Avant-Garde From Eastern Europe, in Unsound Festival


From NYTimes.com:

On Thursday Mr. Schulz will open the first Unsound Festival New York, a 10-day series of concerts, film screenings, panel discussions and exhibitions in spaces throughout the city, in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. The festival’s attractions will include Mr. Schulz’s personal sound postcard collection, mounted for curiosity seekers to see and hear at the Devotion Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The wide range of offerings in Mr. Schulz’s inaugural New York event shows how far Unsound has developed from its start as a relatively modest electronic-music festival

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New on Alien8 Recordings


From Alien8 Recordings:

Coming Feb 09, 2010:
Blessure Grave: Judged By Twelve, Carried By Six
Judged By Twelve, Carried By Six is the debut full-length release by Blessure Grave. Founded as a duo by T. Graves and Reyna Kay in September 2008, the band blurs the lines between the Goth, Post Punk and Neo Folk genres. The pair has since developed the project into a full band while building a cult-like following, scattering various vinyl and tape releases on boutique labels around the globe.

Coming Feb 09, 2010:
Aidan Baker: Liminoid/Lifeforms
While Alien8 Recordings has had the pleasure of releasing three full-length albums by Aidan Baker’s ambient doom project Nadja, as well as his collaborative effort Fantasma Parastasie with Tim Hecker, this marks our first solo release with the artist. Although we consider Liminoid/Lifeforms to be a solo effort, there are in fact no less than eight guest musicians helping out on the recording.

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New on Utech Records


From Utech Records:

Lasse Marhaug > Beauty Without Mercy > Utech Records > URCD042
To mark Utech Records’ five-year anniversary Lasse Marhaug recorded a piece of music titled Beauty Without Mercy. The mad, mad, mad Justin Bartlett illustrated a portrait of Marhaug and his internal twin for the cover. Endless thanks to both. To be listened to on proper speakers due to the prominent low frequencies.

Hasegawa-Shizuo > Lift > Utech Records > URCD029/Shokyo2
Hasegawa was the lead singer of seminal early eighties Japanese punk/hardcore group Aburadako (Greasy Octopus), while Uchida was a long-term member of Haino’s Nijiumu medieval dream-drone unit. The recording is the result of unedited improvisation. A beatific recording filled with light and avidity.

Ural Umbo > Utech Records > URCD040
Ural Umbo is Reto Mäder (Sum of R, RM74) and Steven Hess (On, Haptic) electrifying internal music through a broad spectrum of instrumentation. Horns, piano, organ, harmonium, bass guitar, strings, electronics, drums and percussion guide the formation of black, subliminal melodies and slow feedback accompaniments. Each piece consumes the organic and dynamically balanced process that created it. With a nod to 1960s horror movie scoring Mäder and Hess displace sound from the veil of the supernatural and coax it back to our world. Presented in a heavy black/white sleeve with white translucent paper overlay. Photograph by Rik Garrett.

Ural Umbo > Latent Defects > Utech Records > FLAC/MP3 > UR043
Sister EP to the s/t debut release. Utilizing source material from the original recordings, Latent Defects is an meeting of bleak atmospherics and wintry incantation.

Architeuthis Rex > Dark as the Sea > Utech Records > URCD041
Architeuthis rex. Leviathan. King. Magnificent sea dweller and haunter of the dreams of Italian artist Antonio Gallucci. Dark as the Sea is that dream, each of the seven recordings an aperture into a horrific underwater world filled with the fear of what lies outside. Together, the album is a kaleidoscope of Don Cherry’s Brown Rice, backward masked King Tubby acetates, strange strings, outer space broadcasts of unholy funeral rites, mescaline, Native American percussion and metaphysical drone. Illustration by John Rockwell.

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Roulette in March


From New York’s Roulette:

Adam Rudolphs Go Organic Orchestra
Mon Mar 8, 15, 22, 29 – 8:30 PM
Composer Adam Rudolph returns with another series for Go: Organic Orchestra. In concert he will conduct between 20 – 35 musicians in a spontaneous way, using a newly created score of music/letter grids, language themes, tone rows, traditional and synthetic scales, diadic and intervalic harmonies, The compositions will also utilize Rudolph’s rhythm concept of “Cyclic Verticalism” to generate form and weave what he calls an “audio syncretic music fabric”. The music is “organic” in the sense that the compositions and conducting exist as an inspiration and context for the musicians to express themselves by using their instruments as an amplifier for their inner voice.

Denman Maroney Quintet: Udentity and other works
Thu Mar 11 – 8:30 PM
The Denman Maroney Quintet comes to Roulette with a performance of Maroney’s extended work Udentity, which was created with support from Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation Program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Denman Maroney is known for his “hyperpiano” style, which involves playing the keys with one hand and the strings with the other using copper bars, brass bowls and other objects, and his system of temporal harmony, which he uses to compose and improvise in multiple tempos.

