Ars Nova Workshop in April

The latest schedule frm Ars Nova:

Thursday, April 6 | 8pm
Good for Cows
Devin Hoff, acoustic bass
Ches Smith, drumkit

+ Dijkstra/Hollenbeck Duo
Jorrit Dijkstra, alto sax/lyricon/analog electronics
John Hollenbeck, drums/percussion/toys

+ Kuru Kuru Pa (formerly Wolf Vs.)
Dan Scofield, saxophone
Jesse Moynihan, el. guitar/violin
Evan Lipson, el. bass
Julius Masri, drums

Avant Gentlemen’s Club
4028 Filbert Street

$10 General Admission

Event Description:
Good for Cows is a Bay Area acoustic drum and bass duo featuring Devin Hoff, member of the Nels Cline Singers and Carla Bozulich’s Red Headed Stranger project, and Ches Smith, who performs with Theory of Ruin, Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant, Secret Chiefs and Mr. Bungle. Together they bring considerable experience playing jazz, rock, punk and creative music to the table to create aggressive, yet lyrical compositions. Hoff has also worked with a wide range of artists including Vijay Iyer, Scarnella, John Tchichai, Don Moye, Ben Goldberg, Ron Miles, Hugh Ragin, Idris Ackamoor, Scott Amendola, Graham Connah and many others.

John Hollenbeck and Jorrit Dijkstra have been playing duets on and off since 1998. They investigate the minuscule details within the sonic palette of their instruments by “zooming in” to a whole new world of sonic textures. With the help of some analog electronics, they place their sounds under an imaginary microscope, to orchestrate the overtones, micro-beats, wind flows, clicking of the pads, impact of the stick on the drumhead, and subtone effects, without losing their strong sense of melody and groove. They also share an interest in improvising with multiple-tempo layerings, melodic cells, cut and paste methods, extended techniques and integrating uncommon (analog) instruments. Their music shows influences from Ornette Coleman, Steve Lacy, György Ligeti, and Conlon Nancarrow, as well as minimalists like Morton Feldman, Ryoji Ikeda, Brian Eno and the Clicks and Cuts movement.

John Hollenbeck has created a body of work that challenges boundaries. Exceptionally creative and versatile, Hollenbeck continues to create a passionate new musical language based on world rhythms, lyricism, and the spirit. John’s music is a bold attempt to combine a wealth of experience into a style that is as accessible as it is advanced. In 2001, John released three discs on CRI/Blueshift: The Claudia Quintet, featuring Chris Speed, Matt Moran, Ted Reichman and Drew Gress, reveals tremendous wit, tasteful improvisation, strong melodies and equally strong grooves. Quartet Lucy featuring Theo Bleckmann, Dan Willis and Skuli Sverrisson, is a union of spacious, understated ethereal, spiritual moods which reflect the influences of world music folk traditions. “no images” is an eclectic composer’s statement featuring David Liebman, Ben Monder, Ellery Eskelin, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. Hollenbeck’s performs frequently with his two mentors: Bob Brookmeyer and Meredith Monk. John earned a B.M. and M.M. from the Eastman School of Music. He won the 2002 IAJE Gil Evans Fellowship; the 2003 ASCAP/IAJE Commission; and was awarded a grant from Arts International to travel with his Claudia Quintet to Brazil. The Claudia Quintet recently released 2nd cd “I, Claudia” on Cuneiform Records, has been called “the first masterpiece of 21st century”. John’s recent commission’s are for the Windsbacher Knabenchor and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. In September 2004, his first large ensemble recording was released on Omnitone Records.

Dutch saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra has been an active member of Amsterdam’s vivid jazz and improvisation scene since 1985, before moving to Boston early 2002. The critical press compares his clear, flexible sound and lyrical improvisation to Ornette Coleman, Paul Desmond and John Zorn, showing the broad spectrum of his saxophone style. Besides the alto saxophone he plays the Lyricon and uses electronics to process his saxophone sounds live on stage. Jorrit Dijkstra studied improvisation and composition with Misha Mengelberg, Steve Coleman, Steve Lacy and Lee Hyla. He has performed extensively in Europe and North America, and he has released five CDs of his own music on the Songlines, BVHaast, and Trytone labels. He has worked with Anthony Braxton, Gerry Hemingway, Marty Ehrlich, Herb Robertson, Jim Black, Barre Phillips, Marc Ducret, John Butcher, Willem Breuker, and Guus Janssen. In 1995 he received the prestigious Podium Prize from the Dutch Jazz Foundation, and in 1998 a Fulbright grant to study and teach at the New England Conservatory in Boston. In Amsterdam Jorrit is currently co-leading the cool-jazz Quartet Sound-Lee!, and in Boston he is active with Curt Newton, James Coleman, Charlie Kohlhase and Stephen Drury. He has scored several documentary films, as well as music for theatre and dance.

