15 Years of Avant Music News

Our 15-year anniversary came and went this last Sunday.

When I started Avant Music News, the major concerns included finding enough news to publish and keeping the software running. These days the software more or less runs itself, and the news finds us. So there’s that.

But the challenges (and these are very much first-world problems) are to filter through the embarrassment of riches that comes our way every day. And from these, find a handful of articles and items to write about. Since 2011, we have published close to 1000 reviews of albums and live performances. Not to mention over 27,000 articles in general.

Needless to say, on April 29, 2003, I did not expect the site to blossom in the humble way that it has.

Thanks go out to all of you – readers, contributors, and most importantly the musicians carving out their visions on recording mediums old and new. I have endless appreciation for all of you who work tirelessly for modest material rewards, all in the name of art.

I don’t know how long Avant Music News will continue, but 15 years is already beyond my most grandiose expectations. In the mean time, I hope this little site has turned a few ears and opened a few minds. Certainly, my ears have been turned and my mind has been opened more times than I can count.

Mike

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The Roulette in May

Drummer Whit Dickey performing at the world pr...

Source: New York’s Roulette.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Performed by nine percussionists, Nine Numbers, Vol. 1 features a program of modular “Sudoku” works, written by composer/performer Jason […]

INTERPRETATIONS: THOMAS BUCKNER: WORKS BY MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN, JACQUES BEKAERT, BUN CHING LAM
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Baritone Thomas Buckner performs new works for voice and instruments.

[COMMISSION] CECILIA LOPEZ: MACHINIC FANTASIES
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Cecilia Lopez’s multichannel video and sound spatialization designed to augment perception of kinetic sound objects as a mediation machine.

[COMMISSION] CHE CHEN WITH TALICE LEE AND PATRICK HOLMES
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
75 Dollar Bill’s dreamy explorer in slow-moving modal music in just intonation for bass recorder, clarinet, violin, voices & electric organ.

[RESIDENCY] KA BAIRD: CENTERS: 4 CHANNELS
SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Ka Baird premieres “centers: 4 channels,” two pieces incorporating 4-channel synthesis with spatialized light and movement.

PHEW: VOICE HARDCORE // LAURA ORTMAN
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Japanese living legend Phew performs a voice-only set in celebration of the Mesh-Key Records release of her new album, Voice Hardcore.

VISION FESTIVAL: CELEBRATING DAVE BURRELL
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2018 @ 6:30 PM
Opening night at the Vision Festival features pianist Dave Burrell in performance with Archie Shepp, Andrew Cyrille, Darius Jones, James Brandon […]

VISION FESTIVAL: MARY HALVORSON / WHIT DICKEY / WOMEN WITH AN AXE TO GRIND / SPACE
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Guitarist Mary Halvorson, drummer Whit Dickey, dancer Patricia Nicholson, and improvising trio SPACE perform tonight at the Vision Festival

VISION FESTIVAL: IRREVERSIBLE ENTANGLEMENTS / NASHEET WAITS / MATTHEW SHIPP
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Irreversible Entanglements, Nasheet Waits’ Equality Quartet, and a new work by Matthew Shipp featured tonight at the Vision Festival.

VISION FESTIVAL: FAY VICTOR / AFRO-ALGONQUIN / PATRICIA SPEARS JONES / AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE / AFROHORN

SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2018 @ 6:00 PM
TICKETS $40
PURCHASE TICKETS
Ambrose Akinmusire, Fay Victor, Afro-Algonquin, Patricia Spears Jones, and AfroHORN perform tonight at Vision Festival.

VISION FESTIVAL: FRODE GJERSTAD / CLEAVER, LOPEZ, POTTER, VIRELLES / ARTHUR JAFA / BY ANY MEANS / BROWN BUTTERFLY
SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2018 @ 6:30 PM
Frode Gjerstad, Cleaver / Lopez / Potter / Virelles, Arthur Jafa, By Any Means, and Craig Harris featured tonight at the Vision Festival.

VISION FESTIVAL: JAIMIE BRANCH / COOPER-MOORE / NEW WORLD PYGMIES / OLIVER LAKE BIG BAND
MONDAY, MAY 28, 2018 @ 6:00 PM
Jaimie Branch, Cooper-Moore, Julie Ezelle Patton, Jemeel Moondoc, Oliver Lake Big Band perform on the final night at the Vision Festival.

ANAÏS MAVIEL: DIÁSPORA / CROSS TIMES
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2018 @ 9:00 PM
Songs, trance, folklore: a futuristic carnival music that transcends status-quo, cross-pollinates complex realities, inspires lucid dreams.
THINGNY AND VARISPEED: MUSICAL VOICES AROUND A TABLE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Gelsey Bell – Voice, Percussion, Celtic Harp Andrew Livingston – Voice, Double Bass, Cello Paul Pinto – Voice, Percussion Erin Rogers – […]

The Making of Trout Mask Replica 

150px Trout Mask Replica Captain Beefheart, al...

Source: Pitchfork.

Beefheart put a piano in the house—despite not knowing how to play it—and banged out ideas, which French transcribed and assembled into tunes. The resulting pieces were more like puzzles than songs, giving different instruments conflicting time signatures and varying part lengths that had to somehow meet at specific points. French compared it to building a solid wall with bricks of unequal size. This unorthodox complexity forced the Magic Band to rehearse 12 hours or more a day, usually without Beefheart. Often they would sleep right where they had just practiced, and immediately continue upon waking.

