AMN Reviews: Tellef Øgrim – Solos for Guitars [Simlas]; Ernesto Diaz-Infante – My Benign Swords [Eh?92]

Picasso’s 1912 painting Guitar on a Table shows a guitar in a vertiginous, exploded view—dismantled and seen from multiple, often incompatible, perspectives all at once. The instrument is visually deconstructed, decades before the idea of deconstruction was formulated. In a similar manner, two new releases take the solo guitar, electric and acoustic, and perform an aural deconstruction, seemingly disassembling the instrument and testing the sounds of its constituent parts.

a2443450772_16Tellef Øgrim’s Solos for Guitars is a set of ten vignettes for electric or acoustic guitar alone, presented from many angles. Øgrim does the guitar in different voices, making it sound like a reed instrument in a distorted setting (LN Has Left the Building); overdriving it through bent and distorted riffs (Fat Fit); bending and pulling the low strings to give it the gravity and twang of a rudra vina (Dolo’s Divid). In the middle of all this, the pristine sound of an acoustic guitar playing modally-flavored melodies on Lur Lokk comes as something of a disorienting experience—the normal displaced and alienated into something strange.

e92Ernesto Diaz-Infante works with nylon-string guitar and goes for a more elemental sound wherein, as with Picasso’s guitar, the sum is dissolved into the parts. The strings in particular take on a separate personality, scrabbling and popping under Diaz-Infante’s fingers, wobbling as a metal or glass object glides over them, having the ridges of their silver wrap sound at the scrape of a nail. Diaz-Infante gives as intimate a view into the instrument as one could hope to have.

Daniel Barbiero

This Week in New York 


In an evening of performance and conversation, Margaret Brouwer, Esperanza Spalding, and Du Yun share their music and discuss their creative process as part of a series designed to showcase the diversity of living composers, and create a forum for meaningful exchange among composers, performers, and audiences, moderated by Tania León.
Tuesday, November 1 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $20
Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY

Fefferman, David Hertzberg, Julie Hill, Adam Roberts, Alyssa Weinberg, and Alex Weiser, performed by violin and viola duo andPlay, Brigid Coleridge, Julie Hill, Lee Dionne, Pat Swoboda, and Meaghan Burke. The concert will also feature conversations with the composers exploring the question of how Jewish history and identity informs the creation of new works of art.
Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $15, $10 members/students
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY
..:: Website

Thereminist Carolina Eyck and The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) perform Eyck’s minimalist Fantasias for string quartet and theremin. Also on the program is Bryce Dessner’s Little Blue Something for string quartet.
Friday, November 4 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $20
Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street, #501, New York, NY

Multimedia music group CreArtBox presents the second edition of the CreArt Music Series with two guests: violinist and composer Todd Reynolds and video artist Luke Dubois.
Friday, November 4 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $25
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY

John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Holy Wind Reviewed

Source: The New York Times.

It’s no wonder that birdsong should be central to the work of John Luther Adams, a composer and environmental activist whose music often draws inspiration from the unspoiled Arctic wilderness that he has fought to preserve. Throughout the ’70s he worked on “songbirdsongs,” a cycle that translates his own field observations into crystalline instrumental miniatures for flutes and percussion. Later works sometimes incorporated ornithological quotations, like the different types of thrushes heard in “A Northern Suite.”

On Saturday the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Mr. Adams’s “Canticles of the Holy Wind,” a hypnotic and ethereally beautiful invocation of wind, sky and birdsong through human — but wordless — voices. The exquisite chamber choir the Crossing, which commissioned “Canticles” together with another ensemble, performed the hourlong suite in the museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall.

Coming to Portland

Source: Creative Music Guild.

Outset Series
at Turn! Turn! Turn!
$5-15 sliding scale,
Every 1st & 3rd Wed.
8 NE Killingsworth, PDX
Starts at 8PM sharp,
Ends at 10PM.

November 2nd Institute For Creative Dying and Paper Gates
November 16th John Krausbauer and Indira Valey

Polyphonic: A Series of Interdisciplinary Performances
at: Compliance Division
625 NW Everett St #101
Portland 97209
November 26th 7-10pm
$5-15 sliding scale
JP Jenkins and Danielle Ross
Mike Gamble + Movers (TBA)
Claire Barrera
DB Amorin

Aladdin Theater
3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue, PDX
Novmenber 4th Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon A Star
Grammy® Award winner Bill Frisell has built a reputation as one of the most eclectic and creative guitarists in jazz since the late 1980s. He has won numerous Jazz Journalists Association Awards and multiple Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls. But perhaps Frisell is most famous for the unique array of effects and tones he can summon out of his guitar, placing him in a singularly identifiable musical stratosphere of his own, and many of these such sounds are on ample display in his newest project, When You Wish Upon A Star.

Anthony Braxton and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow, November 19

Anthony Braxton

Source: BBC.

Refusing to be categorised as a jazz artist throughout his lifetime, Anthony Braxton prefers the term ‘creative’ to describe his music. A multi-instrumentalist – a virtuoso of saxophone, clarinet and piano – and composer, his music draws upon a disparate mix of influences from John Coltrane to Stockhausen to Native American music. This concert features two examples of his works for creative orchestra from the 1970s, featuring regular Braxton collaborators James Fei and Taylor Ho Bynum as soloists. Fei and Bynum are established composers in their own right and here they debut two new pieces for orchestra with the BBC SSO’s Principal Guest Conductor, Ilan Volkov.

AMN Reviews: Mondo Flockard – Spirals (2016; Terranean Recordings)


Spirals is a two-track EP from Australian percussionist Maria Moles. Her primary approach is to play kit drums and/or objects over drones and electronics. Thus, the percussion is anything but keeping time, and instead contributes non-linearly to the foreground.

The 7-minute first track, Tranquility in a Cup, creates a dense, dark sound-world, not unlike a Robert Rich or Alio Die creation, with scattered cymbal work and glacial textures. The second track, Spiral Sketches, includes electric guitar. A sparse piece, it harkens more to European free improv  (think Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley), or is perhaps comparable to some of Andrew Drury’s more experimental works.

Regardless of context, it is difficult to put one’s finger on any particular influence that drives Ms. Moles. Her compositions are tectonic, shifting soundscapes, while her improvisations use every corner of the drum kit and beyond. This a notable first effort, hopefully one of many to come.