AMN Reviews: John Wiese – Seven of Wands (2011/2019; Gilgongo Records)

My first pair of attempts to listen to this recording failed miserably. I made the mistake of using headphones while on public transportation. Admittedly, I should have known better after seeing Wiese live at Chicago’s Lampo two years ago – his subtle and detailed taken on modern electroacoustics requires both minimal background noise and listener focus. Once I found myself home alone for an afternoon, I sent Seven of Wands to the big speakers for a much richer experience.

Originally released in 2011, this Gilgongo edition contains one additional track, the 15-minute Synchronicity that ends the album. But to start at the beginning, Seven of Wands launches with an amalgam of drones, feedback, and a strong presence of electroacoustic cracking and percussion. These elements rarely (if ever) evolve into any sort discernable melody or beat. Instead, Wiese seems to combine them in a semi-random or improvised fashion. But what sets his efforts apart is a strong sense of implied structure – Wiese knows where he is going even if he is taking an unusual path to get there. This is quite apparent on the 13-minute Scorpion Immobilization Sleeve for example, which contains the aforementioned constituent parts in a densely layered and rapidly-shifting mix.

Other tracks are more subtle, such as Burn Out, which consists of extremely low-volume drones before introducing additional voices, effects, and shaped static. Toward the middle of the album, Wises takes a diversion into what might be called pure noise. Corpse Solo and Don’t Move Your Finger are sonic explorations of found object manipulation and processed strangeness. Often sparse, they are the least “musical” in the traditional sense of that word. The aforementioned Synchronicity wraps things up with a complex pattern of controlled percussive structures which morphs into scraping and radio noises. Overlapping sparse walls come and go, all the while incorporating a sprinkling of dark ambiance before ending with a return to the spiky percussiveness.

Wiese’s music is difficult and disconcerting, but ultimately more than worth the time and effort put into it. A strong recommendation.

Chicago Scene: August 31 – September 7, 2019

This is a weekly overview of live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, August 31st 2019

9:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
Kidd Jordan

9:00PM at the Hyde Park Speakeasy, 5115 S Harper ($20)
HotHouse and Coda present Jazz Fest Aftersets
Hanah Jon Taylor, Dushun Mosley, Darius Savage, Dave Gordon, Edward Wilkerson, Tatsu Aoki, James Sanders, Silvia Bolognesi, Fred Jackson, Harrison Bankhead and guests from the Chicago Jazz Festival

Sunday, September 1st 2019

12:00PM-4:00PM at the Jazz and Heritage Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
3:45PM-9:00PM at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
4:15PM Rempis/Flaten/Ra + Baker Quartet

7:30PM at The Boxcar, 1113 W Berwyn, 773.649.3186
Christopher Dammann, Paul Giallorenzo, Avreeayl Ra

8:30PM at the Fulton Street Collective, 1821 W Hubbard (Donation)
Miles Davis’s Porgy And Bess
Chad McCullough Orchestra conducted by Joe Clark, with Jim Gailloreto, Sharel Cassity, Rich Moore, Rajiv Halim, Roger Ingram, Art Davis, Mark Buselli, Connor Druhan, Liz Deitemyer, Debra Miller, Gary English, Andy Baker, Russ Phillips, Raphael Crawford, Steve Duncan, Ryan Miller, Christian Dillingham, Greg Artry

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont ($15 suggested donation) (wheelchair-accessible)
Kidd Jordan, Douglas Ewart, Jim Baker, Kent Kessler, Mike Reed

Monday, September 2nd 2019

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10-$8) (wheelchair-accessible)
Sarah Clausen

Thursday, September 5th 2019

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Instigation Festival 2019
Keefe Jackson, Mike Reed, Dan Oestricher, James Singleton
Kim Alpert, Simon Lott, Jasmine Mendoza, Jesse Morrow

