ASAC Presents Ben Miller, Holland Hopson, Barn Owl, Claymation

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents Ben Miller, Holland Hopson, Barn Owl and Claymation.

Saturday, June 16
8:00 pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany NY
$5 suggested donation

This will likely be my last ASAC show as an Albany resident. I’m pleased to share the occasion with:

Ben Miller – alto sax, tapes, the zoo, voice and projection in support of a new release on Living Records. Ben has performed at ASAC a few other times, and was formerly a member of Destroy All Monsters, Sproton Layer, and other units. He’s one of the best out there, and you shouldn’t miss this performance.

Barn Owl – amazing trio of improvising musicians extraordinaire. Matt Weston on drums/percussion, Andy Crespo on bass, and Chris Cooper on prepare guitar/electronics. You’re always in for a treat with these guys.

Claymation – solo electric guitar improvisation from C. Baird Buchanan. We’re excited to have Baird bring his solo project to ASAC for the first time.

 

Location Ensemble: Release, Review, Perform, Repeat…

I failed to mark the release of the Location Ensemble’s debut disc on Tape Drift (td49). Luckily it didn’t escape the attention of Andrew White at The Upstate Soundscape who posted a review of the release. He rightfully singles out drummer Matt Weston as “the unsung hero in this guitar ensemble”. Andrew describes my Six Chords Every Rock Guitarist Should Know as “…a dizzying sound that spirals up with sheets of sound whipping around, building up and then falling apart.” Sounds good to me.

Listen to Eric Hardiman’s Diversion #3 from the release here.

Location Ensemble will perform at Valentine’s on April 18, opening for Disappears (Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Brian Case of The Ponys) and Lotus Plaza (Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter). I’m unable to play with the group that night–but what’s one less electric guitar in a group of eight or nine?

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

Location Ensemble Catch-Up

Here’s the latest on all things Location Ensemble:

  • Read a review of our recent show at Saratoga Arts in Nippertown.
  • Listen to the recording of my piece Six Chords Every Rock Guitarist Should Know from the Saratoga Arts performance.

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  • Listen to an Upstate Soundscape broadcast featuring Eric Hardiman’s Diversion #3.

Location Ensemble at Saratoga Arts

On Saturday the Location Ensemble will premiere three pieces for multiple electric guitars, bass and drums at Saratoga Arts. 1983 (Jason Cosco) will provide live visuals.

Saturday November 12 @ 8pm
Saratoga Arts
320 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY

Since joining to performing Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Trio last year, the group has been busy–writing and rehearsing new pieces and naming ourselves Location Ensemble. The group includes Tara Fracalossi, Howard Glassman, Eric Hardiman, Ray Hare, Holland Hopson, Thomas Lail, Jason Martin, Patrick Weklar and Matt Weston.

Here’s the score for my piece on the program: Six Chords Every Rock Guitarist Should Know, inspired by Michael Nyman’s “1-100″ from Decay Music.

Bring hearing protection.

Valentine’s Sounds

Saturday, April 16, 8 pm
A Night of Amazing Sounds
Bob Gluck/James Keepnews/Ras Moshe/Dean Sharp
Duojoggle (Mitch Elrod/Mike Lopez)
Holland Hopson and Matt Weston
Valentine’s
17 New Scotland Ave

Here’s a great way to spend Saturday night! This will be the first time Matt Weston and I have performed as a duo, and I’m really excited about playing with such an amazing drummer. Every time we’ve rehearsed it comes out a little differently, so it should be a fun surprise to hear what happens at Valentine’s.

Here’s what the Chronogram says about the show:

“A Night of Amazing Sounds”
April 16. In an out-of-the-ordinary move, the normally straight punk-oriented Valentine’s presents “A Night of Amazing Sounds,” a free jazz/experimental electronics program with the quartet of keyboardist Bob Gluck, guitarist James Keepnews, saxophonist Ras Moshe, and drummer Dean Sharp; Duojoggle, featuring saxophonist-guitarist Mitch Elrod and drummer Mike Lopez; and Hopson-Weston, starring Holland Hopson on sax and laptop and Matt Weston on percussion and electronics. Here’s hoping the venue has similar bills in store. (The Charlie Watts Riots and the Last Conspirators plot destruction April 1; the Downtown Fiction hits April 27.) 8pm. Call for ticket prices. Albany. (518) 432-6572; www.valentinesalbany.com.

ASAC Presents Yan Jun & the Matt Weston – Dan Godston Duo

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents improvised and experimental music from Beijing and Chicago.

Yan Jun & the Matt Weston – Dan Godston Duo
Thursday, March 24
8:00 pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany NY
$5 suggested donation

Yan Jun uses feedback noise in his concerts. He also engages in field recording, site-specific sound art, voice, writing and publishing. He is the founder of Sub Jam/Kwanyin Records, which runs the weekly event Waterland Kwanyin (2005-2010) and annual festival Mini Midi.
http://www.yanjun.org/

Dan Godston teaches, composes music, and plays the trumpet and other instruments in Chicago. He works with the Borderbend Arts Collective to make the annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival happen. Chicago Calling provides opportunities for Chicago based artists to collaborate with artists living in other locations around the world.
http://dangodston.bandcamp.com/

Matt Weston plays percussion and electronics, and has worked with Arthur Brooks, Bill Dixon, Kevin Drumm and, most recently, has collaborated with Century Plants.
http://www.mattweston.com/

ASAC Presents DEEP FREEZE

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents their first concert of 2011 with performances by some of the Capital Region’s most exciting experimental musicians including Century Plants with Matt Weston, Holland Hopson, SoundBarn and Insect Posse.

DEEP FREEZE: Experimental Music for Snowy Times
Saturday, February 19
8:00 pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany NY
$5 suggested donation

This will be my first Albany show of 2011 and my last performance before heading to the Atlantic Center for the Arts for a residency with David Behrman (more on that later…). I’ll be performing a set of music for soprano sax and computer. My current plan includes a piece using a DIY plate reverb as the primary electronic sound source.

More about the artists after the jump…

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Swallowtail and Guitar Trio Recordings

Tara Fracalossi and Thomas Lail slide up the neck during Swallowtail. Photo: Larissa Tapler

Here are recordings from last week’s soundBarn and Albany Sonic Arts Collective performance at the Arts Center Saratoga Springs. It was a great show all around: a good space, enthusiastic audience and focused performances. This is the definitive version of Swallowtail, and I think we’re all pleased with the performance of Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Trio.

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Swallowtail

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Guitar Trio Part 1

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Guitar Trio Part 2

Guitar Trio at Arts Center Saratoga Springs

Guitar Trio unleashed again.

Saturday November 20 @ 8pm
The Arts Center
320 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY
$5
I’m looking forward to another great night with SoundBarn and members of the Albany Sonic Arts Collective. We’ll play Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Trio and my companion piece, Swallowtail. The ensemble includes the indefatigable Matt Weston on drums, Eric Hardiman on electric bass, and six electric guitars played by Matthew Ernst, Tara Fracalossi, Ray Hare, Thomas Lail, Patrick Wecklar, and myself.

Read more in The Saratogian preview article.

Bring hearing protection.