Entries tagged with: Gyan Riley

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photos by Greg Cristman

Terry Riley / Matmos / Gyan Riley @ National Sawdust 10/4/2015
Terry Riley's Abbeyozzud and Beyond
Terry Riley's Abbeyozzud and Beyond

"Well you know, it's hard to accept labels in terms of creative work, in any case," he says. "In any period of life, I haven't felt nailed down to anything. I've always been interested in expanding my musical horizons. 'Minimalism' has been tacked on to my work, I think mainly because of In C and the Keyboard Studies and some of the works from the 60s." Then he allows himself a calm and gentle chuckle, before saying: "Certainly a lot of stuff has happened since then."

As evidence, he points to his new piece for Roomful of Teeth, titled Madrigal. "It's basically melodic, but it also has scat-singing sections ... It's a bit of a journey, this piece. In eight minutes, it goes to quite a few places." Another jazz-world texture - specifically, what Riley describes as the "gently swinging, kind of optimistic" feel of ragtime - also figures in his string quartet works, as well as his latter-day piano improvisations. When that influence is placed alongside lessons gleaned from his longtime study of Indian classical music (and, yes, the occasional trace of drone-based minimalism), the climax of a contemporary Riley concert tends to find him juggling a range of sounds that few other musicians would think to combine. - [The Guardian]

The Terry Riley Festival is currently underway at new Williamsburg venue National Sawdust. Sunday night (10/4) saw three events, the last of which featured Terry Riley's Abbeyozzud and Beyond series of works with son Gyan Riley, Zach Brock (violin), David Cossin (percussion), Travis Laplante (saxophone), Matmos (electronics), and Evan Ziporyn (saxophone). They performed Thanks Isn't Enough, Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band, Tread on the Trail, and Hashish Master. Riley, who is celebrating his 80th birthday this year, was in attendance but didn't perform at this event, but has at others. Martin C. Schmidt of Matmos thanked Riley for "loosening the collective asshole of American music." More pictures from last night's late National Sawdust set are below.

The Terry Riley Festival wraps up tonight (10/5) with two shows: a 7 PM performance featuring two world premieres: Remember This, Oh Mind, and Madrigal, a new work written for Roomful of Teeth, as well as ArchAngels, for cello octet led by National Sawdust curator Jeffrey Zeigler (tickets may still be available at the door); and then a 9 PM performance featuring Terry and Gyan Riley performing with John Zorn (tickets)

Continue reading "The Terry Riley Festival is underway at National Sawdust (check out pics from Sunday's show w/ Matmos & more)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Nico Muhly / Philip Glass / Tanya Tagaq @ National Sawdust 10/1/2015
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1

Years in the planning, new not-for-profit, artist-led venue National Sawdust finally opened its doors on Thursday night with two disparate "discover the space" inaugural shows. A former actual Williamsburg sawdust factory, the space has been radically tranformed into a very unique space. The entrance and bar occupy a narrow, but tall space with shiny black walls jutting at odd angles. When the door to the main space opened, it revealed a chamber hall, all white with geometric pattern on the walls which can be used as a movie screen (or to project names of the performers). It looks kind of like the Death Star.

It's also smaller than I was expecting. (Official capacity is less than 200.) There's no stage and it feels a bit like a recording studio (which it will double as). The early show, featuring Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Chis Thile, Nels Cline, Canadian inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, NS artist in residence Glen Kotchke, and NS curator Jeffrey Zeigler, was seated. But the late show -- Cibo Matto (with Nels Cline and Sean Lennon), a collaboration between steel drum composer Andy Akiho, Zeigler, and poet Roger Bonair-Agard, and a DJ set from James Muphy -- was standing room only and felt more like a DIY show where bands play on the floor. (Albeit a DIY show where people were dressed to the nines and tickets were $100.) There's a balcony across the back of the chamber hall as well. Sound was great and both the Roger Bonair-Agard and Cibo Matto sets were really fun.

