AMN Reviews: Reid Karris – Arbor Philosophica (2017; Pan y Rosas Discos)

Chicago-based Reid Karris is quietly putting out a string of excellent releases in the electroacoustic vein. Focusing on guitars and percussion, his material falls in various places on the spectrum between free improv and composition. On this, his latest recording, Karris continues exploring sound collages not unlike those of Tod Dockstader or the Colorado avant-rock group Biota.

The music of Arbor Philosophica reflects the ancient idea that celestial bodies emit signature tones based on their orbital revolutions, as well as have alchemical associations with certain metals. The result, in Karris’s words, is “one score to create a drone that shifts through a progression of tones as one travels from one side of the solar system to the other.”

While the 14 pieces on the album could be viewed in relation to this grounding, the recording as a whole exhibits a great deal of cross-track similarity.  As one moves from piece to piece, the overarching approach and feel remains consistent. Karris makes heavy use of unstructured percussion, samples, and processed guitar.  There are no melodies or rhythms per se.  The instruments and effects melt together in a way that is reminiscent of backmasking – indeed, some of these tracks could probably be played in either direction. Thus, there is a great deal of variety within each piece, even as they combine to form a congruous whole.

Karris certainly has captured an otherworldliness that reinforces his chosen themes. Nonetheless, Arbor Philosophica is not out of line when compared to some of his previous releases. Another strong effort from a modern musician / composer who deserves a much wider audience.

Read our reviews of Karris’s 2016 release, Oscines et Ensifera and his 2017 release, Divinatio Exitium.

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Fred Lonberg-Holm in 2002

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Elisabeth Coudoux – Some Poems (Leo, 2016) ****
Fred Lonberg-Holm – Cabin, Cemetery, Forest (Flying Aspidistra, 2017)
Yuki Numata Resnick – For Ko (Innova, 2016)
Biliana Voutchkova – Modus Of Raw (Evil Rabit, 2016)
Irene Kepl – Solo (Fou Records, 2016)
Ilan Volkov – 16.2.17 (Otoroku, 2017)
Vanessa Rossetto – Rocinante (Bandcamp, 2017)
Stanislaw Slowinski – Solo (Self, 2017)
The Octopus – Subzo(o)ne (Leo, 2016)
Nuova Camerata – Chant (Improvising Beings, 2016)
Iridium String Quartet – Iridium (Creative Sources, 2016)
Chamber 4 – City of Light (Clean Feed Records, 2017) ****1/2
Trio 3 – Visiting Texture (Intakt, 2017) ****1/2
JR3 – Happy Jazz (Relative Pitch, 2017) ****
Benny Omerzell / Martin Siewert / Lukas König – Battleship Euphoria (Cracked Anegg/Handsemmel Records, 2017) ****

Edgetone Records Summer Releases

Source: Edgetone Records.

Animals and Giraffes – July

Animals and Giraffes is an ongoing collaboration between writer/performer Claudia La Rocco and saxophonist/composer Phillip Greenlief. The project explores the intersection of text and sound, and features a changing roster featuring some of the finest bay area improvisers.
Phillip Greenlief – reeds
Claudia La Rocco – text & voice
David Boyce – voice, tenor saxophone, electronics
Nava Dunkelman – percussion
Jeanie-Aprille Tang – electronics
Tara Sreekrishnan – piano
Evelyn Davis – prepared piano
Aurora Josephson – voice
Tim Perkis – electronics
Jon Raskin – baritone saxophone
John Shiurba – guitar
Karen Stackpole – gongs, percussion

Estamos Ensemble – Suube Tube

Estamos Ensemble is composed of musicians from Mexico and the U.S. with the intention to foster more communication and collaboration between musicians of our two bordering countries as well as a better understanding of and appreciation for the citizens of our countries in general. The verb estamos in Spanish means ‘we are’ in the non-permanent sense. This is intrinsic to the nature of Estamos Ensemble. In 2009, The ensemble was invited and funded by Alejandro Jiménez de la Cuesta to record for two days in Sony Studios in Mexico City as well as by the Festival Internacional de Puebla in Puebla, Mexico.
Thollem McDonas – piano, Artistic Director (US)
Carmina Escobar – voice/electronics
Alexander Bruck – viola
Julián Martínez Vázquez – violin
Milo Tamez – drums/percussion
Theresa Wong – cello/voice
Vinny Golia – woodwinds
Marcus Webb E. – guitar/oud
Marko Novachcoff – woodwinds

Say Bok Gwai – Trio/Chinese Jesus

Trio/Chinese Jesus is the latest double EP from Canto-Core punk duo Say Bok Gwai. TRIO picks up where CHINK IN THE ARMOR, Say Bok Gwai’s second release, left off. Featuring 16 short, quirky and fast songs about Chinese and American culture, society, politics, history and identity. Say Bok Gwai reinvents musical genres from punk to metal to hardcore. In reaction to requests by fans, this recording has the inclusion of bass guitar which has not been in any previous recordings. Chinese Jesus reveals four very different and unique compositions for Say Bok Gwai. This EP expands the band’s music by having the duo move into areas of Jazz, Progressive, Satanic and Stoner Metal. Although SBG has always touched upon these genres, Chinese Jesus dives deeper by adding new instrumentation and overdubs to expand the dynamic of the duo.
Alex Yeung – guitar, vocals, alto saxophone, and keyboards
Andre Custodio- – drums, back-up vocals
Josh Martin- bass
Craigums – vocals
Lizz Ortega De Marín- – vocals

Taran’s Free Jazz Hour Podcast 14/2017

English: Pheeroan akLaff live at Saalfelden 20...

