Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Imperial Triumphant – Shrine to the Trident Throne
Verde – Petoviha
Tissa Mawartyassari – Yûrei
Morton Feldman/FLUX Quartet – String Quartet No. 1, Three Pieces for String Quartet
Various Artists – The East Village Other
Barry Romberg’s Random Access – Crab People
David Dominique – Ritual
Sutcliffe Jugend and Junko – Sans Palatine Uvula
PCRV/Developer – Split Cassette

AMN Reviews: Michael Francis Duch – Tomba Emmanuelle [SOFALP543]

cover170x170The relationship between an instrumental performance and its setting is a symbiotic one: room acoustics, the location, number and types of instruments, the placement of the listeners, and so forth will affect—sometimes decisively—the way that the sound is produced, received and decoded. Norwegian double bassist Michael Francis Duch’s solo performance in Oslo’s Tomba Emmanuelle, recorded on 13 May 2013 with his Czech-Ease bass, shows how deeply an acoustically distinctive space can affect the sound, and even the architecture, of an unamplified performance organized around minimal harmonic movement.

In a sense any live performance is site specific, being shaped by the contingent factors that determine the acoustic response of its setting. What sets this performance apart from many is the fairly extreme nature of the venue. The Tomba Emmanuelle is a large, barrel-vaulted space renowned for its echoing acoustics. Originally built as a museum for the work of artist Emanuel Vigeland, it became his mausoleum and, after being opened to the public, has been used regularly for concerts.

Duch’s performance, a single 28-minute long piece, makes full use of the mausoleum’s peculiar acoustics. At the beginning Duch settles into an apparently simple, steadily and evenly bowed drone grounded in the bass’s low G. Aided by the accumulating echo, the drone turns out to be rather complex. About five minutes into the performance the G seems to ramify as the lower partials become audible; an A emerges as well, possibly the effect of the adjacent A string beginning to vibrate in sympathy with the bowed E string. The sonority ramifies further into a chiming, bell-like chord, which itself multiplies into something sounding like a harmonic cycle played on a carillon. After a brief fade Duch resumes the drone an octave higher—presumably on the open G string—and over time brings in a variety of techniques to alter the timbre: flautando effects through changes of bow and/or finger pressure; bowing on the bridge for a brittle, glassy sound; playing microtonal near-unisons to produce a sound like the throbbing of unsynchronized airplane engines as well as a phasing effect. As the performance develops Duch gradually introduces more tonal and harmonic variety against the drone, and ends with rapidly played harmonics alone.

With fundamental pitch held more or less constant throughout, the listener’s attention can turn to the microstructures of the music—the local changes in texture and dynamics that the room’s acoustics help to bring forward and that cumulatively shape the performance’s macrostructure. Although the resonance of the space tends to pile up sounds and make for a thick texture, within the thickness there is some variation, particularly when the lower tones drop out about 19 minutes in. Duch’s manipulation of attack and accent through changes in bowstrokes also exploit the ambient echo to momentarily increase and then lessen the density of the sound, in addition to introducing nuanced variation of dynamics.

A fine recording of a mesmerizing performance, best heard through headphones.



Taran’s Free Jazz Hour Podcast 32/2014

From Taran’s Free Jazz Hour:

Meta Records
Apoptose: Akosh S, Saxes, Bols, Bells, Etc/ Sylvain Darrifourcq, Dr, Perc, Sex Toyes, Etc

Black Milk Impulses: Gerhard Gschlobl, Tbn/ Gianpaolo Camplese, Dr/ Leo Auri, Elec

Imaginary Images: Ukas Ligeti, P/ Thollem Mcdonas, P

Someone Killed the Swan: Boris Kovac, Ss, as, Bcl/ Milos Matis, B/ Stevan Kovac Tickmayer, P, Keyb/ Lav Kovac, Dr

Alex Weiss
Send This Sound to the King: Alex Weiss, as, Ts/ Charlie Gurke, Bari S: Rob Woodcock, B/ Dillon Westbrook, Dr

Eric Hofbauer
the Rite of Spring: E Hofbauer, G/ Jerry Sabatini, Tpt/ Todd Brnel, Bb Cl, Bcl/ Junko Fujiwara, Cello/ Curt Newton, Dr, Perc

Walkabout: Composed by Dave Lisik, Performed by the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra

Flaubert’s Dance: Phil Broadhurst Quartet

Mike Mahaffay
the Man Who Ate Color by Jennfer Robin: Steve Gorn/ Mike Mahaffay/ Michael Stirling/ Malinda Williams

Lana Trio Live in Japan: Andreas Wildhagen, Dr: Kjetil Jarvis, P/ Menrik Munkeby Nostebo, Tbn

No Business
the Freedom Principle: Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio with Peter Evans

Dolphy’s Hat: Primitive Orchestra Live

Burton Greene
Buton’s Time: Burton Greene with R*time

Here&here&here: M Vlatkovich, Tbn/ Anna Holmer, Vo/ Jeff Kaiser, Tpt/ Scott Walton, B/ Rich West, Dr

Max Johnson Residency at the IBeam

2785235From Brooklyn’s IBeam:

On December 18, 19 and 20th, the Max Johnson Trio will be in residence at Ibeam with special guests joining us every night. The trio of Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Max Johnson (bass) & Ziv Ravitz (drums), will be playing two sets at 8:30 and 10:00pm with guests joining for the 2nd set. On the 18th the trio is joined by Ben Goldberg (clarinet), on the 19th, Steve Swell (trombone), and on the 20th, John O’Gallagher (alto saxophone) and Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone). The trio will be debuting a set of brand new music that they will be recording for their 3rd album, to be released next year on Fresh Sounds records. In addition, they will be playing new music written the expanded group with guests.

Ode to Meredith Monk From American Composers Orchestra Reviewed


Meredith Monk, the composer, vocalist, director and choreographer whose multidisciplinary works have influenced a couple of generations of American artists, is being celebrated this season for 50 years of creativity in New York. On Friday night, the day after she turned 72, the essential American Composers Orchestra opened its 38th season with a program at Zankel Hall titled “Monk’s Sphere,” conducted by the ensemble’s music director, George Manahan, the first of its two Orchestra Underground concerts in that popular subbasement performance space at Carnegie Hall.

Remembering out-of-this-world jazz man Sun Ra with Marshall Allen

English: Marshall Allen
English: Marshall Allen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another Marshall Allen interview, this one from

Herman “Sonny” Blount (1914-1993), the Afro-futurist jazz composer and bandleader who renamed himself Sun Ra after visiting Saturn in an interplanetary vision, would have turned 100 this year. To celebrate the centennial, Strut Records has released Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra: In the Orbit of Ra. This double-CD collection culls gems from a sprawling catalogue that takes in big-band swing, electronic noise, stride piano, and otherworldly doo-wop in one of the most astonishing oeuvres in 20th-century music.