Entries tagged with: So Percussion
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.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.
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.
Again, all River to River events are free and open to the public. The entire 2014 line-up is listed, with details, below...
Bang on a Can Marathon 2011 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
As part of this year's River to River Festival, the free annual Bang on a Can Marathon will return to Brookfield Place, Winter Garden on June 22 from 2-10 PM:
Bang on a Can returns with its annual super-mix of boundary-busting music from around the corner and around the world! This year features eight hours of rare performances by some of the most innovative musicians of our time side-by-side with some of today's most pioneering young artists including Roomful of Teeth, So Percussion, Jherek Bischoff and many more.Jherek Bischoff also takes part in this year's Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets as part of Red Bull Music Academy.
Louis Andriessen, Armando Bayolo, Jherek Bischoff, Carlos Carrillo, Bryce Dessner, Julius Eastman & Jace Clayton, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, Brooks Hendrickson, Molly Joyce, David Lang, Paula Matthusen, Marc Mellits, Meredith Monk, Andrew Norman, Caroline Shaw, JG Thirlwell, and Julia Wolfe.
Adrianna Mateo, Anonymous 4, Bang on a Can All-Stars & friends, Bearthoven, Contemporaneous, Dawn of Midi, Great Noise Ensemble, Jace Clayton (aka DJ/rupture) & friends, Jherek Bischoff, Mantra Percussion, Meredith Monk & Theo Bleckmann, Roomful of Teeth, and So Percussion.
Jonny Greenwood w/ Radiohead @ Prudential Center 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Knoxville, TN's Big Ears Festival goes down March 28 - 30, mixing modern composers and adventurous rock acts. The fest has expanded its programming since we last posted. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, already slated to perform Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" on March 30, will now also play the day before (3/29), performing selections from his scores to There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Norwegian Wood, accompanied by Wordless Music Orchestra.
So Percussion will perform all three days of the festival: collaborating with Buke & Gase and Wilco's Glenn Kotche on 3/28; performing Steve Reich's "Drumming" with guests on 3/29; and on 3/30 will perform Bryce Dessner's "Music for Wood and Strings" with Dessner as part.
The other new addition is pianist/composer Rachel Grimes who will perform with her ensemble on 3/30. These are in addition to previously announced acts John Cale, Body/Head, Television, Colin Stetson, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, Dean Wareham, Low, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter, not to mention composer Steve Reich who is "Artist-in-Residence" for the fest, and many more. Single day tickets to Big Ears go on sale Friday (2/7) at noon EST and the daily line-ups have been released and are listed below.
Low at The Concert Hall in 2013 (more by PSquared)
As discussed, the Big Ears Festival is returning to various Knoxville, TN venues from March 28-30, and since we last spoke, more artists were added. The lineup now includes Low, Kim Gordon's Body/Head, Earth, Lonnie Holley, Buke and Gase, Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality, Davd Greenberger and Prime Lens, Jenny Hval, Keiji Haino, Stephen O'Malley & Orech Ambarchi (duo), and Stephen O'Malley solo. The new additions join previously announced artists like Steve Reich, Johnny Greenwood, John Cale, Television, Julia Holter, Oneohtrix Point Never, and others.
Tickets are still available. Updated lineup below...
Big Ears Festival, a three-day event that joins modern classical music and adventurous rock acts in venues around Knoxville, TN, will host its first festival since 2010 on March 28-30. Composer Steve Reich acts as the artist-in-resident, with Ensemble Signal, Jonny Greenwood and So Percussion performing his music. Also on the lineup are John Cale, Television, Nazoranai (Keiji Haino, Stephen O'Malley, and Oren Ambarchi) and Marc Ribot (playing solo as well as with Ceramic Dog and Los Cubanos Postizos), Laraaji, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter, Oneohtrix Point Never, Colin Stetson, Vatican Shadow, Nils Frahm, Mark McGuire, Bill Orcutt, Dean & Britta, Glenn Kotche, Susanna, Dawn of Midi and Son Lux.
Passes for the fest go on sale Friday, December 6 at noon and are $150.
