Sonic Circuits Festival, September 22-27, 2009 in Washington, DC

This year’s Sonic Circuits Festival has a doozy of a lineup.

Andrew W.K.+Chris Grier+Ulrich Krieger
Elliot Sharp
Annea Lockwood & Tom Buckner
Marvin Aryes
Nine Strings + Pilesar
21st Century Ensemble
This Bag is not a Toy
Even Parker & Ned Rothenberg
David Daniell
Bicameral Mind
Janel & Anthony
Pekka Airaksinen
Luigi Archetti
ayyoko confidential
Jeff Carey
Tim Hecker
Gunter Hampel
Fckn Bstrds
Soft Pieces
Olivia Block+Tomas Korber
Never Work
Alexei Borisov & Anton Nikilla
Blue Sausage Infant
Dead Violets
Dr. Bibber
Second Land
Sean Peoples

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New Concert Series at Brooklyn’s IBeam

Inaugurating a new concert series curated by Brooklyn-based composer/clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman, the first installment of the Telluric Currents series will take place from June 19th-21st at Brooklyn’s IBeam. Future installments will occur once every three months for three nights, three sets per night.

Celebrating the diversity and creativity of New York’s underground musicians, each night of the series will present different groups of musicians who masterfully blur the lines between composition and improvisation, acoustic and electronic music, subtlety and extremity. The current experimental music scene in New York is as vibrant as ever and the Telluric Currents Concert Series seeks to pay tribute to the richness of the current musical landscape.

Friday June 19th
8p Alex Chechile Solo
Jeremiah Cymerman/Matt Bauder/Josh Sinton Clarinet Trio 9p
10p Harris Eisenstadt/Ellery Eskelin Duo

Saturday June 20th
8p Woody Sullender Solo
Sam Amidon/Aaron Siegel Duo 9p
10p Peter Evans Solo

Sunday June 21st
8p Sergei Tcherepnin
Doron Sadja 9p
10p Katherine Young Ensemble

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AMN Picks of the Week

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Don’t take the categories too seriously.

Knifeladder – Music/Concrete (2009, dark ambient)
Yitzhak Yedid – Since My Soul Loved (2009, composed jazz)
Pseudo – Gnostic Guitar I (2007, solo guitar and electronics)
Pseudo – Gnostic Guitar II (2008, solo guitar and electronics)
Fred Frith – Still Urban (2009, classical / improv)
TD Black Sun – Bad Dreams of The Gloomy Girl (2007, dark ambient)
simakDialog – Demi Masa (2009, world / jazz / improv)

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New on Moon June Records

Moon June Records has a number of new releases out.

COPERNICUS – Disappearance

The longtime musical director of Copernicus’ assemblage is the Irish keyboardist and composer Pierce Turner, long resident in New York City. His fellow countryman, Black 47 leader Larry Kirwan is one of the album’s four guitarists, along with Mike Fazio, César Aragundi and Bob Hoffnar. Other musicians appearing on the album are: Raimundo Penaforte (violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals), Fred Parcells (trombone), Rob Thomas (violin), Matty Fillou (sax), Marvin Wright (electric bass guitar and additional electric guitar), George Rush (tuba, acoustic and electric bass), Thomas Hamlin (drums & percussion) and Mark Brotter (drums & percussion).

Is Copernicus celebrating The Universe, or observing its collapse? This ageless sage orates like a windswept preacher who has just witnessed visions of the apocalypse. Turner is rolling out swathes of Gothic Hammond organ, leading the ensemble in their surging accumulations. A bassline walk begins, a slide guitar floats, a trombone starts up its funereal sway. Copernicus declaims, and almost rants. He’s taking things (matter) to the precipice, as he deals with the nature of subatomic particles. A chorus of voices from the band fill the edges around the congregation’s void. Does Copernicus herald doom or salvation?


Here are two artists who share a profound facility for refined versatility. Each of them has built up a career around several varied (yet complementary) disciplines, quite possibly ensnaring completely different audiences on different days of the week. The Italian singer Boris Savoldelli teeters perfectly between a true pop sensibility and an anarchic improvisational wildness. He can craft overdubbed layers of sheer melodic charm, forging an experimental approachability, or he can cast off all inhibitions and launch into the completely unshackled heights of free-form spontaneity. This is a man who is comfortable with the advanced avant garde techniques of diplophony, triplophony, flutophony and criptomelody! In Italy, Savoldelli studied operatic vocal techniques with Simona Marcello and, more recently, in New York, he’s refined his art with singers Jay Clayton and Mark Murphy. Savoldelli is also a member of the innovative avant jazz-rock combo SADO, and released the acclaimed solo album Insanology in 2008. This was a feast of inspired vocal-orchestral loop-layering, featuring a guest appearance by US guitarist Marc Ribot. Elliott Sharp is also a multi-faceted player, his guitar masterfully extending along the perimeters of jazz, improvisation, electronica, rock’n’roll, rarefied new music composition and the grime-slogging blues. All of these zones are inhabited with complete confidence and virtuoso wit. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he’s long been identified with the eclectic downtown scene of New York City. Mainly known as an electric and acoustic guitarist, Sharp is also highly articulate on his armoury of reed instruments (saxophone, clarinet), as well as screaming out with the sliding strings of his trusty pedal steel guitar.

