AMN Reviews: Philip Corner – Satie Slowly (Unseen Worlds)

medium_UW12Philip Corner could write a book on Erik Satie. And he has, moderately thick and CD sized, slipcovered together with his double set of interpretations of a broad swathe of the Frenchman´s fin-de-siècle. In it, he delves into the minutiae of how he confronts Satie. Remarkably for the lay but enthusiastic, long-time listener, Corner feels that pianists insist on playing him too fast. He insists that Satie is “right…revolutionary [while pretending] to be traditional.” On Satie Slowly, Corner holds each note up like a rare gem to be admired in the light before moving on to the next.

This certainly doesn´t mean he is going to handle him with kid gloves. The ivories get a right bashing on the first piece, “Ogive I”. And he plays “Gnossienne No. 1” over ten minutes and with fervour. Part of the excellence of this collection is its amplitude. Too many of us have been stuck in the same Satie rut for years, I´ll wager. A piece like “The Feast Given by the Norman Knights to Honor a Young Girl,” daunting title notwithstanding, is courtly and polite and in Corner´s hands has something Medieval to its rhythm. And he is sweetness itself on the “Second Prelude of the Nazarene”. The album even introduced me to the first piece by Satie I´ve actively disliked: “The Gothic Dances” has too many flying buttresses and tall, pointy windows for my taste.

The famous “Gymnopédie” are exquisite, more sensual than they´ve ever been. Three fanfares for the Rosicrucians (Satie joined the secret society in the 1890s) are like plainchant transcribed for modern ears. These are followed by his twelve tiny “Chorales,” each about a half a haiku long, before a jaunty, kick-in-the-pants closer called “Empire´s Diva,” full of Laurel & Hardy pratfalls and come-hither Mary Pickford eyelash flutters that could have leapt right off the silent screen.

A full evening´s entertainment and enlightenment.

Stephen Fruitman


Chicago Scene: April 18 – May 2, 2015

English: ICP Orchestra - Han Bannink
ICP Orchestra – Han Bannink 

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

Saturday, April 18th 2015

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
Francisco Lopez

Sunday, April 19th 2015

5:00PM at 1st Ward, 2033 W North, 773.537.4441 ($18)
Marc Ribot, Daniel Knox — live score to Docks of New York

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12)
Hors d’Oeuvres
Morton Feldman Chamber Players : Drew Baker, Kayleigh Butcher, Andy Costello, Jeff Kimmel, Shawn Lucas, Mira Luxion, Beth McDonald, Weston Olencki, Andrew Tham

Monday, April 20th 2015

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

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Anagram Series
Nick Mazzarella, Avreeayl Ra
Anton Hatwich’s 333 : Keefe Jackson, Anton Hatwich, Quin Kirchner

Wednesday, April 22nd 2015

8:00PM at the Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park, 312.801.2100 ($25-$15)
AACM 50th Anniversary Celebration
Hanah Jon Taylor Artet
Saalik’s Epoch Zed
Tomeka Reid

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Quin Kirchner Group : Jason Stein, Nate Lepine, Nick Broste, Matt Ulery, Quin Kirchner
Sound Of The City Workshop

10:30PM at Honky Tonk BBQ, 1213 W 18th, 312.907.7895
Keefe Jackson Trio with Jason Roebke, Mikel Avery

Thursday, April 23rd 2015

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$10)
DN Proximity
Dal Niente — music by Rebecca Saunders

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
James Falzone Solo
Ed Wilkerson, Jim Baker, Steve Hunt

Friday, April 24th 2015

8:00PM at the Old Town School, 4544 N Lincoln, 773.728.6000 ($25) (wheelchair-accessible)
Still in Motion
eighth blackbird

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Black Host : Gerald Cleaver, Cooper-Moore, Brandon Seabrook, Darius Jones, Pascal Niggenkemper

8:30PM at the International House, 1414 E 59th ($15)
40 Years in the Moment
Adegoke Steve Colson, Iqua Colson, Rasul Siddik, Ernest Dawkins, Dushun Mosley

Saturday, April 25th 2015

7:30PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 ($28-$22) (wheelchair-accessible)
ICE — music of Anna Thorvaldsdottir

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
Marilyn Crispell

Monday, April 27th 2015

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, April 29th 2015

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Keefe Jackson, Russ Johnson, Anton Hatwich, Tollof Estvang
Sound Of The City Workshop

Thursday, April 30th 2015

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Jason Stein, Keefe Jackson, Dave Rempis, Tomeka Reid, Tollof Estvang

Saturday, May 2nd 2015

7:30PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 ($28-$22) (wheelchair-accessible)
Nicole Mitchell

8:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
ICP : Guus Janssen, Ab Baars, Tobias Delius, Michael Moore, Thomas Heberer, Mary Oliver, Tristan Honsinger, Ernst Glerum, Han Bennink

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

Just Outside Reviews

From Just Outside:

common objects – whitewashed with lines (Another Timbre)
Magnus Granberg/Skuggorna och Ijuset – Would Fall from the Sky, Would Wither and Die (Another Timbre)
Fraufraulein – Extinguishment (Another Timbre)
Joshua Adam Acosta – Moment’s Notice (no label)
Yiorgis Sakellariou – Cueb (Mechaorga)
Benjamin Finger – Pleasurably Lost (Eilean)
Pedra Contida – Xisto (JACC)
Fail Better! – Zero Sum (JACC)

Upcoming Detroit Shows

From the Bohemian in Exile:

Saturday April 18: Mid American Center for Contemporary Music
Home to the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the renowned Bowling Green New Music Festival (now entering its 36th year), a robust composition program and a vibrant new music-focused Doctor of Musical Arts curriculum, the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts has been an active contributor to the national and international new music scene for almost four decades. For this concert, faculty and graduate students from Bowling Green State University’s renowned contemporary music program will be performing at Trinosophes with a program of new music by Georges Aperghis, John Drumheller, Jonathan Harvey, BGSU faculty composer Mikel Kuehn, Bright Sheng, Toru Takemitsu and Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang.
Doors at 8 pm; $6.

