AMN Reviews: Ensemble Resonanz, Elliott Sharp, Gareth Davis – “Oceanus Procellarum” [Cavity Search CSR101]

OP_CoverElliott Sharp has been a key figure in New York City’s experimental music scene for more than thirty years. He is a musician of incredible range with significant works spanning free improvisation, blues, jazz, electronic, noise, chamber, and orchestral music. Sharp’s work has been inspired by his deep interest in science and mathematics. He has developed a unique musical syntax that is informed by fractal geometry, chaos theory, algorithmic and biological processes. On “Oceanus Procellarum” Elliott Sharp teams up with Gareth Davis and the Ensemble Resonanz.

The Ensemble Resonanz is an unusual chamber orchestra based in Saint Pauli, Hamburg. The ensemble is democratically organized and makes its home at the resonanzraum – a concert space built inside of an old bunker. The resonanzraum is both unique and informal with more of a club atmosphere than that of the traditional concert hall.  The Ensemble Resonanz regularly performs monthly programs at the resonanzraum that aim to bridge the musical past with the present.

Gareth Davis is a clarinetist that primarily performs on the bass and contrabass clarinets. Like Sharp, he is a musician of incredible range and interests. Davis’s work spans the worlds of contemporary classical, to free improvisation, to rock, noise and electronica. Davis has a wonderful sound and incredible technical command of the bass clarinet. He has premiered works by Jonathan Harvey, Bernhard Lang, Peter Ablinger and Toshio Hosokawa. Davis has performed and collaborated with JACK Quartet, monster cellist Frances Marie Uitti, Merzbow and Christian Marclay.

Elliott Sharp’s “Oceanus Procellarum” is a work filled with propulsive development that is rich in rhythmic and timbral complexity. “Oceanus Procellarum” was recorded live at its UK premiere during the 2016 Huddersfield Festival. This performance was beautifully recorded and has a sound that is much larger than the chamber ensemble of twelve strings plus the two soloists. “Oceanus Procellarum” which translates to Ocean of Storms is a thirty-eight minute through composed piece in five sections with each section consisting of multiple episodes.  Sharp constructed the piece to be a kind of intersection between two moving fronts somewhat like a concerto in that it pits the two soloists – Elliott Sharp on electro-acoustic guitar and Gareth Davis on bass clarinet against the strings of the Ensemble Resonanz. The piece creates a sound world where textures build, form and transform in a kind of attraction and repulsion as the two moving fronts move into and out from each other. The composition has a raw intensity with many dramatic shifts where events can suddenly move from very intense large sound bodies to moments of reflection only to suddenly be challenged by the arrival of another moving front.

Since improvisation is at the heart of Elliott Sharp’s work it is likely that some elements of improvisation or performer choice are part of this score and this enables the soloists – Sharp and Davis, who are outstanding, to create an atmosphere of spontaneity throughout the performance. The strings are called upon to use many extended techniques including “alternate bows” constructed from various metal springs and wooden sticks. Despite what must be a challenging score to perform, the Ensemble Resonanz really brings this music to life. The timbral range produced by the entire ensemble and soloists is stunning. They effortlessly move from chaotic clouds to throbbing masses of growing clusters to ethereal almost ambient reflections to sparkling and brassy counterpoint to intense primal rhythmic unisons and eventually they end in a bed of very soft bowed white noise.

“Oceanus Procellarum” is an exciting listen. Old hands will really enjoy it and newcomers will find it a great place to start as it is absolutely one of Elliott Sharp’s best chamber works.  Highly Recommended!

