Entries tagged with: Cantaloupe Records

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by Andrew Frisicano

John Cage

Philip Glass isn't the only 20th-century composer with a big birthday this year. Avant-garde composer John Cage would've been 100, and there are numerous chances to see his work (even more than usual) because of it. The shows below cover quite a bit of ground--eg. 1940's "Living Room Music" on the same program as 1991's "Four3"--and the best place to experience the pieces is definitely in a group.

Avant Music Festival, happening February 10-18 at Wild Project (195 E 3rd St at Ave B), explores the work of Cage at several shows. There's an afternoon/evening program on Saturday, February 11th, which includes a 4pm performance by Bang on a Can's Vicky Chow of Cage's "Sonatas and Interludes" for prepared piano, followed by a longer evening set. Tickets are on sale.

New music quartet loadbang performs as part of that Avant Music show, and will also presents an Evening of John Cage on Thursday, March 8th at Greenwich House Music School.

Issue Project Room, which just moved into a new home, has some Cage-related shows coming up, such as Stephen Drury playing his "Etudes australes" on February 24 and "On Silence: Hommage to John Cage" which features 13 new pieces that are all 4 minutes, 33 seconds long.

So Percussion hosts "We Are All Going In Different Directions--A John Cage Celebration" at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on March 26th. They'll be performing Cage's music, as well as that of Matmos and Cenk Ergün (who should be appearing) and Dan Deacon's "Bottles." Tickets are on sale.

It's the last stop in a Cage-dedicated tour, which also visits Boston, Toronto and Austin (info below). On March 27th, recordings from the tour will be released by Cantaloupe Records as Cage 100: The Bootleg Series, a limited-edition package with a blank 4'33" LP, a CD of "tracks chosen by chance operations" and a full archive of the shows online.

That show is part of Carnegie Hall's American Mavericks series, which also includes performances by Alarm Will Sound, William Basinski, JACK Quartet, San Francisco Symphony, WHY? and Danielson.

Also part of that is John Cage Unbound--A Living Archive, an online project through New York Public Library, which is going to collect performances and talks of Cage's work by musicians and students (and user-submitted videos). It's also going to have an archive of scores, photographs and other artifacts. Two videos from that--one of pianist Margaret Leng Tan showing you how to prepare a piano, and one with So Percussion crumpling paper (they love to do that)--are below.

Check out more videos, including 4' 33" performed by an orchestra, Andrew W.K. and a wall, below...

Continue reading "John Cage turns 100; lots of shows & other ways to celebrate"

words & photos by Andrew Frisicano

"13 consecutive hours of experimental and avant-garde noodling" - NY Times on the Bang on a Can Marathon as quoted by Glenn Branca

Bang On A Can Marathon

The 2011 Bang on a Can Marathon went down on Sunday, June 19th, at the World Financial Center in NYC. As usual, a healthy contingent stayed for the duration (not me, I made it from around 5pm to the end). But even in just those last few hours there were some incredible performances. I caught Bang on a Can All-Stars playing with Philip Glass (who also opened with a solo performance of his "Metamorphosis IV"), a lively set from Sun Ra Arkestra, a show-stealing piece by Evan Ziporyn for himself and three other clarinetists, and a closing, full-on rock set by Glenn Branca Ensemble, who played from his album The Ascension: The Sequel.

Before that, Signal performed a droning, dramatic piece by BoaC cofounder Julia Wolfe, and Talea Ensemble and soprano Tony Arnold lead the NY premiere "An Index of Metals" by Fausto Romitelli, which tapped a laptop for atmospherics that bounced around the room's different speakers. Asphalt Orchestra similarly made good use of the Winter Garden space, marching around various quadrants of the room (and starting off the day with an outdoor performance). As you'll see in the pictures below, the Sun Ra Arkestra also made their way around the room, leaving the stage in a procession to the back.

As with past years, the Winter Garden was an adequate but not ideal venue. The sound could vary dramatically in different corners of the massive room, from bone dry in front of the stage to an echoey wash-out in the wings and the back (most noticeable when a speaker takes the mic, and is unintelligible from various vantage points). At the same time, the open space encourages the concert's free-flowing, low-pressure atmosphere, which is a huge part of its recurring appeal.

More pictures from the day, and a couple of videos, below...

Continue reading "2011 Bang on a Can Marathon (pics, video & review)"

by Andrew Frisicano

St. Vincent @ Pitchfork Fest in Chicago (more by Kate Gardiner)
St. Vincent

David Byrne and Annie Clark are collaborating on music for a future Housing Works benefit. There's no date set for that, but Asphalt Orchestra will be debuting a version of one of the songs they've been working on...

A few months ago we had [Here Lies Love arranger] Tony Finno arrange the horns, and we performed one of the songs -- tentatively titled "Who" -- at the end of Annie's show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center. Now, having been approached by the Bang On a Can spinoff Asphalt Orchestra, with the help of [Asphalt saxist/producer] Ken Thomson we've adapted another song called either "Two Ships" or "The Movie" for their group. This will be an instrumental version and we'll do a vocal version later. [David Byrne]
Asphalt will perform that song on Wednesday, August 4th, at the first of five free shows the avant-marching band is doing around the Lincoln Center as part of LC's Out of Doors Festival. Locations and times for the band are below.

