San Francisco Scene: December 19-26, 2014

Posted: December 19, 2014 by Mike in Performances

From the Bay Improviser Calendar:

Friday, December 19

Fri 12/19 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Gratkowski/Brown/Winant Trio
Frank Gratkowski, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax
Chris Brown, piano and live electronics
William Winant, vibraphone and percussion
This trio specializes in improvisations that seamlessly meld avant-garde classical, jazz and electronic influences. Extended techniques and interactive electronic signal processing create an original sound-world that transcends its instrumental sources through hybrid timbral and temporal transformations.

Fri 12/19 8:00 PM Turquoise Yantra Grotto [32 Turquoise Way SF]
While renowned for performing experimental music with self-invented instruments, on this special evening Bart and Peter will each perform a set showcasing them as songwriters and bards with their reinvented strings. Bart will perform on his Y-string guitar, floating bridge guitar, wobble steel guitar, deep guitar, and his new semi-self-playing SSP-Strings instrument. Peter Whitehead performs haunting folk tunes accompanied on his hand built ethnic folk instruments from found objects.

Fri 12/19 8:30 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Tawil + Guarino / The Norman Conquest – – get shiny with us
Mike Guarino (percussion, guitar, electronics)
Leyya Tawil (dance)

The Norman Conquest

Fri 12/19 9:30 PM LeQuiVive [1525 Webster Oakland]
NEW MUSIC at LeQuiVive presents Lash/Bruckmann/McCowen/Djll plus Walton/Djll/Perkis/Ingalls plus Lash/Walton Duo

Saturday, December 20

Sat 12/20 7:00 PM 11 Wharf Road [Bolinas]
The Long Breath: Thingamajigs Performance Group convenes with singer-songwriter-scholar Gelsey Bell and Dyemark (Oakland) in an evening of experimental performance and meditations on alternate tunings, durational forms, and new work.

Sat 12/20 8:00 PM Turquoise Yantra Grotto [32 Turquoise Way SF]
Ben Bennett, Bad Jazz, Thomas Carnacki and Pet The Tiger at Turquoise Yantra Grotto.

Sunday, December 21

Sun 12/21 11:00 AM Berkeley Art Museum [2626 Bancroft Way Berkeley]
Let’s Go! A Farewell Revel
December 21, 2014; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A Full Day of Free Events at BAM/PFA
Come celebrate BAM/PFA’s final day of public programs in its 2626 Bancroft Way location before the institution moves to a brand new home in downtown Berkeley in early 2016!
• Dance Battles by the Brilliant TURFinc
• Vibrant Vocals from All-Women Ensemble Kitka
• Performance by Groundbreaking Artist Dohee Lee
• Inspired Sound Art by Chris Kallmyer
• Art-Making for Kids of All Ages with Veronica Graham
• Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique for 100 Metronomes, led by Sarah Cahill

Sun 12/21 8:00 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
Two solos
Set One: Ben Bennett – invented and revisioned instruments
Set Two: The Visitor – Bob Marsh – wearable sound

Friday, December 26

Fri 12/26 7:30 PM Point Richmond Jazz [Point Richmond United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond 94801]
Brothers Matt Eakle, flute and Kit Eakle, violin join forces to celebrate BOXING DAY, Dec. 26, at 7:30 to FUNkify your Holiday Season!

Just Outside Reviews

Posted: December 19, 2014 by Mike in Reviews

From Just Outside:

John Lely – The Harmonics of Real Strings (Another Timbre)
Ryoko Akama/Bruno Duplant/Dominic Lash – next to nothing (Another Timbre)
Jamie Drouin/Lance Austin Olsen – sometimes we all disappear (Another Timbre)
A. F. Jones – rearward through forgottenness (Laminal Recordings)
Morton Feldman – Two Pianos and other pieces, 1953-1969 (Another Timbre)
Nick Storring – Gardens (Scissor Tail Records)
Nick Storring – Endless Conjecture (Orange Milk Records)

Coming to the ISSUE Project Room

Posted: December 19, 2014 by Mike in Performances

From New York’s ISSUE Project Room:

This Land is…
An emergency public meeting hosted by sound adventurer Matana Roberts features the voices of concerned NYC artists on the grand jury verdict of Eric Garner. This is an opportunity for open dialogue in the arts community around problems of policing in urban space.

Featuring speakers Matana Roberts, Melvin Gibbs, Latasha Diggs, Camonghne Felix, Christopher Stackhouse, Tessa Lena, Henry Grimes, Laura Hanna, Ras Moshe, and more.

