A three-day festival celebrating American composer, artist and author John Cage — one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde — will take place on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus from Nov. 15 to 17.
• The John Cage Festival begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Lutkin Hall with a performance by pianist Stephen Drury and members of the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, led by Donald Nally, the Bienen School’s new director of choral organizations. Drury has collaborated with composers John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti, Steve Reich, Olivier Messiaen and John Luther Adams and teaches at the New England Conservatory, where he has directed festivals of the music of John Cage, Steve Reich and Christian Wolff. The program features Cage’s solo piano works, including “Prelude for Meditation,” Music for Piano, the solo from “Concert for Piano and Orchestra,” “In a Landscape” and “Etudes Australes,” Book III, as well as his “Hymns and Variations” for 12 singers and 12 microphones. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.
• The “Interpreting Cage” symposium begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at Lutkin Hall, with a section titled “Rolling Dice: Performing Cage’s Music.” Lecturers include David Nicholls, professor of music at the University of Southampton; Stephen Drury, pianist and conductor at the New England Conservatory; and Adam Sliwinski of So Percussion. The symposium reconvenes at 2 p.m. with a section titled “Influential, Idolized, or Irrelevant? Cage and Current Composing.” The second section features lecturers Seth Brodsky, assistant professor of musicology at the University of Chicago; Julia Robinson, assistant professor of art history at New York University; and a discussion panel of composers, including Nomi Epstein and Northwestern music faculty members Lee Hyla and Hans Thomalla. Admission to both sections of the symposium is free.
• So Percussion members, acoustic guitarist and vocalist Grey Mcmurray and Bienen School percussionists will perform at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the newly renovated lobby of Northwestern’s Deering Library. The lobby doors to Deering library were recently reopened to the public for the first time in more than 40 years. The library is home to the Cage Collection, the world’s largest treasury of correspondence and ephemera collected by Cage. Music from the collection, including some of the works on this program, will be displayed in the Deering lobby. The Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion, comprised of Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting, has commissioned works by Steve Reich, David Lang and Glenn Kotche, among others. The program will include Morton Feldman’s “The King of Denmark,” Steve Reich’s “Marimba Phase,” Cage’s “Child of Tree” and “Branches” and Jason Treuting’s “24 x 24.” Mcmurray, who is a regular collaborator with So Percussion, will also perform Beatles songs from Northwestern’s Cage Collection. A reception in the Deering Library lobby will follow. Admission is free.
• The “Interpreting Cage” symposium continues at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Lutkin Hall with the third and final section titled “Who Speaks? Challenges of Interpretation in Cage’s Works.” Lecturers include Charles Junkerman, associate provost and dean, Stanford University; Rob Haskins, associate professor, University of New Hampshire; and Deborah Campana, conservatory librarian, Oberlin Conservatory. After a lunch break, at 2 p.m. D. J. Hoek, head of the Northwestern University Music Library and curator of the John Cage Collection, will make introductory remarks at University Library prior to a guided tour of “Sound & Silence: John Cage Composing Himself,” the library’s fall 2012 exhibition, which runs through Dec. 21. Exhibition co-curators Greg MacAyeal, assistant head of the Music Library, and Nina Barrett, the library’s communications specialist, will speak about the exhibition and lead a guided tour of the “Sound and Silence” exhibit. Admission to the morning symposium and afternoon guided tour is free.
• The John Cage Festival concludes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, atPick-Staiger Concert Hall with a performance by So Percussion and electric guitarist Grey Mcmurray, Bienen School percussion students, Turkish laptop composer Cenk Ergun — who has collaborated with Alvin Curran, the group Alarm Will Sound and Pauline Oliveros — and the Loud Objects, a duo known for soldering custom audio circuits live to create complex electronic sounds. The program includes John Cage’s “Credo in US,” “First Construction (in Metal),” Quartet for Percussion from “She is Asleep” and “Third Construction,” “Needles” by So Percussion and Matmos, Cenk Ergun’s “Use” and experimental composer and sound artist Tristan Perich’s “Qsqsqsqsqqqqqqqqq.” Also on the program is Jason Treuting’s “24 x 24” and a simultaneous performance of several short Cage works and Paul McCartney’s “For No One” and “The Word,” written with John Lennon. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $6 for students.
Bear, Bertucci Duo: Controlled Burn [Peira pm12]
The conjunction of two low-pitched wind instruments is almost guaranteed to produce a saturnine sound world. This is predominantly the case with Controlled Burn, a recording of eight structured improvisations by the duo of baritone saxophonist Ed Bear and bass clarinetist Lea Bertucci, who are here supplement by vibes and radio-derived sounds.
Bear and Bertucci have worked together for several years in order to create a sound informed by an awareness of the space in which it is situated. And in fact many of the tracks layer sound in a way that seems to provide an analogue to the filling out of space with three dimensional material—in effect, Bear and Bertucci are portraying blocks of space as strata of sound.