The festival's return is a good thing as its future was in question after a three year hiatus (its organizers stay busy running Bonnaroo). Big Ears 2010 was a huge undertaking--and from a listeners stand-point, a hugely successful one--with a lineup that featured the National, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, the Calder Quartet, Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Andrew WK, The Ex, Gang Gang Dance, Clogs, the xx, Ben Frost and Tim Hecker and artist-in-residence Terry Riley. You can see BrooklynVegan's coverage of that fest here.
Hospitality at Glasslands in October (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The annual Ecstatic Music Festival is returning to its usual location, the Merkin Concert Hall (except for the kickoff show at The Green Space, and one show happening at Carnegie Hall) in 2014 from January 31 to March 29.
Like in previous years, the shows will include multiple indie/classical collaborations including Hospitality with Face the Music; Saul Williams with Mivos Quartet; Mirah with Susie Ibarra; The Bang on a Can All Stars with Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Alvin Lucier and Daniel Wohl; Colin Stetson with Brooklyn Youth Chorus; So Percussion with Buke & Gase; Man Forever with William Basinski; and more.
Full schedule, along with a trailer video, below...
Apparently it's NYC Outdoor Free Show Announce Day. Following Hudson River Rocks, Seaport Music Festival and 4Knots updates comes the 2013 River to River Festival line-up. This year's fest runs from June 15 - July 14 and includes music, dance, theater, visual art, film and "unique participatory experiences" across a number of outdoor stages. Among this years' free events:
The annual Bang on a Can Marathon which happens on 6/16 at Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts and features Bang on a Can All-Stars, Asphalt Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Talk Normal, Talea, Shara Worden, Yungchen Llamo, and more.Again, all River to River events are free and open to the public. The entire 2013 line-up is listed, with details, below...
Laurie Anderson will perform two nights at Rockefeller Park on June 18 & 19 with guests Gerry Leonard, Doug Wieselman, Eyvind Kang and others TBA.
Ecstatic Summer 2013 which happens at Brookfield Place Plaza on June 29 & 30. Members of Bon Iver, Mantra Percussion, the National, yMusic, Plastic Ono Band and more will perform commissioned works by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Dave Douglas, Susie Ibarra and Seth Olinsky.
So Percussion and Joshua Light Show team up on July 13 at Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts
The legendary Leon Russell will perform at Rockefeller Park on July 10.
There's also a presentation of of Foetus frontman JG Thirlwell's "cinema for the ears" album, Manorexia: Dinoflagellate Bloom at Tribeca Cinemas on July 11.
Dan Deacon @ MHOW, 11/16/2012 (more by David Andrako)
Dan Deacon made his national network television debut last night (12/13) on Jimmy Kimmel Live, playing "True Thrush" from his most recent album, America. Like at his live shows, Dan and his band played mostly in darkness and incorporates an iPhone app into his crowd-participation antics. You can experience a little of that symbiosis in the video from the Kimmel performance which has an interactive element, which you can watch below. Dan's North American tour wraps up this weekend in Florida and he'll head to Europe in February for a short tour there. All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, Dan gave us his Top 10 LPs of 2012 which includes Baltimore pals Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Beach House, Dope Body, Chester Endersby Gwazda (who Dan brought on tour with him this year) and Horse Lords. You can check it out below, along with a list of tour dates and the 'Kimmel' video.
Philip Glass at Tibet House benefit in February (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
BAM's 30th annual Next Wave Festival is going down from September 5, 2012 - January 19, 2013. The festival encompasses music, theater, film, dance and more. This year's programming includes Robert Wilson, Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs performing in Einstein on the Beach: an Opera in Four Acts; plus John Cale's Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico (w/ special guests, U.S. premiere); and When Past & Future Collide: Paris 1919 (w/ Wordless Music Orchestra, NY premiere); David Lang and Anonymous 4's love fail; So Percussion and Ain Gordon's Where (we) Live, and more. The complete list of 2012 Next Wave Festival programming is below.
Speaking of Philip Glass, the Philip Glass Ensemble will continue to celebrate his 75th birthday this year with a free show at Rockefeller Park on June 20 as part of the RIver to River Festival. The show will be opened by youth ensemble Face the Music, who will be performing Philip Glass' Glassworks. The show happens a few days after Philip finishes up his intimate three-night run at Issue Project Room.
