RIP Pierre Boulez

Composer, conductor, and new music advocate Pierre Boulez died yesterday at age 90.

Boulez was instrumental in my introduction to create / avant music 20-25 years ago. Through his connections with Zappa and Edgard Varese, I was introduced to his recordings of many modern composers, as well as his own works and those of other IRCAM composers.

In 1995, I attended the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Boulez conducting the works of Varese. Boulez began with a verbal introduction to the music of Varese, in which he explained that what were were about to hear was very “different.” In other words, he acknowledged that the audience might find the performance to be challenging, but that we should sit tight and for something both violent and emotional.

More on the passing of Pierre Boulez from:
The New York Times
The Guardian
The BBC

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Alex Ward Trios & Sextet – Projected / Entities / Removal (Copepod, 2015) ****
Ulrich Gumpert Quartett – A New One (Intakt, 2015) *****
The Bureau of Atomic Tourism – Hapax Legomena (RAT Records, 2015) ****½
Quatuor Machaut – Quatuor Machaut (Ayler, 2015) ****½
Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp – Complementary Colors (Leo, 2015) ****
Ivo Perelman, Mat Maneri & Tanya Kalmanovitch – Villa Lobos Suite (Leo Records, 2015) ****½
Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp & Whit Dickey – Butterfly Whispers (Leo Records, 2015) ****

Taran’s Free Jazz Hour Podcast 01/2016

American Jazz musician and composer Mat Maneri.

Source: Taran’s Free Jazz Hour.

Emanem
Last Tour: Steve Lacy Quintet-steve Lacy, Ss, Vo/ Irene Aebi, Vo/ George Lewis Tbn/ Jj Avenel, B/ John Betsch, Dr

Tuning out Tour: Veryan Weston, Org/ Jon Rose, Vln/ Hannah Marshall, Cello

Umlaut
Alvin P Buckley: Pierre Borel, S/ Louis Laurain, Tp/ Antonio Borghini, B/ Hannes Lingens, Dr

Driff
Never Odd Or Even: Jorrit Dijkstra, as, Lyricon, Etc

Bathysphere: Large Ensemble with Lots of Musicians

Matchbox: Jorrit Dijkstra – Alto Sax, Lyricon Pandelis Karayorgis – Piano Nate Mcbride – Bass Curt Newton – Drums

Circum
Outre-mesure: Marc Dosiere : Trumpet, Fluegelhorn Jerome Rosele : Tenor Saxophone Jean-louis Morais : Guitar, Compositions Olivier Verhaeghe : Bass Charles Duytschaever : Drums

Antipodes: Jerome Descamps : Trombone Christian Pruvost : Trumpet Nicolas Mahieux : Double-bass Peter Orins : Drums

Cleanfeed
the Transcendent Function: Mat Maneri, Viola/ Daniel Levin, Cello

Live at Culturgest: Luis Lopes, El G/ Jean Luc Guionnet, as

Capri
Requiem for a Jazz Lady: Ernie Krivda, Ts/ Lafayette Carthon, P/ Marion Hayden, B/ Renell Gonsalves, Dr

Amirani | Aut
Hotend: Dan Clucas, Cor/ Mark Weaver, Tba/ Dave Wayne, Dr, Elec

Tonefloat / New Wave of Jazz Releases

Source: Tonefloat.

JOHN DIKEMAN / STEVE NOBLE / DIRK SERRIES
Introducing a new exciting trio that unites US saxophone extravaganza JOHN DIKEMAN (Cactus Truck, Universal Indians, Dikeman/Parker/Drake), Belgian guitar experimentalist and veteran DIRK SERRIES (Yodok III, Fantoom, Kodian Trio) and legendary UK drummer STEVE NOBLE (N.E.W., Brötzmann/Noble). Met up for the first time on April 2nd 2015 at Soundsavers Studio in London, recording their first album. Their debut ‘Obscure Fluctuations’ was released on TROST from Austria to critically acclaim.
JOHN DIKEMAN : tenor saxophone
STEVE NOBLE : drums
DIRK SERRIES : electric guitar

KODIAN TRIO
KODIAN TRIO, the new flagship of Tonefloat’s New Wave Of Jazz label will release their debut album early March 2016. KODIAN TRIO born from the ashes of the insane quartet concert at Cafe Oto (London, UK) is UK saxophonist COLIN WEBSTER, UK drummer ANDREW LISLE and on electric guitar DIRK SERRIES. Webster, one of the rising starts in the UK improvisation scene and known for his collaborations with Archie Shepp, Joseph Bowie and Mark Holub. Andrew is a fascinating drummer, excelling in his abstract percussion and worked together with Alex Ward, Seymour Wright and Daniel Thompson. Dirk Serries slowly manifesting himself as a improvising guitarist, without his trademark drone or relying on his safety zone in looping structures, but more as a pupil of the great Derek Bailey.
COLIN WEBSTER : alto & baritone saxophone
ANDREW LISLE : drums
DIRK SERRIES : electric guitar

CYCLE
Drumster KAREN WILLEMS (Inwolves, Zita Zwoon group), double bass player MARTINA VERHOEVEN (Fantoom, 3 Seconds Of Air) and experimental guitarist DIRK SERRIES are leading this Belgian trio into free improvisation. A musical language wherein the percussive abstraction and intuition of Karen Willems communicates with the experimental guitar minimalism of Dirk Serries and the wilful approach to the double bass by Martina Verhoeven. Initiating a drop that grows into a long-form improvisation, the interaction between the 3 players focusing onto detail, slowly structuring a cycle of themes and motives around silence, repetition, mood and dynamics. CYCLE is a trio that plays the musical balance between improvisation, minimalism and avant-garde.
KAREN WILLEMS : drums
MARTINA VERHOEVEN : double bass
DIRK SERRIES : electric guitar

Two New Recordings from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Source: BMOP.

