Fire Museum Presents:

Walter Wright/Emilie Mouchous

Jack Wright/Wade Matthews/Zachary Darrup


Friday, December 5th 8:00 PM
Pageant : Soloveev Gallery
607 Bainbridge St
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

Walter Wright (Lowell, MA):

Walter Wright is an improviser on electronics of his fabrication. He is also a interdisciplinary artist, and community arts advocate. Educated as an architect, he has graduate degrees in engineering and interdisciplinary art. He is a co-founder of 119 Gallery in Lowell MA where he produces new music and performance events. One of these is XFest, an annual festival for improvised sound, video and movement. He teaches new media at UMass Lowell. He is a member of Apocalypso, bodydrama, Los Condenados, Loup-Garou, and One-Armed Mist.

Emilie Mouchous (Montreal):

Emilie Mouchous is a sound artist who builds her own electronics. She explores this field through radiophonic pieces and installations, performances, series of electronic objects, free improvisation and web art. She's presenting special programming at CKUT Radio in Montreal since 2008. She has presented her works in contexts such as Bent Festival NY, Radia LX festival de arte ràdio (Lisbon, Portugal), Transmodern Festival (Baltimore), Mutek (Montreal), Le Placard headphones festival, the SoundFjord Gallery (London, UK), CKUT Radio (Montreal) and Radio Libertaire (Paris). As a duo with Andrea-Jane Cornell, she created four albums and four radiophonic pieces exploring the intimate relationships between radio transmissions, landscapes and travels. These pieces have been presented by Deep Wireless (NAISA, Toronto), Radius (Range : Local, Distant, Fringe series, Chicago), BEAM Festival (London, UK), 24gauche series (Montreal).

Jack Wright (Easton, PA):

Jack Wright has been playing freely improvised music exclusively since 1979, when he returned to his childhood instrument, the saxophone. This was after two decades of political and academic involvement (European History). He was called the "Johnny Appleseed of Improvised Music" for his extensive touring, spreading the seeds of free-form music to people and places that had never imagined it. In the 80s he also spent much time in Europe, Berlin especially, and has returned regularly in the 2000s with wide-spread tours, most often meeting up with European players. He lives in Easton Pennsylvania and is active in Philadelphia, but almost all his performing is on the road. Preferring small, informal situations, such as house concerts and sessions, he has been able to avoid the standard career, seeing it as a musical hindrance.

Apart from a private teacher in his youth he is self-taught, developing through private exploration and interaction with his partners. His current playing involves all his decades of work, leaving little behind. It was originally melodic, fast playing, then rougher sounds and bolder feeling. In the 90s he began to pull back from this and eventually shifted to very reduced playing, visiting Berlin and then Paris to find partners for this. Slowly he began to return to more physically engaged playing, but with a different phrasing and space than he had known. Jack plays for the love of playing and of the instrument, and feels capable of greater freedom now than ever before.

Wade Matthews (Madrid):

In 1989, after completing his doctorate at Columbia University in New York, French-born American musician Wade Matthews moved to Madrid and became active on the international improv scene. Drawing on his work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (His doctoral dissertation was on improvisation guided by electronic sounds) he approached the bass clarinet and alto flute as “acoustic synthesizers,” rethinking their sonic possibilities, phrasing, and relation to breath in a musical language based on real-time creation. When faster processors made laptop synthesis viable, Matthews gradually abandoned the woodwinds and returned to his first love, tweaking a virtual synthesizer to allow very rapid control of sound parameters for solo playing and dialog with others. In 2007, he founded INTERMEDIA 28 with photographer Adam Lubroth and guitarist Julio Camarena. There, he began to combine field recordings with electronic synthesis in a 2-computer setup that has since become his main instrument.

Zachary Darrup (Philadelphia):

Zachary Darrup is a musician who uses a prepared guitar and an assortment of objects to create his soundscapes.