simakDIALOG – Demi Masa

This is the fifth album from Indonesian progressive jazz ensemble simakDialog. Led by keyboardist and composer Riza Arshad, the band also features guitarist Tohpati and bassist Adhitya Pratama, working alongside the twinned percussion thrust of Endang Ramdan and Erlan Suwardana. This latter pair are specialists in traditional Sundanese kendang drumming. Arshad’s compositional approach opens up from a jazz-rock palette, but his Fender Rhodes electric piano is clearly influenced by the crisp ring and shimmer of the Indonesian gamelan’s array of gongs, metallophones and double-headed drums. We can immediately hear the similarities between the keyboard’s percussive crackle and the sharp detonations of tunefully struck metal. The percussionists soon enter, clattering out their heavily organic patterns with roundly slapped skins, shaker bells and handclaps. Arshad frequently pushes his solos (or are they ongoing themes?) up to continually higher levels, urging repeated climaxes as each piece steadily amasses intensity. Tohpati is also attracted to resonant trebly zones, journeying from acoustic delicacy to a subtly distorted friction. The guitarist’s presence has a significance beyond his role on this album, as Tohpati is one of the Indonesian music scene’s most successful (and ubiquitous) players. Another element is tipped in later, with the percussionists chanting along to emphasise their dense structures. Arshad might recline in a hazy contemplation, but it doesn’t take him long to develop an insistent pulse, invariably reaching a frenzied state. There’s a clear recalling of the classic moves made by Chick Corea and Terje Rypdal in the 1970s, but this is laced with authentic gamelan elements utilised as part of this jazz-rock vocabulary. The result sounds both natural and fully integrated. This a particular realm that couldn’t be reached either by Western progressives or a traditional gamelan ensemble. The simakDialog involves a unique combination of both spheres, without making the commercially tempting mistake of cultural dilution.

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Yoshi’s San Francisco Hosts “Go Left Fest”

Lots of great names in free jazz coming next month to Yoshi’s:

Sun Ra Arkestra Leader MARSHALL ALLEN –
Distinguished Author ISHMAEL REED –
BETH CUSTER and more

First-Ever Musical Meeting of Marshall Allen-Matthew Shipp-Joe Morris!

Yoshi’s Inaugural “Go Left Fest: Where Creative Arts Collide” is intended to showcase some of the most creative and adventurous improvisors, authors and composers “out there.” The festival will feature performances by, among others: legendary 85 year-old Sun Ra Arkestra leader and saxophonist Marshall Allen, noted author Ishmael Reed, pianist Matthew Shipp, trombonist Roswell Rudd, drummer Sunny Murray, pianist Myra Melford-Mark Dresser duo, bassist Joe Morris, clarinetist/saxophonist Beth Custer, saxophonist Oluyemi Thomas and more.

DMG Newsletter May 29th, 2009

From DMG:

New from: Cecil Taylor/Jimmy Lyons ’71! Joelle Leandre/William Parker! Talibam Peter Evans! Gavin Bryars “Sinking Of The Titanic’ Live! Les Six double CD! Olga Neuwirth! Harold Budd & Clive Wright!

Alessandra Celletti! Mars Vista Philharmonic! ESP reissues of Cromagnon, Timothy Leary, and Gato Barbieri! Sunn0))! Restocks of recent Laswell releases!


Downtown Music Gallery FREE In-Store Performance Schedule
C’mon down to 13 Monroe St!

[2nd Ave bus M15 to Market St stop one block away, or F train to East Broadway stop 4 blocks away]

This Sunday, May 31st at 7pm:
BAG Legend meets Downtown Guitar!

Sunday, June 7th at 6pm:
NY Guitar wunderkind Meets Torontoan Drummer!

Monday, June 8th at 6pm:
HUMANIZATION QUARTET are Clean Feed Recording artists featuring:
Rodrigo Amado on tenor sax, Luis Lopes on guitar, Aaron Gonzalez on basses & Stefan Gonzalez on drums!

Sunday, June 14th – Vision Fest – Be there or be square! (No in-store)

Sunday, June 28th at 6pm:
Pogus CD Release Celebration for this wonderful Guitar & electronics Duo!

Sunday July 5th at 6pm:
Two Amazing Contrabassists in a Rare & Intimate Setting!
Adam Linson has a solo & duo disc out on Evan Parker’s Psi Label and Tom Blancarte is half of Sparks with Peter Evans!

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