An Indiosyncratic Introduction to Indian Music

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Image by smlevy24 via Flickr

Rudresh Mahanthappa write a guest post on Destination Out about Indian Music.

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AMN Picks General

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.

Joseph Jarman / Don Moye – Earth Passage – Density (1981, free jazz)
Saft – Thirteen (2008, experimental)
George Lewis – Shadowgraph (1979, experimental)
Revolutionary Ensemble – 164 = 11TC, etc. (Recorded Live at Moosham Castle) (1977, free jazz)
Lester Bowie – The 5th Power (1978, free jazz)
George Cartwright – Send Help (2008, modern jazz / blues)
Eve Risser / Rafel Mazur – Elan Vital (2008, improv)
Joan Jeanrenaud – Metamorphosis (2002, modern classical)
The Guayaveras – The Guayaveras (2004, experimental)
Rudresh Mahanthappa / Indo-Pak Coalition – Apti (2009, jazz / world)
Chas Smith – Nakadai (2009, electronic)
Frank Lowe – Black Beings (1973, free jazz)
Bar Kokhba – Lucifer: Book of Angels, Volume 10 (2008, jazz / world)

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December at Roulette

Upcoming shows at New York’s Roulette:

December 4th @ 8:30pm
Audrey Chen / Duane Pitre
Chinese-American musician and performance artist Audrey Chen presents a series of improvisations utilizing her voice, cello and analog electronics. The consequences will run the gamut between conflagration and the tenderness of a shared space of warmth, like eskimos retreated into their igloo for the night, burning oil and experiencing the co-mingled heat of their bodies and breath… Chen is currently based in Baltimore, where she is a member of the Red Room and High Zero Collective, an on-going series and festival devoted to experimental music.

Brooklyn-based composer, performer, and improviser Duane Pitre’s work explores chaos and discipline—and the relationship that exists between the two. Tonight Pitre presents Ensemble Drones – a rule-based, long-tone composition for 20+ performers (Strings, Winds, and Brass along with bowed electric guitar played by the composer and harmonium) arranged in a formation that will partially encompass the audience. Ensemble Drones is an exercise in discipline and freedom, in the refinement of music, and in communal focus.

December 5th @ 8:30pm
H*E*R : Yvette Perez, Danny Tunik, Peter Zummo
H*E*R blends minimalism, jazz, and pop influences in delicate, mysterious, and sophisticated tunes about memory and the outer world that blur the line between improv and song; between prismatic recollection and blighted reality. The trio is led by the Carla Bley of avant-pop music vocalist/keyboardist, Yvette Perez, whose sensuously sparse soundscapes are reminiscent of Annette Peacock and Laurie Anderson. Legendary trombonist/composer Peter Zummo contributes some of his compositions and crafts masterful melodies and improvisations. Vibraphone and percussion player Danny Tunick adds distinctive textures and floating rhythms. The group performs this evening with alto-saxophonist Darius Jones as special guest.

December 6th @ 2:00pm
Metal dust pan, aluminum sheets, bronze gear, faucet sleeve, shish kabob skewers, plastic chopsticks. By bowing, scraping, circular breathing, and sometimes hitting objects such as these, and many others, Andrew Drury will give a solo floor tom performance that revels in the hidden voices of the drum and pushes young peoples’ imaginations beyond the limit. There will be Q&A and audience participation. Drummer/composer Andrew Drury works mainly in jazz and free improvisation, with regular forays into new music, pop, and other genres and media. The former student of Ed Blackwell has performed in Europe and North America, can be heard on over 20 CDs, and has led nearly 1,000 workshops in schools (pre-K to graduate), prisons, museums, Indian reservations, homeless shelters, and in remote villages in Guatemala and Nicaragua.

December 6th @ 8:30pm
Join Roulette for this special Benefit concert with performances by an eclectic mix of some of the most important names in contemporary music and rarely seen in such intimate settings – PHILIP GLASS, JON GIBSON, SHELLEY HIRSCH, ZEENA PARKINS, with films by HENRY HILLS. All tickets $25 to help benefit Roulette and make sure Roulette can continue for another 30 years!

December 7th @ 8:30pm
Brooke Hamre Gillespie: The Holy Experiment
– Circle – Bowing – Remember – Light –
Weaving her voice through dream-like sound-scapes composed of acoustic/electric sounds from violin, bells, flutes, drums, electronics, and other instruments, Brooke Hamre Gillespie (aka The Holy Experiment) creates evolving, organic architectures of vibration, light, shadow, and movement. The listener is guided on an inner journey where the lines of audience and performer become obscured. The Holy Experiment will be performing a fluid meditational piece in honor and prayer of the sacred lands and waters of the earth, for the earth changes that are currently happening, and the people who are currently experiencing the effects of these changes; a ‘new’ musical offering.

December 8th @ 8:30pm
Rozanne Levine & Chakra Tuning (w/ Mark Whitecage, Perry Robinson and Rosi Hertlein)
The “hauntingly beautiful” music of Chakra Tuning weaves in and out of melodies, exploring rhythms, moods and inner space in a transforming, unfolding journey. Sonic conversations emerge and develop as the group explores textures, sonorities and space. Ms. Levine performs on alto clarinet, clarinet and bamboo flute, and is joined by long-time collaborator Mark Whitecage (clarinet, soprano saxophone, electronics), Perry Robinson (clarinet) and Rosi Hertlein (violin, vocals). Rozanne Levine’s compositions form the thematic material from which the musicians improvise. Electronic manipulation plays a part in the group sound, as do bird whistles, ocarinas, half horns and percussion.