Friday, September 6th 2019

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$10)
Instigation Festival 2019
Jeff Albert’s Unanimous Sources, with Simon Lott, Jesse Morrow, Cyrus Nabipoor, Dan Oestricher, Mai Sugimoto
Isaiah Spencer Quintet, with Isaiah Collier, Anton Hatwich, Brent Griffin Jr, Jumaane Taylor

Saturday, September 7th 2019

3:00PM at the May Chapel at Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N Ravenswood (Free)
Instigation Festival 2019
Instigation Orchestra : Jeff Albert, Haley Fohr, Helen Gillet, Anton Hatwich, Lia Kohl, Steve Marquette, Cyrus Nabipoor, Aurora Nealand, James Singleton, Paul Thibodeaux, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams — music by Katinka Kleijn

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,

Jazzword Reviews 

Source: Jazzword.

Mahdhira de Saram/Benoît Delbecq

Benedict Taylor & Dirk Serries
Puncture Cycle

Danielle Cavallanti A World of Sounds


LFU: Lisbon Freedom Unit
Praise of Our Folly


Pat Thomas/John Butcher/Ståle Liavik Solberg
Fictional Souvenirs

Pebbles & Pearls
Pebbles & Pearls

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

The Downtown Music Gallery 28th Anniversary Celebrations began on May 1st & Continues! Every In-store This Summer Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.

Sunday, September 1st:
6pm: SAM WEINBERG / WEASEL WALTER / HENRY FRASER – Tenor Sax / Drums / Contrabass
7pm: DARREN JOHNSTON / MICHAEL ATTIAS – Trumpet and Alto Sax

Sunday, September 8th:
6pm: KYLE MOTL / KEIR GoGWILT – Contrabass / Violin
HILLIARD GREENE – Drums / Reeds Trumpet / Clarinet / Keyboard / Bass

Sunday, September 22nd:
6pm: REMEMBERING BERN NIX – Two Sets for Bern Nix!

DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed


DMG/BLG Recommended Gigs of the Week:

Eric Stern’s House of Improv Series:
This Friday, August 30th at 8pm:

Plus STEVE MARQUETTE – Solo Guitarist from Marker!

At 244 Rehearsal Studios is located at 244 West 54th Street
10th Floor, New York, New York 10019


This Saturday, August 31st at
The Records Shop in Red Hook


Located at: show @ the Record Shop
In Red Hook Brooklyn
360 Van Brunt Street

AMN Reviews: Michael Bonaventure – In Tenebris Ratione Organi [Eighth Tower Records]

No less than the synthesizer, the electric organ, with its versatility of compass and timbre, can create electronic music of uncannily evocative sounds. Klaus Schulze’s Irrlicht deftly demonstrated this back in the early 1970s; now comes the solo organ work In Tenebris Ratione Organi by Michael Bonaventure, whose universe of electronic sounds follow a creative logic uniquely his own.

Bonaventure, who is based in both Edinburgh and Amsterdam, is a composer and concert organist whose performances include new music as well as the organ works of Messiaen. His own compositions have been written for organ, piano, carillon, and choir; the eleven-track Works 2008-2017, available from the Unexplained Sounds Group netlabel, is a good introduction to some of his recent output.

Intriguingly, some of the sounds of the instruments and groups he composes for in other contexts obliquely find their way into In Tenebris Ratione Organi. Through the shimmering washes of bright timbres and richly constructed chords there emerge the sounds of a strangely altered choir of human (or synthetic?) voices; resounding, bell-like tones saturated in delay; and a musical rhetoric that at times recalls the retro-futurist murmurings of analogue synthesizers. Throughout all of the overlays and distortions the organ’s essential voice remains intact. Bonaventure characterizes the music as a kind of alchemy, and it’s clear that the basic organ sound provides him with the prima material he needs to work his often stunning sonic transmutations.

San Francisco Scene: August 30 – September 5, 2019

Source: Bay Improviser.

