Newsbits: Cameron & Diaz-Infante / Pirog in Pittsburgh / Miles in Newport Reviewed / Mathisen in NY / The Climate Music Project / Xenochrony

English: Miles Davis

A new album, Sol Et Terra, is out from Lisa Cameron & Ernesto Diaz-Infante.

The Anthony Pirog Trio will perform in Pittsburgh on July 29.

The latest Miles Davis box set, featuring 20 years of his Newport Jazz recordings, is reviewed.

Ole Mathisen will perform solo on July 21 at NY’s Shapeshifter Lab.

On the serious side, The Climate Music Project is seeking to extend its funding. It is an educational art project that uses music as an analogy to model climate change in a way that will engage non-scientists.

On the non-so-serious-but-fun side, Xenochrony simultaneously mashes up three YouTube videos of experimental music. Virtually endless combinations.

Interview With Frederic Rzewski

From The

Frederic Rzewski is one of the most original and brilliant American composer-performers on the scene during the last half-century. His The People United Will Never Be Defeated, a set of thirty-six variations on Sergio Ortega’s El pueblo unido jamás será vencido, is an iconic work of the piano repertoire, as are the Four North American Ballads. Frederic is a very prolific composer, having written a great deal for his own instrument, the piano, as well as works for orchestra, for the theater, and for various conventional as well as unique combinations of musicians, such as Les Moutons de Panurge, which is scored for “any number of musicians playing melodic instruments and any number of non-musicians playing anything”.

RareNoise Records Artists on Tour

English: Bobby Previte Live at Saalfelden 2009...

Upcoming tour dates from RareNoise artists:

The New Standard Trio, that is Jamie Saft on piano and hammond organ, Steve Swallow on electric bass and Bobby Previte on drums, will be touring Europe this July.

July 21st – BRAGA/PORTUGAL – Theatro Circo de Braga – TICKETS
July 22nd – MÜNCHEN/GERMANY – Bayerischer Hof – Nightclub (Sommer Festival) TICKETS
July 23rd – GENOVA/ITALY – Palaghiaccio / Porto Antico (part of the GEZMATAZ Genoa Jazz Festival) – TICKETS
July 25th – SAN SEBASTIAN/SPAIN (San Sebastian Jazz Festival) – Plaza de la Trinidad – TICKETS
July 26th – KREMS/AUSTRIA – Winzer Krems (Glatt Und Verkehrt Festival) TICKETS

JÜ (Adam Meszaros – guitars, Ernö Hock – bass, Andras Halmos – drums) and Kjetil Møster (saxophones) on select dates, will be playing a cluster of dates this Summer and Autumn.

July 26 – Művészetek Völgye, Harcsa Veronika Udvar (Valley of Arts Culture and Arts Festival, Kapolcs, Hungary, Veronica’s Catfish farm
Aug 1 – Beseda u Bigitu Festival in Tasov (Czech Republic)
Aug 29 – Saalfelden Jazz Festival , Austria(with Kjetil Moster)
Oct 15 – London @ Match&Fuse Fest (with Kjetil Moster)

AMN Reviews: Christian Wolff – Angelica Music [Angelica IDA030]

christian wolff - angelica musicThe music of Christian Wolff has long occupied the fertile borderland between composition and improvisation, as both are usually understood. More a set of suggestions than a writ of prescriptions, his scores can take the form of graphic symbols floating freely against a white background—as in 1968’s Edges—or of pitches notated and other parameters left unspecified, as in the Exercises. He is on record as having said that a score is only a means to an end, the latter consisting of the performance, which to him just is the music. With these performances by percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, the new music sextet Apartment House and the composer himself, that end is elegantly achieved.

The ten pieces included on this recording were taken from performances at two concerts held at Bologna’s Church of Santa Caterina in May of 2013. Among the pieces is one world premiere—the duet Winter Exercise, for percussion and piano–and one first recording.

With the exception of the early Duo for Violins, all of the compositions represented here incorporate degrees of freedom for the performers to, in essence, co-create the music with the composer. As with much of Wolff’s writing, the composition is a kind of text in which the unwritten is just as important as the written; the range of possibilities implicit in what the score doesn’t make explicit is realized in the interplay of the musicians not only with whatever marks there are on the page but with each other as well. The openness of the score may be a challenge, but one that solicits creative responses from the performer. Nowhere is this more evident than in the series of Exercises Wolff has written. Inspired by the heterophony of early jazz, the Exercises are melodies made up of small clusters of notes which can be played by any combination of instruments; in addition the performer can choose the details of how he or she will play, including which notes to play and which not to play.