Jenny Chai – between-interval
Fri Mar 12 – 8:30 PM
Intervals are not only the physical distances between pitches. What worth contemplating is the different use of intervals by composers: its succession; its variety of intensity; its colors, etc. Contemporary pianist Jenny Q Chai presents the music of great composers with their unique treatments of intervals, thus showing expression, emotion and even ecstasy. After one follows and explores the depth of intervals, one might discover the final result: between-interval. Chai has performed in major concert halls in the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall and Rockefeller Center in New York, Kimmel Center, Academy of Music, Field’s Hall in Philadelphia, Kneisle Hall in Maine, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Kravis Center in Florida. Her awards include Logos Award 2008, Kil’s International Piano Competition in Sweden; Steinway Young Artist International Competition and Five Towns Art & Music Foundation International Piano Competition in New York, among many others.

Maria Chavez
Sat Mar 13 – 8:30 PM
Born in Peru, avant-turntablist Maria Chavez currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. With a collection of new and broken needles that she calls “pencils of sound” and a selection of records, she creates electro-acoustic sound pieces. Chavez made her New York City debut in a duet with Thurston Moore, collaborated with Otomo Yoshihide as part of the 2007 Wien Modern Festival, and recently shared a stage with Pauline Oliveros and Lydia Lunch during Vienna’s Phonofemme Festival 2009. Having also performed at such internationally acclaimed venues as STEIM (Amsterdam) and Sonoteca (Lima, Peru), she was awarded a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant by New York’s Roulette Intermedium in 2008 and was recently selected to be a recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship which is generously offered to young sound artists by The Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust.

Mary Halvorson Quintet
Thu Mar 18 – 8:30 PM
Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson premieres a set of new pieces for the Mary Halvorson Quintet as well as material from her upcoming release on Firehouse 12 Records. Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. In addition to her own band, The Mary Halvorson Trio, she co-leads a chamber music duo with violist Jessica Pavone and the avant-rock band, People, with drummer Kevin Shea. A veteran of the ensembles of esteemed saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton, she has also performed with groups led by Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Trevor Dunn, Tomas Fujiwara, Curtis Hasselbring, Tony Malaby, Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell, Jason Moran, Marc Ribot, Matana Roberts, Elliott Sharp, John Tchicai and Matthew Welch among many others.

Tom Swafford
Fri Mar 19 – 8:30 PM
Lately violinist/composer Tom Swafford has felt adrift in a sea of musical genres, each one with its own set of aesthetic criteria and performance practice. Tom has reached the point where he wants to define exactly what his compositional voice is. This concert uses this well-worn cliché (The Real Me) as a unifying theme for the variety of his compositions presented. The centerpiece of the concert, This is the Real Me, a distilled opera written for vocalist/performer Gelsey Bell, addresses the issue of not just musical but personal self-definition through extended vocal techniques, a variety of musical styles, facial expressions and physical gestures. The text of Your (so called) Music (for spoken word artist Lee Todd Lacks and 12 piece string orchestra) is a vitriolic piece of hate mail Tom received after his last composition concert. Hecklepiece, for solo performer and hecklers, deals with some of the issues faced by musicians and composers-for-hire who must tailor their art to the demands of others. In this concert, Swafford is asking: “When given absolute freedom to create the music I want, without being subject to anyone else’s aesthetic criteria, what would that music be?” Also on the program is music for woodwind quintet, solo piano, banjo and string orchestra.

Childrens Concert with David Grollman
Sat Mar 20 – 2:00 PM
Sock puppets converse and intermingle with the sounds of drums, trumpet, cello, balloons, toys and voices in this exciting concert for kids! David Grollman, Brad Henkel and Valerie Kuehne are a trio of all-purpose drums, trumpet and cello who perform freely improvised musict, supplemented by happy environmental hazards, noisemaking toys and found objects, including audience members, children, and unknown animals. Anything is game. Anything may be a participant as they fearlessly experiment, all but self-flagellating if the musical conversation calls for it. Artist, instrument, audience, and environment become ambiguous terms, conspiring in a theatrical exploration of chance dynamics and serendipitous exchanges, enabled by the skillful ease with which David, Valerie and Brad play.

