AMN Reviews: Sans Soleil – A Holy Land Beneath A Godless Sky (2014; Tofu Carnage)

a0662664282_2Hailing from Austin, Texas, Sans Soleil is a five-piece doom-metal influenced instrumental group, featuring viola as a lead instrument, and with dual guitars, bass, and drums. Released right before the new year, A Holy Land Beneath A Godless Sky ushers out 2014 with a look to the past while the group forges their own path forward.

The plodding, ominous atmospherics clearly invoke early Black Sabbath, especially in the guitar tone, riffing, and picking style. But the viola evokes modern heavy Scandinavian prog-rock bands. In the forefront, the viola holds longer notes while the guitars crunch and work around its leads. The drums and bass pound and churn, never quite taking more than a rhythmic role.

Thus, Sans Soleil isn’t quite classical metal, but still provides deceptively complex and engaging interplay. But one could listen to the this album at a higher level, and enjoy its dark, melancholic overtones.

At less than 35 minutes, A Holy Land Beneath A Godless Sky is a short burst of energy, like an earthquake in the middle of a primordial forest. Hopefully there is much more to come.

http://tofucarnagerecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-holy-land-beneath-a-godless-sky

Advertisements

Fresh Sound’s Winter / Spring 2015 Season

From San Diego’s Fresh Sound:

FRESH SOUND PERCUSSION Series January – May 2015

The Fresh Sound concert series has been inextricably aligned to the groundbreaking Music Department at UC San Diego from the very beginning in 1996. Our 2015 concert schedule seeks to highlight the contributions of professors, grad-students and alumni from the prestigious percussion department, which has expanded into the global sphere of contemporary music. This is what the series will explore — the widening scope, the variety and ongoing interconnectivity.

Thursday January 15th
red fish blue fish (San Diego)
Directed by Steven Schick

Friday, February 6th
Ross Karre (New York)

Wednesday, February 18th
PFL Traject: Jean-Charles Francios, Pascal Pariaud, Gilles Laval (France)

Friday, March 20th
Eric Derr (Philadelphia) and Aiyun Huang (Montreal)

Thursday, April 9th
Brian Archinal (Switzerland)

Friday, May 1st
Kjell Nordeson (Sweden and San Diego)

Anthony Braxton Residency at the University of Alabama

Anthony Braxton playing a contrabass saxophone
Anthony Braxton playing a contrabass saxophone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Sonic Frontiers:

Anthony Braxton @ Alabama, Feb. 18-25, 2015

Anthony Braxton “Falling River Music” art exhibit of Braxton’s graphic music scores
Feb. 6th – 27th, ongoing
University of Alabama Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

This art exhibit running throughout the month of February showcases Anthony Braxton’s unique “Falling River Music” graphic music scores.

Braxton writes, “Falling River Musics is the name of a new structural prototype class of compositions in my music system that will seek to explore image logic construct ‘paintings’ as the score’s extract music notation.” Falling River scores consist of large, colorful drawings (reminiscent of the titles of Braxton’s earlier compositions) alongside other notational symbols.

Braxton refuses to assign any specific meanings to the notations of his Falling River scores, since part of their purpose is to allow each performer to find her own way through them. He explains, “I am particularly interested in this direction as a means to balance the demands of traditional notation interpretation and esoteric inter-targeting.”

“Falling River Music” Exhibit Opening Reception
Friday 2/6 6-9pm
University of Alabama Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

This reception will include performances of Braxton “Falling River Music” scores by UA faculty and students. Featuring UA faculty members Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone), Tim Feeney (percussion), Holland Hopson (electronics), and others TBA.

Anthony Braxton, Solo Saxophone
Wednesday 2/18 7:30pm
The Historic Bama Theatre
600 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35401

Braxton will present the singular solo saxophone music he has been developing for nearly fifty years. Mr. Braxton was the first musician to release a full album of unaccompanied saxophone music with his 1970 double-LP “For Alto.”

The University of Alabama Percussion Ensemble & Jazz Orchestra Play Braxton
Thursday 2/19 7:30pm
Moody Music Hall, UA School of Music
810 Second Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35487

UA percussion ensemble + UA jazz orchestra perform Braxton compositions #135, 100, 58, 59 and 174.

Anthony Braxton Quartet + Falling River Music Septet (world premiere)
Friday 2/20 7:30pm
Moody Music Hall, UA School of Music
810 Second Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35487

Anthony Braxton Quartet (world premiere): Anthony Braxton (reeds), Davey Williams (guitar), LaDonna Smith (viola), and a special guest TBA (drums)

Falling River Music Septet: Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone), Tim Feeney (percussion) Mary Halvorson (guitar), Holland Hopson (electronics), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds).

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Music Quintet + Trillium Opera Excerpts
Saturday 2/21 7:30pm
Moody Music Hall, UA School of Music
810 Second Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35487

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Music Quintet: Braxton (reeds, electronics), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone)

With his Diamond Curtain Wall Music, Anthony Braxton combines intuitive improvisation with interactive electronics. The musicians in the ensemble respond both to the evocative graphic notation of his Falling River Music, and the unique and responsive electronic patches the composer designed using the SuperCollider programming software. Recent recordings of Diamond Curtain Wall Music include Trio (Victoriaville) 2007 (Victo) and Quartet (Moscow) 2008(Leo).

Anthony Braxton Trillium Opera excerpts, featuring vocalists Roland Burks, Christopher DiMeglio, Kyoko Kitamura, Anne Rhodes (voices), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone).

