Coming Up From Sonic Circuits

From DC’s Sonic Circuits:

Monday June 15
Doors 730pm Music 8pm 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

Gregg Kowalsky resides in Oakland, California where he completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College. Kowalsky’s compositions range from drone and noise pieces to meditative psychedelia with minimalist aesthetic. Gregg has composed dance, sound installations, ?lm and acoustic ensembles.

For the past 15 years, Ben Bracken has slowly been creating a unique sonic language utilizing electronics, acoustic sound sources (guitar, cymbal, bells, found objects, etc), electric guitar, and field recordings. Primarily interested in the possibilities of a kind of echo- relocation that exists with sound based art, his work has oscillated from performance to installation, often blurring the lines between the two. In both, the location of the event becomes an active participant, intimately shaping the nature and direction of each work. After finishing a graduate degree in Electronic Music at Mills College in Oakland, CA, Ben moved on to his current technical support position at Cycling ‘74, the developers of Max/MSP. Ben also curates the Totally Intense Fractal Mindgaze Hut, a performance space in West Oakland, CA. Some previous or current musical groups include Crystal Village (with Gregg Kowalsky), Flashpapr, Tiny Lights, Remote Viewing Ensemble, Duo with Luis Maurette, Duo with Zach Wallace, Bones (with Jacqueline Gordon). Ben has improvised with Le-Quan Ninh, Brent Guetzeit, Kevin Drumm, Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Phil Minton, Rhodri Davies, Werner Dafeldecker, Fred Van Hove, Johannes Bauer, among others.

Trio O is Rich O’Meara (Kwo’m Percussion Group, Silent Orchestra) on amplified vibes, electronics and percussion, Kevin O’Meara (Videohippos, Blood Baby) on drums and percussion and Gary Rouser (Vector Trio, Nine Strings) on NS bass/cello and other objects.

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Performances Reviews

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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