AMN Reviews: Green Dome – Thinking in Stitches (2019; Case Study Records)

Green Dome consists of Zeena Parkins on acoustic harp, Ryan Sawyer on percussion, and Ryan Ross Smith on prepared piano, electronics, and modular synth. Thinking in Stitches is comprised of eleven tracks that are based on sets of rules that transform Shetland Lace knitting patterns into music.

Parkins is a veteran of avant-leaning musics, often making use of her specially-built electric harps (seeing her extract sounds from one of these devices live is quite the treat). But here, she sticks to the acoustic, while Smith takes up the weirder sounds that would normally be Parkins’ domain. Though constrained to the conventional instrument, her approach is anything but, featuring runs and flourishes amongst other sounds and textures. Smith invokes the modular synth to lay down backing tracks of organic burblings, and also contributes haphazard effects. His piano, however, is tuned to an unusually metallic palette. Sawyer contributes angular rhythms and stop/start forays – indeed, his ability to provide unpredictable beat patterns is one of the most compelling aspects of the album.

The trio covers a fair amount of ground, from the haunting and melancholic to animated post-industrial inter-locking themes. Each piece involves a degree of structure, the ins and outs of which are explored by all three individuals. And yet, even the tracks with more repetitive sections exhibit sufficient non-systematic elements. Parkins, Sawyer, and Smith remain so busy throughout that Thinking in Stitches frequently comes across with a bigger sound that one would expect, even from a group of this stature.

Don’t let this one slip under the radar. It is an understated effort that punches above its weight.

AMN Reviews: Various Artists – Anthology of Contemporary Music from Africa Continent [Unexplained Sounds Group]; Maurice Louca – Elephantine [Sub Rosa SRV474]

The Unexplained Sounds Group, the netlabel run by sound artist Raffaele Pezzella, aka Sonologyst, has with its latest various artists compilation delved into the largely unexplored territory of contemporary experimental music from the African continent. For that reason alone the collection is worth hearing. But the music itself makes its own case for listening. The fourteen tracks give evidence of a creative ferment that meld Western electronics with the musical heritages of the various cultures of that highly diverse continent. A good number of the pieces included in the anthology are rooted in song — in the cyclical rhythms of a given region or in the melodic lines built on traditional modes. For example, several tracks, of which Ahmed Saleh’s Right Side is representative, feature North African vocal, flute or oud music as source material for processing or as a musical framework for electronic overlay and embellishment. Other pieces — AMET’s Imposer Le Savoir and In_o’s track, which seems to be based on a recording of Jiddu Krishnamurti speaking – represent a variety of musique concrete where radio transmissions or other samples are electronically rearranged. There also are more conventionally “experimental,” abstract electronic works, such as Abdellah M. Hassak’s two contributions. This is a fine collection that provides insight into an area of musical experiment that isn’t yet well-enough known.

Elephantine, an LP devoted to new music from Cairo guitarist/pianist/composer Maurce Louca, shows a different, jazz-influenced side of contemporary African music. For this recording, Louca put together a group of twelve international musicians in which North African oud, violin, and vocals are juxtaposed or mixed with Western jazz instrumentation of reeds, tuba, vibraphone, and bass and drums. The music is a successful, organic fusion of jazz timbres and improvisation with North African modality and rhythms.

Daniel Barbiero

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

Wadada Leo Smith
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs (TUM Records)

Multiple Artists
Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft

Yagull
Yuna (MoonJune Records)

Dave Rempis / Brandon Lopez / Ryan Packard
The Early Bird Gets (Aerophonic Records)

Joachim Kuhn
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII (ACT Music)

Zlatko Kaućić
Diversity (Not Two Records)

This Week in New York

Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

SANCTUM – A BALLET IN THE ROUND
Miro Magloire’s New Chamber Ballet continues its series with the world premiere of Sanctum, set to music by two major composers, Kaija Saariaho, and Karin Rehnquist, with guest singers Charlotte Mundy, Mary Mackenzie, and Elisa Sutherland of Ekmeles joining the resident Magloire ensemble of dancers and musicians. Also on the program is Magloire’s Morning Song, a solo to music by John Cage.
Monday, February 18 & Tuesday, February 19 at 7:30 PM
City Center Studio 5, 130 West 56 Street, New York, NY

CUTTING EDGE CONCERTS
The program includes Philip Glass’s Annunciation Quintet, Victoria Bond’s Simeron Kremate, Maria Newman’s Pennipotenti, and a preview performance of Victoria Bond’s new opera, The Adventures of Gulliver.
Monday, February 18 at 7:30 PM
Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY

HORST RICKELS WITH SHELLEY HIRSCH // CRYSTAL PENALOSA: SOURCES OF POWER
Mixology kicks off with an evening featuring Shelley Hirsch reviving Host Rickels’s instrument, The Mercurius Wagon, and Crystal Penalosa‘s new piece, Sources of Power for electronics, voice, and movement.
Tuesday, February 19 at 8:00 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

ANTHONY BRAXTON’S COMPOSITION NO. 222
Wet Ink’s Josh Modney (violin) and Eric Wubbels (piano) perform an evening-length rendition of Anthony Braxton’s Composition No. 222 for violin and piano, from Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music series.
Tuesday, February 19 at 9:00 PM
Areté, 67 West Street, Brooklyn, NY

JON SATROM: PREPARED DESKTOP / ALI SANTANA: BOOMBAYÉ
Jon Satrom pushes of his limits in Prepared Desktop while multi-media artist Ali Santana explores rhythm, identity, community, nature, abstraction, and displacement through hard-knocking beats and synchronized projections in Boombayé.
Wednesday, February 20 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $18, $25 doors
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website

WANG LU | COMPOSER PORTRAITS
International Contemporary Ensemble and Yarn/Wire perform the music of composer and pianist Wang Lu.
Thursday, February 21 at 8:00 PM
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY

MICHELE MERCURE // 51717
Roulette, with RVNG Intl. and Freedom To Spend, presents minimal synthesist and experimental composer Michele Mercure‘s long-overdue New York City debut.
Friday, February 22 at 8:00 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

APERGHIS RECITATIONS
Stephanie Lamprea performs Georges Aperghis’s 14 Recitations at ShapeShifter Lab.
Friday, February 22 at 8:15 PM
ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY

NED ROTHENBERG: BEYOND C WITH DAVID BLOOM AND CONTEMPORANEOUS
Composed by Ned Rothenberg, Beyond C is a concerto for improvising woodwind soloist—Ned Rothenberg —and an ensemble of varied instruments—Contemporaneous. Inspired by seminal minimalist composer Terry Riley’s landmark composition In C (1964) which first introduced the musical style now known as Minimalism to a mainstream audience, Rothenberg’s Beyond C expands the harmonic, timbral, and rhythmic world of that work. It retains the modular structure of Riley’s original piece, but the progression through the work is formed by the conductor who, in partnership with the soloist, shapes each performance in a unique way.
Sunday, February 24 at 8:00 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Henry Threadgill in Minneapolis Reviewed

Source: Twin Cities.

Avant garde composer and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill, who marked his 75th birthday at the Walker Art Center’s “Celebrating Henry” fest on Friday and Saturday nights, is often categorized as a jazz musician. But “creative improvised music” would be a more accurate description of the prolific Threadgill’s work – even though he is one of only three musicians ever awarded a Pulitzer Prize in the “jazz” category.

Saturday night’s concert featured both the current version of his long-running quintet Zooid, and Harriet Tubman, a rockish trio featuring three former Threadgill collaborators.