Ab Baars Trio with Ken Vandermark in Portland

From Portland Eye and Ear Control:

Dutch reedist Ab Baars brings his trio (bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Martin van Duynhoven) to Portland with American great Ken Vandermark.

Date: April 4, 7PM (artist’s talk plus two sets)

Location: Community Music Center: 3350 SE Francis St Portland, OR 97202 (503) 823-3177
Price: $12 ($10 for students & members), tickets available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com

Contact: The Creative Music Guild: 503-867-0942 http://www.creativemusicguild.org

The meeting of Dutch reedist Ab Baars and his American counterpart Ken Vandermark offers the uproar you’d expect when acknowledged tenor heavyweights join forces. But there’s plenty more to enjoy than displays of heroic strength. This band, with bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer Martin van Duynhoven shows open forms, varied improvisational strategies, wacky use of juxtaposition, and an unwillingness to treat jazz—or any music—as a fixed art form. They play two sets preceded by an artist’s talk.

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Poul Ruders – Percussion Sounding Like War at Scandinavia House

The Times reviews Poul Ruders’ birthday performance.

As Mr. Ruders explained in a talk with the guitarist David Starobin, an organizer of this birthday concert, co-sponsored by Scandinavia House and Bridge Records, “Regime” was commissioned for a festival in Britain whose theme was world peace. Rather than write some “soft, bleeding-heart thing,” Mr. Ruders said, he composed a piece in which the audience is placed against the wall and assaulted with sound, victims of sonic attack. Listeners should be left begging for peace and realizing what a precious thing it is.

Still, as played here by Daniel Druckman, Tomoya Aomori and Kyle Brightwell, three resourceful musicians from the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, this nine-minute piece exuded wild invention and rhythmic intricacy. It was not pounding drums and clanking metal that produced the loudest sounds, but the whistles blown by the players in complex, coordinated patterns.

At one point, as the musicians produced gently percolating rhythms from an array of wooden blocks, gongs, drums and more, they emitted a simultaneous barrage of shrill whistles. It sounded as if a police squad were breaking up a Javanese gamelan jam session that had gotten out of hand.

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Instal09 Review

The Watchful Ear provides detailed reviews of each day of Instal 09.

On Sunday, the final day of the festival, engaging conversation over lunch meant we arrived at The Arches too late to hear Phil Minton’s feral choir performance, and so the first act I caught was Seymour Wright’s solo set. Although I’d only actually seen him play solo three times in the last five years prior to this, Seymour’s music felt very familiar to me. Perhaps this may be because one of my most vivid musical memories from last year was seeing him play live in the audition studio to an audience of just myself and Alastair. You can still hear that show here. Tonight there were at least two hundred people watching, including a small child that gurgled and yelped its way through the first few minutes of his performance. Seymour’s solo live sets are riveting to watch, and as much about chance and the potential for failure as they are about his musical choices. He began by placing one of two clockwork radios into the bell of his saxophone, which he then laid down on the floor in front of his chair with the radio tuned into static, so that just a low, muted roar could be heard coming from the instrument. The radio was only partially wound so that it would run out of energy and stop at some point during the performance. He then placed a couple of handheld electric fans on their ends beside the sax, so that their natural vibrations would cause them to “walk” about the floor, maybe bumping into the instrument and causing a metallic clatter, maybe not. As these events went on by themselves he also took the small mouthpiece of the sax and used it to suck up metal tin lids, so that they snapped firmly against the brass with a shrill rattle. After this series of small interlinked events he took another small motor-driven device of some kind and dropped it onto the body of the sax. It made a loud, sudden series of crashes before going silent as Seymour took to applying one of the handheld fans to the small mouthpiece.

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Sonic Circuits April 4 Free-Improv Show

From DC’s Sonic Circuits:

Saturday April 4, 2009
doors: 8:00pm
music: 8:30pm SHARP

8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910
located three blocks south of the silver spring metro station (red line)
Free parking in gated lot out front
INFO: http://www.dc-soniccircuits.org
DIRECTIONS: http://www.pyramidatlanticartcenter.org

