AMN Reviews: Various Artists – Anthology of Contemporary Music from Middle East [Unexplained Sounds Group]

What the Unexplained Sounds Group recently did for the under-known contemporary experimental music of Africa they’ve now done for the equally under-recognized experimental and electronic music of the Middle East. Just as the African anthology made explicit the diversity of the music being made in that consummately diverse continent, the fourteen artists represented on the Anthology of Contemporary Music from Middle East reflect the distinctiveness of the countries and cultures they come from: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine and Turkey.

Although electronics play a prominent role in nearly all of the pieces, each artist handles them in a way that best meets the needs of expression and form. To pick a handful of examples: Thalassa by Dimitris Savva of Cyprus uses sampled and synthesized sounds of tidal waves, seaside field recordings, and voice and bells to create an audio portrait of an island, painted from some of its most salient sounds. Gaza Requiem by Pharoah Chromium Palestine is a moving work of contemporary musique concrète constructed of electronically modified source recordings of voice, drones, and suspenseful, looped fragments of rhythm. Iran’s Nyctallz contributes the dystopian, dark wall of electronic sound of The Humanity Demise, which contrasts with the acoustic plucked strings and traditional rhythms and modes of Prelude for Orpheus by Bahrain’s Hasan Hujairi. Both Cenk Ergun of Turkey and Ahmed Saleh of Egypt offer their own takes on rhythm-driven music, the former with scrambled electronic beats and the latter with minimalist pulse music.

Like the anthology of contemporary African music, the anthology of Middle Eastern music is required listening for anyone interested in the broad world of sound.

https://unexplainedsoundsgroup.bandcamp.com/album/anthology-of-contemporary-music-from-middle-east

Daniel Barbiero

Coming to the ISSUE Project Room

Source: ISSUE Project Room.

FLUTTER ECHO: LIVING WITHIN SOUND – DAVID TOOP & TANIA CAROLINE CHEN
Wed 18 Sep, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
ISSUE is pleased to present a conversation and performance from renowned musician and author David Toop alongside free improviser and composer Tania Caroline Chen — both artists’ debut appearance at ISSUE. The evening celebrates the publication of Toop’s autobiography Flutter Echo: Living Within Sound.

Artists-In-Residence 2019
LINDSAY PACKER: CALL AND RESPONSE: TRANSPOSITION WITH ANAÏS MAVIEL
Sat 21 Sep, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
Lindsay Packer premieres her second work as a 2019 Artist-In-Residence, a collaboration with composer and performer Anaïs Maviel. Revealing the subliminal complexity within the synaesthetic wave behaviors of light and sound, Packer and Maviel conjure the harmonics inherent in their fast-traveling wave forms.

Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellowship 2019
LOVECONDUCTORS: GHOUL|TAKE III
Wed 25 Sep, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
loveconductors presents “ghoul|take III,” curated by 2019 Curatorial Fellow Benedict Nguyen. Directed by Shantelle Courvoisier, loveconductors is a human movement project feat. Renée Colbert, Justin Faircloth, Maestro Flux, Ube Halaya, Shiloh Hodges, Samantha Lysaght, Light McAuliffe, Madeline Warriner, and slowdanger.

MOOR MOTHER / JERUSALEM IN MY HEART
Sat 28 Sep, 2019, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
ISSUE presents Moor Mother, the viscerally charged output of Philadelphia-based musician, poet, visual artist, and activist Camae Ayewa + new work from Jerusalem In My Heart. The evening spans both projects’ enduring interest in exploring both ancestral and contemporary narratives through powerful sound.

RHYS CHATHAM: THE SUN TOO CLOSE TO THE EARTH / JONATHAN KANE & ZEENA PARKINS: ON, SUZANNE
Fri, Oct 4th & Sat, Oct 5th 8pm
ISSUE presents the world premiere of The Sun Too Close to the Earth, an expansive new ensemble work by iconoclast composer Rhys Chatham. The performance is presented as a part of the French Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing The Line Festival and also features work from Zeena Parkins & Jonathan Kane.

JACK Quartet Announces 2019-2020 Season 

Source: Broadwayworld.