Unguent (Philadelphia) :

Straight slimer style in the summer. Transcendental, inward blooming electronics. Sonic clairvoyance for the twisted mind. Lance of Social Junk, Mirror Men, etc.

Fire Museum Presents:

Tim Motzer

Amirtha Kidambi Trio

Saturday, December 6th 8:00 PM
The First Banana
2152 E. Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

Tim Motzer (Philadelphia):

"Like a benevolent spell that refuses to break this hour long set is a work the listener visits, not merely listens to. From wild color and barely controlled chaos, where its sheer strangeness sustains our curiosity, to an odd sonic emptiness Motzer plays lithe and liquid solos with breathtaking ease. Part of the now legendary 3 November 2013 all live music broadcast of STAR'S END Ambient Radio Motzer's set seems to be more about shaping form than about the playing of ordered notes. In some places the music seems like a self-organizing system - and that once the work gets to a certain level of complexity it goes in its own direction, while elsewhere it is coaxed and guided by the artist in beautiful sonorities, textures and harmonies. While Tim Motzer's live musical ideas presented on STAR'S END provokes thought and binds genres, his work here is really about the plasticity of time, and how it may be felt as both infinite and finite, elusive and recognizable." WXPN-fm
HIs latest release, Live from Stars End, finds Motzer in SOLO guitar soundscape mode, but you'd hardly recognize the guitar. Live from Stars End was recorded live in WXPN Studio in Philadelphia as part of a live broadcast last November 2013.

PHILADELPHIA-BASED GUITARIST AND COMPOSER Tim Motzer finds infinite joy in diversity. His output as a leader and sideman crisscrosses multiple musical universes, including jazz, fusion, prog, hip-hop, soul, electronica, and the avant garde. Motzer gets to explore these genres and the intersections between them via his ubiquitous presence in the wildly deep and varied Philly scene. After 16 years of world touring, stunning collaborations, and over 60 albums of credits this Philadelphia-based guitarist continues to traverse manifold territories in music and has developed a distinct textural guitar voice utilizing looping, bowing, electronics, and prepared techniques. He has collaborated with David Sylvian, Burnt Friedman, Jaki Leibezeit (Can), Ursula Rucker, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Markus Reuter, King Britt, Dino JA Deane, Kurt Rosenwinkel among many others.

Amirtha Kidambi Trio (NYC):

Amirtha Kidambi is invested in the performance and creation of exploratory musics, ranging from South Indian Carnatic, Improvisation, Experimental Rock, Early Music, New Music and the Avant-Garde. As a soloist, collaborator and ensemble member in groups such as, the experimental Medieval gothic-folk band Seaven Teares, the percussion and analog electronics group Ashcan Orchestra, and vocal quartet Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, Amirtha has performed in a variety of venues from DIY spaces to concert halls including Carnegie Hall, ISSUE Project Room, Roulette,Clocktower Gallery, Zebulon, Death by Audio, Silent Barn, Le Poisson Rouge and The Kitchen. Her band Seaven Teares released their debut album Power Ballads in 2013 on Northern Spy Records. Recent projects include Apollo's Accidental Answer a chamber opera with the Pat Spadine's Ashcan Orchestra, the premiere of AACM founder and legendary composer/pianist Muhal Richard Abrams’ Dialogue Social, and The Oversoul Manual by Darius Jones with an album on Aum Fidelity released in October 2014. Amirtha is fortunate to have had the great honor of working with Robert Ashley since 2011 in That Morning Thing and the premiere of WWW III (Just the Highlights). Amirtha and the Varispeed Collective premiered Robert Ashley’s final opera CRASH shortly after his passing, for the Whitney Biennial in 2014. She is also the recipient of the Jerome Foundation's Emerging Artist Commission for Roulette in the 2014-2015 season.

