Tyshawn Sorey’s Alloy Trio

Presented by New Music Circle and KDHX

Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8:00 PM concert, 7:00 PM doors
at The Stage at KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave. 63103
Tyshawn Sorey — drums, Corey Smythe — piano, Chris Tordini — bass

Tyshawn Sorey

Widely considered one of the most talented and influential experimental jazz musicians of his generation, Tyshawn Sorey is a percussionist and composer whose innovative work defies all categories.

In 2015 Sorey received the prestigious 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award from the Doris Duke Foundation Performing Arts Awards. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African Diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical genres. Sorey’s style embraces a basic paradox in contemporary experimental music, combining highly technical precision with the raw, virtuosic energy of improvisation.

Sorey has performed alongside most of the leading improvisers of our time, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman and Anthony Braxton, and has had his work featured at major music festivals throughout the US. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Wesleyan University.

Tyshawn Sorey’s latest project, Alloy Trio, features original compositions with Corey Smythe on piano and Christopher Tordini on upright bass. The pieces focus on both space and texture, allowing for the reiteration of notes, patterns and silences. In live settings these pieces are uniquely unrepeatable and places the listener in the moment, alongside the musicians.


The Necks

Presented by New Music Circle and KDHX


Saturday, March 26, 2016 , 8:00 PM concert, 7:00 PM doors
at The Stage at KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave. 63103

The Necks

Unclassifiable, The Necks stand out over all the other groups Australia has produced. Neither jazz nor rock, this stylistically deceptive trio has maintained a singularly high standard throughout its career.

They will usually begin a set by playing a basic melodic/rhythmic figure and then developing it for up to an hour, gradually introducing microscopic changes and variations. Some critics have compared them to Krautrock groups (German genre of the late 1960s) like Can and Faust while others find similarities to the works of minimalist composers such as La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, or even Philip Glass.

Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most mesmerizing fashion (and frequently underpinned by an insistent, deep groove) the sixteen albums by The Necks hold up well under repeated listening. Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass) produce a collective chemistry that warrants their cult status.


Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet
Spektral Quartet

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 8:00 PM concert, 7:00 pm doors
at The 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave, 63130

+ Three free events with Spektral Quartet! Please see below for details…

“…leading the charge toward progressive, high-caliber contemporary classical music” – The Chicago Reader

Founded in 2010, the Spektral Quartet is widely regarded as one of Chicago’s most charismatic and forward-thinking chamber ensembles. The group’s creative approach to concert format, often shifting the role of audience member from spectator to participant, has earned it a loyal following within and beyond Chicago’s city limits.

Since its inception, the Spektral Quartet has welcomed the discourse between the masterworks of the traditional canon and works written this decade, this year, or even this week. 2013/14 also saw the release of the group’s first two full-length albums, both spotlighting the work of living, Chicago-based composers.

Concert program:

Hans Thomalla: New Work (2015)
Beat Furrer: String Quartet No. 3 (2004)
“The Spektral Quartet’s identity and orientation draws inspiration from within chamber music practice dating back to the quartets of Haydn, just as they forge uncharted sonic ground with the most forward-thinking composers of today. The musical style and current projects of German-born Chicago resident Hans Thomalla beautifully mirror the group’s approach to the string quartet. His music takes fragments of tradition and uses them as a germinative seed for his musical vocabulary, while he concurrently deals with materials on their own acoustical parameters. This concert presents the St. Louis Premiere of a new large-scale quartet by Thomalla, commissioned by the Siemens Foundation.
Austro-Swiss composer Beat Furrer’s “String Quartet No. 3” completes the program. This work, with its radical form and prismatic treatment of musical materials, spins out from the 16th century chorale at the work’s center. Its pregnant silences and sounds on the outer limits of musical exploration evoke a startlingly new musical language. Meanwhile, its form evolves in reverse order, allowing the listener to slowly come to the realization that the strange sounds they’ve heard develop are not creating something new, but originated in the veiled tonal chorale that serves as the piece’s crux. Its unspoken lyrics read: “You hear me not; at night I find no peace, for you conceal, as much as it pains me, your countenance.” – Spektral Quartet

+ Special FREE events with Spektral Quartet

Friday, April 4th – Artist talk at WUSTL – Spektral Quartet will lead an artist talk and discuss their practice and compositions. Free and open the public. 4pm-5pm at the Music Classroom Building, Room 102.  

