AMN Reviews: Santos Silva, Nebbia, Alonso, Bergman Quartet – Ritual Para Acercarse (2022; Ramble Records)

At first blush, this quartet’s structured free improvisation is reminiscent of that of Anthony Braxton. It moves along the axis between composition and pure spontaneity, lingering at various points along the way. It is not clear from a listener’s perspective, however, whether they follow the “musical system” approach of Braxton. But ultimately that does not matter as Ritual Para Acercarse stands up on its own as a listenable yet challenging exploration.

Consisting of Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Camila Nebbia on saxophone, Hara Alonso on piano, and Elsa Bergman on bass, this outfit is not short on talent or adventurousness. Over 40 minutes split between three tracks (two long, one short), this foursome employs complex polyphonic constructs, open-ended passages, and extended techniques. But unlike some free music, there is a lack of directionlessness herein – not that directionlessness is always bad, but it isn’t this group’s modus operandi. Different melodies often come from two or more members simultaneously and they rarely repeat. But one gets the sense that there was some degree of planning involved. Maybe not much, but some. For example, there are no percussion instruments on this album but each musician contributes a degree of percussiveness from time to time.

Ritual Para Acercarse is the effort of a leaderless ensemble – a true democracy of sorts – in which each musician pushes and pulls the others. The outcome is a dense, information-rich set of musical ideas that flow easily from one to the other even as they exhibit a certain jaggedness. Santos Silva, Nebbia, Alonso, and Bergman don’t just play, they invent. Very well done.

AMN Picks of the Week: Richard Pinhas & Merzbow / Gianluca Becuzzi / Fractalyst / Grey Frequency / Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Richard Pinhas / Merzbow – CODA (2022)
Gianluca Becuzzi – Axis Mundi (2022)
Fractalyst – Watchtower (2022)
Grey Frequency – Empyrean / Ritual (2022)
Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant – Seances (2022)

Steve Swell Update

Source: Steve Swell.

ICTUS nights — 3 days of improv-mania (many musicians! please check the website for all that are involved)
curated by Chris Cochrane
artistic Director David Watson.
featuring Andrea Centazzo of ICTUS records
October 6 & 7 & 8 (I perform on Oct 7 & 8)
at The Shift
411 Kent Ave, Brooklyn

Sunday, October 9, 6pm–William Hooker’s Film: “The Lost Generation: Outside the Mainstream” at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th street near University. Q&A to follow that I will be part of.

Monday, October 10, 7pm–Elliot Sharp, Andrea Centazo, Steve Swell, Eric Mingus at White Box Gallery, 9 Avenue B near Houston.

Saturday, October 15, 7:30pm–Reggie Nicholson’s Brass Concept with James Zollar, Marshal Sealy, Steve Swell & Joe Daly at Community Music School of Springfield through Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares

October 21-November 1–Polish tour:
Warsaw: Pardon, To Tu
Olsztynie: Teatr im. Stefana Jaracza-workshops and concerts in support of Ukraine refugees

ALSO:

1018 chicagoplan A
Just released on NotTwo this is a dedication to New Zealand and their leaders who exhibited common sense after the Christchurch Mosque shooting in 2019 (51 killed) by passing laws that made semi-automatic weapons and their components illegal. It also comes as recent events in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo remind us that there is no end to the insanity that makes the United States a singular example of how heartless politicians are willing to keep the status quo and are more concerned with keeping their jobs than the lives of their constituents, innocent children included. NotTwo Records

Also please check out this new recording of mine released in November, 2021, Systems for Total Immersion: Hommage à Luciano Berio with Marty Ehrlich, Sam Newsome, Jim Pugliese, Gerald Cleaver and Ellen Christi on Silkheart. I combine Berio quotes and some of my poetry with music inspired by him.

Please look out for these releases coming any day now:
“We’re Playing In Here?” Gebhard Ullmann, Steve Swell, Hill Greene and Barry Altschul (NoBuisiness LP)

“Sometimes the Air Is” Joe McPhee, Steve Swell, Chris Corsano (Mahakala)

“Kurt Schwitters Would Have Been Pleased” Special Ops–Steve Swell, Jon Rune Strom, Michael Vatcher (Idyllic Noise LP)

Steve Hirsch, Dave Sewelson, Steve Swell, Matt Shipp, William Parker (Mahakala)

Steve Swell’s Fire Into Music: Fire From the Road (2004/2005)–For Jemeel Moondoc–3 CD box set due out in 2023 (RogueArt)

Coming to San Francisco

Source: Bay Improviser Calendar.

Friday, October 7

Fri 10/07 8:00 PM Shapeshifters Cinema [567 5th St. Oakland]
Cheryl E. Leonard – Antarctica: Music from the Ice
Listen to Antarctica and celebrate the release of Leonard’s latest album. The evening will include a solo set of Antarctic compositions, a slideshow about the project, a field recording listening session, and an Antarctic instrument petting zoo.

