening, his music “a near-seamless blend of modern jazz, contemporary structuralist composition, indie rock, and blues rock” (Tiny Mix Tapes). This complex, powerful aesthetic fosters an “otherworldly experience” that is “completely original” (Eugene Weekly).

Karl has explored the possibilities of intercultural dialogues across a vast spectrum of academic and professional situations. He’s worked in a wide variety of ensembles with or under the direction of, among others, e.g. Achyutan (Marvin Patillo), Scott Amendola, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), India Cooke, Fred Frith, Eddie Gale, Ben Goldberg, Matthew Goodheart, Phillip Greenlief, Darren Johnston, Lewis Jordan, Myra Melford, Hafez Modirzadeh (حافظ مدیرزاده), Bill Noertker, Zeena Parkins, John-Carlos Perea, Gino Robair, Daniel Schmidt, Marcus Shelby, Aram Shelton, David Slusser, Damon Smith, Karen Stackpole, Moe! Staiano, and AIR co-founder Francis Wong (王世明), and has performed in new arrangements of works by Luciano Chessa, Christian Jendreiko, Polly Moller, AACM co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams, and Art Ensemble of Chicago co-founder Roscoe Mitchell. Karl’s interest in fostering cross-cultural musical dialogues has also led to grant-based research (’08) on The Blue Notes, a group of South African exile musicians, multiple guest lectures at UC Berkeley, and continued work at the community-based East Bay Center for the Performing Arts.  Karl holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Improvised Music from Mills College.

Jon Arkin

Originally from the Boston area, Jon Arkin began his studies of music and percussion at an early age.  His experiences playing in local groups led him to the University of Miami School of Music, where he studied drum set performance and composition, and won several awards for his participation in the school’s top jazz combos.  After earning his degree in 1998, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area.  In addition to leading his own groups, he has been busy as an in-demand freelance musician with many notable local, national and international artists.  Spanning three decades, his list of recording credits includes dozens of albums and guest appearances in a wide variety of genres, as he maintains an active recording schedule as a studio musician.  He has also established himself as a noted educator, teaching unique classes, workshops, clinics and lessons to students in the Bay Area and elsewhere, and is a frequent faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Jazzschool in Berkeley.

His drumming style has been sought out as much for his versatility as for his uniqueness.  A believer in the power of listening, grooving, dynamic balance, and attunement, his collaborators attest to his ability to suit the music of the moment.

In addition to Eli and Karl, some of Jon has performed and/or recorded with:

Albino!, Michelle Amador, Wil Blades, Kenny Brooks, Matt Butler, Ian Carey, Bill Champlin, Eric Crystal, Spencer Day, Karl Denson, Terry Disley, Rachel Efron, Taylor Eigsti, Jon Evans, Barry Finnerty, Jesse Foster, Joe Gilman, Meklit Hadero, Fareed Haque, Steve Heckman, Matthew Charles Heulitt, Friday Jumbo, Kasey Knudsen, Julian Lage, Heather Lauren, Mark Levine, Vusi Mahlasela, Mitch Marcus, Frank Martin, Jeff Massanari, Justin Morell, Gene Perla, Randy Porter, Lee Presson, Realistic, Barry Ries, Jorge Santana, Adam Shulman, Alex Skolnick, Dayna Stephens, Stew & the Negro Problem, Ira Sullivan, Grady Tate, Leonard Thompson, Harvey Wainapel, Vince Wallace, Mike Zilber

Join us on a journey from super-cooled neogaku poetics to super-heated jazz that will leave you tingling.

近い内に。。。

Joe

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MSP/Piano: Double trios w Thollem McDonas, Cheryl Leonard, Nava Dunkelman, Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, and dancer Nan Busse, Wed 15 Jan, @ Center For New Music, SF, 9pm + Set 1: Bloom Project (Rent Romus & Thollem McDonas) @ 8pm

I’m excitedly looking forward to an evening of cosmic forces in kaleidoscopic alignments of double trios, triple duos, and high-energy fermion-symmetric vapor trails, with a matched set of peerless improvisors and sonic explorers.

