MSP/Laptop, Piano, Objects+: w Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (Aaron Bennett, Robert Ewing, John Finkbeiner, Ron Heglin, Joe Lasqo, Lisa Mezzacappa) ◉ + Set 1: DunkelpeK (Nava Dunkelman + Jakob Pek) w special guest Joshua Marshall ◉ Mon 18 Jan @ Studio Grand, Oakland

Aaron Bennett

Aaron Bennett

I’m keenly looking forward to again join one of my favorite Bay Area ensembles, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra.

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.

The scene at Studio Grand

The scene of the crime will be Oakland’s vanguard venue for post-modern jazz and electronic music, Studio Grand (3234 Grand Ave, Oakland, map), 10:15pm, Mon 18 Jan.

Oakland Freedom Jazz !

Oakland Freedom Jazz !

It’s aways a high-warp adventure to play with this special ensemble, and I look forward with special pleasure to bringing the superluminal energy of Aaron’s fantastic “comprov” charts to Fernando Carpenter’s fantastic Oakland Freedom Jazz Society series at Studio Grand, together with a great set from the always astonishing DunkelpeK, with special guest Joshua Marshall.

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 — also to be featured in this show) 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.

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.”

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

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

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.

(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...

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 Smith, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Donald Robinson, Marco Eneidi, Gianni GebbiaWeasel Walter, Adam Lane, Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, John Raskin, Victoria WilliamsAphrodesiaLagos-RootsBlack Water GoldROVA 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 Guerrilla 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 E.M.T.P.O. line-up for this show will also include:

— Rob Ewing: trombone

Rob Ewing

— John Finkbeiner: guitar

John FInkbeiner

John FInkbeiner

— Ron Heglin: trombone & voice

Ron Heglin and tuba

Ron Heglin and tuba

— Lisa Mezzacappa: bass

Lisa Mezzacappa

— Joe Lasqo: MSP/laptop & piano

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

Set 1: DunkelpeK, with special guest Joshua Marshall, 9:30pm

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

DunkelpeK is an duo ensemble of prepared guitar, objects + percussion allsorts that has produced some of the most dynamic improv of the Bay Area since its formation.

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

Both Nava Dunkelman and Jakob Pek continuously extend and break the boundaries of their instruments. Their telepathic flow and ultra-wide sound palette as Dunkelpek energizes some of the most unique sonic trajectories in todays Bay Area new music scene.

Jakob Pek (photo by Peter B. Kaars, PeterBKaars.com)

Jakob Pek (photo by Peter B. Kaars, PeterBKaars.com)

Tonight they will be joined by frequent collaborator Joshua Marshall, whose amazing technique shatters the mirror of reality into a geometry of cracked multi-phonics, exotic trills, and unique timbre tremolos.

Joshua Marshall and Crystal Pascucci perform in Opera Wolf @ the 2013 Outsound New Music Summit (Photo by Peter. B. Kaars, www.peterbkaars.com)

Joshua Marshall and Crystal Pascucci perform in Opera Wolf @ the 2013 Outsound New Music Summit (Photo by Peter. B. Kaars, www.peterbkaars.com)

———

Experience a sparkling full sonic spectrum of chamber and big band post-jazz improv — come vibrate with us at Studio Grand!

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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Piano: Jazz++ Residency #2, starting Wed 27 Jan @ PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”: Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Oliver Nelson, Steve Adams, Darren Johnston, Larry Ochs, Georges Gurdjieff (Георгий Гурджиев), Komitas (Կոմիտաս), Bollywood & more…

The splendid Californicorn presides over PianoFight's musical and spiritual offerings

The splendid Californicorn presides over PianoFight's musical and spiritual offerings

I’m very excited to start my second Jazz++ residency @ PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”, 144 Taylor St., SF (map), 5:30-7:30pm, 4th Wednesdays starting from Wed 27 Jan.

+ see also: Examiner.com preview: here

Formed by Rob Ready, Dan Williams and Kevin Fink (called “the bad boys of San Francisco theatre” by Theatre Bay Area), PianoFight has successfully managed venues (Off-Market Theater Complex); recklessly invited audiences to Throw Rotten Veggies at the Actors; formed two critically acclaimed sketch comedy groups (Mission CTRL and ForePlays); and built a three-man producing team into a 46-member company of artists.

PianoFight, SF's Next Landmark Entertainment Venue

PianoFight, SF's Next Landmark Entertainment Venue

Their latest adventure is PianoFight — a new theater complex with restaurant and bar at the former site of the San Francisco landmark restaurant Original Joe’s, 144 Taylor Street, with two theaters in the back of house, + in the front of house a 60-seat restaurant and bar with a full liquor license — and a cabaret stage, the site of my latest adventure.

This great new venue, in the heart of SF’s Central Market Arts District, takes forward the development of a music axis on Taylor Street, stretching from the Luggage Store, the Warfield, and Center For New Music to its northernmost and newest boîte.

My totem animal, Morgana, keenly looks forward to again joining forces with PianoFight’s totem animal, the Californicorn. We’ll be there Mondays in July, and, if things go well, beyond.

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

On offer will be classic modern jazz from the “Birth of the Cool” era to the best of current Bay Area jazz composers and more (some of these standards noted in the captions below).

Blue In Green & So What?, from Kind Of Blue, by Miles Davis

Blue In Green & So What?, from Kind Of Blue, by Miles Davis

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, from Mingus Ah Um, by Charles Mingus

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, from Mingus Ah Um, by Charles Mingus

Humpty Dumpty, from This Is Our Music, by Ornette Coleman

Humpty Dumpty, from This Is Our Music, by Ornette Coleman

Round Midnight from Thelonius Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1

Round Midnight from Thelonius Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1

Stolen Moments, from The Blues And The Abstract Truth, by Oliver Nelson

Stolen Moments, from The Blues And The Abstract Truth, by Oliver Nelson

The cool energy of classics by Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Oliver Nelson

… plus the fresh compositions of today’s Bay Area greats like Darren Johnston, Steve Adams, Larry Ochs, and others provide the jazz backbone of the repertoire on offer.

Apples, by Darren Johnston

Steve Adams

Squeamish, by Steve Adams

Failure, by Larry Ochs

Brochevārevarurā, (ப்ரோசே வாரவெருரா), by Tyāgarāja (త్యాగరాజు)

Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi (चलते चलते युंही कोई), from the film Pakeezah (पाक़ीज़ा)

Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi (चलते चलते युंही कोई), from the film Pakeezah (पाक़ीज़ा)

Every now and then bit of India, Bollywood…

Georges Gurdjieff (Георгий Гурджиев)

Georges Gurdjieff (Георгий Гурджиев)

Portrait of Komitas (Կոմիտաս), 1969, by Tiraturyan Karapet (Կարապետ Տիրատուրյան)

Portrait of Komitas (Կոմիտաս), 1969, by Tiraturyan Karapet (Կարապետ Տիրատուրյան)

or the mystic songs of Georges Gurdjieff (Георгий Гурджиев), Komitas (Կոմիտաս), Stockhausen and other modern composers will appear as a basis for improvisation.

Stockhausen, WDR Studio, 1962

Listeners who have heard me in the erstwhile afternoon piano series at Viracocha (21st & Valencia, SF) will find this repertoire both familiar but also containing some beautiful new material.

———

Joe Lasqo and ASHA The Cat @ Viracocha, drawing by Jenna Paul-Schultz (jpstravels.wordpress.com)

Joe Lasqo and ASHA The Cat @ Viracocha, drawing by Jenna Paul-Schultz (jpstravels.wordpress.com)

Bio: Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the piano series at Viracocha, will be resuming a residency at PianoFight in January 2016, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) as well as his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), & Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles.

au quotidien, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release later in 2015.

———

Join me for food, drink, jazz, and improvisatory adventure after work on 4th Wednesdays at PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”.

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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Electric Shadow Theater: Film Truth + Surreal Sound by Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ◉ Films: Jean Cocteau, Fernand Léger, & Maya Deren (Майя Дерен) ◉ Music: Jorge Bachmann, Beth Custer, Bryan Day, Thomas Dimuzio, Tom Djll, Joe Lasqo, David Michalak, & Suki O’Kane ◉ Tue 23 Feb @ PianoFight, SF

Cocteau applies the finishing touches to cast member Barbette - « Le sang d'un poète »

Cocteau applies the finishing touches to cast member Barbette - « Le sang d'un poète »

I’m very excited to return to PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”, 144 Taylor St., SF (map), with new ensemble Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会), 7:30pm, Tue 23 Feb and some of the freshest, most exciting films ever made.

☞ Advance tickets available at a discount: here

Formed by Rob Ready, Dan Williams and Kevin Fink (called “the bad boys of San Francisco theatre” by Theatre Bay Area), PianoFight has successfully managed venues (Off-Market Theater Complex); recklessly invited audiences to Throw Rotten Veggies at the Actors; formed two critically acclaimed sketch comedy groups (Mission CTRL and ForePlays); and built a three-man producing team into a 46-member company of artists.

Their latest adventure is PianoFight — a new theater complex with restaurant and bar at the former site of the San Francisco landmark restaurant Original Joe’s, 144 Taylor Street, with two theaters in the back of house, and a 60-seat restaurant and bar with a full liquor license and a cabaret stage at the front of the house.

PianoFight, SF's Next Landmark Entertainment Venue

PianoFight, SF's Next Landmark Entertainment Venue

This great new performing arts complex, in the heart of SF’s Central Market Arts District, takes forward the development of a music axis on Taylor Street, stretching from the Luggage Store, the Warfield, and Center For New Music to its northernmost and newest boîte.

Meanwhile, its two black-box theaters have expanded the “San Francisco off-off-Broadway” that includes CounterPulse, EXIT Theater, and Cutting Ball Theatre.

My totem animal, Morgana, has enjoyed joining forces with PianoFight’s totem animal, the Californicorn during my solo residencies and previous film+music shows there, and we’re both keenly looking forward to performing there again…

The founder of the first "Paranormal Research Society" (Fushigi Kenkyūkai : 不思議研究会), in 1886, Enryō Inoue (井上円了)

The founder of the first "Paranormal Research Society" (Fushigi Kenkyūkai : 不思議研究会), in 1886, Enryō Inoue (井上円了)

Since the founding of Clubfoot Orchestra in 1983, San Francisco has been a leader in pairing film classics with composed or improvised scores. Not only is Clubfoot Orchestra still scaling new heights, but a rich new crop of ensembles for film + sound have created a second wave of Bay Area shadow play for the 21st century.

Fushigi Kenkyūkai are a collective of film and sound artists, mixing veterans of Bay Area “wayang sinema” ensembles like Clubfoot Orchestra & Reel Change with pioneers of electronic, computer-based, and invented instruments.

The name Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) means “Paranormal Research Society”. The truth is out there.

The program uses two surrealist film classics and a cubo-futurist mechanical “ballet” to find it.

Line-up:

Jorge Bachmann (electronics)

Beth Custer (bass & other clarinets | vocals)

Bryan Day (invented instruments)

Thomas Dimuzio (electronics)

Tom Djll (surrealist prepared trumpet)

Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)

David Michalak (skatchbox | lap steel guitar | film curator)

Suki O’Kane (percussion allsorts)

Program

Part 1: Cubist Culottes & Surrealist Shorts (33 min, with short break following)

Fernand Léger: Ballet électromécanique

Maya Deren (Майя Дерен): Meshes Of The Afternoon

Part 2: Main Feature

Jean CocteauBlood Of A Poet (Le sang d’un poète) 55 min.

Jean Cocteau and friend

Jean Cocteau and friend

(1930) ◉ Blood Of A Poet (Le sang d’un poète), by Jean Cocteau

Cocteau described his first film, Blood Of A Poet (Le sang d’un poète) as “a descent into oneself, a way of using the mechanism of the dream without sleeping, a crooked candle, often mysteriously blown out, carried about in the night of the human body.”

A tall smokestack starts to collapse…

« La solitude du poète est si grande et qu'il vit tellement ce qu'il crée, que la bouche d'une de ses créatures lui reste dans la main comme une blessure… » (The poet's solitude is so great, he so lives what he creates, that the mouth of one of his creations lives in his hand like a wound...) - Cocteau

« La solitude du poète est si grande et qu'il vit tellement ce qu'il crée, que la bouche d'une de ses créatures lui reste dans la main comme une blessure… » (The poet's solitude is so great, he so lives what he creates, that the mouth of one of his creations lives in his hand like a wound...) - Cocteau

A mouth in an artist’s sketch starts moving, wanders off the paper and occupies the artist’s hand, then finally finds a home on a statue in the studio, making it come alive…

Travel between worlds via mirror in Cocteau's « Le sang d'un poète » - Boarding phase

Now able to talk, the statue tells the artist how to pass through mirrors to another world, where he voyeuristically peeps on tableaux of levitating children, ambiguous sexuality, and opium dreams through room keyholes at the «Hôtel de Folies Dramatiques», culminating in his suicide, resurrection, and return through the mirror…

Danger de mort! à l'Hôtel de Folies Dramatiques - « Le sang d'un poète », by Jean Cocteau

Danger de mort! à l'Hôtel de Folies Dramatiques - « Le sang d'un poète », by Jean Cocteau

After this shamanic journey is complete, a young school boy is murdered by a snowball in a courtyard — that turns out to be a stage where a card-game is being played before an audience of aristocrats watching from boxes.

Will the black guardian angel keep the dead boy’s Ace of Hearts from the artist, who has become the card-shark?

After we find out the answer, a tall smokestack continues to collapse…

« Le sang d'un poète », by Jean Cocteau

« Le sang d'un poète », by Jean Cocteau

About this first installment of the Orphic Trilogy, Cocteau said:

“My relationship with the work was like that of a cabinetmaker who puts together the pieces of a table whom the spiritualists, who make the table move, consult.”

“I was the only one of this minority [the surrealists] to avoid the deliberate manifestations of the unconscious in favor of a kind of half-sleep through which I wandered as though in a labyrinth.”

Blood of a Poet draws nothing from either dreams or symbols. As far as the former are concerned, it initiates their mechanism, and by letting the mind relax, as in sleep, it lets memories entwine, move and express themselves freely. As for the latter, it rejects them, and substitutes acts… that the spectator can make symbols of if he wishes.”

« Le sang d'un poète », by Jean Cocteau

À l'Hôtel de Folies Dramatiques - « Le sang d'un poète », by Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau started a long string of technical film-making discoveries with his first film by turning mistakes that he didn’t have the money or technology to undo into profoundly inspired excuses for improvisatory cinematography, incorporating even the dust kicked up by cleaners in the studio to provide surrealistic effects, and pioneered trick shot techniques to realize strange effects like the sideways gravity of the «Hôtel de Folies Dramatiques» and the mirror portal between worlds.

« Quand il joue cette partie de cartes avec sa Muse, avec sa Gloire, avec sa Destinée, il triche en prenant sur son enfance ce qu'il devrait puiser en lui-même » (When he plays the card game with his Muse, his Glory, with his Destiny, he cheats by drawing from his childhood instead of from within himself) - Lee Miller in Cocteau's « Le sang d'un poète »

« Quand il joue cette partie de cartes avec sa Muse, avec sa Gloire, avec sa Destinée, il triche en prenant sur son enfance ce qu'il devrait puiser en lui-même » (When he plays the card game with his Muse, his Glory, with his Destiny, he cheats by drawing from his childhood instead of from within himself) - Lee Miller in « Le sang d'un poète »

Another highlight of the film is the only extensive film appearance of surrealist & documentary photographer Lee Miller, who plays the living statue of the film as well as the antagonist of the card-shark near the film’s conclusion — she of whom Cocteau said, “I could tell you that the snowball fight represents the poet’s childhood and that when he plays the card game with his Muse, his Glory, with his Destiny [Lee Miller], he cheats by drawing from his childhood instead of from within himself.”

Portrait of Space, by Lee Miller

Portrait of Space, by Lee Miller

Brilliant collaborator and lover of Man Ray, Lee Miller met Ray, as described by Jonathon Keats (link), “in the spring of 1929 at a Paris bar called the Bateau Ivre. Miller was seeking photography lessons. Ray said he didn’t take students, and was leaving for vacation in Biarritz. “So am I,” she responded, starting one of the most tempestuous and creative relationships in the history of 20th century art.”

