Scrapes, mallets hit right note for composer Lachenmann

Helmut Lachenmann and Alwynne Pritchard
Image by svennevenn via Flickr

From Reuters:

The music of pioneering modernist German composer Helmut Lachenmann will be showcased in London this weekend, allowing listeners to hear violin bows scraping sideways on strings, percussionists using scrub brushes and pianists hitting strings with mallets. Lachenmann, 74, who will attend the weekend at London’s Southbank Center , said he felt compelled to create new musical sounds from established instruments, in what he calls “musique concrete instrumentale,” to help music from the corruption of classical culture by the Nazis during World War Two.

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Interview with Gary Lucas: A Guitar God and his Musical Monsters

From The Arty Semite:

Over the past 30 years, Lucas has collaborated with everyone from Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, and Nick Cave to Bob Weir, Lou Reed, Allen Ginsberg and, perhaps most famously, avant-bluesman Captain Beefheart. His music runs the stylistic gamut from blues to country to jazz to classical. “Each to his own taste. And I’ve got very catholic taste, in the small ‘c’ sense of the word.” He’s been called “the thinking man’s guitar hero” by The New Yorker and “the greatest living guitar player” by cognitive psychologist and record producer Dan Levitan. In the last year alone, Lucas has performed in China, Europe, Cuba, Croatia, the Canary Islands, and all across the United States, in support of one or another of his seemingly endless array of musical projects.

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Jazz Listings for Oct. 22-28 From

Japanese avant-garde jazz pianist and composer...
Image via Wikipedia


Dave Douglas & Keystone (Sunday) Keystone, an electro-acoustic project of the trumpeter Dave Douglas, was originally convened as a live accompaniment to the films of Fatty Arbuckle. On a new three-CD boxed set, “Spark of Being” (Greenleaf), the ensemble plays a soundtrack to a new film, by Bill Morrison, that riffs on the Frankenstein tale. The multimedia result was first performed this spring at Stanford University; this will be its East Coast premiere. At 8 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, Chelsea , (212) 414-5994,; $25, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

Ffear (Saturday) Performing a commission called “Mirage,” composed by the saxophonist Ole Mathisen, along with works by Charles Ives and others, this quartet seeks a space between jazz and chamber music. Along with Mr. Mathisen, it features his brother, the bassist Per Mathisen; the trombonist Chris Washburne; and the drummer Tony Moreno. At 8 p.m., Miller Theater, Broadway at 116th Street, Morningside Heights , (212) 854-7799,; $25. (Chinen)

Michael Formanek With Tim Berne, Craig Taborn, Gerald Cleaver (Wednesday) A nimble and powerful bassist, Mr. Formanek convenes a group of his fellow uncompromising improvisers — including one longtime partner, Mr. Berne, on alto saxophone — for “The Rub and Spare Change” (ECM), his first album in more than a decade. The others are Mr. Taborn, on piano, and Mr. Cleaver, on drums, and they aren’t subordinates in any sense. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan , (212) 576-2232,; $20. (Chinen)

Satoko Fujii (Saturday and Sunday) Ms. Fujii, an adventurous pianist and composer from Japan, has worked fruitfully over the years with a number of American improvisers. In her Orchestra New York, which performs on Sunday, the lineup includes players like the saxophonists Ellery Eskelin, Andy Laster and Chris Speed, as well as her husband, Natsuki Tamura, on trumpet. On Saturday, Ms. Fujii and Mr. Tamura perform in solo and duo settings, as they have on several albums. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Miles’ Cafe, 212 East 52nd Street, (212) 371-7657,; $10 cover, with a $10 minimum. At 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Roulette at Location One, 20 Greene Street, at Grand Street, SoHo , (212) 219-8242,; $15, $10 for students and for those under 30. (Chinen)

New York Composers Orchestra (Saturday) This former downtown-jazz institution, celebrating its 25th anniversary here, lives up to the name in almost all respects, with original music by its members, including the pianist-conductors Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb, the multireedist Marty Ehrlich and others. (Its ranks also include adaptable players like the trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and the drummer Bobby Previte.) The only way the name no longer fits? Mr. Horvitz and Ms. Holcomb, who are married to each other, have been living in Seattle for a while now. At 8 and 10 p.m., University of the Streets, Salahuddeen Memorial Jazz Theater, 130 East Seventh Street, second floor, East Village , (212) 254-9300,; $10. (Chinen)

Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet (Thursday) Mr. Smith, a trumpeter of blazing intensity and avant-garde inclination, leads the latest version of his working group, with Angelica Sanchez on piano, John Lindberg on bass and James Kamal Jones on drums. Their free performance, presented by the Brooklyn Library and Neues Kabarett, will involve the premiere of five pieces by Mr. Smith, each with a pointed subtext; among them are “Dred Scott — 1857,” “September Eleventh — 2001” and “Buzzsaw: The Myth of the Free Press.” At 7 p.m., Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Fort Greene, Brooklyn , (718) 230-2198,; free. (Chinen)

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