AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Nonono Percussion Ensemble – Excantatious [Setola di Maiale SM4340]

“Excantation” is the act of freeing a victim of enchantment through counter-enchantment—wielding a protective bit good magic to ward off bad magic. It also serves as an apt metaphor for music’s capacity to counteract the two-year-long psychological thrall covid’s held us in.

The music on this disc was recorded at the Teatro San Leonardo in Bologna in February 2019, a year before the virus struck, which makes its theme appear particularly prescient. The group involved was the Nonono Percussion Ensemble, a trio of Gino Robair on percussion, prepared piano and electronics; Cristiano Calcagnile on drums, percussion, drumtable guitar, glockenspiel, and effects; and Stefano Giust on drums, cymbals, and percussion. The seven performances consist of finely-tuned textural music in which timbre and dynamics take the place of melody and harmony as organizing qualities. Contrasts of metal and membrane intermixed with electronic percolations; marimba-like interventions on prepared piano framed on either side by conventional drumkit; bowed and scraped cymbals over low-frequency tones—these and other sounds make up these constantly changing sonic fabrics. The ensemble’s effort is a truly collective one, and although the mix effectively separates the voices, with Giust on the left, Robair in the center, and Calcagnile on the right, all three musicians are expert colorists and sympathetic listeners able to complement each other with whatever nuance or shading is needed at any given moment.

Daniel Barbiero

AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Pet the Tiger and Co. – Gaze Emanations [Public Eyesore PE145]

On Gaze Emanations, the sui generis ensemble Pet the Tiger and Co. respond to a series of eleven drawings by artists Brian Lucas with a set of twelve elaborately crafted, abstract soundscapes.

Pet the Tiger & Co. is an unusually configured octet comprising three players of invented instruments (Bryan Day, Cheryl Leonard, and Tom Nunn); two players of prepared and found percussion (Suki O’Kane and Gino Robair); saxophonist Philip Greenlief, trumpeter/electronics artist Tom Djll, and vocalist David Samas, who also produced the album. On paper it’s a potentially rich and varied mixture of timbres that in reality proves to be exactly that. Much about these performances is abstract in the way that acousmatic music is abstract—unusual sounds whose provenance is either obscure or obscured—which isn’t surprising, given the predominance of invented instruments or modified acoustic instruments. The textures of these performances are akin to mosaics made of multicolored, loosely joined tiles—even though the group is large, the sound rarely gets cluttered or overly dense. Samas’ voice is in keeping with the overall acousmatic feeling, consisting as it does of overtone singing, pre-verbal utterances and speech in some indecipherable language. On Ally the acoustic voices of Greenlief’s saxophone and Djll’s trumpet come to the foreground in a way that slyly acknowledges the conventionally musical and, given the context of the other performances, comes as a peculiar kind of shock.

Lucas’ drawings, which the group interpreted as graphic scores, are included in the CD’s booklet. They are colorful geometric and stylized works that seem to allude to astronomical, mythological, and metaphysical subjects—arcane provocations that Pet the Tiger and Co. aptly bring to sonic life.



Gino Robair
Image via Wikipedia

All About Jazz has a long feature on Vijay Iyer.

Gino Robair blogs about download-only music from the perspective of a fan and a musician.

Paul Sears has posted a few videos of Thee Maximalists.

Brooklyn’s Spike Hill will be the locale of a January 4th show featuring the Landon Knoblock Group and Shot x Shot.

Dublin’s Yard has released a new experimental album for free download.

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Emanem & Psi Releases

Phil Wachsmann
Image via Wikipedia

From Emanem & Psi:

Latest Emanem releases – available now:
5001 Veryan Weston ‘Allusions’ (2002) solo piano
5002 Okkyung Lee / Peter Evans / Steve Beresford ‘Check For Monsters’ (2008)
5003 Milo Fine ‘Ananke’ (2006/7)
5004 Sophie Agnel ‘Capsizing Moments’ (2008) solo piano
5005 ARC ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ (2008) Gus Garside, Sylvia Hallett & Danny Kingshill
5006 Stellari String Quartet ‘Gocce Stellari’ (2006/7)
5201 People Band ’69/70′ previously unissued
5202 Paul Rutherford ‘Tetralogy’ (1978-82) solo, trio & brass quartet previously unissued

Next Emanem release – available late October or early November:
5007 Grosse Abfahrt ‘Vanity’ (2008)
Matthieu Werchowski, David Chiesa, Theresa Wong, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls, Tom Djll, Tim Perkis, Gino Robair

Latest psi releases – available now:
09.01 Evan Parker ‘Saxophone Solos’ (1975) reissue
09.02 Per Anders Nilsson / Sten Sandell / Raymond Strid ‘Beam Stone’ (2007)
09.03 Lawrence Casserley & Adam Linson ‘Integument’ (2007)
09.04 Agustí Fernández ‘Un llamp que no s’acaba mai’ (2007) with John Edwards & Mark Sanders
09.05/6 Peter Evans ‘Nature/Culture’ (2008) solo trumpet
09.07 Grutronic ‘Essex Foam Party’ (2006-8)
09.08 FURT ‘Sense’ (2008/9) Richard Barrett & Paul Obermayer