(L→R) Enrique Riveros & Lee Miller in Le sang d'un poète, by Jean Cocteau

(L→R) Enrique Riveros & Lee Miller in Le sang d'un poète, by Jean Cocteau

Later the wife of British surrealist painter Roland Penrose and documentary photographer of the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau, Lee Miller numbered among her friends and photographic clients Picasso, Joseph Cornell, Paul Éluard, Eileen Agar, Jean Cocteau, Dorothea Tanning, Henry Moore, Max Ernst, and Jean Dubuffet.

Documenting the horrors of the Holocaust left Lee Miller in a life-long struggle afterward with what we today call PTSD, and she was after the war investigated on suspicion of being a Soviet spy by Britain’s MI5.

———

(1924) ◉ Ballet électromécanique, by Fernand Léger with new electronic score

Poster for Fernand Léger's « Ballet mécanique »

Poster for Fernand Léger's « Ballet mécanique »

Ballet mécanique marks a turning point in both film and music history.

« Les joueurs de cartes » (The Card Players), by Fernand Léger

« Les joueurs de cartes » (The Card Players), by Fernand Léger

Recovering from the mustard gas attack that nearly killed him toward the end of World War 1, Léger began to integrate his wartime experiences with the machinery and inhumanity of the front into his art, producing paintings with machine-like figures, like The Card Players.

He said of this period:

“…I was stunned by the sight of the breech of a 75mm in the sunlight. It was the magic of light on the white metal. That’s all it took for me to forget the abstract art of 1912–1913. The crudeness, variety, humor, and downright perfection of certain men around me, their precise sense of utilitarian reality and its application in the midst of the life-and-death drama we were in … made me want to paint in slang with all its color and mobility.”

The film is usually credited to Fernand Léger, with large contributions from Dudley Murphy and Man Ray, and with a lot of uncertainty about who did what. For the sake of simplicity, let’s consider it Léger’s film here.

Frame from Fernand Léger's « Ballet mécanique »

Frame from Fernand Léger's « Ballet mécanique »

This cubo-futurist period in Léger’s work was propelled by a kinetic esthetic that emphasized movement, repetition, and a nascent transhumanism in its fluid and porous boundaries between human and machine.

One of Léger's animation sequences from « Ballet mécanique »

One of Léger's animation sequences from « Ballet mécanique »

The film is laced with additional spice in the form of Fernand Léger’s animation sequences bearing strange oblique references to Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

George Antheil and instruments from his « Ballet mécanique »

George Antheil and instruments from his « Ballet mécanique »

Intertwined with Ballet mécanique the film is another Ballet mécanique — the musical piece by George Antheil.

Originally conceived of as the soundtrack for the film, the two pieces drifted apart in production, with the music winding up 1½ times as long as the film.

The orchestration was: 16 player pianos (or pianolas) in four parts, 2 regular pianos, 3 xylophones, at least 7 electric bells, 3 airplane propellers, siren, 4 bass drums, & 1 tam-tam.

The synchronization of the 16 player pianos was technically impossible in that MIDI-less era, but perhaps that only added to the fun of the affair….

Antheil — as assiduous a marketer as the later John Cage (who appeared on game shows to get nationwide broadcast performance opportunities for his pieces) — vigorously hyped his bizarre baby by arranging to appear to have been kidnapped before the first performance (whose patroness was at the end of the concert tossed in a blanket by 3 baronesses and a duke…) and hiring professional provocateurs to infiltrate the audience and heighten the sense of scandal at later performances.

Other Minds' brilliant revival recording of George Antheil's « Ballet mécanique »

Other Minds' brilliant revival recording of George Antheil's « Ballet mécanique »

Despite the glorious music, which you can check out in a superb revival recording from Other Minds, the severe length mismatch kept the music and the film in separate universes until the advent of modern editing technology in the 90′s when clever cutting and sewing created the illusion of synchronization in a length-matched compressed-music version.

Up to then, the music had been performed (very rarely…) as a stand-alone “ballet” (with the exotic stage machinery standing in for dancers).

The film was premiered silently, without the intended music, and then became fair game for various musicians and composers to have at it, which is exactly our plan — to salute the singularity with a new 21st-century electronics-enhanced version in a Ballet électromécanique.

———

(1943) ◉ Meshes Of The Afternoon, by Maya Deren (Майя Дерен)

Maya Deren (Майя Дерен) in her film Meshes Of The Afternoon

Maya Deren (Майя Дерен) in her film Meshes Of The Afternoon

Maya Deren (Майя Дерен) said of her Meshes Of The Afternoon that it “does not record an event which could be witnessed by other persons”.

A shifting exploration of ambiguous transitions between sleep and waking, life and death, self and double(s) that’s imbued with an eerie and indescribable coherence, Meshes Of The Afternoon achieves its impact by means of brilliant and very musical use of a number of motifs that it puts through set-theoretic permutations in a way that would have made Milton Babbitt proud, while yet retaining a powerful and mysterious human poetry.

Frame from Maya Deren's Meshes Of The Afternoon

Frame from Maya Deren's Meshes Of The Afternoon

A flower on a long driveway, a knife in a loaf of bread, a phone off the hook, a Grim Reaper with a mirror instead of a face, a key falling, a phonograph, and other motifs all participate in a spiraling fugue where potential meanings are developed and abandoned like polyphonic lines.

As Robert Robertson says in Cinema And The Audiovisual Imagination: Music, Image, Sound, “Taking the model of chamber music, she advocated its lyrical qualities, it’s abstract forms, its economy, but also its virtuosity, as an example for what she called ‘chamber films’.”

Montage of scenes from Meshes Of The Afternoon by Maya Deren (Майя Дерен)

Montage of scenes from Meshes Of The Afternoon by Maya Deren (Майя Дерен)

Traveling across many stairs, pathways, and physical levels of a house and its environs, the protagonist encounters various doubles, mirrors, and situations reflected between her dreams and what passes for the film’s reality.

We’ll map and reshape these motivic lines, inversions, and transformative repetitions in a new electronic score for what, due to its musical qualities, has become one of the greatest “standards” for film+music sonification.

———

Carrying on the traditions of and sharing members with “wayang sinema” ensembles like Clubfoot Orchestra & Reel Change, Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) is comprised of:

Jorge Bachmann (aka Ruidobello)

◉ Jorge Bachmann (electronics)

Sculptor, electronics master, photographer, and engineer Jorge Bachmann is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-media and sound artist. Since the early 80s, Jorge has been exploring the strange, unique and microcosmic sounds of everyday life, collecting field recordings. The sound atmospheres created are meant for deep listening and are composed in symbiosis with the sculptural installations.

He creates equally sensual and detailed oriented photo-based work; and his art explores social and sensual constructs and experiences.

Starting his career in Bogotá, Colombia and then active for a long period in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jorge eventually relocated to the Bay Area and became a technical and artistic mainstay of MEDIATE’s Soundwave Series as well as the Engineer Scotty of the Starship SFEMF.

Now he’s returned to regularly giving solo electronic concerts such as his recent brilliant one at The Lab’s Serge 40-year Reunion.

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

◉ Beth Custer (bass & other clarinets | vocals) is a San Francisco based composer, clarinetist, vocalist, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records.

An original member of the Club Foot Orchestra, a trailblazing ensemble who pioneered scoring and performing with silent films (Pandora’s Box, Sherlock Jr., Metropolis, etc.), Beth is also a founding member of the 4th-world ensemble Trance Mission, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, and leads the quartet of esteemed jazz clarinetists Clarinet Thing, as well as The Beth Custer Ensemble. The Pacific Film Archive commissioned Beth to compose a live score for My Grandmother / ჩემი ბებია / Моя Бабушка, a rare Soviet film, which she toured internationally in Russia, Czech Republic, Ireland, and England, supported by Trust for Mutual Understanding and Mid Atlantic Arts Fund awards.

She composes for theatre, film, dance, television, installations and the concert stage and has created scores for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, City Winds, + Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, and Cornerstone Theatre; for dancers and troupes Joe Goode Performance Group, Flyaway Productions, Osseus Labyrinth, AXIS Dance Company, and butō (舞踏) masters Harupin Ha (ハルピン派), Koichi Tamano (玉野黄市) and Ledoh (レドー). Her score for JGPG’s The Maverick Strain, which won an Isadora Duncan Award, excerpts enjoyed a run at the Joyce Theater in NYC during April ’09.

Beth has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including inventor Trimpin; artists Vladimir Kokolia and Billie Grace Lynn; musicians Stephen Kent, Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Amy Denio, Tin Hat, Tango № 9, Pamela Z, Will Bernard, Sex Mob, John Schott, Grassy Knoll, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Violent Femmes, J.A. Deane, the late, great Snakefinger, Greg Goodman, William Cepeda, Elaine Buckholtz, Mark Eitzel, Penelope Houston, Anna Homler, Ollin, and Connie Champagne.

She has over 35 recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra.

Beth Custer performs "For the Grace of Any Man" at the Red House Speak Easy, San Francisco, June 2012

Beth created KQED’s Independent View theme with her band Eighty Mile Beach and composed for CBS/Film Roman’s Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat with Club Foot Orchestra, as well as creating music for the films of Cathy Lee Crane, Melinda Stone, Betsy Bayha, Julie Wyman, George Spies, Karina Epperlein, Will Zavala, Peter MacCandless, and Koohan Paik (구한). Beth created four musicals with award winning writer Octavio Solis in LA & SF, and her collaborative scores with inventor and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin led her to compose Vinculum Symphony, a site-specific, large-scale work that unites chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders.

Stephen Kent and Beth Custer perform in the Sanctuary of Dawn at the Garden of Memory event, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, 21 Jun 2012

Beth has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including inventor Trimpin; artists Vladimir Kokolia and Billie Grace Lynn; musicians Stephen Kent, Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Amy Denio, Tin Hat, Tango № 9, Pamela Z, Will Bernard, Sex Mob, John Schott, Grassy Knoll, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Violent Femmes, J.A. Deane, the late, great Snakefinger, Greg Goodman, William Cepeda, Elaine Buckholtz, Mark Eitzel, Penelope Houston, Anna Homler, Ollin, and Connie Champagne.

She has over 35 recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra.

Bryan Day performs in the Active Music Series @ The Uptown, Oakland, 11 Jun 2013 (photo - John Scharpen)

Bryan Day performs in the Active Music Series @ The Uptown, Oakland, 11 Jun 2013 (photo - John Scharpen)

◉ Bryan Day (invented instruments)

Bryan Day is an improviser, instrument inventor, illustrator & installation artist based in San Francisco. His work involves combining elements of the natural and man-made world using field recordings, custom audio generation software and homemade instruments. Bryan’s work explores the parallels between the patterns and systems in nature to those in contemporary society.

Bryan Day

Bryan has toured throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Argentina, the Philippines, & Mexico, performing both solo as Sistrum and Eloine, and in the Shelf Life and Seeded Plain ensembles, as well as with innumerable collaborators, and has over 40 solo and ensemble releases.

Bryan Day's kit reflects his sound universe (photo - John Scharpen)

Bryan Day's kit reflects his sound universe (photo - John Scharpen)

Since 1997 he has been running the new music label Public Eyesore and its sister label Eh?. Through Public Eyesore and Eh?, Bryan has produced and released over 200 albums of improvised and experimental music by artists from all over the globe, in addition to curating the music series at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco.

Thomas Dimuzio

◉ Thomas Dimuzio (electronics)

Thomas Dimuzio is a composer, multi-instrumentalist & electronic musician, mastering engineer, sound designer, and label proprietor based in San Francisco.

Long regarded as a musical pioneer for his innovative use of live sampling and looping techniques to create compelling works, Thomas is a true sonic alchemist who can seemingly create music events out of almost anything. Listed sound sources on his various CDs include everything from ‘modified 10 speed bicycle’ and ‘resonating water pipe’ to short-wave radios, loops, feedback, samplers, and even normal instruments such as clarinet and trumpet, while his current work is facilitated by the deep expanses of modular synthesis.

His use of signal processing, custom crossfade looping, and algorithmic mixing fuels a synergy of man and machine in his live performances, while intercepted signal feeds from collaborators, wild sources of MIDI-controlled feedback, modular synthesizers, circuit-bent toys, or ambient microphones on the streets, become integrated as sound sources within his system of live interactive electronics, effortlessly moving from electroacoustic and noise to glitch, dark ambient, improv and drone.

Thomas Dimuzio

In his work as a sound designer, Thomas has worked with synthesizer and processor manufacturers such as Kurzweil, Lexicon, and OSC to create custom presets and sample libraries, and he has collaborated with Fred Frith, Tom Cora, and ROVA Saxophone Quartet to create sound libraries for Rarefaction and Big Fish Audio. Thomas also continues to play a key role in the development of Avid’s industry standard Pro Tools HD recording and mixing system, as he has for the past 20 years.

As a collaborator, Thomas works with numerous artists and ensembles such as Dimmer (with Joseph Hammer), Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Dan Burke/Illusion of Safety, Nick Didkovsky, ISIS, Negativland, Arcane Device (David Lee Myers), Matmos, Wobbly (Jon Leidecker), Poptastic, 5uu’s, Tom Cora, Mickey Hart, Paul Haslinger, Arte Saxophone Quartett, Due Process, and Voice Of Eye.

Thomas Dimuzio

As a mastering engineer, Thomas has worked with independent artists and labels through his own Gench Studios since the early 1990’s. Among his clients are Matmos,NegativlandISISAMMCaptain AhabDoctor NervePsychic TV3Xiu Xiu, Devin Hoff, GG AllinKK Null (Kazuyuki Kishino岸野 一之), Joey P, Fred Frith, Scott Amendola, and many others.

Thomas Dimuzio’s recordings have been released internationally by ReR Megacorp, Asphodel, RRRecords, No Fun, Sonoris, Drone, Record Label Records, Odd Size, and other independent labels.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

◉ Tom Djll (surrealist prepared trumpet)

Tom Djll has spent over twenty years developing the trumpet’s wide sonic array of extended techniques. His musical language incorporates complex noises and gritty, unheard textures from electronica into melodic gestures and building asymmetrical formal structures. Tom has made a lifelong study of the art of improvised music, and has been actively performing since 1980.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll’s approach to playing the trumpet has been characterized from its inception by an anti-professionalism that locates itself within a political rather than musical continuum. Although he had studied composition with AACM masters Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, and others, inspired by punk and DIY approaches to performance and soundmaking (Trans MuseqPiL, The Contortions, Alterations, Eugene Chadbourne), Tom eschewed formal training in lieu of nearly fifteen years of blazing an idiosyncratic pathway through the instrument based on his studies and performances of analog electronic music. Working with a Serge Modular Synthesizer until the turn of the century, Tom described his trumpet sounds as products of an “analog lip synthesizer,” among other colorful epithets.

Mutootator, by Tom Djll and various accomplices

Mutootator, by Tom Djll and various accomplices

In 1989 Tom’s trumpet+electronics breakthrough was realized with the recording of TOMBO, using the Serge system’s endlessly disruptive causation chains to process, feedback-process, and process-feedback all sorts of trumpet and mouth sounds, culminating in Mutootator, the apex of his trumpet/Serge development. This set of improvised duets used a hybrid analog/digital live sampling and processing system (the “Mutootator”) of Tom’s own design, and featured William Winant, Tom Nunn, Jack Wright, Myles Boisen, and many others.

Lava, by Chris Brown

Subsequently, Tom studied in the graduate program at the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music, a period which saw his trumpet noises featured in Chris Brown’s ferociously difficult LAVA (for brass, percussion, and electronics, recorded on Tzadik). Tom continued working with Chris Brown in live performances of LAVA and other works (Brown, DUETS, Artifact) as well as with other Mills faculty (William Winant, Alvin Curran, John Bischoff) and eminent visitors to the school such as James Tenney, Bun-Ching Lam (品晶), “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Tim Perkis, and Pauline Oliveros (with whom he had previous studied her Deep Listening techniques). Others of Tom’s gurus incude Karl Berger, Lester Bowie, and George Lewis.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

In the new millennium, Tom’s resolutely nonprofessional performance practice has centered itself in live instrument re-building, wherein the trumpet’s identity is broken down and reassembled onstage, using bits of plastic tubing, rubber bands, whistles, squeakers, toys and other horn parts. More recent performances have seen the re-entry of actual electronic sounds into the language. The festering soundworlds arising from this gallimaufry of resonator/muters suggest a parade of chancy characters; Tom gives them monikers such as Whirly Honkblatter, Zeppelin Launch Simulation Drone, the Nude Rubberlips Orgasm Chanter, and the Dissociative Tubular Identity Disorder Scalar Ambiguation Horn.

Current and recent projects include:

Grosse Abfahrt (w Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls and international guests), Quartet (w Tim Perkis, Matt Ingalls & Scott Walton), Space Junk (w Jordan Glenn & Scott Brown), Beauty School (w Jacob Felix Heule & Matt Chandler), Mockracy (co-operative orchestra, actors, and maxed media), All Tomorrow’s Zombies (w Tim Perkis & Gino Robair), Dynosoar (w Ron Heglin & “Gongwoman” Karen Stackpole),  Kinda Green (w Tim Perkis), John Shiurba’s 5×5, Gino Robair’s I, Norton Opera Company, sfSound Group, led by Matt Ingalls, and Tender Buttons (w Tania Chen & Gino Robair)

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

◉ Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century. His recent album, Turquoise Sessions, is available on Edgetone Records; with new releases planned in 2015.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the afternoon piano series at Viracocha, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), and Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) and many others.

au quotidien, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release in early 2016.

David Michalak

◉ David Michalak (skatchbox | lap-steel guitar | film curator)

David Michalak has made over 50 films with original soundtracks, including 3 features, starting out on the East Coast.

After decades of films such as Dreamlife, Inside-Out (featuring The Kate Foley Dance Company and score written with Nik Phelps, performed by the Club Foot Orchestra), When The Spirit Moves, featuring (Joe Goode) dancer Vong Phrommala & silent-movie style actress Billie-Marie Gross, Firefly, and Regenbogen, a soundtrack ensemble was formed to play live scores for David’s movies and other film classics. The group, called Reel Change has featured: Andrew Voigt, Joe Sabella, David Michalak, Phillip Greenlief, Adam Hurst, George Cremaschi, Tom Nunn, Kyle Bruckmann, Theresa Wong (天欣), and Tom Djll, releasing the CD Open In Total Darkness.

Suki O'Kane

Suki O'Kane

◉ Suki O’Kane (percussion)

Suki O’Kane is a classically trained mallet percussionist, a composer and an instigator working with artists from a wide array of of music, movement & public art genres. One of the founding members of the lo-fi sampling ensemble The Noodles (w Michael Zelner), Suki plays percussion with Moe! Staiano’s Moe!kestra!, Dan Plonsey’s Daniel Popsicle, Big City Orchestra and is an ensemble member of Thingamajigs, performing new works by Edward Schocker, Dylan Bolles and Zachary James Watkins.

(L→R) Nan Busse (didgeridoo) and Suki O'Kane (percussion) perform w Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会) at Fog CIty Music Festival, 31 Jan 2015

(L→R) Nan Busse (didgeridoo) and Suki O'Kane (percussion) perform w Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会) at Fog CIty Music Festival, 31 Jan 2015

She works in partnership with House of Zoka, a live recording project that has documented over 13 years of creative new music in the Bay Area, & since 2003 has been curating performances of live music and film, such as The Illuminated Corridor, a nomadic public art project that creates streetscapes of live experimental music and performative projection and Music by the Eyeful, the indoor performance series exploring the work of intermedia artists.

———

Travel to worlds on the other side of the mirror as your consciousness streams to surrealist music — come flicker with us at PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”.

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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

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

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Laptop/Piano/Objects+: Prismatic Percussion【⿎】Percussion-centric duets ◉ Master drummer Donald Robinson & Joe Lasqo, with guest duets by Biggi Vinkeloe ◉ + Set 1: duo b. (Jason Levis percussion + Lisa Mezzacappa: bass) ◉ Sun 13 Dec @ Center for New Music, San Francisco

I’m looking forward to join some of the Bay Area’s most daring improvising musicians for an evening of “percussion++” and rhythmic space exploration of pitch, timbre, and electronics nebulae, shining in electroacoustic colors far beyond the visible spectrum.

And I’m excited to play again with percussion genius Donald Robinson, whose advanced cymbal technique and incredibly refined musical taste make him an inspiring partner for both the freest of jazz and the wildest of electronic space walks.

The scene of this sonic flare will be San Francisco’s focal point for forward-leaning music, Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map), 8:30pm, Sun 13 Dec.

Donald Robinson, percussion dervish, performs w Larry Ochs' Sax & Drumming Core

Donald Robinson, percussion dervish, performs w Larry Ochs' Sax & Drumming Core

Master drummer Donald Robinson, whom Coda Magazine has described as a “percussion Dervish”, has numbered among his most notable collaborators Alan Silva, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Glenn Spearman, Larry Ochs, Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, Bobby Few, Raphé Malik, Joe McPhee, John Tchicai, Marco Eneidi, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Paul Plimley & Matthew Goodheart.

Much of his work has seen him featured in the stellar rhythm section of Donald Robinson and bassist Lisle Ellis, especially including the band What We Live with Larry Ochs on saxophones, a trio that toured in Europe and North America from 1994 – 2002, sometimes with special guests such as Dave Douglas, Wadada Leo Smith or Kazakh vocalist Saadet Türköz (Саадет Туркёз). His longest musical association, dating from the 1970′s, was with the late tenor saxophonist Glenn Spearman; these two appear on something close to a dozen CDs together in sextets, quintets, and quartets with several tours to Europe

After coming up in the hothouse of the Paris free jazz scene, Donald has been a stalwart of both the SF Bay Area and northern and central European avant-garde jazz scenes, frequently touring there with Biggi Vinkeloe and Larry Ochs.

It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to collaborate with Donald on various electroacoustic projects such as the Biggi Vinkeloe Roughtet, IBIM LAB, and the occasional quartet of Bruce Ackley – Lisle Ellis – Joe Lasqo – Donald Robinson, as well as in duo format. Not only is Don’s free jazz style always superbly on, but his sensitivity in using percussion against electronics is unparalleled.

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the piano series at Viracocha, will be resuming a residency at PianoFight in January 2016, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) as well as his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), & Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles.

Biggi Vinkeloe (photo M.C. Jones, www.mcjonesphotography.com)

Biggi Vinkeloe (photo M.C. Jones, www.mcjonesphotography.com)

A surprise last-minute bonus is Biggi Vinkeloe, 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, who will also réprise her long-standing collaboration with Bay Area master drummer Donald Robinson in added duets.

Biggi Vinkeloe's feminist spiritual oratorio JADE

Biggi Vinkeloe's feminist spiritual oratorio JADE

Fresh from Sweden and two brilliant album releases, the feminist spiritual oratorio JADE, and the second album of her trio with bassist Damon Smith and tuba-ist/trombonist Mark Weaver, A Place Meant for Birds, Biggi Vinkeloe will interweave her unique and subtle wind lines with Donald Robinson in additional duets.

au quotidien, a new album with Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker, and myself, is in production for release in early 2016.

duo b. (Jason Levis and Lisa Mezzacappa) perform at the Makeout Room, San Francisco

duo B. (Jason Levis and Lisa Mezzacappa) perform at the Makeout Room, San Francisco

Set 1: duo B. Jason Levis: percussion & Lisa Mezzacappa: bass, 7:30pm

duo B. is an ensemble of acoustic bass + percussion that plays ethereal chamber music wrapped in dense improvised soundscapes. Jason Levis uses gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, bowed cymbals, marimba and drumset to create lush, delicate textures and abstract noise grooves.

Jason Levis performing with Cory Wright and Rob Ewing, 07 Oct 2013, Nebraska Mondays Series, Sacramento

Jason Levis performing with Cory Wright and Rob Ewing, 07 Oct 2013, Nebraska Mondays Series, Sacramento

The music of composer, drummer, and percussionist Jason Levis lives in the rich spaces where styles intersect and musical languages merge. Active in jazz, contemporary improvisation, and modern classical composition, his wide-ranging creative efforts are skillfully bound by his innate sense of timbre, sonic space, rhythmic force, and his insatiable interest in discovery. Over the years his passion and curiosity have led him to search out the intersections of musical paths less traveled (spectralist jazz, anyone?), and the resulting unique perspective is reflected in his music. Jason holds a Ph.D. in composition from UC Berkeley. Recently returned from Berlin, he currently teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory.

Lisa & Anti-Lisa Mezzacappa (photo - Peter Gannushkin/downtownmusic.net)

Lisa & Anti-Lisa Mezzacappa (photo - Peter Gannushkin/downtownmusic.net)

Lisa Mezzacappa draws on a palette of sinister drones, punchy vamps and acoustic bass manipulations to weave storylines through gnarly rhythms, pointillistic shapes and ecstatic melodies.

“…mysterious, complexly textured improvisations that sometimes take shape as the aural equivalent of abstract expressionist paintings, whether the ethereal, mystical canvasses of Mark Rothko or the jittery, splatter techniques of Jackson Pollock.”
— Derk Richardson, KPFA radio host and music critic

Lisa Mezzacappa is a bassist, bandleader, composer, curator and producer. She leads her own groups Bait & Switch, Nightshade, Eartheaters & the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio, and co-leads the ensembles BODABODA, duo B., Cylinder, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa also performs as a sideperson in original jazz, improv and chamber ensembles led by esteemed bandleaders and West Coast musical visionaries, like Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Randy McKean, Marco Eneidi, Vijay Anderson, Aaron Bennett, Myles Boisen, Steve Adams, Graham Connah, Jon Raskin, Cory Wright and Ross Hammond, and as well collaborates frequently with Vinny Golia, Katy Stephan, Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson, Murray Campbell, Dina Maccabee, Noah Phillips, Rob Ewing, Kasey Knudsen, Sam Ospovat, John Hanes, and many many others.

Lisa’s most recent triumph was the acclaimed Glorious Ravage, a panoramic free jazz multimedia song cycle based on writings of lady explorers of the 19th century, which toured northern and southern California in fall 2015.

( ( ⸨ ⸨⸩ ⸩ ) )

Experience the all the colors of rhythm in intimate, intense duets — come vibrate with us at Center For New Music!

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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Laptop/Piano/Synth/Objects+: w Viv Corringham’s “Life Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke” tour — Electronic, radicalized New Rebetika (Ρεμπέτικα Νέα) w British NY-based avant vocalist | sound artist Viv Corringham’s Multimedia Consort, 22-25 Nov — Nunnery (SF) — Studio Grand (OAK) — Center for New Music (SF) — Meridian Composers in Performance Series @ Canessa Gallery (SF)

Viv Corringham

I’ve had a total blast playing in Viv Corringham’s last two West Coast tours, and I’m looking forward with great excitement to round 3 with her upcoming Life Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke Tour.

The program is multimedia, electrified, radicalized New Rebetika (Ρεμπέτικα Νέα). Often called the Greek Blues, rebetika’s best known songs date from the first half of the 20th century, and come from an urban subculture on the fringes of society, despised and persecuted: Greek refugees (or, as now called, “migrants”) forced out of Asia Minor who had poured into the cities in the 1920s. Their songs talk of exile, poverty, drugs, love and jail.

The genre originally arose in the early 19th-century in İstanbul (Constantinople), İzmir (Smyrna) and Thessaloniki, the crossroads of Greek, Turkish, Sephardic, Black Sea, and Armenian cultures & musics, and is rich with influences — now including Stockhausen, Xenakis (Ξενάκης), and the Myōan-ji (明暗寺) school of Zen shakuhachi..

Viv Corringham (R) & Andrea Parkins (L) performing at Douglass Street Music Collective, NYC, 13 Aug 2013

Viv Corringham (R) & Andrea Parkins (L) performing at Douglass Street Music Collective, NYC, 13 Aug 2013

Immediately below is a list of the dates, followed by info on Viv and her crew, and then by time and place details of each date, adding info about the venues and other acts.

Viv Corringham’s “Life Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke” Tour

4 Bay Area Dates

———

The Nunnery (3016 25th St., San Francisco, between Florida and Alabama Streets, map)

Sun 22 Nov Set 2: 3pm (N.B. matinée)

Set 1: John McCowen – new adventures in extreme technique for the clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and drum resonator: 2pm

(no film projection on this date)

———

Oakland Freedom Jazz Society @ Studio Grand (3234 Grand Ave, Oakland, map)

Mon 23 Nov     Set 2: 10:30pm

+ Set 1: neem (gabby fluke-mogul & k. kipperman) – queer improv duo focusing on issues of identity, bodies, gender, sexuality, feminism, eroticism, & more: 9:30pm

———

Double Divas of avant vocal art, Pamela Z + Viv Corringham @ Center For New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, map)

Tue 24 Nov Set 2: 9pm

Set 1: Pamela Z – multimedia mistress of loops, wearable controllers, video, the far reaches of tessitura, and gorgeous, rich tone: 8pm

———

Meridian Composers in Performance Series @ Canessa Gallery (708 Montgomery St., 2nd Fl., San Francisco, map)

Wed 25 Nov     Set 2: 8:30pm

Set 1: CCMRA composers Romain Michon & Eoin Callery present selections ranging from Klingon Opera on mutant mandolins to psychedelic folk computer music, with invented and traditional instruments & gobs of processing: 7:30pm

Rembetronika (Ρεμπέτρονικα), by Viv Corringham, Mike Cooper, and friends

Rembetronika (Ρεμπέτρονικα), by Viv Corringham, Mike Cooper, and friends

An idea of the unexpected and unconventional possibilities of this repertoire can be got from Viv’s New Rebetika album with UK avant lap-steel guitarist and electronic musician Mike Cooper, called Rembetronika (downloadable and streamable: here)

Now Viv and crew will take it a bit farther

Viv Corringham Multimedia Consort

Viv Corringham: voice+

Nancy Beckman: shakuhachi

Tom Bickley: contra-bass recorder & EWI wind synth

Nan Busse: dance & didgeridoo

Anna Geyer: film & light abstractions

Joe Lasqo: laptop, synth/piano, objects, field recordings

Here’s some info on our crew, then details of each date and artists in other sets.

(L → R) John Bisset, Viv Corringham, David Leahy, & Alison Blunt perform on the BBC's Jazz on 3 - Sound of Cinema

◉ Viv Corringham (voice+)

Viv has worked internationally since the early 80s, creating music performances, audio installations & soundwalks, using as her tools a gorgeous voice, a wide-open imagination, field recordings, and live electronics.

For a taste, click below to experience her multi-media collaboration with Elio Martusciello:

Viv Corringham's Soniferous Garden, Walker Art Center, MN, Jul 2013 - An aural expedition guide for World Listening Day

She’s interested in exploring people’s special relationship with familiar places and how that links to an interior landscape of personal history, memory and association.

Viv Corringham

Her ongoing project Shadow-Walks has been presented in gallery shows from New York to Istanbul to Hong Kong:

Viv Corringham's Shadow-Walks

“In the Shadow-walks project I go to places and ask local people to take me on walks that are special for them in some way.  I record our conversations as we walk together.  Later I retrace the person’s walk on my own and attempt to “sing the walk” through vocal improvisations. These recordings are edited together to make the final sound piece. I also collect any objects I find on the person’s route.”

For an example of the multi-media convergence of walking, song and remembrance, see her evocative commemoration of collaboration with late British thaumaturge and percussionist Paul Burwell, Together Then Created A Journey That Both Forgot:

Viv’s wonderful recent album of shadow-walks from 3 continents, Walking, will be available at these shows. Viv is a maestra of blending strongly place-evoking field recordings with cozy/haunting vocal lines of uncommon beauty and invention. This album of shadow-walks is the place to hear the amazing results.

Viv Corringham's brilliant new album, Walking

Not limited to roaming physical space, Viv’s travels extend to virtual space, including the notable Avatar Orchestra Metaverse project, meeting regularly with Pauline Oliveros and other happy mutants to play audio-visual instruments in Second Life.

Zonzo Spyker (Viv Corringham) performing in Avatar Orchestra Metaverse

Viv’s training and awards include an MA in Sonic Art with Distinction from Middlesex University & a BA in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University. She’s a certified teacher of Deep Listening, having studied with Pauline Oliveros. Viv is a 2012 and 2006 McKnight Composer Fellow; other grants and awards have come from Jerome Meet the Composer, the English & Irish Arts Councils, Jazz Services, Millennium Funding, London Arts Board, Chisenhale Awards, and others.

It is my honor and pleasure to join Viv and her multimedia consort in these performances. The following performers will join the consort on this tour:

Nancy Beckman

Nancy Beckman

◉ Nancy Beckman (shakuhachi)

Nancy Beckman 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)

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

Tom Bickley and friend

Tom Bickley and friend

◉ Tom Bickley (Paetzold contrabass recorder | EWI wind synth | objects)

Tom Bickley (bio / site) composes electro-acoustic music, plays and teaches recorder, performs with Three Trapped Tigers (with recorder player David Barnett and Tom each counting for 1½ tigers), 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.