Source: Taran’s Free Jazz Hour.

Evil Rabbit
Senza Titolo: Christian Ferlaino, as/ Herbert DE Jonge, P/ Renato Ferreira, B/ Hans Houtman
New York-st Johann: Fay Victor, Vo/ Elisabeth Harnik, P/ Dominic Ash, B

Native Aliens Ensemble

Drip Audio
Sick Boss: Cole Schmidt: Guitar + Fx James Meger: Bass + Fx Dan Gaucher: Drums + Fx Peggy Lee: Cello Jp Carter: Trumpet + Fx Tyson Naylor: Synthesizer, Organ, Piano, Accordion + Fx Jeremy Page: Clarinet
Dogs Do Dream: Ron Samworth – Guitar, Effects Barbara Adler – Narration Jp Carter – Trumpet, Effects Tyson Naylor – Piano, Keyboards, Accordian Peggy Lee – Cello James Meger – Bass, Effects

Intakt Records
Cubanism: Aruan Ortiz, P

Jeffrey Morgan
Exoplanets: Lawrence Casserley, Sig Processing/ J Morgan, P, as, Acl

Neither Nor
My Tongue Crumbles After: Sean Ali, B

America’s National Parks: Wadada Leo Smith, Tp, Dir./ Anthony Davis, P/ Ashley Walters, Cello/ John Lindberg, B/ Pheeroan Aklaff, Dr/ Jesse Gilbert, Video

Jeff Platz
Neu Kabal: Jeff Platz, G/ Daniel Carter, Sax, Cl, FL, Tpt/ Dmitry Ishenko, B/ Dalius Naujokaitis, Dr

Rich Halley
Creating Structure: Rich Halley, Ts/ Mike Vlatkovich, Tbn/ Clyde Reed, B/ Carson Halley, Dr

Town and Country: Dominique Eade, Vo/ Ran Blake, P

Larry Ochs
No Favourites: Rova Orkestrova

Coming to Philadelphia

English: Franco Donatoni

Source: Bowerbird.

Erik Ruin‘s Long/Gone
with a live soundtrack by Ominous Cloud Ensemble
Currently over 100 feet in length, LONG/GONE is a single intricately-cut piece of paper which flows freely from image to image. Narratives and scenarios (often drawn from classic works of literature from Homer to Dante) emerge and collapse and spill over into each other. In performance, Erik scrolls the paper-cut continually across the surface of an over-head projector, creating an epic and immersive shadow-show. His musical group, the Ominous Cloud Ensemble, will provide a live soundtrack.

Tara Middleton, voice
DM Hotep, guitar
Reid Hoffman, guitar
Nick Millevoi, guitar
Myles Donovan, viola, harp
Jesse Sparhawk, harp, banjo
Julius Masri, electronics, kamancheh
Quinn Collins, bass
Scott Verrastro, drums, percussion
Erik Ruin, shadow puppets and projections

Friday, June 16th
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut St
8pm; FREE

Begin Anywhere 07
Bowerbird is pleased to present the next installment of the BEGIN ANYWHERE series, a performer-driven, salon-style concert series curated and performed by the musicians of the Arcana New Music Ensemble.

Oliver Messiaen: Le traquet stapazin (no. 4 of Catalogue d’oiseaux)
Franco Donatoni: Fili
John Cage: Two
John Cage: Aria
Kenneth Amis: Interludes I-IV
Stefan Wolpe: Quartet for Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone, Percussion and Piano

Founded in 2016, the Arcana New Music Ensemble is a group of Philadelphia-based musicians dedicated to presenting interesting, beautiful, and unconventional music in interesting, beautiful, and unconventional places. Built on a flexible roster of 25 musicians, Arcana is able to perform a broad range of repertoire in numerous configurations. Arcana is a project of Bowerbird administered by Elizabeth Huston, Thomas Patteson, and Dustin Hurt.

Aaron Stewart, saxophone
Tessa Ellis, trumpet
Alize Rozsnyai, voice
Andy Thierauf, percussion
David Hughes, piano
Emma Resmin, flute and piccolo
Josh Machiz, bass
Michael Tan, piano

Sunday, June 25th
University Lutheran
3637 Chestnut St
8pm; $10

Crow with no Mouth Summer 2017 Solo Series

Source: crow with no mouth.

Since May 2011, cwnm has presented forty concerts of the finest electro-acoustic composition/improvisation, noise and post-Cagean sound work.

From June to September this year, the crow concert series will present three remarkable composer/performers in a solo setting; all four will offer music for acoustic instruments combined with nuanced electronics.

Join us – your support of the crow concert series, which continues to bring seldom-heard music to a room designed for listening, is crucial.

All events ~ Studio Z 275 East Fourth St. St Paul
7:30 door / 8:00 music / $15 at the door (cash preferred)

June 16 Morgan Evans-Weiler (violin / electronics)

July 8 Andrew Weathers (guitar / electronics)

September 17 Jacob Wick (trumpet / electronics)