January at the ISSUE Project Room

Mark Helias
Cover of Mark Helias

From New York’s ISSUE Project Room:

WED 1.12 – Rod Williams presents World Premiere of Options

Rod Williams (piano, laptop)
Mark Helias (acoustic bass)
Bruce Cox (drums and percussion)
Ray Spiegel (tabla)
Special Guests: Gargi Shinde (sitar) & Aditi Bhagwat (kathak)

Rod Williams came to New York from Detroit, Michigan in 1981 to study jazz piano on an NEA Grant. The veteran jazz pianist and composer began establishing himself by performing and recording with Cassandra Wilson, Lester Bowie, David Murray, Dewey Redman, Oliver Lake, Billy Higgins, Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, James Carter, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Marty Erhlich and Olu Dara. Mr. Williams took a long sabbatical from the jazz world to acquire new skills and perspectives. He went back to academia, receiving a B.A in Electro/Acoustic Music from CUNY and a M.F.A. in Performance Interactive Media Arts at Brooklyn College in 2008. Williams began in the jazz world, but now composes mainly for multimedia often integrated with electronics.
Tickets: $10.00 ($9 Advance, $8 Members)


Juraj Kojs curates a night where seven composers/performers will introduce their approach to extending, hybridizing and abstracting the principles of instrumental design in a multimodal musical performance. Spencer Topel will present a piece for violin and live electronics. Jorge Variego will perform a composition for clarinet and a joystick controller. Juraj Kojs will manipulate the Slovakian sheep bells with digitally modeled cyberbell structures, and the Zeta cello, novel K-Bow controller and narration will be the focal point for Sarah O’Halloran and Margaret Schedel. Chikashi Miyama’s hands will sculpt musical structures in the air over his non-haptic Peacock instrument, and Paula Matthusen will show her work for live electronic organisms in jars. It all has to be heard to be believed.

Started during the 2007-08 season, MATA Interval is a bi-monthly concert series dedicated to small-scale performances by emerging performers and composers based in New York City. Produced in conjunction with Issue Project Room, Interval’s programming is developed and produced by selected participants in MATA’s Curatorial Associate program. The intimate and community-based character of Interval encourages risk taking and allows MATA to showcase a wide array of aesthetics from the city’s vibrant musical culture.

Tickets: $10.00 ($9 Advance, $8 Members)

SAT 1.15 – Jason Lescalleet and Graham Lambkin: Air Supply Album Release

Graham Lambkin and Jason Lescalleet released The Breadwinner (Erstwhile) in early 2008. This concert marks the release of their second album, Air Supply. They describe their music as “musical settings for common environments and domestic situations,” and almost all of their source material is taken from field recordings made around Lescalleet’s house. Air Supply is a departure from The Breadwinner, but retains the malevolent undercurrents of their previous album.

Jason Lescalleet has gradually and painstakingly built a compelling discography over the past decade. He uses reel-to-reel tape decks to explore the textures of low fidelity analog sounds and the natural phenomena of old tape and obsolete technology. He is one of a growing list of master producer/musicians, whose skill lies as much in reworking, assembling and mastering the material available as in creating it (or helping create it) in the first place. He has worked with such wide-ranging artists as Ron Lessard, Joe Colley and Phill Niblock, and has released a string of superb solo discs in Mattresslessness, Electronic Music and The Pilgrim.

Graham Lambkin first entered the public consciousness at 19 when he formed his band The Shadow Ring, in Folkestone, a small town in Kent, England. The band was memorable and built a rabidly passionate fan base because of its sui generis approach, blending elements of folk, noise, cracked electronics, and surrealist poetry, while radically changing the overall formula with each release. A decade of increasingly skewed and inspired work culminated in 2003’s I’m Some Songs, constructed long distance as Lambkin had relocated to the US in 1998. Over the last few years, Lambkin has primarily worked under his own name, most notably with 2007’s brilliant Salmon Run, a precursor to The Breadwinner – a collaboration album with Jason Lescalleet.

Tickets: $15.00 ($9 Advance, $8 Members)

WED 1.19 + THU 1.20 – Two-Day Residency Including Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter is both a writer and a musician (improviser/composer), and plays alto and tenor saxophones, flute, trumpet, clarinet and piano. When he first came to New York City in 1970 he played in soul bands as well as avant-garde jazz groups. He has always tried to transcend genre boundaries: Hip-Hop, R&B, and DJ; classical (European — both traditional and avant-garde); world music (both traditional and contemporary); Jazzoetry, Abstract, Concrete, Noise, Punk, Hardcore Punk, Electronic (of all sorts), Commercial, Non-commercial, Professional, and Non-professional.