A show like that, for me, is where this space's potential really becomes evident. You get intimacy as well as acoustics. While watching Roger Bonair-Agard my mind immediately went to Kate Tempest and thinking how incredible it would be to see her at National Sawdust. Something like Majical Cloudz, who play the venue on October 21 (tickets only $15 for that one), should be interesting too. Most of the programming is of the BAM/Ecstatic Music Festival variety, definitely something Williamsburg hasn't had too much of before. It will be interesting to see how programming goes forward -- but if there's a performer you like playing here, it will mostly likely be a unique experience.

Tonight at National Sawdust, Tanya Tagaq will perform her score to silent documentary Nanook of the North at 8 PM (tickets), and then at 10 PM pianist and keyboardist Leo Genovese will present Legal Aliens, "a new set of compositions for a large ensemble comprised of musicians from around the world" (tickets).

Other shows of note:  MatmosJohn ZornRoomful of Teeth, and more on Saturday (10/3) as part of the Terry Riley festival (tickets); Pitchfork/Blackened Music's Tinnitus Music Series with Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley, Glenn Branca Ensemble guitarist Reg Bloor and Psalm Zero's Andrew Hock on October 25 (tickets); and Real Estate's Martin Courtney on November 20 (tickets).

More pictures from National Sawdust's opening night, below...

Continue reading "Philip Glass, Cibo Matto, Nico Muhly, James Murphy, Chris Thile & more played National Sawdust's opening night (pics)"

photo: Michael Gira in Chicago last month (more by James Richards IV)

The upcoming Big Ears Festival happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN, has been expanded once again. Like in past years, the festival will include a film portion, and a selection of that has been curated by filmmaker/musician Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, whose respective bands SQURL and Swans were already on the lineup. Like they just did In NYC, Jarmusch's band SQURL will perform scores to Man Ray's silent films. Here's more:

SQÜRL, film director Jim Jarmusch's band with drummer Carter Logan, will perform music that they wrote for several silent films from the 1930s by the legendary surrealist Man Ray. This project was premiered in late February in New York as part of WNYC's Silent Films, Live Scores program. SQÜRL, joined by lute virtuoso Jozef Van Wissem, also performed the score for Jarmusch's most recent film, Only Lovers Left Alive.

The occult electronic duo Demdike Stare will perform their re-scoring of 1922 silent Swedish/Danish documentary / horror classic, HÄXAN, Witchcraft Through the Ages. Technically filmed as a documentary about how superstition and the misunderstanding of disease and mental illness could lead to witch hunts, its dramatized sequences push it into the realm of horror films. It was originally banned in the United States.

Rounding out the Big Ears film programs for 2015, indie director Jim Jarmusch and Swans founder and leader Michael Gira have collaborated with the Criterion Film Collection in curating a program of select films, which will be screened on Sunday at Regal Entertainment Group's downtown Riviera Cineplex. Jarmusch's program is "Three in Black and White," an international triptych featuring Satayajit Ray's The Music Room, Aki Kaurismäki's La Vie de Bohéme, and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Gira has selected a single film: the cult classic Eraserhead, David Lynch's groundbreaking feature film debut.

There will be a Bill Morrison retrospective too, during which jazz guitarist Bill Frisell's quartet performing Frisell's live score to Morrison's The Great Flood (like he did at MoMA last year).

These additions join Swans, tUnE-yArDs, Silver Apples, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Ben Frost and more. Festival passes are still available.

Updated lineup below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Festival adds film portion curated by Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, scores by Demdike Stare, Bill Frisell & more"

Big EarsBig EarsBig Ears
Big EarsBig EarsBig Ears

The lineup has been expanded for the 2015 Big Ears Festival, happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN. New additions include psych pioneers Silver Apples, former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton (performing HIVE), Syrian pop singer Omar Souleyman, folk singer Ryley Walker, guitar wiz William Tyler, modern classical collective Bing & Ruth, electronic/ambient musician Loscil, cabaret singer Little Annie, and Chinese composer Wu Man.

