AMN Reviews: Massimo Pupillo & Tony Buck – Time Being and Unseen (2019; Trost Records)

Here is an interesting pairing from Trost. Massimo Pupillo is the bass player from Zu, while Tony Buck is the drummer of The Necks. Both have contributed to many other projects. Time Being and Unseen are a pair of collaborations between the two, the former an LP, the latter a CD. But don’t expect to hear much in the way of traditional bass or drum playing on these recordings as Pupillo and Buck instead offer a disquieting yet powerful ambiance.

Strange Luminant kicks off Time Being with a layered, mid-range drone interspersed with growling bass. Buck’s contributions are subtle and atmospheric but perhaps not surprising if you’ve seen him live. He rubs, scrapes, and shakes various percussion instruments, and provides understated flourishes of what seems to be vibraphone as well. Eventually, this evolves into an interlude of found-object percussion and the aforementioned vibes to round out the last several minutes of the track. Exhale follows with a shifting, abstract soundscape. Rattling elements evoke a sense of mystery and attenuated menace, building to a fractured and heavily processed crescendo that ends this album’s 30 minutes.

Unseen is much longer than its companion piece. It begins with Psithurism, featuring shimmering electronics and muted, echoing percussion. An actual beat is present, as Buck plays his kit though in a restrained fashion. This is accompanied by a rumbling bass rhythm, as well as a melody or two, from Pupillo. While hypnotic, the track is anything but repetitive, as it changes in form and texture throughout its 22 minutes. Entrainment, the longest product of the set at twice that of its predecessor, returns to clattering percussion and dark, distorted waves of sound. If anything, Pupillo and Buck get darker and more impressionistic as they go, combining anxious polyrhythms with both bass-oriented and synthesized motifs.

Time Being and Unseen have that singular quality of many Necks recordings and live performances – the ability to lull one through a long improvised interlude seemingly operating at geological time scales until you realize that the underlying musical structure has morphed dramatically over the last dozen minutes or so. Obviously, there is a big difference between these offerings and Buck’s main band in instrumentation and character. Pupillo and Buck present a volatile and inconstant minimalism that is not really minimalism. Highly recommended.

San Francisco Scene: March 8-15, 2019

Source: Bay Improviser.

Friday, March 8

Fri 3/08 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Gabriel Mindel Saloman, known widely for his work in seminal noise band Yellow Swans, joins Latitudes to present his ongoing investigations into music of the liberated body. Composer and instrument-builder Ashley Bellouin is joined by guitarist Ben Bracken to conjure a sound equal parts spiritual, mental, and physical—minimal by design, maximal in spirit.

Fri 3/08 8:00 PM The Back Room [1984 Bonita Ave Berkeley]
Elliott Levin: Fusion of Jazz and Words: Free Jazz, Priceless Words – free jazz sax and poetry are featured with a unique version of the New Olduvai Ensemble including Tom Rollison and the members of Harmolodic Folk Jazz ensemble Cartoon Justice. The evening will begin with the music of Underweather Kitten w/Phillip Greenlief, Brett Carson, Kazuto Seito, Jason Levis.

Fri 3/08 8:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
Signal Flow Festival 2019 – New works by Mills College graduate student musicians.

Saturday, March 9

Sat 3/09 3:30 PM St. John’s Presbyterian Church [2727 College Ave. Berkeley, CA]
Thomas Buckner (baritone) performs music by Roscoe Mitchell, Steed Cowart, Michael Byron, Christian Dachez, and James Ilgenfritz. With Joseph Kubera, Piano; William Winant, Percussion; Melanie Genin, Harp; James Ilgenfritz, Bass.

Sat 3/09 8:00 PM St. Mark’s Lutheran Church [1111 O’Farrell Street San Francisco]
Let’s go! We’re heading out into nature both tamed and wild with music of flowers, fields and forests, of birds and bees, of gentle garden creatures and lurking monsters! Featuring Britten, Schumann, Delius, Mechem, Stanford, Hensel, Crabtree, Nelhybel, Ligeti, Van Brink, and the winner of our New Voices Project.

Sat 3/09 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Looney/ Mezzacapa/ Nordeson Trio

Sat 3/09 8:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
Signal Flow Festival 2019 – New works by Mills College graduate student musicians.