Amirtha Kidambi Trio

This newly formed trio performing the musical conceptions of Amirtha Kidambi (Seaven Teares/Elizabeth-Caroline Unit), lies nestled in a venn diagram of musical spheres and communities in New York City. Her and her cohorts Brandon Lopez (Vape Drip/Tongues) and Max Jaffe (Killer Bob/Dear Leader/Vape Drip) have crossed paths in the DIY underbelly, in incestuous circles of free improvisers, and uncomfortable chairs in concert halls of angular new music. The trio uses loose song structures as template for improvisation, freely alternating between lyrics and abstract syllables as a vehicle for the voice. Oscillating between worlds of modal Sufi-like circular grooves, to jagged rhythmic precision and punishing brutality, Carnatic music, Coltrane or Varese could be equally suspected as illegitimate fathers of their developing sound.

Amirtha Kidambi - voice, harmonium Brandon Lopez - bass Max Jaffe - drums

Fire Museum Presents:

Dan Blacksberg

Ellwood Epps

Flandrew Fleisenberg

Sunday, December 7th 8:00 PM
The First Banana
2152 E. Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

The evening will consist of a solo set from each musician, ending with a trio performance.

Dan Blacksberg (Philadelphia):

Dan Blacksberg is rapidly emerging as a new leading voice on the trombone.  With musical activity that spans avant-garde jazz, modern classical music, improvised music and klezmer, Dan brings a burly, rough-edged sound intended to push at the technical and textural extremes of his instrument. Based in Philadelphia, Dan leads a variety of groups, such as the Dan Blacksberg Trio and Electric Simcha, and co-leads groups such as Archer Spade, the New York/Philadelphia avant-jazz quartet Bird Fly Yellow, and the terror-improv group Psychotic Quartet. In addition, Dan has also performed with Joe Morris, Joe Maneri, Danilo Perez, Gene Coleman, and is a founding member of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra.

Dan is also one of the few musicians in the world who performs and teaches traditional klezmer on the trombone. He is a founding member of Alan Bern’s The Other Europeans, and co-leads the klezmer power trio Leviticus with Michael Winograd and Tyshawn Sorey. He has also played with many of the field’s top artists such as Frank London, Adrienne Cooper, Michael Winograd, Daniel Kahn, Michael Alpert, Hankus Netsky, Alicia Svigals, Alex Kontorovitch, Aaron Alexander, and the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra. He has taught at Klezmer Festival Fürth and Yiddish Summer Weimar in Germany, and has been an artist-in-residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He continues to be a regular faculty member at Klezkamp and Klezkanada.

“A virtuosic technician with abundant creativity and a drive to engage disparate and unlikely scenarios….” -All About Jazz New York

Ellwood Epps (Montreal/NYC):

Ellwood Epps is an improvising trumpet player, and one of the leading lights of Canada’s creative music scene. He has performed with Steve Lacy, William Parker, Josh Zubot, Henry Grimes, Jean Derome, Le Quan Ninh, Joe McPhee, Butch Morris, John Butcher, and Marshall Allen, and appears on more than 50 recordings. He has appeared internationally at the Stone, CBGB’s and The Jazz Gallery (all in New York), the Guelph, Vancouver, Halifax, and Toronto Jazz Festivals, FIMAV, Festival of New Trumpet (NYC), Earshot (Seattle), Suoni Per Il Popolo, and the Off Festival de Jazz (Montreal).

Epps cofounded l'Envers in 2008, through which he has presented over 500 concerts. In the same year he also cofounded the Mardi Spaghetti series at Le Cagibi. He is also the director and principal teacher at the Studio d'Improvisation de Montréal since 2009, presenting an ongoing series of improvised music workshops, including guest teachers like Henry Grimes, Lori Freedman, and Jean Derome. Ellwood is active with several working groups: the longstanding Pink Saliva (an electric band with Michel F Côté and Alexandre St-Onge), Land of Marigold (with Josh Zubot), his sextet Rosasharn's Dream, Niolas Caloia's Ratchet Orchestra, and in duet with saxophonist Yves Charuest.