Fri 10/07 8:00 PM Mills College at Northeastern University – Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland, CA 94613]
Gevevieve Lee, pianist – Darius Milhaud Concert

Fri 10/07 8:00 PM CCRMA [660 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305]
Streaming and in-person:Click for stream
CCRMA celebrates the start of the 2022 season with its annual Transitions: two evenings of outdoor, under-the-stars concerts showcasing music from the CCRMA community and beyond. Feast your ears on immersive 3D sounds played on our multichannel system (24.8 speakers!) in our Courtyard outside the Knoll. Each evening’s program will be different and will feature live performances, fixed media electronic music, and audiovisual works.

Saturday, October 8

Sat 10/08 11:00 AM Fruitvale Bart Station [3401 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601]
Thingamajigs presents Redline Redefined, a new multi-year project that investigates, narrates and celebrates our formally red-lined neighborhoods. Thingamajigs has curated a program of audio and visual pieces designed to transport audiences from their home to the streets of Oakland and Berkeley. Featuring eight of the East Bay’s most exciting performing artists, events scheduled include soundwalks, live performances, video narratives, poetry readings and an online interactive map. A diverse group of local artists are participating in the project, including performance artist Theresa Wong, Oakland’s Poet Laureate Ayodele Nzinga, and instrument inventor Sudhu Tewari.

Sat 10/08 4:00 PM Johnson Park [268 Waverley Street Palo Alto, CA 94301]
Green Mitchell Trio

Sat 10/08 7:30 PM Land & Sea Gallery [5428 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA, United States, California]
A night of Drone, Experimental and Improvised music at Land & Sea in Oakland as part of Kole Galbraith’s West Coast tour. Kole Galbraith is a multi-disciplinary artist who focuses on sound in the vein of drone, noise and improvised music and inspired by Folklore and contemporary indigenous experience. Based in both Seattle, Washington and Tartu, Estonia, Kole Galbraith has been active in the underground experimental music community for the past decade performing throughout the West Coast of the United States and Austria. The music and sounds are informed by early 20th century French Musique-Concret, Metal, Jazz and contemporary composition. Kole Galbraith has released albums on his own label “Obscure & Terrible” and other labels such as SIGE and Titania Tapes.

Sat 10/08 7:30 PM Dresher Ensemble Studio [2253 Poplar St Oakland]
Concert Among Friends with Pianists Gloria Cheng and Matthew McCright
Pianists and longtime friends Gloria Cheng and Matthew McCright team up for an evening of new music for solo and four-hand piano.

Sat 10/08 7:30 PM The Dome Center for Art, Music, and Dance [951 62nd Street, Oakland]
Dream Kitchen performs original compositions and new interpretations of Brazilian and American jazz, featuring Joyce Todd McBride; piano, Jeff Kaz; sax, Todd Larson; bass, Jeff Pera; drums. In collaboration with Dream Kitchen, the Dead Media Center at the Dome will present a slideshow, “The History of the Future” — 1888 – 1988 Science illustrations from magic lantern to 35mm slides.

Sat 10/08 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Performances and memories shared in recognition of Tom Nunn’s immense contributions to free improvisation and instrument inventing.

Sat 10/08 8:00 PM The Lab [2948 16th St SF]
Park Jiha
Park Jiha is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who approaches ancient Korean instruments from the perspective of a modern, improvisatory minimalist.

Sat 10/08 8:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th St SF]
LEILA ABDUL-RAUF, ROSS HOYT + ED LLOYD, and ALBERT YEH will provide an evening of spectral states, Avant-Jazz, cinematic ambient composition and improvisation. An evening for the curious, for the studious and for the unfamiliar.

Sat 10/08 8:00 PM CCRMA [660 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305]
CCRMA celebrates the start of the 2022 season with its annual Transitions: two evenings of outdoor, under-the-stars concerts showcasing music from the CCRMA community and beyond. Feast your ears on immersive 3D sounds played on our multichannel system (24.8 speakers!) in our Courtyard outside the Knoll. Each evening’s program will be different and will feature live performances, fixed media electronic music, and audiovisual works.

Sat 10/08 8:30 PM Indexical [Tannery Arts Center 1050 River St. #119 Santa Cruz]
The Mivos Quartet, “one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles” (The Chicago Reader), is devoted to performing works of contemporary composers and presenting diverse new music to international audiences. Since the quartet’s beginning in 2008 they have performed and closely collaborated with an ever-expanding group of international composers representing a wide aesthetic range of contemporary composition.