Chinary Ung: Singing Inside Aura offers a remarkable opportunity to view the compositional development of Cambodian American composer Chinary Ung. A recording of five orchestral works spanning over 40 years, the disc demonstrates a successful musical integration of Eastern and Western traditions into Ung’s individual musical language. Using dance rhythms and folk tunes from his native Cambodia, Ung’s creative spirit is rooted in ceremonial and spiritual meaning. The album’s earliest piece, Annica, written in 1970 at the Tanglewood Music Center, represents a compositional period that Ung identifies with a post Webern tradition. Grand Spiral: Desert Flowers Bloom, Antiphonal Spirals, and Water Rings Overture were composed within a four year period and display Ung’s imaginative and intricate mature style. Singing Inside Aura, written in 2013, offers a glimpse into an ongoing collaboration with the composer’s wife, Susan Ung, exploring the expressive possibilities of simultaneous instrumental and vocal performance.

BMOP/sound is thrilled to add Mason Bates: Mothership to its growing catalog. Demonstrating genre defying artistry, Bates is a seminal force in American music. “It’s such a rare and cherished opportunity to write for orchestra…and rare still to have the pieces make it onto a CD,” writes Bates. “Until this moment, very few pieces could be heard outside the concert hall. So the release of this CD is an incredibly special moment for me. These five works provide a look into a part of my musical world that I’ve been eager to record for a long time.” The album includes several of Bates’s most performed works in addition to ones that marked artistic breakthroughs for the composer. The disc’s eponymous work, Mothership, premiered in 2011 in a worldwide broadcast from the Sydney Opera House by the YouTube Symphony, features Bates’s signature combination of orchestra with electronica, as well as improvisations by two outstanding solo artists, Jason Moran on FM Rhodes and Su Chang on guzheng. The all acoustic tone poems Desert Transport and Sea Blue Circuitry, as well as the electro acoustic Rusty Air in Carolina, exhibit powerful imaginative catalysts. Taken together, this collection demonstrates why Mason Bates has become one of the most performed orchestral composers of the present day.

Sonic Hedgehog : Unexpected Consequences to Make North American Debut in Chicago

Unexpected Consequences focuses on the intricacies and multiplicities of chamber music relationships and delves into the realm of what it means to collaborate in modern times. It is a tour de force through the realms of sonic possibilities of the three instruments (bass clarinet, flutes, and electric guitar), an exploration of sounds, ways of interacting, and the unexpected consequences that emerge.

In Rozalie Hirs’ Infinity Stairs the performers join their independent solo pieces into a cohesive whole, simultaneously sustaining and abandoning their soloist individuality, playfully challenging the standard notions of chamber music. Chicago-based composer Fredrick Gifford’s Adage of Spontenaity creates a meta-instrument extremely active in subtly shifting colors. The duo VEEG and the new work of Wiek Hijmans rely on the individuality of the performers to interact with each other, an electronic media, or both in musical conversation which includes improvisation with “components, particles, lumps, crumbs” of material. Erin Gee’s Mouthpiece XXV for Sonic Hedgehog focuses specifically on the fringe articulations sounds of the mouth during normal vocal production, capturing both the nature of vowel qualities and the percussive pops, clicks and air sounds that surround each phoneme that is produced. The program features the music of Dufay as a means of accentuating the broad color range of the instruments and the deep-rooted connection of contemporary music to the entirety of the classical music tradition. The three polyphonic voices in Dufay resemble the contrapuntal textures and use of timbre that can be heard in the rest of the program.

This powerhouse ensemble makes its debut appearance in North America with a program that will delight audiences with unexpected synchronicities in music across time and location. The ensemble will make one public appearance in Chicago at Constellation during their residence at Columbia College presenting educational workshops and events.

Sonic Hedgehog: Unexpected Consequences
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 8:30pm
Constellation Chicago
3111 N. Western Avenue
$15/10
http://www.constellation-chicago.com

Program
+Guillaume Dufay (BE): Chansons for Trio (transcribed for/by Sonic Hedgehog)
Wiek Hijmans (NL): *Songish for solo alto flute
*/+To be honest for trio
+Rozalie Hirs (NL): Article 8 [Infinity Stairs] (2014) for flute and electronics
+Fredrick Gifford (USA): Adage of Spontaneity (2014) for Trio
+Jorrit Dijkstra (NL): Veeg (2004) duo for flute and bass clarinet
+Rozalie Hirs (NL): Infinity Stairs (2014) for Trio and electronics
+Erin Gee (USA) – Mouthpiece XXV for bass flute, bass clarinet, electric guitar
+Guillaume Dufay (BE): Chansons for Trio (transcribed for/by Sonic Hedgehog)
*World Premiere indication +US Premiere indication

Video samples:
https://vimeo.com/149269311