59th Season Opening Concert: Steve Swell Quintet

Saturday, October 7, 2017

7pm doors / 8pm concert – tickets at door or advanced here

The Stage at KDHX
3524 Washington Ave., 63103 (map) – FB event page here

Steve Swell – trombone & compositions
William Parker – upright bass
Chad Taylor – drums
Jemeel Moondoc – saxophones
Dave Burrell – piano

Veteran free-jazz trombonist and composer Steve Swell makes his St. Louis debut, performing with master bassist William Parker, drummer Chad Taylor, saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, and pianist Dave Burrell. Long associated with New York’s downtown avant-garde scene, Swell began his career in 1975, and since then he has built one of the most expansive and wide-ranging careers in jazz, touring and recording with artists such as Tim Berne and Ken Vandermark. His work as a collaborator and sideman is extensive, and significant partnerships include Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, and John Zorn.

Dave Burrell is known for his solo-piano works as well as his collaborations with Archie Shepp and Pharaoh Sanders,. William Parker is an iconic musician who the Village Voice has called, “The most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time”. In 2013, he received the Doris Duke Performing Arts Award in recognition of his musical impact over the past 40 years. Jemeel Moondoc was a featured soloist for Cecil Taylor. Chad Taylor is a regular collaborator of Marc Ribot and Pharaoh Sanders, and continues his decade-plus role as percussionist in Chicago Underground Duo.

Workshops / Artist Talks by Steve Swell:

* Friday, October 6th – Steve Swell will lead two youth workshops at Lafayette Preparatory Academy (Soulard) – 10am – 12pm
* Friday, October 6th. 4pm – 5pm: Steve Swell Lecture at The Department of Music at Washington University. Event page HERE . (6500 Forsyth Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63105), Music Classroom Building 102. This Event is free and open to the public.

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59th Season Kickoff at Tick Tock Tavern (8/22)

Help support New Music Circle’s upcoming 59th season by joining us for an evening of drinks and DJ’s on Tuesday, August 22nd (7:00pm – 9:30pm) at Tick Tock Tavern (3459 Magnolia Ave Saint Louis, MO 63118) located in Tower Grove East. RSVP here for updates.

A full announcement of our upcoming season concerts and events will soon be available. Please sign up on our mailing list for an upcoming email announcement.

FREE! – no admission cost or cover –

On August 22nd from 7pm-9:30pm DJ’s will play records and raffle prizes (including CD’s, LP’s, and tickets to upcoming NMC concerts). All proceeds of drinks purchased during these hours at Tick Tock Tavern will help support New Music Circle concerts and workshops throughout the coming year. Tick Tock Tavern is a cash-only bar with an ATM machine located on premises.

If you are unable to attend, and would like to make a donation to support our 59th season, please visit our donate page HERE, to make a tax-deductible donation.

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SUMMER BREAK! Upcoming Support Event + 59th Season Details….

Thank you to the incredible crowd who attended our May concert! You can find a detailed summary of this beautiful night at Sound Of STL’s review HERE.

We are currently on a summer break, however we will be announcing our upcoming season very soon (please stay tuned!) – and have a fundraising event coming up on June 13th (please see the details below).

STEINS FOR SUPPORT! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017. 5pm – 8pm. FREE

Please help support New Music Circle and join us at  Urban Chestnut, Midtown location (3229 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103) on Tuesday June 13 from 5:00 to 8:00.  Hang out, drink beer and have fun.  A portion of beverage purchases will be donated to NMC and help us continue presenting concerts and workshops.

 

 

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Erik Friedlander Interview by Nathan Cook

 
St. Louis musician and artist, Nathan Cook, recently led an interview with cellist/composer, Erik Friedlander. Friedlander presents his new trio, Black Phebe this Thursday (March 16th, at The Stage at KDHX) – information is here.