Complete 2012 Next Wave Festival programming below...
Ok, I'll admit it. The first time I heard about BAM's Crossing the Ferry series, I quickly concocted an idyllic scenario that may or may not have involved sipping white wine on the deck of a boat lit with twinkling Christmas tree lights with Sufjan or an unidentified Dessner brother at my side. (Really, could someone get on the whole ferry show idea, please? Something other than the booze cruise?) Luckily, I had a few days for the disappointment to wear off.
Curated by the Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National, The Crossing the Ferry series is a three-night, multi-room spectacle of music and film. Many of the likely suspects are there (My Brightest Diamond and Beirut Saturday, Sharon Van Etten on Thursday). But there are also a few wild cards.
Due to an early start time, I missed the first few sets, but arrived on Friday in time to catch a few in rapid succession, starting with the indie-soul outfit Ava Luna, who had a much more raucous, percussion-heavy sound than I remember. Back downstairs in the gorgeous Howard Gilman Opera House, I caught an intense performative DJ set by composer Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles) who sat atop a crazy metal table, surrounded by a complex web of blinking lights, laptops, and samplers.
The back and forth nature of the event created a festival-like atmosphere. Following Braxton's set, I headed back to the BAM Cafe to check out another artist I had never seen - Sinkane, whose spacey sound effects seemed a good match for the room's clean, futuristic design. Though the cafe space itself was visually appealing, the acoustics were lacking, so I soon set up camp in the Opera House where impeccable sound and gorgeous lighting provided the perfect accompaniment for The Antlers' brooding, atmospheric sound. With the exception of a song or two (including one that was brand new), The Antlers focused on the material from last year's Burst Apart.
With the upstairs cafe running some 20 minutes behind, I regretfully decided to skip Buke & Gass to ensure a prime seat for St. Vincent. While The Antler's multi-layered, methodical sound encouraged me to sink calmly into my plush red seat, I quickly perked up from the first notes of St. Vincent's set. Clad in rock star black, her hair loose and wild, Annie Clark is a force behind the guitar and a charmer at the mic.
Backed by a talented three-piece band, Clark covered a wide array of songs, from a handful of older favorites ("Actor Out of Work" and "Marrow") to a number from last year's excellent Strange Mercy and a cover by The Pop Group ("She Is Beyond Good and Evil"). During "Krocodil," an aggressive new song (that was released as an exclusive 7" for Record Store Day), Clark catapulted off stage and forcefully made her way through the crowd, stepping onto chairs and reaching out to hit people as she made her way. (There's video below.) After fearlessly crowd surfing in the orchestra pit, she managed to end up back in stage at precisely the last moment of the song, and darted off, only to return for a brief encore ("Your Lips are Red").
Pictures and video from night 1 are here. Night 3 is on the way. Pictures from all the night 2 bands are below, along with video of St. Vincent performing "Krokodil."
photos by David Andrako
Zammuto @ Ecstatic Music Fest
Ecstatic Music Festival continues on, and welcomed a performance from Nick Zammuto (formerly of The Books) & Jason Treuting (So Percussion, Janus Trio) with appearances from janus, Eric Beach, Daisy Press & Grey McMurray at Merkin Concert Hall on 2/23 . A full set of pictures, and a video which gives a sense of what the performance was all about, are in this post.
All tour dates, pictures, and a brand new song off Zammuto's forthcoming self-titled album, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
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.
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.
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...
photos by Winnie Cheung
"got to beacon, realized my tickets to the national were for tomorrow. this will be the fourth time i got tickets but didn't get to see them!" - naveen
"One of my new favoritist groups EVER is "The National." I heard them do one number on Letterman about a year ago, and heard "something" in their music that grabbed me. So I asked Liz if she knew about them, and she sent me a few tracks. Then I got "Boxer" - one of their albums, and it was amazing. Then I got their newest album "High Violet" and it was astounding. I don't know anything about music, really, but their songs are very musical, and complex musically, and some of the songs do what Amy describes as giving her "The Chills." The National does that for me, so I got a ticket for their performance tonight at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. The venue is relatively small and really nice, their music is great and their performance was wonderful! So glad I got to see them live." [Ken Spencer]The National played their third of six shows at Beacon Theater in NYC last night (12/14). So Percussion opened (but we sadly missed them). Wye Oak, who were also there on the second night, opens tonight.
