New Music Circle 59th Season Announced

Source: St. Louis’s New Music Circle.

Steve Swell Quintet
Saturday, October 7, 2017
The Stage at KDHX
3524 Washington Ave., 63103
Steve Swell – trombone & compositions
William Parker – upright bass
Chad Taylor – drums
Jemeel Moondoc – saxophones
Dave Burrell – piano


Veteran free-jazz trombonist and composer Steve Swell makes his St. Louis debut, performing with master bassist William Parker, drummer Chad Taylor, saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, and pianist Dave Burrell. Long associated with New York’s downtown avant-garde scene, Swell began his career in 1975, and since then he has built one of the most expansive and wide-ranging careers in jazz, touring and recording with artists such as Tim Berne and Ken Vandermark. His work as a collaborator and sideman is extensive, and significant partnerships include Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, and John Zorn.

Dave Burrell is known for his solo-piano works as well as his collaborations with Archie Shepp and Pharaoh Sanders,. William Parker is an iconic musician who the Village Voice has called, “The most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time”. In 2013, he received the Doris Duke Performing Arts Award in recognition of his musical impact over the past 40 years. Jemeel Moondoc was a featured soloist for Cecil Taylor. Chad Taylor is a regular collaborator of Marc Ribot and Pharaoh Sanders, and continues his decade-plus role as percussionist in Chicago Underground Duo.

John Wiese
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Xavier Hall University Theatre, Saint Louis University
3733 West Pine Mall, 63108
John Wiese – electronics & compositions for St. Louis ensemble

John Wiese is an artist and composer living in Los Angeles, California. He is a native of St. Louis, where as a young teenager he began experiments with home-recording on a cassette 4-track. He has since solidified his name as a tremendously prolific performer and recording artist, with expertise in composition, texture, and sonic experimentation. Wiese says he doesn’t really think of himself as a musician in the traditional sense, and instead of writing purely notated music he works with manipulating, cutting and arranging sounds electronically. The end product is more like a meticulous collage, built upon dense, nuanced sounds ranging from the minimal to the frenetic.

Battle Trance
Saturday, Dec 2, 2017
The Luminary
2701 Cherokee St., 63118
Travis Laplante – saxophone
Patrick Breiner – saxophone
Matthew Nelson – saxophone
Jeremy Viner – saxophone

The all-tenor sax quartet, Battle Trance, specializes in the uncanny transformations of their instruments. Together they perform longform, medititavie pieces with a strong emphasis on drone, circular breathing, and trancelike repetition, bringing to mind the works of 20th Century minimalist composers like Philip Glass or Steve Reich, but with an added primal energy and urgency reminiscent of Pharaoh Sanders or Joe McPhee.

ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)
Pulitzer Arts Foundation
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Pulitzer Arts Foundation
3716 Washington Blvd, 63108
Claire Chase – flute
Tyshawn Sorey – drums, percussion, glockepsiel , compositions
Corey Smythe – piano & compositions

Three years ago, NMC drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Pulitzer, to see Claire Chase, who The New York Times described as “one of the most electrifying flute players on the planet.” She now returns to St. Louis with multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey and pianist Corey Smythe, core members of the arts collaborative she founded, ICE, which The New Yorker described as “America’s foremost new music ensemble.”

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Saturday, February 24, 2017
Urb Arts
2600 N 14th St, 63106
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – modular synthesizer, electronics, voice, and video

Some artists find their voice and then spend their career perfecting it. There are others, however, who spend an entire lifetime in continual transition, as Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe has done. Beginning with his solo electronic work in the late-nineties, Lowe’s vernacular has continually evolved deeper into a world comprised of spontaneous electronic sound, droning modular synthesizer, and vocal improvisations.

The Thing
Exact dates TBA: March 22 – March 24, 2018
Off Broadway
3509 Lemp Ave., 63118
Mats Gustaffson – saxophones
Ingebrit Håker Flaten – upright and electric basses
Paal Nilssen-Love – drums

Swedish/Norwegian trio The Thing was formed to create a long awaited synthesis where garage rock and jazz styles could merge by means of this high energy vehicle. Though the group initially came together in 1999 as a tribute project dedicated to legendary composer/trumpeter Don Cherry, it quickly evolved and found its own identity, performing improvised music, informed by the urgency and simplicity of garage rock. If you line up a list of The Thing’s cover selections (songs by The Stooges, The Cramps, The Sonics, and PJ Harvey) beside their roster of collaborators (experimental-rock-luminaries like Jim O’Rourke, Joe McPhee, Peter Brötzmann, and Neneh Cherry) you can get an idea of where their sensibilities lie.

C. Spencer Yeh / Andrew Lampert
Friday, April 6th or Saturday, April 7th, 2018
Venue TBA
C. Spencer Yeh – violin, voice, and electronics
Andrew Lampert – 8mm film, 16mm film, and digital video for site specific installation

C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist, instrumentalist (on violin, voice, and electronics), as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Much of Yeh’s video work engages with avant-garde composition and performance, variously as studies in form and technique, or as documentation of other artists working within his musical, geographic or social spheres. Born in Taiwan, he currently works out of Brooklyn, NY. Yeh’s sound draws inspiration from the late drone music pioneer Tony Conrad, with whom he has collaborated, and his videos reflect a prevailing fascination with experimental film. He edits both media with equal precision, inviting the audience to bridge any possible gaps between these disciplines. He was a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room, and now works as a programmer for Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn NY. His video works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, and he is a contributing editor to BOMB magazine.

Andrew Lampert is at the forefront of a new generation of artists engaging with film, video and performance, revisiting and extending the dialogue around an expanded definition of cinema. Utilizing everything from 8mm film to digital projections, Lampert pursues the synergy between artist, art, and audience in a public space, especially as it pertains to cinema. He brings unscripted and chance elements into cinema’s veneer of control, and often works with found material. Originally from St. Louis, he currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His work has been shown at the 2006 Whitney Biennial; The Getty Museum, and the British Film Institute. In addition to his work as an interdisciplinary artist, he was the Film Archivist at Anthology Film Archives in New York for over a decade, and in 2016 edited a book on Beatnik artist/avant-garde filmmaker, Harry Smith.

Matana Roberts
Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Venue TBA
Matana Roberts – saxophone & spoken word

Jazzthetik describes composer, bandleader, saxophonist, and experimentalist Matana Roberts as “the spokeswoman for a new, politically conscious and refractory jazz scene.” She first came to prominence with the Chicago trio Sticks & Stones (with bassist Josh Abrams and drummer Chad Taylor), but it’s her more recent solo work that has attracted international critical acclaim. Thus far, three of a projected twelve chapters in her powerful Coin Coin project have been released, which makes use of a technique Roberts describes as “panoramic sound quilting.” Using a wide range of sounds—spoken oral history, poetry, hymns, fragments of American standards, opera, improvisation, and sometimes dense, almost symphonic soundscapes—Roberts has set out to describe the experiences of the Black diaspora, using the stories of her family and her ancestors (The namesake of the project is Roberts’s ancestor Coincoin, a Louisiana-born free woman of color).

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