AMN Reviews: Yarn/Wire – Currents Vol. 3 [Bandcamp]

coverA symmetrical grouping of two percussionists (Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg) and two pianists (Laura Barger and Ning Yu), Yarn/Wire is an ensemble specializing in experimental new music now in their tenth season. Their third release in the Yarn/Wire/Currents series presents three new works—very new, in fact, since they were written only a few months ago for the group to premiere in September at the ISSUE Project Room. The versions appearing on this release were recorded just a few weeks ago, in early November at Renssalaer Polytech’s Media and Performing Arts Center.

Although the group’s acquaintance with these compositions is necessarily very recent, their performances are marked by a confidence that comes from a grasp of the experimental and expressive sensibilities embodied in the three pieces.

Mediums, a composition by New York multimedia artist David Bird, opens the collection. Its long tones, sparse piano and prominent electronics are both lush and discordant. Through layering and slow dynamic crescendo, the piece builds tension accented by curt interventions from the pianos and flourishes of percussion. Sam Pluta’s Seven Systems is a seven-movement work for percussion, MIDI-supplemented piano and computer-activated snare drum. The work moves between frenetic, aggressive events marked by violent attacks on the piano keys to quieter, more serene passages. The program notes suggest that Pluta intended it as a portrait of emotional volatility; Yarn/Wire’s realization is a fully-committed engagement of some wrenching changes of mood. UK electronics artist Mark Fell’s core, self, oscillation, another multi-part work, is built around the elastic, nervous pulse of frame drum, which serves as the skeletal support for ringing metals and thunderous piano chords.

Ensemble Dal Niente in New York Reviewed

Source: The New York Times.

Here’s all you need to know to grasp the whimsical character of Ensemble Dal Niente, a superb contemporary-music collective: In its hometown, Chicago, it runs a concert series called Hard Music, Hard Liquor. No spirits were involved in the New York leg of the group’s Neue Musik tour, which had already passed through Boston on its way to an ingenious evening at the DiMenna Center on Thursday presented by Permutations, a bicoastal performance series. Except, that is, for the spirit of the composer Helmut Lachenmann, whose influence could be found all over this program. That’s unsurprising given that the ensemble’s name is a homage to Mr. Lachenmann’s own piece “Dal Niente (Interieur III),” — “dal niente” meaning “from nothing” in Italian.

This Week’s Concerts in New York


The Curiosity Cabinet presents composer Whitney George’s The Strange Library, for narrator and quartet, inspired by the illustrated novella by Haruki Murakami of the same title.
Tuesday, December 15 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $15, $12 students/seniors
The Center for Fiction, 17 East 47th Street, New York, NY

Baritone David Adam Moore performs the New York premiere of David T. Little’s multimedia Winterreise, which draws the audience into the emotional journey of the poet. The production includes moving images created for the show by GLMMR, a new collective founded by artists Vita Tzykun and Moore. Curated by David T. Little.
Wednesday, December 16 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $35
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Theo Bleckmann – Photo Amanda StockwellTheo Bleckmann – Photo Amanda Stockwell
National Sawdust curator Theo Bleckmann and pianist Uri Caine join forces to create their own take on Winterreise, featuring voice, toys, piano and electronica, with new lyrics, harmonies, and languages including French, German, Yiddish and English.
Thursday, December 17 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $35
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

JACK’s first-ever Four Pianos Festival offer a rare opportunity for musicians and audiences to be a part of a three-day piano overload, with several of the city’s great improvising pianists playing simultaneously on four pianos. This special performance includes new works written and performed by pianists Cory Smythe and Craig Taborn, in a collaboration commissioned by ICE.
Friday, December 18 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $20
JACK, 505 1/2 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Composer Tristan Perich (photo credit: © d. yee / Cantaloupe Music)Composer Tristan Perich (photo credit: © d. yee / Cantaloupe Music)
The program consists of music for percussion and electronics and includes works by John Luther Adams and Tristan Perich.
Friday, December 18 at 8:30 PM
$10 suggested donation
Amos Eno Gallery, 1087 Flushing Ave, Ste 120, Brooklyn, NY