They join previously announced artists such as Laurie Anderson, tUnE-yArDs, Swans, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Sam Amidon, Max Richter, Ben Frost and more. Tickets are still available.

Updated lineup below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Festival adds Silver Apples, Tyondai Braxton, Omar Souleyman, Ryley Walker, William Tyler & more to lineup"

photo: Lee Ranaldo in Prospect Park in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Lee Ranaldo

Joel Harrison's Alternative Guitar Summit returns this year from February 4-8 with four shows at various NYC shows and three master classes. Here's the concert schedule, including Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, Fred Frith collaborator Ava Mendoza playing as a duo with Kim Gordon/Thurston Moore collaborator Chris Corsano, and more:

Wed., February 4: Shapeshifter Lab @ 7:30 PM $15: Three Ground-breaking Duos:Anders Nilsson and Aaron Dugan - Hot and Cold, Marco Capelli and James Ilgenfritz - Unplugged, Ava Mendoza and Chris Corsano.

Fri.- Feb. 6 @ Rockwood Music Hall, 7-9:30 pm- Gyan Riley and David Cossin (perc.) , Prasanna (solo): South Indian music meets modern jazz, David Fiuczynski Planet MicroJam trio:

February 7: 7-9:30pm @ Rockwood Music Hall, 7-9:30 pm- Lee Ranaldo Solo: (Sonic Youth), Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic 10 Piece Guitar Orchestra

February 8: 7-10pm @ Rockwood Music Hall, 7-10 pm- Doug Wamble and Mino Cinelu (percussion), Joel Harrison w/Glenn Patscha (keyboard), Adam Levy w/Sheryl Bailey (guitar), Michael Gregory Jackson (guitar & voice) and Keith Witty (bass)

Advance tickets for the three Rockwood shows, including a three-night pass, are on sale now.

Info on the masterclasses, which you can get tickets for here, is below. All classes take place at Spectrum (121 Ludlow St).

Continue reading "Alternative Guitar Summit returning soon w/ Lee Ranaldo, Ava Mendoza, Chris Corsano, Gyan Riley, David Cossin & more"

photo: Julia Holter at Bowery Ballroom in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Julia Holter

NYC's annual Ecstatic Music Festival returns to the Merkin Concert Hall this year with various shows happening from February through April, following the two free concerts at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in January. As always, it includes collaborations between indie and classical artists, and this year's lineup features Julia Holter, Xiu Xiu, Kaki King, John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Helado Negro, Emily Wells, Bang on a Can All-Stars (premiering works by Glenn Kotche, Jace Clayton and Ben Frost), and more. Tickets are on sale now.

Full lineup and schedule below...

Continue reading "Ecstatic Music Festival 2015 schedule (Julia Holter, Xiu Xiu, Kaki King, John Zorn, Bang On A Can All-Stars & more)"

River to River Festival 2013 (more by Ryan Muir)

The free River to River Festival returns in 2014 to various outdoor NYC venues from June 19-29 and includes music, dance, theater, visual art, film and "unique participatory experiences." Some highlights this year include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon happening June 22 at Brookfield Place, Winter Garden (more info), and...

On June 24 at the Brookfield Place Winter Garden, world-renowned string quartet ETHEL is joined by guest guitarist Kaki King to present a special performance of ...And Other Stories. The collaboration is anchored by a re-imagining of Bach's masterful Brandenburg Concerto #6 and includes works from ETHEL's repertoire by Phil Kline and John Zorn, plus original compositions by Kaki King and the world premiere of a work by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov composed especially for ETHEL and Kaki King.

Last year's successful partnership with Original Music Workshop, a new music venue set to open in Brooklyn in 2015, continues with three more "Ex-Situ" concerts of contemporary music in site-specific locations. Curated by composer Paola Prestini, this year's series is dedicated to the music and influences of master minimalist composer Terry Riley. It begins on June 20 with "Terry Riley and Friends," a concert featuring works by the composer performed by musicians including his son Gyan Riley, Tracy Silverman and the Young People's Chorus.

