Fire Museum Presents :
Thursday, January 12th 8:00 PM
Da Vinci Art Alliance
704 Catherine Street
$7-10 sliding scale
Lucas Brode (NYC)/Julius Masri (Philadelphia):
Lucas Brode, a native of New York's Hudson Valley, is a guitarist & composer who draws from jazz harmony, experimental rock textures, and African rhythms. In addition to studying jazz guitar and composition, he spent several years learning percussive concepts from traditional Ghanian master drummer, Yacub Addy. Lucas often performs solo, leads his own jazz-fusion group, Spying, co-leads the Post-Rock / Math-Rock hybrid Hannibal Montana, and is an active performer and improviser in the NYC and Hudson Valley experimental music scenes.
Julius Masri is a multi-instrumentalist based in Philadelphia, and is a performer/ composer for the city's modern dance community at large. Born in Tripoli, Lebanon, he moved to the States in 1990, and picked up drumming a year later. He studied with famed Philadelphia instructors Carl Mottola and Elaine Hoffman Watts, and, as an undergrad at Bard College, AACM's Thurman Barker, Richard Teitelbaum, and Joan Tower. As a drummer, Julius performs in such bands as hasidic punk group Electric Simcha, psychotic Ragtime duo Mahogany Stompers, Metal Duo Night Raids, Van Sutra with guitarist George Draguns, (of Don Caballero), and countless other projects. He also performs on circuit modified keyboards in duos such as Superlith, with Trombonist Dan Blacksberg (Deveykus, Anthony Braxton Quartet), Thurman Barker duo, and electronic music phenoms Charles Cohen and Joo Won Park. Julius has also composed and performed music for many Philadelphia based choreographers, and is currently working with Graffito Works dance collective..
Slush Fun (PA/MD):
Trombonist Patrick Crossland has worked with several prominent conductors including Pierre Boulez, Daniele Gatti, and Lorin Maazel, and has appeared with orchestras and ensembles including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Opera, the Sudwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, MusikFabrik, SurPlus, L'Art Pour L'Art, Linea, and the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin. A staunch advocate of new music and performer/composer collaboration, he has been privileged to work with a number of composers including Vinko Globokar and Marco Stroppa.
In addition to his activities as a soloist and chamber musician, Patrick is an avid improvisor, working with a wide range of musicians and dancers including Guunter Christmann, Alexander Frangenheim, Jack Wright, and Heidelberg's Unterwegs Theater. He was a featured artist in the 2013 High Zero Festival in Baltimore, MD and in the concepts of doing festival in Berlin (2013, 2015). He is currently a member of the Composers Slide Quartet and Ensemble Laboratorium. Now living in Columbia, Maryland, he teaches trombone and other music courses at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Zach Darrup is an improvising guitarist currently living in Philadelphia. During his early teenage years in the rural coal region of Pennsylvania a strange boy appeared like an angel, carrying a large cd booklet of wild musics of all sorts. This chance meeting at a pizza shop, plus tumultuous relationships with his home turf, school teachers, and other agents of law and rule enforcement led Zach to drop out and skip town, devoting himself to following music wherever it would take him--somewhere else. His techniques are informed by the musical possibilities of film language, jovial mockery and mimicry of plants, animals, and audience members, thoughtful room listening, word play, colors, and culinary experiments.
"A 44 1/2-minute program comprising eight contrasting solo piano improvisations recorded on a single day in January 2015, Free for One documents a critical point in the evolution of Stabinsky's improvised solo work which he began in 2002 under the mentorship of Bill Dixon. After more than a decade of experimentation and constant reassessment, Stabinsky entered the studio with no preconceived musical framework, allowing his keen instinct, intuition and past musical experience to converge.
The result is a technically impressive and deeply artistic program of music from which new layers of meaning unfold with each hearing. The simple, looping notes of the ironically-named first track "After It's Over" quickly lead to more complicated, animated patterns that display Stabinsky's pianistic expertise. In tracks like "Viral Inflection," "Gone Song," and "Rapture," he demonstrates the intelligence of his musical ideas and his ability to convey them in stirring ways. From the crystalline, almost danceable trills of "For Reel," to the keyboard mastery in "31," to the improvisational tour de force of "Not Long Now / Long Now" (the record's longest track), and the jazzy feel of "Once, But Again," Free For One is the rare work of a rare pianist, one who cares little for labels and deeply for music, one whose love and command of his instrument shines through in every note." - Republic of Jazz
Described twenty years ago as an "undergrounder by design," Jack Wright is a veteran saxophone improviser based mainly in Philadelphia. He has played mostly on tour through the US and Europe since the early 80s in search of interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 72 he is still the "Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation," as guitarist Davey Williams called him in the 80s, on the road as much as ever. And he continues to inspire players outside music-school careerdom, playing sessions with visiting and resident players old and new. His partners over the years are mostly unknown to the music press, and too numerous to mention. He's said to have the widest vocabulary of any, including leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and obscene animalistic sounds. A reviewer for the Washington Post said, "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king". For more info go to springgarden music, for sounds soundcloud.com/#jackwright and writings jackiswright.wordpress.com/
Unseen Rain (Philadelphia):
June Bender, violin
Alban Bailly, cello
Matt Stein, bass
Mike Szekely, percussion
Ashley Tini, vibraphone
Unseen Rain is an acoustic ensemble comprised of strings, vibraphone and percussion. Recently founded by violinist June Bender, the group's aesthetic draws from speech patterns, the poems of Rumi, and the music of John Luther Adams, Tin Hat Trio, and Paul Motion among others.
