A Beginner’s Guide to the Surreal Music of Frank Zappa

Source: Treblezine.

The discography of Frank Zappa is much like the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Depending on the album you start with, your first impression of what Zappa does will be wildly different. With a career spanning from the Mothers of Invention’s 1966’s psych-rock Freak Out! album to the orchestral Yellow Shark released a month before he died in 1993, delving into his massive catalog might seem daunting. But If you are looking to get into Zappa you have come to the right person. The first album I heard was Frank Zappa Vs the Mothers of Prevention during an acid trip in high school. It piqued my interest—I found a double cassette of Joe’s Garage when I came down, and now 25 years later I am writing this guide to getting into Frank that does not require an eight-hour hallucination. Little did I know, aside from smoking a couple joints in the 60s, Frank was not into drugs, which might come across as a a surprise, considering how crazy his music can get.

Lea Bertucci Interviewed about New Album 

Source: The Wire.

New York City based composer and sound designer Lea Bertucci is about to release her third album via US label NNA Tapes. Called Resonant Field, it comprises of several pieces Bertucci performed on saxophone in Silo City’s Marine A Grain Elevator, a vast and empty building with a 13 second natural decay. She answered some questions about the work over email.

Seattle Scene: July 17-26, 2019

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:


Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center

4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)

Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Rich Pellegrin & Neil Welch
Wed. July 17, 8 PM; $5 – $15 donation at door

Having played together for a decade in a quartet, saxophonist Neil Welch and pianist Rich Pellegrin perform for the first time as a duo. Pellegrin’s playing is noted for its intensity, conviction, directness of expression, and percussive yet sonorous tone quality. Welch is dedicated to expanding the saxophone’s role in modern improvisation. Each will play a solo set before joining forces for a duo set.

Holland Andrews + Bardos/Miranda
Fri. July 19, 8 PM; $5 – $20 donation at door

Seattle Improvised Music Festival event that was snowed out in February. Holland Andrews (PDX) is an extended-technique vocalist and clarinetist combining complex vocal layerings to create all-encompassing cathartic soundscapes traversing a vast terrain ranging from opera and throat singing to noise and ambient. Cellist Ebony Miranda duets with (in absentia) Ambrosia Bardos.

Earshot: FrancescoJazz + Kissyface
Thu. July 18, 7 PM; $5 – $15 online or at door

Earshot’s Jazz: The Second Century series continues. Pianist Francesco Crosara’s eclectic brand of jazz is steeped in the tradition of Italian and European romantic musical heritage and is heavily influenced by improvisation and lyrical expressions drawn from jazz and Latin vocabularies. Multi-instrumentalist and composer Kevin Nortness’ trio Kissyface draws on the talents of Troy Schiefelbein and Mike Gebhart.

Symbion Project + Dahliia
Sat. July 20, 8 PM; $10 – $15 donation at door

Symbion Project (Kasson Crooker) performs work from the ambient album Gishiki and the new dark electronic album Backscatter w/ koto, modular synthesis, field recordings, ultrasonic audio and projections. DAHLIIA (Cindy Reichel & Tom Butcher) convenes several eras of recorded sound, from musique concrète and drone tones to current fusion of modular synthesizer with spatialized sound processing.

Thu. 7/25 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: The 2nd Century, a juried series featuring local artists redefining jazz; Jeremy’s Pyramid Scheme + Xavier Lecouturier Quartet

Fri. 7/26 – Yesod is a meeting of Middle Eastern and Middle Western musical influences where pure musical impulses flux between sound explorations and accessible improvisational hooks

Interview with Alvin Lucier 


Alvin Lucier has spent the past six decades exploring sound—its physical properties, how it moves and morphs in space, and the ways in which we can manipulate our own auditory perception.

His music makes you listen differently. Instead of traditional notions of melody and harmony, his music plays with the very wavelengths of sound itself, placing you in the center of the acoustic phenomena and inviting you to hear the sound as it shifts and unfolds within the space.

We caught up with Lucier at the 2019 Big Ears Festival, which featured performances of his music by Joan La Barbara, the Ever Present Orchestra, and the composer himself—including his most iconic work, I Am Sitting in a Room.

New From Tzadik

Source: Tzadik.

John Zorn : Nove Cantici Per Francesco D’Assisi

Composed for a museum residency at the Frick in New York City, “Nove Cantici” is a beautiful suite of music inspired by the life and thought of the beloved spiritual figure Saint Francis of Assisi. A fitting follow-up to the beautiful and moody acoustic guitar CD “Midsummer Moons” from 2017, here the astounding guitar duo of Julian Lage and Gyan Riley is expanded to a trio with the addition of legendary guitarist Bill Frisell. Ten lovely, spiritual compositions for meditation and contemplation performed by three of the most renown guitarists in the world. An essential release that will appeal to perhaps the widest audience Zorn has ever had.

Bill Frisell: Guitars
Gyan Riley: Guitars
Julian Lage: Guitars

Klezmerson : The Book Beri’ah Vol 6—Tiferet

Based in Mexico, Klezmerson is a super creative ever changing ensemble led by violinist, composer and arranger Benjamin Schwartz. Here they do their critically acclaimed and best selling Book of Angels installment one better with wild arrangements blending a variety of Mexican musical traditions with the sound of Masada. Featuring electric and acoustic strings, keyboards, accordions, saxes and of course a huge array of Latin percussion, Tiferet is one of the most delightful and imaginative CDs in the Book Beri’ah!


Federico Schmucler: Guitar
Mauricio Moro “Osito”: Saxes
Chatran Gonzalez: Percussion
Carina Lopez: Bass
Maria Emilia Martinez: Flute
Carlos Metta: Percussion, Jaranas
Gustavo Nanadayapa: Drums
Benjamin Shwartz: Viola, Piano, Keyboards

Jair Alcala: Accordeon
Todd Clouser: Guitar
Jose Paquito Hernandez: Bajo Sexto
Misha Marks: Horn, Latarra
Omar Medina: Jarana, Leona
Rolando Morejon: Violin
Edson Ontiveros: Violin
Alex Otaola: Guitar
Fausto Palma: Oud, Sarangi
Bernardo Ron: Guitar
Dan Zlotnik: Sax



July 6, 2019
Møster!, Energimølla, Kongsberg
Nikolai Eilertsen Kjetil Møster Olaf Olsen Hans Magnus ‘Snah’ Ryan

July 6, 2019
Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman Quartet featuring Drew Gress and Tom Rainey, Smeltehytta, Kongsberg
Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman Drew Gress Tom Rainey

July 6, 2019
Exoterm, Energimølla, Kongsberg
Kristoffer Alberts Jim Black Nels Cline Rune Nergaard

July 6, 2019
Eirik Hegdal Musical Balloon, Sølvsalen, Kongsberg
Jon Fält Eirik Hegdal Nils-Olav Johansen Eivind Lønning Mattias Ståhl Ole Morten Vågan

July 6, 2019
Summer Strings, Smeltehytta, Kongsberg
Michael Francis Duch Tanja Orning Ilan Volkov John Andrew Wilhite

July 6, 2019
Isabelle Duthoit Solo, Smeltehytta, Kongsberg
Isabelle Duthoit

July 6, 2019
Sofia Jernberg & Agnes Hvizdalek, Smeltehytta, Kongsberg
Agnes Hvizdalek Sofia Jernberg

July 6, 2019
Jonas Cambien Trio, Energimølla, Kongsberg
Jonas Cambien André Roligheten Andreas Wildhagen