How did your new group Black Phebe come together and what is it about Shoko Nagai and Satoshi Takeishi that compelled you to collaborate with them on this project?
I’ve been working with Satoshi Takeishi for almost 20 years. He played in my Topaz quartet which released 4 cds over a 10 year period starting in 1999. He recently was a featured performer on the soundtrack I wrote for Thoroughbred. I love working with Sato as he brings fireworks and energy to my music.  We started playing as a trio after an improv gig at The Stone where we played a whole set of completely improvised music.  I was struck by the chemistry we had as a group and I made a promise to myself to find more opportunities for us the work.  In 2012, we got together when I decided to record and expand the music I had just completed for the soundtrack of Nothing On Earth, a documentary about Murray Fredericks and his dangerous attempts to visit and photograph the stark beauty of the melting ice cap of Greenland. For months we worked closely together working on the the score…
Black Phebe (Satoshi Takeishi, Erik Friedlander, Shoko Nagai).
…later on the director and I collaborated intensely to get the score just right – as we had a stunning solo cello score at hand. As the director went on to complete the process of getting the film to the theaters, I felt a nagging sense that my job was still somehow unfinished….after a few sleepless nights I realized I needed to get into the studio and do more recording; “there are more possibilities to explore!”.  I brought Sato and Shoko into the studio and set about reinterpreting the soundtrack as well as recording new pieces I had written.
With Rings I dug deeper into what the group’s possibilities were. I discovered that Shoko’s charismatic performance on accordion or piano changed the feel of the group depending upon which instrument she played.

As a musician and composer from NYC, what is special to you about the much discussed Downtown New York music scene? What led you to work so closely with John Zorn throughout the years?
When I stop to think about it I am always amazed by the number of great musicians there are on what people call the “downtown scene”. It’s a truly inspiring thing to behold and a joy to be a part of the community of musicians here in NYC.
John approached me over 20 years ago to play some games pieces (Hockey, Archery) on his 40th Birthday month at the old Knitting Factory. We hit it off pretty much right away and I’ve been lucky enough to continue to work with John since then performing on numerous soundtracks, a handful of Masada cds, some of his classical music, and now the Bagatelles. It’s always inspiring to be around John.

In recent years you have composed several soundtracks for films such as Thoroughbred, which recently screened at The Sundance Film Festival. How does your compositional approach change for a score versus a regular studio album?
My father is a photographer and so I’ve been around images my whole life.  The relationship between music and picture has always been interesting to me.  The process of working with a director to create a score is a collaboration; but a collaboration in which the director has the final say and so it’s much different from creating music with my colleagues in New York. When I’m in the studio with my bands, I have the final word.  It was difficult at first to reconcile myself to having a piece of mine rejected when I just knew it was perfect for the scene.  It’s very tricky. You have to establish a relationship with the director, to gain their trust but also be able to move on when a favorite piece of music gets nixed.

 
Can you name a visual artist, a writer, or a musician/composer whose work has especially resonated with you throughout your life? 
Kiki Smith, Joseph Cornel, Schile, Balthus, Jerry Goldsmith, Mancini, Ennio Morricone,
Artist, Kiki Smith

 


 

I’ve encountered classically trained musicians who found it very difficult to improvise. What is your perspective on performing composed music versus free improvisation?
 
I don’t really believe in the idea of “free” improvisation. I mean I’ve used the term but I don’t think it’s free. I think of it as very fast composition..composition in the moment with all the tools available to any composer: dynamics, melody, accompaniment, harmony, rhythm, structure, pulse, meter, etc…it’s all in play

Do you have any exercises or techniques for sharpening your listening skills?
Not really, curiosity is really the spark for everything. I try and stay curious. That usually leads to something.
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Robert Beatty / Matchess / Hylidae / Nadir Smith + More…

Saturday, May 13, 2017 – William A Kerr Foundation (21 O’Fallon Street – map

Our annual NMC showcase will feature regional and local electronic musicians, DJ’s, and video artists.