Sunday, March 10

Sun 3/10 4:00 PM St. Mark’s Episcopal Church [600 Colorado Avenue Palo Alto]
Let’s go! We’re heading out into nature both tamed and wild with music of flowers, fields and forests, of birds and bees, of gentle garden creatures and lurking monsters! Featuring Britten, Schumann, Delius, Mechem, Stanford, Hensel, Crabtree, Nelhybel, Ligeti, Van Brink, and the winner of our New Voices Project.

Sun 3/10 4:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
Signal Flow Festival 2019 – New works by Mills College graduate student musicians.

Sun 3/10 8:00 PM Wind River [421 Wild Way, Santa Cruz]
Composer/bassist James Ilgenfritz (NYC) leads an evening of solo and duo works, with a program stradding the worlds of composition and free improvisation, including an improvising duo with Bay Area oboist Kyle Bruckmann. His program includes his own work, fellow New Yorkers Lucie Vitkova and Miya Masaoka, Anthony Donofrio, and Watsonville-based composer Jeffrey Treviño.

Sun 3/10 8:00 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Shapeshifters Cinema – Sung Kim
A live, improvised soundtrack will be performed by Theo Padouvas (trumpet), Shanna Sordahl (invented instruments and cello), Brian Pedersen (reeds), and Sung Kim (invented instruments).

Monday, March 11

Mon 3/11 9:00 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society: Elliott Levin [Philly] & Tom Rollison & Mogauwane Mahloele [Philly] with Cartoon Justice, plus Karl Evangelista/Ben Goldberg [Duo] and Jakob Pek/Jordan Glenn/Lee Hodel [Trio]

Tuesday, March 12

Tue 3/12 7:30 PM California Jazz Conservatory [2040 Addison Street Berkeley]
Way Out West Concert Series presents
Rent Romus’ Life’s Blood Ensemble presents “Side Three: New Work” CD release performance featuring Vinny Golia
Timothy Orr – drums/percussion, Safa Shokrai – double bass, Max Judelson – double bass Mark Clifford – vibraphone, Rent Romus – alto saxophone, Heikki “Mike” Koskinen – e-trumpet, Joshua Marshall – tenor & soprano saxophone featuring special guest Vinny Golia, baritone saxophone, flutes

Tue 3/12 8:00 PM CNMAT [1750 Arch Street Berkeley]
James Ilgenfritz (composer, bassist and improviser) and Friends

Tue 3/12 9:00 PM Uptown Nightclub [1928 Telegraph Ave Oakland]
Active Music Series presents:
Kevin Robinson
Nishi-Smith/Dunkelman/Fluke-Mogul

Wednesday, March 13

Wed 3/13 8:00 PM Peacock Lounge [552 Haight St SF]
New Olduvai
Matt Ingalls
gabby fluke-mogul
Substation 6

Thursday, March 14

Thu 3/14 4:00 PM Mills College Ensemble Room [Mills College Music Department 5000 MacArthur Blvd]
JON LEIDECKER – Lecture: “United Feedback” – Leidecker traces a connecting line through the work of Louis and Bebe Barron, David Tudor, the Sonic Arts Union and Eliane Radigue.

Thu 3/14 7:30 PM CCRMA [660 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305]
Thomas Buckner: Songs Without Words
Songs Without Words, for voice (no text) and electronics presents work written for, and dedicated to Thomas Buckner by some of the most pioneering composers in experimental music: Alvin Lucier, Robert Ashley, Annea Lockwood, and Phill Niblock.

Friday, March 15

Fri 3/15 4:00 PM Mills College Ensemble Room [Mills College Music Department 5000 MacArthur Blvd]
David Grubbs – Lecture – “Records Ruin the Landscape” –
Grubbs revisits arguments from his book of the same name while weaving in examples from his own career as a musician, recording artist, and participant in interdisciplinary collaborations.

Fri 3/15 7:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th St SF]
3 Leafs / Joel St. Julien / Rod Barriga

Fri 3/15 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
David Tanenbaum and Friends

Fri 3/15 9:30 PM Octopus Literary Salon [2101 Webster St. #170 Oakland]
Dina Maccabee Album Release Tour, featuring Grex and Minivan (NY)
An evening of excitement and roving sonic whimsy, celebrating the release of experimental songstress Dina Maccabee’s brand new album, “The Sharpening Machine”, on Geomancy Records. Also featuring: a shattering new set from Oakland art rock duo Grex (Karl Evangelista + Rei Scampavia), plus New York electronic/pop artist Minivan.

Array to Zed Podcasts

Source: Arraymusic.

After Martin Arnold began his term as Artistic Director of Arraymusic in July of 2017, he began a series of podcasts playfully entitled ‘Array to Zed : An Experimental Music Alphabet.’