Sunday, October 9

Sun 10/09 12:00 PM San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center [401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102]
SF Music Day is the free in-person day-long music marathon that celebrates the past, present, and future of Bay Area music, on Sunday, October 9, 2022 at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. Now in its 15th year, SF Music Day will showcase more than 25 local groups, 100+ artists, and a range of diverse musical styles from classical music to global music and new music to modern jazz.

Sun 10/09 1:00 PM Shapeshifters Cinema [567 5th St. Oakland, CA 94607]
Thingamajigs presents Redline Redefined, a new multi-year project that investigates, narrates and celebrates our formally red-lined neighborhoods. Thingamajigs has curated a program of audio and visual pieces designed to transport audiences from their home to the streets of Oakland and Berkeley. Featuring eight of the East Bay’s most exciting performing artists, events scheduled include soundwalks, live performances, video narratives, poetry readings and an online interactive map. A diverse group of local artists are participating in the project, including performance artist Theresa Wong, Oakland’s Poet Laureate Ayodele Nzinga, and instrument inventor Sudhu Tewari.

Sun 10/09 4:00 PM Old First Concerts [1751 Sacramento St. SF]
Wooden Fish Ensemble

Sun 10/09 7:00 PM Mosswood Sound Series [3630 Telegraph Ave enter 2nd door on 37th St Oakland]
Meet/Fundraiser for our new 92-key Bösendorfer piano! Works by Cage, Cowell, Farish, Goodman, Ligeti, Looney, Luo, Mercer, with performances by Patti Deuter, Kymry Esainko, Greg Goodman, Scott R. Looney, Ting Luo, Hadley McCarroll, and Janis Mercer.

Sun 10/09 7:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
SSSS is a monthly, informal show at CNM in which electronic music composers present their fixed media and/or live electronic music through the 8-channel surround system, generously provided by Meyer Sound. The composers mix their sounds from the center of the space, and the audience is free to choose their own listening location, and to move within the space to hear the music from different vantage points. This concert features music by John Bischoff from his just-released album “Surface” on Artifact recordings; “The Secret Opera” by David Michalak ; and three microtonal pieces by Chris Brown, from his recent performance of graphic scores by the artist David Ireland.

Thursday, October 13

Thu 10/13 7:00 PM Great Star Theater [636 Jackson Street San Francisco, CA 94133]
Other Minds Festival 26 brings together a cast of composers from locations both near and far for three nights of new music at San Francisco’s historic Great Star Theater in Chinatown, October 13-15, 2022. Panel discussions begin at 7:00pm and concerts at 8:00pm.

Thu 10/13 7:30 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
A Quarterly Experimental Music, Film and Media Series. Featuring: Aaron Oppenheim, Gabby Wen, Roco Córdova, John Davis

Thu 10/13 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Thomas Dimuzio and Scot Jenerik make a stop at C4NM on their Left Coast Tour for NOISE BY NOISE WEST 2022

Thu 10/13 8:00 PM Peacock Lounge [552 Haight St SF]
CBSM (Cody Brant & Shane McDonell)
Gustavo Pastre
Methods Body (John Niekrasz, Luke Wyland)
KREation Ensemble (Kevin Robinson Ensemble)
Thurs Oct. 13 8pm-11pm $5-$15 sliding scale (notaflof) all-ages
Peacock Lounge, 552 Haight, SF

Friday, October 14

Fri 10/14 5:30 PM Lytton Plaza Downtown Palo Alto [200 University Ave Palo Alto]
Earthwise welcomes Ben Goldberg clarinet Liberty Ellman guitar jazz duo

Fri 10/14 7:00 PM Great Star Theater [636 Jackson Street SF]
Other Minds Festival 26 October 13-15
A Festival of Boundary-Defying Creativity
Composers from seven countries will convene for the 26th Other Minds Festival, an international annual showcase for composers whose innovative work ranges widely across styles and practices.

Fri 10/14 8:30 PM Indexical [Tannery Arts Center 1050 River St. #119 Santa Cruz]
METHODS BODY (Portland, OR, USA) is a performance duo that creates original sound art and music using custom tunings systems, polyrhythms, and the cadences of language. Longtime collaborators Luke Wyland (keys, electronics) and John Niekrasz (drums, percussion) use bespoke live-sampling technologies to create compositions that inhabit waves of subliminal melody and deep, uncanny grooves.

Mike Patton’s Four Decades of Mind-Bending Music

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

When Mike Patton gets on the phone to discuss his formidable discography, the singer/composer/producer asks a simple question: “Why?” “I’ll be honest—it scares me,” he says of the wide-ranging list of releases, one that includes two very different reunions (Mr. Bungle and Faith No More) as well as several one-and-done stunners that sound unlike anything he’d done before. “It’s like, ‘Jesus, what is this? Am I in the grave already? Why such a haunting retrospective?’” The Ipecac Recordings co-founder is not trying to be difficult. Patton’s just one of those people—a restless perfectionist who’d rather look at the long road ahead than marinate on or mourn the past.