Next psi releases – available late October or early November:
09.09 Evan Parker ‘Whitstable Solo’ (2008)
09.10 Richard Barrett ‘Adrift’ 3 compositions 2007/8
09.11 Evan Parker ‘Set’ (2003)
with Barry Guy, Paul Lytton, Richard Barrett, Paul Obermayer, Lawrence Casserley, Walter Prati & Marco Vecchi

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SFEMF 2009: 10th Anniversary Show Begins

The tenth annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival will take place Wednesday, September 16th through Saturday, September 19, 2009 at Brava Theater.

This year, SFEMF consists of four evenings of stimulating performances by internationally recognized artists and musicians in the electronic music field. In celebration of it’s 10th Anniversary, the festival will feature four of the original SFEMF organizers (Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, Ed Osborn, and Donald Swearingen) – one on each of its four evenings.

2009 SFEMF artists are:

Mason Bates
Frank Bretschneider (Berlin)
Preshish Moments
Maria Chavez (New York)
Joan La Barbara (New York)
Lukas Ligeti (New York)
Miya Masaoka (New York)
Amy X Neuburg
Ed Osborn (Providence, RI)
Gino Robair
Donald Swearingen
Mark Trayle (Los Angeles)
Pamela Z

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Performances Releases Reviews

DMG Newsletter July 31st, 2009

From DMG:

Paul Dunmall Documentary DVD! John Butcher Group! John Shiurba Qnt with Anthony Braxton! Dunmall/Chang/Gibbs/Taylor! Daniel Carter/Paul Flaherty/Randall Colbourne! Zinc Nine Psychedelic: Dave Ballou/Nick Didkovsky/Kevin Norton!

Elliott Levin & Seesaw People! Dave Stapleton Double Quartet! Gino Robair & Birgit Ulher! Fabio Orsi/Gianluca Becuzzi/Etre! Anthology of Chinese Experimental Music 4 CD Set! ..and Gino Robair’s Rastascan catalog!


Downtown Music Gallery FREE In-Store Performance Schedule Continues with:

This Sunday, August 2nd at 6pm:
International Electric Bass / Saxes / Guitar Trio!

This Sunday, August 9th at 6pm:
CD Release Celebration from Legendary Loft Jazz Trumpet Hero!

Sunday, August 16th at 6pm:

Sunday, August 23rd at 6pm:
Amazing New Sax & Bass Duo!

Sunday, August 30th at 6pm:
PIERRE YVES MARTEL – Viola da Gamba!

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Matthew Sperry in Memoriam Show

A Matthew Sperry Memoriam Festival takes place this week in the San Francisco area:

Please join us in a celebration of Matthew Sperry’s life and music with the Bay Area’s creative music community:

June 2, 4 & 5, 2009
Seventh Annual Matthew Sperry Memorial Festival

This year the festival kicks off with Seattle-based Lesli Dalaba performing in a trio with Fred Frith, Jason Hoopes and a duo with special guest Gail Brand (UK) in Oakland’s intimate Studio 1510. Gail closes the festival with a performance with local Sperry collaborators Gino Robair, Morgan Guberman, John Shiurba, Tim Perkis and Tom Djll on the stage of the Maybeck-inspired Hillside Club. The festival tradition of works for large ensemble continues as OrcheSperry ascends the tall stairs of the Luggage Store Gallery to perform new works in homage to Matthew’s musical life and work, and reprise Matthew’s rollicking improv karaoke of Treasure Mouth, which requires a band to follow along to lyrics as fast as they can be written out for them by others.

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Gino Robair Presenting Free Workshop Today in St. Louis

Gino Robair
Image via Wikipedia

From AAJ News:

While he’s town to perform his improv opera “I, Norton” on Saturday night at St. Louis Community College – Forest Park, percussionist Gino Robair (pictured) also will lead a free workshop at the college from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 6.

The workshop, like Saturday’s concert, will take place in the theater at the Mildred E. Bastian Performing Arts Center, 5600 Oakland Ave on the SLCC-FP campus. Here’s the description sent out by New Music Circle, which is co-sponsoring Robair’s St. Louis sojourn

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Upcoming Max.Experimentell Shows in Ludwigsburg, Germany

Gino Robair
Image via Wikipedia

From Max.Experimentell:

Jan 10 2009 8:30P
One Year MAX.EXPERIMENTELL – live: Fred Frith, Wende Büchler, Ezramo

Jan 24 2009 8:30P
live: Durban Poison IV (Baden Baden/Stuttgart)

Feb 28 2009 8:30P
live: Xabier Iriondo (Milan)

Mar 21 2009 8:30P
live: Veit/Prieur/Fischer feat. Helmut Dinkel

Apr 4 2009 8:30P
live: Gino Robair (Oakland)

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