A year end note

“… an incredibly remarkable feat of longevity for an arts organization in these challenging economic  times. To say that [New Music Circle] shines as a beacon of hope for creative artists is an under  statement… we couldn’t have been more pleased with our experience. A great acoustical  performance space, top shelf professional support and assistance from beginning to end.”

  – Joe McPhee

  “I know how difficult it is to keep something like that in operation. I love that the New Music Circle  has been in operation for (55) years. That is very impressive indeed, and crucial for the community.”

  – Olivia Block

Clockwise: Cooper-Moore children’s workshop at Old North St. Louis. Olivia Block soundchecking at Contemporary Art Museum. Marty Ehrlich workshop at University City Highschool. Mars Williams, Tyler Damon, Darin Gray trio at St. Louis Art Museum.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our fall 2013 concerts! All of us at New Music Circle have been heartened by your incredible support for  our unique programming.  What a great season our 55th is turning out to be: a brilliant performance by Darin GrayMars Williams, and Tyler Damon on Art Hill in late summer, followed  by a long overdue visit from St. Louis native Marty Ehrlich and The Rites Quartet, William Parker’s quintet rocking The Mad Art Gallery, and Olivia BlockLuis Recoder and Sandra Gibson’s stunning multi-media show at the Contemporary Art Museum. The last three groups also offered workshops, freely sharing their musical and artistic ideas with the public.

These are only part of what NMC has presented in 2013!  More adventures into  innovative music of the highest caliber are already on the calendar throughout 2014’s winter and spring. Enthusiasm is way up and audiences are on the rise!

Unfortunately, institutional support for the arts is way down. All this exhilarating  music comes at a substantial cost, and ticket revenue covers only a dwindling fraction of it. Frankly, we must ask for the additional contributions of people who  love creative music and are willing to support it financially. Our hard-working Board  and minimal but devoted staff insure frugal and efficient operation, as do collaborations with our venues. However we simply cannot sustain this level of programming without your help.

We have been gratified by your growing show of love for this music by attending our concerts and by donating to NMC in the past; but more than ever now we need your financial support to keep moving forward.  I know I will be writing my check to  show my passion for The New Music Circle, as will our board members and staff. Please join in and show your support also. Your year-end tax-deductible contribution will help us continue on our adventure into great new music! Support NMC with a simple one-click PayPal donation HERE.

Thank you for your support!
Dave Day (NMC President) and everyone at NMC


Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society

Saturday, February 22, 2014
7:30 PM
Joe’s Cafe
6014 Kingsbury Ave. (map)
(SW corner of Kingsbury and Des Peres)
St. Louis, MO 63112
Park on Des Peres Ave.
  • Josh Abrams — guimbri
  • Lisa Alvarado — harmonium
  • Frank Rosaly — drums
  • Emmett Kelly — electric guitar
  • Ben Boye — autoharp
  • Mikel Avery — drums
Bassist, composer, and collaborator Joshua Abrams has been an essential voice of Chicago’s vibrant music scene for the past fifteen years, playing and recording as leader and sideman in a wide range of projects and spanning all genres (Hamid Drake, Tortoise, Tony Conrad, Sam Prekop, Jandek, Craig Taborn, Bill Dixon, Kevin Drumm, Bonny “Prince” Billy).Abrams’s most recent project, Natural Information, represents yet another fascinating entry in his composing oeuvre, gathering aesthetic input from all over the globe and melding these influences into his own vivid personal statements. At the heart of Abrams’s sound here is the guimbri, a three-stringed animal hide bass, traditionally used by the Gnawa of North Africa in healing ceremonies. Combining quintet formats with adroit use of sampling techniques, Abrams creates intricate psychedelic environments that join the hypnotic character of Gnawa guimbri music with more contemporary musics and methodologies. Comparisons to “Brown Rice” era Don Cherry, Sandy Bull’s “Blend” recordings, and Can’s “Magic” albums are well drawn.

For more information on this concert, visit our Facebook page, or check out these articles:

St. Louis Jazz Notes Joshua Abrams Video Showcase
St. Louis Magazine Joshua Abrams interview

Order tickets online.


