Hoover Library with Matt Bryant: Banjo + Uke + Electronics

imageTomorrow I play a free concert at the Hoover Library Theatre with Matt Bryant in a performance billed as Traditional Instruments Reimagined. I’ll perform a song-based set of music for banjo and live electronics. Part of the performance will be on my newest instrument – a custom electric guitar/banjo hybrid built for me by Jefferson Pitcher of Pitcher Guitars. (More about the instrument later…)

Matt Bryant performs on ukulele and electronics. I heard him give a blazing performance at the Spring Street Firehouse in May. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

Thursday October 6, 6:30pm
Hoover Library Theater
200 Municipal Drive
Hoover AL 35216
Free

The Hoover Library Theatre’s main stage is being renovated, so this event will be in the upstairs venue.

Favorite Music from 2011

My residency with David Behrman at the Atlantic Center for the Arts was an important part of 2011 and its effects trickled into the rest of (and best of) the year. I heard some great recordings as a result of the residency, namely:

Various Artists: Music for Merce (box set)
A massive collection that celebrates the musical legacy of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Great work by Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Takehisa Kosugi, Maryanne Amacher, John King, David Behrman and especially David Tudor. It’s astounding (and initially a little frustrating) that even with 10 CDs, many of the pieces are presented as excerpts. But hearing applause at the end of the live recordings reminds me that the pieces often lasted until the dance was over, and then they were over, too.

Ensemble vocal de Girokastër: Albanie – Polyphonies Vocales du Pays Lab
Mesmerizing choral music from Albania.

Otherwise, 2011 was the year of some exceptional music by many of my musician friends. Their work easily stands up against many of the releases from more established labels. In some cases, the work appears on established labels. In any case, the distinction between DIY and “signed artist” seems increasingly irrelevant. So I’m not hesitant to trumpet this work at all. I’m more concerned about leaving out some deserving recordings simply because there’s so much new material to consider. If we’re friends (I hope we are) and I don’t mention your work below, it’s probably because I haven’t listened to it yet. We’re still friends–I can’t wait to finally catch up on what you did in 2011 and hear what’s to come in 2012.

The Black Drumset: The Black Drumset
The crunchiest breakfast cereal.

Brent Fariss: Four Environments…Collapsing
Spooky action at a distance.

Matt Weston: The Last of the Six-Cylinders
A richly textured and surprisingly elegant electrified junkyard.

Jefferson Pitcher: Now the Deer
The quiet surface of a deep deep pool.

Bob Gluck / Joe Giardullo / Christopher Dean Sullivan: Something Quiet
My favorite kind of heterophony.

Here are a few other recordings that left their mark on my ears this year.

  • Various Artists: Music of Indonesia (multiple volumes) Daedalus Books has these on sale. I bought them all.
  • Michael Nyman: Decay Music
  • King Creosote and John Hopkins: Diamond Mine
  • Various Artists: The Friends of Old Time Music (box set)
  • Little Richard: The Georgia Peach
  • Kepler Quartet: Ben Johnston: String Quartets Nos. 2, 3, 4 & 9
  • Laura Viers: July Flame
  • Dave Douglas: Keystone

ASAC Presents Pine Smoke Lodge, Cruudeuces, Grab Ass Cowboys, Jefferson Pitcher

Albany Sonic Arts Presents Pine Smoke Lodge, Cruudeuces, Grab Ass Cowboys, Jefferson Pitcher

Saturday May 29 @ 8pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany NY
$5 suggested donation

More about the artists after the break… Continue reading

ASAC Presents MILLER/WESTON DUO, CRESPO/PITCHER DUO, SOWYDRA, CRUUDEUCES

Albany Sonic Arts Presents Miller/Weston Duo,  Crespo/Pitcher Duo, Sowyrda, Cruudeuces

Saturday October 24 @ 8pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany NY
$5 suggested donation

  • Ben Miller plays sax, guitar, and analog electronics and was formerly in legendary Michigan group Destroy All Monsters.
  • Matt Weston lives in Albany and is the newest member of the Albany Sonic Arts Collective.  He’s an amazing percussionist and if you haven’t seen him play yet, you’re in for a treat.
  • Andy Crespo is from Western MA. and plays in Barn Owl with Matt (and Chris Cooper).  he plays bass in ways that will expand your mind.
  • Jefferson Pitcher lives in Troy and is an accomplished guitarist who has released albums on a variety of labels with collaborators Christian Kiefer, J. Matthew Gerken, and others.
  • Sam Sowydra recently moved to Albany. He is a percussionist and multi-instrumentalist who also performs as part of Baltimore musician Dan Deacon’s ensemble.
  • Cruudeuces is the solo project of Nathaniel Brennan of North Adams, MA. He has also recorded with Twin Beds and has a slew of new releases out soon on a variety of labels.

ASAC Presents The Great Snowball Tour

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective (ASAC) is bringing Jack Wright (saxophones) and Andrea Neumann (innenklavier) to the Capital District on Saturday Feb. 16 at The Upstate Artists Guild, 247 Lark St. Local musician Michael Bullock (contrabass) will appear with Jack and Andrea. Also on the bill are locals Alex Chechile (guitar) and Jefferson Pitcher (guitar). Complete info here.