Chris De Chiara

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AMN Reviews: Todd Dockstader – From the Archives [ Starkland ST226 ]

Dockstader_Booklet_ Printer Spreads.inddThe world was reintroduced to outsider electronic music composer Todd Dockstader in the 1990’s when Starkland reissued most of his work from the early 1960’s on two CD’s. The Starkland discs were met with widespread critical acclaim. Stunned by this newfound interest and acclaim for his work Dockstader returned to composing. In 2002 Recommended Records reissued additional work from the 1960’s on CD. Dockstader then teamed up with David Lee Meyers (AKA Arcane Device and Pulsewidth) releasing two CD’s on Recommended Records in 2004 and 2005. During 2005 -2006 Sub Rosa released a three CD set from Dockstader entitled “Aerial”. Many believed that this was to be his final work. Todd Dockstader passed away peacefully on February 27, 2015 surrounded by his friends and family while listening to his own music.

“From the Archives” is a posthumous release of new work by electronic music composer Todd Dockstader. When Dockstader passed away in 2015 he left behind a computer full of new work totaling more than one hundred fifty hours. Daughter Tina Dockstader Kinard enlisted enthusiast Justin Brierly to go through the material and select fifty pieces to send to Thomas Steenland at Starkland. Steenland selected fifteen pieces for this outstanding new release.

The compositions on “From the Archive” were composed during 2005 – 2008. They demonstrate Dockstaders growing comfort with the computer and his original imaginative style firmly finding its way into the digital sphere. The pieces cover a wide range of sonic texture and are generally less ethereal and atmospheric then “Aerial” which was Dockstader’s last release during his lifetime. What set Dockstader’s compositions apart from many of his contemporaries is that his work is focused on highly imaginative constructions of organized sound as opposed to the use of sampled sound collage or synthetic extensions of the traditional composition world of “do re me” that continues to dominate electronic music. Dockstader’s compositions had a kind of cinematic drama in their construction and this continues to be the case with the pieces on this new volume – “From the Archive”. In this new work we are treated to a subterranean prelude of ringing filters in “Basement Passage”. The sounds of a choir of ghosts singing and wailing in whispered tones on “Whispered Smooth”. Contrasting cinematic edits between real and imagined sounds in “Todt 1”. “Anat Loop” is a subtle construction of glitch and loops. Then there is the noisy, rhythmic, almost industrial sonic assault of “Big Jig” and so much more.

Todd Dockstader’s “From the Archives” is one of the best releases of 2016. It provides us with an hour of new music from one of the masters of sound art. “From the Archives” will make long time Dockstader listeners extremely happy and will hopefully bring his incredible work to many new listeners. Thanks to the efforts of Tina Dockstader Kinard, Justin Brierley and Thomas Steenland we have the chance to hear this new work and to enjoy it for many years to come.

Highly recommended!

For more information – http://www.starkland.com/st226/index.htm

Chris De Chiara

AMN Reviews: Nate Wooley – Argonautica [ Firehouse 12 Records FH12-04-01-023 ]

 

Trumpeter, composer, and improviser Nate Wooley has performed regularly as a sideman with many of the leading musicians on the New York new music scene including icons such as Anthony Braxton and John Zorn. He has also collaborated with many of the brightest of his generation such as Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson. Embracing noise and drone aesthetics, Wooley’s unique approach to the trumpet is a combination of standard techniques, vocalization, extreme extended techniques and amplification. But Nate Wooley is not just another iconoclast; he is a curator, a writer, an editor and an explorer of all things sonic and musical. Check out his online quarterly journal Sound American  or his Database of Recorded American Music .

Argonautica is an ambitious work that takes its name from the ancient Greek epic poem which depicts the adventure of Jason and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece. The piece is in three parts with an introduction and scored for three pairs of instruments – trumpets, pianos and drums. This allows for various duos and trios to work together or separately as they explore the material. Wooley conceived the piece as a tribute to his mentor Ron Miles whom performs on this recording. Argonuatica opens with a “solo” from the trumpets. Here Wooley and Miles demonstrate their individual approaches to the instrument with Miles’s lyrical cornet to Wooley’s rougher more extended trumpet voice. This seeming opposition remains with all of the pairs of instruments – the acoustic piano of Cory Smythe paired with the Fender-Rhodes and electronics of Jozef Dumoulin and the free jazz drumming of Devin Gray with the more spirited precision of Rudy Royston. The pairs move from contrast to opposition to complement as the material is explored. There are written or scored elements that are precisely performed, followed by more open sections used by the performers to develop the material as they navigate to the next scored element giving this forty three minute piece a very organic feel. There is a continuous build up from sparse to dense, from slower to faster as various duos and trios emerge until the piece ends in a shattering climax.