Flandrew Fleisenberg (Philadelphia):

Flandrew plays percussion on an assortment of everyday ephemera and modified drum parts that he has reduced and eroded through a process of playing and breaking them. A recent migrant from Boston, Flandrew is busily planting roots across Philadelphia co-curating the H-O-T improvised music and dance series as well ad hoc events around town. Flandrew has been involved in the improvised and creative music community since 2001 performing solo, in ad-hoc improv groupings and in set projects.

Ongoing collaborators include: Josh Jefferson (Skinny Vinny), Neil Feather, Bonnie Kane/ Joo Won Park (I'm with Joo Won), id m theftable

Fire Museum Presents:

Daniel Carter/Will Arvo Duo

Hrw Sbkra/Mike Watson/Julius Masri Trio

Saturday, December 13th 8:00 PM
House Gallery 1816
1816 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA
FREE (Donations accepted)


Daniel Carter/Will Arvo Duo (New York City):

Daniel Carter is not an enigma, no more than a teeming forest is. Give some sincerely up for true and you've made a commitment which will last a lifetime, if you've got the mettle for searching unfettered. I first became aware of Daniel Carter's immense talents through the collective Other Dimensions In Music. Every time, and I mean every time, I've heard the man bring an instrument to his lips - be it reeds, brass or flute - beautiful sounds emanate. His is a rare natural gift, though he is learned a-plenty, never you mind about the anarchy speak ~ in the sense that it is so commonly misconstrued. If the world ever does truly silence for a moment please, the first sounds I would want to hear are the ones that Daniel Carter chooses, because I know that true democracy is deep in his essence. Over the past three decades-plus, Daniel Carter has performed with: Sun Ra, Billy Bang, Roger Baird, William Parker, Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, Simone Forti, Joan Miller, Thurston Moore, Nayo Takasaki, Earl Freeman, Dewey Johnson, Nami Yamamoto, Matthew Shipp, Wilber Morris, Denis Charles, MMW (Medeski, Martin, & Wood), Vernon Reid, Raphé Malik, Sam Rivers, Sunny Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, Karl Berger, Don Pate, Gunter Hampel, Alan Silva, Susie Ibarra, D.J. Logic, Margaret Beals, Douglas Elliot, Butch Morris, TEST, OTHER DIMENSIONS IN MUSIC, ONE WORLD ENSEMBLE, SATURNALIA STRING TRIO, LEVITATION UNIT, WET PAINT, THE TRANSCENDENTALISTS, and many many many many others (meaning more every week or day practically). - Aum Fidelity

Will Arvo: “I am a musician and visual artist. Each of these disciplines for me helps articulate and inform the other. I am not particularly interested in creating some conceptual ideal, but rather a music/art that reflects and captures a truthful human experience and life. I try to create a balance between form and the awareness of the sensual, spiritual, and the ordinary.” -bio “Will Arvo can aptly be described as one of the most original pianists and composers to emerge in recent memory. The distinctiveness of his approach becomes immediately apparent.” Jazz Este (WB)

Hrw Sbkra/Watson/Julius Masri Trio(Philadelphia):

Hrw Sbkra (Ryan T. Frazier) - trumpet, Mike Watson - bass clarinet and Julius Masri - percussion

"Sun Ra once said that he drove a spaceship powered by music. …people laughed. …but what is energy, except for music? …all light, sound, even taste, touch and smell, are nothing but vibrations of “force” within the infinite, liquid blackness…everything that is anything is composed of harmonies of vibrations resonating at varying frequencies, all within the infinite body of Nu. Sun Ra laughed back.

The trio is a guerilla unit of sages, gifted with the power to wield the very essence of the Cosmos—sound. Some of the last real soundbenders, they bend the limits of time and space to the eternal and infinite, wherein the reality of IS can be felt through the pulse of our collective, polyrhythmic Being. From bebop to hiphop to jupiter folk funk, it’s all about the bodyrock, the flow, the perpetual becoming of IS, the way of the Cosmos."

