Fire Museum Presents :


(Frode Gjerstad/David Watson/Kevin Norton)

Lea Bertucci/Bhob Rainey duo

Daniel Levin

Tuesday, August 30th 8:00 PM
Da Vinci Art Alliance
704 Catharine Street
$7-10 sliding scale

Tipple (Norway/US):

"TIPPLE's music is not for the faint of heart: it is the result of many years dedicated to the free improvisation stream of music. Frode Gjerstad is known for being "the father of free jazz in Norway". He is one of the first Norwegian musicians to work with iconoclastic improvisers like Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Peter Brotzman, Evan Parker and many others. Besides leading many CDs of his own compositions, Kevin Norton worked with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Joelle Leandre, J.D. Parran and many others. David Watson has revolutionized bagpipe playing for a new music context and collaborated with Ikue Mori, John Zorn, Christian Marclay, Zeena Parkins and many others. The trio is also an international project : Frode Gjerstad (saxes, clarinets) is from Stavanger, Norway, Kevin Norton (drums, vibes, percussion) is from the USA and David Watson (electric guitar & bagpipes) is originally from New Zealand." from Spectrum NYC show preview

"Tipple is a free improvising group, crossing the international boundary by joining the Norwegian Gjerstad with New York area players Watson and Norton. Watson performs on electric guitar, a quite different instrument from his frequent bagpipe forays, but his use of the guitar often brings the bluster of the bagpipe to call; at other times his playing is abstract but with a distorted edge, meandering around the point but always getting to it". - Squidco

Lea Bertucci/Bhob Rainey (NYC/Philadelphia):

Lea Bertucci is an American sound artist, composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. Her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental/vocal technique, and tape collage. As an instrumentalist, she takes an idiosyncratic approach to the amplification of woodwind instruments, creating organic yet electrified sonic interventions. Her debut solo LP, Resonance Shapes, was released in 2013 on the Obsolete Units label and has been praised by A Closer Listen as "A grand exploration of the possibilities inherent in sound". She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence. Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on various underground independent labels in the US and Europe, most recently, Axis/Atlas, on Clandestine Compositions.

Bhob Rainey is an award-winning composer / performer, saxophonist, and sound designer. He holds a Masters in Music Composition from New England Conservatory ('97), where he studied with iconoclastic microtonalist Joe Maneri, jazz legends Paul Bley and Ran Blake, and the mathematically gifted composer Pozzi Escot.

In 1998, with trumpeter Greg Kelley, Rainey founded the duo Nmperign, which was highly influential in an emerging phase of non-idiomatic improvisation often referred to as "lowercase" or "EAI" (Electroacoustic Improvisation). In 2000 he founded The BSC, an improvising large ensemble, in which he developed techniques for an improvisational discipline that were eventually outlined in his 2011 publication, Manual. Throughout the late 1990's and early 2000's he performed globally and collaborated with numerous improvisers across generations, including Axel Dorner, Andrea Neumann, Gunter Muller, Michel Doneda, Le Quan Ninh, and many others.

By the mid-2000's, while continuing to work in the realm of improvisation, Rainey began to produce electronic and algorithmic works. He spent five years collaborating with German composer Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) on the 2007 release, I don't think I can see you tonight, which, along with Nmperign and Jason Lescalleet's Love Me Two Times(2006), established him as a formidable electronic composer who synthesizes streams of Musique Concrete, computer music, and improvisation.

Rainey was awarded the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2013, and in 2014 he received a Subito grant from the American Composers Forum to complete a multimedia project with filmmaker Catherine Pancake. He is currently working with New Paradise Laboratories on a musically-driven follow up to O Monsters, with Jungwoong Kim on a multimedia dance installation, and with Leif Elggren and CM Von Hausswolff on the inauguration of the "Kingdom of Elgaland-Vargaland Embassy" in Philadelphia. To date, Rainey has over 30 releases as a leader or co-leader.

Daniel Levin (NY):

Daniel Levin is "one of the outstanding cellists working in the vanguard arena" (All About Jazz), "ridiculously fluent, virtually overflowing with ideas" (New York City Jazz Record) and "very much the man to watch." (Penguin Guide to Jazz). No matter what setting he plays in, cellist Daniel Levin occupies a musical space bordered by many kinds of music, but fully defined by none of them.

"Demonstrating an impressive breadth of texture and contrast, the cellist Daniel Levin comes well prepared for a career in jazz's contemporary avant-garde." (Nate Chinen, The New York Times)

Elements of European classical music, American jazz, microtonal and new music, and European free improvisation all figure prominently in his unique sound. As critic John Sharpe observes in The New York City Jazz Record, "he invokes all manner of musics with prodigious skill: jazz, classical, improv, noise, vocal chorus. His technique is unquestioned and he revels in the physicality of the instrument. Those with an adventurous streak or interest in the outer reaches of the cello universe will find much to savor."