A 1974 installment of the series is realized here as a duet between Wolff on piano and long-time collaborator Robyn Schulkowsky on tuned percussion; a second, Exercises 10 of 1973/1974, is played by the superb and superbly adventurous Apartment House, again with Wolff, this time playing melodica. Both Exercises take on at times the sound of a loose canon, a polyphonic semi-improvisation, or a series of approximate unisons sometimes evocative of a live delay effect. In the duo settings the melodic cells are fairly transparent; the seven-voiced Exercises 10 increases the complexity of the interplay and recovers something of the jazz-like, multi-linear textures that inspired the series’ creation.

A second piece performed by Apartment House with Wolff is Edges. Perhaps one of the best-known of the postwar graphic scores, Edges consists of a single page sparsely populated by musical signs and invented shapes—a score to be played around as well as through, as Wolff once memorably described it. The realization here is a largely timbral, exploratory mosaic that takes fullest advantage of the range of sounds available to the strings in particular, through various articulations and extended techniques as well as more conventional pizzicato and arco playing. Underneath it all are Wolff’s well-selected and generally understated interventions on piano.

Apartment House are also responsible for the first recording of The Berlin Exercises (2000). Originally written for a Berlin ensemble mixing professional with amateur musicians of varying abilities, the piece unfolds in a series of short, repeating patterns of notes that sometimes create a pulse effect and other times a kind of abbreviated counterpoint. A passage in the middle is taken up with the percussive sounds of wood on wood—col legno strikes to the bodies of the string instruments?—; the piece eventually moves on to clarinetist Andrew Sparling’s vocal delivery of a text by Bertolt Brecht.

A handful of Keyboard Miscellanies, small and often occasional sketches for keyboard, are included with Wolf on piano. Rounding out the set is Duo for Violins, a piece dating back to 1950 and written after Wolff had taken some composition lessons from John Cage. Played by Apartment House’s Gordon MacKay and Ruth Ehrlich, the entire piece consists of the three notes D-Eb-E, without transpositions. Out of such seemingly unpromisingly minimal material a genuinely beautiful polyphony arises, the two lines crossing, diverging and clashing with a sometimes dramatic and sometimes subtle heightening and slackening of harmonic tension along the way.

Daniel Barbiero

AMN Reviews: Cinchel – Witnessing (2015; Pan y Rosas)

cinchel-witnessingThis is an artist from Chicago, apparently a guitarist but I don’t believe there are any guitars here, who succeeded in creating something very big from something very little.  While the raw materials, tools and overall results are completely different, I can’t help but being reminded of the Australian trio The Necks who use a similar work ethic.  That is, turning the bare bones, the very whisp of an idea into a Gulliver sized edifice of sound.

Starting with a taped fragment of a conversation, maybe about 30 seconds long as the base material, we then get treated to it’s gradual deconstruction and resulting reconstruction.  This Lucier-like transformation was in a word, fascinating.  Things start happening fairly quickly on this 39 minute release.  About 5 minutes in, and without hardly realizing it, the benign taped fragment metamorphosed into a rolling cascade of human voices.  If a voice was a physical construct, something that you can see, touch and feel, cinchel very cleverly animated this thing and kicked it down a mountainside.  Not just one voice, but hundreds…and it sounded like it was a tumbling avalanche gaining power as the seconds progressed.

Not sure how this was going to be resolved (spoiler…sorry) I could only keep listening.  After all, it’s not everyday voices take on a Nintendo character aspect as I could only believe that there was going to be a level change soon.  And there was, but it was very subtle…things very slowly started smoothing out. Rough edges started getting buffed, sandpaper-like shards of sound became velvety smooth drone-like things.  Buried within were razor sharp beams of noise that may have been the ghosts of that long dead 30 second conversation that started this piece.  After the nano second it took me to process those ghosts I probably uttered “What?” but, then again maybe I just thought I did.

Because, when it was all over I couldn’t help but think I was lifted from one place to another.  It made me smile.  Good stuff here!

Michael Eisenberg

All About Jazz Reviews

From All About Jazz:

Amir ElSaffar And The Two Rivers Ensemble
Crisis (Pi Recordings)

Julian Lage
World’s Fair (Modern Lore Records)

Mette Rasmussen/Chris Corsano
All The Ghosts At Once (Relative Pitch Records)

Chor Des Bayerichen Rundfunks / Muchner Rundfunkorchestra, Peter Dijkstra
Arvo Pärt: Te Deum (BR Klassik)

Amir ElSaffar
Crisis (Pi Recordings)

Joel Harrison 5
Spirit House (Whirlwind Recordings Ltd)