Upcoming Ensemble Dal Niente Shows in Chicago

From Ensemble Dal Niente:

Hommage to Ligeti, Hauer, and Reich
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 5:00pm ($10 general, $5 student; Tickets available on Feburary 1, 2013 at http://www.dalniente.com)
PianoForte Salon in the Fine Arts Building
410 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Georg Friedrich Haas (b.1953): Trois Hommages (1984) for one pianist playing two pianos tuned one quarter-tone apart
I. Hommage à György Ligeti
II. Hommage à Josef Matthias Hauer
III. Hommage à Steve Reich

In the intimate setting of the PianoForte Salon, pianist Mabel Kwan presents a rare performance of Haas’ Trois Hommages, a feat in itself considering one pianist is required to play two pianos simultaneously. While one piano is tuned conventionally, the other is detuned by one quarter-tone in its entire range, creating a palette of 176 pitches played by one musician. Each movement pays tribute to an influential composer who profoundly shaped the course of 20th century music.

As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, Mabel Kwan is active in performances and education outreach throughout the concert season. She performed with Dal Niente at the 45th International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany where they received a Kranichstein Stipend Prize, the first ever awarded to an ensemble. She and percussionist Andrew Bliss are founding members of the duo Nothing in Common. The duo has performed at the Intermedia Festival at IUPUI and the SEAMUS conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as well as universities and concert venues throughout the Midwest. Mabel has given solo recitals at the Sonic Fusion Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and the Experimental Piano Series produced by the Chicago Composers Forum and Pianoforte Chicago. She champions the works of artists from her generation and has enjoyed collaborations with Liminal Performance Group and the Poetry Foundation. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Mabel received performance degrees from Rice University and Northern Illinois University. She currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Thursday, February 28, 2013, 7:30pm ($20 general, $10 student)
Ruth Page Center for the Arts
1016 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL

Christopher Trapani (b. 1980): Anyplace Else (2012) for large ensemble*

Georg Friedrich Haas (b. 1953): in vain (2000) for 24 players and lighting design

Haas’s in vain has already earned recognition as one of the most influential and important pieces of music written since 2000. It is the composer’s vehement, long-form response to the far right’s political victories in his native Austria. With a style reminiscent of Ligeti, with its rich, spectrally-derived harmonies and complex interweaving rhythmic matrices, Haas has a dramatic and powerful musical voice. His music is made even more distinct by the lighting effects that his scores call for; certain passages of in vain will be performed in complete darkness, disturbing and transforming the listener’s expectations on this journey through territory in which intense, violent energy and absolute stasis are juxtaposed. There are few ensembles that can pull off a work of this magnitude (it even includes an accordion part!), and Dal Niente is pleased to offer the first Chicago performance of this incredible masterwork.

Also on the program is Chris Trapani’s Anyplace Else, in which melting imaginary landscapes are conjured by the sounds of prepared piano and effects-drenched electric guitar. Dal Niente gave this work its world premiere to high praise at the 2012 Darmstadt Courses, and Chicago audiences will thrill to its savvy mingling of harmonically-rich and formally structured worlds of Grisey or Murail with the deconstructed pop/rock experimentation of contemporary sound artists such as Dirty Beaches. RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Tortoise, Les espaces acoustiques, The Sea & Cake.

AMN Reviews: AMM – Two London Concerts

by Dan Coffey

The latest AMM release finds the enigmatic collective stripped down to just two of the long-term collaborators: John Tilbury on piano (occasionally attacking it from the inside), and Eddie Prévost on (mostly bowed) percussion. While guitarist Keith Rowe is missed, the new disc, Two London Concerts, more than makes up for his absence in both its lyricism and astoundingly intense percussive interplay.

As the title drily indicates, the disc is comprised of two performances, each running just over 30 minutes. The first performance opens with several jarringly loud and unsettling chords from Tilbury, eventually followed by Prévost’s equally discomforting metal on metal bowing.  The chords are abrupt calls; the bowing is a sustained response that eventually moves into the forefront while Tilbury relaxes a bit and explores the keyboard with less tension.  (Although the antithesis of Morton Feldman in terms of sheer volume, one can hear, even more than usual, a stylistic similarity to the music of the late composer in the long spaces between chords that Tilbury employs, perhaps a nod to the interpretations of Feldman’s piano compositions that Tilbury recorded for the London Hall label in 2000.)

The thrilling nightmare of percussive piano and time-stretched percussion continues for fully 10 minutes in the first performance before the two performers change direction. The music is quieter with more attention paid to percussion as a time-keeper than a time-stretcher, and Tilbury’s playing becomes much more lyrical, and less chord-heavy. Relative quiet, not without tension, continues, with all sorts of sonic input from Prévost embellishing Tilbury’s more subdued playing.