Born in Burlington, Vermont, he began playing the cello at the age of six. In 2001, he graduated with a degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music, and arrived on New York City jazz scene shortly therafter. Since then, Daniel has developed his own unique voice as a cellist, improviser, and composer. Ed Hazell noted upon release of Levin's first record as a leader, "Cellist Daniel Levin is a major new voice on his instrument and in improvised music." He has performed and/or recorded with Billy Bang, Borah Bergman, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Gerald Cleaver, Andrew Cyrille, Mark Dresser, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri, Joe Morris, William Parker, Ivo Perelman, Warren Smith, Ken Vandermark, and many others. Daniel is the recipient of a 2010 Jerome Foundation award.

Fire Museum Presents :

Ava Mendoza

Jessica Pavone

Rosie Langabeer

Thursday, September 1st 8:00 PM
Vox Populi Gallery Black Box
319 N 11th St, 3rd Floor
$7-10 sliding scale

Ava Mendoza (NYC):

My name is AVA MENDOZA. I play guitars and stompboxes and write music. Currently I'm based out of Brooklyn, NY. 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 singer Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista), Fred Frith (Massacre, Henry Cow, Art Bears), Nels Cline, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Weasel Walter, Tune-Yards, and more. I've played on recordings released by labels Weird Forest, Tzadik, Clean Feed, NotTwo, ugEXPLODE, Resipiscent, New Atlantis, and others.

Friendly critics have called me "Oakland's avant-jazz virtuoso" (Brad Cohan, Village Voice), "a versatile and virtuosic guitarist" (The San Francisco Film Society), "a wizard on a semi-circle of effects pedals, but equally adept with FX-less technique," (Lars Gotrich, A Blog Supreme/NPR Jazz).

Jessica Pavone (NYC):

Jessica Pavone (composer, viola, violin, el.bass) has performed in countless improvisation, avant jazz, experimental, folk, soul, and chamber ensembles since moving to NYC in 2000. As a composer, The Wire magazine praised her 'ability to transform a naked tonal gesture into something special," and The New York Times described her music as "distinct and beguiling...its core is steely, and its execution clear".

Pavone's recent works for solo viola and voice stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. She combines her long tone rituals with delay, understated melodies and sparse lyrical content while continuously experimenting with new forms. She is interested in the physicality of performing her somewhat larger-than-comfortable instrument and believes that cultivating physical bodies as a strong container for her thoughts is part of the creative process.

She has performed with Mary Halvorson & Anthony Braxton has personally worked with and interpreted new music by; Aaron Seigel, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Elliott Sharp, Glenn Branca, Henry Threadgill, Leo Smith, Jason Ajemian, Jason Cady, Jeremiah Cymerman, John King, Matana Roberts, Matthew Welch, Tristan Perich, Tyondai Braxton and William Parker.

Rosie Langabeer (Baltimore/New Zealand):

Rosie Langabeer (aka Mama Bear, Roso and Diamond Blaze)) is a composer, performer and musicologist from Aotearoa New Zealand who loves to entertain with evolutionizational collaborative arts processes. A happy skeptic, she spends a fair amount of time skirting around current popular systems of value. In her "Duke Wellington" days (2002 to 2010, in NZ) she birthed an award-winning, anti-capitalist big band called Zirkus, since then she has composed for ballet, string quartet, theatre, landscaped public space, poetry, film and nature walks.

Her collaborators include Pig Iron Theatre Company, Neil Feather, BalletX, Andrew Mars, Kate Porter choreographer Matthew Neenan, and No Face Performance Group. She has also received numerous government sanctioned commissions and arts grants including a Bowerbird Sound Sculpture Commission (2012) and two Barrymore awards for excellence in theatre (2011). Recent festival appearances include Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, (MA, 2016), Borderline Festival, (Auckland, NZ, 2016) Vail International Dance Festival (CO, 2015), Joyce Theater Ballet Festival (NY, 2015) and Bowerbird's John Cage Festival (PA, 2013).