Wooley cites the oblique influence of things like ambient tape music, dodecaphony, jazz-rock and the minimalist rock of Terry Riley.  With Argonautica he raises the question “… is this what jazz-rock can be in the twenty-first century?” However, do not take this to mean that Argonautica is “fusion” or sounds like any of these influences. To quote Wooley: “It’s easy sometimes to confuse being inspired by something with adhering to its principles.”

Argonautica is a solid piece of contemporary creative music performed by exceptional musicians. It is beautifully recorded and mixed. In addition to the MP3 and CD versions there is also a high-resolution audio mix available (would love to hear that). If you are not already a Nate Wooley fan then this recording is very likely to make you one.

Highly Recommended!

For more information: http://firehouse12records.com

Chris De Chiara

AMN Reviews: Jorge Antunes – “Música Electrónica” [MENT007]

 

The vinyl reissue craze continues and many experimental, electronic and free jazz recordings are being reissued on LP. If you are a fan of the LP and of contemporary electronic music, musique concréte and contemporary classical music then “Música Electrônica” will be of interest to you.

Jorge Antunes (b. 1942, Rio de Janeiro) is a pioneer in the development of electronic music in Brazil. In 1961 Antunes attended the first concert of electronic music in Brazil, which included “Scambi” by Henri Pousseur and “Essai” by Gottfried Michael Koenig. This music so inspired the nineteen year old radio technician that he built his own gear and set up a little electronic music studio in his parents living room. Two of the five compositions on this LP were recorded in this home studio between 1962 – 1970.

Antunes studied violin, composition and conducting as well as physics at the University of Rio de Janeiro. By 1965 he had established himself as a leader in the Brazilian avant garde and began his research into the correspondence between sound and color. In 1970 Antunes left Brazil to continue this research at the Institute of Sonology at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. While at Sonology he began to specialize in Computer Music under the guidance of Gottfried Michael Koenig. In 1972 -73 he attended the musique concréte course and worked at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris. Jorge Antunes is currently the director of the Electroacoustic Music Studio at the University of Brazil.

The pieces on “Música Electrônica” are striking in that Antunes makes extensive use of what were undiscovered and new techniques such as various waveform oscillators, noise, feedback, loops, tape manipulation, treated vocals, glitches, turn-table manipulation and so much more. He did almost all of this in his parent’s living room between 1962-1970, often on equipment he built himself.

“Valsa Sideral” is the first electronic work produced in Brazil. It was composed in 1962 at the composer’s home studio. As the title suggests it is a kind of waltz. It is a remarkable piece that uses a minimalist sounding tape loop of three rhythmic pitches as an ostinato while improvised sine and saw tooth melodies glissando over it with echoes and reverberations. It reminds me a little bit of the early pieces by the Barons for “Forbidden Planet”.

“Contrapunctus Contra Contrapunctus” was realized at the composer’s home studio in 1965. By this time Antunes’s technique had really grown, particularly in the ability to assemble lots of very small tape edits into smooth sections of sound. The work makes use loops of pitched material and treated voices. As the title suggests the loops are used in counterpoint against each other as treated sine and sawtooth melodies float over them, joined by occasional blasts of filtered noise.

“Cinta Cinta” was composed in 1969 during a visit to the Electronic Music Laboratory of the Institute Torcuato Di Tella, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is Antunes’s first piece realized in a professional studio. The material in this piece is primarily filtered noise and additive synthesis sounds that bump up against each other in washes and chaotic rhythms till they disintegrate into silence.