The S.E.M. Ensemble, led by conductor, composer, and flutist Petr Kotik, returns to the Paula Cooper Gallery’s main space for its annual holiday concert. A tradition started in 1984, the evening will feature contemporary works, along with music by one early-music composer.
Saturday, December 19 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15-$20
Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, New York, NY

ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, a National Sawdust Group-in-Residence, will have its first residency in the space from December 14-20, 2015. On December 20, they will present their new works and works-in-progress – a mix of composition and improvisation incorporating percussion, electric guitar, bass, and electronics – to the public for the first time.
Sunday, December 20 at 6:00 PM
Tickets $25
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Flow State celebrates the release of their album, Where the Sky Meets the Earth.
Sunday, December 20 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $12 advance, $15 at door
Center for Performance Research, 361 Manhattan Avenue, #1, Brooklyn, NY

Food’s This Is Not a Miracle Reviewed

English: Thomas Strønen, jazz drummer; Picture...

Source: Burning Ambulance.

Norwegian/British duo Food has just released their third album with ECM, their eighth overall, This Is Not a Miracle. (Get it from Amazon.) The core group consists of Thomas Strønen on drums, electronic percussion, Moog, and Fender Rhodes, and Iain Bellamy on saxophone and electronics. They’ve had numerous guests over the course of their nearly 20-year career, including trumpeters Arve Henriksen and Nils Petter Molvaer and guitarist Eivind Aarset; on This Is Not A Miracle, the pair are joined, as they were on the previous two albums, by experimental guitarist Christian Fennesz.

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival January 8-10, 2016

Iannis Xenakis

Source: The San Francisco Tape Music Festival.

Friday January 8, 2016 (8pm)
Saturday January 9, 2016 (8pm)
Saturday January 9, 2016 (11pm)
Sunday January 10, 2016 (8pm)
Gray Area Grand Theater
2665 Mission St
$15 [$10 underemployed] each concert
$40 festival pass

America’s only festival devoted to the performance of audio works projected in three-dimensional space, The San Francisco Tape Music Festival features four distinct concerts of classic audio art and new fixed media compositions by 32 local and international composers. Hear members of the SF Tape Music Collective, along with guest composers, shape the sound live over a pristine surround system (24 high-end loudspeakers) with the audience seated in complete darkness. It’s a unique opportunity to experience music forming – literally – around you.


A Selection of Wax Cylinder Recordings (1887–1894)
Tod Dockstader (1932 – 2015) – Selected Works
John Chowning – Tureneas (1972)
Joseph Anderson – mpingo (2003)
Maggi Payne – Black Ice (2014)
Matt Ingalls – Collage 3 (2016)
Adam Hirsch – ellipses (2015)
Sam Salem – Himlen Var (2015)
Timothy Cooper – Soundlines: After Infold (2015)

A Selection of Wax Cylinder Recordings (1887–1894)
Bebe and Louis Barron – excerpts from Forbidden Planet Soundtrack (1956)
Paul Lansky/Brad Garton/Andrew Milburn – Wasting (1986)
Javier Alvarez – Mambo a la braque (1990)
Tetsu Inoue and Carl Stone – @.fine (2001)
Thom Blum – Spanish Panoramas (2015)
Cliff Caruthers – New Work (2016)
L.J. Altvater – Urban Paradise (excerpt) (2015)
Leah Reid – Ring, Resonate, Resound (2015)
Tom Bickley – Middle Armand Bayou (2015)
Mirtru Escalona-Mijares – L’ermitage au toit de chaume (2014-2015)
Rodney Waschka II – Mayday: Requiem for Those Lost at Sea (2015)

SATURDAY 11p – multichannel works
Morton Feldman – Intersection (1953)
Iannis Xenakis – Hibiki Hana Ma (1969-70)
Voicehandler (Jacob Felix Heule & Danishta Rivero) – I am a recording instrument (2016)
Elizabeth Anderson – Solar Winds..and Beyond (2012-2014)
Bjarni Gunnarsson – Ubieties (2015)

large scale works by

François Bayle – Tremblement De Terre Très Deux (1978)
François Bayle – L’Expérience Acoustique (1969-1972)
1. L’écriture acoustique
2. L’Energie libre, énergie liée

Francis Dhomont – Cycle du Son
1 Objets retrouvés (1996)
2 AvatArsSon (1998)
3 Novars (1989)
4 Phonurgie (1998)