Deviant Shakti: LaDonna Smith & Michael Evans
Sat Mar 20 – 8:30 PM
Dedicated music moving in the moment. LaDonna Smith, well known as a “devilish” fiddler and exponential avant-gardist on the viola, a forceful proponent of the American free improvisation movement in the South. She is not only a riveting performer, but also an active producer, presenter, and publisher, with plans to host a regional festival celebrating the 30 year anniversary of “the improvisor” in 2010. Michael Evans is an improvising drummer/percussionist/thereminist/composer whose work investigates and embraces the collision of sound and theatrics. As well as being a drum set player, his work with unusual sound sources includes found objects, homemade instruments, the theremin and various digital and homemade analog electronics. His work with the theremin varies the quality of its sound through set-up and technique. LaDonna Smith and Michael Evans, present their joyful collaboration, DEVIANT SHAKTI.

INTERPRETATIONS: Sean Heim / Chinary Ung
Thu Mar 25 – 8:00 PM
Challenging and deeply personal contemporary solo and chamber music from a distinguished and renowned elder composer and an acclaimed former protégé. Chinary Ung is the first American composer to win the highly coveted International Grawemeyer Award (sometimes called the Nobel prize for music composition). The evening’s works include Ung’s Seven Mirrors and Heim’s In The Between (Reflections On The Six Bardos), both for solo piano. Ensemble works include Ung’s Spiral IX baritone, viola, percussion and Heim’s Holomovements, for oboe, violin, viola, double bass, and piano.

Childrens Concert with Ivan Rodriguez
Sat Mar 27 – 2:00 PMBronx native, Ivan Rodriguez studied Jazz drumming with Kenwood Dennard and Charlie Persip while attending A.C.S.M at Queens College. His interest in Latin Percussion led him to the Johnny Colon school and later to the Boys Harbor conservatory where he took lessons with John Berdeguer and Jerome Goldschmidt. In 2001, he had the opportunity of studying drumset and percussion with master cuban percussionists through the Chuck Silverman Project. Ivan has worked with Alex Cuba, the Toasters, the Interns, Peter Fluid Foundation, 3 Clock Prophet, Carl Royce and many others. He has shared the stage with such acts as a Tribe called Quest, Oingo Boingo, The Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, Third World, Lady Blacksmith Mombazo and has enjoyed performing in a variety of Dance and Theater productions as well. Ivan continues to perform and record regularly with various artists and conducts drum clinics, workshops and children’s concerts.

William Hooker – The Keys (with Adam Lane, Dave Ross, and Chris Dimeglio)
Sat Mar 27 – 8:30 PM
William Hooker presents: The Keys, a multi media piece using music, video and word. Inspired by “A Father’s Law” by Richard Wright, the compositions all represent major characters in the novel through diverse timbre and sonic abstraction. William Hooker is an artistic whole, a vast circle of vision and execution. A body of uninterrupted work beginning in the mid-seventies defines him as one of the most important composers and players in jazz. Tonight William Hooker is joined by Adam Lane, Dave Ross, and Chris Dimeglio.

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Matana Roberts Interview and Profile


Matana Roberts @ ATP Curated by The Dirty Three
Image via Wikipedia

All About Jazz speaks on Matana Roberts.

John Zorn has invited the Chicagoan alto saxophonist Matana Roberts to curate at The Stone. The most common practice is for a month to be shared by two artists, but Roberts has all of January to herself. It’s a sign of an omnivorous musical appetite that she’s struggled to cram all of her dream-choices into a mere four weeks. It’s also unusual for an artist not to showcase several of their own band permutations. Showing remarkable restraint, Roberts will only be performing on a single evening, as part of Zorn’s monthly rent party.

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Musique Machine Reviews


From Musique Machinee:

Vomir – Untitled
‘Untitled’ is another fierce, impenetrable & thick slice of HNW making from the French master of the genre Vomir. This CDR offers up one long form slice of crusty & crunching wall making that slides in just under the hour mark.

Eidulon – Idolatriae
‘Idolatriae’ is a slowly shifting & textural changing, often abstract & grimly surreal take on the dark ambient genre. Eidulon are Italian based project & this is their first release which has been macabre worked on & darkly developed over a two year period between 2004 & 2006.

The Ex – 30
‘30’ celebrates thirty creative sonic years of the highly respected, influential and ahead of their time experimental Dutch collective The Ex; & their shifting sound from Anarcho-punk origins onto jazz, folk, improv & beyond.

Tissa Mawartyassari/Messes Noires – Split
This is a two-way HNW Split between Mexican project Tissa Mawartyassari( featuring Maria Velasquez-Soto) & Texas project Messes Noires (William Cast, Richard Ramirez and Geoff Markoff)- each act offers up a near on half an hour of fierce wall attack.

JW Farquhar – The Formal Female
‘The Formal Female’ is the work of a man alone with his bitterness after being spurned by a woman he’s spent all his money on.

