The Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp: July 2020

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. Each month, Marc Masters picks some of the best releases from across this wide, exploratory spectrum. July’s selection includes conversational improvisation, hour-long drones, confrontational noise, and ghostly guitar essays.

Wayward in Limbo Recordings

Source: Wayward Music Series.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve been considering how we can most directly assist the artists who inhabit our particular niche of the Seattle music community.

With the Chapel closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wayward Music Series now moves from the concert hall to the living room. In place of our usual ten monthly concerts, Nonsequitur is curating and commissioning ten Seattle artists each month to create a series of streaming audio sessions of exclusive material. Many of these will be essentially “live” performances recorded at home for this occasion. Others may create a mix of pre-recorded material that has not been previously released elsewhere.

These tracks are available to stream at no charge on SoundCloud via the links below, and will be promoted like our concerts via our weekly e-newsletter, our Facebook group, and our Twitter feed. The artists retain all rights to their recordings. We strongly encourage you to visit their web sites and purchase their recordings or contribute to their personal crowdfunding campaigns.

This series will continue for as long as we are unable to use the Chapel for performances.

artists’ web sites and offer further support by purchasing their other works.

#42: Susie Kozawa
Composer/improviser/sound artist Susie Kozawa uses a variety of toys, found objects, and homemade instruments to explore the acoustics of the Chapel.

#43: Naomi Siegel
“Gestation” is an extended improvisation for trombone and electronics exploring and expressing Naomi Siegel’s current state of expectant motherhood.

2020 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Goes Virtual

Source: Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

In place of the 10-day festival, we are working on producing a variety of programming across a number of online and broadcast platforms, to take place during what would have been hcmf// 2020’s opening weekend (Friday 20 – Sunday 22 November). Further specific announcements about the programme will be made later in August.

In the meantime, we’re pleased to announce that the Israeli-American composer Chaya Czernowin, who we had announced as hcmf// Composer in Residence for 2020, has accepted the festival’s invitation to become Composer in Residence for hcmf// 2021. We’re looking forward to working with Chaya on a wide-ranging exploration of her work, including new commissions.

hcmf// set up a COVID-19 fundraising project to help fund five £1,000 commissions for five UK-based artists to create a 15-minute work to be presented at a future edition of the festival. The open call for proposals attracted over 200 responses and you can find out about the successful artists here. In partnership with Riot Ensemble’s Zeitgeist initiative, we have commissioned solo works from six artists for members of The Riot Ensemble, which will be premiered online during hcmf// 2020 through Zeitgeist’s online space, with the first live performances at hcmf// 2021.

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

I caught my first concert in 4 months a couple of weeks ago and saw/heard Richard Thompson play solo in Woodbridge, NJ at their high school in a football field where everyone sat at a safe distance apart. It was an incredible concert, so glad to be there with 400 other folks, listening closely and being swept away by Mr. Thompson’s wonderful songs. For the past few weeks, I have been listing to a boxset of 100 Big Bands from the 1920’s thru 1940’s, the so-called Big Band Era. I am fascinated by this music, some of which is nearly 100 years old. In some ways, this is the beginning of modern jazz, with thoughtful arrangements and great solos all around. I still have 50 Big Bands left to hear and then search out for more. My favorites so far are Duke Ellington, Luis Russell, Cab Calloway, Charlie Barnet and George Handy Orchestras.

Music, Creative Music, helps keep me sane, inspired and often makes me want to dance and sing and rejoice for better times. The world is still waiting for the Sunrise, so remember to reach out and give a (virtual) hug to someone who needs it today! It will make both of you/us feel better!

Fall Streaming Events at the ISSUE Project Room

Source: ISSUE Project Room.

ISSUE is pleased to announce upcoming streamed Fall, 2020 commissions, opening with a 360 degree video presentation of electronic music pioneer Laurie Spiegel’s piece A Harmonic Algorithm 2011 coordinated in collaboration with composer and artist Seth Cluett (9/10). The stream will also be followed by a conversation between Spiegel, Cluett, and multi-instrumentalist composer and historian Tara Rodgers discussing the collaborative process around the piece and in celebration of Spiegel’s 75th birthday.

The season also sees streamed commissions from 2020 Artists-In-Residence including vocalist, composer, and performance artist Holland Andrews’ Seraph (Muthertongue) (9/19), a vocal and electronic performance that expresses a wordless, melodic language. Composer and performer John McCowen premieres Mundanas for Duo (9/24), a performance of compositions with clarinetist Madison Greenstone. Writer and performer Justin Allen presents three works: GUITAR with S*n D. Henry-Smith, BASS with Taja Cheek, and DRUMS with Savannah Harris (10/1, 10/8, 10/15), co-presetned with The Chocolate Factory Theater.

Documentary on the Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis

Source: The Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis.

At the peak of the national Black Arts Movement, the Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis (BAG) was unique in their interdisciplinary, artistic approach to combating social injustice and exploring the far reaches of experimental performance.

​The political and racial climate in America at that time shaped the group, but also produced the burdens that ultimately led to the group’s dissolution.

​This documentary seeks to illuminate the history of BAG, the group’s political and artistic achievements, and the impact that it had on the lives of those associated with the group.

Another King Crimson Box on the Way

Source: King Crimson.

This 2-CD history of King Crimson features many extracts and tracks appearing on CD for the first time, including many of the current line-up. Packaged in a digi-pack style book case with 24-page booklet, this set contains introductory notes by Robert Fripp & sleeve notes by Sid Smith.

While this 7th release in the Tour Box series is in spirit with the earlier releases, this is also a very different tour box to its companions, and one which, as it has to stand along and represent a tour that should have been (and will occur in 2021), it also stands slightly apart.

The Best Ambient Music on Bandcamp: July 2020 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

When Jon Hassell and Brian Eno released their pioneering record Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics, Hassell described the philosophy of his music as “the possibility of music in global terms—beyond First World, beyond Third World, beyond classical, beyond pop.” While his distinctions between those “worlds” may not hold water in contemporary notions of global economies, it’s a mentality that still clearly resonates with so many artists producing new ambient music today. The best ambient music of this month expand on Hassell’s groundwork—Lamin Fofana painstakingly traces Black migration narratives using sounds evocative of the American South on Blues; perila and ulla craft textured bliss by combining traditional instrumentation with sounds of a city street recorded from a window. The inherently experimental nature of ambient music continues to inspire artists to create similarly bold combinations, collapsing time, place, and genre to mold small worlds in their own images; we’ve highlighted some of the most exceptional releases in the genre here.

James Fei on Anthony Braxton

Lecture by Tri-Centric president James Fei on the music of Anthony Braxton. Introduction by Ross Karre, co-artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble. Presented by the International Contemporary Ensemble and The New School’s College of Performing Arts (CoPA) as part of their Ensemble Evolution web series.