A conversation with Lisa Cameron; notation from Jaap Blonk; and words about releases from Pedro Chambel & Ferran Fages, Johnny Chang & Keir GoGwilt, Bryan Eubanks, Savvas Metaxas, Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker, Martin Taxt, Trio Amos & Klaus Lang, Toshiya Tsunoda, and UNIONBLOCK.
Sat 7/02 2:30 PM Tenderloin National Forest [501 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94109]
Sounds of the Tenderloin: Rent Romus & David Boyce at The Tenderloin National Forest
Sat 7/02 7:30 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
A new work by Lisa Coons to coincide with her Window Gallery exhibit performed by Adam Fong and Brent Miller with electronics by the composer. Also on this concert is Sinbadd by Matt Vandegriff and Milton by Brent Miller.
Sunday, July 3
Sun 7/03 7:30 PM Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Doors That Only Open in Silence (open participation, non-hierarchical workshop in free improvisation)
Wednesday, July 6
Wed 7/06 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
Skullkrusher (Philip Everett – electronics/xlarinet)
Allen/Duff/Benedict (Josh Allen – tenor saxophone, Tim Duff – double bass, Lorin Benedict – voice)
Friday, July 8
Fri 7/08 8:00 PM Mosswood Sound Series [3630 Telegraph Ave enter 2nd door on 37th St Oakland]
DEL SOL STRING QUARTET plays music by
ANDREW RODRIGUEZ, deVON RUSSELL GRAY , DU YUN , and JULIUS EASTMAN
Saturday, July 9
Sat 7/09 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
The 95th compositions by various composers from the Baroque to Present — with a couple of other pieces thrown in, because we like them!
Join us in person or online for 3 days of exciting concerts and discussions with remarkable organists as we present a wide range of radically innovative musical approaches to the organ.
September 29 – October 1, 2022
Roy Thompson Hall & other venues (live attendees)
Immerse yourself in the unique sonic power of the organ and discover how this extraordinarily complex and powerful instrument is being reinvented and re-imagined by diverse and exciting 21st century composers, performers and inventors.
Festival Highlights Include
Kara-Lis Coverdale (Canada)
Amina Claudine Myers (USA)
Charlemagne Palestine (USA)
Sandra Boss (Denmark)
Raven Chacon (Navajo Nation/USA)
Mathhew Larkin (Canada)
Kali Malone (France)
Sarah Svendsen (Canada)
Sarah Davachi (Canada)
Rashann Allwood (Canada)
Thomas Mellan (USA)
Festival International Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) in Quebec boldly explores and extolls music of the avant-garde, experimental and otherwise “outside” nature. It has done so, with a dedicated intensity scarcely seen in the Americas, for nearly 40 years now (minus the COVID-nixed 2020 festival and one other year in absentia).
This year’s festival, held May 16–22, arrived with special emotional baggage, given pandemic strictures of the past two years. Michel Levasseur, the fest’s stubbornly visionary founder/director, presented a stripped-down and distanced model in 2021, a rare pandemic-era festival presented live and without streaming or other hybrid compromises.
Don’t Tell (The Bridge #2.2) Mai Sugimoto – alto saxophone, flute Raymond Boni – guitar Paul Rogers – double bass Anton Hatwich – double bass
The Bridge, squared. This project is the second group to emerge from the second generation of Franco-American collaborative ensembles that The Bridge is launching. Following an intuition initially proposed by guitarist Raymond Boni, Mai Sugimoto, Anton Hatwich, and Paul Rogers took the time in November 2019 in Chicago to explore the possibilities of a vessel with mostly string instruments and no keyboards, no percussion, piloted simultaneously by four individuals with radically different artistic personalities. The idea was to create music that would grapple with the ideas of unfolding and entanglement, of sound as a set of lines and twists. Distant points in space and time can always be connected, even when you don’t expect it, especially when you don’t expect it: “Improvisation being a fundamental link for the coexistence of beings, what interests me most in this Franco-American encounter is the singular path of each one, and the unedited quality of this event.” Said Boni. Mission accomplished and to be reaccomplished in France in October 2022.
From October 31 to November 13, in Chicago and Midwest:
Temple of Enthusiasm (The Bridge #2.3) Marvin Tate – voice Erwan Keravec – bagpipes Gerrit Hatcher – tenor saxophone Gaspar Claus – cello Lia Kohl – cello
They started to think of it this way: as the creation of a magnetic field in music. Four Aces and a Queen, of course, and all combinations of the unimaginable, all balances, all imbalances. First between a poet with a wide-open conscience (Marvin Tate), a hallucinating bagpiper (Erwan Keravec), a devilish saxophonist (Gerrit Hatcher), and two cellists in ambush (Gaspar Claus & Lia Kohl), in a racket. Each one of them having taken care to be rooted in a territory or a history (from the frankness of the Chicago ghetto to all the winds of Brittany, from jazz to pop or to improvisation, as long as crossroads are opened), while remaining free of its movements, to start again from scratch and to the infinity. Each one sees or hears things only in his own generous way, pulling in his own direction while being attracted by the directions that the four others discover.
