Entries tagged with: avant-garde
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...
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Steven P. Marsh
As its length [about an hour] suggests, this was a leisurely "In C," and it began [at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday the 8th] with a prelude of sorts: a rich aural haze surrounding a honking, spirited saxophone line that darted about for five minutes before the steady, pulsing C signaled the start of Mr. Riley's work. The ensemble, which included standard strings and woodwinds, as well as a few guitars, an accordion, a piano and percussion, moved between extremes of dense, flowing textures and transparent pointillism, with Mr. DeSantis's additions -- including what sounded like instrumental sounds played backward -- occasionally providing otherworldly effects.That's a review of the 'In C Remixed' album release concert that took place at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Sunday, November 8th. The night's performers, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, were joined by 'remixer' Dennis DeSantis on laptop and electronics. The piece moved casually and steadily, and wasn't without its charms (the opening sax breakout noted above was an especially warm introduction), but my only regret was not finding a chair for the hour-long take. The two pictures here are from that show.
By design, "In C" sounds different in every performance, and this was as good a reading as many, but not the best I've heard: that distinction is still held by the vigorous Darmstadt performance at Galapagos in 2007. [NY Times]
The 2007 "best" In C performance referenced above will happen again when the Darmstadt series brings "In C" back to Galapagos on Monday, November 30th. The performance celebrates the five year anniversary of the series, which is curated by Nick Hallett and Zach Layton. For the piece they've recruited "a battery of avant-guitar gods (David Grubbs, Alan Licht among them), veteran composer-performer Jon Gibson (who played in the very first performance of In C), singers, instrumentalists across a wide span of tones and timbres, electronic musicians....all keeping to the beat of drummer Ryan Sawyer." All that and visuals by Joshua Light Show (who did the trippy background for Yo La Tengo at Roseland in September). Tickets (only $10+fees) are on sale.
On December 3rd, 4th & 5th, Darmstadt: Classics of the Avant Garde series will bring its second annual "Essential Repertoire" festival to the Issue Project Room. The theme for this year's fest focuses on the "30th anniversary of the seminal New Music New York concerts curated by Rhys Chatham and held at The Kitchen, which put the still-burgeoning Downtown Scene...under a mainstream spotlight and redefined the presentation of experimental music." The concerts are programmed accordingly, with music from "'Blue' Gene Tyranny, Connie Beckley, David van Tieghem, Jill Kroesen, Jon Gibson, Ned Sublette, Peter Gordon, Peter Zummo, Petr Kotik, Phill Niblock, and a performance of Meredith Monk's Dolmen Music by the M6 (who are at the Stone in December). Advanced tickets for night one are on sale, but not for two and three.
If more Terry Riley is your thing, he's been announced as the artist-in-residence at this year's Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN, March 26th-28th. A retrospective of his work will take place during the fest, and that'll be sure to include "In C." Tickets and more info TBA.
More details on Darmstadt and a clip from last year's festival are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Mode Records has etched its name in the annals of music history, producing the avant-garde and modern classical music of influential composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Iannis Xenakis, and Harry Partch. In its twenty-fifth year, they are hosting a six-hour benefit concert featuring very special performances by Philip Glass and John Zorn and a rare performance of John Cage's "Concert for Piano and Orchestra" with "Aria." This marathon of experimental music luminaries in the intimate Abrons Playhouse helps Mode Records to continue producing the best of New Music into the 21st century.The Mode Records "Marathon" will happen this Saturday, November 21st at the Abrons Arts Center with a 6pm early show and a 7:30pm late show. Glass, whose opera Kepler makes its US debut at BAM this week (Nov 18, 20 & 21 at 7:30pm) (tickets are still on sale), will be at the early show only, performing solo piano work. That'll also feature a John Zorn-directed performance of his piece "Cobra." The later show will run four hours (the marathon part) and includes Respect Sextet playing music by Sun Ra and Stockhausen, John Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra with Aria (performed simultaneously) and The Jack Quartet with a performance of Iannis Xenakis' Tetra. Tickets are still available.
Thanks to the recession (and the other more nuanced factors we can lump in with it), the Mode concert is neither the only benefit nor the only marathon happening this week. Another benefit marathon this week (also with John Zorn) is happening at the Clemente Soto Vélez (CSV) Cultural Center (dubbed "The Suffolk" for CMJ this year) on Friday, Nov. 20th and Saturday, Nov. 21st. The beneficiaries of the 28 hour marathon are non-profit Arts For Art and the annual Vision Festival, which is going into its 15th year. Night one acts include Sex Mob, John Zorn solo, pianist Connie Crothers and her quartet, Sam Hillmer's Regattas and $KELETON$ Big Band (who are also at the Stone in December). Night two includes Milford Graves & Marshall Allen Duo and a cast of rotating musicians and groups. A full schedule is here. Tickets are on sale.
