The Curious Case Of Kew. Rhone. and Peter Blegvad

From The Quietus:

This is Andy Gill, the music critic rather than the Gang of Four guitarist, writing in the NME on 23 April 1977: “It is completely utterly unlike any other album you’re likely to come across. Ever.” He’s talking about Kew. Rhone. And he’s right. The album didn’t exactly establish a year zero; it didn’t try to. But in terms of wiping clean the musical slate, it knocks spots off Never Mind The Bollocks. And yet Kew. Rhone. is not punk at all. It’s closer to an avant-garde musical.

AMN Reviews: The Quatuor BRAC – Hall des Chars [Blumlein Records CD-A026]

quatuorbrac3Traditionally, the string quartet is an ensemble optimized for contrapuntal music. But whereas the more conventional string quartet trades in a counterpoint of melodic line, the Quatuor BRAC trades in a counterpoint of timbre.

The Quatuor BRAC is a multinational group made up of violinist Tiziana Bertoncini (Vienna); violist Vincent Royer (Cologne); cellist Martine Altenburger (St. Silvain-sous-Toulx); and double bassist Benoit Cancoin (Trévoux). Hall des Chars, recorded 13 May 2014 in Strasbourg, is their second release. Like their first recording, this one consists of a single improvised live performance of substantial length.

The quartet’s vocabulary is that of contemporary art music for strings—chromatic lines, wide leaps of register, microtones, harmonics and drones, informed by a fluent grasp of extended technique in all of its nuances. The collective sound that emerges consists in an always-changing texture that reflects the group’s intuitive sense of balancing and contrasting densities and dynamics. Thick chords contributed to by all four members at once may give way to a silence barely broken by sotto voce harmonics and the swoop of the bow on dampened bass strings; pressured circular bowing on muted strings may overlap with the sound of strings tapped quietly with the tip of the bow. Underlying it all is a finely-accomplished timbral counterpoint wherein traditional note-against-note polyphony is largely supplanted by the placing of sounds selected for their color properties rather than their pitches. Central to the success of this approach is the ability of each player to create a continuity of line in tandem with or in contrast to the others; even during the most highly saturated passages the unique grain of each voice is maintained, no matter how modified it may be by unorthodox modes of sound production.

A fine excursion into twenty-first century counterpoint.

Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Merzbow – Nezumimochi
Ecco – The Wicked Warden
Pig Shrapnel – Carver Of The Ham
Sigh – Scorn Defeat
Robert Rich – Sunyata/Inner Landscapes
WHERE is THIS – Infinite Hum
Frank Bretschneider – Sinn + Form
ForrrestDrones – Najas Flexilis Exequiae
Janek Schaefer – Unfolding Luxury Beyond the City of Dreams

Newsbits: Lost Civilizations in DC / Acousmatic Music in NY / Drones in Maryland / Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble in LA

On Saturday, February 21, Dura, the Jimmy Kreutzer and Tony Risotto Duo and the Lost Civilizations experimental music project perform at DC’s iconic Velvet Lounge, 915 U Street, NW. Doors are at 9:00; show at 9:30; $8. The Lost Civilizations experimental music project is a collaboration between Mike Sebastian (Tenor Sax, Saxello and Baritone Sax) and T. A. Zook (BassCello). Although it is essentially a duo and performs most frequently as such, it often features guest performers. When complex schedules permit, it now performs with Doug Kallmeyer on bass and electronics, Jerry Busher on percussion and electronics, Amanda Huron on percussion, Larry Gomez on percussion, Patrick Whitehead on horns and Emily Chimiak on violin. At its February 21 performance, it will be performing with Jerry Busher.

An evening of live and acousmatic multi-channel music featuring The FLUX Quartet and Michael Nicolas will take place February 27, 2015 at 8:00PM at the NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place, New York.

JS Adams discusses his upcoming March 7th performance of electroacoustic drone music. The show will feature The Sloth Ensemble, Let X ≠ X, Anduin, Dave Vosh, M.O.S., Tag Cloud at the Sonic Circuits event Saturday, March 7, 2015, 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m at Pyramid Atlantic, 8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.

Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble (JCDE), will perform their original score to the classic expressionist horror film “The Golem.” They’ll accompany a screening of the film on Friday, March 13th at HM157 in Lincoln Heights. JCDE, a Long Beach-based electroacoustic new music group, currently consists of founder/composer Jack Curtis Dubowsky on keyboards, Alicia Byer on clarinet, Michael G. Bauer on saxophone and Jeff Schwartz on double bass.

Seattle Scene: February 20 – March 16

English: Photo of jazz French horn play Tom Varner
Tom Varner

From Seattle’s 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).

Jason E Anderson + RM Francis
Fri. Feb. 20, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Emerging from the traditions of experimental music and sound art, Jason E Anderson (aka Spare Death Icon) creates sound using synthesis, acoustic recordings, programming and text. RM Francis is the computer music project of Seattle musician Robert Francis. His work incorporates granular synthesis, spectral processing, algorithmic composition, graphical interfaces and image sonification.

Sat. Feb. 21, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door
Gwenk is a collaborative quartet that focuses on original, creative compositions. This music challenges assumptions about stereotypical beauty by engaging with the unexpected and absurd. Gwenk is made up of Troy Schiefelbein (bass), Matthew Singler (drums), Andrew Coulter (trombone) and Katie Levine (piano).

WED. 2/25 – Tom Varner (French horn) presents improvisations with a wandering brass ensemble, percussionist Paul Kikuchi, and field recordists Steve Barsotti and Steve Peters

THU. 2/26 – Joshua Medina & Paurl Walsh + Noonmoon + Karnak Temples + Sue Ann Harkey

FRI. 2/27 – An evening of art song and chamber music inspired by birdsong: Debussy, Mahler, Vaughan-Williams, Cage, Copland, and Jake Heggie

SAT. 2/28, 7:30 – Seattle Modern Orchestra benefit concert

FRI. 3/7 – Seattle Composers’ Salon – Ann Cummings, Jeremiah Lawson, Jeremy Shaskus/Nadya Kadrevis, Clement Reid

FRI. 3/13 – TORCH straddles the worlds of classical and jazz, with Brian Chin (trumpet), Eirc Likkel (clarinet), Brady Millard-Kisch (bass), Ben Tomas (vibes, percussion)

SAT. 3/14 – electroacoustic music by Matthieu Ruhlmann/Joda Clément (Vancouver) + Coppice (Chicago)

MON. 3/16 – WA Composers Forum presents Inverted Space