“Auto-Retrato Sobre Paisaje Porteño” is an incredibly innovative piece composed during 1969/70 in Buenos Aires. In this piece Antunes “samples” a found object – a record of a tango by Francisco Canaro. A scratch in the record skips to create a loop that transforms the tango sample into a kind of samba. This sample is then used as material for additional processing and manipulation in series of loops overlaid with additional electronic sounds into what sounds like what might be the very first pure electronic dance piece, but just as it settles into the groove, abstraction intervenes and the piece transforms into more and more abstract sounds. The abstract sounds then give way to treated, sliced and cutup overlapping vocal and speech sounds. This is followed by a short return to the tango sample samba, only to be interrupted by speech with low percussive sounds and low evolving filtered sawtooth sounds. This continues to develop till the piece ends with a long evolving crescendo that is a mix of all of the different sound types used in the piece.

“Historia de un Pueblo por Nacer ou Carta Abierta a Vassili Vassilikos y a todos los Pesimistas “ was composed in 1970 in Buenos Aires. The piece was inspired by the novel and film “Z” by Vassili Vasilikos. It is in three sections with a coda. Each of the sections begins in silence and slowly builds a noisy texture to a loud intensity and then is crushed by a single pitched sound. The coda uses a fragment from the “International” in a canonic texture, which closes the piece.

Jorge Antunes is an electronic music pioneer and this LP reissues his earliest electronic music. The compositions on “Música Electrônica” despite their age are imaginative and innovative making “Música Electrônica”essential listening for electronic music fans. For more information visit: http://www.guerssen.com/catalogue.php?ide=26007

Chris De Chiara

AMN Reviews: Alvin Lucier – Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music

Alvin Lucier: Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press)

Music 109 is composer Alvin Lucier’s personal tour of some of the highlights of postwar musical experimentalism.

Lucier, a professor emeritus at Wesleyan University, has been at the forefront of sound art composition and performance since the 1960s. His 1965 work Music for Solo Performer employed EEG electrodes to detect brain waves that were subsequently amplified to vibrate percussion instruments; other work has made creative use of technology to create varied sonic phenomena. Many of his compositions are concerned with the acoustic properties of the spaces in which they are realized and the effects of those properties on the listener’s sense of perception. Along with composers Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma and David Behrman, Lucier formed the Sonic Arts Union, which presented advanced works by the four from 1966-1976.

The book is a loosely structured collection of Lucier’s reflections on some of the milestone works of experimental music of the past fifty years or so. Lucier discusses specific pieces by John Cage, Earle Brown, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff, as well as work by Ashley, Mumma and Behrman, and others. He offers insights, often based on first-hand experience, into the ways the compositions were written or performed, in many cases demystifying such matters as how exactly to realize graphic scores such as Wolff’s For 1, 2 or 3 People, Brown’s From Here, Cage’s Cartridge Music and Feldman’s King of Denmark. Lucier walks the reader step-by-step through the processes involved first in interpreting the marks on paper, and then in translating them into the appropriate actions. In doing this he draws on his experiences as a performer or conductor of the works in question.

Lucier is perhaps best known as the composer of I Am Sitting in a Room, the creation of which he describes in lively detail. It came about in spring 1969 in what Lucier describes as a “sordid” apartment in Middletown, Connecticut, where Lucier was teaching at Wesleyan. Using two borrowed Nagra tape recorders—state of the art technology in 1969—Lucier read a deliberately unremarkable text into one recorder, transferred the tape to the second recorder and played it back while recording on the first machine. He repeated the process through fifteen iterations, until he got a result that turned his recorded voice into an abstract pattern of sound that provided, in effect, a portrait of the room’s acoustic characteristics. It’s interesting to read that the inspiration for the text, which simply described what Lucier was doing while he was doing it, came from a specific performance by Judson Church dancer Trisha Brown.