These configurations will emerge from the sonic quantum froth of electro-acoustic free improv so pure it has a unique blue color at 8pm, Wed 15 Jan @ Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map).

Composition de l’équipe:

Keyboards allsorts:

Thollem McDonas (piano) & Joe Lasqo (piano & laptop)

Saxes:

Bruce Ackley & Steve Adams

Meta-percussion and way, way beyond:

Cheryl E. Leonard & Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン)

Dance:

Nan Busse

Thollem McDonas w Piano & Victrola (© 2012, Angela C Villa)

Thollem McDonas is a pianist, composer, improviser and teacher. He travels perpetually internationally performing as a soloist as well as in collaboration with a wide array of artists in wildly divergent directions. In the past 7 years, he has added 32 albums to his discography on 15 different vanguard labels in 5 different countries. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Irish and Cherokee descent. At the age of five, he began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century and studied with many notable teachers including Aiko Onishi (大西愛子) and Lou Harrison. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he stepped from the concert pianist trajectory to dedicate his time to grassroots political movements and ecological restoration projects. In 2005, he returned to his music as his full focus, incorporating his myriad experiences into his compositions, improvisations and teaching.

On Debussy's Piano And…, by Thollem McDonas & Stefano Scodanibbio

For musicians and listeners saddened by the artificial split between “classical” and “improvising” traditions, Thollem’s incorporation of radically re-imagined patterns and strategies from classical music into a fiercely trans-idiomatic gumbo, along with elements of free jazz, transmuted Latin music, and other influences, will be especially interesting and beautiful. A wonderful CD (among many) highlighting this is On Debussy’s Piano And…, an incredible collaboration with the late, great Italian bassist Stefano Scodanibbio, which Thollem performs on the last piano owned by Debussy.

The hands of Thollem McDonas, Bairro Alto (© 2010 Angela C Villa)

Thollem has performed extensively as a soloist as well as in piano concertos with symphonies, West African drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, punk bands, with film makers, dancers, poets and painters and a wide array of divergent musicians, both famous and under-known. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange.  As a writer, his essay, “Deep Listening and the Peripatetic Life of an Improvising Musician” was written specifically for An Anthology of Essays on Deep Listening (Deep Listening Institute, 2012) in honor of Pauline Oliveros‘ 80th birthday and he is a regular columnist in Full Moon Magazine (Prague), a print publication dedicated to independent music. His music is diverse, with each album and every concert exploring a variety of approaches and paths, resulting in dramatically new and different outcomes.

His collaborations with musicians, dancers, and film-makers take up 23 single-spaced lines (here) and continue to grow rapidly.

Cheryl Leonard and friend

Glass shards and pinecones, glaciers, boxspring mattresses, a flock of accordions, circular saw blades, viola, the erhu (二胡), hyenas and whales and elk, Cheryl E. Leonard’s music finds its raw materials just about anywhere. From these diverse sources come works that embrace the spectrum of musical possibilities: improvised to composed, acoustic to electronic, diaphanous to bombastic, notes to noise. Over the last decade Cheryl has focused on investigating sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world. Many of her recent works cultivate stones, wood, water, ice, sand, shells, feathers, and bones as musical instruments. Cheryl uses microphones to explore the micro-aural worlds contained within her sound sources and develops compositions that highlight the unique voices they contain. Her projects often involve constructing one-of-a-kind sculptural instruments that are played live on stage. She’s particularly interested in collaborating across artistic disciplines and developing site-specific works.

Cheryl Leonard's Driftwood Cloud Mobile instrument

Cheryl holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MA from Mills College, both in music composition. She studied composition and electronic music with Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, George Lewis, Frederic Rzewski, Laeticia Sonami, Salvatore Macchia, and Alan Bonde; and performance art with Moira Roth, Carolee Schneemann, and Betsy Damon.

