Bob Ostertag Interview

English: Bob Ostertag
English: Bob Ostertag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This interview with Bob Ostertag is a few months old but timely nonetheless.

In this interview with Mauricio Martinez, Bob Ostertag (scholar, journalist, and improviser) talks about the possibilities and the limits of machines and electronic based music. He talks about how improvising on a machine, particularly a synthesizer in the 1970s, is a very different thing than improvising with an acoustic instrument. The automated processes of synthesizers in the 70s make it nearly impossible to accurately predict the decisions one would make “live” in the moment. Ostertag goes on to describe that improvisation is perhaps the DJ’s last claim to a legitimate role in live performance: “so without the claim of improvising there’d be no reason to have a human involved in the process at all.” An interesting and stimulating interview that is far reaching in its exploration of technology, improvisation, human ambition and desire in relation to the limits and possibilities of the machine, the human body in performance, and politics and art. Also discussed is his time spent with Anthony Braxton, particularly his confession to Braxton that he could not read sheet music. The interview concludes with a critical reexamination of Walter Benjamin’s insights on art with respect to contemporary forms of digital media distribution. Ostertag poses the important question: “is the way the art is distributed now gonna change the very meaning of what we think of as art?”

Behold…the Arctopus on Tour in March

behold the arctopus at magnolia 2
behold the arctopus at magnolia 2 (Photo credit: opethpainter)

From Behold…the Arctopus:


3/7 Worcester, MA @ Ralph’s Rock Diner
3/8 Somerville, MA @ Rosebud
3/9 Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
3/10 Toronto, ON @ Wreck Room
3/11 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
3/12 Pittsburgh, PA @ Belvedere’s
3/13 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
3/14 Chicago, IL @ Ultra Lounge
3/15 St. Louis, MO @ Blank Space
3/16 Atlanta, GA @ 529
3/17 Johnson City, TN @ Hide-Away
3/18 Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
3/19 Raleigh, NC @ King’s Barcade
3/20 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
3/21 Springfield, VA @ Empire
3/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar


Fourth Vital Vox Festival Taking Place in March, New York

Sabrina Lastman
Sabrina Lastman (Photo credit: mwasem)

The Vital Vox festival that was supposed to happen last fall was rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy. Here is the new info:


Artists include: Pamela Z, Lisa Karrer and David Simons, Sarah Bernstein and Satoshi Takeishi, Philip Hamilton, Sabrina Lastman, and Sasha Bogdanowitsch.

Over the course of two diverse evenings, the Vital Vox Festival will explore the theme of ‘vox electronics,’ featuring artists who expand their sonic vocabulary with electronics of all kinds. Performances will draw from wide-ranging international influences and genres including jazz, experimental, contemporary, free improvisation, interactive electro-acoustic and world music, as well as audio sampling.



Event link:

PHILIP HAMILTON – Vocalscapes: Solitude
Vocal explorer Philip Hamilton takes audiences on a journey of sounds using his voice, percussion and electronics. Hamilton, creator of the hit a cappella show “VOICES”, uses vocal styles from across the globe to expand the imagination. (

Video link:

SABRINA LASTMAN – An Encounter with ‘El Duende’
Sabrina Lastman will present excerpts from her original piece “An Encounter with ‘El Duende'”, a multidisciplinary music performance for voice, sound, bowed psaltery, megaphone, percussion & visuals. Federico Garcia Lorca‘s eerily passionate world comes to life through this re-imagination of his written & visual artistry. Visuals by Shige Moriya. (

Video link:

Unearthish is the duo of Sarah Bernstein (voice, violin, electronics) with Satoshi Takeishi (percussion), performing Bernstein’s compositions. Minimalist motifs meet avant-jazz formations, integrating sung and spoken poetry with acoustic and electric sound sculpture. (

Video link:


Event link:

LISA KARRER – Collision Theory: Works & Premieres for Voice & Multi-Media
Lisa Karrer (in collaboration with composer/multi-instrumentalist David Simons) will present works for voice, electronics, interactive video, triggered theremin and keyboard, including premieres of Karrer’s “Meeting Max: Vocal Experiments with Interactive Video Mixer”, and Simons’s “The Opera Within the Opera”. (

Video links:
1) Ziarah Dalam Gereja Gunung:
2) Molecular Self Assembly (excerpt):

SASHA BOGDANOWITSCH with Loom Ensemble – Timbre Tree seeds
A new song cycle for solo voice, vocal trio & instruments that explores the ‘reflecting glass’ of live looping & processing. The work delves into the intersection between sung text and vocables, and is accompanied by an assortment of original instruments, such as wind instruments like the syrinx, fujara, and koncovka. All of this is intermingled with the tenori-on, a unique visual electronic instrument. The work will also feature dance and vocals from interdisciplinary theater group Loom Ensemble (Andrew Broaddus, Helen Joyce, Raphael Sacks, Kate Hamilton and Michael Bauer on Cyr Wheel). (