Music 109 is adapted from the lectures Lucier delivered for his Introduction to Experimental Music course at Wesleyan. This accounts for the conversational tone—the reader often feels as if he or she is sitting in a room with Lucier, listening to him talk. Plain and direct-spoken and with an uncluttered prose style, Lucier easily blends analysis, anecdote and digression into a reader-friendly first-person account of some of the most interesting music to come out of the postwar period.

http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress

Los Angeles / SoCal Scene

Morton Subotnick
Cover of Morton Subotnick

From REDCAT:

Friday, March 23, 8:30pm
The supremely gifted cellist Frances-Marie Uitti makes a rare Los Angeles appearance for the debut of Michael Jon Fink’s new cello concerto, written especially for her pioneering technique of playing with two bows simultaneously, and chamber ensemble. Known for a prodigious career of dismantling longstanding musical boundaries, Uitti follows with another world premiere by Greg Moore, and works by Lisa Bielawa, Jonathan Harvey, Giacinto Scelsi, Karen Tanaka, and Ken Ueno, most written for Uitti’s incredible interpretations. REDCAT, Located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex, 631 West 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles | $20 / $16 students

From Beyond Baroque:

Friday, March 23, 9pm
Beyond Baroque presents Beyond Music series with wildUP! – Brooklyn to LA. : New music from one coast to the other coast: Brooklyn/ LA featuring music by Timo Andres, Art Jarvinen, Chris Kallmyer, Missy Mazzoli, Andrew Norman, Andrew Tholl, and Frederic Rzewski. The music of right now, right this very moment, is being created in basements and recorded in living rooms in high definition. wildUP! : their music is raw, unabashed, and they made it themselves. wildUp! presents two concerts about the music being composed now in LA and Brooklyn. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice | $15 advance / $20 door

From Beyond Baroque:

Saturday, March 24, 3pm
Beyond Baroque presents Beyond Music series with wildUP! – Brooklyn to LA. : New music from one coast to the other coast: Brooklyn/ LA featuring music by Timo Andres, Art Jarvinen, Chris Kallmyer, Missy Mazzoli, Andrew Norman, Andrew Tholl, and Frederic Rzewski. The music of right now, right this very moment, is being created in basements and recorded in living rooms in high definition. wildUP! : their music is raw, unabashed, and they made it themselves. wildUp! presents two concerts about the music being composed now in LA and Brooklyn. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice | $15 advance / $20 door

From FaceBook:

Saturday March 24, 7pm
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art presents the closing event of GOTHIC, with music by Trestles (electronics +), Toaster Music, and The League of Vampiric Bards. OCCCA, 117 N. Sycamore St., Santa Ana | Free

From Southwest Chamber Music:

Saturday, March 24, 8pm (7:30pm pre-concert talk)
Southwest Chamber Music continues their Cage 2012 Celebration with a concert featuring John Cage works including Lecture on the Weather, Score (40 Drawings by Thoreau), and 23 Parts. Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School, 200 South Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles | $38 / $28 seniors / $10 students

From Sundays Live:

Saturday, March 24, 8pm
Music at Boston Court presents the Thies-Krajacic Project: Spontaneous Inventions. Featured performers of the TKP are Damjan Krajacic (flute), Robert Edward Thies (piano), Michael Valerio (bass), and Steven Schaeffer (drums). Boston Court Performing Arts Center, 70 North Mentor Ave., Pasadena | $25 / $20 seniors and students

Saturday, March 24, 8pm
Pomona College Faculty Chamber Music presents Annabel Guaita (piano) and Alfred Cramer (violin) in a concert of Music of Norway, selections by 20th-century atonal polyphonic composer Fartein Valen and others. Pomona College, Bridges Hall of Music, 150 E. 4th St., Claremont | Free

From REDCAT:

Saturday, March 24, 8:30pm
The Los Angeles new music high-fliers meet up with the godfather of techno Morton Subotnick for a live revisit to the electronic music pioneer’s iconic works, rendered with new technology. From the landmark Silver Apples of the Moon (1966) to A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur (1977), Subotnick worked with Buchla synthesizers and tape recorders to create new electronic works meant for the home environment—and later adapted his music for live performance. Now equipped with Ableton Live on his Mac and the new Buchla 200e, he performs with the California E.A.R. Unit—collaborators since 1980—and draws on elements of Silver Apples and Sky in an evening of “spontaneous performance and decision-making.” REDCAT, Located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex, 631 West 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles | $20 / $16 students