Kuru Kuru Pa is the evolving offspring of free improv and fixed composition, channeling the musical influences of Albert Ayler, Aaron Copland, and everything in between. The group began life as the art-noise prog trio Wolf Vs., and from there developed into a medium for an ever expanding body of compositional work, abetted by the strength of interpretive live performances. Group members are active in various musical duties, including ShotxShot, The Ruins, Make a Rising, Powerlunch, Bobby Zankel’s Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, as well as countless other projects.

Friday, April 14 | 8pm
Steve Lehman Quartet
Steve Lehman, alto saxophone Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
Tyshawn Sorey, drums
Drew Gress, bass

Community Education Center (CEC)
3500 Lancaster Avenue

$12 General Admission

Event Description:
The Steve Lehman Quartet is a cutting-edge, New York-based ensemble that performs music unlike anything else in the city. Drawing from underground hip-hop, contemporary chamber music and the work of the AACM, Lehman’s compositions define a meticulously crafted sound world that is both cerebral and highly spiritual. This performance will feature music from the critically acclaimed Demian as Posthuman (Pi Recordings), which the New York Times describes as “bracing and fiercely imagined.” With Steve Lehman, saxophones; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Drew Gress, bass; Tyshawn Sorey, drums.

A saxophonist and composer on the cutting-edge of contemporary music, Steve Lehman has been recognized as one of today’s truly original creative voices by publications such as The Wire, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Downbeat Magazine, as well as by National Public Radio. A former student of both Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton, he has performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe with his own ensembles, and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Michelle Rosewoman. An award-winning composer, Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the Janacek Philharmonic, members of Ensemble 21 and Ensemble Sospeso, and by the pianist Marilyn Nonken. As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman was invited to teach a weekly undergraduate course on current trends in improvised music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. His recent article in the academic journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, “I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Music and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980” is based on his Fulbright Research. Beginning in the Fall of 2006, Lehman will begin doctoral studies at Columbia University as a departmental fellow in music composition.

Lehman’s most recent recordings as a leader include Demian as Posthuman (Pi 2005), featuring Tyshawn Sorey and 9-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello, Simulated Progress (Pi 2005) with the collective trio Fieldwork, and Interface (Clean Feed 2004), featuring Mark Dresser and Pheeroan akLaff.

Thursday, April 20 | 8pm
Tim Berne’s Big Satan
Tim Berne, alto saxophone
Marc Ducret, el. guitar
Tom Rainey, drums

+ Eskelin/Parkins/Black
Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone
Andrea Parkins, keyboards/electronics
Jim Black, drums

The Cinema (formeraly CineMagic)
3925 Walnut Street

$15 General Admission

Event Description:
On Souls Saved Hear:
As Big Satan, Berne, Ducret and Rainey entered the studio assuming a different shape- Souls Saved Hear is a purely collaborative band with no set leader, but with a unified focus that easily shifts gears from fiery to placid, turning complex composed passages into inspired improvisations with a unified and fully-realized sound all their own. Berne’s idiosyncratic presence is obvious throughout; Tom Rainey’s drums are propulsive and unrelenting. But it’s Marc Ducret’s guitar which is a truly commanding presence, whether picking out perfectly articulated acoustic melodies in unison with Berne or shredding his guitar into oblivion with impossibly fast, fascinatingly discordant runs smothered in distortion. David Torn, who serves in essence as the fourth member of the band, applies his subtle, perfectionist production touch to transform a brilliant studio performance into a recording of unparalleled magnificence and dimension. Souls Saved Hear does not waste a single note from start to finish, compressing a riotous improvising ensemble into a potent but strangely accessible final package.

Having searched out Andrea Parkins (accordion & keyboards) and Jim Black (drums & percussion) in order to satisfy a “sound he heard in his head” saxophonist and composer Ellery Eskelin debuted this ensemble on March of 1994 in New York City and the band quickly become Eskelin’s main working group described as “one of the finest units in progressive jazz” by Downbeat Magazine.

Over twelve years of obsessing over the composition/improvisation paradigm has resulted in over fifty compositions by Eskelin that exploit the band’s egalitarian approach to playing and each musician’s ability to change musical roles fluidly and with great agility. In a effort to continually open new interactive pathways between the musicians and give each piece a unique form the group has produced a substantial body of music that has been described as “enjoyably organized madness which needs to be heard to be believed.” (Signal to Noise magazine).