Percussionist Aaron Michael Butler presents a concert of premieres for resonant metal instruments and electronics by Elizabeth A. Baker, Justin Greene, and Matt Sargent.
Tongue Depressor w/ Austin Larkin +
Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang
Fri. July 8, 8 PM; $10 – $15 donation at door
Tongue Depressor (Zach Rowden, Henry Birdsey) play pedal steel, double bass, bells, tapes, and fiddles, often using microtonal tunings. They’re joined by composer/violinist Austin Larkin. Eyvind Kang (viola) and Jessika Kenney (voice) are devoted to geomusicalities and music at the border of sound.
First Landing with Abiodun Oyewole (Last Poets)
Abiodun Oyewole (spoken word) Ava Mendoza (guitar) Luke Stewart (bass)
Fluke-Mogul / Mendoza Duo
Gabby Fluke-Mogul (violin) Ava Mendoza (guitar)
Ava Mendoza Solo
Ava Mendoza (guitar, voice)
Peter Evans Ensemble
Alice Teyssier (flutes/voice) Immanuel Wilkins (saxophones) Peter Evans (trumpets/compositions) Nick Jozwiak (bass) Levy Lorenzo (percussion) Sam Pluta (live electronics)
Mat Maneri (viola) Peter Evans (trumpets) Nick Jozwiak (bass, cello)
Elias Stemeseder (piano, synthesizers, live electronics) Peter Evans (trumpets)
Had the great fortune of seeing Gordon Grdina’s Nomad Trio last night at Constellation in Chicago. This was a wonderful set of a fusion of Tim Berne-like musical adventures with a large dose of Middle Eastern melodies thanks to the Oud’s heavy presence. Excellent stuff!
Gordon, who I never heard before is a fantastic guitarist with a full, meaty sound that spends a lot of time on “the low notes” to drive the music forward (until he lets loose and solos with the white-hot intensity of a Bob Fripp circa “Islands” Sailors Tale period). His Oud playing was a very cool addition hurtling the (too short) set into unexpected directions.
Initially, drummer Jim Black was the big draw for me. During this performance he was incredibly powerful, loose and in the pocket all at the same time. He is no stranger to playing in ensembles that have a “Middle Eastern flare”. I’m specifically thinking of Pachora here although that had more of a Horn presence.
Matt Mitchell on piano rounded out the trio adding an additional layer of top-end madness to this incendiary trio. While mostly staying in “manic mode” he did occasionally bring it down a few thousand notches with some beautiful (improved?) introductions. The alchemy of acoustic Piano within this lineup of electric Guitar and Oud (with no Bass) yielded a very dense, but at the same time, a very open feel to the sounds. If you can catch them in your part of the world, do so!!!
In addition to the Nomad Trio, the evening’s headliner was Harriet Tubman and, like their Big Ears set I left the show with somewhat mixed feelings.
The sound at Constellation was excellent and that made a big difference in things. I don’t know if it was a function of the (in my opinion), the poor acoustic properties of the venue they played at BE’s or, a live sound guy who had a love affair with subsonic noise but, at least tonight there were none of those overdriven standing bass waves smothering everything within sight. If I wanted to see that, I would just go see Sunn O))).
Melvin Gibb’s playing was still loud, intense and at times fuzz heavy (make no mistake…that is a feature, not a bug) but at least it didn’t obliterate Brandon Ross’s guitar playing. The mix last night was pretty much perfect.
As far as the music…well, I still think that their tunes meandered a little too much, sometimes without a hint of direction or resolution…as if the music was searching for something but never finding it, but instead, just ending and me thinking to myself…”well, ok…is that it?”
But, on the other hand, because of the much-improved sound I was able to better appreciate their overall spiritual power jazz trio vibe that was smashed down into a muddy mess at Big Ears. I love Brandon Ross’s playing and last night I finally got to actually hear him. He was playing some truly beautiful melodies. This might go without saying, but please check out Henry Threadgill’s 1993 album “To Much Sugar for a Dime” to hear Brandon just slam-dunkin it!!
Gibb’s bass playing was devastating (as expected) but he pulled out some great solos using a lot of chording and double stops along the way. J.T. Lewis is a no-nonsense drummer but very tasteful in the context of the music. I guess it’s only fair to say that after seeing Jim Black’s octopus-like display, a mainly “in the pocket” type drummer would seem “no-nonsense”. Regardless, he held it down quite well!
Their last piece was a rousing, Gospel-infused vocal workout. Brandon has a great, soulful voice that succeeded in uplifting the energy quotient (band and audience) and was a very fitting way to end another great night of much-missed live music in Chicago. Keep it coming!
(Once again, thanks to Larry Blatecky for photos!)