Olivia Block, Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder


  • Dissolution, solo piece for 4-channel electronic sound by Olivia Block
  • Untitled, for dual 16mm projection and electronic sound by Sandra Gibson, Luis Recoder, and Olivia Block.
Friday, November 15, 2013
doors 7:00 PM, concert 8:00 PM
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
Block, Gibson, Recoder
New York filmmakers and artists, Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder will present an original piece of “live cinema” using film projectors and simple mechanical means to create slowly shifting abstract light sculptures, and will be joined by Chicago electronic musician and sound artist, Olivia Block. Gibson and Recoder often manipulate, modify, and construct their own apparatus to produce ethereal light effects. For example, in Untitled (2008) they constructed an electronic humidification system to mist glass panes situated in front of two projectors running monochromatic 16mm films, creating beautiful and constantly changing abstractions on the screen.

Olivia Block combines field recording, scored segments for acoustic instruments, and electronically generated sound. Her release Mobius Fuse was voted one of the best albums of the decade by Pitchfork. In a recent feature article in the The Wire magazine, Block’s compositions were described as finely “nuanced textures of environmental material and occasional surges of sonic power blended with an elegant instrumental architecture”.

Since 2007 Gibson Recoder, and Block have continued their film and sound collaborations around the world, including recent performances at the Tate Modern and Chicago Underground Film Festival.

Special FREE following-day workshop and artist talk:
Saturday, November 16, 2013. 1pm – 3pm at CAM.

New Music Circle and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis will host a workshop and talk with artists Olivia Block, Sandra Gibson, and Luis Recoder. The artists will demonstrate their extended techniques and approaches to film and sound. This event is free and open to the public.


Two Special free events with Cooper-Moore

New Music Circle presents two special free events with Cooper-Moore on Thursday, October 24, 2013.

(1) Northside Project Workshop with Cooper-Moore

5pm – 6pm
at the Northside Workshop
(in conjunction with Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group)
1306  Saint Louis Ave., 63106 (map)
cost: FREE

*Additional information: https://www.facebook.com/ONSLRG

(2) Special performance by Cooper-Moore at Foam

7:30pm – 8:30pm
at Foam Coffee + Beer
3359 S. Jefferson Avenue., 63118 (map)
cost: FREE

As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb.  earned a B.A. in Music Education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and later studied composition-arranging at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

From 1981 to 1985, Cooper-Moore focused his energies on developing and implementing curriculums to teach children through music via the Head Start program. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context.

The New Music Circle will present a concert by In Order To Survive (featuring William Parker, Cooper-Moore, Hamid Drake, Rob Brown, and Lewis Barnes) onFriday, October 25th, at the Mad Art Gallery (2727 S. 12th Street).


William Parker: In Order To Survive Quintet


Friday October 25, 2013
7:30 PM
Mad Art Gallery
2727 S. 12th Street, St. Louis, MO 63118
  • William Parker — bass
  • Rob Brown — alto sax
  • Lewis Barnes — trumpet
  • Cooper-Moore — piano
  • Hamid Drake — drums

Photo: Nick Ruechel
Bassist and renowned New York avant-garde jazz icon, William Parker, pursues music with a visionary approach, and it is such a vision that has informed Parker’s massive works as an improviser, composer, poet and overall master musician for over 40 years, thus warranting The Village Voice’s accolade: “…the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time”.

Born in 1952 in the Bronx, Parker studied bass with Richard Davis and Jimmy Garrison, but by the age of 20, Parker had so quickly become the bass player of choice among his peers that he was soon asked to play with figures like Ed Blackwell, Don Cherry, Bill Dixon, Milford Graves, and Sunny Murray. In addition to his notable sojourn with the Cecil Taylor Unit from 1980 through 1991, Parker has cultivated a strong following through countless collaborations over the years with performers such as Alan Silva, Rashid Ali, Peter Brotzmann, and Matthew Shipp.

Since 2000, Parker has continued his musical quest with the ongoing quintet, In Order To Survive, uniting some of the most powerful voices in free jazz today: Hamid Drake (percussion), Cooper-Moore (piano), Rob Brown (alto sax), and Lewis Barnes (trumpet).

 With special support from Piano Distributors, and Jackson Pianos