Cellist-Composer Okkyung Lee’s ‘The Crow Flew After Yi Sang’ Reviewed

Okkyung Lee

Cover of Okkyung Lee

The latest release from Okkyung Lee garners a lengthy review:

Since her first release in 2005, cellist and composer Okkyung Lee has quickly positioned herself as one of the premier Korean purveyors of avant-garde classical music. To the uninitiated listener, Okkyung’s recordings may at first appear obtuse to the point of being unapproachable. They weave seamlessly between harsh sound and lithe sonority, between true noise and genuine music.

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AKOUSMA @EMPAC on November 1

English: East Entrance of the Experimental Med...

East Entrance of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center

From Troy, New York’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center:

An acousmatic music performance in the open spaces of EMPAC highlighting the best works from the annual AKOUSMA festival in Montréal, Quebec. Known as “cinema for the ear,” acousmatic music is a compositional form traditionally presented in the dark to help focus and intensify the audience’s sense of hearing. In this performance, EMPAC will be appointed with dozens of specially placed loudspeakers while the audience is seated throughout the building’s lobby and the public hallways across its nine floors. Composers and performers will jointly manipulate their pieces in real-time, creating an all-encompassing aura as electronic sound moves throughout the building.

This event will include performances by Adam Basanta (CA), Olivia Block (US), Gilles Gobeil (CA), Seth Nehil (US), and Louis Dufort (CA).

Seth Nehil makes sound for listening, performance, and installation. Over the last 15 years he has crafted a unique and unusual sonic world, mixing acoustic and electronic sources, field recordings, granular synthesis, and voice. He has released over 15 albums and has collaborated with dance companies, performers, and video artists.

Olivia Block creates original sound compositions for concerts, site-specific multi-speaker installations, live cinema, and performance. Her compositions often include field recordings, chamber instruments, and electronic textures. Block creates scores for large ensemble, string quartet, and orchestra. Her solo performances include partially improvised pieces for inside piano, electronics, and amplified objects, presented in a slow and deliberate gestural style that Steve Smith of the New York Times described recently as having “palpable sensations of volition and emotional involvement.” She also creates multimedia works for sounds and video.

Adam Basanta is an award-winning composer and media artist whose work traverses electroacoustic and instrumental composition, audiovisual installations, site-specific interventions, laptop performance, and dynamic light design. His work explores notions of listening and audiovisual perception, the re-animation of quotidian objects, and the articulation of site and space.

Gilles Gobeil has been focusing his work on acousmatic and mixed music since 1985. His works fall close to what is called “cinema for the ear.” Many of his pieces have been inspired by literary works and attempt to let us see through sound.

The music of Montréal composer Louis Dufort ranges from a cathartic form of expressionism mostly found in his early works to organicism focusing on the inner structure of sound matter in his latest works. Although he first developed his style through electroacoustic music, he quickly delved into mixed music and multimedia music, which drew attention from a number of extremely diverse Montréal-based organizations.

AMN Picks of the Week: Mostly Other People Do The Killing / Bogdo Ula / Emanuele di Raymondi / The Grip / Tomas Fujiwara Trio

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Blue (2014)
Bogdo Ula – Cult of the Harmonic Oscillation (2014)
Emanuele di Raymondi – Buyukberber Variations (2012)
The Grip (Peters / Marshall / Skinner) – Celebrate (2014)
Tomas Fujiwara Trio – Variable Bets (2014)

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

From Free Jazz:

Ton Trio II – On and On (Singlespeed Music, 2014) ****
François Tusques & Don Cherry – La Maison Fille Du Soleil (Cacophonic, 2014)
Marc Ducret – Tower-Bridge (Ayler Records, 2014) ****
Max Johnson – The Prisoner (NoBusiness, 2014) ****
Peter Jacquemyn – Dig Deep (ChampdAction, 2014) ****
Mike Majkowski – Why Is There Something Instead Of Nothing (Bocian, 2014) ****
Margarida Garcia – The Leaden Echo (Headlights, 2014) ****
Tom Blancarte – The Shortening Of The Way (Tubapede, 2014) ****
Louis-Michel Marion – 5 Strophes (Kadima, 2014) ****
Ryan McGuire – Civilian (Bandcamp, 2013) ***½
James Ilgenfritz – Compositions (Braxton) 2011 (Infrequent Seams, 2012)
Shayna Dulberger – The Basement Recordings (Self, 2011)
Paul Rogers – Solo (Bootleg, 1986)
Yoni Kretzmer – Protest Music (Out Now Recordings, 2014) ****

An interview with Vijay Iyer

Vijay Iyer

Cover of Vijay Iyer

From the Chicago Reader:

nist and composer Vijay Iyer belongs to a breed apart, alongside the likes of pianist and fellow MacArthur “genius” Jason Moran, drummer and bandleader Tyshawn Sorey, and flutist and music professor Nicole Mitchell—they all move with confidence among styles and artistic disciplines. Iyer’s oeuvre has its roots in jazz’s improvisational impulse but expands from there to encompass chamber music, abstract electronics, hip-hop, Indian classical music, and more. (He also has a PhD in the cognitive science of music.) Last year he was named a MacArthur fellow, and earlier this year he joined the music faculty at Harvard University.

Along Came Ra Fest in Washington DC

A 3-day celebration of Sun Ra, featured in CapitalBop:

October 31, 2014 @ 8:00 pm
Sun Ra Arkestra, feat. Bernie Worrell (‘Along Came Ra’ fest) @ Lincoln Theatre | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
No one, no thing, no idea in jazz was more extravagant and paranormal and perfectly suited for Halloween than Sun Ra. This weekend, the Along Came Ra festival celebrates the jazz pianist, composer, bandleader…

November 1, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Sun Ra Artists Talk (‘Along Came Ra’ fest) @ Pop-up Ra Gallery | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
As part of this weekend’s “Along Came Ra” festival marking the 100th centennial of Sun Ra’s terrestrial landing, a panel of artist-experts will weigh in on the legacy of jazz’s ambassador to the cosmos.

November 2, 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Burnt Sugar Arkestra & OOO (‘Along Came Ra’ fest) @ Liv Nightclub | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
In the closing jamboree of this weekend’s “Along Came Ra” festival celebrating the 100th birthday of Sun Ra, the Burnt Sugar Arkestra will bring its ecstatic meld of Afro-futurism, absurdist groove and spontaneous togetherness…

Nels Cline & Julian Lage on Tour

Nels Cline

Cover of Nels Cline

Guitarists Nels Cline and Julian Lage are touring to support their new recording, Room:

Nels Cline & Julian Lage Tour:
11/18 – Baltimore, MD – Patterson Theatre
11/20 – Albany, NY – The Egg
11/21 – Burlington, VT – The First Unitarian Church
11/22 – Portland, ME – Space Gallery
11/25 – New York, NY – Subculture