The second performance, altogether calmer, and longer, shows Prévost expanding his palette, though there’s still plenty of bowing, and Tilbury, while mostly playing subtly and relatively quietly throughout, nonetheless takes the opportunity to dive into the innards of the piano towards the end of the performance, adding another layer of percussiveness to one of two performances that confound the ear’s perception of what is and isn’t percussive – the instruments that usually mark time end up stretching it. This is one of the most exciting and vital recordings to be released under the AMM name in quite some time.

Newsbits: Amoeba Digitizes LPs / SuperCoda in NY / Field Recording Symposium at the British Library / Bynum on Butch Morris

In news of the odd and highly questionable, Amoeba records has been selling digital copies of out of print LPs. I haven’t found anything in the list that catches my fancy, and certain have mixed feelings about this.

The SuperCoda in New York has an upcoming show this Friday.

On 15th-16th February the British Library will be holding a two day symposium that seeks to open up and explore the practice, art and craft of field recording through a series of panel presentations, listening sessions and screenings.

Taylor Ho Bynum writes about the recently-departed Butch Morris.

This Week in Buenos Aires

From Buenos Aires,su Nueva Musica:

Thu, January 31, 9pm – 11pm
Charizma & No Subject presents ( experimental / free improvisation)

Leandro Barzabal, solo

:: fiesta de 15
Omar Grandoso, trombone & accesoriesSam Nacht, tenor sax / fx
Flor Curci, Drums and batarra eléctrica
Roberto Etcheverry, laptop

::: rave · espinal · kurzmann trio
Ada Rave: tenor & soprano sax
Jorge Espinal, E Guitar
Christof Kurzmann, ppooll

At Casa Mexico 21.oo hs

Fri, February 1, 10:30pm – 11:30pm

YOSHITAKE & KABUSACKI ( experimental )
Yoshitake Expe (Japan) (electric guitar) –
Fernando Kabusacki (electric guitarra & synth)
Virasoro Bar Guatemala 4328 friday 22.30 hs

Pablo Puntoriero Quartet ( free jazz )
P.Puntoriero , saxophones
Enrique Norris, cornet & paino
Lulo Isod , drums
Nico Ojeda, Contrabass

Virasoro Bar , Friday after midnight show

February at An die Musik LIVE

American Jazz musician and composer Mat Maneri.
American Jazz musician and composer Mat Maneri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Select shows coming to Baltimore’s An die Musik LIVE:

8, Friday, 8 & 9:30 pm
Pianist-Composer Kris Davis
releases her first quintet album, Capricorn Climber
Tom Rainey, drums
Ingrid Laubrock, sax
Mike Formanek, bass
Mat Maneri, violin
Kris Davis, piano

10, Sunday, 4 pm
Matthew Odell: Tribute to Elliott Carter

22, Friday, 8 & 9:30 pm A MUST-SEE CONCERT EVENT!!
Returns to our stage for their 9th annual Black History Month performance!
Kahil El’Zabar, drums, voice, kalimba
Ernest Khabeer Dawkins, reeds
Corey Wilkes, trumpet
In the words of Bird, “Now is definitely the time!” Tell family and friends that the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble must be seen, heard and experienced like never before. It is your moment and your destiny to say it loud and make the music proud! The EHE has dedicated 35 plus years to the ancient to the future sense of hope. It is their time and you owe it to yourself to experience their groove. It is authentic music of an honest and tenured insight. These three musicians are like no other. They give it to you real; they give it to you serious, while having lots of fun!

Jill Burton and Wade Matthews in Orlando, March 3rd

From Orlando’s CM5:

Jill Burton brings her voice and physical form as the two main tools of her trade. Her bio includes training in ballet and classical music at an early age, while having quickly developed an affinity for improvising in performance. Ms. Burton was a witness and participant in the profound cultural and interdisciplinary possibilities of the 1980′s arts renaissance that blossomed out of the then near-apocalyptic urban collapse and wholly non-commercial NYC/Lower East Side scene. While many musicians here for CM5 concerts come from that same NYC/LES arts scene, few could add something as inverted a seminal experience as Burton’s six years as musical accompanist for Pacific Northwestern Tlingit tribe storytellers in Sitka, Alaska. She has spent more than fifteen years studying and practicing non-invasive medical modalities including Reiki, Ortho-Bionomy and Sound Healing. Burton’s improvised works manifest most often in wordless vocals, seemingly constructing invisible sonic architecture, both bordering the interior of a venue and transforming those same borders into transducers carrying vibrations. Jill has performed vocal and dance improvisations with a number of earlier CM5 concert artists including Tatsuya Nakatani, Doug Mathews, Kris Gruda, Emily Hay and Philip Gelb.