Some pictures from last night, and a video of the band doing one of the two new songs they've been playing, below...
by Andrew Sacher
The Books @ Prospect Park over the summer (more by Ryan Muir)
Nick Zammuto of NYC experimentalists The Books announced a new project on his blog back in June called Zammuto. The message on his blog read:
I'll be working on the new record throughout the summer (and for however long it takes), and whenever I have a 'working draft' of a new track, I'll post it for a couple days. These won't be 'finished' versions, when I have a solid albums worth I'll revisit all the tracks to pull album together as a whole. Hope you like it!So far, he's got three tracks under the Zammuto moniker on his soundcloud, and you can download them above and stream them below. He first revealed "Yay" simultaneously with the announcement of the project. That track is centered around a spastic cut-up vocal that literally sounds like a broken record. He's since followed it with "Groan Man, Don't Cry" and "Too Late To Topologize" which are both great cuts of robotic vocal manipulations and busy drumming.
None of those three tracks appear on the single for "Idiom Wind" which is coming out as a limited 7" in the UK right after Christmas. You can order that now - digital copies too, at Bandcamp.
Zammuto will make their live debut this February with a few dates that include a NYC show at 92YTribeca on February 4. His live band includes multi-instrumentalist Gene Back, who has toured with The Books, drummer/percussionist Sean Dixon and bassist Mike Zammuto. The show will begin with the screening of the film Achantè, which Nick scored, and their set will also include video projections like the Books' shows do. In addition to performing their own material, Zammuto will perform "classics from the Books and some never before performed tracks from the Books." Tickets for the NYC show are on sale now.
Nick is also performing in NYC again on 2/23 as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. The description of that show reads:
A New Sounds® Live Presentation Hosted by WNYC's John SchaeferYou can still get tickets for that show too.
Nick Zammuto of The Books and Jason Treuting of So Percussion break away from their bands for an evening of spelling bees, homemade videos and fantastically-textured music, joined by janus, guitarist Grey McMurray and vocalist Daisy Press.
All dates and the trailer for Achantè below...
Andrew W.K., in his snowboarding and general party outfit (more by Chris Doss)
Manhattan club co-owner Andrew W.K. is going to enter the realm of Brooklyn DIY for a special show on 11/13....
UPDATE: The show billing has changed and now it just says Andrew WK is DJing. Here is what it is now:
Saturday November 13th @ 285 KENT AVE
:: BABYCASTLES, DEATH BY AUDIO, & TODD P present
:: Andrew WK
:::: So Percussion & Calder Quartet
:::::: Tristan Perich
| 285 KENT AVE |
285 Kent Ave @ South 1st | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 8pm | $tba | all ages
9pm - 1am @ 285 KENT (South 2nd & Kent Avenue)Tickets will be available at the door for the night of experiemental electronic sounds, classical music and partying hard.
?? So Percussion and Calder Quartet
???? Diamond Terrifier ( Zs solo )
?????? DJ Andrew WK
Premiering new music by Tristan Perich and Daniel Wohl.
Then five days later, before Andrew hypes the Turbonegro crowd at Santos on 11/18, he'll host a pre-party in the same venue...
The World Snowboarding Championship in association with Innovation Norway, Visit Oslo and Santos Party House will be hosting the international launch party for WSC 2012 on November 18th. This special reception is a pre-cursor to the WSC which will go down Feb 10th-19th 2012 in Oslo, Norway (the world's winter capital and coolest destination for snowboarding in Europe). It will be hosted by none other than world ambassador of rock and the man behind Santos, Andrew W.K.. W.K. will also perform the official theme song to WSC 2012 "Go Go Go Go" live for the first time ever as well as premiere the video to the song. The song personally shouts out some of the top international snowboarders in the world today including Mark McMorris (Canada), Tyler Flanagan (USA), Kazuhiro Kokubo (Japan) and Peetu Piiroinen (Finland) and is packed with the energetic and frenetic signature style that W.K. is known for.Unfortunately the pre-party (6-8pm) featuring free drinks and that short AWK performance is invite only, but we have two pairs of tickets you can win. Details on how to enter the contest are at the bottom of this post.
