Robert Rich Interview

Source: Musique Machine.

To anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the ambient genre, Robert Rich will need little or no introduction. Since the early 80’s this California artists & composer has created a respected & influential body of work- his early work often had more of a darker & brooding tilt, though as his career progressed his work embodied lighter, ethnic, and world music elements. Over the last few years he’s once again returned to the dark side of things- so I caught-up with Robert late last year to discuss this return to darker ambient waters.

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Milford Graves Interview

Milford Graves

Source: BOMB Magazine.

When I stepped into the Artist’s Institute at Hunter College in Manhattan this past fall, I didn’t know what to expect. Milford Graves was premiering a new work titled Beyond Polymath. I’ve studied music with Graves since 2015, seen him play drums with various musicians, and attended gatherings at his home in Queens. At these informal meetings he draws connections between his work in biology, martial arts, music, and acupuncture, all while telling stories of his experiences as a drummer in the 1960s. Beyond Polymath, however, was unique in that it was his first work of sculpture. The installation was a three-dimensional expression of Graves’s “biological music” concept. The density of this sculpture struck me—its medical and cultural symbols intertwined with brightly colored veins, their shapes and lines creating a sense of movement between static objects. A human skeleton was connected to four separate computer monitors, each displaying various expressions of the human heartbeat. The effect was simultaneously ancient and futuristic.

Graves has dedicated his life to understanding how people vibrate, creating works that resonate within us. This inquiry has led him to pursuits beyond any single discipline and to settle into a number of diverse communities. Some know him as a musician, while others regard him as a martial arts instructor or herbalist, but he seamlessly combines all of these interests. Rather than work within any specific idiom, Graves mines the creative process to engineer new works out of the components common to each subject.

Vijay Iyer Profiled

English: The Vijay Iyer Quartet performed an i...

Source: Mercury News.

The 46-year-old pianist-composer-bandleader — who performs Jan. 18-21 at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco — might downplay all the critical acclaim. Yet, it’s hard to ignore his burgeoning cheering section, which includes DownBeat, the influential jazz magazine that has bestowed Iyer with its most prestigious award — artist of the year — on multiple occasions.

Interview with Sam Weinberg 

Source: Jazz Right Now.

CB: What was your entry into the New York improvisational/experimental music scene?

SW: The summer before my freshman year of high school, my family moved from Los Angeles to Nassau County, Long Island. Fortunately for me, that summer, my mom enrolled me in a jazz program at Queens College which impacted my path enormously, or if nothing else, exposed me to a number of things that I likely wouldn’t have sought out for myself. The faculty was comprised of a number of people who have gone on to be quite successful in NYC in the intervening years, and they approached the education in a somewhat unique way which concurrently exposed us to canonical jazz records and younger musicians, mostly living in NYC, all of whom were writing their own material. This made me aware of a host of people who I then began checking out live most weekends in high school – Tony Malaby, Tim Berne, Jim Black, etc. The confluence of seeing my teachers at the time play us their original music, and seeing these shows outside of that, made me want to write my own music, which I began doing around that time too – mostly kind of bizarre chromatic heads with vamps. At the same time I was checking out tons of records by John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Albert Ayler, etc. all of which I was getting en masse from the library and ripping onto my computer.

5049 Records Podcast Episode 145

Source: 5049 Records.

Chris Cochrane has been living and working in New York City since 1980. As a guitarist he has worked with artists like John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot and virtually every other improviser to come through the Downtown scene in the last three decades. In addition to his musical output, Chris is active as a social worker, helping people from NYC’s impoverished neighborhoods navigate the ever confusing insurance system. He’s a great guy and has led a most singular path as a creative individual in the modern world. This conversation was a long time coming and is definitely one of my favorites in this whole series.

Nicole Mitchell Profiled

Source: The New York Times.

Ms. Mitchell, 50, the artist-in-residence at this week’s Winter Jazzfest in New York, brings an eclectic ear and a frothy vigor to her instrument. The flute is rarely given much of a chance in jazz — maybe it seems too quiet, too liquid, too fey — but she has transcended all that, becoming a leading voice of the music’s cutting edge.

Yet Ms. Mitchell has the demeanor of an author more than a protagonist. Her projects typically begin with a conceptual narrative and end as a group endeavor, with many voices spilling into a collective expression. What can sometimes be forgotten is that Ms. Mitchell is probably the most inventive flutist in the past 30 years of jazz. So too can the fact that all her music — from its fetching melodies and shadowy harmonies to the synergistic resolve of her bands — flows from her careful engineering.

Sarah Cahill on Terry Riley

Source: I Care If You Listen.

Sarah Cahill is not only a skilled and accomplished pianist, but also an incredible champion of new music. She seems to make a habit of commissioning new works and showcasing composers–both established and new–all over America while also becoming a central force in the San Francisco music scene. Her latest project turns a spotlight on Terry Riley celebrating his 80th birthday with a four CD set entitled Eighty Trips Around the Sun: Music by and for Terry Riley. Eight additional composers–Samuel Adams, Danny Clay, Christine Southworth, Dylan Mattingly, Gyan Riley, Elena Ruehr, Keeril Makan, and Pauline Oliveros–were invited to create new works for the project in honor of Riley, and the end result is incredible. Naturally, we had some questions for Cahill about the project.