Baltimore’s High Zero 2019 Improvised Music Festival Schedule

Source: High Zero 2019.

Thursday
September 19th (7:30pm doors, 8:30pm showtime)

Solo
Le Quan Ninh surrounded bass drum

Set 1
Charmaine Lee vocalist
Ståle Liavik Solberg drums and percussion
Jeron White bass

Set 2
Bob Bellerue improvised feedback manipulation
Danishta Rivero voice, electronics
Bonnie Jones electronics
Nik Francis percussion, electronics

Set 3
Susie Kozawa sound art
Jayve Montgomery woodwinds, percussion, and electronics
Kristen Toedtman voice, violin, piano

Set 4
Ledah Finck violin, viola
Sarah Hennies vibraphone, percussion
Owen Gardner guitar, cello
CK Barlow live sampling, electronics

Friday
September 20th (7:30pm doors, 8:30pm showtime)

Solo
Owen Gardner guitar, cello

Set 1
Charmaine Lee vocalist
Bonnie Lander soprano
Danishta Rivero voice, electronics
Kristen Toedtman voice, violin, piano
Biliana Voutchkova violin, voice
Ledah Finck violin, viola
Samuel Burt daxophone, clarinets

Set 2
Tom Boram harpsichord, synthesizer
Forbes Graham trumpet, laptop computer

Set 3
Susie Kozawa sound art
Le Quan Ninh surrounded bass drum
Samuel Burt daxophone, clarinets
Ledah Finck violin, viola
Clarissa Gregory dance

Set 4
Sarah Hennies vibraphone, percussion
Bob Bellerue improvised feedback manipulation
Jeron White bass

Saturday
September 21st (7:30pm doors, 8:30pm showtime)

Solo
Charmaine Lee vocalist

Set 1
Nik Francis percussion, electronics
Forbes Graham trumpet, laptop computer
Jayve Montgomery woodwinds, percussion, and electronics
Steve Baczkowski saxophone, multi-wind instrumentalist
CK Barlow live sampling, electronics

Set 2
Bonnie Jones electronics
Sarah Hennies vibraphone, percussion
Biliana Voutchkova violin, voice
Le Quan Ninh surrounded bass drum

Set 3
Tom Boram harpsichord, synthesizer
Ståle Liavik Solberg drums and percussion
Bob Bellerue improvised feedback manipulation
Clarissa Gregory dance

Set 4
Bonnie Lander soprano
Steve Baczkowski saxophone, multi-wind instrumentalist
Jeron White bass

Sunday
September 22nd (7:30pm doors, 8:30pm showtime)

Solo
Jayve Montgomery woodwinds, percussion, and electronics

The Night of Randomization
As an ongoing tradition, the High Zero Festival will leave Sunday Night’s sets up to chance. Fifteen performers will be divided into four sets, randomly. What kind of wonderful, unplanned, musical collisions will happen this year?
Musicians will be chosen from this list:
Steve Baczkowski saxophone, multi-wind instrumentalist
Susie Kozawa sound art
Danishta Rivero voice, electronics
Ståle Liavik Solberg drums and percussion
Biliana Voutchkova violin, voice
CK Barlow live sampling, electronics
Clarissa Gregory dance
Bonnie Jones electronics
Tom Boram harpsichord, synthesizer
Samuel Burt daxophone, clarinets
Forbes Graham trumpet, laptop computer
Nik Francis percussion, electronics
Owen Gardner guitar, cello
Bonnie Lander soprano
Kristen Toedtman voice, violin, piano

AMN Reviews: Peter Bjärgö – Structures and Downfall (2019; Cyclic Law)

Peter Bjärgö, mastermind of the sadly defunct Arcana, returns with his fourth solo release. I’ll always associate Arcana with painting. From 2002-2004 we painted just about every room in our house, and many times I put Arcana’s …The Last Embrace on as background music. Hymn Of The Absolute Deceit was a favorite track. I seem to have misplaced that CD, so thank Darwin for streaming.

Pointless personal trivia aside, fans of Arcana will find much to like on Structures and Downfall. The martial percussion, neo-classical stylings, and Bjärgö’s gravelly and deliberate vocals remain. Here, the emphasis is on slowly-paced, melancholy vocal pieces with arpeggiated guitar chords, drones, and rich string arrangements. While not as forceful as most of Arcana’s output, Bjärgö’s efforts have a subtle and restrained power.

Case in point, Anemoia & Onism features tribal percussion layered with synth and strings. Bjärgö’s deep chants convey a haunting atmosphere. The title track, in contrast, offers less elaborate patterns of percussion and focuses on the aforementioned guitar picking as a gloomy presence. Bjärgö contributes sorrowful vocals.

The inevitable comparison to Dead Can Dance can be made, but Bjärgö’s solo work is its own animal. Unlike DCD, the emphasis on Structures and Downfall is more instrumental and less song-oriented. Nonetheless, this album will appeal to anyone interested in or curious about darkwave.

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – August 2019

Source: Stereogum.

One of the most fascinating things about avant-garde jazz and improvised music is the methods people use to impose structure, while still allowing plenty of room for players to run free. Last week, I went to the Jazz Gallery and watched a performance by trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum’s 9-Tette. They were premiering music from the album The Ambiguity Manifesto, which will be out next month.

The Best New Ambient on Bandcamp: August 2019 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

A quick browse through the Bandcamp ambient tag will reveal any number of ambient works from composers unified in their artistry through atmosphere, but with wildly differing approaches to how they achieve their goals. From the intimate and warm to the unsettling and tense, ambient is a diverse and endlessly thought-provoking genre. Every month, Ari Delaney will walk through the best recent releases you can find right here on Bandcamp.

In this edition, we’re highlighting albums released from July 15 through August 15, including a chill-out spin on vaporwave conventions and the anticipated sequel to February’s Grønland.