Thursday at Roulette – Ekmeles and Pheeroan akLaff

Ekmeles. Photo: Tear N Tan.

Ekmeles. Photo: Tear N Tan.

Tomorrow at Roulette in Brooklyn, the excellent Ekmeles vocal ensemble, directed by imaginative baritone and composer Jeff Gavett, is performing. Last year, I heard Ekmeles at Columbia University’s Italian Academy in a program that featured Elliott Carter’s Madrigales and several works by Gesualdo in Vicentino’s archicembalo tuning; the former a virtuosic display and the latter a jaw dropping revelation.

 

Their set at Roulette features one of my favorite pieces by Ken Ueno: Shiroi Ishi. With a text written in Japanese by the composer, this piece has been championed by no less than the Hilliard Ensemble. It shows a supple side to Ueno’s music-making, as well as affecting passages of overtone singing, that stand in marked contrast to some of his more vigorous works that feature deliberately strained vocalisms and electronics.

 

Louis Karchin is also being featured by Ekmeles. The group is presenting his To the Sun and To the Stars: post-tonalpieces that are translations by poet Apostolos Athanassakis of Orphic hymns.This is the first time that this conceptual pair of pieces has been performed together.

Aaron Cassidy’s I, purples, spat blood, laugh of beautiful lips isn’t just post-tonal; it is hyper-microtonal and just plain hyperactive. A terrific piece of showmanship that is hard as hell. Bryan Jacobs’s Do You Need, Do to Me, 18 Me, 18 Mean was featured on File Under ?’s December mix. For a preview, head over to Mixcloud and take a listen to this setting of computer-garbled text. Try to imagine the electronics being triggered by big game show buzzers, as they will be on Thursday night!  Ben Johnston’s music is represented by a just intonation version of the folksong I’m Goin’ Away and a setting of his daughter’s poem Rose. Last but not least, Ekmeles tackles Evan Johnson’s Three in, ad abundantiam (solo e pensoso).

 

And that’s just the first half of this evening: there’s also a multimedia set featuring two pieces, Global Mantras and Tattva of Aquarius Age Reclamation, performed by the Pheeroan akLaff Ensemble: jazz instruments, vocalists, and visuals based on akLaff’s pan African and pan Asian travels.

 

 

Event Details

Interpretations: Ekmeles sings Americans; Pheeroan akLaff Ensemble

7:30 preconcert talk; 8 PM performance

Roulette

509 Atlantic Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11217

$15/$10 students

Composer Concordance Festival Starts Friday

Celebrating the “Growing Diversity of Music,” Composers Concordance, a new music consortium and record label, presents its second festival from Nov. 30 – Dec. 7. Over the course of five concerts, one will get to hear works in a variety of styles and different forces: electroacoustic, chamber music, amplified ensemble music, and works for chamber orchestra.

On Friday the 30th, CC joins forces with Vox Novus, presenting a “60X60″ mix of one-minute electroacoustic works. I just learned on Monday that my “Gilgamesh Variation” is one of the pieces in the mix. The show is at Spectrum (details below).

Festival Details

Concert #1: 60 x 60
Instrumentation: Electronic Music / Multimedia
60 Electronic Composers
Friday, November 30th at 8pm at Spectrum
121 Ludlow Street, 2nd floor, NYC – Tickets $10

Concert #2: Soli
Instrumentation: Solo
Kathleen Supové, Eleonor Sandresky, & Jed Distler
Saturday, December 1st at 7pm at Faust Harrison Pianos
207 West 58th Street, NYC
Free Event – Note: seating is limited. RSVP: info@faustharrisonpianos.com 

Concert #3: Composers Play Composers Marathon
Instrumentation: Solo, Duo, Trio
30 Composer-Performers
Sunday, December 2nd from 3pm to 7pm at Drom NYC
85 Avenue A, NYC
Tickets $15 (includes one drink)

Concert #4: Nine Live
Instrumentation: Ensemble
Composers Concordance Ensemble
Tuesday, December 4th at 7:30pm at Shapeshifter Lab
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn
Tickets $10

Concert #5: Legends
Instrumentation: Chamber Orchestra
Composers Concordance Chamber Orchestra (CCCO), Lara St. John – violin, Valerie Coleman – flute, Thomas Carlo Bo – conductor
Friday, December 7th at 8pm at DiMenna Center – Mary Flagler Cary Hall
450 West 37th Street, NYC
$20 day of performance, $15 students and advance tickets
Tickets: http://ccco_evolution.eventbrite.com/

Thursday: Harvey Uptown and Fairouz in Brooklyn

Among Thursday’s offerings, two composer portrait concerts compete for the attention of New York audiences.

Photo by Maurice Foxall.

I’m writing about the Jonathan Harvey concert for Musical America. Performed by Ensemble Signal at Miller Theatre, it features two of his large scale, spiritually inspired ensemble pieces, Death of Light/Light of Death (1998) and Bhakti (1982) (event details here).

Bird Concerto with Plainsong, Jonathan Harvey’s recent CD on NMC, is one of my favorite discs thus far in 2012.

Mohammed Fairouz is having his portrait concert  at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn. It is being produced by the folks at Issue Project Room. The program includes three world premieres and features the Borromeo String Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, Elizabeth Farnum, pianists Kathleen SupovéBlair McMillen, and Taka Kigawa, and mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert. (event details here).  