Saturday, April 5th – Open Rehearsal at Tavern of Fine Arts: Join us for lunch as Spektral Quartet holds an open rehearsal from 1pm – 2pm at the Tavern of Fine Arts (313 Belt Ave). Free and open to the public

Saturday, April 5th – Pre concert talk from 7pm-7:20pm: Join NMC and Spektral Quartet for drinks and snacks in the Ballroom of the 560 Music Center. Members of Spektral Quartet will share insights about their concert program and the pieces to be performed.



 Co-sponsored by The Department of Music at Washington University in St. Louis

Susan Alcorn / Frank Rosaly

Friday, January 22, 2016, Concert 8:00 PM, doors 7:00 PM
at Joe’s Cafe, 6014 Kingsbury Ave., 63122 (map)
Susan Alcorn — pedal steel guitar, Frank Rosaly — drums


Susan Alcorn is a Baltimore based composer and instrumentalist who has received international recognition as an innovator of the pedal steel guitar. Alcorn elicits an expansive range of sounds from her instrument, from accessible country glissandos to Theremin like science fiction “noir” effects. The warm and shimmering earnestness of her instrument is used to full effect in her arrangements, probing the depths and textures of the songs. The UK Guardian describes her music as “beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from pulse and conventional harmony.”

Though mostly a solo performer, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, Ellen Fullman, Evan Parker, Michael Formanek, and Thurston Moore. Her most recent album, Soledad, was released in 2015 on Relative Pitch.

Drummer Frank Rosaly has lived in Chicago since 2001 and has become an integral part of that city’s musical fabric, playing in improvised and experimental ensembles as well lending his skills to rock and indie groups. This flexibility as a musician lends particularly well to his improvised sets, where possibly he shines brightest.

New Music Circle audiences may recall his performance in 2013 with Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society at Joe’s Cafe. As we heard, unusual percussive devices such as found objects and electronic sounds are often included in his arsenal, and he is capable of transitioning from the most subtle sounds to intense outbursts, all in the same breath.

Rosaly now devotes much of his time to performing, composing and teaching, as well as organizing musical events. His collaborations include work with Matana Roberts, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jeb Bishop, Ken Vandermark, Roscoe Mitchell, Ryley Walker, Colin Stentson, and Marshall Allen.


Charlemagne Palestine

Saturday, November 7, 2015, Concert 8:00 PM, Doors 7:00 PM
at The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd, 63108
Charlemagne Palestine — piano, electronics, voice

And special church organ concert…

Sunday, November 8, 2015
6:00pm doors / 7:00pm concert
Historic Trinity Luther Church. 812 Soulard, 63104
Charlemagne Palestine – Church Organ
3) Charlemagne Palestine Nov

Charlemagne Palestine may not be a considered a household name in all circles, but his moniker is one you would be unlikely to forget. Now at the age of 70, Palestine has made a name for himself as a musician unlike any other, his signature style being comprised of long evolving drones and sustained notes, often involving installations of stuffed animals that envelope the performance space. He is frequently associated with minimalist composition, since he was a contemporary in the 1970s of composers such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich, yet he states “I never wanted to be an anything”, a proclamation which might explain his wildly eclectic oeuvre, extending into film and art installations (His works have shown at MOMA and the 2014 Whitney Biennial.). His instruments include piano, church organ, church bells and synthesizers (Early in his career he worked with Morton Subotnick.), and with these tools in hand, Palestine composes sounds that exhibit spectral effects when either pushed beyond their bounds, left alone, or both. Palestine’s “strumming” technique can be explained as repeating sounds, ultimately invoking sonorities into existence.

Now based in Brussels, he was born in Brooklyn to Eastern European immigrant Jewish parents and draws much of his inspiration from the traditional sacred musics he encountered as a youth. Palestine got his early start singing in synagogues, where he learned the art of delivering long pieces. Then as a teenager he attended a special arts school in Manhattan and soon thereafter grew to fame as a carillioner, or bell-ringer, at a church across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. It was there that his musical style began its alteration between what Palestine refers to as “cataclysms” and at other times “sonorities”. Examples of these approaches can be heard in his many recordings, often in collaboration with artists such as Tony Conrad, Pan Sonic, and Rhys Chatham.


TWO free artist talks / Q+A’s with Charlemagne Palestine. Both are FREE and open to the public.

Friday, November 6
10am – 11am
Kemp Auditorium (in Givens Hall). First floor. Room #116
(parking available on Skinker Blvd.)
Hosted and led by Heather Bennett (Sam Fox School Lecturer)

Friday, November 6
12pm – 1pm
Free and open to the public
Sverdrup Complex, 8300 Big Bend Boulevard, Room 123
(Street parking available on Big Bend or parking garage on Garden Ave.)
Hosted and led by Marie Heilich (curator, writer, and the Assistant Director of White Flag Projects)