AMN Review: Sara Galan and Edu Comelles: Cello + Laptop

Sara Galan and Edu Comelles, Cello + Laptop (at036); Cello + Laptop Live @ APiV (CdE#14)

Cello + Laptop is the electro-acoustic collaboration between cellist Sara Galan and sound artist Edu Comelles. Begun in Valencia, Spain in January 2010, the project is intended to create a dialogue between electronic sound and field recordings on the one hand, and the cello on the other.

Cello + Laptop documents one of the project’s earlier realizations. Recorded live at Barcelona’s El Niu in December 2010, this release on the Audiotalaia netlabel consists of a 35 minute continuous performance that blends pitched material and electronic manipulation into one gradually unfolding work. The electronics provide a tamboura-like foundation implying a tonal center, which serves as a point of reference throughout the piece. The cello’s distinctive, unaltered voice emerges to supply melodic fragments alternating between major and minor modes. These fragments are looped and overlapped, the loops creating a slow rhythmic cycle over which concrete electronic sounds accumulate. As the piece develops, the sound moves into more abstract territory while still retaining a sense of tonal organization; plucked and looped cello tones serve as signposts to a variable rhythmic structure and eventually coalesce into a slow ostinato over which long bowed tones are layered—one can even detect a binary chord progression making itself felt underneath it all.

The release on the Coleccion de emociones netlabel features Galan and Comelles’ 21 minute single piece performance at the Asociacion de Profesionales de la Ilustracion de Valencia in April 2011. The sound here, at least initially, is sparer than on the earlier recording. The piece begins with bell-like tones matched to sparse plucked notes from the cello. Galan then moves to an intensely emotional but understated melody that alternates between the cello’s lower and upper registers, gradually evolving into a dreamlike, wafting two chord sequence into which Gomelles inserts electronic sounds and field recordings. The somber atmosphere that results somehow never gets oppressive.

The hallmark of both of these releases is the slow accretion of sound into an increasing density, but one in which the electronics never overwhelm the natural sound of the cello. In the end, Galan and Comelles’ collaboration strikes a satisfying balance between tonality and abstract sound.


Matthew Burtner, Michael Straus, DJ Dubble8, POD Nonet, AM/PM Quartet in Maryland

Matthew Burtner

From Sonic Circuits:

Pyramid Atlantic
8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

Composer, performer and metasaxophone inventor Matthew Burtner celebrates his pioneering electronic and multimedia compositions for saxophone with an all-star cast of performers. He will be joined by special guests Michael Straus, DJ Dubble8, the AM/PM Quartet and POD Nonet for an evening of music ranging from metasaxophone, experimental turntablism and film improvisations to performances of two unprecedented compositions for nine acoustic tenor saxophones!

Set 1
(dis)Locations for alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, electronics and film
SXueAk for reeds, squeaky toys, turntables and interactive electronics
SXrAtch for metasaxophone
Mindcam for metasaxophone and snowboarding video

Set 2
Improvisations by Matthew Burtner (metasaxophone), Michael Straus (multiple saxophones) and DJ Dubble8 (turntables and electronics) accompanied by experimental film from Alaska

Set 3
Portals of Distortion for nine acoustic tenor saxophones
Incantation S4-X for saxophone quartet and computer generated sound
Endprint for nine acoustic tenor saxophones

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Graham Haynes

Nate Wooley will finish out his 2011 Artist-in-Residency at Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room on November 4th with the world premiere of his new work for solo trumpet, “8 Syllables”. This work is the first using a new system of notation based on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Each phoneme represents a physical parameter of the embouchure and oral cavity which affects the sound of the trumpet. The premiere concert will take place at Issue Project Room’s beautiful new space at 110 Livingston Street in Brooklyn. The concert begins at 8 pm and is free to the public.

Jonathan Wood Vincent and Andrea Parkins occupy accordions in New York, with special guests DTA and Matthew Ostrowski. Thursday, October 13th at 8. Downstairs at The Counting Room, 44 Berry.

The Matthew Shipp Trio plays November 6 at 7 p.m. at the Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW, Washington, DC, (202) 299-0800.

Miguel Zenon is interview about some free-jazz / avant saxophonists.

Michael Musillami and Graham Haynes are discussed in the Hartford Courant.

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San Francisco Bay Area Scene

Image by michaelz1 via Flickr

From BayImproviser:

Thursday, October 13, 8pm
Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St. (@ 6th St.), San Francisco
OutSound presents Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series
Full Moon Concerts: Blood Moon with Light a Fire (guest curation)
* 8pm Trio: Matt Chandler (electric bass), Karl Evangelista (electric guitar), Jacob Felix Heule (drums)
* 9pm Moe!kestra! with Kris Force, Jeff Hobbs, Emily Packard (violins), Dina Maccabee, Charith Premawardhana (violas), Shain Carrasco (cello), Vicky Grossi (bass), Karl Alfonso Evangelista, Josh Pollock, Bill Buddyray-philospatula Wolter (guitars), Garth Powell (drums), Jordan Glenn (snare), Sarah Lockhart, Suki O’Kane (toms), Moe! Staiano (conductor).