Tickets are still available for the public Turbonegro portion happening later in the night.
Contest details and a couple of videos below....
The National at Academy of Music in Philadelphia (more by David Andrako)
...the National headed to LA for another great triple bill last night (9/11) at Hollywood Bowl. They played that show with Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten. Their next scheduled gig is November 6th in Singapore. Hopefully more NYC shows get announced soon, but for now they have nothing coming up in North America at all.Well, that didn't last long! Santa Claus will arrive early this year because The National will play a four night residency in NYC at Beacon Theater from 12/12 - 12/15 as part of a short stint of just-announced North American dates in late November/December. Each NYC show is with a different great opener. The The War on Drugs open the first night. Sharon Van Etten the next. So Percussion after that. And Wye Oak, who just opened for them in Philly, opens the last.
Tickets for all of the Beacon Theater shows go on sale on presale on 9/14 at 11AM, with regular sale hitting 48 hours later.
All tour dates are listed below...
So Percussion (and Dan Deacon) @ Merkin Hall in January (more by David Andrako)
Dan Deacon has a few upcoming shows, including 4Knots Music Fest (where he will be DJing) and FYF Fest and Moogfest. He will also appear as a special guest on August 1 at Le Poisson Rouge when students from So Percussion's Summer Institute play his music "and other surprises". "The So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) is an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists. The four members of So Percussion serve as faculty in rehearsal, performance, and discussion of contemporary music for percussion." All of Dan's dates are listed below.
Music in the Garden featuring So PercussionThat one is presented by Bang on a Can who recently held their annual 'marathon' at the World Financial Center.
Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 3:00pm
So Percussion (Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting) will join with Grey McMurray on guitar to perform work-in-progress excerpts from their next major theatrical work. A celebration of diversity, community, and collaboration, this project is an exploration of their outermost artistic boundaries, as well as a re-examination of comfort zones.
Dan and So Percussion collaborated earlier this year at Merkin Concert Hall during Ecstatic Music Festival. Check out a video from that below, along with all tour dates.
Steve Reich will celebrate his 75th birthday with a weekend of events in his honor. The festivities start on April 30th at Carnegie Hall, as Steve Reich will host NYC premieres of three new works, WTC 9/11, Mallet Quartet, and 2 x 5, as well as his Pulitzer Prize winning Double Sextet. Bang On A Can All-Stars, eighth blackbird, Kronos Quartet, and So Percussion will do the performing. Tickets are still available.
The party continues the next night at Le Poisson Rouge (on 5/1), as the avant-composer will be in the house for a screening of a new film about him called "Phase to Face". He'll also take part in a Q+A following the showing alongside director Eric Darmon.
In this profile he looks back on the key stages of his 40-years lasting career, from the formation of his own group, Steve Reich and Musicians, to the American avant-garde he helped to create, from new video performances to his quasi-religious music. Despite his success and wide recognition Steve Reich has never renounced his independent spirit.Tickets are still available, or you can actually see the film much sooner, as it's making its NY premiere at the NYPL on Wednesday, April 20th. Steve Reich and director Éric Darmon will be there too. Or if you just want to watch the movie from home, the DVD is also on sale now. Check out a trailer for the film below.
This film is about the artist and his music. From the analogue tapes of his first recorded pieces to current technology of sampling and video. We see him at work and clips from his performances and concerts in Le Havre, Tokyo, Rome, New York and Manchester.
A week after the birthday festivities, on May 8th, chamber ensemble AXIOM will perform Steve Reich's "Drumming" (complete) at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets are on sale.
On June 2nd, Either/Or will perform the music of Steve Reich, and Robert Ashley, Philip Glass, and Andrew Byrne, at the Kitchen. Tickets are on sale.
On January 17th (2012), Reich fans should plan to be in LA where Reich himself will perform Clapping Music with Steven Schick during an "evening devoted to one of America's greatest living composers, including several of his early, seminal works." It all goes down, with the help of Bang on a Can All Stars, at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Single tickets go on sale August 21).