December 11th @ 8:30pm
INTERPRETATIONS: Thurman Barker’s Strike Force
Douglas R. Ewart & Inventions
AACM percussionist Thurman Barker leads his percussion quintet Strike Force for a set of fascinating new works.
Also a longtime AACM member, reedsman Douglas R. Ewart brings together his ensemble of New York and Midwest musicians, Inventions, to perform new works inspired by Mr. Ewart’s recent experiences in Haiti and the memory of trumpeter Lester Bowie. Strike Force: Bryan Carrott, vibraphone; Eli Fountaine, marimba; Wilson Moorman, xylophone/timpani; Ray Mantilla, conga drums and percussion; Thurman Barker, drums. Inventions: Dee Alexander, vocalist; Kamau Brathwaite, poet; George E. Lewis, trombone and electronics; Adegoke Steven Colson, piano; Reggie Nicholson, marimba and drums; Douglas R. Ewart, reeds, voice, and percussion

December 12th @ 8:30pm
Violinist Tom Chiu Meets Digital Media: New Works With Special Guests David First, Elise Kermani, and Michael Schumacher
Noted champion of new music, experimental violinist, composer, and improvisor Tom Chiu has performed over 100 premieres worldwide and has worked closely with many distinguished composers including Virko Baley, Dean Drummond, Oliver Lake and Chen Yi, among others. Tonight Chui teams up with David First, Elise Kermani, and Michael Schumacher – three musicians whose work he greatly admires and has worked with collaboratively for as long as thirteen years. By presenting new works by three stylistically disparate sound artists, Chiu, a pioneer in extended vocabularies and techniques on the violin, stretches the sonic boundaries of the storied instrument when placed in today’s digital media context.

December 13th @ 8:30pm
Amy X Neuburg
“One-woman musical hurricane” Amy X Neuburg combines poetry, theater, technology, and exploration of multiple genres using the many colors of her four-octave vocal range to create emotionally intense, meticulously crafted ‘avant-cabaret’ songs and stories. In this concert Amy will perform favorites from her past and present repertoire as well as introduce works-in-development using her newest gadget the Blippoo Box — a hand-built analog synthesizer created for her by instrument designer Rob Hordijk. Tonight special guest singer, songwriter, pianist, and NYC Anti-Folk veteran Steve Espinola will join Amy for an experiment in live looping using 1940s archaic recording technology.

December 14th @ 8:30pm
Jim Staley & Joey Baron
Virtuosic trombonist, composer, and Roulette founder Jim Staley has worked with everyone from Fred Frith, to John Zorn, Ikue Mori, and Elliot Sharp. Percussionist Joey Baron has worked with everyone from Carmen McRae, to Bill Frisell, Laurie Anderson, and Dizzy Gillespie. Tonight these two colossal forces collide for an evening of free improvisation!

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The Kitchen Celebrates the AACM

George Lewis (cropped version)Image via Wikipedia AACM happenings going down at the Kitchen:

The Kitchen presents A Power Stronger Than Itself: A Celebration of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians Curated by George E. Lewis and Christopher McIntyre

Two evenings of music, October 9 and 11, will include performances by Nicole Mitchell, Amina Claudine Myers, Muhal Richard Abrams, Matana Roberts, Craig Taborn, Chad Taylor and Wet Ink Panel discussion moderated by Christopher McIntyre and Book signing with George E. Lewis will take place prior to the October 11 concert New York, NY, September 9, 2008—In conjunction with the recent publication of George E. Lewis’s book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008), The Kitchen presents A Power Stronger Than Itself: A Celebration of the AACM, Thursday and Saturday, October 9 and 11.

The Kitchen and Lewis—a composer, musician, former Kitchen music curator and long-time AACM member—will host two evenings of performances paying tribute to the seminal music collective, which has reconfigured the trajectory of music-making in America through its devotion to furthering
artistic experimentation and its forward-thinking approach to composition, performance, improvisation and collectivity. The first concert, on Thursday, October 9, will feature Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers and the ensemble Wet Ink performing the works of AACM composers. The second, on Saturday, October 11, will feature Nicole Mitchell, Matana Roberts, Craig Taborn, Chad Taylor and Wet Ink. Both concerts will take place at 8:00 P.M. at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street). Tickets are $10. Prior to the October 11 event, Christopher McIntyre will moderate a free, 5:00 P.M. panel discussion followed by a book signing with Lewis.

Founded in 1965 on the South Side of Chicago, the AACM has remained a singular force in supporting, performing, and recording serious, original music. A collective of exceptionally dynamic artists formed the organization to meet their emergent needs to expose and showcase original compositions, and to create an outlet for the development and performance of their music. Many of its members are now considered visionaries in the history of American music: the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill and Lester Bowie, to name a few.

The concerts at The Kitchen will bring together a cross-generational variety of artists, performing works by AACM composers. Some of the performers are founding and early members of the collective, including the pianists Amina Claudine Myers and Muhal Richard Abrams (duo piano). Others, like the flutist and AACM Chicago Chapter Co-President Nicole Mitchell, and the New York-based saxophonist Matana Roberts, joined the AACM more recently. Still others are New York-based artists who are not affiliated but nonetheless make music in the spirit of the collective’s diversity, such as the piano/organ/synthesizer player Craig Taborn, the drummer Chad Taylor and the contemporary music ensemble Wet Ink.

The panel discussion moderated by Christopher McIntyre on the afternoon of October 11 will include Lewis, Myers, Roberts, and Mitchell as well as writers Brent Hayes Edwards, Ted Panken, and Howard Mandel. It will conclude with a book signing by Lewis. The events at The Kitchen bookend a Friday evening concert of the music of Oliver Lake and Reggie Nicholson on Friday, October 10, 8:00 P.M. at the Community Church of New York (40 East 35th Street).

The event is sponsored by the AACM New York Chapter, Inc. For more information, please visit

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