Braxton describes The Trillium Project as an opera complex of autonomous one-act settings interconnected through twelve recurring character archetypes that illustrate the basic components of his logic system, represented both by the twelve singers and by the same number of improvising instrumental soloists. Each act occurs within a specific dramatic context, but there is no overarching narrative structure; rather, the interest is in how the characters interact within the parameters of a given situation. (These situations range from a corporate board meeting to interplanetary space travel.) Braxton does not shy away from the melodramatic potential of traditional opera: there are swordfights and chases, giants and plagues. However, the “apparent story” is just one of three levels; underlying each act are the “philosophical” and “mystical” dynamics that so deeply inform Braxton’s libretto and music.

Anthony Braxton Falling River Music Trio
Monday 2/23 7pm
University of Alabama Gallery @ The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Falling River Music Trio: Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Kyoko Kitamura (voice)

Anthony Braxton Pinetop Aerial Music
Wednesday 2/25 7:30pm
Morgan Auditorium, Stadium Drive, University of Alabama Campus

Braxton’s newest music system for music and movement, featuring: Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds), Andrew Raffo Dewar (reeds), Anne Rhodes (voice), Melanie Maar (movement), Rachel Bernsen (movement), plus UA student dancers TBA.

Chicago Scene: January 3-16, 2015

Fred Lonberg-Holm in 2002
Fred Lonberg-Holm

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, January 3rd 2015

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Vincent Chancey Quartet with Jason Stein, Joshua Abrams, Mike Reed
Silvia Bolognesi Quartet with Russ Johnson, Tomeka Reid, Mike Reed, special guests Dee Alexander, Emilano Nigi

Sunday, January 4th 2015

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($5)
Haptic : Steven Hess, Joseph Clayton Mills, Adam Sonderberg
Greg Hamilton

Monday, January 5th 2015

7:30PM at Myopic Books, 1564 N Milwaukee, 773.862.4882
Albert Wildeman, Ryan Packard, Daniel Wyche

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Friday, January 9th 2015

8:00PM at Transistor, 3441 N Broadway, 312.631.9408
Keefe Jackson, Aaron Zarzutzki, Julian Kirshner

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10-$5)
Chartreuse Trio Plus : Myra Hinrichs, Carrie Frey, Helen Newby, with Zachary Good, Benjamin Roidl-Ward, Hannah Hammel, Katherine Young

Sunday, January 11th 2015

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($14-$7)
UNLEASHED: Open-Hole Bass Flute and Electronics Show
Shanna Gutierrez, Francisco Castillo Trigueros — music by Kyong Mee Choi, Morgan Krauss, Eric Honour, Francisco Castillo Trigueros, Wim Henderickx

Monday, January 12th 2015

7:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western
3-On-3
Ayako Kato with Peter Maunu, Jason Roebke, Carol Genetti

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Wednesday, January 14th 2015

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Stirrup : Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri, Charles Rumback
Sound Of The City Workshop

Friday, January 16th 2015

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Race Card : Lou Mallozzi, Josh Berman, Damon Locks
Leroy Bach, Bill MacKay, Jeff Greene

For more information, such as show times and directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:

http://now-is.org/
http://www.ratchetmusic.com
http://www.umbrellamusic.org
http://www.mcachicago.org
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenterschedule.html
http://www.skylarkchicago.com
http://www.hideoutchicago.com
http://www.elasticrevolution.com
http://www.myopicbookstore.com/music.html
http://www.lampo.org
http://dalniente.com
http://iceorg.org/events/category/chicago
http://www.emptybottle.com/

AMN Picks of the Week: Toc / Sans Soleil / Unconscious Collective / Emerge / Kid Millions & Jim Sauter

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Toc – Haircut (2014)
Sans Soleil – A Holy Land Beneath A Godless Sky (2014)
Unconscious Collective – Pleistocene Moon (2014)
Emerge – Frown (2014)
Kid Millions & Jim Sauter – Fountain (2014)

January at Roulette

From New York’s Roulette:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 16, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
JACK Quartet plays Elliott Carter, Amy WIlliams, Andrew Greenwald and David Liptak The Jack Quartet performs pieces by Elliott Carter, Amy Williams, Andrew Greenwald, and a world premiere by David Liptak

SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
WILLIAM PARKER and the “TONE MOTION THEATRE” The Transformational Music Ensemble a new music chamber group guided by Saxophonist Keir Neuringer will interpret the written score composed by William Parker will serve as both background and catalyst to the improvisations and words of the vocal ensemble. The Spirit ensemble consist of five improvising musicians composing on the spot….

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
AUDREY CHEN and MARIA CHAVEZ: INTO Audrey Chen and Maria Chavez center their shared practices of improvisation to combine the cello with the sounds of the turntable & voice.

MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015 @ 7:30 PM
[ROULETTEKIDS] Face The Music TRANCE! Face the Music performs Michael Gordon’s 60-minute hypno-thriller, “TRANCE”. Written for and premiered by London’s Icebreaker ensemble in 1996, this rarely-played piece is being performed by a youth ensemble for the first time! …

THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
INTERPRETATIONS: STRING NOISE (Conrad Harris & Pauline Kim) // Bozzini Quartet An exciting evening of music for strings, with the Montreal–based Bozzini Quartet and New York’s premiere violin duo, String Noise.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
Flowing Constancy: Jin Hi Kim, Oliver Lake, Samir Chatterjee Flowing Constancy brings together three improvising composers from distinct world music cultures with soloistic virtuosity and a unified group empathy. …