This Week in New York 

Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

CUTTING EDGE CONCERTS: CYGNUS ENSEMBLE
The final concert of Cutting Edge Concerts 21st season features the Cygnus Ensemble. The program includes a world premiere by David Del Tredici, as well as pieces by Morris Rosenzweig, Richard Festinger, and Anna Weesner.
Monday, April 30 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $20
Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY

OKKYUNG LEE: YEO-NEUN QUARTET
Okkyung Lee at Big Ears 2018Okkyung Lee at Big Ears 2018–Photo by Johnson Giles
Cellist, composer, and improviser Okkyung Lee is featured at this iteration of Blank Forms along with the Yeo-Neun Quartet, an experimental chamber music ensemble featuring harpist Maeve Gilchrist, pianist Jacob Sacks, and bassist Eivynd Opsvik.
Tuesday, May 1 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15
San Damiano Mission, 85 North 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY

OPERA SHOWCASE: WORKS-IN-PROGRESS | SOPHIA BROUS AND YUKA C. HONDA, WITH SPECIAL GUEST KHEMIA
This performance provides a rare, behind the scenes look at early stages of artistic productions. Sophia Brous and Yuka Honda, two National Sawdust Artists-in-Residence, refresh operatic traditions by presenting two large-scale works for the stage in the early stages of their development. Audiences will have a unique opportunity to witness a “first look” at these projects with ambitions to be presented in front of a global audience, and meet and ask questions of the brilliant creators behind those projects. This showcase will feature opera as you have never seen it before, completely reimagined for the modern audience.
Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $29
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

FAIR TRADE TRIO
The program includes Kaija Saariaho’s 2009 composition Cloud Trio, which draws on different types of clouds as inspiration; Emily Doolittle’s Field Guide, which is inspired by the songs of birds native to North Americal and Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor.
Sunday, May 6 at 3:00 PM
Tickets $15-$25
Bloomingdale School of Music, David Greer Recital Hall, 323 West 108th Street, New York, NY

EXPERIMENTS IN OPERA PRESENTS MATTHEW WELCH’S AND HERE WE ARE
And Here We Are is a 90-minute work scored for 4 vocal soloists, choir and mixed ensemble. The premiere production will be staged using an updated take on traditional Southeast Asian shadow puppetry. The music is written for a combination of Blarvuster’s hybrid sound mixing Eastern and Western musics and Mantra Percussion’s approach to percussive music. The production will feature lighting design and shadow puppetry by visual artist Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew.
Sunday, May 6 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $29
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Rare John Zorn Interview About the End of his Masada Project

John Zorn (cropped version)

Source: The Forward.

On May 1, Zorn will release “The Book Beriah,” the third and final collection of recordings contained in the “Masada Songbook.” In physical form, the music manifests as 92 tunes across 11 CDs (or digital albums, or vinyl records, if you prefer), individually titled according to the 11 sefirot, or kabbalistic channels of divine energy. There’s no denying the music’s energy or its Jewish feel — all the tunes are based on Jewish scales and employ the essence of Jewish musical DNA: the use of the augmented second interval. The end result is a Jewish sound familiar from klezmer and synagogue music, albeit rendered in styles ranging from death metal to surf rock to free jazz.

IBeam Brooklyn Schedule for May and June

English: Hank Roberts at Jazzhaus, Stadtgarten...

Source: IBeam Brooklyn.

Lena Bloch’s Feathery
Saturday, May 12th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Lena Bloch – tenor sax
Russ Lossing – piano
Cameron Brown – bass
Billy Mintz – drums
The music is of improvisational nature, the emphasis is put on musical communication, spontaneous compositional decisions, where each member of the group is a soloist and an accompanist at the same time. FEATHERY draws its inspiration from diverse musical traditions: 21st Century New Music, Middle-Eastern, Jewish, Eastern-European, jazz, Western classical music. Feathery released its first album “Heart Knows” in September 2017 on Fresh Sound New Talent.

Hank Roberts Sextet + Stunt Chicken
Friday, May 25th 8:00 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Hank Roberts Sextet (8:00 pm)
Hank Roberts – Cello
Brian Drye – Trombone
Mike McGinnis – Clarinet
Dana Lyn – Violin
Vinnie Sperrazza – Drums
Jacob Sacks – Piano
Stunt Chicken (9:30 pm)
playing music from the golden age of Sesame Street
Joe Fiedler – Trombone
Jeff Lederer/Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Sean Conly/Electric Bass
Michael Sarin/Drums
Otto Hauser
Saturday, May 26th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Details TBA

Ed Neumeister Quartet
Friday, June 1st 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Ed Neumeister – Trombone
Marc Copland – piano
Drew Gress – bass
Tom Rainey – drums
Ty Citerman / Judith Berkson
Saturday, June 2nd 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Judith Berkson (voice and keyboards)
Ty Citerman (voice, guitar and electronics)
Guitarist/composer Ty Citerman performs duets and trios with singer/multi-instrumentalist Judith Berkson and singer Sara Serpa. The music is part of Ty’s 2018 project “Bop Kabbalah+Voices: New Radical Yiddish Liberation Songs,” which features an expanding roster of musicians throughout the year performing contemporary renditions of radical turn-of-the-20th-century Yiddish labor songs alongside Citerman’s own original settings of Yiddish labor poetry. Tonight’s concert is the second in the series, which premiered in January. This project is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department ofCultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Ben Perowsky Trio
Friday, June 15th 8:00 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Ben Perowsky – Drums
Sylvie Courvousier – Piano
Hank Roberts – Cello