Cheryl Leonard in her instrument-building lab (photo by Lisa Jennings, beelinetree.blogspot.com)

Cheryl’s music has been performed worldwide. Her work with natural object instruments has been featured on KQED TV’s local arts show Spark, the Hallmark Network’s New Morning Show and CBS’s Evening Magazine, as well as in Tim Perkis’s documentary film Noisy People. She is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, ASCAP, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and the American Composer’s Forum. She has been awarded residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, The Arctic Circle, Engine 27 and Villa Montalvo. Leonard has been commissioned to create music and instruments for Kronos Quartet, The Illuminated Corridor, and Michael Straus. Recordings of her music are available from Nexmap, Ubuibi, Great Hoary Marmot Music, Pax Recordings, Unusual Animals, Apraxia Records, 23 Five Inc, Old Gold Records and The Lab.

Cheryl Leonard' s icicle instruments from Music From The Ice at the San Francisco Exploratorium, 11 Oct 2013

Cheryl’s many collaborations with artists from other disciplines include: Adfreeze Project with visual artist Oona Stern, Sila with visual artist Genevieve Swifte, Tides:Estuary with visual artist Rebecca Haseltine, three projects (Fable, Good Guy Bad Guy, Eenie Macy and the Ten Step Program), and numerous works for dance, film and video. She has created sounds for several exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and, over the past two decades, has played in many experimental ensembles and noise bands, touring Japan, Canada, and the U.S. in the process. These days she sometimes performs with Big City Orchestra.

Cheryl Leonard's Han Shan Tree (寒山木), site-specific instrument at Djerassi, evokes the Tang dynasty poet and Zen master Han Shan (寒山)

In addition to her musical endeavors Cheryl is a climber and mountaineer, studies aikido, and collects pinecones with handles.

Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン), photo by Mido Lee

Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン) is a Bay Area percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother, Nava’s musical interests span the globe from Japanes taiko (太鼓) to Indonesian gamelan to American marching band, and from classical to contemporary to the avant-garde. Nava studied percussion under Eugene Novotney at Humboldt State University before attending Mills College, where she studied with William Winant, as well as Fred Frith, Maggi Payne, Zeena Parkins, and David Bernstein, among others.

DunkelpeK - (L) Jacob Peck, (R) Nava Dunkelman, at Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, 18 Jul 2013 (Photo - PeterBKaars.com, www.peterbkaars.com)

Since graduating with a degree in music performance in 2013, Nava has performed and collaborated with John Zorn, William Winant, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, DominiqueLeone and many others, as well as formed the improvisational trio Dapplegray with Jeanie-Aprille Tang (恬怡) and Tara Sreekrishnan, which debuted in 2012 at The Stone in New York City. She also is a member of two marvelous duos: DunkelpeK with JacobPek, and IMA () with Jeanie-Aprille Tang (恬怡). Through improvisation, Nava enjoys discovering her own musical language by exploring experimental approaches to communication, progression, and space.

Bruce Ackley w ROVA / Nels Cline Celestial Septet at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, 20 Aug 2011 (photo by peak, http//:peakness.com)

Bruce Ackley was born in Rochester, New York. Following in his father’s footsteps, he began singing in choral groups at age 10. (His father performed in a vocal sextet as a young man in the 1930s.) Bruce sang throughout his school years and finally took up the sax. He formed his first improvising trio that year with friends from his art school days at Wayne State in Detroit, where he studied painting and drawing. In 1971 he relocated to the Bay Area.

Largely self-taught, Bruce studied saxophone briefly with Lee Hester and Noel Jewkes, and clarinet with Beth Custer and Ben Goldberg. Throughout the 1970s he was involved with the emerging free improvisation scene in San Francisco, and formed Sound Clinic with Lewis Jordan and George Sams in 1975. He began playing with Larry Ochs in 1973 and Jon Raskin in 1975, which led to the formation of ROVA in the fall of 1977.

