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.

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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.

5049 Records Podcast: Lea Bertucci

From 5049 Records:

Lea Bertucci is a composer, bass clarinetist and sound artist who now resides in Hudson, New York. She is an interdisciplinary artist and she spent much of her 7+ years in New York City putting on house shows with an emphasis on creating an inviting environment in which excellent music could take place. For this talk, Lea and I discuss her experience as a curator, frustrations with getting ones work heard, and her recent move upstate to have more space and peace in which to create.

Interview with Tomas Fujiwara

111031-Thirteenth Assembly--JT-26

111031-Thirteenth Assembly–JT-26 (Photo credit: axesjazzpower)

From Jazz Right Now:

Cisco Bradley: You played with the Matana Roberts Quartet. I would love to hear about your involvement with that. Maybe I am wrong, but it was my impression that that band never recorded.

Tomas Fujiwara: There actually is a record, a live record, called The Calling, it was basically done on the room mic at Zebulon at one of our gigs. We had a regular gig there about once a month or once every six weeks.

Nate Wooley Interviews Anthony Braxton

Anthony Braxton

Cover of Anthony Braxton

From BOMB Magazine:

Anyone possessing a passing familiarity with Anthony Braxton as a public figure has probably fallen prey to the caricature of him as a bespectacled, musical “mad scientist” in a cardigan sweater. As a caricature it is not far off, but it only addresses the surface trappings of a singular saxophonist, composer, and man of incredible depth and power. From his earliest days as part of Chicago’s AACM to the present third millenium, Braxton has used a saxophone and a pencil to radically define a new, non-genre specific, musical language, making him the persona sui generis of the modern American iconoclast.

Oren Ambarchi Interview

Oren Ambarchi

Cover of Oren Ambarchi

From The Quietus:

From modest beginnings, in the last two decades Oren Ambarchi has risen to become one of the world’s best-known experimental musicians, whose work crosses genres and boundaries with ease. His initial fame arose from a series of solo records released by Touch that brought him recognition more in electronic circles than in the improvised music world where much of his work now resides, but Ambarchi has never been one to stand still for long. Initially inspired by Japanese noise hero Keiji Haino to find his own approach to the guitar, the Australian went from admirer of the Japanese legend to a friend and performing partner in barely a decade, and they now regularly record and play together in various formations. At this point, Ambarchi’s list of collaborators on record is as impressive for its length as for the names it contains – as well as Haino, it includes Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, Jim O’Rourke, Fire!, Z’EV, Fennesz and Robin Fox – many of whom have made important contributions to 20th and 21st century experimental music.

Ed Palermo Interview

From All About Jazz:

It’s been twenty years since saxophonist-composer-arranger Ed Palermo and his Big Band began playing the music of Frank Zappa. Twenty years, not a lot of bread but a whole lot of love from fans and musicians alike. Oh No! Not Jazz!! on Cuneiform Records marks the band’s fourth Zappa album and the third for that remarkable independent label but it also adds something new to the mix. It’s a double CD set with the second CD devoted to Palermo’s own stuff and proof, were it needed, of the diversity of his talent.

Interview with Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp

Cover of Matthew Shipp

From Jazz Right Now:

In the early 80s—seemed in the downtown avant scene there was really a separation between the so-called black school and white school—seems to me having everyone—white and black play at the knitting factory sort of brought the idea of downtown avant more together as opposed to a William Parker-type school and a John Zorn-type school—but also there was a big division between the uptown straight ahead school with Wynton [Marsalis] as the head honcho—and the downtown school both white and black

5049 Records Podcast: Miguel Frasconi

From 5049 Records:

Miguel Frasconi is a unique and very thoughtful musician. His musical roots run deep in the experimental tradition of New York City and his instrument of choice, glass, is a clear reflection of that. After spending many years living on the West Coast, Miguel returned to New York ten years ago to care for a sick parent and to put down some new musical roots. The last few years have been very challenging for him and after a lot personal hardship, he is on the verge of releasing some new and exciting music. This is a great talk that goes to some very touching and personal places.

Dominic Lash Interview

Blunt /Tejero/Kaluza /Lash/Carmona

Blunt /Tejero/Kaluza /Lash/Carmona (Photo credit: miss HECKER)

From Bang the Bore:

Dominic Lash is a double bassist, improviser, and composer, based in Bristol. Like most of us he’s also a lot of other things, including in his case a writer, a cat owner, an organiser of concerts, a poor whistler, and fine company. But keeping just to his music, Lash has performed in more than a few countries of the world with a huge array of musicians ranging from Tony Conrad to Steve Reid with detours to take in the likes of Joe Morris and Evan Parker; in the course of this he’s recorded innumerable records of innumerable sorts, all of which contain music. His main projects include The Dominic Lash Quartet, The Set Ensemble (an experimental music group focused on the work of the Wandelweiser collective) and The Convergence Quartet. More at his homepage here.