Peter Evans
Raw and inventive trumpeter Peter Evans closes his residency with a solo performance. Improvisation is used as a method of pressurizing and slowly refining materials from concert to concert; a process of using the known as a catapult to the unknown that is a central focus of Evans’ residency and work at large.

Atomic on Tour in North America

Posted: December 19, 2014 by Mike in Performances

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Atomic, a European free jazz band featuring bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist, trumpeter Magnus Broo, pianist Håvard Wiik and drummer Hans Hulbœkmo:

Atomic North American Tour in Support of Lucidity:

February 3 – Brooklyn, NY – ShapeShifter Lab
February 4 – Cambridge MA -Elizabeth Parks Killian Hall
February 5 – Montreal QC (Canada) – La Salla Rosa
February 6 -Toronto, ONT – The Rex Hotel
February 7 – Hamilton ON (Venue TBA)
February 8 -Buffalo, NY – Hallwals
February 11 – Cleveland OH – Night Town
February 12 – Ann Arbor, MI – Kerrytown Concert House
February 13/February 14- Chicago, IL – Constellation

Upcoming Wordless Music Shows

Posted: December 19, 2014 by Mike in Performances

From New York’s Wordless Music:

Wordless Music

Under the Skin Live
Mica Levi, conductor
wild Up + Wordless Music Orchestra
Regent Theater, Los Angeles
January 6, 2015

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Wordless Music Orchestra
Lost Bayou Ramblers
Symphony Space, NYC
January 23-24, 2015

Max Richter
[string quintet + visuals]
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn
March 20, 2015

From OC Weekly:

Most music fans in OC have no intention of looking under the rug at the sounds that exist in the noisy underbelly of our avant-garde music scene. But you can find them Saturday at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA), where some our most inventive young artists will come to tear the definition of “music” to shreds at a yearly event dubbed the Santa Ana Noise Fest.

sr311Phil Minton + Audrey Chen + Guy Segers + Peter Jacquemyn + Teun Verbruggen – Quintet (Sub Rosa)
Phil Minton + Audrey Chen – By the Stream (Sub Rosa)

Both of these albums, released simultaneously by Sub Rosa, feature the unique talents of Phil Minton and Audrey Chen. Quintet was apparently designed to see how Minton and Chen work together in a jazz-improvisation setting, while the duo album was meant to showcase the particular, and peculiar, vocal improvisatory talents of these two artists.

Chen came to free music by way of years spent at a conservatory studying cello. Indeed, she plays cello as well as using her voice on the Quintet album. Compared to Minton, who has been honing his craft for decades, she’s a newcomer, but she’s seasoned enough to have developed her own approach to ensemble and duo performance. Minton, as mentioned, is well-known for his astounding vocal abilities. I won’t begin to list the sounds he’s capable of here, but they are legion, and uniformly uncanny.

That said, both he and Chen seem to be somewhat at a loss for what to do in the quintet setting. Their performances are mostly sublime, but they don’t seem to be able to engage with the other three players: a drummer, an electric bassist (Guy Segers of Univers Zero), and a double-bassist. And the same goes for the trio. One gets the sense that Minton and Chen are in the same studio as the trio, but neither group knows quite how to proceed in terms of the other, except for Chen’s cello playing, which seems very sympathetic to the group. If listened to for the performances of Chen and Minton, this disc can be quite enjoyable. The last two tracks, dominated by the jazz trio, show that they have a tight rapport and can even bring a little funk into the proceedings. It would be nice to hear more from that trio on its own merits.

By the Stream, the Minton + Chen duo album, in contrast, is a thing of wonder. On every track Minton and Chen come across as alien creatures conversing with each other, either as old friends, or as wary strangers, unsure whether to embrace or fight. On this album, Chen forgoes the cello and puts all of her power into her voice. She tends toward a drone in her vocal improvisations, holding one note for extended periods of time, while Minton is everything and everywhere else – the wind, the voice of a commanding soldier, an existentially distraught man at his very nadir, a baby, – all things that seem to wrap, snake-like, around the solid pole that Chen provides with her steadier vocals. Similar to the work that Jaap Blonk has done with Maja Ratkje, these 14 tracks are otherworldly meetings in a universe that you should be glad you only are able to visit sonically. Beautiful, but at the same time frightening, and as with all Minton’s vocal improv work, completely decentralizing.