Bruce Ackley, Celestial Septet @ le poisson rouge, 26 Feb 2011, w ROVA, Nels Cline (& Nels Cline Singers), Scott Amendola, and Trevor Dunn

Since then Bruce has mainly devoted his musical life to his work with ROVA, with some notable side projects. In 1977 he performed and recorded with the quartet Twins, featuring John Zorn on reeds, and Eugene Chadbourne and Henry Kaiser on guitars. During the 1980s he played regularly with trombone-electronics wizard, Dino J.A. Deane and drummer Joseph Sabella. They formed Planet X in 1992, which performed extensively in the Bay Area and made a recording at that time. Bruce has also performed with the Italian bass virtuoso, Stefano Scodanibbio. In 1996 they performed together with koto-electronics player Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), and the brilliant cellist, Rohan de Saram, formerly of the Arditti String Quartet.

That year Bruce formed a trio to perform his more jazz-oriented original compositions, Actual Size, with George Cremaschi on bass and Garth Powell on drums. This led to the recording The Hearing by the Bruce Ackley Trio, featuring Joey Baron on Drums and Greg Cohen on bass, and released on the John Zorn-curated Japanese label Avant. During the late 1990s Bruce formed Frankenstein, a jazz repertory band that played the music of many of the forward-looking artists of the early ‘60s, particularly Grachan Moncur III, Andrew Hill, Eric Dolphy, and Jackie McLean—providing him an opportunity to dig into material that significantly impacted him during formative years.

Steve Adams

Fellow ROVA-ite Steve Adams needs little introduction to lovers of jazz and new music, having been a long-standing key player in various East & West Coast scenes. His work on various saxes, flutes, electronics and as a composer combines probing originality, playful improv structures and swing with a very specific angular momentum.

Steve Adams

Steve is best known as a member of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, whom he’s been with for more than 20 years. Steve is also a member of the Bill Horvitz Band, various Matt Small ensembles, and the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble, as well as leading his own projects.

Steve lived in Boston in the ’70s and ’80s, where he was a member of Your Neighborhood Sax Quartet, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, and Composers in Red Sneakers among others. A remarkable collaboration with avant jazz bassist Ken Filiano, which we in the Bay Area have the pleasure of hearing on his swings to the West Coast, was formed in this period.

Steve’s versatility, powerful musical imagination, commanding technique, and personal warmth and great sense of humor make him a wonderful collaborator, and it’s been great to have my ears expanded by his beautiful ideas by working together in various duo and trio dates.

Nan Busse

Nan Busse has been creating dance-based art works since receiving her MFA from UC-Irvine (“a long time ago…”). Collaborating with choreographer Christopher Beck, she made pieces performed at Centerspace (Project Artaud) and New College; and with her partner, poet Tobey Kaplan, participated in the Link inter-disciplinary performance series.

Emily Mizuno (L), Nan Busse (M), and Peggy De Coursey (R) prepare backstage for the performance of Nguyễn Dance Company at the Metropolitan Theatre in Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam

Since about 1999 she has been unable to stop dancing – thanks to Yvonne Caldwell, Evelyn Thomas, Roger Dillahunty, Georgia OrtegaJohn Tanner, and the great Cassie Terman, and has toured in Việt Nam and the US with Nguyễn Dance Company. She works as an Education & Arts Therapist in the East Bay.

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

I look forward to improvisatory adventures with this fine company, using piano, MSP/laptop, and percussion.

My laptop-based AI improvising agent associate, Maxxareddu, may also assist if he is moved to jump in.

Set 1 (8pm): Bloom Project (Rent Romus & Thollem McDonas)

Bloom Project - Rent Romus (L) and Thollem McDonas (R)

We’ll be preceded by Thollem’s long-standing spirited and colossal duo with Rent Romus, the Bloom Project. Featuring free improvisations as well as interpretations of numerous textual and graphical scores, Bloom Project’s music is an organic construction and expression of combining disparate and divergent stylistic histories with a sense of refreshing immediacy, intensity, and spontaneous inventiveness.

Guest recording and performing musicians have include instrument builder Steven Baker, drummer and found-object player Jon Brumit, trumpet and electronics artists Liz Albee, and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani (中谷達也).