The recording opens with Somniferum, a piece placing slow trills over a foundation of long-duration tones. As implied by the title, the track has the feel of a kind of narcotized suspension in time, the rising and falling dynamics providing its dramatic arc. Tooth, the longest improvisation here, builds tiers of slowly overlapping harmonies and overtones that seem the aural equivalent of color field painting. This contrasts with the very brief Fanfare that follows it—a melody incorporating a repeated rhythmic figure over a lower harmonic stratum. Things Have to Change is a subdued, hymn-like track that moves through slowly resolving cadences and a subtle rhythm in three. The recording closes with Please, a slow baritone saxophone melody based on pairs of notes over white noise, which gradually comes up against sustained tones on the bass clarinet for contact at shifting points of dissonance and consonance.
The Respect Sextet will play a CD release show for their new offering “Respect in Yule,” on Friday, Dec. 22, at Joe’s Pub in New York.
Melbourne’s Avantwhatever Presents… The Birds & The Bees by Anthony Magen & Christina Tester. a limited edition 5-Inch Lathe Cut Vinyl, along with a Soundwalk along Merri Creek & BBQ, 2pm Sunday November 25 at Phillips Reserve, Corner of Victoria St & Weigall St, East Brunswick (Near End of 96 Tram Route). A launch for Anthony Magen & Christina Tester’s release ‘The Birds & The Bees’ – a special edition Avantwhatever lathe cut release limited to only 30 copies.
Karl Evangelista’s “Taglish” CD Release (with Grex & Ai-Ai) will perform Friday, November 16, 2012, 8:00pm at The Jazzschool (2087 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA). This special program celebrates the CD release of “Taglish,” guitarist/composer Karl Evangelista’s exploration of the multifaceted nature of both contemporary creative music and 21st century Filipino-American culture. Inspired by Evangelista’s family experiences, the project synthesizes jazz, American song, 20th century experimentalism, and Filipino folk melody into an aesthetic syntax that is at once universal and starkly personal. Centered around the band Grex (co-led by multi-instrumentalist Rei Scampavia) and featuring trailblazing saxophonist Francis Wong, renowned electric bassist/multi-instrumentalist John-Carlos Perea, and Bay Area drumming dynamo Jordan Glenn, Taglish is a genuinely multicultural, trans-idiomatic work.
Guitarist Matthew Gould, violinist Beth Ilana Schneider-Gould (also known as Duo46)and pianist Nathanael May will perform as the Strung Out Trio (S.O.T) in Germany, November 24 Wurzburg, Academy of Music and November 25, Fuida Great Hall of Ancient University. These concerts will feature the European premiere of German composer Michael Quell’s “A Blurring Cloud” for which they achieved a Barlow Foundation Music Composition Award.
Starkland has released a 2-CD set presenting Guy Klucevsek’s major Polka From The Fringe project, offering 29 radically revised polka pieces that range from Elliott Sharp’s punk-infused Happy Chappie Polka, Fred Frith’s humorous The Disinformation Polka, and John King’s slyly political song about a one-legged polka, to Carl Finch’s (of Brave Combo) beautiful Prairie Dogs, William Obrecht’s witty Guy, Won’t You Play Your Accordion, and Dick Connette’s poignant Wild Goose. Other composers include: Mary Ellen Childs, Anthony Coleman, William Duckworth, Phillip Johnston, Aaron Jay Kernis, Bobby Previte, Carl Stone, Lois V Vierk, and more.
As usual, Burning Ambulance has a bunch of interesting articles including:
A review of John Butcher’s Bell Trove Spools (Northern Spy) as well as John Butcher & Matthew Shipp‘s At Oto (Fataka)
An interview with Rez Abbasi
A video of a recent UK Fushitsusha performance.
A review of Yakuza’s Beyul (Profound Lore)
An article on Elliott Carter In The 1960s
From New Orleans’ Open Ears Music:
Dave Rempis – Audio Archive – 02 Oct 12
Dave Rempis (alto sax) & Jeff Albert (trombone)
Dave Rempis (alto sax), Dan Oestreicher (saxes), Jesse Morrow (bass), & Dave Cappello (drums)
Trolsen, Benetti & Thompson – Audio Archive – 25 Sept 2012
Rick Trolsen (trombone), Will Thompson (keys) & Marcello Benetti (drums)
Smart/Moore/Albert/Cappello – Audio Archive – 18 Sept 2012
John Smart (keys & synths), Ray Moore (saxes & flutes), Jeff Albert (trombone), Dave Cappello (drums)
From Free Jazz:
Ross Hammond – Revival Trio (self released, 2012) ***½
Oren Ambarchi – Raga Ooty/Nilgiri Plateau (Bo’Weavil Recordings, 2012) ***½
Coat Cooke – Conversations w/ Joe Poole (Now Orchestra, 2012) ****
Coat Cooke – High Wire w/ Ranier Wiens (Now Orchestra, 2012) ***½
Sound Collision Alliance – 53:38 (Pan Y Rosas Discos, 2012) ***
Alexander von Schlippenbach – Plays Monk Piano Solo (Intakt, 2012) ****½
Chris Vasi – Monk’s Playground (Fortuitous Records, 2012) ***½
Rob Mazurek Pulsar Quartet – Stellar Pulsations (Delmark, 2012) ****
Elliot Sharp Trio – Aggregat (Clean Feed, 2012) ****
From Touching Extremes:
REINHOLD FRIEDL – Eight Equidistant Pure Wave Oscillators, While Slipping Very Slowly To A Unison, Textually Spatialised On Eight Speakers, Concret, 60 Minutes
EMO ALBINO – Lady Lord