In addition to that piece, they'll be debuting a commission by Yoko Ono; other songs in the group's repertoire include commissions by Tyondai Braxton of Battles and Stew & Heid Rodewald of Passing Strange and BAM Next Wave 2010. The 12-piece will release a seven-track CD of its material on August 3rd through Canatloupe Music. That includes a blisteringly dissonant song by Swedish metal band Meshuggah and an intricately-arranged version of Bjork's "Hyper-Ballad." There are a few more typical "ra-ra" maching band songs on the album too (Zappa in particular is already quite melodic and pompy), but the band focuses on getting unusual sounds out of the limited instrumentation. Live, they move in unique coordinated patterns, so the experience is individualized to the space and where you stand.

As an aside, this Saturday at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival is going to be particularly amazing, with the "Detroit Breakdown" lineup of Mitch Ryder, ? and the Mysterians, The Gories, Death and more.

St. Vincent has her own free show this weekend, at the Central Park SummerStage Sunday (8/1) afternoon, with openers Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat.

A video of Asphalt Orchestra doing that Meshuggah song on WNYC, and their schedule, plus a video of Annie doing a nylon-string version of "Actor Out of Work," are below...

Continue reading "David Byrne & Annie Clark collaborating for Housing Works, Asphalt Orchestra playing a song (and some shows) "

by Andrew Frisicano

Matmos and So Percussion at the Whitney, 2006 (via Matador)
Matmos and So Percussion

New music quartet So Percussion and electronic duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt) are collaborating on a new record, Treasure State, set to come out July 13th (July 8th digitally) on Cantaloupe. They recorded the record at the SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana, where "San Francisco plunderphonicist Wobbly then chopped and edited the results on several tracks, and finally, with frequent interventions from Matmos' M. C. Schmidt, 'fifth' So Percussion member and produced by Lawson White overdubbed extra elements, processed, and mixed the results." The instruments used include ceramic planters, pails of water, aluminum beer cans and cactus needles - not totally surprising if you've seen their live show.

Matmos and So Percussion will be playing at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, June 9th. Tickets are on sale now. A full tour tour for the groups will be announced soon.

Before then, So Percussion's schedule includes an appearance at the Look & Listen Festival (which they play annually) on May 8th at Gary Snyder/Project Space (250 West 26th St). The other events for the three-day fest, details here, happen at Chelsea Art Museum. Tickets are on sale.

This summer, So Percussion will play on one night of Lincoln Center's two-night "Complete Works of Edgard Varèse" program. They'll join International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to perform music by the highly influential composer (though Poème électronique will play itself). The second night features NY Philharmonic. Details on the program are below and tickets are on sale.

If that seems far off, in 2011 So Percussion will join Bang on a Can All-Stars, eighth blackbird and Kronos Quartet for a "Music of Steve Reich" concert at Carnegie Hall on April 30th. They'll perform new works and2009 Pulitzer Prize winning Double Sextet.

As for Matmos, they perform at Mutek Music Fest in Montreal on June 2nd.

Album tracklist, all tour dates, and more info on the Look & Listen and Lincoln Center shows are below...

Continue reading "So Percussion & Matmos collaborate - albums, shows, the Look & Listen Festival, music of Steve Reich, more"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Phil Kline - From Light (MP3)

Unsilent Night

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night is a free outdoor participatory sound sculpture of many individual parts, recorded on cassettes, CDs and mp3s, and played through a roving swarm of boomboxes carried through city streets every December. People bring their own boomboxes and drift peacefully through a cloud of sound which is different from every listener's perspective. Since 1992, this 45-minute work has grown into a worldwide annual communal event that has become an essential part of many winter holiday celebrations
The performance, in its 18th year, will happen in 13 North American cities (as of now) this year - with events planned abroad too. Full list of locations below. The Unsilent Night material is available on CD through Cantaloupe Records.

This year's Unsilent Night New York will happen on Saturday, December 12th. The group starts at the Arch in Washington Square Park at 7pm and walks to Tompkins Square Park (approx. by 8pm). The track posted above, "From Light," is meant to accompany the group's "arriving in the quiet of the East Village, 7th Street to Second Avenue."

Clips from the previous three NYC Unsilent Nights, more info on its creation from Phil Kline and all dates are below...

Continue reading "Phil Kline's 'Unsilent Night' happening in multiple cities (dates) - NYC event starts in Washingston Square Park..."

by Andrew Frisicano

Nadia Sirota
Nadia Sirota

There were (more) strings at September 25th's inaugural show for the Archipelago music series, which happens at Galapagos one Friday a month through next May. Like the Undiscovered Islands fest in May, the shows will be featuring music that crosses boundaries between classical, indie, etc. (and like that fest, it's also being set up by the New Amsterdam label.)

The full schedule is below. It's full of treats (like a way-off show with music by Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond in April). The first show featured violist Nadia Sirota and percussion quartet Line C3. Coincidentally, Worden and Nadia will both be playing with the Dessner Bros.' BAM Next Wave show, The Long Count, at the end of October.

Both acts on the first night performed works by Nico Muhly (Line C3 did "Ta and Clap," written by Nico for them in 2004, and he joined Nadia for his piece "Keep in Touch," which features a vocal sample from Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons). Nadia & Nico actually discuss their collaborations in an episode of New Amsterdam's Podcast series.

Speaking of New Amsterdam, they also have a CMJ showcase coming up with Cantaloupe Records at (Le) Poisson Rouge on October 21st. Tickets are on sale. That will feature the music of David Lang and Julia Wolfe (Bang on a Can co-founders) and performances by NOW Ensemble, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and more. Clips of the Lang-scored film (Untitled) will be screened between performances (the soundtrack of which will be out October 13th).

Full details on the Archipelago series below...

Continue reading "Archipelago music series to feature Shara Worden, Craig Wedren & more ++ New Amsterdam & Cantaloupe do CMJ"