Some videos below...
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by David Andrako
I was prepared to be disappointed by the Dan Deacon/So Percussion collaboration on Thursday night. I've seen Dan Deacon several times over the past few years and it has always seemed like more or less the same show ("Hey, it's that people-bridge thing."). With So Percussion, the last I saw of them was an evening-length piece at BAM titled Imaginary City. There the music was competently performed, but presentation was underwhelming; the ensemble got swallowed in their junkyard of instruments, too delicately played for the large theater space. My hope was that the group would be less calculated and more playful, which is when they're at their best, with Deacon (the amazing finale of their Matmos collaboration had them alternately chugging and playing beer cans).
Another reason to be skeptical: if you can remember back to May 2009, So Percussion described a Deacon-penned piece they'd be playing at a performance that month. An e-mail from the group warned that the piece "may include pouring liquids onstage, amplified coke bottles, and other oddities..." Well, it didn't end up coming together in time for the show. But it did last night. I figure, any project delayed more than two years is either a catastrophic trainwreck (Chinese Democracy) or a landmark breakthrough (Finnegans Wake or something). Part of that curiosity is what drew me to the show.
The night was divided into two halves, the first with So Percussion and Dan Deacon performing individual sets, then with the groups together. So Percussion's Jason Treuting was absent for the evening, off spending time with his new baby, who'd just been born two hours earlier, and substitute drummer Eric Rosenbaum did a great job of filling in. The band had the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" into a cell phone for the newborn, which was the first of several crowd-performances of the night.
Their opening set comprised of several short pieces, mostly based on videos submitted by friends: a bearded man using an electric toothbrush, a child playing with an orange balloon (replicas were thrown into the crowd to play with), and Martin Schmidt from Matmos looking very John Cage-ish, straight-backed and in a bow tie, playing a succession of musical objects into the camera. The ensemble improvised over the clips in meditative waves, aided by guitarist Grey McMurray.
Up next was Dan Deacon's solo set, which he didn't really perform in at all. In an obvious reach-out to prose scores (by John Cage and others I'm less familiar with) and aleatoric pieces like Terry Riley's In C, Deacon passed out a 24-step pamphlet with instructions for audience members to perform in their seats. The steps were to be repeated variously, before moving to the next in the sequence. Some instructions said to focus on breathing, others instructed you to sing a tone or scream, several involved using a cell phone, either to set off its alarm, create feedback with a neighbor's phone, or call a friend and have them sing to you (one stranger serenaded the near-silent hall to "Proud Mary"). The gambit paid off, both as a natural extension of the crowd-participation Deacon has previously employed and as a link to "new music" tradition.
There was an intermission, then "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler," a collaborative piece with So Percussion, whose performance centered on drumming a row of soda bottles of varying sizes. They emitted a marimba-like sound that Dan Deacon manipulated with a row of effects. The next stop was a series of bass drums and congas, that sounded at times like a drum corps. When Dan Deacon fired up his sequencers, which took a few moments to lock in with the drums, it was the closest the night would get to a standard Dan Deacon set: overwhelming sound with chaotic execution (So Percussion didn't seem exactly at ease with their cues here). The group moved back to the pitched containers while members emptied more soda bottles into plastic tubs. Stoppers at the bottom of two playable bottles were let out and a misting sound filled the hall. Then, the silence. For what must have been more than ten minutes, So Percussion stood perched over their marimbas and vibes waiting for the running water to stop (no doubt a reference to the silence of John Cage's 4'33"). One enraged audience member exclaimed "Are you fucking kidding me?" before storming out the back. Then the water ended, and the group came in with an arrangement of twinkling mallet percussion, with a melody that hinted at Danny Elfman's film scores and polyrhythms that tugged in several different directions.
Was the night a success? Partly. Dan Deacon seemed serious about his concert hall debut; the prose score was fun and effective. So Percussion's solo set was a stellar example of what makes the group great: aural treats born out of playful experimentation. Their collaboration was a risk that had an admirable scope, and paid-off in parts, but stopped short of making a cohesive whole (again, the thing was called "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler"). If Deacon and the group had put together a suite of short pieces, with spots to recalibrate and adjust, I suspect the result would have been a full success.