Fire Museum Presents :


Horse Lords

Spires That In the Sunset Rise

Tom Carter/Carter Thornton

Erik Ruin's Ominous Cloud Ensemble

Saturday, September 3rd 7:30 PM
Vox Populi Gallery Black Box
319 N 11th St, 3rd Floor
$10-15 sliding scale
$20 includes Erik Ruin art poster


Horse Lords (Baltimore):

An instrumental odyssey from Baltimore quartet Horse Lords: drums, bass, sax, guitar, and percussion fuse together to carve out deep, hypnotic grooves of bold new American rock and roll. Using a just intonation tuning system, the band constructs layers of punching, syncopated phrases that call upon elements of krautrock, African poly-rhythms, and classical minimalism. - bio

"This music feels very live, shivering with energy. Owen Gardner, the guitarist, has altered the frets on his guitar (and on Max Eilbacher's bass) to accommodate the ancient just-intonation tuning system; the result is some warp and dissonance in his hammered, fast-picking patterns. Andrew Bernstein, the saxophonist, uses circular breathing to create continuous tones and patterns; in "Encounter II / Intervention II" recorded in a deep-echo space with the microphone far away from the horn, he works harmonics, key-clicking and weird timbres into a sustained improvisation" - Ben Ratliff/New York Times

Spires That In The Sunset Rise (Madison/NYC):

Spires That in the Sunset Rise have been unsettling and thrilling audiences for over a decade now with their brand of sonic alchemy. Combining traditional acoustic instruments like cello, spike fiddle, banjo, and lately more on flute and saxophone with electric elements and mesmerizing chants, one can call them goth, folk, psychedelic, experimental, electronic - and it all applies. They have four full length releases on labels like Secret Eye and Galactic Zoo Disk and two more on Hairy Spider Legs. The band is paired down to two women these days, each busy performing and releasing solo material as well. Many audiences have seen them expand into pure improvisation lately, but there is still song writing taking place, and often STITSR play the line between the two. Always original, always pushing themselves into new territory, STITSR still very much enjoy playing, as they are coming upon their 15h year.

"Their breath is a physical force behind the instruments and singing here, giving the listener a chance to directly connect to the proceedings. Within these swirling parts, the listener can firmly grasp Peterson's and Baird's imagination with their ear, as the sharp, clear recordings present an easily perceived image within the sounds. This album will likely to appeal to longform experimental listeners beyond genre, as the jazz elements are highly orchestral and fanciful, while the energy is both bright and assertive throughout" - Nicholas Zettel/Decoder

Tom Carter/Carter Thornton (NYC):

Tom Carter's electric guitar work weaves strands of melody, drone, fuzz, and charged silence into intricately detailed instant compositions. He lives in New York City.

Best known for his work with iconoclastic acid-folk improvisers Charalambides (which he co-founded with Christina Carter in 1991), Tom Carter has focused on solo performances and recordings since 2012. Tom Carter frequently collaborates with other musicians. His regular projects include a duo with No Neck Blues Band co-founder Pat Murano, free-rock improvisers Eleven Twenty-Nine (Carter, Marc Orleans, and Michael Evans), Spiderwebs (with Houston guitarist Sandy Ewen), Sarin Smoke (with Peter Swanson), Badgerlore (with Rob Fisk, Ben Chasny, and others), and various ensembles with Bay Area sound artist and composer Robert Horton. Other fellow travelers have included Gate, Loren Connors, Jandek, Bardo Pond, Tom Surgal, Thurston Moore, Steve Gunn, Dredd Foole, Pip Proud, Tim Barnes, Aaron Rosenblum, Dora Bleu, Sam Shalabi, Marcia Bassett, Christian Kiefer, Paul Flaherty, Tetuzi Akiyama, Shawn David McMillen, Inca Ore, Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique, Helena Espvall, Robert Millis, and Matt Valentine, among many others. - bio

"(Carter) Thornton points his pick somewhere towards the same kind of personal event horizon as rigorously avant garde players like Hans Reichel, Donald Miller and Guitar Roberts, with what sounds like variously augmented strings singing and stopping in the kind of steel codes that would combine post-Joseph Spence re-thinks of Hawaiian cracker turf with phased ragtime phrasing and a feel for the more barbarous qualities of auraless guitar holler that is pure Jandek. Recommended." - Volcanic Tongue

Erik Ruin's Ominous Cloud Ensemble (Philadelphia):

Erik Ruin's Ominous Cloud Ensemble is an ever-evolving, collectively-improvising large ensemble for projections and music, led by visual artist Erik Ruin, recently lauded by the New York Times for his "spell-binding cut-paper animations." Erik manipulates intricate paper-cuts and painted films on overhead projectors to create abstract landscapes and fragmentary scenes that are nonetheless charged with meaning, merging with music that ranges from dark atmospherics to ecstatic peaks of dissonance. Members of the ensemble include a rotating cast of Philly's finest musicians, who have collaborated with everyone from Anthony Braxton to the Sun Ra Arkestra to Chris Forsyth to Spires That In the Sunset Rise. For this performance Ominous Cloud Ensemble will be Scott Verrastro, Rosie Langabeer, Reid Books, Quinn Collins, Nick Millevoi & D Hotep