One of my favorite Bloom CDs - Sudden Aurora

Among their several great recordings, I would particularly recommend the intimate and transfixing sound-universe of their album Sudden Aurora. Have a listen for yourself, and your ears will be opened very wide.

For info on Thollem McDonas, please see above…

Rent Romus, Godfather of Avant Soul

The Godfather of Avant Soul, organizer of innumerable Bay Area events, Rent Romus, saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and producer, is heavily involved in going beyond the confines of standard music forms of composition and improvisation and focused on presenting and supporting the local experimental and avant-garde community. From his beginnings as a student of jazz while being exposed to the tutelage of Stan Getz to the present day Rent Romus has recorded and released 22 recordings as a leader which have included Jason Olaine, Steve Rossi, Chico Freeman, John Tchicai, Jonas Müller, Stefan Pasborg, Toyoji Tomita (富田豊治), Dave Mihaly, Bill NoertkerCJ Borosque, Philip Everett, Ray Schaeffer, Paris Slim, Jesse Quattro, Scott R Looney, Bob Marsh, Jim Ryan, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Tobias Fischer, and Thollem Mcdonas. As a producer and artist business activist he runs Edgetone Records a label for all forms of improvisation and experimentation. He is the founder and Executive Director of Outsound Presents under which he curates the SIMM Series, the Luggage Store Series every Thursday, both in San Francisco, and The Outsound New Music Summit, a national experimental music festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area every summer in July.

This will be a fantastic night – look forward to play for you at this grand, one-of-a-kind show!

近い内に。。。

Joe

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MSP/Synth: Multi-Media Whale Form, mini Renga-kai (連歌会), and free improv w CJ Borosque, Jaroba, Nan Busse, and Warren Stringer Thu 16 Jan, @ Luggage Store Gallery, SF, 8pm + Set 2: Daniel Blomquist @ 9pm

Outsound: A New Sonic Collective for the 21st Century

Outsound Series @ Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St. @ 6th Street, San Francisco, 8pm, Thu 16 Jan.

I very much look forward to take to the great Luggage Store Gallery stage again with space-explorer, saxophonist, bass-clarinetist and instrument inventor, Jaroba, as part of a larger multi-media ensemble also including CJ Borosque (trumpet / no-input electronics), Nan Busse (dancer and didgeridoo), and Warren Stringer (real-time visual synthesis).

Luggage Store Gallery - Doorway to the beyond...

As well as being fantastic performers in general, this ensemble affords the particular opportunity to explore some very special timbre blends made possible with CJ’s muted trumpet, Jaroba’s unique invented wind instruments, and Nan’s didgeridoo, to create a floating series of joint timbral gestures unfolding in warped space – dimensions of which will be added by multimedia visual and movement elements contributed by Warren’s visual synthesis rig and Nan’s dance.

We travel the space ways...

Of course with this ensemble, we couldn’t help but do free improv, and we’ve been intrepidly exploring the far reaches of improv deep-space in our rehearsals.

… from planet...

… to planet (orbital motion of the planet Fomalhaut b)

Our improv warpdrive’s nonlinear behaviors are at your service to take you to destinations of free sound — both far and further.

In addition to improv, we’ve prepared a special multi-media, prismatically re-ordered version of Aaron Bennett’s Whale Form, a wonderful piece I recently re-explored with Aaron and Steve Adams at Outsound’s SIMM Series.

Meet the Composer… Aaron Bennett in Space

Aaron Bennett has been a leader in the Bay Area jazz and improvised music communities for more than 15 years. Beyond his studies in composition and performance of western music at California Institute of the Arts, Aaron has also studied and played the music of West Africa, Indonesia, India, and Traditional Japanese Gagaku (雅楽) music. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad including performances with Wadada Leo SmithPeter KowaldJohn ButcherDonald RobinsonMarco EneidiGianni GebbiaWeasel WalterAdam LaneLarry OchsSteve AdamsJohn RaskinVictoria WilliamsAphrodesiaLagos-RootsROVA Saxophone Quartet and many others. (And it’s my privilege to work with him in his in Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra).