As it was, only one crowd member in a sold-out crowd leaving (as far as I could tell) is more than a minor victory. The biggest regret is the fact that the program's final piece, So Percussion's "I Love You, Goodnight," didn't happen. They skipped that song, possibly for time, or perhaps because Jason was absent, but I wish I had a video of it to post here: It's an amazing lullaby to send off an audience.
More pictures from the Ecstatic Music Festival show at Merkin Concert Hall (the next one is Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman & ACME on Saturday) below...
Dan Deacon & So Percussion
The picture above comes from the video below where Dan Deacon and So Percussion talk about what their January 20th Merkin Concert Hall show will be like (part of the Ecstatic Music Festival and tickets are still available). Check that out, with all of Dan's tour dates (including a NYC Apple store panel discussion), below...
As previously announced, the 2011 Ecstatic Music Festival, presented by New York City's Merkin Concert Hall in association with New Amsterdam Records, is a showcase of imaginative collaborations between more than 150 genre-pushing composers, songwriters and performers who represent a new generation of artists combining diverse influences and techniques to explore the intersection of classical and pop music. All concerts will include premieres. The festival opens with a free seven-hour marathon on January 17, 2011, and continues with 13 additional concerts until March 28, 2011. All concerts will take place at Merkin Concert Hall.The Ecstatic Music Festival 2011 is almost here. Subscriptions and single show tickets are on sale. The full updated schedule (tUnE-yArDs, So Percussion, Dan Deacon, Craig Wedren, ACME, Nadia Sirota, Buke & Gass, Doveman, Owen Pallett, Bang On A Can All-Stars, and more included), and a trailer, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
they make their US debut after 40+ years...
Last September Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou played to a packed house at the Barbican Centre in London. There's nothing unusual about a sold-out gig, but what was unusual was that this was Poly-Rythmo's first ever gig in Europe. One thing that may have helped is an extraordinary YouTube video of the band in action in the 1970s, which the Barbican put on its website. And indeed, the Barbican gig was spectacular - angular melodies, punchy horn lines, psychedelic guitar, an injection of funk and insistent, powerful percussion - beaten out on drums, gourds, bells and shakers. It's music you can't ignore. "We are now able to share our music with others," says bandleader Clément Mélomé, "and we believe in this adventure."As heartonastick points out, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou will be make their North American debut on Sunday, July 11th at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (10th Ave at 58th St). The show is part of this year's Lincoln Center Festival (July 7-25). Tickets are on sale.
Poly-Rhythmo are probably the oldest of the post-independence bands in west Africa still active - but only just. The group was founded in Benin by Mélomé in 1968 and became hugely popular in the 1970s. They performed a varied repertoire of Afrobeat, songs based on the vodoun (voodoo) rituals in Benin, Latin music and James Brown-influenced funk. Their success wasn't limited to Benin - the group toured and enjoyed hit records in neighbouring Nigeria, Ghana and French West Africa, while they played alongside some of the continent's greatest stars, including Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo and Fela Kuti. But in the early 1980s, under the Marxist dictatorship of Mathieu Kérékou, Benin entered a period of economic hardship and decline. The band survived, but with precious few engagements, many, even in Benin, thought Poly-Rythmo were history. [Guardian UK]
Another Lincoln Center US premiere will be Serbian band Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra who play Wednesday, July 14th at Avery Fisher Hall. Fans of Gogol Bordello take note, Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra have a similar "gypsy-punk" sound with prominent violin and other folk instruments. They formed in the late '90s out of political '80s punk group Zabranjeno Pušenje (which translates to No Smoking band) who broke up around the time of the Yugoslav Wars. Tickets are on sale. (And if you enter the ticket code "WMP" when buying one of the $40 tickets to Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, you can get a free ticket to the Emir Kusturica show.)
