Source: Crack Magazine.
Born in Kentucky in 1924, Allen first met Sun Ra in Chicago in the late 1950s and soon joined the visionary’s collective of musicians as alto-saxophone, flute and oboe player. The Arkestra’s experimental approach to jazz, which mixed big band with avant-garde compositions, alongside Sun Ra’s claim to be of an “angel race” from Saturn, blazed a trail in jazz music and pioneered the ideology of afrofuturism, influencing artists ranging from George Clinton to techno in- novators such as Derrick May. At 91 years old, Allen’s remarkable energy is still intact, and he continues to lead the Arkestra around the world, spreading the word from outer space.
Source: The Free Jazz Collective.
Sometimes it’s a tactical decision, which saxophone do you wanna take to the airplane because once one of my instruments was almost destroyed since the planes are getting smaller and smaller. But it was a very conscious decision because I love the sound and I wanted to have it right there. I also have a plastic saxophone and sometimes I threaten these guys to use it.
I first heard the didgeridoo in the movie the Last Wave in the late 70′s. Immediately the sound spoke to to me the same way certain organic synth drones did in those days. Eventually I started on the early ideas that would become Dreamtime Return. As fate would have it, I was reading more on aboriginal culture and working on the music when a filmmaker heard my music and contacted me to score a documentary on the Aboriginal Rock painting art of the Australian Aborigines of Cape York. The very book I was reading was part of what the film was drawing from. Soon I was traveling to Australia to experience all this firsthand with a expedition into the deep of the outback and the sacred sites that few westerners had ever seen.
Source: I Care If You Listen.
According to their statistics, Augusta Read Thomas had more of her music performed in 2013-14 than any other living ASCAP composer, and it’s hard to think of a world-class ensemble that hasn’t commissioned or performed her work. She’s an equally prolific teacher. Having taught at Eastman, Northwestern, Tanglewood, and the Aspen Music Festival, she’s now the 16th ever University Professor (one of only 7 current University Professors) at the University of Chicago. In all of this, Augusta is also notable because she never stops working on behalf of other composers and musicians, and much of her current energy is being spent on Ear Taxi Festival, an elaborate festival celebrating new music made in and around Chicago. I had the chance to catch up with Augusta and ask her some questions about Chicago, the new music scene there, and the upcoming festival.
Source: burning ambulance.
John Zorn‘s latest group, Simulacrum, has come out of the gate fast and hard. They’ve released three albums so far this year—a self-titled debut in March, The True Discoveries of Witches and Demons in August, and Inferno in September. November will be the group’s busiest month to date; they’re recording their fourth album, The Painted Bird, and made their live debut on Halloween in Brooklyn, with a short tour, including a show at the Village Vanguard, to follow, after which they’ll record their fifth album before year’s end.
The core ensemble consists of John Medeski on organ, Matt Hollenberg of the art-metal band Cleric on guitar, and Kenny Grohowski of avant-garde black metal band Infernal Triumphant on drums. The music is essentially a high-powered organ trio not unlike Tony Williams Lifetime, but much thrashier and more aggressive, with frequent prog-rock overtones and highly complex melodic structures.
Source: Now Is.
On October 14th, 2015, Ben Remsen and Jason Stein spent a few hours in the former’s living room in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, listening to music related in some way to Jason’s work. To find out more about Jason, what he’s done and what he’s doing, check out jasonsteinmusic.com.
Source: Interview Magazine.
Laurie Anderson is a cultural archeologist, explorer of ideas, of experiences, big and small. She takes it all in, and she takes it all on—everything from asking exactly who and what is America to how to teach tricks to a dog. Laurie puts together and takes apart concepts so deftly that in her hands even the most dissonant of ideas snap together like Legos. She is a sprite of some sort, a lithe spirit, moving between forms and media, between voices—hauntingly beautiful feminine vocals that call us to her and a deeper voice of authority, commanding our attention.