Yet another (!) benefit marathon comes from WFMU, who is currently holding a 24-hour benefit that runs until Wednesday, November 18th (today) at 7pm. More details on the fundraiser and why it's needed are below. Donate here.
A poster, the full Mode Fest lineup and relevant videos and info are posted below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Tyshawn Sorey, one of the "Five Drummers Whose Time Is Now" according to the NY Times, will be curating the month of August at, NYC music venue, The Stone. He'll also be releasing a new CD, Koan, on September 29th on 482 Music. On the disc, Sorey leads an ensemble of guitarist Todd Neufeld and bassist Thomas Morgan. That trio will play a set of compositions from the album in a sort of CD release show at the Stone on August 5th, but that's far from your only chance to catch the drummer and his crew. All three play at various times with guests and solo throughout the month.
Other upcoming shows at the venue include a special Monday night show (usually the venue is closed Mondays) with Laurie Anderson and saxist Colin Stetson on August 3rd. Alto player Tim Berne, who played at the Stone on July 30th with Nels Cline, will appear as part of Terrence McManus' "The Wealthy Industrialists" ensemble on August 11th. Artistic director John Zorn's regular Improv Night benefit will take place on August 23th, and will feature Sorey and variety of guests.
Full schedule below...
Like Tonic did, The Stone frequently brings on guest curators (not coincidentally Stone founder John Zorn was one of Tonic's most regular hosts and played at Tonic's final show). Now, with guitarist Grey Gersten's monthlong May curatorial run ending Sunday, May 31st, former Tonic co-owner Melissa Caruso Scott comes out of booking retirement to take the reigns in programing the first two weeks of June at The Stone.
Speaking about her choices Scott said, "These artists played some of my favorite Tonic shows and I can't wait to see them again." Her picks include Japanese musician Yuka Honda, who's also playing a Summerstage show with Mike Watt, guitarist Charlie Hunter, Elysian Fields, Vernon Reid, Joan as Polcewoman, cellist Erik Friedlander, and more. Her full schedule is posted below.
Speaking of Friendlander, he plays on Yoko Ono's new DON'T STOP ME! EP (out June 9th Via iTunes Exclusive Digital Download), and you can also catch him live on June 5th along with saxophone player Colin Stetson at the Abrons Art Space Recital Hall. The show is presented by The Manhattan New Music Project, and tickets are on sale.
Before the time of both Tonic and The Stone, the original Knitting Factory on Houston Street featured an ecclectic mix of avant and experimental music (frequently with Zorn and others). The co-founder of that venue, show promoter and current owner of City Winery Michael Dorf, will curate the second half of the June at The Stone.
Acts on his schedule include Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers (who have completed their Pianos residency and are also playing Citysol), Ethan Iverson (of the Bad Plus) with saxist Tim Berne, and Marc Ribot, the guitarist who's had considerable presence at each of the aforementioned venues -- gigging regularly at the Knit on Houston St, getting arrested for protesting the closure of Tonic, and hosting several nights of his 55th-birthday retrospective at The Stone in mid-May.
Check out the full June schedule for The Stone, below...
photos by Zach Dilgard
"The narrow room where IPR has its world-renowned, state of the art speaker system was packed, with people seated in the aisle and on the floor. The performers had hooked up their instruments to a separate PA system. I'm all about experimental performance, light and sound theater and dissonant/atonal/weird sounding music. I was looking forward to see something totally bizarre that I probably wouldn't totally understand, but enjoy.That negative review of one of the Tony Conrad / Genesis Breyer P-Orridge shows at Issue Project Room this weekend doesn't specify if the reviewer was there Saturday or Sunday. Zach was there Sunday (1/11). He said, "They played two sets with an intermission in between. Each set was about 30-45 mins each I think. It was a full house although the seating inside didn't provide for a huge crowd - I'd say 50 seats at the most. I didn't recognize any of the songs as this was the first time Tony and Genesis had ever performed together, an experiment of sorts." I think it's safe to say that there probably weren't any songs to recognize, aka it was complete improvisation. More pictures from the Sunday show below...
Instead, the first hour and 20 minutes of the show was a way-too-loud continuous looping of speaker feedback. I go to live shows and clubs all the time where the music is too loud, but can get into the music. In this case, it was impossible." [NY Press]
Issue Project Room - May 24, 2008 (yuko2)
The (OA) Can FactoryThat's not very far from their old location, and not very far from Union Hall either.
232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
In May 2008, Issue Project Room dedicated "its programming to the ecstatic moment". June is called "Floating Points 2008" and artists on the schedule include Elliott Sharp, Tony Conrad, Willaim Basinski, Lee Ranaldo, Tristan Perich, Gibby Haynes, and C. Spencer Yeh.
Also don't forget: The Stone (exists too) (also non-profit) (also avant-garde) (but in Manhattan).