We've already discussed some of the new music, theater and dance productions that are part of The Lincoln Center Festival this year. One of them is the The Blind Boys of Alabama-curated three-concert series with guests Yo La Tengo, Aaron Neville, Ralph Stanley and Joan Osborne. Another is complete works of Edgard Varèse, with the NY Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and members of So Percussion (who play for free on May 5th), that happens over two nights. Varèse is massively influential 20th century composer whose work with musique concrete and electronic sounds inspired musicians from Zappa and the Beatles to modern rock and electronic bands like the Music Tapes and Matmos.
Videos and tour dates (Orchestra Poly-Rythmo will also be in Chicago and Quebec) are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Matmos and So Percussion at the Whitney, 2006 (via Matador)
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...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: So Percussion New Amsterdam/BAM Next Wave Podcast (MP3)
So Percussion @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple in December '08 (more by Zach Stern)
The four members of So Percussion do not seem themselves as mere drummers. Instead they are explorers of sound: some exotic, others everyday, some invented, and others found. Their newest work, Imaginary City, is a multi-layered meditation on the American urban landscape, which combines the sound explorations of So Percussion's original compositions with the video art of Jenise Treuting and the theater direction of Rinde Eckert. These different artistic media do no exist discretely, but rather as a fluid exchange of sound, image, and gesture, all of which will be brought to life in the BAM Harvey Theater on October 14-17 as part of the BAM Next Wave Festival.That introduction is from the podcast, put together by New Amersterdam Records, linked above. In it, So Percussion and BAM Executive Producer Joseph Melillo discuss Imaginary City's inspiration - curiously, the cities of Brooklyn, Helena, Burlington Cleveland, Denver and Houston - and the musical structures gained from them.
Imaginary City was actually premiered in one of those cities, Helena, Montana, on October 2nd. Before that, the group performed the piece as a work-in-progress - one of those shows was August 28th at Kasser Theater at Montclair State University in New Jersey and an excerpt of that performance is posted below. From the clip, you get a glimpse at the variety of instruments and sound-objects used in the piece (not only those played in the video, but those littering the stage as well) and a taste of its narrative thrust.
Imaginary City runs October 14th through Saturday, October 17th. Tickets are on sale (with some prime seats still available for each night).
Imaginary City is just one of the programs in BAM's Next Wave Fest - each of which mixes music and visuals in a unique way. The shows coming up include singer and composer Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension (Oct 21-25), The Long Count with by National members Bryce and Aaron Dessner and lots of indie-rock-world guests(Oct 28/30/31), and the US premiere of Philip Glass's Kepler (Nov 18/20/21).
So Percussion video is below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Aaron Dessner - We Were Born (from the Long Count) (MP3)
The Long CountThe MP3 above is the first musical glimpse at the above-described (and previously mentioned) Long Count project. The heavy minimalist influence on the track makes the role of those guest vocalists even more curious. Single tickets for the Long Count, and all the BAM Next Wave concerts, go on sale September 8th. A video trailer for the show, which falls on and around Halloween, is below. More Brooklyn Halloween show options HERE.
Oct 28, 30 & 31 at 8pm
Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, and Matthew Ritchie
In an inspired collision of creative worlds, three inexhaustibly original artists--brothers Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner of indie rock royalty The National and omnivorous visual art phenomenon Matthew Ritchie--combine talents to create a song-filled myth about the beginning of time. A feast of images, instrumentals, and songs thick with primordial mystery, The Long Count pairs Ritchie's protean forms with a twelve-piece orchestra and the Dessners' gothic mix of electric and orchestral sounds.
Guest vocalists Kim and Kelley Deal (The Breeders [who are at the Bowery August 18th & 19th]), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and Matt Berninger (The National) round out the line-up in this visionary collaboration between music and art.
Shara Worden has been keeping super busy and impressing Decemberists audiences across the country when she sings her part in the Hazards of Love production (and when she's doing Bob Dylan). Upcoming Decemberists dates include September 21st in Montclair, NJ.
The National recently played a set at All Points West in Jersey City.
Also below is a video from "a 20-minute animated and musical collaboration developed by Bryce Dessner and Matthew Ritchie" that premiered at the Kitchen in March (Sufjan Stevens played the harmonium), and trailers and music (!) for the other BAM Next Wave commissions including Imaginary City (the So Percussion show), Terra Nova (the DJ Spooky/ICE collaboration) and Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension...