An interview with Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O)))

Stephen O'Malley

Cover of Stephen O’Malley

From Brooklyn Vegan:

Upon his return home to Paris after the 2014 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN (and after touching down on four continents in just four weeks, a NYC show at Baby’s All Right included), Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))), Nazoranai and countless other projects, graciously took some time to discuss his three performances at this exceptional U.S. festival with Joshua Ford. Friday’s lineup at Big Ears had O’Malley performing a solo set, focused on the volume/tone/drone aspects of his body of work most commonly associated with Sunn O))). On Saturday the festival reached critical mass at one o’clock am with O’Malley, Oren Ambarchi and Keiji Haino performing a smoldering improvisational set as Nazoranai (who play the Wick in Brooklyn on May 21). A scant nine hours later, at noon on Sunday, O’Malley and Ambarchi switched gears and performed two written compositions by modern composers Alvin Lucier and Iancu Dumitrescu.

Interview with Ava Mendoza

From Jazz Right Now:

Ava Mendoza: I played music ever since I was a little kid. I played classical guitar and classical piano my whole life growing up. I started piano when I was 5 and guitar when I was 7. I got more serious about it just as I was becoming a troubled teenager. I went to Interlochen which is like Oberlin for high school. A boarding school in northern Michigan that is very art focused. I went there for classical guitar. They had a major like in college. I went to there for classical guitar for 3 years and got more serious and more immersed in it there. I was super into it, but at the same time I was listening to tons of punk rock and getting into experimental rock, and free jazz. So at some point I got an electric guitar and started playing with the two other people that I could find who were into improvising together. We just started experimenting. By the end of high school I realized that’s what I wanted, to be doing and I was listening almost exclusively free jazz records at that point. I got out of there and went to Cal Arts (California Institute of the Arts) for one year? Then I took a year off and went to the Mills College. I was more doing electronic music by the time I got to Mills.

Led by Ken Vandermark, Made to Break Pushes the Free-Music Envelope


Ken Vandermark

Cover of Ken Vandermark profiles Ken Vandermark ahead of his South Carolina performance.

“It’s funny, this word jazz,” says Ken Vandermark. “For me, I see jazz as this open methodology and not a stylistic thing. For me, Miles Davis’ electric period, that’s still jazz. It’s just the music’s gone in another direction. Because it needs to.” Vandermark, for his part, has been pushing jazz in exciting directions for decades. A fixture in Chicago’s avant-garde jazz scene since the early ’90s.

Two New Music Festivals to Enliven New York Stages

Carter Burwell

Cover of Carter Burwell


Two contemporary music festivals – one built largely around stars of the burgeoning downtown and Brooklyn scenes, and one examining unusual corners of the composition world – will keep New York concert stages animated in May and June. The starrier of them, the Tribeca New Music Festival, sets up shop at the Cell on May 14, with “Film to Stage,” a program overseen by Douglas J. Cuomo (who composed the theme music for “Sex and the City”), devoted mostly to works originally composed for film, by Carter Burwell, John Corigliano, Frank London, Rob Schwimmer, Bora Yoon, Huang Ruo and Mr. Cuomo himself. The Mise-en Music Festival, presented by the New York-based ensemble mis-en in a partnership with another New York group, the Momenta Quartet, and the Ensemble Paramirabo, from Canada, is part concert series, part master class and part contest.

São Paulo Underground to Tour Europe in May

Rob Mazurek @ Serralheria

Rob Mazurek @ Serralheria (Photo credit: cássio abreu)

From São Paulo Underground’s Rob Mazurek:

May 16, 2014 – Vincenza, Italy
Villa Ghislanzoni Curti – Via S. Cristoforo 73 (loc. Bertesina) – Vicenza, Italy

May 17, 2014 – Forli, Italy
Area Sismica – Via le Ravaldino in Monte Selve, 23, 47121 Forlì Forlì-Cesena, Italy

May 18, 2014 – Foligno, Italy
Young Jazz Festival 2014 – Zut! Ex Cinema Vittoria

May 20, 2014 – Schwaz, Austria
Eremitage – Innsbrucker Str 14, 6130 Schwaz, Austria

May 22, 2014 – Bergen, Norway
Nattjazz Festival – Georgernes Verft 12, 5011, Bergen, Norway

May 24, 2014 – Cerkno, Slovenia
19th Jazz Cerkno 2014 – Trg Prekomorskih Brigad 1

May 25, 2014 – Wels, Austria
Alter Schl8hof Wels – Dragonerstraße 22 4600 Wels, Austria

Boring Machines New and Upcoming Releases

A few new albums from Boring Machines:

La Piramide di Sangue – Sette LP
LA PIRAMIDE DI SANGUE (The bloody pyramid) – is a seven musician ensemble from Torino, Italy. The sound of the band is built on two guitars, two basses, one clarinet, one synth, several effects, drums and percussions. There’s a rich history in psychedelic music, and we all know it. The best trip is always the one yet to be embarked upon. And each trip is different from the one before. You can’t jump into the same lysergic river twice. Don’t even try. Instead, prepare to be washed away by the sonic waves of Sette – a sunbaked stoner trip for both the funky freshman and the psychedelic veteran.
The latter may find traces of Santana’s Caravanserai or Embryo’s Reise when listening – as well as some strong Spiritual Jazz vibes, resembling the Phill Musra Group and the likes. It’s all there and much more.

Maurizio Abate – A Way to Nowhere LP ( released May 16th )
Another co-production, this time with Black Sweat Records, with whom we already shared the Eternal Zio album. Maurizio Abate is a self taught guitarist active since the early 2000s, with an instinctive approach to experimentation. He is always looking for new forms of expression, to mould a personal shape to the blues and to psychedelic matter, mainly driven by a particular fascination for stringed instruments. He has an impressive activity both live and in the studio, alone or as a part of many different projects.

Adriano Zanni – Red Desert Chronicles (Postcards from Ravenna)
This will be our first non musical release, even if this images are so loud you can hear the sound through them. Red Desert Chronicles is a collection of pictures taken by Adriano Zanni aka Punck. Punck released a record titled Piallassa (Red Desert Chronicles) on Boring Machines in 2008, with field recordings and sounds taken from the same area he was born in 1964, same place same year when Michelangelo Antonioni shot his famous movie Red Desert. The collection of pictures is the ideal continuation of Adriano’s wandering around his birthplace.

Dream Weapon Ritual
Simon Balestrazzi is a key figure of italian underground since the early ’80s when he founded T.A.C. (Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata). Since then he has pioneered many different styles from post-industrial noises to electronic soundscapes. His duo with actress/vocalist Monica Serra incorporates electronic and industrial elements, mixed with drones and futuristic folk music. The result is something which tries to defy categorisation, with a dreamy and visionary aspect.