Fire Museum Presents :

75 Dollar Bill

Hermit Thrushes

Tristan Dahn & No Sevlas

Saturday, September 10th 8:00 PM
Gray Area at Crane Arts
1400 N American St
$7-10 sliding scale

75 Dollar Bill (NYC):

"It's hard not to slip into ridiculous hyperbole when it comes to 75 Dollar Bill. Best band in New York City? Best band in the USA? Best band in the universe? Whatever conclusion you come to personally, you're gonna love the instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown. They've definitely nailed down a thrillingly original sound, centered around Chen's specially designed quarter-tone guitar - something about his tone cuts right to the quick, with North African riffs blending into juke-joint boogies into more avant territory. Brown's impressively minimalist setup (he mostly plays a wooden crate) is a perfect fit, adding a hypnotic thump to the mix. The whole thing is a little hard to describe, but trust me on this: 75 Dollar Bill is amazing. On the band's latest release, Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock, the group expand the lineup - baritone saxes, droning violas and contrabass - and deliver their most powerful music yet. Things feel a bit more composed and fleshed out as opposed to the improvised feel of some of their earlier recordings, but it works just fine: four mindbending tracks, each one a delight." - Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard

Hermit Thrushes (Philadelphia):

"Philadelphia's Hermit Thrushes are happy to confound and challenge. Their latest album, Potsherd Gold Meadow, is part noise collage, part field recording, part deconstructed folk music, part experimental-jazz-weird rock potpourri. If you hear a little bit of unconventional, hard-to-categorize groups like God Is My Co-Pilot, Marmoset and U.S. Maple in what they do, you are not alone. (Album) Potsherd Gold Meadow is forever falling apart, strange sketches, ideas expanding, but it doesn't feel unfinished. Its refusal of polish, refusal to capitulate, is its ethos." - Jes Skolnik/Impose

Tristan Dahn & No Sevlas (Philadelphia):

Based in West Philadelphia, Tristan Dahn improvises on a wide range of instruments. Employing both standard instruments like guitar, drums and bass, as well as more adventurous instruments (among them guzheng and shruti box), Dahn creates atmospheric soundscapes that are simultaneously abstract and highly narrative. He works as a librarian at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (Mutter Museum).

Artist and Musician No Sevlas (AKA Paul Salveson) comes to Philadelphia by way of DC, NY and LA. His aesthetic practice creates the surreal out of the domestic, and includes performances for electric toothbrush and electronics with live video. Musically interested in simplicity, repetition and novice level competency, he has put out several micro-edition releases of music for homemade electronics. His book of photographs, Between the Shell, won the First Book Award from the National Media Museum in London.

Together they are a somewhat subverted rock band; a two person power trio playing long form semi-improvisational music that lives somewhere between Kraut and Indie Rock. Dahn will be performing on bass guitar, percussion and electronics while Salveson completes the trio with guitar, drums and electronics.

Fire Museum Presents :

Thalia Zedek

Tara Jane O'Neil

Devin Hoff

Jmy James Kidd

Diane Foglizzo

Friday, September 16th 8:00 PM
The Art Dept
1638 E Berks St
$7-10 sliding scale

Thalia Zedek:

Thalia Zedek has one of the most enduring and distinctive voices in modern rock music - a voice like no other - that can be heard in her work with some of the most groundbreaking underground bands, from Uzi and Live Skull to Come. Since 2001, Zedek has been making music under her own name, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums. Her lyrics remain deeply personal and her emotional fire is palpable, but she has developed a control in her delivery that brings new dynamics to the music and gives room for the emotions to breathe. - bio

"Zedek's guitar and her rasping vocals can still lift the hairs from your arm; there are few artists whose commitment to performance is so absolute and fearless. This time around, it's the longer tracks that hit the hardest. On the eight-minute Not Farewell, Zedek and her group feel their way out of a strummed, whispered intro before all hell breaks loose, and the result is beautiful and terrifying. Long may she rail." - Gary Kaill/The Skinny

Tara Jane O'Neil:

Tara Jane O'Neil is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and visual artist. She creates melodic and experimental music under her own name and in collaboration with her brilliant friends. Her recordings and live performances range from solo songing to noise improvisations. TJO has composed and performed music and sound for films, theater and dance performances, and written large and small ensemble experimental architectures.