Other notable shows include People Get Ready at North End Way on June 19; Piñata Protest, Kuenta I Tambu (KiT), Helado Negro and SLV at The Uplands, South Street Seaport on June 27; composer/percussionist Susie Ibarra (who just teamed up with Mirah for Ecstatic Music Festival) & Roberto Rodriguez on June 21 at India House (1pm), Peter Minuet Plaza (3pm), and Tear Drop Park (5pm); Sergio Mendoza (Devotchka, Calexico) with La Orkestra and Rey Vellenato Beto Jamiaca on June 29 at The Uplands, South Street Seaport; and more.

Again, all River to River events are free and open to the public. The entire 2014 line-up is listed, with details, below...

Continue reading "2014 River to River Festival lineup (Kaki King, Terry Riley, KiT, People Get Ready, Sergio Mendoza, Susie Ibarra & more)"

by Andrew Frisicano

Joshua Light Show in action
Joshua Light Show

The Joshua Light Show, founded by multimedia artist Joshua White, is perhaps the most legendary group of live music visualists. As resident artists at Bill Graham's Fillmore East during the late 1960's, and in performances at Woodstock, Newport Jazz Festival, Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall, and the classic film Midnight Cowboy, White and his cohorts created live, colorful, psychedelic projections behind the great bands of that era including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and The Who.
Joshua Light Show is in residence at the NYU Skirball Center from September 13-15. The crew of visual artists will be joined by a different set of musicians each night. The lineups include minimalist composer Terry Riley with guitarist (and son) Gyan Riley, avant-garde heavyweights John Zorn, Lou Reed, Bill Laswell and Milford Graves, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie with experimental harpist Zeena Parkins. The final show features Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden aka the members of MGMT. Tickets are on sale.

The bill here has the members of MGMT billed individually, but they'll be performing as a band at Osheaga Fest on August 3 in Montreal, and at Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza in Bethlehem, PA, on August 5. Tickets to that are on sale.

The full schedule and video of a recent Joshua White art installation are below.

Continue reading "Lou Reed, John Zorn, MGMT and more collaborating with Joshua Light Show for NYC performances in September"

Gyan Riley
Gyan Riley

Terry and Gyan Riley have been performing together since the late 90's and have appeared in concert throughout the USA and Europe. The music has a connection to the improvising traditions of both Jazz and Indian Classical but more importantly depends on a synchronous intuition that has developed between a father and a son. Sometimes they begin with a structure where melodic, harmonic, modal and rhythmic elements are predetermined along with a flow chart of sequential events but one of their favorite forms is starting from a place where neither performer has an overview and they must find their way together. Terry on piano, keyboard and vocals, has been on the worlds stages for over 50 years. Gyan has generated a lot of excitement with his astounding guitar virtuosity and his brilliant compositions. In 2011 they appeared at All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead England and at Moogfest in Asheville, North Carolina.
Terry Riley & Gyan Riley (with help from percussionist David Cossin and violinist Tracy Silverman) play a seated show at Le Poisson Rouge Sunday (5/13). Tickets are still available.

Gyan Riley can also be found this month at the Stone, where he curated the second half (May 17 - 31) of venue's May programming. (Buke & Gase handled the first two weeks.) Riley's run kicks off Thursday, May 17 with a solo performance by Tracy Silvermann who uses loop pedals to create soundscapes with her six-string violin. The late show that night is BLIXT aka Bill Laswell (bass) Morgen Agren (drums) Raoul Bjorkenheim (guitar).

Other highlights include Ian Williams of Battles on May 19, guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola on May 22; pianist Jenny Lin playing works from various Merce Cunningham composers on May 23; Riley and percussionist Dave Cossin performing as Superballs! on May 26; and Bang on a Can/Paul Simon cohort Mark Stewart on May 27.