Video link:

PAMELA Z – Works for Voice, Live Processing, and Video
Pamela Z will perform short works for voice, live processing, gesture-controlled samples and interactive video, including excepts from her piece “Memory Trace”. (

Video link:

All About Jazz Reviews

Ben Goldberg

From All About Jazz:

Ben Goldberg
Two Sides of Ben Goldberg

Barry Altschul
The 3dom Factor (TUM Records)

Roscoe Mitchell
Three Compositions (Rogue Art)

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Slippery Rock (Hot Cup Records)

Peter Brotzmann
Solo At Dobialab (Dobialabel)

John Edwards / Okkyung Lee
White Cable, Black Wire (Fataka)

Verneri Pohjola & Black Motor
Rubidium (TUM Records)

Eric Revis
Eric Revis’ Parallax (Clean Feed Records)

Upcoming Wordless Music Shows

English: English composer Clint Mansell with t...

From New York’s Wordless Music:

Just announced: Man Forever and So Percussion at the Met Museum in June
This summer, Wordless Music will return to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for two specially curated events, in conjunction with The Costume Institute’s exhibition PUNK: Chaos to Couture, on view at the Met Museum from May 9 to August 11, 2013. The first of these, on Saturday, May 18, will be a multimedia, site-specific performance by the Liars in the Temple of Dendur, which is long sold out.

On Saturday, June 8, the second of these events will feature the debut collaboration between Man Forever (the experimental project of Oneida drummer Kid Millions) and So Percussion. All-ages tickets for this concert are now on sale through the Met Museum web site: $15 rush tickets will be available on the day of the concert for ticketbuyers 30 and under.

Slacker alert: Clint Mansell‘s April 4 concert at St. Paul the Apostle nearly sold out
A friendly heads’ up: the second of Clint Mansell’s two concerts, on Thursday, April 4, is just a few tickets away from being fully sold out. Tickets to Wednesday, April 3’s concert are available here.

These concerts on April 3-4 will take place at one of New York’s most extraordinary spaces, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, and will feature Clint Mansell performing live with the Sonus string quartet and a full band, including Chris Vrenna (drums), Mike Fonte (guitar), Brian Emrich (bass), and Carly Paradis (piano), in a selection of Clint Mansell’s music from his work with directors Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones (Moon), and Massy Tadjedin (Last Night), along with bespoke visual projections created by independent filmmakers and artists. The concert will also coincide with the release of Stoker, Mansell’s new score for director Chan-wook Park’s new drama/thriller starring Nicole Kidman, which will be released through Milan Records on February 26, 2013. All-ages tickets are now on sale, and also available with no service charges at the Le Poisson Rouge box office.

Coming up in March: Tyondai Braxton‘s HIVE and Low with ACME
In March, Wordless Music and Works & Process at the Guggenheim will present the world premiere of Tyondai Braxton’s HIVE in the celebrated Guggenheim Museum Rotunda. Part installation, part band, HIVE is a new multimedia project that will feature Braxton performing never-before-heard material with an all-new group of musicians, including Ben Vida (Bird Show, Soft Circle, PAN Records) and percussionists Yuri Yamashita, Jared Soldiviero, and John Ostrowski, who will perform in five massive, custom-built pod-like platforms. Using modular synthesis, sound design, and acoustic instruments, HIVE will introduce new elements to Tyondai’s work, and a visual counterpart to his narrative-based music. All-ages tickets are currently available via the Guggenheim box office.

On Wednesday, March 20, Wordless Music returns to one of our favorite venues, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, to present a special evening with Low, who celebrates their 20th anniversary as a band this year. Low will be touring in support of their new album on Sub Pop, The Invisible Way, which will be released on March 19, and was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Opening the show will be our old friends in the ACME String Quartet, who will also join Low for select songs. All-ages tickets to this concert are now on sale.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
ACME String Quartet
The Concert Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture
Co-presented with Metropolitan Presents
7pm doors / 8pm show / all ages / tickets now on sale

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Tyondai Braxton
HIVE (world premiere)
Guggenheim Museum Rotunda (Fifth Avenue at 88th Street)
Co-presented with Works & Process at the Guggenheim
7pm doors / 7:30pm show / all ages / tickets now on sale

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Clint Mansell (NYC debut)
With string quartet and live band
Church of St. Paul the Apostle
7pm doors / 8pm show / all ages / tickets now on sale

Saturday, May 18, 2013
A multimedia, site-specific performance
The Temple of Dendur in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
6:30pm doors / 7pm show / all ages / SOLD OUT

Sunday, May 19, 2013
Brooklyn Masonic Temple
317 Clermont Avenue, at Lafayette
Co-presented with BOOM Collective
8pm doors / 9pm show / 18+ / tickets now on sale

Saturday, June 8, 2013
Man Forever
So Percussion
Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art