Alabaster Museum Presents:

Cactus Truck with Ava Mendoza

Elliot Levin/ Aaron Martin/Scott Verrastro Trio

David Fishkin Group

Sunday, December 14th 8:00 PM
Pageant : Soloveev Gallery
607 Bainbridge St
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

Cactus Truck (Amsterdam) with Ava Mendoza (NYC):

“Discovery of the year: Cactus Truck. Young Dutch improvisers (about time!). Sparky and real. -Terrie Ex in his recollections of 2011 in The Wire. “Improvisations of a raw beauty, grinding and chaotic.” - Ab Baars, saxophonist

Cactus Truck creates startlingly intense music, not merely in terms of volume or velocity but through complete physical/psychological surrender. One can find hints of delta blues, early free jazz, Japanese noise, and no wave in the music. Cactus Truck is based in Amsterdam and they’ve collaborated frequently with members of The Ex, including Terrie Ex, Andy Moor, Arnold de Boer (ZEA) and Colin McLean, as well as Ab Baars, Han Bennink, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Peter Jacquemyn, Teun Verbruggen, Gerri Jaeger (Knalpot) and Jon Rune Strøm. For some dates on tour they will be joined by Ava Mendoza on guitar.

My name is Ava Mendoza. I play guitars and stompboxes and write music. Currently I'm based out of Brooklyn, NY, having recently relocated here from Oakland, CA. I have played guitar for most of my life and been active for the last decade playing my own music and in many different groups. In any context I try to bring expressivity, energy and a wide sonic range to the music I play. I've toured throughout the U.S. and Europe and recorded or performed with a broad spectrum of musicians including pop-folk band Tune-Yards, Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre), singer Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista), Nels Cline (guitar hero of Wilco), members of ROVA saxophone quartet, and more. I like writing for dance, theater and film. I've played on recordings released by labels Weird Forest, Tzadik, Clean Feed, NotTwo, ugEXPLODE, Resipiscent, Tompkins Square, Bridge Records, Edgetone, Table and Chairs, and others.

Elliot Levin/Scott Verrastro (Philadelphia) & Aaron Martin (Washington DC):

Born and based in Philadelphia, pursuing early studies with Michael Guerra (legendary saxophonist/clarinetist of Philadelphia Orchestra under Stokowski); and composer/flutist Claire Polin (collaborator with flute innovator William Kincaid). Studied music and creative writing at the U. of Oregon. Later studies with masters- pianist/improvisor/composer Cecil Taylor; and saxophonist/improviser/composer Odean Pope led to long time relationships of performing and recording with their ensembles.

A member of many groups in Philadelphia/NYC area over the past 30 years (since the early '70's), he has continued to work with his own ensembles as well including INTERPLAY Ensemble, NEW GHOST, The PHILADELPHIA PHENOMENA to name a few...(collaborating with artists such as Rick Iannacone, Ed Watkins, Marshall Allen, Tyrone Hill, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Calvin Weston, and many others.

Joining him tonight are Alto Sax player Aaron Martin from Washington DC (OOO Trio, New Atlantis, etc) and Scott Verrastro (Kohoutek, et al) for a high energy session!

David Fishkin Group (Philadelphia):

David Fishkin was not born so much as he shot out like a cannonball.  He started playing saxophone at age 7.  Later, he attended Oberlin College.  In between semesters, he studied with the great Philadelphia-based saxophone player Odean Pope.  Since then, David has worked as a musician and  teacher.  His current projects include the West Philadelphia Orchestra, Lagomasino/Fishkin and others.

Fire Museum Presents:

Tatsuya Nakatanu

Bonnie Kane

Veronica Jurkiewicz

Saturday, December 20th 8:00 PM
The First Banana
2152 E. Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA
$8-$10 sliding scale

The evening will consist of a solo set from each musician, ending with a trio performance.