From SASSAS:

Sunday, March 25, 1pm (12:30 load in)
SASSAS and the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock present soundShoppe, a monthly unstructured sound workshop/noise jam for experimental musicians and sound artists. soundShoppe offers a means by which sound artists can hangout on a regular basis and informally explore their medium together. soundShoppe offers experienced sound musicians an opportunity experiment with different instrumentations and approaches and play outside of their comfort zone. soundShoppe also presents the opportunity for novice sound artists to interact with more experienced ones. Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock | Free

From the wulf:

Sunday, March 25, 8pm
the wulf presents Casey Anderson: Solo, Many, All – two new pieces (solo live electronics, the other participatory) concluding with an open discussion based on a prompt. The event will shift from an exclusive format (solo) to one in which everyone present is placed on an equal playing field (all). The live electronics piece is rooted around Anderson’s current interest in instrument design for/around chaotic data networks, while the participatory piece is based on a poem about a poem about a painting owned by a poet, and will feature something like writing, breathing, tearing paper (etc.). Concluding the event will be an open discussion on exclusivity. the wulf, 1026 South Santa Fe Ave. #203, downtown Los Angeles | donations accepted

From Monday Evening Concerts:

Monday, March 26, 8pm
Monday Evening Concerts presents Jazz Encounters, music as extreme action; music rooted in popular styles. This concert will feature pieces by Stefan Wolpe (Quartet for Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone, Percussion and Piano)(Piece for Oboe, Cello, Percussion, and Piano), Evan Johnson (ground), Peter Ablinger (Parker Notch), Peter Ablinger (weiss/weisslich 4), and Evan Johnson (Supplement), performed by Daniel Rosenboom (trumpet), Eliot Gattegno (saxophone), Nicholas Terry (percussion), Vicki Ray (piano),
Gareth Davis (clarinet), Ariana Ghez (oboe), Jason Lippmann (cello), and Donald Crockett (conductor). Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School, 200 South Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles | $27

From Athenaeum:

Tuesday, March 27, 7pm
The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and San Diego New Music present the Formalist Quartet in concert. This evening’s program will feature pieces by Harold Budd (String Quartet 2001), Toru Takemitsu (Landscape 1), Leos Janacek (String Quartet No. 1), and others. The Formalist Quartet is Andrew Tholl (violin), Mark Menzies (violin, viola), Andrew McIntosh (violin, viola), and Ashley Walters (cello), who will perform this evening with special guest Phoebe Jevtovic Rosquist (soprano). Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla | $25 members / $30 non-member, available here

From LA Phil:

Tuesday, March 27, 8pm
Keith Jarrett: An Evening of Solo Piano Improvisations. Experience the music of Keith Jarrett in the pristine acoustics of Walt Disney Concert Hall as he celebrates the release of Rio, one of the finest live solo recordings of his career. <a href=”Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles | $43 to $150, available here

From FaceBook:

Wednesday, March 28, 8pm
Wicked Dreams Celebration! presents at triple bill at the EL Cid Restuarant, featuring Noah and the MegaFauna, Tears of the Moosechaser, and Timur and the Dime Museum, and special guest Maesa Pullman. El Cid Restuarant, 4212 Sunset Blvd., Silverlake | $5

From The Last Bookstore:

Thursday, March 29, 7pm
The Last Bookstore presents the End of Quarter Blowout, A multi-level event in which performances flow through three conjoined floors of the Spring Arts Tower (The Crocker Club, The Last Bookstore (natch), and the Mezzanine. Featuring!: Double G and the daKAH Orchestra, NineNet, Killsonic, Poetry Noise Orchestra, and HMS Soundsystem with special guests Robert F. Leng and Tom Steck of Other Criteria, multiple smaller esnsembles, theater installation curated by Poor Dog Group, and a diverse collection of friends and contributors of The Last Bookstore. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St. (ground floor), downtown Los Angeles | Free

