The first time I really improvised was when I was 19, at a summer chamber music and dance festival. The organizers brought the two divisions together in a room, and asked if any musicians would be willing to try improvising with a dancer. When I got on stage, I had no idea what to do. I just watched the dancer and allowed myself to respond to her gestures – it was physical and visual information that informed what to play. What I remember best about that experience was the last 10 or 15 seconds: she was spinning, very fast. I matched this movement by going way up the fingerboard and trilling. As I was doing this, at a certain point, I had the uncanny feeling that she was about to crash to the ground. I just went with it, and slid all the way down to the low end of the cello, the bottom of the C string. She and I hit the bottom at exactly the same time. I was astounded, and excited. The music no longer had to come from the page. It could come from other places – a dancer, my own ideas. This was the first big step in finding my voice as an improviser and composer.
Exploring ideas surrounding self-created mythologies and invented languages, it’s one of the more unique projects to come from Brooklyn-based label RVNG Intl., who are releasing a long overdue collection of archival tracks from yeasteryear called Breadwoman and Other Tales tomorrow. Mainly the work of LA-based artist Anna Homler, who linked up with composer Steve Moshier to create sounds meant to transcend time, genre and conventional performance modes, we knew we had to speak to Homler herself ahead of the release. Below, we chat about everything from her cultured character to gluten intolerance to the universality of carbs. Feast upon a dearth of bread-related puns below, along with some vibey music that’ll be perfect for that next wine and cheese night.
Source: I Care If You Listen.
Dr. Leah Barclay is a true inter-disciplinarian. A scientist, composer, and artist, she creates immersive site-specific performances and installations to connect audiences with the environment and teach them to listen to the sounds around them. Last year, she designed WIRA: an interactive app designed for the Noosa River in Queensland, Australia, inviting listeners to experience sound art, stories, and field recordings as they walked along the banks. She has also been working on Biosphere Soundscapes: a network of installations, field labs, and art platforms based in UNESCO biosphere reserves around the world.
Source: Jazz Right Now.
In a generation crowded with trumpet talent, Jaimie Branch has emerged in recent years as a unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part. At times fierce and direct, her scintillating tone also has the ability to ignite music from within while propelling a group organically. In 2015, Branch exploded onto the New York scene, quickly building associations with many of the other key innovators such as Brandon Lopez, Shayna Dulburger, Chris Welcome, Sam Weinberg, Chris Pitsiokos, Max Johnson, Kevin Shea, Jason Ajemian, Weasel Walter, Jason Nazary, Nathanial Morgan, Mike Pride, and Chad Taylor.
Source: All About Jazz.
I consider myself a “jazz musician.” I know this word is defined in many different ways. My work fits in the jazz tradition because it’s based on improvisation..it’s based on learning one’s craft..it’s based on written out music in many cases..it’s based on traditional duo, trio, quartet and sextet settings. I use a Ludwig drum kit. It is set up traditionally: one tom, bass drum, floor tom, two cymbals, high hat, and a snare. Usually this is my preferred set up. I’m hoping that many of the projects I have happening will be recorded and performed live. Many musicians and the relationships that have been building will come to fruition. As this occurs, I will experience the beauty of this music… and I will continue to play.
The harmonic sound-scapes Susan Alcorn creates with her pedal steel have become part of the broad effort to recover the experimental root of the different branches of folk genres, a project shared by musicians ranging from Takoma-label primitivism to Pauline Oliveros‘ accordian compositions to Ono’s punk gospel. Listening to Alcorn’s work — from her early recordings to her new album Soledad — one hears her stretching the pedal steel guitar’s ambient country strains through free jazz, minimalist drone, and a variety of world musics. The effect is an inspired transversal of contemporary and traditional genres.
Source: David Lizerbram & Associates.
Not everyone who goes to L.A. makes it big, but some people who are from there can go all the way. Today we speak with Nels Cline, guitarist for indie rock megastars Wilco and longtime solo artist (including with his band The Nels Cline Singers) and collaborator with countless other music legends. Nels talks about growing up in West L.A.; being “one half” of a set of twins; cultural music lessons in public school; and inspiration from Ravi Shankar.