AMN Reviews: Sound Awakener – “hidden” (2014; Bandcamp)

a3943003108_2Sound Awakener is Nhung Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam. Ms. Nguyen has been studying classical piano for some time, but more recently has focused on developing her own compositional techniques. This effort is a 28-minute EP released in a series of recordings on her Bandcamp page.

Ms. Nguyen’s background in piano is not apparent at all in hidden, as the album falls squarely into an electroacoustic vein, reminiscent what one would expect from a Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) member, with a hint of dark ambient. She blends unnatural scrapes and rustlings, clicks, alien soundscapes, and moving walls of noise into a dense, structured dystopia.

The first track, around, evokes a post-industrial wasteland, with motorized drones and rolling waves of mechanical distortion. The title track follows, featuring a more subtle, layered approach, with multiple “voices” combining processed instrument noises with generated sounds.  The 11-minute diary is the final track, and contains a sharp complexity, wandering percussion, and a more acoustic feel.

hidden is a notable early-career effort in musique concrete – structurally tight and quite engaging. Since the release of this EP, Ms. Nguyen has made several other recordings available, each of which I am looking forward to hearing.

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5049 Records Podcast Final Episode

From 5049 Records, the final podcast. Jeremiah Cymerman has done a great job over the last couple of years with this podcast. Kudos.

After two years and eighty-five episodes of conversations with some of the world’s most remarkable musicians, today I post the final episode of the 5049 Podcast. Of all the work that I’ve done in the past thirteen years of activity in NYC, the series of conversations documented in this podcast stand as one of my proudest achievements. Whether it’s been old friends or complete strangers, welcoming people into my home these past two years, pouring out a few drinks and getting into it has been an utter delight and an incredible growing experience that I will always cherish.

For our final episode, I sat down with Nate Wooley and Toby Driver, the very first two guests of the show, and attempt to make sense of what these past two years have meant. Nate and Toby are my main guys and I’m happy to close things out with such men of distinction.

Musique Machine Reviews

English: Portrait image of Steve Roach at Soun...
Steve Roach

From Musique Machine:

Cannibal Ritual – Still Thirsty for Revenge
Sharron Kraus – Pilgrim Chants & Pastoral Trails
Byron Metcalf / Steve Roach / Rob Thomas – Monuments of Ecstacy
Black Matter Phantasm – Untitled Ritual
Z’EV and Bob Bellerue – Felt, If Not Seen
Ecco – The Ghastly Ones
Nar/Hearse Fetish – Split
Frank Lowe Quartet – Out Loud
Imago Mortis – Carnicon

Seattle Scene: January 27 – February 12

Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet perfor...
Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet 

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

WAYWARD MUSIC SERIES
Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)
Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences. All ages are welcome. All shows 8 PM, $5 – $15 sliding scale at the door unless otherwise noted (check individual listings).

Beth Fleenor’s Workshop Ensemble
Tue. Jan. 27, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Workshop Ensemble (WE) celebrate the release of SILT – a 16 minute sonic meditation which has been embraced by Bunny Blasto Records. SILT will be available as a limited edition 5.5 x 7.25 print by artist Ollie Glatzer, a visual meditation serving as the physical vehicle of the sonic work, in tandem with a private download of the music itself. SILT will be available for purchase in person at live events, or online via Bunny Blasto Records.

Ivan Arteaga’s Neijing Ensemble
Fri. Jan. 30, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Saxophonist Ivan Arteaga presents two new compositions for saxophone quartet (Neil Welch, Greg Sinibaldi, and Levi Gillis) with three contrabasses (Carmen Rothwell, Abbey Blackwell, John Teske) and voice (Katie Jacobson); an arrangement of a string quartet by Alban Berg; and arrangements of American folk songs by Arteaga, Levi Gillis, and Luciano Berio.

Upcoming Events (always subject to change; check our website for updates)

If you are interested in playing on the Wayward Series and have never done so before, PLEASE READ THIS before requesting a date.

SAT. 1/31 – no Wayward show tonight, but we strongly suggest you check out Michael Bisio (bass) and the legendary Joe McPhee (sax) at the Swingside Cafe in upper Fremont (also on Fri. 1/30)

THU. 2/5 – 30th annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival: Matthew Ostrowski (electronics)/Paul Hoskin (contrabass clarinet); Mazen Kerjab (trumpet)/Angelina Baldoz (trumpet)/Greg Powers (trombone)/Stuart Dempster (trombone); Bill Nace (electric guitar)/Dave Knott (guitar)/Alex Guy (viola, violin)

FRI. 2/6 – 30th annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival: Mazen Kerjab (trumpet)/Christian Pincock (trombone)/Chris Icasiano (drums); Bill Nace (electric guitar)/Wally Shoup (alto saxophone)/Greg Kelley (trumpet); Matthew Ostrowski (electronics)/Susie Kozawa (found objects)/Jessika Kenney (voice)

SAT. 2/7 – 30th annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival: Neil Welch (saxophone)/Monica Schley (harp)/Carol Levin (harp); Lori Goldston (cello)/Sue Ann Harkey (electric guitar)/Greg Campbell (drums); Mazen Kerjab (trumpet)/Bill Nace (electric guitar)/Matthew Ostrowski (electronics) + special guests

THU. 2/12 – Seattle cellist Lori Goldston