Nan Busse

◉ Nan Busse (dance | didgeridoo)

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

Since about 1999 she’s been unable to stop dancing – thanks to Yvonne Caldwell, Evelyn Thomas, Roger Dillahunty, Georgia Ortega, John Tanner, and the great Cassie Terman, and has toured in Việt Nam and the US with Nguyễn Dance Company.

Originally trained as a musician (piano), Nan’s increasing engagement with the didgeridoo, as both an instrument and dance partner, has led to some wonderful collaborations where she executes her part at all points on the spectrum between sound and movement.

Anna Geyer

Anna Geyer

◉ Anna Geyer (film and light abstractions)

Camera-less, non-representational work has been the emphasis of her recent efforts, although she frequently describes her work as, “experimental with a narrative bent”. Her stunning multi-projector physical film abstractions have often been featured in duos with electronic musician David Molina.

Phosphenes-Galaxy by Anna Geyer and Aaron F. Ross, 2010 (Film manipulation, After Effects)

Phosphenes-Galaxy by Anna Geyer and Aaron F. Ross, 2010 (Film manipulation, After Effects)

“Unlike traditional two projector (change-over) screenings, my projector lamps and lenses are not matched. Each projector lamp has a different brightness on purpose… Here I load a reel of abstract, hand painted cameraless work. It can move at variable speeds forward or reverse, or even remain still… At times I employ a fourth projector. I do so in order to allow a frame to get stuck in the gate and burn.”

In off-moments while not combusticating imagistic realities, Anna teaches film at CCSF.

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

◉ Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century. His recent album, Turquoise Sessions, is available on Edgetone Records; with new releases planned in 2015.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the afternoon piano series at Viracocha, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), and Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) and many others.

au quotidien, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release in early 2016.

The Nunnery

The Nunnery

Sun 22 Nov @ The Nunnery, (3016 25th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, between Florida and Alabama Streets, map), Set 2: 3pm (N.B. matinée)

….For info on Viv Corringham’sLife Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke” Tour in Set 2, jump to beginning of post

John McCowen performs his piece BONE(THIN)

John McCowen performs his piece BONE(THIN)

Set 1: John McCowen, 2pm

John McCowen’s musical path is rooted in the DIY culture of American hardcore music. John was a vocalist in hardcore music until he heard the music of Albert Ayler. At that point, he began channeling his energy through the saxophone, and was further influenced by the music of Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane.

After a few years as a touring musician and independent study, he entered academia at Southern Illinois U. and studied clarinet with Eric P. Mandat, who opened his eyes to microtonality and extended techniques. John remains a member of the Chicago musical community while now living in Oakland, and plays in Wei Zhongle (衛仲樂/卫仲乐), Vibrating Skull Trio, and John McCowen Clarinet Quartet.

John is currently studying with Roscoe Mitchell and others at Mills College, and has been astonishing a steadily increasing circle of Bay Area listeners by seemingly discovering entire new unexplored continents of extended clarinet technique.

Those who have heard his brilliant solo shows at the Luggage Store Gallery and elsewhere already know the virtuosic, pioneering, and thoroughly original sound universe he’s created — the rest of you will be dumbfounded at the new sonic horizons he opens up.

Oakland Freedom Jazz !

Oakland Freedom Jazz !

Mon 23 Nov @ Studio Grand (3234 Grand Ave, Oakland, map), Set 2: 10:30pm

….For info on Viv Corringham’sLife Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke” Tour in Set 2, jump to beginning of post

NEEM (L → R gabby fluke-mogul & k. kipperman)

neem (L → R gabby fluke-mogul & k. kipperman)

Set 1neem (gabby fluke-mogul & k. kipperman): 9:30pm

neem is a queer improv duo focusing on issues of identity, bodies, gender, sexuality, feminism, eroticism, & more.

Their dynamic and irreverent appropriation of string sounds, the classical tradition, and even strip-tease, is evidenced in their avant hits like Schoenberg Was A Bottom  [a 13-tone piece]Beethoven Was Queer, and many others.

Anything could happen, and the result is guaranteed to be fresh and unlike anything you’ve heard before.

gabby fluke-mogul performs No Sound Is Innocent at TEDx, Hampshire College, Nov 2012

gabby fluke-mogul performs No Sound Is Innocent at TEDx, Hampshire College, Nov 2012

gabby fluke-mogul is a performing, teaching, composing & collaborating-improviser based out of the bay area. ((gabby has existed as a violin-body//body in south florida, western massachusetts, & the wider new england area.))

gabby performs in & with a variety of projects, installations, bodies, & instrument-bodies in addition to facilitating community-based workshops, & teaching (toddlers-adults) in public, private, & non-profit learning spaces.  their compositions//text-scores take up intimate issues of the politic & poetic of improvising bodies.

gabby has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Kala Ramnath (கலா ராம்நாத்), & Kara Davis at Mills College in the MFA program for improvisation performance, collaborating with Nava Dunkelman, kelley kipperman (as neem), Adam Hirsch & John McCowen (as room 47), Christina Carter, & Aurora Josephson, & throughout the years with Chelsea Dunn (as patchwrk), Jordan Kneckt & Ryan Mihaly (as knekt), Baron Collins-Hill, & Lucy Hollier at Hampshire College in amherst, ma where gabby received a B.A. in improvisation, education, & childhood studies.

k. kipperman

k. kipperman

k. kipperman is a queer and vegan multi-media artist, who has spent time living, breathing, & collaborating in the Western Massachusetts & Greater New England areas, Berlin, & most recently the Bay Area.

Inspired by something, everything, & sometimes even nothing, k is always thinking about what it means to be connected to & critical of one’s own body, identity, & privilege within music, sound, noise, silence, composition, art, communities, & everything else in the entire world (also outer space).

Tue 24 Nov: Double Divas of avant vocal art – Pamela Z + Viv Corringham @ Center For New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, map), Set 2: 9pm

….For info on Viv Corringham’s “Life Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke” Tour in Set 2, jump to beginning of post

Pamela Z (photo by Marion Gray, mariongray @ mac . com)

Set 1: Pamela Z – multimedia mistress of loops, controllers, images, the far reaches of tessitura, and gorgeous, rich tone: 8pm

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampling technology, and video.

A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, and sampled concrète sounds. She uses Max/MSP and Isadora software along with custom MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound and image with physical gestures. In addition to her performance work, she has a growing body of inter-media gallery works including multi-channel sound and video installations.

Pamela Z in Baggage Allowance (photo Valerie Oliveiro valerie oliveiro @ gmail . com)

Pamela has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan – performing in international festivals including Bang on a Can at Lincoln Center (New York); la Biennale di Venezia (Italy); the Interlink Festival (Japan); Other Minds (San Francisco); and Pina Bausch Tanztheater’s 25 Jahre Fest (Wuppertal, Germany).  She has composed, recorded and performed original scores for choreographers and for film/video artists, and has done vocal work for other composers (including Charles Amirkhanian, Vijay Iyer, and Henry Brant). Her large-scale, multi-media performance works, Parts of Speech, Gaijin (外人), Voci, and Baggage Allowance have been presented at the Kitchen in New York, Theater Artaud & ODC Theater in San Francisco, the Museum of Contemporary Art Theatre in Chicago, as well as in Washington D.C. & Budapest. Her one-act opera Wunderkabinet inspired by the Museum of Jurassic Technology (co-composed with Matthew Brubeck) premiered at The LAB in San Francisco, and was presented at REDCAT in Los Angeles and Open Ears Festival in Canada. She’s shown media works in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); Erzbischöfliches Diözesanmuseum (Köln); the Tang Museum (Saratoga Springs NY); the Dakar Biennale (Sénégal); Krannert Art Museum (IL), and the Kitchen (NY).

Pamela Z @ Ars Electronica 2008 Linz, Austria (photo by rubra, courtesy, Ars Electronica)

Pamela has had chamber commissions from Kronos Quartet, Bang On A Can Allstars, ETHEL, California E.A.R. Unit, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble, and St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra.  As well as curating and producing the ROOM Series, she’s collaborated with a wide range of artists including Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Brenda Way (ODC Dance), Jeanne Finley + John Muse, Shinichi Iova-Koga (シンイチ・イオヴァ・コガ), Christina McPhee, Leigh Evans, and Jo Kreiter.  Pamela has participated in several New Music Theatre (now renamed Zakros Interarts) events, including the famous original Fort Mason John Cage festivals, and has performed with The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Her interactive web-based work Baggage Allowance was officially launched in summer of 2011 at baggageallowance.tv where it remains permanently available.

Pamela Z performing a study for Baggage Allowance @ Roulette, NYC (photo by Kimberly Young)

Special mention must be made of Pamela’s recent masterwork, Carbon Song Cycle,  with video collaborator Christina McPhee and master musicians Dana Jessen, Charith Premawardhana (චරිත ප්රේමවර්ධන), Theresa Wong (天欣), and Suki O’Kane. Inspired by ongoing changes and upheavals in the earth’s ecosystem, and by the carbon cycle — the process through which carbon is exchanged between all terrestrial life forms and domains — it’s scored for a chamber ensemble of voice & electronics, viola, cello, bassoon, and percussion, plus immersive, multi-screen video projections.

To compose the music, Pamela wove together melodic motifs inspired by scientific data about the carbon cycle and texts referencing environmental balance and imbalance, playing on the idea of the natural exchange of elements by passing sonic material between the players, as well as exploring audio elements related to the imagery shot at petroleum fields, natural gas locations, and geothermal sites around back-country California, along with carbon-inspired drawings and images of processes involving intense heat and chemical transformations.

Carbon Song Cycle premiered at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive and has toured to Roulette in NYC. If you want to experience something of this alarming and beautiful piece yourself, a video of the BAM/PFA performance can be found above.

Pamela Z's Memory Trace

Pamela Z's Memory Trace

Another recent tour de force is Pamela’s multimedia work under development, Memory Trace, segments of which have been shown to brilliant effect in the Meridian Gallery and ROOM series. Spanning both highly advanced multimedia controllerismo and the interactions of a family as its senior member remembers / reconstructs the past, this ambitious and yet very intimate piece addresses the failures and success of both humans and technology to retain and reactivate past realities.

Canessa Gallery

Canessa Gallery (photo: Chris Carlsson)

Wed 25 Nov: Meridian Composers in Performance Series @ Canessa Gallery (708 Montgomery St., 2nd Fl., San Francisco, map)

….For info on Viv Corringham’s “Life Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke” tour in Set 2, jump to beginning of post.

Set 1: CCMRA composers Romain Michon & Eoin Callery present selections ranging from Klingon Opera on mutant mandolins to psychedelic folk computer music, with invented and traditional instruments & gobs of processing: 7:30pm

.

Romain Michon strums the Blade-Axe whilst singing a Klingon aria

Romain Michon strums the Blade-Axe whilst singing a Klingon aria

Romain Michon is a PhD candidate at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. His research focuses on physical modeling of musical instruments, new lutherie, digital fabrication, FAUST and the use of mobile platforms as musical instruments. As a musician, Romain plays saxophone and piano as well as his own invented instruments, is also a tenor opera singer, and above all, he loves to rock on his mutant child, the BladeAxe and others of his invented musical instruments like the Férraillophone, Noise Toaster, or Chanforgnophone while singing what will be known in the future as Klingon Opera. His music has been performed in Europe, America and Asia.

Romain Michon's Blade Axe

Romain Michon's Blade Axe

Romain holds graduate degrees in musicology and computer science from Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne (France) and NUIM (Ireland) where he studied under Laurent Pottier, Yann Orlarey and Victor Lazzarini. He also graduated from Conservatoire Jules-Massenet de Saint-Étienne & Conservatoire de Lyon in saxophone performance, singing, choir conducting and electroacoustic music studies.

Bruits pour chanforgnophone (2013) for tenor and chanforgnophone

When not shocking the world with his Chanforgnophone, Romain does consulting work as a software, DSP and mechanical engineer for GRAME (France) on the FAUST project, IRCAM (France), CIEREC (France), Renault (USA/France), MoForte (USA), and others.

Eoin Callery with photosensitive invented instrument

Eoin Callery with photosensitive invented instrument

Eoin Callery is an Irish artist who among other things creates electro-acoustic chamber music, installations, and builds instruments using found materials. He holds a BMUS from University College Cork, MA from Wesleyan University, and is currently a Doctoral student at Stanford University.

Above: Eoin’s music + video project with Lulu DeBoer and Mayak Sanganeria, Drunk As Bad Dubbing.

In addition to concert pieces, Eoin’s written and collaborated in sound and music for theater, radio and performs on various instruments – often traditional Irish percussion instruments like the bodhrán or his own inventions, put through a looking glass of processing to build a strange psychedelic folk computer music. His pieces have been recently performed by Ensemble Dal Niente, the JACK Quartet, and Séverine Ballon, among others.

He is also CCRMA’s resident impresario, who has built a cracking series of computer music and electro-acoustic concerts that make full use of their world-class facilities.

———

Experience the deeply felt rebetika music – forged in the forced Greek migrations of a century ago, refined in the multicultural speakeasies of the Post-Ottoman diaspora, made new with the vocal brilliance of Viv Corringham and the avant imaginations of her Multimedia Consort, and paired with a luminous collection of remarkable Bay Area musicians in these varied shows – join us in Viv Corringham’s Life Is Clearer Seen Through Smoke tour…

……Καλώς ήρθατε !

Joe

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Laptop/Piano/Objects+: ORNETTE! Music of Ornette Coleman w Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body (Lisle Ellis / Darren Johnston / Joe Lasqo / Donald Robinson), plus ultravisuals by Bill Thibaut ◉ Sun 25 Oct: Center For New Music, SF (Set 1: John Ingle & Kjell Nordeson; Set 2: Aram Shelton’s Marches) ◉ Mon 26 Oct: The Second Act, SF (Set 1: ROVA Saxophone Quartet)

Ornette Coleman (photo - Jimmy Katz)

Ornette Coleman (photo - Jimmy Katz)

Composers (top, L → R): Steve Lacy, Ornette Coleman, John Carter, John Butcher, Jon Raskin • Bands (bottom, L → R): ROVA Saxophone Quartet, John Ingle/Kjell Nordeson, Aram Shelton's Marches, Joe Lasqo's Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body

Composers (top, L → R): Steve Lacy, Ornette Coleman, John Carter, John Butcher, Jon Raskin • Bands (bottom, L → R): ROVA Saxophone Quartet, John Ingle/Kjell Nordeson, Aram Shelton's Marches, Joe Lasqo's Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body

2 shows:

Having many great memories from last year’s Sun Ra Friendly Galaxies event, also curated by Jan Michaels, I’m excited to again take part in C4NM’s 2015 jazz ancestor extravaganza, which is focused on the music of jazz great Ornette Coleman, who passed earlier this year.

The Second Act, the next generation of the Haight's Red Vic

The Second Act, the next generation of the Haight's Red Vic

I’m also keenly looking forward to playing Ornette’s music with this ensemble the next night at The Second Act, where ROVA Saxophone Quartet have designed a contrastive program featuring Ornette’s associates Steve Lacy and John Carter.

Ornette Coleman, sporting new psychotropic LED threads (photo - Jimmy Katz, modified)

Ornette Coleman, sporting heightened psychotropic LED threads (photo - Jimmy Katz, modified)

We’re presenting Ornette on shrooms in a new many-colored coat, with “heretical” instrumentation, weaving in psychotropic LED threads of laptop electronics, and the almost-never-heard-with-Ornette piano. To add to our Ornette instrumentation heresy — no reeds. A very fresh new sound with a new color scheme for tomorrow.

Paul Plimley & Lisle Ellis' Kaleidoscopes - The Ornette Coleman Songbook

Paul Plimley & Lisle Ellis' masterpiece — Kaleidoscopes: The Ornette Coleman Songbook

We’re taking as our starting point the unique and very untraditional Ornette bass-piano dialog pioneered in Lisle EllisDownbeat ✰✰✰✰✰ album with Canadian pianist Paul Plimley, Kaleidoscopes – The Ornette Coleman Songbook — then adding in the searching, agile trumpet of Darren Johnston, the inimitable sensitivity and cymbal-work of master percussionist Donald Robinson, and a meta-body of electronic sound, vibrating energy sources, and sound-producing objects that will make new sonic colors flash across the night sky. The result is our new band, Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body.

