AMN Reviews: Anders Berg & Tellef Øgrim – Kölen [Simlas]; Circadia – Advances and Delays [SOFA 551]

As a polytonal, chording instrument, the guitar—whether electric or acoustic—is incisively capable of creating textures and harmonies of all densities and degrees of dissonance or consonance. Two new releases of guitar-based, improvised music from Scandinavia reveal something of the instrument’s versatility in creating rough or refined sonic atmospheres.

a2594638243_16Kölen, the third release from the duo of Sweden’s Anders Berg (double bass, electric bass and electronics) and Norwegian guitarist Tellef Øgrim consists of eight tracks inspired by the geology and topography of Scandinavia’s severe, far northern landscape. And it’s possible to hear in these largely hard-edged pieces an aural image of craggy stone thrust up into thin, twilit air. Both instruments’ sounds are altered, often aggressively so, into an overdriven, elementally gritty distortion. This may not be metal, but it certainly is the ore from which metal originates.

12806160_1052804438076012_6377583687397800828_nUnlike Kölen’s electronics-heavy ambience, Advances and Delays, a CD featuring the Norwegian guitarist Kim Myhr along with Swedish guitarist David Stackenäs, Canadian-born bassist Joe Williamson and Australian percussionist Tony Buck, is an acoustic affair made up of two long improvisations. The first piece is framed by the dense, choric clang and jangle of the two guitars; within the apparently static outer shell of sound the music moves restlessly in shimmering increments. The texture of the second piece initially is as rarefied as the first is thick. Harmonics and stopped strings are plucked and left to linger and decay in their own time; spaciously-placed bass notes hit at a chord progression that gradually is realized in strummed guitar chords. Following a percussion interlude, chromatic patterns on one guitar overlay arpeggios on the other, creating a rich, resonant tapestry of sound.

Daniel Barbiero

Newsbits: Anais Maviel / DarkMatterHalo with Wadada Leo Smith / Nels Cline / Colin Fisher, Mike Pride, Carl Testa Trio

Wadada Leo Smith

Jazz Right Now reviews the new release from Anais Maviel.

DarkMatterHalo with Wadada Leo Smith will perform Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00pm at the East River Park Amphitheater, New York City. This show will feature Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet, Doug Wieselman – electric guitar, Hardedge – sound design, Brandon Ross – electric guitar. Also, DarkMatterHalo’s new release, Cataclysmic Beauty, will be out September 15, 2016.

Rolling Stone reviews Nels Cline’s Lovers.

The Colin Fisher, Mike Pride, Carl Testa Trio will perform this Saturday at 8pm at the Uncertainty Music Series, Never Ending Books, 810 State St, New Haven, CT.

Seattle Scene: August 12-20, 2016

Lou Harrison

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 all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Parnassus Project
Fri. August 12; 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Parnassus Project is a collective of musicians dedicated to presenting a fresh take on the chamber music experience. We seek to create a more social atmosphere at concerts and to break down barriers between performers and audiences and performing new works by local composers. Tonight’s concert features works by John Luther Adams, Lou Harrison, Peter Garland, and a new work by Luke Fitzpatrick.

A Microscope + Curtis Dahl
Sat. August 13; 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

Performing as A Microscope, NYC-based musician Kris Wettstein blends minimalist piano textures with gospel music and West African guitar lines to create a shifting cloud of sound in his hour-long new piano piece, Tent of Meeting. Curtis Dahl is a pianist living in Seattle who experiments with spontaneous melodies, made-up harmonies, electronics, and previously unheard-of forms.

THU. 8/18 – Composer/performer Stephen F. Lilly and soprano/actress Stacey Mastrian present collaborations from the past 15 years

FRI. 8/19 – Nonsequitur presents Rebecca Gates (ex-Spinnanes) performing Horizon Line Scores for voice, guitar and field recordings + The Murkies (accordionist Kyle Hanson)

SAT. 8/20 – Seattle composer/guitarist Michaud Savage presents recent works for solo classical guitar and small chamber ensembles

Lost Civilizations Experimental Music Project in DC, August 15

tumblr_inline_mllxrlDWH71rkbrrhOn August 15, the Lost Civilizations experimental music project continues its “Third Mondays” residency at DC’s iconic and überchill Dew Drop Inn (, which is located at 2801 8th Street, NE (map: The performance begins at 8pm, and there’s no cover or minimum.

Dominic Fragman returns; he will be presenting a “solo trio” set on drums, guitar and voice (simultaneously) in addition to as sitting in on drums with the Lost Civilizations experimental music project.

The Lost Civilizations experimental music project (; is a collaboration between Mike Sebastian (tenor sax, saxello and baritone sax) and T. A. Zook (basscello). Although essentially a duo, when schedules permit, it is joined by Jerry Busher (drums); Doug Kallmeyer (bass and electronics), Sam Lohman (drums) Larry Gomez (percussion), Patrick Whitehead (flügelhorn and trumpet), Emily Chimiak (violin) and Dominic Fragman (drums). Co-founder Ted Zook is a Steinberger Artist.

Facebook event:
For additional information:

Making the Harpsichord Modern Again 

Source: The New York Times.

Imagine what a harpsichordist plays, and Iannis Xenakis might not spring immediately to mind. Nor Toru Takemitsu. Nor Luciano Berio. But glance at Mr. Esfahani’s program from a 92nd Street Y recital next March, and you find Kaija Saariaho and Steve Reich alongside John Bull and Johann Sebastian Bach. A recent evening at Wigmore Hall in London took in the Scandinavian modernism of Axel Borup-Jorgensen. Even his engaging Mostly Mozart program, heavy on the 18th century and deliciously so, slipped in a smidgen of Ligeti.