From the wulf:

Thursday, March 29, 8pm
Giacomo Fiore will present a night of recent music for classical and just intonation guitar, with and without live electronics and other trickeries. Works by Lou Harrison, Larry Polansky, Ron Nagorcka, and Toshio Hosokawa. Born in Italy in 1983, Giacomo has been playing and studying music in the U.S. since 2003. He lives in San Francisco and looks forward to his debut at the wulf. the wulf, 1026 South Santa Fe Ave. #203, downtown Los Angeles | donations accepted

San Francisco Bay Area Scene

Gloria Cheng
Cover of Gloria Cheng

From Bay Improviser:

Thursday, March 22, 8pm
OutSound presents the Luggage Store New Music Series, this week featuring a set at 8pm with Sarah Elena Palmer (vocals, processing), and at 9pm with Ann/Marianne, featuring Ann O’Rourke (cymbals, drums, found objects, effects) and Marianne Tomita McDonald (Scottish harp). Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St. (@ 6th St.), San Francisco | $6-10

From CNMAT, Berkeley:

Thursday, March 22, 8pm
CNMAT presents pianist and Regent’s Lecturer Gloria Cheng in a performance, demonstration, and discussion of new works for piano and live electronics. The pieces have been composed for this occasion by UC Berkeley graduate composers Sivan Eldar, Dan Van Hassel, and Jen Wang. CNMAT, University of California Berkeley, 1750 Arch St., Berkeley | Free

From Bay Improviser:

Friday, March 23, 6:30pm
In 1975, California-based Dutch Conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader disappeared under mysterious circumstances at sea while attempting to cross the Atlantic in a small craft. Filmmaker Rene Daalder uses this story as the basis for a sweeping overview of contemporary art and an epic saga of the transformative powers of the ocean in his 2008 film Here is Always Somewhere Else: The Life of Bas Jan Ader. Before the screening, immerse yourself in a recording of ARP’s meditative electronic musical work Odyssey (For Bas Jan Ader). In conjunction with the exhibition State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970. Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley | Free to $7

Friday, March 23, 8pm
Artists’ Television Access presents an evening of electroacoustic audio-visual improvisation with Bill Hsu (electronics, interactive animation), Tony Dryer (contrabass), Jacob Felix Heule (percussion), and special guests from Norway. Artists’ Television Access, 992 Valencia St., San Francisco | $6-10

Friday, March 23, 8pm
Open Sound West at CNMAT presents Jacob Zimmerman’s Lawson and Zachary Watkins’ Positively Right On. The Lawson Ensemble, formed in the fall of 2009, features Jacob Zimmerman (alto sax), Theo Padouvas (trumpet), Rob Ewing (trombone), Michael Coleman and Dan VanHassel (keyboards), and Dan Good (electronics and trumpet). Positively Right On by Zachary James Watkins is a new work written for Ava Mendoza and John Shiurba who are also the performers (electric guitars). CNMAT, University of California Berkeley, 1750 Arch St., Berkeley | $10 / $5 UC Berkeley students

Friday, March 23, 9pm
Free Jazz/Free Punk band, LIBERTAS, will be performing live at The Starry Plough. Also performing will be THE ECONOMEN (MINUTEMAN tribute) and BRIAN KENNY FRESNO. Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave. (@ Prince), Berkeley |

Saturday, March 24, 1pm
Sculpting Air – Vocal Workshop: Theresa Wong will lead a workshop exploring the voice through raising awareness of the body. During the workshop, the following topics will be explored: using the breath, singing long tones, awareness of body tension, the location of vibration frequencies and creating sounds via focusing awareness on the body. Simple games of conducting via free movement gestures will be used to generate vocal sounds including textures, melodies, text and noises to allow the voice to take flight into its infinite expressive qualities. To reserve a spot, email tree_wong (at) yahoo.com. Berkeley Arts Festival, 2133 University Ave., Berkeley | $30-60 sliding