The beyond-blue world of Ornette (photo - Jimmy Katz)

The beyond-blue world of Ornette (photo - Jimmy Katz)

2 shows:

◉  Center For New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map)  ◉

Set 3: 9pm, Sun 25 Oct

+ Set 1: John Ingle & Kjell Nordeson: 7pm

+ Set 2: Aram Shelton’s Marches: 8pm

+ afternoon films on Ornette: 2:30pm matinée

◉  The Second Act, SF, 1727 Haight St, SF (between Shrader & Cole – map)

Set 2: 8:30pm, Mon 26 Oct

+ Set 1: ROVA Saxophone Quartet: 7:30pm

For discounted advance tickets on Show 2, click: here

Here’s some info on our crew, then details of each date and artists in other sets (Show 1 artist info, film program info, and Show 2 artist info, follow directly after Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body info — I will try to implement jump points).

The electro-acoustic world of Lisle Ellis

◉ Lisle Ellis (bass)

Virtuoso bassist and computer musician Lisle Ellis is a 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.

Lisle Ellis’ long-term working relationship with Donald Robinson, in groupings such as the Glenn Spearman TrioWhat We Live and various Biggi Vinkeloe bands, has created one of free jazz’s most subtly driving and telepathic rhythm sections, described as “the best bass-drums tag team on the scene” by Jazz Times, and this telepathy will be in full force in our shows…

Darren Johnston

◉ Darren Johnston (trumpet)

Trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston has collaborated and recorded with an extremely diverse cross-section of artists.  His interests rotate around composing instrumental music, writing songs, & performing all styles of jazz, experimental and purely improvised music, as well as traditional music of the Balkans, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, and the Arab world.  These interest coalesce in his primary current ensemble, Darren Johnston’s Broken Shadows.  He’s performed and/or recorded with luminaries such as Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Fred Frith, Meklit Hadero (መክሊት አየለ ሀዴሮ), ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Myra Melford, Ben Goldberg, Matt Wilson, Mark Dresser, Marshall Allen, Dave Rempis, Larry Ochs, Marcus Shelby, and others.

As a composer, Darren has written for small jazz groups, big bands, string quartet, chamber ensembles, dance companies such as Axis Dance, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Robert Moses’ Kin, Liss Fain Dance, and others, as well as for short films. In his recent song-writing Darren has focused on using found text to create lyrics. In 2012 he composed a suite, excerpting text from a series of interviews he conducted with a diverse collection of immigrants living in the Bay Area, called Songs Of Seven Miles. The following year he continued this technique by commissioning letters from immigrants who wrote either to their own selves at the time they first arrived in the US, as if they were able to send a message with insights and advice back through time, or to a beloved of their choosing back in their country of origin. He then set the resulting songs on an elementary-school class, 3 middle-school classes, a high-school choir, a collection of professional singers, a Bulgarian tupan drummer, and 6 horns, all using body-percussion and choreography, in order to form the Trans-Global People’s Chorus. Other projects as a band-leader include the award winning Nice Guy Trio, The Darren Johnston Quintet, and the category defying Broken Shadows, which mixes song-writing with musicians from jazz, classical, Balkan, and other musical communities.

Donald Robinson, percussion dervish, performs w Larry Ochs' Sax & Drumming Core

Donald Robinson, percussion dervish, performs w Larry Ochs' Sax & Drumming Core

◉ Donald Robinson (drums)

Master drummer Donald Robinson, whom Coda Magazine has described as a “percussion Dervish”, has numbered among his most notable collaborators Alan Silva, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Glenn Spearman, Larry Ochs, Cecil Taylor, Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, Bobby Few, Raphé Malik, Joe McPhee, John Tchicai, Marco Eneidi, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Paul Plimley & Matthew Goodheart.

Much of his work has seen him featured in the stellar rhythm section of Donald Robinson and bassist Lisle Ellis, especially including the band What We Live with Larry Ochs on saxophones, a trio that toured in Europe and North America from 1994 – 2002, sometimes with special guests such as Dave Douglas, Wadada Leo Smith or Kazakh vocalist Saadet Türköz (Саадет Туркёз). His longest musical association, dating from the 1970′s, was with the late tenor saxophonist Glenn Spearman; these two appear on something close to a dozen CDs together in sextets, quintets, and quartets with several tours to Europe

After coming up in the hothouse of the Paris free jazz scene, Donald has been a stalwart of both the SF Bay Area and northern and central European avant-garde jazz scenes, frequently touring there with Biggi Vinkeloe and Larry Ochs.

It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to collaborate with Donald on various projects such as the Biggi Vinkeloe Roughtet, IBIM LAB, and the occasional quartet of Bruce Ackley – Lisle Ellis – Joe Lasqo – Donald Robinson.

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

◉ Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century. His recent album, Turquoise Sessions, is available on Edgetone Records; with new releases planned in 2015.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the afternoon piano series at Viracocha, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), and Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) and many others.

AU QUOTIDIEN, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release in early 2016.

The 4 heads of Bill Thibault depicted as video Brahmā (ब्रह्मा)

◉ Bill Thibault (video)

Bill Thibault received a Ph.D. in Information & Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology (thesis: “Application of Binary Space Partitioning Trees to Geometric Modeling and Ray-Tracing”). As a Ph.D. candidate he worked at Bell Labs (now Lucent Technologies) in Murray Hill, NJ. After graduating, he took positions on the faculty of the Dept. of Math & Computer Science at California State University, East Bay and more recently, with Obscura Digital.

Somewhere along the way he also turned to the Multispectral Side and became the notorious VJLove, master of the doors of visual perception, and co-conspirator in many raids on reality, with partners in crime like Kattt Atchley, Kenneth Atchley, John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Barbara Golden, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Tim Perkis, and WIGBAND.

Sun 25 Oct @ Center For New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map), Set 3, 9pm: Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body

Set 1: Aram Ingle & Kjell Nordeson, 7pm

Set 2: Aram Shelton’s Marches, 8pm

….For info on earlier afternoon Ornette Documentary Film program, see below

….For info on Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body, jump here.

….For info on our next night, with ROVA Saxophone Quartet, see below.

Set 1: John Ingle & Kjell Nordeson • sax/percussion pas de deux in hyperspace with two sfSound masters, 7pm

John Ingle

John Ingle

— John Ingle’s music is informed and influenced by contemporary concert music, improvised music, electronic music, jazz, Asian folk music traditions, & the blues and gospel of his native Southeast US. He collaborates with electronics innovator Laetitia Sonami, in duo with NYC-based composer/dulcimerist Dan Joseph and is a founding member of the sfSoundGroup. John’s solo sax music emphasizes multiphonics, vocal harmonics and subtle control of extended sax techniques, while his chamber music explores such musical parameters as spiral time, linear pulse, & non-linear harmony, and indulges in both simple resonance as well as complex timbre and auditory sleights-of-hand.

Kjell Nordeson

Kjell Nordeson

— Kjell Nordeson divides his time between Stockholm, San Francisco, and Southern California.

Together with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, he formed AALY Trio and has performed with Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Ken Vandermark, Joe Morris, William Parker, Paul Rutherford, Gerry Hemingway, Frank Gratkowski, Stefano Scodanibbio, and many others. He also founded Co. Alba with choreographer Nathalie Ruiz.

Since 2004, Kjell has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area’s thriving community of free-improvised, experimental and new music, regularly playing with musicians Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, Greg Goodman, George Cremaschi, Scott Looney, Damon Smith, John Ingle, Aram Shelton, Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa & many others.

Set 2: Aram Shelton’s Marches •  (Aram Shelton, Cory Wright, Steve Blum, Safa Shokrai (صفاء شکری), Britt Ciampa, Jordan Glenn) • double reed / double drum power in action, 8pm

The music of Marches is inspired by Albert Ayler & Sun Ra, and is guided by an aesthetic centered on simple tonal melodies and performers that bring energy to the music. It uses the instrumentation of the ensemble to create a distinct sound: combining the timbres of the saxophones and keyboards to make a lush and thick textured sound with intertwining parts propelled by the two drummer / one bass rhythm section.

Aram Shelton

Aram Shelton

— Aram Shelton performs on saxophone, clarinets, & live electronics. Based in Oakland, the projects Tonal Masher, Broken Trap Ensemble, Gold Age, & Ton Trio II, among many others, represent his music. His writing and playing has been documented through more than two dozen albums since 2003 and is grounded in and influenced by the rich history of avant-jazz & free improvisation in America. He’s performed in Europe, Canada and the US, including appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, the Suoni per il Popolo Festival in Montreal, and the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival.

A tireless curator and instigator of new, creative music throughout the Bay Area, and especially in Oakland, Aram’s events have long lit up the scene at The Uptown, Studio Grand, and other pioneering East Bay venues.

Cory Wright

Cory Wright

— Reeds player Cory Wright, has been involved in both the jazz and creative music worlds for the past 20 years, in New York, L.A., & in the San Francisco Bay Area. His recent projects reflect his interest in blurring the distinction between composed & improvised material and in combining the harmonious with the atonal, & groove with the arrhythmic. Cory has played in ensembles lead by Anthony Braxton, Vinny Golia, Eddie Gale, Adam Rudolph and Yusef Lateef (يوسف لطيف). He is currently a member of bay area groups Bristle, Wiener Kids, the Nathan Clevenger Group and the Oakland Active Orchestra, and leads his own projects Green Mitchell and the Cory Wright Outfit.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

— Pianist Steve Blum’s influences include Western classical music, the jazz avant-garde, Indian classical music, and West African ensemble drumming. Steve’s played throughout L.A. and has toured the U.S., playing piano with stage productions & vocal harmony groups. He was music director and keyboardist for the infamous lounge singer “Tony Clifton” for a 5 month run at the Comedy Store in Hollywood in 2012. Steve is now in the Bay Area, where he works as an accompanist/instructor for Pacific Boychoir Academy in Oakland & music director for Sophia Rose Choir in Sebastopol.

Safa Shokrai (صفاء شکری)

Safa Shokrai (صفاء شکری)

— Safa Shokrai (صفاء شکری) is inspired by visual art, architecture, and movement, informing the color and tone of his work. He strives to create a performance experience in which the audience steps into a film, a world that has been fabricated and imagined, realized with sound and sight. He has toured with Rupa & The April Fishes, and leads some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians in his ensemble The Glasses, described as “step into your own noir film with our soundtrack”.

Britt Ciampa

Britt Ciampa

— Percussionist and composer Britt Ciampa attended the prestigious Jazz Studies program at William Paterson University, studying with such jazz luminaries as Mulgrew Miller, Rich Perry, Kevin Norton, Horacee Arnold, Steve LaSpina, and Cecil Bridgewater, and continued his studies at UCCS Colorado Springs where he studied with improvised music masters Jane Rigler, Glen Whitehead, and Randy Bowen. In 2013, Britt relocated to the Bay Area where he can be currently found lingering about the Bay Bridge and seeking out suspension bridge/seafood enthusiasts who might be interested in making music.

Jordan Glenn

Jordan 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 jazz, classical, and rock music.  Later, he relocated to the Bay Area, received a masters degree from Mills College and since has worked closely with Fred Frith, William Winant, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ben Goldberg, Todd Sickafoose, John Schott, Dominique Leone, Aaron Novik, Darren Johnston, Aram Shelton, Cory Wright, Lisa Mezzacappa, Karl Evangelista, Michael Coleman, Matthew Welch and the bands Jack O’ The Clock, Arts & Sciences, 20 Minute Loop (Facebook), 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 & the 10-piece expansion, The Wiener Kids Family Band.

Afternoon films on Ornette: 2:30pm matinée, Sun 25 Oct

….For info on Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body, jump: here.

….For info on evening sets with John Ingle/Kjell Nordeson & Aram Shelton’s Marches: see above.

….For info on our next night, with ROVA Saxophone Quartet, see below.

Acclaimed documentaries, curated by Peter Esmonde, filmmaker of TRIMPIN: The Sound of  Invention:

— Ornette: Made in America (dir. Shirley Clarke)

Moffett, David, and Ornette (dir. Dick Fontaine )

These incisive documentaries show this unique innovator in a wide variety of performances, situations, and moods.

Ornette: Made in America (dir. Shirley Clark)

Ornette: Made in America (dir. Shirley Clark)

Shirley Clarke‘s 1985 Ornette: Made in America includes footage of Ornette Coleman performing in New York, Fort Worth, & Morocco, and includes interviews with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman, Yoko Ono (小野洋子), William S. Burroughs, and many others.

Frame from Moffett, David, and Ornette (dir. Dick Fontaine)

Frame from Moffett, David, and Ornette (dir. Dick Fontaine)

Dick Fontaine’s 1966 short Moffett, David, and Ornette shows Charles Moffett, David Izenzon, & Ornette Coleman working through a frustrating recording session in Paris.

The Second Act, electronic music and wayang sinema capital of the Upper Haight

The Second Act, electronic music and wayang sinema capital of the Upper Haight

Mon 26 Oct: ORNETTE, LACY, & POINTS BEYOND… @ The Second Act, SF, 1727 Haight St, SF (between Shrader & Cole – map), Set 2: 8:30pm: Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body

….For info on the previous night, with John Ingle/Kjell Nordeson & Aram Shelton’s Marches: see above.

….For info on previous afternoon’s Ornette Documentary Film program,see above.

….For info on Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body, jump: here.

ROVA Saxophone Quartet (photo by Myles Boisen)

ROVA Saxophone Quartet (photo by Myles Boisen)

Set 1: ROVA Saxophone Quartet, 7:30pm

John Butcher soloing, Orkney mainland, Scotland 2006 (photo - Keiko Yoshida : 吉田けいこ)

John Butcher soloing, Orkney mainland, Scotland 2006 (photo - Keiko Yoshida : 吉田けいこ)

ROVA will present a set of works largely by outside composers. In juxtaposition to Tomorrow Is The Meta-Body’s Ornette Coleman-inspired set, ROVA will perform compositions by Ornette associates Steve Lacy and John Carter, as well as a piece each by ROVA member Jon Raskin, and British composer John Butcher.

Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy

Soprano sax specialist Steve Lacy played regularly and shared ideas with trumpeter Don Cherry, one of Ornette’s longest standing collaborators. Lacy rehearsed and played with Ornette, and even traveled with his double quartet to Cincinnati in 1961 to perform Free Jazz. The concert never happened, but that’s another story. ROVA will perform a Steve Adams arrangement of Lacy’s Cliches.

John Carter (photo by Mark Weber)

John Carter (photo by Mark Weber)

Multi-instrumentalist and composer John Carter grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and was an early associate of Ornette’s. They both migrated to L.A., where John Carter settled, performing his brand of open jazz, and working as an educator. His approach to improvisation shared a lot with Ornette, especially in the early days, but his compositional sense developed quite differently. In the early 1990s, Carter wrote the monumental Colors for ROVA, who have recently reactivated this raging work for some upcoming retrospective performances.

ROVA Saxophone Quartet explore the synthesis of composition and collective improvisation, creating exciting, genre-bending music that challenges and inspires.

ROVA are one of the longest-standing groups in the music movement that has its roots in post-bop, free jazz, avant-rock, and 20th-century new music, and draw inspiration from the visual arts and from the traditional and popular music styles of Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.

ROVA Saxophone Quartet (perhaps performing Braxton's Ghost Dance Music?), Jazzclub Unterfahrt, München 02 Nov 2005 (photo by Matthew Campbell)

ROVA Saxophone Quartet (perhaps performing Braxton's Ghost Dance Music?), Jazzclub Unterfahrt, München 02 Nov 2005 (photo by Matthew Campbell)

In noting ROVA‘s innovative role in developing the all-saxophone ensemble as “a regular and conceptually wide-ranging unit,” The Penguin Guide To Jazz calls its music “a teeming cosmos of saxophone sounds” created by “deliberately eschewing conventional notions about swing [and] prodding at the boundaries of sound and space…” Likewise Jazz: The Rough Guide notes, “Highly inventive, eclectic and willing to experiment, Rova [is] arguably the most exciting of the saxophone quartets to emerge in the format’s late ’70s boom.”