April 22: Gerald Cleaver‘s Black Host
Drummer Gerald Cleaver, born and raised in Detroit, is a product of the city’s rich music tradition. He earned a music education degree from the University of Michigan and taught public school in Detroit before joining the jazz faculty at both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in 1995 and 1998, respectively. Gerald moved to NYC in 2002. He has performed and recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Ralph Alessi, Jeremy Pelt, David Torn, Mario Pavone and Tomasz Stanko, among others.
Doors at 8 pm; $10-20.

April 29 Mothlight Micro Cinema presents
May 3: Interwaving Strecht
May 5: Instant Composers Pool
May 7: Detroit to Baghdad
May 8: Doug Halladay’s EXFactor, featuring Andrew Bishop, Pepe Espinosa
May 10: Tim Berne’s Snake Oil
May 20: Natural Information Society
May 22: Elizabeth Ward
May 23: Laurence Miller films and music
June 1: Neil Hagerty
June 19 & 20: Rod Williams with Marcus Elliot, Jaribu Shahid, Djallo Djakate
June 23: Paal Nilssen-Love‘s Large Unit

New Cold Spring Records Releases

Cold Spring (label)

From Cold Spring Records:

KEROVNIAN – ‘Far Beyond, Before The Time’ CD (Cold Spring CSR24CD)
“Far Beyond, Before The Time” was the first genius offering of Kerovnian, spewing forth the bleakest, Blackest Ambient ever released. This music comes from the deep abyss, the bottomless wells, the blackest pits. Coupled with ultra low sonics, is the deep language of Kerovnian – words of a 1000 year old mixture of Persian and Greek. First released in 1999, “Far Beyond…” has received wide critical acclaim as an essential album of the genre. We’re very proud to finally reissue this masterpiece! The album was mastered by Denis Blackham. The 2015 edition comes with 4 bonus, previously unreleased tracks, recorded during the same sessions.

MOLOCH – ‘Die Isolation’ CD (Cold Spring CSR210CD)
A new opus comes from the woods of Carpathia. It is a despairing portrayal of the souls that are lost in the winter woods. Hypnotic sounds, like a thousand blades in a dance of a winter blizzard, leaving thousands of cuts digging into the body. Heart-rending screams of freezing flesh, summoning death, dissolving within echoes on the mountains. This album delivers cold, misanthropic and desolate mid-tempo, Nordic-influenced Black Metal, alongside melancholic Dark Ambient tracks. Crunchy distorted guitar minimalism, primal thrashing beats, and an overall raw necroish execution are reinforced by howling, tortured, grim vocals that recall the old Burzum era.

DMG Newsletter April 17th, 2015

Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, performing a...
Sylvie Courvoisier

From DMG:

Romantic Warriors III: Canterbury Tales DVD! Steve Coleman & The Council of Balance! Matthew Shipp/Mat Walerian Duo! Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: Mary Halvorson/Brian Settles/Jonathan Finlayson/Michael Formanek! Evan Parker‘s Monoceros Soprano Solo Returns!

John Russell/John Butcher/Phil Durrant! Three Gems from Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura! Scott Amendola/Nels Cline/Trevor Dunn’s Fade to Orange! Chris Kelsey & Dom Minasi! Ross Hammond! Three from Hubro & Ingar Zach! More from Experimental Intermedia and More..!


The DMG Free In-Store Music Schedule Continues with:

Sunday, April 19th:
6pm: ANNA WEBBER & NATHANIEL MORGAN – Tenor Sax & Flute/Alto Sax!

Sunday April 26th Double-Header:
6pm: ROB PRICE – Solo Guitar & Video Projection!

Monday, April 27th at Clemente Soto Velez: DMG Anniversary/Celebration Volume 1:
9pm: TBA

DMG 24th Anniversary/Celebration – 4 Day In-Store Fest!
Donation requested!
Saturday, May 2nd at 6:30: WILLIAM PARKER & TONY MALABY + William Parker Book Signing!
Monday, May 4th at 6:30: NATE WOOLEY – Solo Trumpet!

Monday, May 11th at The Stone – 24th Anniversary Celebration of DMG!
8pm: All-Star DMG Improv Set featuring: Chuck Bettis, Sylvie Courvoisier, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Helias, Jason Hwang, Ned Rothenberg, Ikue Mori, Chris Pitsiokos and Steve Swell! 10pm: MATTHEW SHIPP & MICHAEL BISIO – The Gospel According to..!
$20 per set – All proceeds go to helping DMG stay alive!

Robert Ashley’s ‘Crash’ at Roulette Reviewed


Robert Ashley, the brilliant, innovative American composer who died in March last year at 83, created a distinctive operatic aesthetic, a surrealist, meditative style instantly recognizable as his own. Operas of all genres often have surrealist elements, whether the fantastical plot lines of Handel or the satirical quirks of Shostakovich. But Mr. Ashley’s engrossing stage works feature ordinary people, taking on a surrealist hue through the imaginative use of voices: singsong patterns of multiple speakers that blend into scores both direct and elusive.