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Sonomu Reviews


From Sonomu:

Tim Catlin & Machinefabriek, Glisten (Low Point)
The extended family of Machinefabriek collaborators continues to grow, as English label Low Point announces Rutger Zuydervelt´s first duet with Australian guitarist Tim Catlin with a bold red cover. In execution, it is a sort of remix project, with Catlin recording roughly half a dozen guitar… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 06:33, 30 Jan 2010

Banabila, Precious Images (Steamin´ Soundworks)
Unfolding Michel Banabila´s Precious Memories is like opening up an old chest filled with old wind-up toys and brightly-wrapped candies. You want to bury both arms up to the elbow, pulling out one trinket after the other to play with, admire, or slowly savour before moving on to the next. … [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 03:54, 24 Jan 2010

Lena & The Floating Roots Orchestra, Lost Wax (Plush)
Mathias Delplanque is a many-sided artist and incarnated as Lena his hybrid jazz-dub aspirations, hinted at on previous solo releases, come to full fruition by assembling an unlikely cast of players and wordsmiths. It may well be the best album you haven´t heard in a very long time. Taking the… [read]
Posted by Stephen Fruitman at 08:49, 20 Jan 2010

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times


Steven Bernstein live at Saalfelden 2009
Image via Wikipedia

From NYTimes.com:

STEVEN BERNSTEIN’S MILLENNIAL TERRITORY ORCHESTRA (Thursday) This brashly exuberant little big band, led by the slide trumpeter and arranger Steven Bernstein, dusts off assorted vintages, with an emphasis on dirty swing. The band’s ranks include serious improvisers, including the clarinetist Doug Wieselman, the saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum, the trombonist Clark Gayton and the drummer Ben Perowsky. At 10 p.m., 55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, West Village , (212) 929-9883, 55bar.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)20100128

ELEVATION (Friday) This reflective ensemble, conceived by the pianist Lucian Ban and organized around the playing of the tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton, further includes an adaptable rhythm section, with John Hébert on bass and Eric McPherson on drums. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village , (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $12, with a $6 minimum. (Chinen)20100128

CHAD TAYLOR AND CIRCLE DOWN (Friday) Mr. Taylor, a versatile and texture-aware drummer, functions as the first of equals in this exploratory trio, which also features the lyrical pianist Angelica Sanchez and the responsive bassist Chris Lightcap. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village , thestonenyc.com; $10. (Chinen)

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Classical Music Listings From the New York Times


In NYTimes.com:

AMERICAN COMPOSERS ORCHESTRA (Friday) This adventurous ensemble, conducted by Anne Manson, offers an intriguing lineup of new works, including the world premieres of Roger Zare’s “Time-Lapse” and Sebastian Currier’s “Next Atlantis” for String Orchestra, Video and Pre-Recorded Sounds. The concert also includes the New York premiere of Paquito D’Rivera’s “Conversations With Cachao,” inspired by Cuban traditional music. Mr. D’Rivera performs on clarinet and alto saxophone. At 7:30 p.m., Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall , (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; $38 and $48. (Schweitzer)20100128

AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (Friday) The pioneering California-born composer Henry Cowell was creating and performing works for “prepared pianos” (pianos with objects stuck in the strings) 30 years before John Cage. Cowell (1897-1965) also did breakthrough and influential explorations of Asian music and electronic resources. He left a large body of stunningly original orchestra works, several of which will be performed in an all-Cowell concert by the conductor Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra. Where else can you hope to hear Cowell’s 1962 Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra? Or two of his 21 symphonies? And all seats cost just $25. At 8 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center , (212) 868-4444, americansymphony.org. (Tommasini)20100128

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (Monday) Elliott Carter composed “Dialogues,” a single-movement concerto in the form of a conversation for piano and orchestra, way back in 2003, when he was only 94. The scintillating French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard plays the piece at Carnegie Hall with James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Expect Mr. Carter, now 101, to attend. Mr. Aimard will also play Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand. Mr. Levine’s generous program includes Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé ” Suite No. 2 and Berlioz’s “Harold in Italy,” with the violist Steven Ansell as soloist. At 8 p.m., 20100128

UNSOUND FESTIVAL NEW YORK (Thursday) Unsound Festival, an experimental-music series founded in 2003 and based in Krakow, Poland, presents its first New York incursion with the help of several local partner organizations, including Wordless Music, the Bunker, Issue Project Room and the Goethe-Institut New York. The opening event indicates the expansive terrain Unsound covers: tshe Finnish electronica musician Vladislav Delay collaborates with Lillevan, a German video artist; and Sebastian Meissner, a German electronic musician also known as Klimek, joins the exciting Polish new-music quartet Kwartludium in a project inspired by the seminal American punk-rock record label SST. (Through Feb. 14.) At 8:30 p.m., David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center , (212) 875-5000, unsound.pl/en; free. (Smith)

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