Source: Edgetone Records.
The Equity & Social Justice Quartet, Argle-Bargle or Foofaraw
This project was created to raise awareness and funds for Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is a statewide, membership-based coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, youth, community, business and ally organizations founded in 2002 to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees by making Colorado a more welcoming, immigrant-friendly state.
Inspired by the lyrics “Wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water,” the musicians of the avant-gospel Trouble Ensemble enter into musical conversation that creates, listens to, reveres and questions, the melody, rhythm and text derived from spirituals, (and other songs they inspired). They revel in enjoying, discovering and making trouble. The spirituals always illuminated the spiritual force that troubles the waters of injustice and oppression using the power of African and African American music and spirituality. Originally songs of black American slaves, they are rooted in song, dance and drumming of West Africa, the experience of oppression of an uprooted people, and the teachings of a transformative faith. They troubled the dominant narratives, and their message and tradition continue to trouble unjust systems today. Composers and experimenters like Sun Ra, Charles Ives and Pauline Oliveros troubled the musical establishment and its conventions as they envisioned radical new ways of making and listening to sound. Their traditions are a separate musical “voice” from African American spirituality and the two voices cannot merge into one. Instead, they must converse. Listen to one another. Learn from one another. Discover harmony. Enjoy dissonance. Each with our own distinct voices, we create, listen to, revere and question, the melody, rhythm and text derived from spirituals, and other songs they inspired, we revel in our own ways of enjoying, discovering and making trouble.
Bill Noertker, Mark Oi
Guitarist Mark Oi and bassist Bill Noertker first met in Northern California in the mid-90s when Oi was playing with John Tchicai and Noertker was playing with the After the End of the World Coretet. When Tchicai moved to France in 2001, Oi moved to Seattle. That was the same year that Noertker formed his working ensemble Noertker’s Moxie. By 2013 Oi had returned to the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then Oi and Noertker have been meeting weekly to hone their unique musical lexicon through the use of non-standard compositional techniques, improvised harmonic textures, cell structure pieces, juxtapositions of incongruent melodic lines, neo-classical formations, telepathic improvisational dialogues, and the blurring of standard electric guitar/electric bass roles.