Tatsuya Nakatani (Easton, PA):

Tatsuya Nakatani is a creative artist originally from Osaka, Japan. He has been residing in the USA since 1994 and is currently based in Easton, PA. Since the late 1990s, Mr. Nakatani has released over sixty recordings in the USA and Europe and has performed countless solo percussion concerts through intensive touring. He has also collaborated with hundreds of other artists internationally and presented master classes, workshops and lectures across the USA and around the world.

Nakatani's approach to music is visceral, non-linear and intuitively primitive, expressing an unusually strong spirit while avoiding any categorization. He creates sound via both traditional and extended percussion techniques, utilizing drums, bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, metal objects and bells, as well as various sticks, kitchen tools and homemade bows, all of which manifest in an intense and organic music that represents a very personal sonic world. His approach is steeped in the sensibilities of free improvisation, experimental music, jazz, rock, and noise, and yet retains the sense of space and quiet beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music. His percussion instruments can imitate the sounds of a trumpet, a stringed instrument or an electronic device to the extent that it becomes difficult to recognize the source of the sound. He has devoted himself to a musical aesthetic where rhythm gives way to pulse, often in a way that is not always audible or visible, in currents that incorporate silence and texture. Nakatani’s primary music activities include solo percussion performance, N.G.O. (Nakatani Gong Orchestra) and collaborations with musicians and dancers both in live performance and recordings.

Tatsuya Nakatani has spent the past decade traveling and performing extensively throughout the United States and beyond. His constant touring fosters the raw and fresh quality in his music, which can only survive through an open willingness to share energy, culture, music and self on a global human scale. He has toured and performed in Japan, China, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Argentina, Chile, Israel and across the USA, coast to coast. While touring, he also conducts master classes and workshops at schools and universities, emphasizing his unique musical approach and philosophy. Tatsuya collaborates and performs with a wide range of artists, from internationally renowned musicians to students of all ages, occupations and musical skill levels.

Bonnie Kane (Philadelphia):

From the beginning of the band W.O.O., to the development of the W.hole O.ther O.rbit network, which includes her legendary projects: W.O.O.Revelator, WORLD OF TOMORROW, and Mambo Mantis, to her duet recordings with Kevin Shea, Federico Ughi, Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut, and Ernesto Diaz- Infante, to her guest recordings with the John Spencer Blues Explosion and The Brian Wilson Shock Treatment, Bonnie Kane has always sought the magic of the moment, bringing her Fresh Sound Guarantee to every performance.

Her dedication to improvisation was influenced by an unusually early and continuous exposure to Sun Ra (she grew up in Philadelphia, and was blessed by June Tyson), a background of equal parts: Hendrix, Ayler, and Zappa - and studies with Sonny Simmons, Paul McCandless, Glenn Moore, Ralph Towner (Oregon), and Jon Raskin (ROVA Saxophone Quartet). A stint in the original Club Foot Orchestra (whose members included Snakefinger (The Residents) and Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart), introduced her to electronic processing for horns, and a brief study at Mills College under Anthony Braxton solidified her direction.

Bonnie terms her work in the area of feedback and extended saxophone technique, as avant-core, a music she defines as mixing the extremes of psychedelic rock and hard core with the energies of avant garde jazz.

Veronica Jurkiewicz (Philadelphia):

A co-founder of Classical Revolution, multi-instrumentalist Veronica Jurkiewicz has extensive experience performing creative and improvised music. Performing regularly with Sonic Liberation Front and its many incarnations, Veronica has performed alongside Marshall Allen, Odean Pope, William Parker, Keir Neuringer, Thurman Barker Kim Kashkashian and many others.


12/20- Tatsuya Nakatani, Bonnie Kane & Veronica Jurkiewicz

All shows at First Banana unless otherwise noted

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Fire Museum Presents
Philadelphia, PA 19125