Michael Thomas Jackson has been creating and recording music since 1985. He has been involved in fully notated composition, free improvisation, avant rock, concrete and electronic music, performance art and everything in between. He has worked with tape, found objects, analogue synthesizers, prepared guitars, various percussion, all manner of sound processing, electronic feedback systems, turntables, voice and extended techniques on the clarinet. Michael has played as, in, or with many fine projects and people including Eugene Chadbourne, Rompecabeza, Spool Ensemble, Viktimized Karcass, Alien Planetscapes, Choptsicks, Cobra Clutch, Cephalic Index, The George Steeltoe Ensemble, Brian Osborne, Chris Phinney, Martin Klapper, Rafael Flores, Isolation, Flutter, Jerry’s Finger, Truncheonette, Projexorcism, Skoweyajeed, Katsu Itakura, Carl Howard, Bruce Eisenbeil, Quien Es, Thomas Dimuzio, Dave Fox, David Prescott, Pat Lawrence, Ian Davis, Scotty Irving, New Loft, Zan Hoffman, Hal McGee and O.N.E. Michael is currently active performing, recording and releasing music through the Primecuts Recordings imprint, raising a daughter and being poor.

Layne Garrett, is a member of The Cutest Puppy in the World, proprietor of The Lighthouse, and master improviser, guitar picker, and musical carpenter.

Vector Trio is a project designed to explore freedom and possibility in three voices, contextualized by cultural disharmony. Vector Trio began life in 1996 as Vector, an improvisational avant-garde funk septet. In 2002 Vector became Vector Trio. The musicians began making use of electronics, including looping devices and effects processors, to expand the possibilities of the trio. Their work to date is showcased in their all-original CDs–Plot Twist (2004), Live in DC (2005), Paths Unknown (2006), and Nomina (2009). By 2009 Vector Trio’s sound had mutated into a noisy dark electronic mélange of loops, corroded trumpet lines, bowed cello cacophony and a dense mix of percussive mayhem.

scott forrey – trumpet, loops, electronics, metal things
gary rouzer – NS bass cello, loops, electronics, found objects
marshall hughey – drums, handsonic, landscape percussion


Recognized as a incredibly creative and innovative guitarists and improviser, Michelle Webb is a electrifying and original guitarist. A restless collaborator who constantly seeks the most diverse and personally challenging contexts for her music, Webb not only produces and contributes to a large number of recorded projects, she performs frequently throughout the USA with several regular groupings as well as solo guitar concerts and concerts of freely improvised music with a host of diverse instrumentalists. Michelle Webb has helped unfetter the guitar from the conventions of genre-bound techniques, but her instrumental virtuosity is always deployed in the service of deep and immediate personal expression. Likewise, she has developed a highly individual style from an uncommonly varied range of influences that include traditional blues, East Asian, Classical North Indian and Turkish music, free jazz, free improvisation, American steel-string guitar, rock, jazz fusion and 20th century classical. Webb has built an ever-mounting reputation as a very talented musician and composer. Solo CD releases under Michelle Webb’s name include: Dotsavant,(2000) Screams from the Ceiling,(2000) Prepaired Guitar Works (1997), Michelle Webb Live (2005) and Figures at the base of a Crucifixion (2006). She composed music for the film Hospice and screen play Vincent directed by Ken Forestal and Silent Movie directed by Michael Torrez.

Janel & Anthony & Violet trio return once again to coax spontaneous music out of their instruments of cello, guitar, junk, and loads of effects pedals.

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Coming Up in Seattle

A few upcoming shows from Seattle’s Wayward Music.

FRI. 3/27 – 60 x 60 POSTPONED UNTIL APRIL 17. DO NOT COME TO THE CHAPEL TONIGHT! We suggest two fine alternatives:

Music of Lou Harrison, presented as part of the Drums Along the Pacific festival at Cornish College: http://www.cornish.edu/drums/day-two/.

Seattle Phonographers Union at the Magma Festival, a benefit for Hollow Earth Radio at the Fremont Abbey:

SAT. 3/28, 8 PM – Danse Perdue (aka Death Posture) presents Attitudes Passionnelles, butoh performance


WED. 4/1, 7:30 PM – Subtext Reading Series: Danny Snelson & Christopher DeLaurenti

THU. 4/2 – UW’s DX ARTS program presents electro-acoustic composer Joe Anderson

FRI. 4/3 – Nathan Davis & Cristina Valdes – music for percussion, electronics, and piano

SAT. 4/4 – Dean Moore, gongs & percussion

FRI. 4/17 – 60 x 60 – touring electro-acoustic tape music concert of one-minute works by 60 different composers

THU. 4/23 – Fragments publication event with Jeffrey Taylor of Climax Golden Twins and other multimedia artists TBA

FRI. 4/24 – Seattle Chamber Players – David Sabee and Ivan Sokolov perform works for cello and piano, including a world premiere of Alexander Wustin’s Sonata.