Overview of the Canterbury Prog Scene

Source: Yahoo.

At the end of the 60s, the quaint, historic city of Canterbury became the unlikely breeding ground for an underground music scene defined by its willful weirdness and its refusal to take itself too seriously. In and around the town immortalized by Chaucer in the 14th century, dedicated nonconformists like Soft Machine, Caravan, and Hatfield and the North took mad scientist delight in breeding obscure mutations of jazz and rock templates while pulling the rug out from under people’s expectations.

S.E.M. Ensemble and AACM in NY, October 15

Source: S.E.M. Ensemble.

SEM continues its collaboration with the
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
in concert by
The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble
Petr Kotik, Conductor
with soloists
Thurman Barker, drums
Nicolas Hay, baritone

Saturday, October 15th
7pm at DiMenna Center for Classical Music
(450 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018)

PROGRAM:
Amina Claudine Myers Interiors
George Lewis Mangle of Practice
Adegoke Steve Colson Counterpoints I & II
Leonard E Jones Quintets 1 and 1_2
Muhal Richard Abrams Trio
Henry Threadgill Poems for Voice (1&3)
Thurman Barker Mr. Speed-Str

AMN Reviews: Fractalyst – Watchtower (2022; Cryo Chamber)

This debut from Fractalyst (Dimitris Valasopoulos) is a heady and disconcerting mix of dark ambient drones and electroacoustic elements. In particular, background noises and effects accentuate and often are the focus of attention over the layered synth. These sounds include crackling and hissing static, strange vocalizations and animal noises, and twisted looping melodies that lilt and oscillate. They result in a cinematic soundscape that nonetheless supports active listening.

Valasopoulos’s manipulation of samples is quite compelling, as he uses them to build haunting stories and to give each track a distinct character. For example, Burial provides footsteps and background voices, as well as ebbing and flowing waves, some smooth, others gritty. This evolves into a wistful yet foreboding melody atop the aforementioned effects.

Imagined as a post-apocalyptic journey, Watchtower is a promising first release that comes highly recommended. It is also one of those albums that requires experiencing at a relatively high volume to fully appreciate its attention to detail.

Vital Weekly Reviews 1355

Source: Vital Weekly.

MARC BARON & JEAN-PHILIPPE GROSS (CD by Eich) *
SAM PREKOP – THE SPARROW (CD by TAL27) *
MATHIAS DELPLANQUE – Ô SEUIL (CD by Ici D’Ailleurs/Minds Travel Series) *
STEVE BATES – ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN (CD by Constellation Records) *
ECOVILLAGE – THE ROAD NOT TAKEN (CD by Laaps) *
HANNES LINGENS – NACHTHUND (CD by Umlaut Records) *
HANDS HOLDING THE VOID – BRDLND (CD, private) *
MARK HANSLIP & ANDREW CHEETHAM – STRING AND GRID (CD by Discus Music) *
BORDA – ATRABILE (CD by Standa) *
MASSARO & VITOLO & MIELE – SPURIOUS CORRELATIONS (CD by 13/Silentes) *
SIMON BALESTRAZZI – ATTI INNATURALI (CD by Standa) *
GIANLUCA BECUZZI – AXIS MUNDI (CD by Standa) *
ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE – RADIO BROADCASTS SUMMER OF THE ARRIVAL 2008 (2CD by Ramble Records) *
FRED MOTEN & BRANDON LÓPEZ & GERALD CLEAVER – MOTEN​/​​​​​LOPEZ​/​​​​​CLEAVER (CD by Relative Pitch Records) *
RIPIT – A CHURCH OR A FACTORY (LP by Cheap Satanism)
ALESSANDRO BARBANERA – OBLIO (CDR by ROHS!/Lontano series) *
AD VAN AART – CONCERT FOR ORGAN PIPES AND VACUUM CLEANERS (CDR by Zesde Kolonne) *
MAX FRIMOUT – MAUVAIS PAQUET (cassette by Zesde Kolonne) *
PIERRE-YVES MARTEL – WEIRD STUDIES – MUSIC FROM THE PODCAST VOL.2 (cassette, private) *
MODELBAU – THE ENCOUNTER (cassette by Dark Passage)

Pharoah Sanders Profiled

Source: burning ambulance.

I saw Sanders live twice. The first time was in the mid ’90s, at Iridium when it was still uptown near Lincoln Center. I don’t remember the entire band, but Ron Carter was on bass, Cindy Blackman (not yet Cindy Blackman Santana) was on drums, and Sanders climaxed the set with a number on which he pounded his chest and sang a bellowing, wordless song.