Irreversible Entanglements to Perform in Columbia, MO

Source: Columbia Tribune. Chicago show is tonight.

Irreversible Entanglements will bring its righteous, ruminative sound to Stephens Lake Park Sunday night, performing at a show co-presented by Dismal Niche and the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series. The concert represents the first event in Dismal Niche’s Illuminations Summer Series, and a conscious next step for the organization, which encompasses a thoughtful, adventurous cassette label and is responsible for the Columbia Experimental Music Festival.

The Story of Sun Ra’s Egyptian Adventure 

Source: The Nation.

The Egypt jaunt was impromptu. While on tour in Europe, Sun Ra had found some cheap plane tickets to Cairo and set up a few extra gigs in Denmark to pay for them. He landed in Cairo on Dec. 7, 1971, with his 21 bandmates—a fleet of singers, instrumentalists, and dancers called the Astro-Intergalactic-Infinity Arkestra. Despite his cultlike following in America’s underground jazz scene, Sun Ra was virtually unknown in the African nation. That is, until he left his room at the Mena, a boutique hotel near the Giza pyramids where he and the band stayed.

Harold Budd Profiled

Source: Echoes.

The 24th Icon of Echoes: Harold Budd. We’ll profile this artist who influenced ambient and chamber music composers for half a century. He passed away last year on December 8th. He was 84 years old and a victim of Covid-19. Harold Budd is a legend in the ambient world, but like his music, he’s a subtle legend, known probably more among musicians than fans. His early 1980 albums with Brian Eno, The Plateaux of Mirror and The Pearl, are among the early signposts of ambient music. Older artists like Tim Story and John Foxx of Ultravox genuflect at Budd’s altar, while a new generation of composers including Balmorhea, Olafur Arnalds, Mary Lattimore and Nils Petter Molvaer have been influenced by his work. His collaborators have included Robin Guthrie of The Cocteau Twins, Andy Partridge of XTC and guitarist Bill Nelson. We’ll also hear an hour of his music.

20 Essential Archie Shepp Tracks

Source: uDiscover.

In the early 1960s, no other jazz musician sounded quite like Archie Shepp. He played the tenor saxophone like he was wielding the musical equivalent of a flamethrower; his horn blasting out streams of notes that crackled with a fiery, take-no-prisoners intensity.

He first made his mark on the New York jazz scene as a complete unknown in 1960 at the age of 23 with the avant-garde trailblazer Cecil Taylor on the pianist’s landmark album, The World Of Cecil Taylor. Though Taylor’s music polarized the jazz community, it gave Shepp’s nascent career both credibility and momentum, setting him on a path that would see him feted as one of the leading lights of the free jazz or “New Thing” movement alongside fellow luminaries Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and John Coltrane.

Jen Shyu Curates a Playlist

Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

Guggenheim Fellow, USA Fellow, Doris Duke Artist, multilingual vocalist-composer-multi-instrumentalist-dancer Jen Shyu is “one of the most creative vocalists in contemporary improvised music” (The Nation). Born in Peoria, Illinois to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrants and the first female and vocalist bandleader on Pi Recordings, she’s produced eight albums, performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is a Fulbright scholar speaking 10 languages. Her album Song of Silver Geese was among the New York Times’ “Best Albums of 2017,” and she just released Zero Grasses: Ritual for the Losses. During the pandemic, she has moved her teaching, salons, and projects to her growing global Patreon community. She is also a Paul Simon Music Fellows Guest Artist and a Steinway Artist, and co-founded Mutual Mentorship for Musicians with Sara Serpa.

Manja Ristić’s Field Recordings 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

From its origins as an ethnographic practice in the ’40s and ’50s, to its popularization in the 1970s by way of Bernie Krause’s legendary soundscapes, to its continued proliferation today, the universe of “field recordings” has expanded considerably over the past century—not only in terms of construction, but sophistication. High-tech recording equipment, broad soundscapes, and exotic backdrops are the new norm. To listen to most contemporary field recordings is to experience nature’s might in maximum definition, divorced from emotion.

Manja Ristić will have none of that. Instead, she turns her ear to her immediate surroundings and documents them diary-like, sparing no detail. Dripping taps, broken radios, humming refrigerators, bubbling bogs: in her compositional mindset, true magic—and emotional weight—stems from the mundane. “I’m very sensitive and sensory-aware,” she says.

Can’s Irmin Schmidt on the Band’s Legacy and Most Memorable Live Shows

Source: FLOOD.

Formed in Cologne, Germany in 1968 by a mix of Stockhausen students, improvisation jazz heads, and gypsy garage rockers with the intention of hard experimentation and “instant compositions,” Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt, Jaki Liebezeit, and Michael Karoli’s Can made genuinely jarring—and still unique sounding—studio albums. The hypnotic, rhythmic improvs of Tago Mago, the oblique Krautrock of Ege Bamyasi, the psychedelic maze of Monster Movie; each weave mesmeric spells, testing the waters of cut-and-paste sampling musique concrète and no wave funk. For all that free-everything, Can was never more at its freest, and least sentimental, than when they were playing live. For the most part, several of its studio albums were lengthy improvisations edited down to something more symmetrical. As for their actual hours-long live gigs, each was a circus of unpremeditated magic with only an occasional stop along their song catalog (and Can did have pop hits, such as “Spoon”).

James Brandon Lewis Profiled

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

The third track on James Brandon Lewis’ Jesup Wagon is titled “Arachis”—the scientific name of the peanut plant—which is as close as the tenor saxophonist’s tribute to George Washington Carver gets to the scientist’s most famous association.

Lewis is a rather remarkable person himself. The Buffalo native’s second album, 2014’s avant-garde-leaning Divine Travels, left a searing imprint on the jazz world, and established Lewis as a musician bursting with promise. In his meteoric rise since then, he has made good on that promise, taking various aesthetic and conceptual approaches that share a loose, experimental edge: not totally free, but—as the title of his 2019 album attests—unruly. Lewis has enriched it with his own poetry and inspiration from his studies of visual arts and science (his mother was a science teacher, and Lewis has long been fascinated with biology and nature).

Alvin Lucier’s I am Sitting in a Room to be Performed

Source: The New York Times.

Although the work has long been synonymous with Lucier’s voice and personality, anyone can perform it: The marathon on Thursday and Friday will feature members of his family, students and colleagues performing in various spaces, some of which have been part of the composer’s life. The composer and performer James Fei, a former Lucier student, recorded at the Littlefield Concert Hall at Mills College in California, an institution crucial to the history of experimental (particularly electronic) music and whose future remains uncertain. The composer Paula Matthusen performed the piece in a stairwell at the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan.

Sound American 26 is Out

Source: Sound American.

SOUND AMERICAN is pleased to announce the release of THE OCCAM OCEAN ISSUE. Our twenty-sixth issue is dedicated to Éliane Radigue’s and her radical musical ecosystem—OCCAM Ocean—and features exclusive interviews with Radigue’s collaborators and interpreters, including: Charles Curtis, Carol Robinson, Rhodri Davies, Catherine Lamb, Julia Eckhardt, Silvia Tarozzi, Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, Laetitia Sonami, and Frédéric Blondy. inti figgis-vizueta contributes a composition to our ongoing Exquisite Corpse series.