As a solo artist, TJO has released 7 albums internationally. She was a founding member of Rodan and several other bands, and has collaborated on recordings and stages with musical artists such as the groups Ida, Mirah, Jackie O MF, Lucky Dragons, Mount Eerie, LIttle Wings, Papa M, Come, and Michael Hurley, Catherine Irwin, Marisa Anderson, Amy Ray, Nikaido Kazumi, Ben Vida and many more. In addition to rock clubs, galleries and DIY spaces all around north America, Europe, and Japan, she has performed at All Tomorrow’s Parties, the Centre de Pompidou, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Musuem, TBA festival, High Desert Test Sites and many many others. She has shown her visual art in galleries all over the northern hemisphere and had four monographs of her visual art published. Her most recent album, WHERE SHINE NEW LIGHTS was released in 2014 on Kranky, to much high praise.

TJO is currently completing a new song record as well as a collection of instrumental works selected from various dance performances, film and installation projects.

TJO is involved in an ongoing collaboration with the dancer/choreographer, Jmy James Kidd

Devin Hoff

Devin Hoff was born in Colorado to a musical family. He has played thousands of shows throughout five continents and on hundreds of recordings, with a wide range of creative musicians and bands. He has composed music for solo bass and small ensembles, as well as for film, theater, and dance.

He has worked with Nels Cline, Carla Bozulich, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, Xiu Xiu, Tara Jane O'Neil, and many other creative musicians and bands. Lately he has been recording and touring the world extensively with Julia Holter.

His self-generated projects include the experimental jazz/metal duo Good For Cows (with drummer Ches Smith), chamber/punk group the Redressers (for which he is the principal writer), and his Solo Bass project (which increasingly latey is neither solo nor just bass).

Jmy James Kidd:

Jmy James Kidd has participated in, fostered, and collaborated with an expanding and cross-disciplinary community of artists. She has produced costumes for A. L. Steiner and Gerard & Kelly, also featured in Made in L.A. 2014, among others, and collaborated with Nick Duran (as NICK+JAMES) and Tara Jane O’Neil. A formally trained dancer, Kidd often merges conflicting styles of dance such as ballet and modern, incorporating movement, sound, and stage sets she builds herself. Kidd’s practice is dedicated to a rigorous and at times humorous investigation of the discipline of dance itself. If Kidd’s list of aliases suggests the refusal of a singular identity, this same logic is apparent in the multiplicity of practices and perspectives that she promotes.

Tara Jane O'Neil and Devin Hoff will perform a duo set, then in trio with Jmy James Kidd.

Diane Foglizzo (Philadelphia):

Solo set from Trophy Wife guitarist Diane Foglizzo. "Diane's command of her guitar redefines awe. From the fierce chords in "Boundaries", where one can hear her bow as she rocks out, to the serene symphonic lullaby in "Warrior", it's the intersection between wonder and love." - Natsumi Tsujimoto/Wild Violet

Fire Museum Presents :

Thollem McDonas

Space Whale Orchestra

Tuesday, September 20th 8:00 PM
House Gallery 1816
1816 Frankford Ave
$7-10 sliding scale

Thollem Mconas:

Ask Kronos Quartet's incomparable cellist, Joan Jeanrenaud, about this pianist, and she'll tell you, "Listening to Thollem McDonas play the piano is an astonishing experience. He has an innate ability to compose transcendent music using the piano as his expressive voice and to explore the depth and range of the instrument like no one else. Meeting At The Parting Place will take you on journeys across varied landscapes that flow effortlessly from one to the next - somehow emerging logically even in their unpredictability. Thollem creates a spectacular tapestry of different colored sounds reflecting his awareness, study and assimilation of countless influences. In Terry Riley's own words, Thollem McDonas is 'a true original'.

Thollem has been excavating depths of sound and energy for 49 years, skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. The seeds of his work come from near and far: studies as a concert pianist, collaboration with hundreds of artists across disciplines/genres and continuous travel throughout North America and Europe. His work is ever-evolving, responding to the times and his experiences, absorbing the energies of the world and forging them into unique sonic constructions.

Space Whale Orchestra (Philadelphia):

The Space Whale Orchestra is an improvisational chamber music ensemble sown and grown in Philadelphia, PA. Drawn together over a love of collective improvisation and sonic experimentation, the group continues to explore the borders of music and the meaning of freedom, always striving to keep their sound new and evolving.

For this performance Space Whale Orchestra will be Ted Schneider (alto sax, piano), Erica Corbo (piano, keyboard, flute & voice) & Connor Przybyszewski (Trombone, Duck Caller, Percussion)


10/7 - Marielle V Jakobsons & Chuck Johnson @ Da Vinci Art Alliance
10/24 - Cactus Truck (w/ brandon Lopez) @ The Rotunda

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Fire Museum Presents
Philadelphia, PA 19125