Whale Form, © Aaron Bennett

Like Aaron’s “alphabet & number pieces” which we do in Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Whale Form encodes the perfect amount of info in its specialized language to ensure the contradictory fusion of structure and openness, making each performance a fresh encounter with a complex ecosystem in a new season.

For this show, we’ve prepared a special cubist, multiply-reordered version — where each of the players traverses the form in an individualized trajectory that interlocks with the other players’ lines.

… on the same un-statable truth

… multiple perspectives…

Rashōmon (羅生門)...

As in the Japanese classic Rashōmon (羅生門) by Akira Kurosawa (黒澤明), the result is a complex series of overlapping points of view that point to an un-statable and contradictory truth.

The outer automorphism of S₆ permutations

We’ll also do a mini renga-kai (連歌会), a form I’ve had the pleasure of exploring with a series of wonderful musical partners in recent months.

The piece will comprise 6 short duets which will pair each musician with every other twice and employ the game-like shifting-time rules used in Cage’s Two²… extended with a new methodology to kaleidoscopically expand the palette of timbres, instruments, and events.

John Cage and D.T. Suzuki (鈴木 大拙 貞太郎)

Renga-kai (連歌会) is a new form extending rules based on some of the “renga pieces” of John Cage, and their unique transformations — not only of Japanese verse forms for alcohol-soaked group poetry improv, based on structures of 5 + 7 + 5 + 7 + 7 — but also of concepts like “duet”, “listening” and “time”.

Time displacement: Ø

It generates a game that, like go (碁), is rich in strategy despite relatively simple rules.

Time displacement: t-1

Time displacement: t-२

Having used this renga-kai methodology with a variety of wonderful musicians since premiering it last year with clarinetist Jacob Lindsay and guitarist Kristian Aspelin, I’m thrilled at the new improvisational vistas and completely different colors of time that it opens up, producing a uniquely beautiful sense of flow as the players move the game pieces of their musical gestures on an invisible board.

We’ll honor the renga tradition of alcohol-assisted creativity, by demarcating these sections with ceremonial libations (which may lead to some interesting musical results…).

Time displacement: t-三

For more details on renga (連歌) & Cage, see: this post.

CJ Borosque

CJ Borosque is a frequently heard Bay Area-based improviser, noise-, and video artist. Her art is a blending of genres pulling from abstract and avant-garde traditions.

Her electronic work is unique and she’s a pioneer of blending radical electronics with free jazz acoustic ensembles like Rent Romus’ Lords Of Outland and vocalists like Laurie Amat to stunning effect. Her trumpet lines are paradoxically fluid and dry at the same time — and always beautiful.

CJ is considered locally and internationally as a noisician and a visual artist, rooted in the underground music of San Francisco. She’s performed at the NorCal Noise Fest, The Big Sur Experimental Music Festival, The Oakland Noise Festival, and at the Spring Reverb experimental music festival in San Diego.

CJ plays trumpet and analog FX boxes configured in a “no-input” design which allows for the creation of sonic feedback and feedback sounds without the use of a typical sound source… her noise projects are currently created using the electrical signal that is within her gear. She also sometimes plays other various electronics and Instruments: her fascinations include, art, cooking, sound, noise, sculpture (sonic and tactile), Installations, silent films, avant-garde films and videos, modern, impressionist and surrealist art, jazz, world and classical music.

CJ Borosque’s cover art for Truth Teller, CD by Rent Romus’ Life’s Blood

In her painting CJ uses acrylic, oil pastels, ink, spray paint and sometimes glue. She creates abstract and cartoon inspired images that pull from her interest in modern art and anime as well as from her subconscious imagination. Her colors are vivid and her abstractions are works of art, each with a unique story and a unique inspiration. She recently had her first art show at Flux 53 gallery in Oakland.