Hot off the presses is Fairouz’s debut on the Bridge imprint, Sumeida’s Song, an opera about peacemaking and tolerance, written when the precocious composer was only twenty-two years old.

Friday: Rebecca Brandt CD Release Party


 

Ostensibly, composer/pianist Rebecca Brandt has already released her album Number & Shapes. But with material as charming as the cinematic indie art songs found on this CD, this Friday’s release show at Galapagos in Brooklyn is well worth the wait (details here). At turns mathy & motoric and alluring & lush, Numbers and Shapes encompasses both the laptop electronica aesthetic and out chamber pop. You can purchase the release via BandCamp or, better yet, if you’re in town, pick up a CD in person at Galapagos on Friday (doors open at 7; show starts at 8).

 



9/20: Interpretations at Roulette (Concerts)

Thomas Buckner’s Interpretations series begins its twenty-fourth season on Thursday, September 20th at Roulette. The program is a double bill featuring David Behrman’s vocal work My Dear Siegfried and Canadian composer Tim Brady’s 24 Frames, in which prominent guitar solos are accompanied by a chamber ensemble and video projections. Performers include Buckner, pianist Cheryl Seltzer, cellist Theodore Mook, and trombonist Peter Zummo.

INTERPRETATIONS PRESENTS:

David Berhman’s “My Dear Siegfried”
Tim Brady’s “24 Frames”
Thursday September 20, 2011
8PM at Roulette, in Downtown Brooklyn!
509 Atlantic Ave (corner of Atlantic and 3rd Ave)

Monday: Clogs and Loop 2.4.3 at Galapagos

The group that helped to start the indie rock plus classical crossover genre, Clogs, doesn’t often make it out to Brooklyn. But, if Monday’s show at Galapagos is any indication, when they visit the borough, the group goes all out.

In addition to selections from Clogs’ previous studio recordings, the concert features “Shady Gully,” a new group of songs written by Padma Newsome. Those in attendance will also get a sneak preview of “2 Moon Shine,” his forthcoming opera project.

Also on the bill is Clogs member Thomas Kozumplik’s project Loop 2.4.3. I’ve been greatly enjoying their latest full length recording American Dreamland (out now via Music Starts from Silence). Kozumplik, joined by Lorne Watson, have created a percussion heavy and somewhat jaundice eyed view of the American dream, referencing everything from Edgar Allen Poe to Easy Rider to urban blight along the way. While the album’s subject matter could easily become a colossal bummer, Loop 2.4.3 creates supple beats  and several fetching tunes (the radio ready single “So Strong” noteworthy among them) that make even a dystopian post industrial landscape sound like far better a destination than its likely to be!

A small caveat for fans of the National: guitarist Bryce Dessner is not playing the Galapagos show. Ben Cassoria will take over his duties for the evening (no mean substitute!).

Clogs with Loop 2.4.3

Monday, July 16th

at Galapagos (16 Main St, Dumbo, Brooklyn · 718 222 8500)

Doors 7PM, Show 8PM

Tickets: $15 Advance, $20 At Door

Event link: http://galapagosartspace.com/event/clogs-loop-2-4-3-new-american-and-australian-music

Long Distance Poison: Ancient Analogues (SoundCloud)

Long Distance Poison
Ancient Analogues
VCO Records cassette 005

Brooklyn based analog synth performers Long Distance Poison craft two side length drone-based compositions on this cassette out on VCO (buy via Discogs).

Both “The Meadow” and “Aethelred” contain drones with an edge – no mushy ambience here. What’s more, the static connotation one can associate with the term ‘drone’ gives little idea of the pliability and motility of the held tones here. Overtones abound, gradually accumulating; but the group holds off on punctuating the sound environment with melodic or noise-based interjections until a sense of the spaciousness of the grounding material is firmly established. The belated arrival of contrasting elements, many in the treble register, creates pointed interjections and a rousing response to the already rich sheen that has accrued. This is music that one is glad to have linger in the air and sad, at its conclusion, to have evaporate all too soon.

Those who think that, in our digital rich age, cassette must be a compromised medium with which to share audio need to hear this: it will likely disabuse them of that notion. Analog synths thrive in this analog medium. Long Distance Poison proves that their gear and its method of distribution needn’t, despite this tape’s title, seem ancient. What is old makes decidedly new sounds on Ancient Analogues.

Eli Keszler: “Cold Pin” (Vimeo)




Next week is a big one for Eli Keszler. Catching Net, a 2xCD release of sound installations and compositions by Keslzer, is out on 2/5 via PAN.


According to its release notes (haven’t seen the physical yet), the Berlin-based imprint certainly isn’t scrimping: the recording’s packaging includes a booklet with notes, installation sketches, schematic diagrams, score excerpts, and documentary images, contained in a hand-silkscreened, heavy vinyl cover with a drawing by Keszler. US listeners will be able to acquire it via Forced Exposure.


On June 7, Keszler’s latest installation/composition L-Carrier, will be presented at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center in Chelsea, NYC. The work was commissioned by Issue Project Room and Turbulence.

Event details and videos of Keszler’s work below.




L-Carrier
Installation
June 7-23, 2012
Turbulence.org and Eyebeam

Performance
June 7, 2012; 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Eyebeam, 540 West 21st Street, New York
Admission: $10 Suggested Donation