The group has been recording regularly for the legendary Swiss label hatHUT which itself has been in existence for thirty years having released many classics of jazz and new music. The group’s recorded output consists of “Jazz Trash” (1995), “One Great Day…” (1996), “Kulak 29 & 30” (1997), “Five Other Pieces (+2)” (1998), “Ramifications” (1999), “The Secret Museum” (1999), “12 (+1) Imaginary Views” (2001), “Arcanum Moderne” (2002) and “Ten” (2004). The band tours regularly in the US, Canada and Europe having performed hundreds of concerts in all manner of venues from bars to concert halls from major cities to small towns. This work has resulted in critical acclaim from the international music press, a growing fanbase and an increasing influence on younger musicians.

Eskelin has occasionally invited guest artists to participate in special projects including Erik Friedlander (cello), Joe Daley (tuba), Marc Ribot (guitar), Melvin Gibbs (electric bass) and Jessica Constable (voice). Constable, who resides in France, has become a frequent addition to the group on European tours since 2004. In addition to it’s recorded output the band has also released a tour diary on DVD titled “On the Road with Ellery Eskelin w/Andrea Parkins & Jim Black” containing music and behind the scenes footage described by (France) as “original and daring, full of charm” which further documents the creative process of a group that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Friday, April 28 | 7pm
Imagine the Sound
(dir. Ron Mann, USA, 1981, 92 mins, color)

+ Don Cherry
(dir. Woody & Steina Vasulka, USA, 1970, Beta SP, 14 mins, b/w)

Curated by Jesse Pires, Bryan Welton and Mark Christman
Presented with International House Philadelphia

International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street

$7 General admission
$5 Students, seniors, and IHouse

Event Description:
Ron Mann (Comic Book Confidential, Grass) directed this innovative feature length debut documentary in 1981, long after the initial explosion of the free-jazz movement in the 1960’s. Yet, Mann’s documentary finds four of Jazz’s most influential players fresh out of New York’s loft scene of the seventies, and in rare form. Seamlessly blending interviews and performances by Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, and Paul Bley, the film resurrects the experimental spirit of the previous decades and sheds new light on the key players. Upon it’s release in 1981 film critic and historian Jonathan Rosenbaum said Imagine the Sound “may be the best documentary on free jazz we have.”

Early video by experimental filmmakers Woody and Steina Vasulka capturing Jazz great Don Cherry as he performs on the streets of Manhattan.

Woody and Steina married in Prague in 1964, and shortly thereafter she joined the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. After moving to the United States in 1965 she worked in New York City as a freelance musician. She began working with video in 1969, and since then her various tapes and installations have been exhibited in USA, Europe and Asia. Although her main thrust is in creating Video Tapes and Installations she has recently become involved in interactive performance in public places, playing a digitally adapted violin to move video images displayed on large video projectors.

In 1971 she co-founded The Kitchen, an Electronic Media Theater in New York. Steina has been an artist-in-residence at the National Center for Experi-ments in Television, at KQED in San Francisco, and at WNET/Thirteen in New York. In 1988 she was an artist-in-residence in Tokyo on a U.S./Japan Friendship Committee grant. She has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute and the New Mexico Arts Division. She received the Maya Deren Award in 1992 and the Siemens Media Art Prize in 1995. In 1993 she co-curated with Woody the exhibition and catalogue, Eigenwelt der Apparatewelt (Pioneers of Electronic Art) for Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. In 1996 she served as the artistic co-director and software collaborator at STEIM (Studio for Electronic Instrumental Music) in Amsterdam. In 1996 Steina and Woody showed eight new media installations at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, an exhibition repeated in Santa Fe a few months later. Her installation, titled Orka was featured in the Icelandic Pavilion at the 1997 Venice Bienale. In 1999 she showed three installations in three countries: “Nuna” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Textures” in Reykjavik, Iceland and “Machine Vision” in Milano, Italy. She created two installations for the Art Festival 2000 in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2001 she was invited to festivals in Norway, Russia, Estonia, Portugal, Montreal, England and Italy. Between July and October of 2002 she realized four installations in four locations in her hometown of 22 years, Santa Fe, NM.

One thought on “Ars Nova Workshop in April

  1. HI!
    My name is Ricardo Pinto, I’m a portuguese blogger, musician and anthropology student.
    My blog is which ironically means
    “It is impossible to write about music”, but that’s just what I do,
    I right about music: bands that perform in my city Coimbra and portuguese records.

    I’m contacting you because of an idea that I had, I’d really like to include abroad
    opinions in my blog about modern portuguese music, taking advantage of the internet in order to exchange ideas.

    Would you be interested collaborating with a few texts to my blog? I would send you the records trough e-mail
    and you could just write a few lines about them, What do you think? Please let me know…

    Thank you,

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