Wade Matthews, like Jill Burton, makes his Timucua white house début after several visits to Urban ReThink’s Sunday Afternoon Improv series. Matthews is a French-born American living in Madrid, Spain, practicing in the art of digital synthesis and manipulated field recordings. His doctoral dissertation on improvisation guided by electronic sounds at Columbia University and the historic Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center certainly defines his current career. His previous appearances in Orlando saw Matthews recording the performance space ambiance and early arriving patrons as field recording subjects to potentially be used in the ensuing music created. While originally known for his bass clarinet and alto flute work, a two computer setup has become the primary locus for both solo and group improvisations. It’s swiftly notable that he has created technical and working disciplines to close the potentially awkward intervals in the reaction time between computers and conventional music instruments during group improvisations. An overview of collaborations will turn up dancers, poets, visual artists in addition to vocalists and live, conventional or electronic instrumentalists. His live performances include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Reina Sofía Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid.

Lampo’s Winter / Spring 2013 Schedule

Jason Lescalleet
Jason Lescalleet (Photo credit: Non Event)

From Chicago’s Lampo:

SAT FEB 9 8pm
Graham Foundation
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP here.

Lampo and the Graham Foundation are very pleased to welcome Hong Chulki and Choi Joonyoung, two leading figures from Seoul’s emerging experimental music community, as they make their Chicago debut.

And if global sameness has you down, this might be your remedy. Hong and Choi are part of a South Korean scene recognized for its unique style and creative approach, distinct from strategies in Japan, Europe and the U.S. Their noise music is less about taking non-musical amplified and synthesized sounds and organizing them into musical forms. Instead, they’re fascinated by non-musical practices, where the sonic results may be nearly inaudible or very loud, acoustic or electronic, and, they say, “barely musical.”

SAT MAR 30 8pm
Graham Foundation
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP info soon.

Valerio Tricoli offers a special program for Lampo to mark the 100th anniversary of Luigi Russolo‘s Futurist manifesto, “The Art of Noises” (March 1913), one of the most influential texts in 20th century music. For the first time, the idea of noise-sound becomes part of musical discourse, creating the conditions for a radical advancement in sonic art, indeed anticipating and informing the whole experience of musique concrète, electronic music, and of American experimental composers such as John Cage.

In the manifesto, Russolo argues that the current musical avant-garde, even though seeking harmonic and timbre complexity through dissonance, fails in its task of renewing musical language. Orchestras are “hospitals for anemic sounds,” he writes, capable only of limited range of tones, or “a repugnant mixture… of monotonous sensations.”

SAT APR 20 8pm
Graham Foundation
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP info soon.

In this very special solo performance, Takehisa Kosugi performs several compositions for multi-dimensional live electronic music — works originally commissioned for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Tonight he will revise his material for quad sound, using homemade audio generators, readymade sound processors and an improvised lighting system to activate photosensitive electronic circuits. The program includes “Cycles” (1981), “Streams” (1991), “Op Music,” (2001), “Music for Nearly 90, Part-A” (2009) and “Octet” (2011).

SAT MAY 4 8pm
Graham Foundation
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP info soon.

John Bischoff, an early pioneer of live computer music, presents four recent works. His stuff is precise and textured, spare, at times delicate, and really lovely.

We blurb. For John, it’s the method that matters: He explains, “The work projects sounds from an analog circuit into juxtaposition with raw digital audio generated from a laptop. As a performer interacts with the circuit, which consists of two square-wave oscillators activated by pressure sensors and shorting disks, instances of pulsed and modulated sound are triggered in the circuit and the laptop as well in a manner that couples the analog and digital sources together.” Bischoff continues, “In these pieces the detailed nature of the performer’s actions with the circuit — the initiation of sound events, the timing between them, and their spectral characteristics — are analyzed in real-time and used to construct an extended computer-generated response.” The set includes “Surface Effect,” “Field Transfer,” “Vocal Imprint (Test Pressing),” and a new untitled work.
SAT JUN 8 8pm
The Renaissance Society
Bond Chapel, 1050 East 59th Street
Admission FREE; No RSVP required.

Something new from Jason Lescalleet, tape-looper and chart-topper (e.g., here, here, here and here). Here, in his much anticipated return to Chicago, he’ll play with the resonance of Bond Chapel’s neo-Gothic space.

Lescalleet makes his music using a collection of vintage reel-to-reel tape recorders and simple electronics, running loops of crumpled tape between machines. He blends layers of found sound, amplified silences, and artifacts of everyday noise, all transformed through various microphones and speakers.

RIP Butch Morris

nublu orchestra & butch morris @ gulbenkian, l...

From the Bleader:

This morning great musical thinker Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris passed away at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Fort Hamilton section of Brooklyn following a struggle with cancer. He was 65 years old. Though Morris started out as a cornetist—first in his native California, later in New York—he was known best for “conduction,” a term he borrowed from physics to describe a way of organizing, shaping, and leading group improvisation.