Friday, August 30

Fri 8/30 6:00 PM Et Al Gallery [620 Kearny St San Francisco, CA 94108]
Katy Cowan & Heidi Howard Closing Reception
Music performances:
Eve Essex
Cranky (Sean Keenan / Jake Parker Scott / Mitch Stahlmann)

Monday, September 2

Mon 9/02 8:00 PM Make-Out Room [3225 22nd St SF]
The Monday Make-Out
The cutting edge of Bay Area jazz and improvised music–
Set #1: Practitioner (duo treatments of the music of Steve Lacy)
(Ben Goldberg-clarinet, Michael Coleman-keyboard)
Set #2: Poncho Poncho (jazz pop)
Saki Minamimoto-voice, with Robert Woods-LaDue, Karl Evangelista, Robert Lopez, & Ben Goldberg
Set #3: Fluke-Mogul/Mezzacppa/Glenn (free improvisation)
(gabby fluke-mogul-violin, Lisa Mezzacappa-bass, Jordan Glenn-drums)

Tuesday, September 3

Tue 9/03 7:30 PM California Jazz Conservatory [2040 Addison Street Berkeley]
Fellow Hominids is the most recent project of saxophonist and composer Cory Wright, featuring jazz and improv veterans John Schott and John Finkbeiner on guitars and Jordan Glenn on drums. The compositions run the gamut from meditative and minimal to sharply tailored grooves to blunderbuss attacks – a piece might provide a wide open field, a tight rope, or a wrestling pit for the group’s interactions. These four Bay Area musicians have played together in a wide variety of settings and configurations over the past 15 years and a feeling of camaraderie and playfulness informs all of the band’s impulses and musical decisions.

Wednesday, September 4

Wed 9/04 7:30 PM Bird & Beckett Books and Records [653 Chenery St. SF]
PRACTITIONER – Ben Goldberg and Michael Coleman
explore the music of Steve Lacy

Thursday, September 5

Thu 9/05 6:30 PM Honey Hive Gallery [4117 Judah St SF]
Crude Drawings / Sarah Lockhart / Dylan and Lee

The Bridge Mini-Festival in Paris and Bordeaux, October 16-20

This October, The Bridge will celebrate the passage from one cycle to next with a mini-festival in Paris and Bordeaux, alongside a conference on W.E.B. DuBois organized with the University of Chicago, Paris-VII and Bordeaux.

Here are the 5 Bridge ensembles that’ll be present:

Sonic Communion [The Bridge #1]
Jean-Luc Cappozzo – trumpet, flugelhorn
Douglas R. Ewart – woodwinds, sound objects
Joëlle Léandre – double bass
Bernard Santacruz – double bass
Michael Zerang – drums, percussions

The Turbine! [The Bridge #3] + guests
Benjamin Duboc – double bass
Hamid Drake – drums, frame drum
Ramon Lopez – drums, tabla
Thibault Cellier – double bass
Mike Reed – drums

Shore to Shore [The Bridge #4]
Rob Mazurek – cornet, electronics
Mwata Bowden – clarinet, baritone saxophone, didjeridoo, percussion
Julien Desprez – electric guitar
Matt Lux – electric bass guitar
Mathieu Sourisseau – acoustic bass guitar

Transatlantic Amazon Gods [The Bridge #9]
Mike Ladd – improvised poetry/lyrics, EMS synthi
Mankwe M. N. Ndosi – voice, poetry, story, texture
Sylvain Kassap – clarinets
Dana Hall – drums, cymbals

The Bridge #12
Lisa E. Harris – voice
Nicole Mitchell – flute
Christian Pruvost – trumpets
Lionel Garcin – saxophones
Christophe Rocher – clarinets

Best Experimental Releases on Bandcamp: August 2019 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

All kinds of experimental music can be found on Bandcamp: free jazz, avant-rock, dense noise, outer-limits electronics, deconstructed folk, abstract spoken word, and so much more. If an artist is trying something new with an established form or inventing a new one completely, there’s a good chance they’re doing it on Bandcamp. August’s selection includes improvisations for jaw-harp and video, Japanese harsh noise, meditations on sleep deprivation, and a cacophonous long-distance collaboration.