7 Albums That Show The Many Sides Of Merzbow 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Forty years after he first started recording as Merzbow, Masami Akita’s music is no easier to categorize. Though his creations are perennially pigeonholed as noise music, anti-music, and even über-music, the sheer magnitude of his output will always present an obstacle to easy classification. Consider Mike Connelly’s comments in the opening episode of Merzcast, one of two recently launched podcasts attempting to scale Akita’s entire discography—which currently towers at 432 releases and counting: “Like, what is he thinking when he’s doing this?!”

Sound American 21: The Change Issue

Sound American is very excited to announce a new step in our growth as one of the preeminent music journals in America. Beginning on May 6th, we’ll be releasing each issue in print form. Although we will continue to make each issue available for free online at www.soundamerican.org, we are taking a step to meet the long-standing demands of our readership to make each issue available in a physical, collectible form.

Designed by Mike Dyer of Remake Designs (designer of the recent Donald Judd: Writings publication), each issue is:
– Printed using offset lithography in a special Pantone color throughout (which will change each issue)
– Bound with the highest quality thread-sewn binding, using cold glue and Otabind™, so the book lies open and stays completely flat, and will last for a lifetime.
– Printed on Holmen paper, an excellent Swedish stock
– Printed by die Keure, one of the finest book printers in the world in a limited edition of 500

Sound American 21: The Change Issue will be released on May 6th online and in print.  The Change Issue is the first in a new editorial format and features words by or about Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Ornette Coleman, Nicole Kaack, Bradford Bailey, G. Lucas Crane, Jennie Gottschalk, Ambrose Akinmusire, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Margasak, Terry Riley, Kim Brandt, John Cage, Josh Sinton, Edgard Varése, Marc Hannaford, John Zorn, Matthew Mehlan, Million Tongues Festival, Alex Mincek, Lester St. Louis, and Steve Lehman.

The Shape-Shifting Music of Tyshawn Sorey  

Source: The New Yorker.

here is something awesomely confounding about the music of Tyshawn Sorey, the thirty-eight-year-old Newark-born composer, percussionist, pianist, and trombonist. As a critic, I feel obliged to describe what I hear, and description usually begins with categorization. Sorey’s work eludes the pinging radar of genre and style. Is it jazz? New classical music? Composition? Improvisation? Tonal? Atonal? Minimal? Maximal? Each term captures a part of what Sorey does, but far from all of it. At the same time, he is not one of those crossover artists who indiscriminately mash genres together. Even as his music shifts shape, it retains an obdurate purity of voice. T. S. Eliot’s advice seems apt: “Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’ / Let us go and make our visit.”

Can Profiled

Source: livemint.com.

In Turkish, ege bamyasi means Aegean okra. It’s also the title of German avant-garde band Can’s fourth album, released 47 years ago. For the album cover, the band used the picture of a can. A can of okra, to be precise. It was a hat tip to pop-art icon Andy Warhol, whose most recognized work of art from the early 1960s is one that depicts rows of Campbell Soup cans. It was also, obviously, a pun on the band’s name.

James Falzone Profiled Ahead of Seattle Performance

Source: The Seattle Times.

Clarinetist James Falzone’s office and studio in Kerry Hall, on the Capitol Hill campus of Cornish College of the Arts, not only offers a breathtaking view of Seattle sunsets. It’s a reminder of the high bar the school’s history has set for innovation.

Falzone, chair of music at Cornish since September of 2016 (the year he moved to Seattle from Chicago), says his space where he meets with students, practices his instrument, writes music and even plays “the occasional game of chess” was once an apartment for a faculty legend and pioneering, avant-garde composer. “John Cage was here as an accompanist for the dance program, 1938-42. That was the period when he worked on his prepared piano pieces and first collaborated with Merce Cunningham.”

Pharoah Sanders Profiled

Source: The Brooklyn Rail.

Many musicians, including Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Dewey Redman, seized on the revolutionary spirit of the ’60s to extend their work into new territory. But Coltrane and Sanders together pushed their music farther than any of their contemporaries into an empyrean realm, virtually creating the category of spiritual jazz. In the grand but sensible words of free jazz icon Albert Ayler, “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost.”