Full schedule for the Gyan Riley-curated second half of May at The Stone is below.

Continue reading "Gyan Riley playing w/ Terry @ LPR, curated shows @ the Stone"

by Andrew Sacher

Buke and Gase at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Toby Tenebaum)
Buke and Gase

Buke and Gase will be curating The Stone from tonight (5/1) to May 15. The curation kicks off tonight with Father Murphy at 8 PM and Les Bonhommes at 10 PM.

After tonight's show, Father Murphy, who are here from Italy, head out on tour with Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches (which hits Bowery Ballroom this Friday 5/4). Their album was mixed by Deerhoof's Greg Saunier who is one third of, but not the drummer of, Les Bonhommes (that also features William Kuehn from Rainer Maria).

Other performances throughout the week include former Parts & Labor noisemaker Dan Friel and Bunnybrains on 5/4; a Tonic reunion featuring Mephista with John Zorn, Steve Bernstein's MTO and more; Extra Life's Charlie Looker, Greg Fox, & Jamie Saft and Glass Ghost on 5/11, gonzo drummer Greg Fox and Hubble on 5/12, a powerhouse grouping of Ryan Sawyer, Colin Stetson, Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh Quartet on 5/13, and Matana Roberts and Ches Smith on 5/15, among others.

Buke & Gase don't actually play any of the shows they curated but they do play the Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry fest on May 4 at BAM.

The second half of May at the Stone is curated by Gyan Riley.

Check out the full schedule below...

Continue reading "Buke & Gase curating The Stone's first two week's in May"

Terry Riley
Terry Riley

Joanna Newsom is one of the announced acts for this year's Big Ears Fest in Knoxville, TN, March 26th-28th. Others on the initial lineup include Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, the Calder Quartet, Andrew WK, The Ex, Gang Gang Dance, Clogs, 802 Tour (Nico Muhly / Doveman / Sam Amidon with Nadia Sirota), The xx, Javelin, DJ/Rupture (solo), DJ/Rupture and Andy Moor, My Brightest Diamond, Gyan Riley, and jj. The fest's artist in residence is composer Terry Riley and a number of his works will be performed (including 'In C'). Bryce Dessner of the National is also one of the curators. Weekend tickets are on sale now. Tickets to invididual shows will be announced later this month, along with the schedule (shows are at different venues around town).

Some of those initial acts have tours booked around the same time. That is the case for Vampire Weekend, the xx and jj tour and Joanna. More info on the fest below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Fest - March 26-28 in Knoxville, TN (Terry Riley in residence, Bryce Dessner curator, xx, jj, VW, WK & more)"

Bon Iver @ Sasquatch Fest (more by Chris Graham)
Bon Iver

Tickets are now on sale for all of Merkin Hall's upcoming 2009/10 concerts. Those shows include the NY Guitar Festival's Silent Films/Live Guitars series (previously mentioned here), which features David Bromberg and Marc Ribot playing alongside Charlie Chaplin films on January 14th, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon (Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush) with Steve Kimock (Buster Keaton's Cops) on January 21st, and more. The full lineup, with details, is below.

The venue is also hosting the New Sounds series, which includes performances by ETHEL and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Details on those are below. Check out a video of the BoaC All-Stars rehearsing a Steve Reich piece from a few years back below too. You'll notice Bryce Dessner of the National is in the ensemble in that video. He's currently working on his own new piece with brother Aaron and Matthew Ritchie to debut at BAM this fall.

Also, as part of their trio of "Contemporary Contexts" concerts, Merkin Hall will be bringing Signal, who will premiere a new work from Nico Muhly and UK composer Harrison Birtwistle, in May.

The full schedule is below...

Continue reading "Bon Iver, Marc Ribot & other NY Guitar Fest tickets on sale ++ full upcomng Merkin Hall schedule (New Sounds, etc)"