Inspired by a broad spectrum of musical influences – from Charles Ives, Edgard Varèse, Olivier Messiaen, Iannis Xenakis (Ιάννης Ξενάκης) and Morton Feldman to The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, John Coltrane, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra and Ornette ColemanROVA began, in 1978, writing new material, touring, and recording, including early collaborations with such like-minded colleagues as guitarists Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith, and saxophonist John Zorn. Also in its early years, ROVA shared the stage in collaborations with fellow San Francisco based trailblazers Kronos Quartet and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. A 1983 tour of the USSR and accompanying PBS documentary highlighted the first five years of Rova’s existence.

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

◉ Largely self-taught, Bruce Ackley 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 Saxophone Quartet in the fall of 1977.

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.

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

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

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 Ken’s swings to the West Coast, was formed in this period.

Larry Ochs

Larry Ochs

◉ Larry Ochs works on and breathes music. He composes. He plays saxophone. He looks for adventurous ideas to take on and for other artists – musicians and friends in other art mediums – to take them on with him.

Larry is primarily, but not only, found in the worlds of “avant-garde” or “improvised music” — but any artists in the visual arts or other performance-based arts that have an interest in taking chances are welcomed in. Thus, for example, he has worked recently with Shinichi Iova Koga (シンイチ・イオヴァ・コガ) and his dance group inkBoat; he is at the beginning  of a relationship with We Players, a Bay Area theater company, and is into ongoing work with Korean performance artist and vocalist Dohee Lee (도희).

Larry Ochs & friend

Since 1978, Larry’s activities have been primarily centered around the ROVA Saxophone Quartet which has made over 35 European tours plus numerous concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as recording over 30 CDs/LPs as a quartet and/or in collaboration with other artists. Larry has created roughly two dozen compositions for saxophone quartet as well as other pieces for ROVA in larger ensembles, many of which are recorded, and some of which were commissioned by Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation and Meet the Composer. He has been acting executive director of Rova:Arts since 1988.

The Throne, tour de force of sax+drum subtlety, passion and drive, by Larry Ochs & our joint collaborator, Donald Robinson

The Throne, tour de force of sax+drum subtlety, passion and drive, by Larry Ochs & our joint collaborator, Donald Robinson

In addition Larry currently composes for and leads Kihnoua with vocalist Dohee Lee (도희), Scott Amendola and special guests; The Fictive Five with New York–based musicians Nate Wooley, Ken Filiano, Pascal Niggenkemper, Harris Eisenstadt; Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core with Scott Amendola, Donald Robinson, Satoko Fujii (藤井郷子), and Natsuki Tamura (田村夏樹). He also performs in and often composes for more “collective” bands such as: East-West Collective with Didier Petit, Sylvain Kassap, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Xu Fengxia (凤霞); Ochs-Robinson Duo with drummer Donald Robinson; Jones Jones – with Mark Dresser and Vladimir Tarasov (Владимир Тарасов); Maybe Monday with Miya Masaoka (正岡みや) and Fred Frith; Shelton-Ochs Quartet with Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson and Mark Dresser; and the Trio of Dave Rempis / Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs.

Jon Raskin

Jon Raskin

◉ Jon Raskin has been a member of ROVA Saxophone Quartet for 3 decades, exploring the relationship of improvisation and composition, developing and honing the language of ensemble music and researching linguistic possibilities of the saxophone.

Highlights of Rova founding member Jon’s early career include his ’70s participation in new music ensembles directed by composers John Adams and Barney Childs. Before ROVA, Jon served as music director of the Tumbleweed Dance Company, was a founding member of the Blue Dolphin Alternative Music Space, and participated in the creation of The Farm — an art project that included a city farm, a community garden, Ecology Center, Dance and Theater companies and organized the creation of a city park.

Jon Raskin

Jon Raskin

Highlights as a member of ROVA include composing a collaborative work for San Francisco Taiko Dojo (サンフランシスコ太鼓道場)/ROVA, working with Howard Martin on the installation work Occupancy, composing music for Mr. Bungle/ROVA, organizing the 30 year Anniversary Concert of John Coltrane’s Ascension, performing the music of Miles Davis at the Fillmore with Yo Miles!, the Glass Head project with inkboat and the ongoing Electric Ascension project.

Jon has worked and recorded with Liz Allbee, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, George Cremaschi, Fred Frith, Philip Gelb, Matthew Goodheart, Phillip Greenlief, Phillip Johnston, Henry Kaiser, Pauline Oliveros, Kanoko Nishi-Smith (西鹿乃子) Dana Reason, Gino Robair, Sam Rivers, John Shiurba, Wadada Leo Smith, Vladimir Tarasov (Владимир Тарасов), and poet Carla Harryman, among many others.

———

Experience the gems of Ornette Coleman’s songbook glowing under a brilliant new ultra-violet light — come vibrate with us at Center For New Music and The Second Act!

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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MSP/Piano/Objects/+: Percussion and its Double — Tāla, Meta-Tāla, and Meta-Meta w William Winant & Joe Lasqo

We’re each keenly looking forward to play again at CCRMA, the South Bay’s floating city of computer music, whose brilliant composers and music technologists are always on the leading edge of projects such as telematic performance, reproducing the hyper-prolonged delay of the Hagia Sophia to perform Byzantine music designed for a space a half-planet away, mustering massive laptop-orchestras, gamifying music, 3D-printing mutated daxophonic attachments, and sonifying tomatoes.

This free show will be at 7:30pm, Tue 13 OctCCRMA is housed in The Knoll, 660 Lomita Dr., Stanford, CA 94305 (map, transport, directions).

Two of the Bay Area’s most daring improvising musicians team up for a percussion++ evening of rhythmic and meta-rhythmic electro-acoustic improvs.

William Winant is one of the foremost percussionists of the era, equally at-home and sought after in both the wildest of avant-garde jazz and the most demanding of contemporary classical contexts. Joe Lasqo bridges the worlds of electronics and acoustic music, using both laptop and piano, improv and AI techniques, to create a meta-percussive moiré.

William Winant's Karnatic percussion guru, Trichy Sankaran (திருச்சி சங்கரன்)

William Winant's Karnatic percussion guru, Trichy Sankaran (திருச்சி சங்கரன்)

Both William Winant and Joe Lasqo trained as South Indian drummers, William Winant with Trichy Sankaran (திருச்சி சங்கரன்), and Joe Lasqo in India with V. Nagabhushanachar (ವೀ. ನಾಗಭೂಷಣಚಾರ್), so the result is a compelling interplay of cutting-edge modernism and the world’s most virtuosic rhythmic tradition.

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

William Winant and Joe Lasqo use and extend these South Indian rhythmic concepts (and a lot more…) in the context of today’s electronic and avant-garde music where they become part of a varied and eclectic toolkit for radical sonic exploration.

Enriched by the avant experience and virtuosity that have made William Winant’s recordings of Cage and other modernist percussion composers win critical acclaim, tāla becomes meta-tāla in his hands.

Joe Lasqo remaps the rhythms into the piano used as percussion instrument, adding from the laptop the kind of abstract, post-modernist, electronic realization of the Indian rhythm component pioneered by Walter Durand on Other Minds’ ground-breaking recording of Cage’s Song Books, Vol 1: Solo For Voice #58: 18 Microtonal Rāgas.

William Winant performing John Zorn's Gri Gri at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, 06 Sep 2013

William Winant performing John Zorn's Gri Gri at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, 06 Sep 2013

William Winant performing music by James Tenney at San Francisco Electronic Music Festival #7, 2006 (photo by Peter B. Kaars, PeterBKaars.com)

William Winant performing music by James Tenney at San Francisco Electronic Music Festival #7, 2006 (photo by Peter B. Kaars, PeterBKaars.com)

2014 Grammy nominated percussionist William Winant has performed with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Frank Zappa, Keith Jarrett, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, James Tenney, Terry Riley, Cecil Taylor, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser, Barry Guy, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Steve Reich and Musicians, Nexus, Charles Wuorinen, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, Annea Lockwood, Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo, Sonic Youth, Marc Ribot, Keith Rowe, Joey Barron, Bill Frisell, Yo-Yo Ma (友友), ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and the Kronos String Quartet. His own groups include ROOM (w/Chris Brown & Larry Ochs), CHALLENGE (w/Anthony Braxton & David Rosenboom), WAKE (w/Frank Gratkowski & Chris Brown), and the WILLIAM WINANT PERCUSSION GROUP.

William Winant performing music by James Tenney at San Francisco Electronic Music Festival #7, 2006 (photo by Peter B. Kaars, PeterBKaars.com)

William Winant performing music by James Tenney at San Francisco Electronic Music Festival #7, 2006 (photo by Peter B. Kaars, PeterBKaars.com)

He’s principal percussionist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, he’s been closely associated with NYC composer John Zorn, & has made numerous recordings, and performed in many projects throughout the world, with the composer. Starting in 1995 he’s been the percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle, has made two recordings (Disco Volante and California on Warner Brothers), and has toured throughout the world with this group. For many years he had worked with composer Lou Harrison, recording and premiering many of his works, and in March of 1997 he participated in the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s quintet Rhymes With Silver featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma (友友) and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has toured the piece throughout the United States and Great Britain. In the fall of 2011, he joined Mike Patton’s Italian pop music project Mondo Cane which features a 12 piece band + string orchestra, and have recently completed tours of South America and Australia.

William Winant performing David Rosenboom's Zones Of Influence, 01 Nov 2014 (photo by Véronique Larcher)

William Winant performing David Rosenboom's Zones Of Influence, 01 Nov 2014 (photo by Véronique Larcher)

In the fall of 2003, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, William Winant, along with composers Takehisa Kosugi (小杉武久) and Christian Wolff, created music for a series of eight special “Events” staged by Merce Cunningham and Dancers at London’s Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. Since then he has continued to tour throughout Europe and the United States with the company.

William Winant (photo by Bert Johnson)

William Winant (photo by Bert Johnson)

He’s made over 200 recordings, covering a wide variety of genres, including music by Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, John Zorn, Butch Morris, James Newton, Frank Gratkowski, Pauline Oliveros, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Danny Elfman (Batman Returns), Siouxse & the Banshees, Secret Chiefs 3, ICP, Han Bennik, The Ex, White Out with Jim O’Rourke, Lou Reed, Thurston Moore, and Mike Patton. His recording of Lou Harrison’s La Koro Sutro was the New York Times Critic’s Choice for best contemporary recording of 1988. In 1999 he produced a recording of music by 20th-century avant-garde composers with the influential rock band Sonic YouthGoodbye 20th-Century (SYR4), which was hailed by both The LA Times and Village Voice as one of the best compendiums of this type of music ever recorded. More recently his recording with cellist Joan Jeanrenaud of her CD Strange Toys was nominated for a grammy in 2009. Also he along with guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley, created special music for Werner Herzog’s 2009 Oscar nominated documentary Encounters At The End Of The World.

(L → R) William Winant and David Rosenboom on the cover of their ground-breaking album Zones Of Influence

(L → R) William Winant and David Rosenboom on the cover of their ground-breaking album Zones Of Influence

William Winant has premiered many new works written specifically for him, by such noted composers as John Cage, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Christian Wolff, Zeena Parkins, Bun-Ching Lam (品晶), Barbara Monk Feldman, Hi-Kyung Kim (희경), Roscoe Mitchell, Wendy Reid, Ralph Shapey, Peter Garland, Michael Byron, Paul Dresher, Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, David Rosenboom, Larry Polansky, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh (佐藤聰明), and Wadada Leo Smith.

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century.

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

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in at Viracocha in SF, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) as well as his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), & Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles.

Joe Lasqo performing with Donald Robinson, 25 Aug 2013, SIMM Series, San Francisco (photo by Peter B. Kaars, www.peterbkaars.com)

Joe Lasqo performing with Donald Robinson, 25 Aug 2013, SIMM Series, San Francisco (photo by Peter B. Kaars, www.peterbkaars.com)

AU QUOTIDIEN, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, Donald Robinson, Joe Lasqo, and Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release in early 2016.

———

What is the tāla of one hand clapping? Join us at CCRMA to find out…

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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Electric Shadow Theater: Film Truth + Surreal Sound by Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ◉ silent films by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов), Man Ray, and Maya Deren ◉ with music by Jorge Bachmann, Beth Custer, Bryan Day, Thomas Dimuzio, Tom Djll, & Joe Lasqo, Sun 04 Oct @ The Second Act, SF

The Second Act, the next generation of the Haight's Red Vic

The Second Act, the next generation of the Haight's Red Vic

It will be a great pleasure to play again at The Second Act, the terrific performing arts space and restaurant zone that Jack & Betsy Rix, members of the original Red Vic collective, have now created in the Red Vic’s former site — and what better site than this pioneering art film house in San Francisco’s cultural history for silent film + music!

The “Third Wednesday” series run there by James Decker, proprietor/perpetrator of Resipiscent Records, has created a powerful electronic music dipole traversing Haight St., resonating with the Lower Haight’s mutant sound scene @ ROBOTSPEAk.

The throbbing avant energy unleashed at The Second Act has not only attracted a large and actively engaged audience, but has recently erupted into the visual dimension as well, starting a new film + music series in August with Ben Tinker’s film + music project That Hideous Strength.

I’m excited to continue the wayang sinema series with new ensemble Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) and some of the freshest, most exciting films ever made.

Coordinates: The Second Act, SF, 1727 Haight St, SF (between Shrader & Cole – map), 8pm, Sun 04 Oct.

Advance tickets available at a discount: here

The founder of the first "Paranormal Research Society" (Fushigi Kenkyūkai : 不思議研究会), in 1886, Enryō Inoue (井上円了)

The founder of the first "Paranormal Research Society" (Fushigi Kenkyūkai : 不思議研究会), in 1886, Enryō Inoue (井上円了)

Since the founding of Clubfoot Orchestra in 1983, San Francisco has been a leader in pairing film classics with composed or improvised scores. Not only is Clubfoot Orchestra still scaling new heights, but a rich new crop of ensembles for film + sound have created a second wave of Bay Area shadow play for the 21st century.

Fushigi Kenkyūkai are a collective of film and sound artists mixing veterans of Bay Area “wayang sinema” ensembles like Clubfoot Orchestra with pioneers of electronic, computer-based, and invented instruments.

The name Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) means “Paranormal Research Society”. The truth is out there.

This program uses a pioneering classic from the “Film Truth” (Kino-Pravda, Кино-Правда) movement of early 20th century Russia and two classic surrealist shorts to find it.

Line-up:

— Jorge Bachmann (electronics)

— Beth Custer (bass & other clarinets | vocals)

— Bryan Day (invented instruments)

— Thomas Dimuzio (electronics)

— Tom Djll (surrealist prepared trumpet)

— Joe Lasqo (laptop/MSP | piano | objects)

Program:

Part 1: Shorts (20 min)

Man Ray: Return to Reason (Le retour à la raison)
Maya Deren: At Land

- break -

Part 2: Main Feature

Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов): Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом). 68 min.

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

Voted into the “Top 10 Movies Ever” in the 2012 Sight And Sound critics’ poll, the astonishing Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом), a tsunami of jump-cut-like montage sequences, is well-observed and well-described by Roger Ebert in his essay on the film in his Great Movies series. Here are a few of his insights & observations, with some added notes.

Ebert: “In 1929, the year it was released, films had an average shot length (ASL) of 11.2 seconds. Man With A Movie Camera had an ASL of 2.3 seconds. The ASL of Michael Bay’s Armageddon was — also 2.3 seconds.”

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

The throbbing visual polyrhythms established by this fast-paced series of jump-cut-like montage sequences, pioneered by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов) a full generation before Godard’s Breathless (À bout de souffle), afford many hooks for rhythmic interplay.

Coming at the end of a decade that saw the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses 7 years earlier, and a fire-cracker string of subsequent masterworks in “stream of consciousness” writing like Italo Svevo’s The Consciousness Of Zeno (La coscienza di Zeno), Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Vertov’s film represents a stunning and pioneering application of these techniques to cinema, as he explores the consciousness of a city in a film — as he puts it in the opening titles — “without words, without script, without actors, without sets”. As Ebert says, “Movies could move with the speed of our minds when we are free-associating”.

Mikhail Kaufman (Михаил Кауфман), cinematographer of Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом)

Mikhail Kaufman (Михаил Кауфман), cinematographer of Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом)

Ebert tells more of the family that made the film: “His wife Yelizaveta Svilova supervised the editing from about 1,775 separate shots — all the more impressive because most of the shots consisted of separate set-ups. The cinematography was by his brother, Mikhail Kaufman, who refused to ever work with him again. (Vertov was born Denis Kaufman, and worked under a [stage] name meaning “Spinning Top.” Another brother, Boris Kaufman, immigrated to Hollywood and won an Oscar for filming On the Waterfront)”

These 1,775 transitions coming at an average of every 2.3 seconds in the film create fantastic silent visual polyrhythms that are very interesting to interact with musically.