Tickets are now available here

RSVP on Facebook here

 

 

Join us for a end of the season party
Saturday, May 13th, 2017
William A Kerr Foundation LLC (21 O’fallon Street)
Doors at 8pm. Concert begins at 9pm.

New Music Circle presents
Matchess (Chicago)
Robert Beatty/Three Legged Race (Lexington, KY)
Hylidae
Nadir Smith (aka Biggie Stardust)
Guest DJ’s: Crim Dolla Cray & The Freaker’s Ball w/ DJ Swan on KDHX
Guest visuals by: José Garza, Cole Lu, Chad Z Hickman, Blake Butler, and Jeremy Kannapell. More to be announced…


Matchess (Chicago, IL)
http://matchess.tumblr.com/

Matchess is the solo work of musician Whitney Johnson. The project considers the reproduction of sound and meaning through a range of historical material processes, including live tape looping, cassette sampling, and field recording. With the limited palette of a 1960s Ace Tone organ, viola, analog drum machine, stereo reel-to-reel, and voice, she crafts a sound collage of ephemeral songs on a surface of droning ambient noise. Matchess invokes music of the past, including musique concrète, komische, and early electronic experiments, while also referencing texts of the past, including symbolist poetry, science fiction metanarrative, and her own lyrical technique of the sigil mantra. In addition to her solo work, Matchess collaborates widely in Chicago with such artists as Circuit des Yeux, Gel Set, TALsounds, and many others.

Robert Beatty/Three Legged Race (Lexington, KY)
http://www.robertbeattyart.com/

The scope of Robert Beatty’s hydra-headed art practice has grown into an extreme articulation of unconfined creativity across multiple disciplines. A founding member of 2000′s noise outfit Hair Police, as well as visionary illustrator and album-art designer for many of this era’s most celebrated underground artists.

Robert Beatty performs his solo work (sometimes under the name Three Legged Race) favors an intentionally dematerialized approach, employing just a sequencer program in an iPhones, assorted pedals, and a lone tape machine. Acoustic instruments, (such as dulcimer and piano), are sampled elements which warp into un-recognizable dimensions.

In addition to his music and graphic art, however, Beatty has quietly created dozens of moving-image works: music videos (for groups such as On Fillmore) as well as in art installations (like an upcoming program at Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan). Where Beatty’s album designs call to mind the graphic and optical intensity of 1960s-70s psychedelic cover art, among many other influences, his video works reflect his devotion to a wide range of experimental cinema, in particular the films of Polish animation and pioneers of computer art.


Hylidae (STL)
https://hylidae.bandcamp.com/

Hylidae is the moniker of Jon Burkhart, a St. Louis native who records music which seeks the danceable intersection of pop and experimental music. Burkhart utilizes synths, samplers and sequencers in his current setup to produce psychedelic-tinged electronica. Since debuting his project in 2013, Hylidae has become an essential presence on the St. Louis underground music scene.

He occupies a lonely alleyway between the club and the avant-garde, offering little compromise while blending hyperactive beats with more pensive ambient works. His recent album, a self-titled release through Minneapolis-label Night-People Records/ Wet Hair, is proof positive of Burkhardt’s vision—an audible dance party at the end of the world.

Nadir Smith (aka Biggie Stardust) – (STL)
https://www.stlmag.com/arts/music/the-intuitive-soundscapes-of-biggie-stardust/

“When I think about [the music] too much, it just really doesn’t work out. I try to keep things as intuitive as possible. I see it as me building a riddle in a live setting,” says electronic sound artist Olan, short for Thomas Olanrewaju Osunsami, the figurehead behind Nadir Smith (formerly Biggie Stardust). He relates a stream of consciousness using two sample machines, calling on pieces pulled from lost or long-forgotten sources. Olan’s approach feels most akin to a journey—like soundtracking a film too alien for the human eye to see. He counts on brevity to break from the pack, with set times that run roughly half the length of his peers in the ambient genre. That respect for the audience’s time can be traced to Olan’s roots in the DIY scene of his hometown of Peoria, Illinois.

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