WAKE UP! is a genuine band, but even more than a band, it’s a movement for increasing consciousness–a movement primarily interested in evoking the evolution of consciousness in us all, through SOUND and beyond. The members of WAKE UP! all knew each other from previous music collaborations, but it wasn’t until May 2009 that Federico Ughi, Demian Richardson, David Moss and Daniel Carter started getting together regularly as a quartet. The band integrates and synthesizes an array of styles, while not being limited or stuck in any one style or genre. “With a debut self-titled album (out now), WAKE UP! are riding a wave of youthful enthusiasm every bit as boisterous and impatient as their name.” –Daniel Spicer, The Wire

Tickets: $5.00

WED 1.19
Group 1:
Laurie Hockman (flute)
Margo Grib (violin, viola, voice)
Claire de Brunner (bassoon)
Marianne Giosa (trumpet, flutes, percussion)
Rebecca Schmoyer (guitar)
Taylor Cannizzaro (cello)
Ken Silverman (guitar)
Pete Drungle (piano and/or electric keyboard)
Tom Zlabinger (bass)
Daniel Carter (alto, tenor, and soprano, saxophones, flute, trumpet, and clarinet)

Demian Richardson (trumpet)
David Moss (electric bass)
Federico Ughi (drums)
Daniel Carter (alto, soprano, and tenor, saxophones, flute, clarinet, and trumpet)

THU 1.20
Group 1:
Indigo Street (guitar)
John Bohannon (electronics)
Pete Drungle (piano and/or keyboard, etc.)
Gary Heidt (bass and/or guitar)
Justin Veloso (drums)
Daniel Carter (alto, tenor, and soprano, saxophones, clarinet, flute, trumpet)

Group 2:
Atiba N. Kwabena (vocals, woodwinds and percussions)
Aquah Tcherbu (balaphone and percussions, also plays vibes and marimba)
Motoki Mihara (bass)
Nkosi Nkululeko (percussion)
Federico Ughi (drums)
Daniel Carter (alto, tenor, and soprano, saxophones, clarinet, flute, trumpet)

MON 1.21 – Jim Pugliese Phase iii big band + Positive Catastrophe

Jim Pugliese is a drummer, percussionist and composer. As a freelance percussionist he has performed with The New York Philharmonic Horizon Series (guest artist), New York City Ballet and soloist or performer on numerous new music and jazz festivals. For the last 20 years, Jim has been improvising, recording and touring with many of downtown’s most prominent composer/improvisers including John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, Bobby Previte, Elliott Sharp and Anthony Coleman. He has recorded on over 100 CD’s of new music, jazz, rock and movie soundtracks. Jim’s latest CD ”Phase III Live @ Issue Project Room NYC” won “Best New Release of 2008” in All About Jazz NY. Jim performs on and endorses Alternate Mode’s Malletkat.

Jim Pugliese’s Phase iii big band
This latest project titled “Jimmy’s Music Club” is a mobile unit. The music structure stays the same and musicians change, each allowed to speak their own voice within the structure. The music skirts and shifts along the edges of free improvisation, deep groove and New Music. It reflects Jim’s ongoing quest to explore the powerful, enlightening and spiritual secrets of drumming and is inspired by recent association and work with Nii Tettey Tetteh, master musician from Ghana, with Milford Graves, learning drumming and healing through the heartbeat and the study of the spiritual songs of the Mbira Dzavadzimu from Zimbabwe.

Performers for this concert: Christine Bard, drums; Aram Bajakian, guitar; Audrey Chen, cello, vocals; Lewis Barnes, trumpet; Darius Jones, alto sax; Steve Swell, trombone; Jim Pugliese, drums, vocal, mbira, shacktronics; and bassist Ken Filiano.

Positive Catastrophe
Positive Catastrophe is the brainchild of Taylor Ho Bynum and Abraham Gomez-Delgado. Bynum has been described as “animated as a vintage Loony Tune…one of the most exciting figures in jazz’s new power generation” (Steve Dollar, Time Out Chicago). Gomez-Delgado has been called “the new century’s mad scientist, creating a musical hybrid so seemingly wrong it can be nothing but right” (Global Rhythm Magazine). Together they have come up with Positive Catastrophe: a trans-idiomatic ten-piece little big band that connects the dots between Sun Ra and Eddie Palmieri.

The group enlists a bevy of New York’s most adventurous jazz and salsa musicians, all composers and leaders in their own right, whose performing credits include such luminaries as Anthony Braxton, Max Roach, Henry Threadgill, Paul Motian, Steve Coleman, and Eddie Bobé. With the exceptional musicianship of the players and their fluidity in multiple genres, a unique instrumentation that hints at traditional jazz and salsa big bands yet includes french horn, erhu, and rock guitar, and a pair of dramatic vocalists that are comfortable singing in three languages, Positive Catastrophe creates a truly boundary-crossing kind of new music.

Tickets: $10 ($9 Advance, $8 Members)

TUE 1.25 – Littoral: POL and the New French Wave of Literature *FREE*

France has always been the home to innovative writing, and the new wave of French writers is as shockingly unconventional as the Surrealists or New Novelists were in their day. Dalkey Archive’s Review of Contemporary Fiction has just published an issue dedicated to the French publishing house at the crest of this wave: Editions P.O.L. A roundtable discussion of the new French writing will include the directors of both Dalkey Archive Press and Editions P.O.L, along with French translators and writers TBA.