Not only did Man With A Movie Camera use jump-cut-like techniques a generation before Godard, but it also pioneered the “film about film”. Indeed its mission is to create a city by making and viewing a film.

As Ebert observes, it “opens with an empty cinema, its seats standing at attention. The seats swivel down (by themselves), and an audience hurries in and fills them. They begin to look at a film. This film. And this film is about–this film being made… The only continuing figure — not a “character” — is the Man With the Movie Camera… seen photographing many of the shots in the movie… Intercut with this are shots of this film being edited. The machinery. The editor. The physical film itself. Sometimes the action halts with a freeze frame, and we see that the editor has stopped work… there is a gathering rhythmic speed that reaches a crescendo nearer the end. The film has shot itself, edited itself, and now is conducting itself at an accelerating tempo… It assembles itself in plain view. It is about itself, and folds into and out of itself like origami.”

Maya Deren in her film At Land

Maya Deren in her film At Land

Maya Deren’s At Land (1944) is a drift-glass of images revolving around the land, sea and sky of Amagansett, a dinner party at which she is invisible, and an outdoor game of chess which she interrupts two alter-egos.

Birthed from the sea like Venus, journeying through sand dune, table-tops, and dense growths of vegetation, towards a game of chess with a disappearing partner, she travels a long path with various men who may be the same man (one of whom is played by John Cage…), until the man becomes Death and a cat leaps from her arms.

Gathering a multitude of stones on the beach, she refracts into analogs and multiples that play a chess game with erotic overtones, until a pawn breaks loose, and the chase is on…

Frame from Man Ray's Return to Reason (Le retour à la raison)

Frame from Man Ray's Return to Reason (Le retour à la raison)

Man Ray’s Return To Reason (Le retour à la raison) is a bopping Dada romp through objects of everyday life transmogrified into dancing rayograms, words seen through cigarette smoke, paper shapes in moving dialog with light about shadows, and the moiré patterns of a surrealist window shutter on the torso of his lover, the notorious Kiki de Montparnasse, model to artists such as Francis Picabia, Jean Cocteau, and Alexander Calder.

“Acquiring a roll of a hundred feet of film, I went into my darkroom and cut up the material into short lengths, pinning them down on the worktable. On some strips I sprinkled salt and pepper, like a cook preparing a roast, on other strips I threw pins and thumbtacks at random; then I turned on the white light for a second or two, as I had done for my still Rayographs. Then I carefully lifted the film off the table, shaking off the debris, and developed it in my tanks. The next morning, when dry, I examined the work; the salt, pins and tacks were perfectly reproduced.” (Man Ray on Le retour à la raison, in his book Self-Portrait)

Carrying on the traditions of and sharing members with “wayang sinema” ensembles like Clubfoot Orchestra, Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) is comprised of:

Jorge Bachmann (aka Ruidobello)

◉ Jorge Bachmann (electronics)

Sculptor, electronics master, photographer, and engineer Jorge Bachmann is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-media and sound artist. Since the early 80s, Jorge has been exploring the strange, unique and microcosmic sounds of everyday life, collecting field recordings. The sound atmospheres created are meant for deep listening and are composed in symbiosis with the sculptural installations.

He creates equally sensual and detailed oriented photo-based work; and his art explores social and sensual constructs and experiences.

Starting his career in Bogotá, Colombia and then active for a long period in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jorge eventually relocated to the Bay Area and became a technical and artistic mainstay of MEDIATE’s Soundwave Series as well as the Engineer Scotty of the Starship SFEMF.

Now he’s returned to regularly giving solo electronic concerts such as his recent brilliant one at The Lab’s Serge 40-year Reunion.

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

◉ Beth Custer (bass & other clarinets | vocals) is a San Francisco based composer, clarinetist, vocalist, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records.

An original member of the Club Foot Orchestra, a trailblazing ensemble who pioneered scoring and performing with silent films (Pandora’s Box, Sherlock Jr., Metropolis, etc.), Beth is also a founding member of the 4th-world ensemble Trance Mission, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, and leads the quartet of esteemed jazz clarinetists Clarinet Thing, as well as The Beth Custer Ensemble. The Pacific Film Archive commissioned Beth to compose a live score for My Grandmother / ჩემი ბებია / Моя Бабушка, a rare Soviet film, which she toured internationally in Russia, Czech Republic, Ireland, and England, supported by Trust for Mutual Understanding and Mid Atlantic Arts Fund awards.

She composes for theatre, film, dance, television, installations and the concert stage and has created scores for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, City Winds, + Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, and Cornerstone Theatre; for dancers and troupes Joe Goode Performance Group, Flyaway Productions, Osseus Labyrinth, AXIS Dance Company, and butō (舞踏) masters Harupin Ha (ハルピン派), Koichi Tamano (玉野黄市) and Ledoh (レドー). Her score for JGPG’s The Maverick Strain, which won an Isadora Duncan Award, excerpts enjoyed a run at the Joyce Theater in NYC during April ’09.

Beth Custer performs "For the Grace of Any Man" at the Red House Speak Easy, San Francisco, June 2012

Beth created KQED’s Independent View theme with her band Eighty Mile Beach and composed for CBS/Film Roman’s Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat with Club Foot Orchestra, as well as creating music for the films of Cathy Lee Crane, Melinda Stone, Betsy Bayha, Julie Wyman, George Spies, Karina Epperlein, Will Zavala, Peter MacCandless, and Koohan Paik (구한). Beth created four musicals with award winning writer Octavio Solis in LA & SF, and her collaborative scores with inventor and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin led her to compose Vinculum Symphony, a site-specific, large-scale work that unites chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders.

Stephen Kent and Beth Custer perform in the Sanctuary of Dawn at the Garden of Memory event, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, 21 Jun 2012

Beth has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including inventor Trimpin; artists Vladimir Kokolia and Billie Grace Lynn; musicians Stephen Kent, Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Amy Denio, Tin Hat, Tango № 9, Pamela Z, Will Bernard, Sex Mob, John Schott, Grassy Knoll, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Violent Femmes, J.A. Deane, the late, great Snakefinger, Greg Goodman, William Cepeda, Elaine Buckholtz, Mark Eitzel, Penelope Houston, Anna Homler, Ollin, and Connie Champagne.

She has over 35 recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra.

Bryan Day performs in the Active Music Series @ The Uptown, Oakland, 11 Jun 2013 (photo - John Scharpen)

Bryan Day performs in the Active Music Series @ The Uptown, Oakland, 11 Jun 2013 (photo - John Scharpen)

◉ Bryan Day (invented instruments)

Bryan Day is a improviser, instrument inventor, illustrator & installation artist based in San Francisco. His work involves combining elements of the natural and man-made world using field recordings, custom audio generation software and homemade instruments. Bryan’s work explores the parallels between the patterns and systems in nature to those in contemporary society.

Bryan Day

Bryan has toured throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Argentina & Mexico, performing both solo as Sistrum and Eloine, and in the Shelf Life and Seeded Plain ensembles, as well as with innumerable collaborators, and has over 40 solo and ensemble releases.

Bryan Day's kit reflects his sound universe (photo - John Scharpen)

Bryan Day's kit reflects his sound universe (photo - John Scharpen)

Since 1997 he has been running the new music label Public Eyesore and its sister label Eh?. Through Public Eyesore and Eh?, Bryan has produced and released over 200 albums of improvised and experimental music by artists from all over the globe, in addition to curating the music series at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco.

Thomas Dimuzio

◉ Thomas Dimuzio (electronics) — fresh from a brilliant performance in the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival!

Thomas Dimuzio is a composer, multi-instrumentalist & electronic musician, mastering engineer, sound designer, and label proprietor based in San Francisco.

Long regarded as a musical pioneer for his innovative use of live sampling and looping techniques to create compelling works, Thomas is a true sonic alchemist who can seemingly create music events out of almost anything. Listed sound sources on his various CDs include everything from ‘modified 10 speed bicycle’ and ‘resonating water pipe’ to short-wave radios, loops, feedback, samplers, and even normal instruments such as clarinet and trumpet, while his current work is facilitated by the deep expanses of modular synthesis.

His use of signal processing, custom crossfade looping, and algorithmic mixing fuels a synergy of man and machine in his live performances, while intercepted signal feeds from collaborators, wild sources of MIDI-controlled feedback, modular synthesizers, circuit-bent toys, or ambient microphones on the streets, become integrated as sound sources within his system of live interactive electronics, effortlessly moving from electroacoustic and noise to glitch, dark ambient, improv and drone.

Thomas Dimuzio

In his work as a sound designer, Thomas has worked with synthesizer and processor manufacturers such as Kurzweil, Lexicon, and OSC to create custom presets and sample libraries, and he has collaborated with Fred Frith, Tom Cora, and ROVA Saxophone Quartet to create sound libraries for Rarefaction and Big Fish Audio. Thomas also continues to play a key role in the development of Avid’s industry standard Pro Tools HD recording and mixing system, as he has for the past 20 years.

As a collaborator, Thomas works with numerous artists and ensembles such as Dimmer (with Joseph Hammer), Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Dan Burke/Illusion of Safety, Nick Didkovsky, ISIS, Negativland, Arcane Device (David Lee Myers), Matmos, Wobbly (Jon Leidecker), Poptastic, 5uu’s, Tom Cora, Mickey Hart, Paul Haslinger, Arte Saxophone Quartett, Due Process, and Voice Of Eye.

Thomas Dimuzio

As a mastering engineer, Thomas has worked with independent artists and labels through his own Gench Studios since the early 1990’s. Among his clients are Matmos,NegativlandISISAMMCaptain AhabDoctor NervePsychic TV3Xiu Xiu, Devin Hoff, GG AllinKK Null (Kazuyuki Kishino岸野 一之), Joey P, Fred Frith, Scott Amendola, and many others.

Thomas Dimuzio’s recordings have been released internationally by ReR Megacorp, Asphodel, RRRecords, No Fun, Sonoris, Drone, Record Label Records, Odd Size, and other independent labels.

Sonicism, electronic masterpiece by Thomas Dimuzio

Among a profusion of gem-like albums, the one I’ve been listening to the most recently is the double CD masterwork Sonicism, a jewel of many dark and glittering facets.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

◉ Tom Djll (surrealist prepared trumpet)

Tom Djll has spent over twenty years developing the trumpet’s wide sonic array of extended techniques. His musical language incorporates complex noises and gritty, unheard textures from electronica into melodic gestures and building asymmetrical formal structures. Tom has made a lifelong study of the art of improvised music, and has been actively performing since 1980.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll’s approach to playing the trumpet has been characterized from its inception by an anti-professionalism that locates itself within a political rather than musical continuum. Although he had studied composition with AACM masters Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, and others, inspired by punk and DIY approaches to performance and soundmaking (Trans MuseqPiL, The Contortions, Alterations, Eugene Chadbourne), Tom eschewed formal training in lieu of nearly fifteen years of blazing an idiosyncratic pathway through the instrument based on his studies and performances of analog electronic music. Working with a Serge Modular Synthesizer until the turn of the century, Tom described his trumpet sounds as products of an “analog lip synthesizer,” among other colorful epithets.

Mutootator, by Tom Djll and various accomplices

Mutootator, by Tom Djll and various accomplices

In 1989 Tom’s trumpet+electronics breakthrough was realized with the recording of TOMBO, using the Serge system’s endlessly disruptive causation chains to process, feedback-process, and process-feedback all sorts of trumpet and mouth sounds, culminating in Mutootator, the apex of his trumpet/Serge development. This set of improvised duets used a hybrid analog/digital live sampling and processing system (the “Mutootator”) of Tom’s own design, and featured William Winant, Tom Nunn, Jack Wright, Myles Boisen, and many others.

Lava, by Chris Brown

Subsequently, Tom studied in the graduate program at the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music, a period which saw his trumpet noises featured in Chris Brown’s ferociously difficult LAVA (for brass, percussion, and electronics, recorded on Tzadik). Tom continued working with Chris Brown in live performances of LAVA and other works (Brown, DUETS, Artifact) as well as with other Mills faculty (William Winant, Alvin Curran, John Bischoff) and eminent visitors to the school such as James Tenney, Bun-Ching Lam (品晶), “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Tim Perkis, and Pauline Oliveros (with whom he had previous studied her Deep Listening techniques). Others of Tom’s gurus incude Karl Berger, Lester Bowie, and George Lewis.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

In the new millennium, Tom’s resolutely nonprofessional performance practice has centered itself in live instrument re-building, wherein the trumpet’s identity is broken down and reassembled onstage, using bits of plastic tubing, rubber bands, whistles, squeakers, toys and other horn parts. More recent performances have seen the re-entry of actual electronic sounds into the language. The festering soundworlds arising from this gallimaufry of resonator/muters suggest a parade of chancy characters; Tom gives them monikers such as Whirly Honkblatter, Zeppelin Launch Simulation Drone, the Nude Rubberlips Orgasm Chanter, and the Dissociative Tubular Identity Disorder Scalar Ambiguation Horn.

Current and recent projects include:

Grosse Abfahrt (w Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls and international guests), Quartet (w Tim Perkis, Matt Ingalls & Scott Walton), Space Junk (w Jordan Glenn & Scott Brown), Beauty School (w Jacob Felix Heule & Matt Chandler), Mockracy (co-operative orchestra, actors, and maxed media), All Tomorrow’s Zombies (w Tim Perkis & Gino Robair), Dynosoar (w Ron Heglin & “Gongwoman” Karen Stackpole),  Kinda Green (w Tim Perkis), John Shiurba’s 5×5, Gino Robair’s I, Norton Opera Company, sfSound Group, led by Matt Ingalls, and Tender Buttons (w Tania Chen & Gino Robair)

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

◉ Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century. His recent album, Turquoise Sessions, is available on Edgetone Records; with new releases planned in 2015.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the afternoon piano series at Viracocha, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), and Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) and many others.

AU QUOTIDIEN, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release in early 2016.

◉ For Examiner.com preview of this show: here

———

Experience 1,775 visual pulses course through your body as your consciousness streams to surrealist music — come vibrate with us at The Second Act!

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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Electric Shadow Theater: Film Truth + Surreal Sound by Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ◉ silent films by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов), Man Ray, and Maya Deren ◉ with music by Jorge Bachmann, Beth Custer, Tom Djll, Joe Lasqo, D. Skatchit (aka David Michalak), & Tom Nunn, Tue 22 Sep @ PianoFight, SF

The splendid Californicorn presides over PianoFight's musical and spiritual offerings

The splendid Californicorn presides over PianoFight's musical and spiritual offerings

I’m very excited to return to PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”, 144 Taylor St., SF (map), with new ensemble Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会), 7:30pm, Tue 22 Sep and some of the freshest, most exciting films ever made.

☞ Advance tickets available at a discount: here.

Formed by Rob Ready, Dan Williams and Kevin Fink (called “the bad boys of San Francisco theatre” by Theatre Bay Area), PianoFight has successfully managed venues (Off-Market Theater Complex); recklessly invited audiences to Throw Rotten Veggies at the Actors; formed two critically acclaimed sketch comedy groups (Mission CTRL and ForePlays); and built a three-man producing team into a 46-member company of artists.

Their latest adventure is PianoFight — a new theater complex with restaurant and bar at the former site of the San Francisco landmark restaurant Original Joe’s, 144 Taylor Street, with two theaters in the back of house, and a 60-seat restaurant and bar with a full liquor license and a cabaret stage at the front of the house.

PianoFight, SF's Next Landmark Entertainment Venue

PianoFight, SF's Next Landmark Entertainment Venue

This great new performing arts complex, in the heart of SF’s Central Market Arts District, takes forward the development of a music axis on Taylor Street, stretching from the Luggage Store, the Warfield, and Center For New Music to its northernmost and newest boîte. Meanwhile, its two black-box theaters have expanded the “San Francisco off-off-Broadway” that includes CounterPulse, EXIT Theater, and Cutting Ball Theatre.

