AMN (Retro) Picks of the Week: Eric Cordier / Francis Dhomont / Cardiacs / Elsa Justel

Cover of Cardiacs

Recently I had the opportunity to purchase almost 50 used CDs at a very good price. I’m slowly going through these and will be posting some of the better ones in a few special “retro” Picks of the Week articles. Enjoy.

Eric Cordier – Digitalis Purpurea (2003)
Francis Dhomont – Etudes Pour Kafka (2006)
Francis Dhomont – Jalons (2003)
Cardiacs – Songs for Ships and Irons (1991)
Elsa Justel – Mats (2007)

AMN Reviews: John Luther Adams – Become Ocean (2014; Cantaloupe Music)

ca21101_jla_become_ocean_frontFor a moment, put aside the fact that this piece won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music. Commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Become Ocean invokes a majestic and disturbing vision of our world after a global warming event. But you put aside that notion as well, if you must. Become Ocean is a fine piece of modern classical music that straddles the line between the conventional and experimental.

Adams’ strategy for this composition was to divide the orchestra into string, woodwind, and brass sections, and give each a swelling and ebbing wall of sound. Accentuating these atmospherics are piano, harps and percussion, which play mostly, or off and on, throughout. Tidal frequencies and patterns are clearly suggested, as are coastal winds and the crashing of waves. But the dark, lushness of Become Ocean dominates this 42-minute piece. Without using electronics, Adams has created a post-minimalist cascade of drones that sweeps and lumbers like a subtle electroacoustic recording.

Become Ocean comes out today on Cantaloupe Music.

5049 Records Podcast: Doug Wieselman

From 5049 Records:

Doug Wieselman is a serious man, who has been making music in a variety of settings, in NYC since the mid 80s. He’s played with everyone from the Lounge Lizards to Marth Wainright, John Zorn to Antony and the Johnsons. His sounds is instantly recognizable and his personailty is completely endearing. For this conversation, Doug and I travel from LA to NYC and make many stops in between.

Coming to Seattle

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

Bad Luck + Tomo Nakayama
Wed., Oct. 1, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Bad Luck (drummer Chris Icasiano + saxophonist Neil Welch) release their third full-length record Three, available through local record label Table & Chairs, or free with a $15 donation tonight. Opening the show will be songwriter Tomo Nakayama of Grand Hallway.

James Knapp & SCRAPE!
Fri., Oct. 3, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Scrape returns to the lovely acoustic of the Chapel Performance Space stage with new tunes by James Knapp and a premiere by guest composer Brendon Williams. Gorgeous sonorities characterize this improvising string orchestra’s sound. With soloists Gregg Belisle-Chi, Chris Symer and Julian Smedley, plus others.

Broken Bow Ensemble
Thur., Oct. 2, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
min is a new piece for chamber orchestra by Seattle composer John Teske, the third in a series of works dealing with human consciousness. The theme is “intention,” specifically on where individuals and groups place their focus and how they make choices. min will be premiered by the Broken Bow Ensemble, a 26-piece group of strings and woodwinds, each with an individual part.

MON. 10/6 – Don Berman, Greg Campbell, Chris Icasiano, & Gregg Keplinger‘s Drum Night

FRI. 10/10 – Nonsequitur presents San Francisco vocal/electronic artist Pamela Z

SAT. 10/11 – Earshot Jazz Fest presents Greg Belisle-Chi + John Seman’s Lil Coop

WED. 10/15 – Earshot Jazz Fest presents Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeiman’s Oliver’s Cinema

FRI. 10/17 – Inverted Space ensemble performs new works by UW composers

SAT. 10/18 – Nonsequitur & Earshot Jazz Fest present music of William O. Smith

FRI. 10/24 – Seattle Composers’ Alliance presents ten new works for String Quartet from a call for scores

SAT. 10/25 – Paul Kikuchi presents works for woodwinds, strings, and percussion

The Cornelia Street Cafe in October

Mark Helias
Cover of Mark Helias

From New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe:

Thursday, Oct 02 – 8:30PM
Mary Halvorson, guitar; Chris Speed, tenor sax, clarinet; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Tomas Fujiwara, drums

Friday, Oct 03 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Mary Halvorson, guitar; Chris Speed, tenor sax, clarinet; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Tomas Fujiwara, drums

Saturday, Oct 04 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Kris Davis, piano; Mat Maneri, viola; Ingrid Laubrock, tenor sax; Trevor Dunn, bass; Tom Rainey, drums

Friday, Oct 10 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Michaël Attias, alto sax; John Hébert, bass; Tom Rainey, drums

Saturday, Oct 11 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Mark Helias, bass; Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Tom Rainey, drums

Monday, Oct 20 – 8:30PM
Sarah Bernstein, violin/composition; Kris Davis, piano; Stuart Popejoy, electric bass; Ches Smith, drums

Thursday, Oct 23 – 8:30PM
Tomas Fujiwara, drums, comp.; Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Brandon Seabrook, guitar

Friday, Oct 24 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Michael Formanek, bass; Nasheet Waits, drums

Saturday, Oct 25 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Michael Formanek, bass; Nasheet Waits, drums

Portland in October

From Portland’s Creative Music Guild:

Outset Series Programming
October 2014
Revival Drum Shop, 2045 SE Ankeny
All shows begin 8 PM (ends by 10)
Sliding Scale $5-$15. All ages.
October 1 – Brumes and Douglas Detrick
October 15 – Warm Trash and ABSV


Brumes is an experimental duo formed by roommates Susana Feliz and Desiree` Rousseau in 2012. Originally Brumes began as a solo looped based ambient project and has evolved into orchestrated atmospheric sounds including keys, guitar, harp and vocals. They will be debuting their third album, Sounding in Fathoms, later this summer. (

Douglas Detrick

Douglas Detrick is a Portland, Oregon-based composer, trumpet player, and arts consultant whose work in these diverse areas is distinguished by its quiet thoughtfulness and its embrace of good ideas from unconventional sources. He was awarded the 2011 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works and Presenting Jazz grants for his work with his chamber-jazz quintet Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble, and the commissioned work “The Bright and Rushing World” was premiered at New York’s Jazz Gallery in 2012 and performed throughout the United States. He is currently the Executive Director of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, and performs in Oregon as well as touring nationally. (

Warm Trash

Jason (Warm Trash) started his musical career as a solo performer in 2001 with the first live shows of the idiosyncratic routine recording project. It soon became clear that one person’s worth of sound was just not enough. Flash forward 12 years, several pedals, and as many bands(drowning dolphins, chrome wings, cat fancy!, best supporting actress, k-tel, the bedrooms, others…) and luck has brought looping into the picture, and all the sudden, there is much MORE SOUND…and signing and playing drums just takes a little patience, and suddenly, playing live alone seems like a more viable option. (


Jason Morales is ABSV. Chance Operations. Rhythm and Noise. Musique concrète in Dub. Found Sound, Feedback, Synthesis. Reverb, Filter, Delay. (