Thursday, October 13, 8pm
Amnesia, 53 Valencia St., San Francisco
SFJAZZ Hotplate Series presents:
Haggai Cohen Milo Plays John Zorn

Thursday, October 13, 9pm
El Valenciano, 1153 Valencia St., San Francisco
Dave Rempis visits the Bay Area from Chicago. Tonight he plays in two sets, first in duo with Devin Hoff (bass), then in a quartet where the two of them will be joined by Aram Shelton (saxophones) and Sam Ospovat (drums). Rempis is an accomplished saxophonist based in Chicago and known internationally for his own work and his long association with Ken Vandermark.

Friday, October 14, 8pm
Studio 1510, 1510 8th St., Oakland
Dave Rempis (saxophones) visits the Bay Area from Chicago. Tonight he plays with Devin Hoff (bass), Scott Looney (piano), Aram Shelton (saxophones), and Kjell Nordeson (drums). Opening will be a trio with guitarist Roberto Zorzi from Italy, with percussionist Andrea Centazzo and Gino Robair.

From Berkeley Arts Festival:

Berkeley Arts Festival, 2011 at 2133 University Ave., Berkeley
* Friday, October 14, 12noon
noontime concert with Jerry Kuderna (piano)
* Saturday, October 15, 8pm
concert with Jerry Kuderna (piano)
* Sunday, October 16, 4pm
India Cooke / Bill Crossman Duo, with India on violin and Bill on piano, will be joined by renown saxophonist Lewis Jordan for an afternoon of highly-improvised jazz-rooted sounds.

From Heavy Discipline

Saturday, October 15, 4-6pm
Good Bellies Cafe, 4659 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Heavy Discipline Weekly Music Series presents:
Mutual Aid Project: Tracy Hui (guitar), Nick Obando (alto saxophone), Marshall Trammell (drums)

From The de Young Museum:

Sunday, October 16, 10am – 5:30pm
The de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco
Chamber Music Day Live + Free: Encounter the Unexpected
San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, in collaboration with the de Young Museum, Intersection for the Arts, and Other Minds, presents a day-long concert series performed throughout the galleries of the de Young Museum by thirty-three of the Bay Area’s top music ensembles in classical, world, and jazz. Full schedule available HERE.

From sfSoundSeries:

Sunday, October 16, 12:45pm
The de Young Museum, Koret Auditorium, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco
sfSoundSeries participates in Chamber Music Day Live + Free: Encounter the Unexpected
Pieces composed by Luciano Berio, Dan Joseph, and John Ingle/sfSoundGroup. Performed by: Kyle Bruckmann (oboe & english horn), Matt Ingalls (clarinet & bass clarinet), John Ingle (alto saxophone), Hadley McCarroll (piano & voice), Ben Kreith (violin), Monica Scott (cello)

Sunday, October 16, 8pm
Headlands Center for the Arts, 944 Simmonds Road, Fort Barry, Sausalito
sfSoundSeries presents a new work written for sfSound by Dan Joseph, performed by: Matt Ingalls (clarinet & bass clarinet), John Ingle (alto saxophone), Ben Kreith (violin), Monica Scott (cello)

From BayImproviser:

Sunday, October 16, 7:30pm
Musicians Union Hall, 116 9th St (@ Mission), San Francisco
OutSound presents SIMM Series
* 7:30 Lovely Builders: Ross Hammond (guitar), Scott Amendola (drums)
* 8:30 Brains CD release set of “Unloaded”: Chris Golinksi (drums), Drew Ceccato (tenor saxophone)

Monday, October 17, 7:30pm
Bob’s House, 475 43rd St. (corner Barrett and 43rd), Richmond
Art show by Sandra Yolles, Poetry by C.J. Reaven Borosque, Silver Park solo by Bob Marsh
Sonic assault by the Iron Triangle: C.J. Reaven Borosque (electronics), Sandra Yolles (electronic percussion), Bob Marsh (contrabass)

Tuesday, October 18, 8pm
Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
Larry Ochs’ (saxes, compositions) KIHNOUA, featuring Dohee Lee (vocals) and Scott Amendola (drums, electronics) with special guest bassist Wilbert DeJoode. Two sets of music getting ready for the recording session in the East Bay on October 20th. Living in The Netherlands, this will be DeJoode’s debut in the Bay Area, one of the great European improvisers.

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The Violinist Hilary Hahn at the Stone

Hilary Hahn – Mendelssohn & Shostakovich Conce...
Image via Wikipedia


“Welcome to the Stone, and to the Ives geek-out party,” the violinist Hilary Hahn announced brightly on Monday at the Stone, a tiny, boxy East Village new-music laboratory operated by the saxophonist and composer John Zorn. Ms. Hahn, a performer who draws sizable throngs to prominent auditoriums, was making a point by celebrating her admirable new CD, “Charles Ives: Four Sonatas,” of Ives’s violin sonatas at Mr. Zorn’s space, which seats fewer than 100.

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