Unseen Rain features Alban Bailly (Inzinzac, Oscuro Quintet, Yapp, Mazout), Matt Stein (Belleville Quartet, Illumina), Mike Szekely (Hawk Tubley & The Ozymandians, Reel, Dan Blacksberg Trio, The Scriptors, Several Wolves), Ashley Tini (Duomo) and June Bender (Belleville Quartet, Arcana New Music Ensemble).
Fire Museum Presents :
Monday, February 20th 8:00 PM
Da Vinci Art alliance
704 Catherine Street
$7-10 sliding scale
Alan Sondheim & Azure Carter (Providence):
"As Disaster Amnesiac listens to Azure Carter and Alan Sondheim's great new CD, Avatar Woman, I keep reflecting on the concept of American Folk Music and its relevance within our culture, currently and in the past. I am also thinking of Pop, but in a way that juxtaposes the more subtle and accomplished blending of styles and influences of Pop from long ago against the more linear and ridiculous form that Pop has morphed into as time has gone on and people have seemingly stopped caring about anything but the most easily comprehended bites.
It strikes this listener that Avatar Woman is a very subtle and beautiful blending of those two elements (among many others, of course). The more overtly Pop feel of the music comes from the clearly intoned alto vocals of Azure Carter. Disaster Amnesiac hears many different influencers within her fantastic delivery: Billie Holiday, Anita O'Day, and Ella Fitzgerald, from that Golden Age of Female Vocalizing, all seem to emerge from her singing. I hear the American Pop reflections of Harry Partch and the Beats from her lyrics, ones that describe and detail the observances of the smaller, but often so much more poignant, aspects of our lives as we live them. In the perfect utopian visionary state that exists in the mind of Disaster Amnesiac, Carter would be as big a figure in the Pop vocal landscape (and the ones of Jazz and Rock, for that matter). Her incantations are mesmerizing in their subtle simplicity, so much more powerful, in their restraint, than those of whichever divas are currently being foisted upon the American public by the Big Money Music Machines of New York and Hollywood. Avatar Woman's Folk element comes not only from Carter's "humble" vision, but also from the Alan Sondheim's artful expression on any number of stringed instruments from all over the globe. He coaxes micro-tones from violin, dan moi, suraz, sarangi, electric guitar, oud, etc. The listener is treated to his subtle backing of Carter's vocals; if one chooses to focus deeper into his playing while the singing is happening, one hears his freaked out aspect. That is to say, the man has such control, he essentially sounds as he is playing completely Free (as in Jazz), even while being an accompanist. Of course, he gets plenty of time to wail and solo, and when those spaces are approached, just be prepared to listen to universes growing and collapsing within their sound worlds. Saxophonists Christopher Diasparra and Edward Schneider give earthy, inward, and rooted contributions to several tunes. The entire ensemble sound is one of controlled, focused torsion; the sounds are close, warm, intimate, even at their furthest ranges. Their control is the control of Folk musicians, working within their own worlds and owning them.
Avatar Woman is fine example of the kind of subtle blends that can so easily happen in America, if only its citizenry cared about such things en masse. Come on, my fellow country men and women, let your Freak Flags fly again!" - Mark Pinto/Disaster Amnesiac
Bad Jazz (San Francisco):
Formed in late 2014, experimental improvisation trio, Bad Jazz, has been taking audiences on improvised auditory journeys that defy the normal explanations of musical theory. Their music is a stream of consciousness, ebbing and flowing from one texture to the next. Although the personnel of the group is variable, key members include Bryan Day, Tania Chen and Ben Salomon. The three met in San Francisco, California but come from a diverse geographic background. Tania is from London, England, Bryan hails from Omaha, Nebraska and Ben originates from Littleton, New Hampshire. Many of the noises emanating from the group come from hand made instruments designed and built by the performers. Other sounds are more traditional, such as piano, random percussion and analog synthesizers. No sound discrimination allowed, whether loud, soft, scratchy or melodic. The only rule is that there are no rules. This makes for new and fresh performances with performance. Bad Jazz's second release, Tincture, is available on Oakland's Friends and Relatives records.
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Fire Museum Presents
Philadelphia, PA 19125