The 2019-2020 season sees the innovative JACK Quartet continuing to push the boundaries of contemporary music, with a series of performances in the ensemble’s hometown of New York City, tours to Europe in both the Fall and Spring, numerous premieres of new works, performances of the complete quartets of John Zorn and Clara Iannotta, the inaugural JACK Frontiers festival, and the inaugural season of the ensemble’s new JACK Studio program.

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

The Downtown Music Gallery 28th Anniversary Celebrations began on May 1st & Continues! Every In-store This Summer Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.

Sunday, September 15th:
6pm: CHRIS PITSIOKOS – Solo Alto Sax!
7pm: TAMIO SHIRAISHI – Solo Alto Sax!

Sunday, September 22nd:
6pm: REMEMBERING BERN NIX – Two Sets for Bern Nix!
BEYOND GROUP with: CHERYL PYLE / MICHAEL EATON / REGGIE SYLVESTER
7pm: RETROGRADE: MATT LAVELLE / REGGIE SYLVESTER

September 29th:
6pm: VINNIE SPERRAZZA / NOA FORT / SIMON JERMYN – Drums / Vocals / Guitar!
7pm: SAM NEWSOME / DANIEL CARTER – Soprano Sax / Woodwinds!

October 6th:
6pm: SAM OSPOVAT – Solo Drums!

Sunday, October 13th:
6pm: ROSS HAMMOND – Solo Resonator Guitar!
7pm: RAF VERTESSEN / HANS TAMMEN / KEISUKE MATSUNO – Drums / Buchla Synth / Guitar!
8pm: MICHAEL VATCHER & SEAN CONLY!

DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed

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DMG Recommended Gigs for this week:
ERIC STERN’S ONGOING LIVE CREATIVE MUSIC SERIES CONTINUES:

September 15, 2019
Katherine Sikora / Jessica Pavone
Ochion Jewel & Cat Toren
El Barrio Artspace
is located at 215 E 99th St, New York, NY 10029

September 19, 2019
Lotte Anker, Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver
244 Rehearsal Studios
is located at 244 West 54th Street, 10th Floor, NY, NY

September 23, 2019
Chris Pitsiokos, Susana Santos Silva, Torbjörn Zetterberg
Michiko Rehearsal Studios
is located at 149 West 46th Street, 3rd Floor

All shows are $20.00 per ticket. All start at 8:00 pm

AMN Reviews: Jack ‘O The Clock – Witness (2019; Geomancy Records)

After the second track of Witness, the new live album from veteran prog / folk / classical / weird rock band Jack O’ The Clock, vocalist Damon Waitkus tells the audience that the previous song was “about a miserable old man dying.” He goes on to add that at a previous show “every song in the whole setlist was about an old man dying.” That brief tongue-in-cheek moment represents much of what Jack O’ The Clock is about – melancholy lyrics capturing slices of decaying Americana accentuated by chamber rock.  Labyrinthine, dueling melodies attach themselves to your emotions like ivy slowly taking over the side of an old house.

In addition to Waitkus on guitar and hammer dulcimer, the group includes its core lineup of Emily Packard on violin, Kate McLoughlin on bassoon and backing vocals, Jason Hoopes on bass and backing vocals, and Jordan Glenn on drums, vibes, and accordion.  The album was recorded in 2017 at the SeaProg Festival in Seattle.

Before listening, one of the first things I wondered – with some trepidation – was how Jack O’ The Clock could present their elaborately recorded and layered studio material in a live setting.  After all, the five aforementioned members often played many more instruments and were frequently accompanied by a small chamber orchestra of other players.  But Waitkus and company wisely rearranged their pieces to fit the capabilities of live lineup, reworking some songs and combining others into longer pieces. Also, the selections are some of the more energetic pieces from their last two albums (Repetitions of the Old City I & II). While I would have wished for more from All My Friends (their 2013 release for which I have an irrational passion), Witness includes brilliantly-executed long instrumental breaks as well as atmospheric folk-ish moments and vocally-oriented pieces sprinkled with sadness. The result is more than satisfying.

By distilling their work over the last several years to its core and then building anew on top of that, Jack O’ The Clock has managed to produce an indispensable live recording that has remarkably little redundancy when compared to the corresponding studio recordings. Witness also marks the end of an era for the group – going forward, this particular lineup will be logistically difficult to put together in a live format. Nonetheless, they will continue to expand their studio offerings, which is more than enough of a consolation prize.