My totem animal, Morgana, enjoyed joining forces with PianoFight’s totem animal, the Californicorn during my residency there in July, and we’re both keenly looking forward to performing there again…

The founder of the first "Paranormal Research Society" (Fushigi Kenkyūkai : 不思議研究会), in 1886, Enryō Inoue (井上円了)

Enryō Inoue (井上円了), the founder of the first "Paranormal Research Society" (Fushigi Kenkyūkai / 不思議研究会), in 1886

Since the founding of Clubfoot Orchestra in 1983, San Francisco has been a leader in pairing film classics with composed or improvised scores. Not only is Clubfoot Orchestra still scaling new heights, but a rich new crop of ensembles for film + sound have created a second wave of Bay Area shadow play for the 21st century.

Fushigi Kenkyūkai are a collective of film and sound artists, mixing veterans of Bay Area “wayang sinema” ensembles like Clubfoot Orchestra & Reel Change with pioneers of electronic, computer-based, and invented instruments.

The name Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) means “Paranormal Research Society”. The truth is out there.

This program uses a pioneering classic from the “Film Truth” (Kino-Pravda, Кино-Правда) movement of early 20th century Russia & two classic surrealist shorts to find it.

Line-up:

Jorge Bachmann (electronics)
Beth Custer (bass & other clarinets | vocals)
Tom Djll (surrealist prepared trumpet)
Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)
D. Skatchit, aka David Michalak (skatchbox | lap steel guitar | film curator)
Tom Nunn (invented instruments)

Program

Part 1: Shorts (20 min, with show break following)

Man Ray: Return to Reason (Le retour à la raison)
Maya Deren: At Land

Part 2: Main Feature

Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов): Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом). 68 min.

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

Voted into the “Top 10 Movies Ever” in the 2012 Sight And Sound critics’ poll, the astonishing Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом), a tsunami of jump-cuts, is well-observed and well-described by Roger Ebert in his essay on the film in his Great Movies series.

Here are a few of his insights & observations, with some added notes.

Ebert: “In 1929, the year it was released, films had an average shot length (ASL) of 11.2 seconds. Man With A Movie Camera had an ASL of 2.3 seconds. The ASL of Michael Bay’s Armageddon was — also 2.3 seconds.”

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

Poster for Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом) by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов)

The throbbing visual polyrhythms established by this fast-paced series of jump-cuts, pioneered by Dziga Vertov (Дзига Вертов) a full generation before Godard’s Breathless (À bout de souffle), afford many hooks for rhythmic interplay.

Coming at the end of a decade that saw the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses 7 years earlier, and a fire-cracker string of subsequent masterworks in “stream of consciousness” writing like Italo Svevo’s The Consciousness Of Zeno (La coscienza di Zeno), Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Vertov’s film represents a stunning and pioneering application of stream of consciousness techniques to cinema, as he explores the consciousness of a city in a film — as he puts it in the opening titles — “without words, without script, without actors, without sets”. As Ebert says, “Movies could move with the speed of our minds when we are free-associating”.

Ebert tells more of the family that made the film: “His wife Yelizaveta Svilova supervised the editing from about 1,775 separate shots — all the more impressive because most of the shots consisted of separate set-ups. The cinematography was by his brother, Mikhail Kaufman, who refused to ever work with him again. (Vertov was born Denis Kaufman, and worked under a name meaning “Spinning Top.” Another brother, Boris Kaufman, immigrated to Hollywood and won an Oscar for filming On the Waterfront)”

Mikhail Kaufman (Михаил Кауфман), cinematographer of Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом)

Mikhail Kaufman (Михаил Кауфман), cinematographer of Man With A Movie Camera (Человек с киноаппаратом)

These 1,775 transitions coming at an average of every 2.3 seconds in the film create fantastic silent visual polyrhythms that are very interesting to interact with musically.

Not only did Man With A Movie Camera use jump-cuts a generation before Godard, but it also pioneered the “film about film”. Indeed its mission is to create a city by making and viewing a film.

As Ebert observes, it “opens with an empty cinema, its seats standing at attention. The seats swivel down (by themselves), and an audience hurries in and fills them. They begin to look at a film. This film. And this film is about–this film being made… The only continuing figure — not a “character” — is the Man With the Movie Camera… seen photographing many of the shots in the movie… Intercut with this are shots of this film being edited. The machinery. The editor. The physical film itself. Sometimes the action halts with a freeze frame, and we see that the editor has stopped work… there is a gathering rhythmic speed that reaches a crescendo nearer the end. The film has shot itself, edited itself, and now is conducting itself at an accelerating tempo… It assembles itself in plain view. It is about itself, and folds into and out of itself like origami.”

Maya Deren in her film At Land

Maya Deren in her film At Land

Maya Deren’s At Land (1944) is a drift-glass of images revolving around the land, sea and sky of Amagansett, a dinner party at which she is invisible, and an outdoor game of chess at which she interrupts two alter-egos.

Birthed from the sea like Venus, journeying through sand dune, table-tops, and dense growths of vegetation, towards a game of chess with a disappearing partner, she travels a long path with various men who may be the same man (one of whom is played by John Cage…), until the man becomes Death and a cat leaps from her arms.

Gathering a multitude of stones on the beach, she refracts into analogs and multiples that play a chess game with erotic overtones, until a pawn breaks loose, and the chase is on…

Frame from Man Ray's Return to Reason (Le retour à la raison)

Frame from Man Ray's Return to Reason (Le retour à la raison)

Man Ray’s Return To Reason (Le retour à la raison) is a bopping Dada romp through objects of everyday life transmogrified into dancing rayograms – words seen through cigarette smoke – paper shapes in moving dialog with light about shadows – and the moiré patterns of a surrealist window shutter on the torso of his lover, the notorious Kiki de Montparnasse, model to artists such as Francis Picabia, Jean Cocteau, and Alexander Calder.

“Acquiring a roll of a hundred feet of film, I went into my darkroom and cut up the material into short lengths, pinning them down on the worktable. On some strips I sprinkled salt and pepper, like a cook preparing a roast, on other strips I threw pins and thumbtacks at random; then I turned on the white light for a second or two, as I had done for my still Rayographs. Then I carefully lifted the film off the table, shaking off the debris, and developed it in my tanks. The next morning, when dry, I examined the work; the salt, pins and tacks were perfectly reproduced.” (Man Ray on Le retour à la raison, in his book Self-Portrait)

Carrying on the traditions of and sharing members with “wayang sinema” ensembles like Clubfoot Orchestra & Reel Change, Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) is comprised of:

Jorge Bachmann (aka Ruidobello)

◉ Jorge Bachmann (electronics)

Sculptor, electronics master, photographer, and engineer Jorge Bachmann is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-media and sound artist. Since the early 80s, Jorge has been exploring the strange, unique and microcosmic sounds of everyday life, collecting field recordings. The sound atmospheres created are meant for deep listening and are composed in symbiosis with the sculptural installations.

He creates equally sensual and detailed oriented photo-based work; and his art explores social and sensual constructs and experiences.

Starting his career in Bogotá, Colombia and then active for a long period in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jorge eventually relocated to the Bay Area and became a technical and artistic mainstay of MEDIATE’s Soundwave Series as well as the Engineer Scotty of the Starship SFEMF.

Now he’s returned to regularly giving solo electronic concerts such as his recent brilliant one at The Lab’s Serge 40-year Reunion.

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

◉ Beth Custer (bass & other clarinets | vocals) is a San Francisco based composer, clarinetist, vocalist, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records.

An original member of the Club Foot Orchestra, a trailblazing ensemble who pioneered scoring and performing with silent films (Pandora’s Box, Sherlock Jr., Metropolis, etc.), Beth is also a founding member of the 4th-world ensemble Trance Mission, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, and leads the quartet of esteemed jazz clarinetists Clarinet Thing, as well as The Beth Custer Ensemble. The Pacific Film Archive commissioned Beth to compose a live score for My Grandmother / ჩემი ბებია / Моя Бабушка, a rare Soviet film, which she toured internationally in Russia, Czech Republic, Ireland, and England, supported by Trust for Mutual Understanding and Mid Atlantic Arts Fund awards.

She composes for theatre, film, dance, television, installations and the concert stage and has created scores for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, City Winds, + Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, and Cornerstone Theatre; for dancers and troupes Joe Goode Performance Group, Flyaway Productions, Osseus Labyrinth, AXIS Dance Company, and butō (舞踏) masters Harupin Ha (ハルピン派), Koichi Tamano (玉野黄市) and Ledoh (レドー). Her score for JGPG’s The Maverick Strain, which won an Isadora Duncan Award, excerpts enjoyed a run at the Joyce Theater in NYC during April ’09.

Beth has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including inventor Trimpin; artists Vladimir Kokolia and Billie Grace Lynn; musicians Stephen Kent, Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Amy Denio, Tin Hat, Tango № 9, Pamela Z, Will Bernard, Sex Mob, John Schott, Grassy Knoll, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Violent Femmes, J.A. Deane, the late, great Snakefinger, Greg Goodman, William Cepeda, Elaine Buckholtz, Mark Eitzel, Penelope Houston, Anna Homler, Ollin, and Connie Champagne.

She has over 35 recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra.

Beth Custer performs "For the Grace of Any Man" at the Red House Speak Easy, San Francisco, June 2012

Beth created KQED’s Independent View theme with her band Eighty Mile Beach and composed for CBS/Film Roman’s Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat with Club Foot Orchestra, as well as creating music for the films of Cathy Lee Crane, Melinda Stone, Betsy Bayha, Julie Wyman, George Spies, Karina Epperlein, Will Zavala, Peter MacCandless, and Koohan Paik (구한). Beth created four musicals with award winning writer Octavio Solis in LA & SF, and her collaborative scores with inventor and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin led her to compose Vinculum Symphony, a site-specific, large-scale work that unites chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders.

Stephen Kent and Beth Custer perform in the Sanctuary of Dawn at the Garden of Memory event, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, 21 Jun 2012

Beth has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including inventor Trimpin; artists Vladimir Kokolia and Billie Grace Lynn; musicians Stephen Kent, Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Amy Denio, Tin Hat, Tango № 9, Pamela Z, Will Bernard, Sex Mob, John Schott, Grassy Knoll, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Violent Femmes, J.A. Deane, the late, great Snakefinger, Greg Goodman, William Cepeda, Elaine Buckholtz, Mark Eitzel, Penelope Houston, Anna Homler, Ollin, and Connie Champagne.

She has over 35 recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

◉ Tom Djll (surrealist prepared trumpet)

Tom Djll has spent over twenty years developing the trumpet’s wide sonic array of extended techniques. His musical language incorporates complex noises and gritty, unheard textures from electronica into melodic gestures and building asymmetrical formal structures. Tom has made a lifelong study of the art of improvised music, and has been actively performing since 1980.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll’s approach to playing the trumpet has been characterized from its inception by an anti-professionalism that locates itself within a political rather than musical continuum. Although he had studied composition with AACM masters Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, and others, inspired by punk and DIY approaches to performance and soundmaking (Trans MuseqPiL, The Contortions, Alterations, Eugene Chadbourne), Tom rejected formal training in lieu of nearly fifteen years of blazing an idiosyncratic pathway through the instrument based on his studies and performances of analog electronic music. Working with a Serge Modular Synthesizer until the turn of the century, Tom described his trumpet sounds as products of an “analog lip synthesizer,” among other colorful epithets.

Mutootator, by Tom Djll and various accomplices

Mutootator, by Tom Djll and various accomplices

In 1989 Tom’s trumpet+electronics breakthrough was realized with the recording of TOMBO, using the Serge system’s endlessly disruptive causation chains to process, feedback-process, and process-feedback all sorts of trumpet and mouth sounds, culminating in Mutootator, the apex of his trumpet/Serge development. This set of improvised duets used a hybrid analog/digital live sampling and processing system (the “Mutootator”) of Tom’s own design, and featured William Winant, Tom Nunn, Jack Wright, Myles Boisen, and many others.

Lava, by Chris Brown

Subsequently, Tom studied in the graduate program at the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music, a period which saw his trumpet noises featured in Chris Brown’s ferociously difficult LAVA (for brass, percussion, and electronics, recorded on Tzadik). Tom continued working with Chris Brown in live performances of LAVA and other works (Brown, DUETS, Artifact) as well as with other Mills faculty (William Winant, Alvin Curran, John Bischoff) and eminent visitors to the school such as James Tenney, Bun-Ching Lam (品晶), “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Tim Perkis, and Pauline Oliveros (with whom he had previous studied her Deep Listening techniques). Others of Tom’s gurus incude Karl Berger, Lester Bowie, and George Lewis.

In the new millennium, Tom’s resolutely nonprofessional performance practice has centered itself in live instrument re-building, wherein the trumpet’s identity is broken down and reassembled onstage, using bits of plastic tubing, rubber bands, whistles, squeakers, toys and other horn parts. More recent performances have seen the re-entry of actual electronic sounds into the language. The festering soundworlds arising from this gallimaufry of resonator/muters suggest a parade of chancy characters; Tom gives them monikers such as Whirly Honkblatter, Zeppelin Launch Simulation Drone, the Nude Rubberlips Orgasm Chanter, and the Dissociative Tubular Identity Disorder Scalar Ambiguation Horn.

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom Djll (original photo by Dill Pixels)

Tom’ current and recent projects include:

Grosse Abfahrt (w Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls and international guests), Quartet (w Tim Perkis, Matt Ingalls & Scott Walton), Space Junk (w Jordan Glenn & Scott Brown), Beauty School (w Jacob Felix Heule & Matt Chandler), Mockracy (co-operative orchestra, actors, and maxed media), All Tomorrow’s Zombies (w Tim Perkis & Gino Robair), Dynosoar (w Ron Heglin & “Gongwoman” Karen Stackpole),  Kinda Green (w Tim Perkis), John Shiurba’s 5×5, Gino Robair’s I, Norton Opera Company, sfSound Group, led by Matt Ingalls, and Tender Buttons (w Tania Chen & Gino Robair)

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

◉ Joe Lasqo (keyboards | laptop | objects)

Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century. His recent album, Turquoise Sessions, is available on Edgetone Records; with new releases planned in 2015.

Joe had a weekly residency for 3½ years+ in the afternoon piano series at Viracocha, and has appeared recently with Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Phillip Greenlief’s Orchesperry, his own Renga-kai (連歌会), Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), and Fushigi Kenkyūkai (不思議研究会) ensembles, synthesist Thomas Dimuzio, clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer, pianist Thollem McDonas, percussionist Suki O’Kane, sound artists Joe Snape (UK) & Lucie Vítková (Czech Rep.), technodivas / electronic musicians Pamela Z & Viv Corringham (NYC/London) and many others.

AU QUOTIDIEN, a new album with German-Swedish saxist/flautist Biggi Vinkeloe, master drummer Donald Robinson, and cello madman Teddy Rankin-Parker is in production for release later in 2015.

David Michalak

D. Skatchit, aka David Michalak (skatchbox | lap-steel guitar | film curator)

David Michalak has made over 50 films with original soundtracks, including 3 features, starting out on the East Coast.

After decades of films such as Dreamlife, Inside-Out (featuring The Kate Foley Dance Company and score written with Nik Phelps, performed by the Club Foot Orchestra), When The Spirit Moves, featuring (Joe Goode) dancer Vong Phrommala & silent-movie style actress Billie-Marie Gross, Firefly, and Regenbogen, a soundtrack ensemble was formed to play live scores for David’s movies and other film classics. The group, called Reel Change has featured: Andrew Voigt, Joe Sabella, David Michalak, Phillip Greenlief, Adam Hurst, George Cremaschi, Tom Nunn, Kyle Bruckmann, Theresa Wong (天欣), and Tom Djll, releasing the CD Open In Total Darkness.

Tom Nunn playing his invented instrument, The Crab

◉ Tom Nunn (invented instruments)

Tom Nunn (Bold Italic interview, bio), has designed, built and performed with original musical instruments since 1976, and has built over 200 instruments, including his latest obsession, the visually arresting Skatchbox.

Your mind on Tom Nunn's Lukie Tubes Resonance Plates... Are You Experienced?

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 (2007), T.D. Skatchit & Company (2009) and Skatch Migration (2010) (Edgetone Records). In 1998, he published Wisdom of the Impulse: On the Nature of Musical Free Improvisation.

His next major project will be Oratorea, a multimedia extravaganza involving not only invented instruments, but poetry, dance and who knows what else… look for it at the end of 2015.

◉ For Examiner.com preview of this show: here

———

Experience 1,775 visual pulses course through your body as your consciousness streams to surrealist music — come flicker with us at PianoFight, “SF’s Next Landmark Entertainment Venue”.

どうぞ。。。

Joe

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