He chatted with volunteer Georgia Carley about the ideas, procedures, composers and music that make up that nebulous beautiful thing we call “Experimental Music.” The inspiration for the composers featured was provided by each letter of the Alphabet. Before Martin’s term ended in September 2018, when he took up a position as an Assistant Professor at Trent University, they were able to complete the 6 episodes for the letters A to F.

Carl Stone Interview

Source: The Wire.

Electronic composer Carl Stone is preparing for a series of performances at Big Ears in Knoxville, Tennessee, following the release of Baroo, his first album of new compositions since 2007, by Unseen Worlds on 1 March. The label previously released compilations of Stone’s work from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Big Ears runs from 21–29 March, and Stone will be performing a solo set of new compositions, a more formal presentation of his Fujiken project, based on field recordings and tapes bought in markets across Southeast Asia, and he will also be taking part in Big Ears’ 12-hour drone marathon.

A longstanding radio host, Stone is working with Dublab to release the archive of his Imaginary Landscape programmes from the 1980s and 1990s, combining interviews and works by composers including Morton Subotnick, Toru Takemitsu, Steve Reich, David Berman, Frank Zappa, Terry Riley, Chen Yi and more for the Los Angeles station KPFK.

Firehouse 12 Spring Jazz Series Starts Tonight

Source: New Haven’s Firehouse 12.

Step In Trio
Friday, March 8, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Joe Fonda (bass), Carlo Moreno (piano), Felix Lacaros Herrera (drums)

Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double
Friday, March 15, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Tomas Fujiwara (Drums), Gerald Cleaver (Drums), Mary Halvorson (Guitar), Brandon Seabrook (Guitar), Ralph Alessi (Trumpet), Taylor Ho Bynum (Cornet)

Natalie Hamilton + George Lesiw: The Music of Joni Mitchell
Saturday, March 16, 2019
8:00 PM 9:30 PM
Featuring Natalie Hamilton (Voice, Piano, Acoustic Guitar) and George Lesiw (Acoustic and Electric Guitars)

Wendy Eisenberg
Friday, March 22, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Wendy Eisenberg (guitar)

Ralph Peterson’s Fo’tet
Friday, March 29, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Ralph Peterson (drums), Felix Peikli (clarinet), Joseph Doubleday (vibraphone), Alexander Toth (bass).

Unspeakable Garbage
Friday, April 5, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Bassist Moppa Elliot’s Unspeakable Garbage performs. Full lineup TBA

Crump / Laubrock / Smythe
Friday, April 12, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Stephan Crump (bass), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone), Cory Smythe (piano)

Joe Fiedler – Open Sesame
Friday, April 19, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Joe Fiedler (trombone); Jeff Lederer (soprano and tenor saxophones); Sean Conly (electric bass); Michael Sarin (drums)

Elder Ones
Friday, April 26, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Amirtha Kidambi (vocals, harmonium, synthesizer, compositions), Matt Nelson (soprano saxophone), Nick Dunston (bass), Max Jaffe (drums and sensory percussion).

Zwelakhe-Duma Bell le Pere Quintet
Friday, May 3, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Bassist Zwelake-Duma Bell le Pere presents his quintet performing his own original music

Jaimie Branch Quartet
Friday, May 10, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Trumpeter Jaimie Branch’s Quartet performs. Full lineup TBA

Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet
Friday, May 17, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Tony Malaby (tenor and soprano saxophones), Kris Davis (piano), Michael Formanek (double bass), Ches Smith (percussion)

Shipp/Lowe/Cleaver/Ray
Friday, May 24, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Matthew Shipp (piano), Allen Lowe (alto sax), Gerald Cleaver (drums), Kevin Ray (bass)

Brian Krock’s LIDDLE
Friday, May 31, 2019
8:30 PM 10:00 PM
Brian Krock (alto saxophone & clarinet); Olli Hirvonen (guitar); Marty Kenney (bass); Nathan Ellman-Bell (drum set)

Ever Present Orchestra: Works by Alvin Lucier in LA, March 26

Source: REDCAT.

REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents the Ever Present Orchestra, a 12-piece ensemble dedicated to performing the music of experimental music legend Alvin Lucier, Tuesday March 26, 8:30 pm.

Just months before Lucier’s 88th birthday, the composer will appear live on stage to perform I Am Sitting in a Room (1969), and the Ever Present Orchestra will perform some of his many other landmark compositions.