SAT. 4/25, 8 PM – Nonsequitur presents Fred Frith, guitar improvisations

THU. 4/30 – WA Composers Forum presents electro-acoustic music by Morton Subotnick

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Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone’s Thin Air Released

From Improvised Communications:

Thin Air, the third recording from the duo of guitarist Mary Halvorson and violist Jessica Pavone, is out on Thirsty Ear Recordings’ The Blue Series, curated by Matthew Shipp.

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AMN Picks of the Week

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Revolutionary Ensemble – Beyond the Boundary of Time (2009, free jazz)
Nate Wooley / Fred Lonberg-Holm / Jason Roebke – Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing (2009, free jazz)
Richard Nelson Quintet – Origin Story (2004, left of center jazz)
Aethenor – Faking Gold and Murder (2009, ambient metal)
Aethenor – Betimes Black Cloudmasses (2008, ambient metal)
Brad Shepik / Trio – Human Activity Suite (2008, jazz)
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange (2007, avant-rock)
Zu – Carboniferous (2009, avant-jazz)
Denman Maroney Quintet – Identity (2009, free jazz)
Elton Dean / Mark Sanders / Roberto Bellatalla – Into the Nierika (1998, free jazz)
Land of Kush – Against the Day (2009, post-rock / improv)
Maneri Ensemble – Going to Church (2002, free jazz)
Benoit Moreau – Audiogrammes II (2009, modern classical)

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DMG Newsletter March 20th, 2009

Releases, reviews and in store performances from DMG.

Finally The Henry Cow Box-Set in Stock This Monday!!! Hip Hip Hooray!!!

Four New Discs from Tzadik: Bill Laswell Solo, Guy Klucevsek Quint & Greg Wall‘s Later Prophets, 2 from Gunter Hampel, Radio I-Ching, Alan Licht Solo LP, Reut Regev R*Time, Capece & Vaino, 4 from Martin Philadelphy, Horace Tapscott, Gottschalk & Jacquemyn, Adventures in Sound w/ Xenakis, Stockhausen & Schaeffer, Charlemagne Palestine & Christoph Heemann and even more…


1st Free In-Store Performance at our New Location:

MONDAY (not Sunday), March 23rd at 7pm:

Herb on trumpets & Tim on alto sax!
Two early downtown horn heroes back together after all those years!

and JUST ADDED, our 2nd Free Instore show:

Sunday, March 29th at 7pm:

Frank on alto sax & clarinets and Thomas on trumpet!
Two European Horn Giants in a rare, intimate, duo setting!

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Future Islands – Wave Like Home
Future Islands specialize in wonky,often dense yet criminal additive brand of off-kilter 80’s retro pop meets post punk crunch ‘n’ grime. Think a more active, up-beat and positive take on the kind of thing John Maus has been doing over the last few of years. But Future Islands are far from a copy of Maus work; this their debut(after an 7 inch and a few self releases) is an wonderful self assured, well played and distinctive slice of retro wonderful-ness.

Hum of the Druid and Fire in the Head – Split
This is a 12 inch vinyl split between the organic and clattering noise meets ambience of Hum of the Druid and Fire in the Head’s industrialized sample heavy drone and often muffled beat bound attacks.

Tipsy – Buzz
The San Francisco based duo of Tipsy have been making their own brand of often sampled and turntable based lounge meets beats since 1996; Buzz is their fourth album and first on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label.

Animal Hospital – Memory
Animal Hospital is a one-man project by Kevin Micka, whose music is created using guitars, a room full of effects and electronics. By today’s standards, that set-up doesn’t sound all that unusual, and of course, it isn’t really. But Micka doesn’t take the expected route when it comes to the music, and that makes Memory a worthwhile listen. Most of the album is quiet and introspective, but rather than simply creating an atmosphere, there are some actual tunes to grab your attention. You may have to listen intently to find them at times, but they’re there. The guitar is frequently very recognisable, meaning it sounds like a guitar, and the effects are used to color the music, rather than hide the artist’s shortcomings. Micka is all over the place, style-wise, and despite this fact Memory is cohesive. It was assembled with care over a period of three years, and each segment dovetails nicely with the next. One suspects that a lot of material was left on the cutting room floor, with only the best of the best saved for the listener.

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