Established in 2006, ISSUE’s Littoral program is a monthly series that pairs innovative contemporary writers with musicians, sound, and video artists. Littoral promotes critical dialogue that examines the intersection of these artistic disciplines, bringing together distinctive artists and uniting diverse audiences from NYC’s innovative creative community.

ISSUE’s Littoral Series is made possible, in part, through generous support from The Casement Fund and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York’s 62 counties.

WED 1.26 – Alexander Hacke & Danielle de Picciotto Presents New Album Hitman’s Heel

Alexander Hacke (bass)
Danielle de Picciotto (vocals)
Vincent Signorelli (drums)
Algis Kizys (bass)

Hacke/de Picciotto have been a huge influence on Berlin’s underground scene since the eighties and have been touring the world with their collaborations since 2000. Their new album celebrates the restless life of a nomad. As in their previous projects, new visuals by Danielle de Picciotto will accompany their performance, but this show’s spotlight is on the music composed conjointly by the artist couple. Ballads, gypsy rolls, Italo-Western piano tunes, and heavy guitar riffs entangled with sound loops and Autoharp picking could best be described as industrial blues transporting the audience into a world of the uncompromising explorer.
Alexander Hacke is known as the legendary bass player of Einstürzende Neubauten and main figure in Fatih Akins movie “Crossing the Bridge”. Besides collaborating in countless bands, on the side he has also been composing film scores for two decades. The American born Danielle de Picciotto was singer of the “Space Cowboys” and Gudrun Gut’s “Ocean Club” and is an icon in Berlin’s creative underground and co-founder of the Love Parade together with Dr Motte. Her art and film projects are exhibited internationally.

Tickets: $10 ($9 Advance/$8 Members)

THU 1.27 – Tom Hamilton/Susan Alcorn/Steve Swell Trio + Steve Gunn/John Truscinski Duo

Hamilton-Alcorn-Swell Trio
Trombonist Steve Swell brings together a new trio with pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn and legendary improviser Tom Hamilton. Steve Swell has toured and recorded with such diverse jazz personalities from mainstreamers Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich, to so-called outsiders like Anthony Braxton and Jemeel Moondoc. Swell has 30 recordings as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artist on more than ninety other releases. Tom Hamilton has composed and performed electronic music for over 30 years, and his work with electronic music originated in the late-60s era of analog synthesis. His ongoing series of concerts, installations and recordings contrast structure with improvisation and textural electronics with acoustic instruments. Susan Alcorn is a composer, improviser, and pedal steel guitarist active in contemporary music and free improvisation. She combines the techniques of country-western pedal steel with her own extended techniques to form a personal style influenced by free jazz, avant-garde classical music, Indian ragas, indigenous traditions, and various folk musics of the world.

Gunn-Truscinski Duo
Steve Gunn and John Truscinski have played together over a span of years in various formations and projects. This duo strips it all down and pays homage to some of the masters from generations before. Steve’s improvisational mix of blues-raga guitar and John’s fluid-style drumming melds together, rolling out the door towards the stratosphere.

Tickets: $10.00 ($9 Advance, $8 Members)

SAT 1.29 – NO MOR MUSIK + The Rat Bastard Experience

“Energy in the wild, which is struggling to contain himself…” writes Italian critic Leonardo Amico of the monolithic extreme punk jazz trio NO MOR MUSIK. Consisting of the core rhythm section of Weasel Walter and Nondor Nevai, NO MOR MUSIK performs and records with a chameleonic roster of guest soloists in a ceaseless process of self re-inventing. Expect a confrontational pan-stylistic hybrid of inclement punk jazz that fuses the highest and lowest brows with no intermediary. Their 2010 eponymous debut CD on ugEXPLODE Records features this dynamic duo in cahoots with notorious free-jazz crank Kenny Millions a.k.a. Keshavan Maslak and the result is as furious as it is cryptic. At this January performance the group, sans Kenny, will feature a surprise guest artist of awe-inspiring caliber. Nondor Nevai is a cult figure in the underground scene for his free-thrash duo with Mick Barr and his storied discography including “The A Capella Cantata” and “The Best of Nondor Nevai”. Weasel Walter is best known as the leader of cult skronk ensemble The Flying Luttenbachers and most recently Cellular Chaos featuring Marc Edwards (Cecil Taylor).

The Rat Bastard Experience
Marc Edwards is one of the greatest drummers in the Free Jazz tradition. He is best remembered for his work in the Cecil Taylor Unit, “Dark To Themselves”, a recording that has gone to on to become a legendary performance, as well as for his own ALPHA PHONICS Record label. Like the other members of The Experience, the Eponymous leader, Rat Bastard refuses to cooperate in any way, even in furtherance of promoting his own work. Because of this you are encouraged to research his daunting body of work as one of the most intrepid and diligent proponents of the raga-rock strain of noise guitar as well as the fearless leader of the omni-insulting aktionist audio-crime syndicate known the world over as The Laundry Room Squelchers, on your own.

Tickets: $10.00 ($9 Advance, $8 Members)

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