CJ’s experimental videos Home and Ritual have been shown in conjunction with experimental music at both the SIMM Series and Luggage Store gallery. She also presented her video Ritual at the Chapel of the Chimes, during their solstice exhibit in 2007 that was entitled “from the darkness, solace”.

CJ is a regular member of Rent Romus’ Lords Of Outland and plays frequently with other Bay Area avant ensembles.

Jaroba (here shown in the wild with his kit) is a one-of-a-kind saxophonist, musical instrument inventor, and theatrical musician.

Proud father Jaroba & children, Chapel of the Chimes “Garden of Memory” solstice event, June 2011

He is often spotted in the company of fellow musical instrument inventor and string multi-instrumentalist Keith Cary, or consumating the unholy matrimony of disparate mouthpieces, tubing, PVC pipes, and a unique array of found resonators.

A fearless deep space explorer of improvisation and instrument invention, Jaroba always opens the windows of my brain and lets the sunshine in. It is with great pleasure that I réprise my collaboration with him — a journey to infinity and beyond in a homebrew go-cart spaceship.

Some of his notable musical projects include work with Liberation Surrealist Duo (what acronym does that make…?), featuring Jared Alberico and Nick Wilson of Chicago, Minneapolis Improv Orchestra, Duke Resonant Orchestra, Nuclear Mystery Temple, ESP, and Howloosanation (including performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, for the John Cage MusiCircus).

Jaroba & Mastertron (photo by Michael Zelner)

Aside from forging new paths with instruments like the Mastertron and the Plassoon, another speciality of Jaroba’s is music for theatre, including two soundtracks for filmmaker Harvey Stein, and works for the Flatwater Shakespeare Company for The Tempest, Measure for Measure, Henry V, and Macbeth. Jaroba received “Best New Music” from Kennedy Center for his contribution to the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Nan Busse

Nan Busse has been creating dance-based art works since receiving her MFA from UC-Irvine (“a long time ago…”). Collaborating with choreographer Christopher Beck, she made pieces performed at Centerspace (Project Artaud) and New College; and with her partner, poet Tobey Kaplan, participated in the Link inter-disciplinary performance series.

Emily Mizuno (L), Nan Busse (M), and Peggy De Coursey (R) prepare backstage for the performance of Nguyễn Dance Company at the Metropolitan Theatre in Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam

Since about 1999 she has been unable to stop dancing – thanks to Yvonne Caldwell, Evelyn Thomas, Roger Dillahunty, Georgia OrtegaJohn Tanner, and the great Cassie Terman, and has toured in Việt Nam and the US with Nguyễn Dance Company. She works as an Education & Arts Therapist in the East Bay.

For this show, we’ll also be calling on Nan’s didgeridoo skills, especially in the multi-dimensional Whale Form, where she realizes her part musically on the didgeridoo, sometimes in silent motion by dance, and often by both.

Warren Stringer

It will also be our honor and pleasure to welcome the inimitable visual synthesis of maestro Warren Stringer (of Muse).

L → R: Warren Stringer, Joe Lasqo, and Rent Romus, Luggage Store Gallery, 27 Dec 2012

Those who have seen Warren at one of my previous shows or a Bay Area technorave know his unique mastery in combining art and algorithm for the real-time visual accompaniment of improvisatory music. (And the rest of you have something great to look forward to.)

Set 2 (9pm): Daniel Blomquist

Daniel Blomquist

We’ll be followed by Daniel Blomquist.

Daniel Blomquist’s work focuses on the breaking down of the physical form. His work is process based, it never has a defined end point but follows a set of rules to its natural end. In breaking down the musical form he works to dissolve the digital perfection into an analog waste that hints at the its former euphoria.

Aside from the above hints, info on Daniel is conspicuous by its (seemingly deliberate) absence, but the titles of some his SoundCloud pieces are expressive of the lush hypno-sonic atmosphere, suspended forever outside of time on the cusp between ambient and noise, that he creates:

— inside of everything falling

— the inevitable resting on glass

— until now it was gone

Look forward to travel the sonic space ways with you at this rare show!

よろしく。。。

Joe

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