Saturday, March 24, 4pm
Heavy Disciplne and Good Bellies Cafe present a double bill Saturday, with Aram Shelton (reeds) and Mark Clifford (vibes), along with Retro Blue, a new band with Jim Ryan (vocals, sax, flute) and Esten LIndgren (double bass). Good Bellies Cafe, 4659 Telegraph Ave. (@46th), Oakland | donations encouraged

Saturday, March 24, 8pm
The Swarm Gallery presents an evening with India Cooke (violin) and Cloud Shepherd – Andrew Joron (theremin), Brian Lucas (electric bass/tapes), Joseph Noble (flutes/reeds), Mark Pino (‘cloud kit’ percussion) share their experiences in sonic space travel. Swarm Gallery, 560 2nd Street (Jack London Sq. area), Oakland | sliding scale

From CNMAT, Berkeley:

Saturday, March 24, 8pm
Cal Performances, CNMAT and the Department of Music present the Eco Ensemble, UC Berkeley’s professional performance group dedicated to new music by established and emerging composers. Featured on this evening’s program is Martin Matalon (Tunneling),
Liza Lim (Songs Found in Dream), Aaron Einbond (What the Blind See), and Nico Muhly (Clear Music). University of California Berkeley, Hertz Hall, Berkeley | tickets start at $30, available here

From Yoshi’s, SF

Saturday, March 24, 10:30pm
Yoshi’s San Francisco presents the Eric McFadden Trio, in concert. Thoughout his illustrious career, singer, songwriter and guitarist Eric McFadden has steadfastly rebuked the Sirens of commerce, instead heeding the fearless, uncompromising Muses inside his head. Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco | $18

From Bay Improviser:

Sunday, March 25, 4:30pm
ODC Dance Commons will host San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: Contemporary Insights: Music and Conversation, as they perform Katharina Rosenberger’s scatter 2.0.  Scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, scatter 2.0 is the ensemble’s first performance of music by this innovative composer. Katharina Rosenberger will visit San Francisco to discuss her work with Steven Schick and the audience at this event, as well as at the pre-concert talk the following evening, Monday, March 26, 8:00 p.m. at Herbst Theatre. ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell Street (between 17th and 18th Streets), San Francisco | $10

Sunday, March 25, 7:30pm
OutSound presents the SIMM Series, featuring at 7:30, the duo of Kyle Bruckmann (oboe, English horn, electronics) and Lance Grabmiller. At 8:30pm, the Mirror Trio (sextet) will perform, featuring Jacob Felix Heule, Tony Dryer & Guro Skumsnes Moe (contrabass), and Håvard Skaset. Musicians Union Hall, 116 9th St. (@ Mission), San Francisco | $10 / $8

From FaceBook:

Monday, March 26, 7pm
Nebraska Mondays at Luna’s Cafe presents the Know Hassell Project with Foothill Jazz Trio. Nebraska Mondays is the weekly underground jazz/electronic/poetic/creative music spot, hosted by Ross Hammond. Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento | $5-20 sliding

From Bay Improviser:

Monday, March 26, 8pm
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players present Zone 4: in which momentum and position co-exist within the physicality of a musical performance. The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, conducted by Artistic Director Steven Schick, will perform a concert of music by Katharina Rosenberger, Brian Ferneyhough, Olly Wilson, Geoffrey Gordon, and Heinz Holliger. Wilson and Rosenberger will participate in a pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m., hosted by Schick. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, San Francisco | $30 / $25 seniors / $10 students box office info

Wednesday, March 28, 7:30pm
Tuesdays at Tom’s Place will host the Barney Childs Festival, evening one of a two-day celebration of his music performed by his students and collaborators. Tuesdays at Tom’s Place, 3111 Deakin St., Berkeley | Free, donations requested