May 2: Polyorchard + Jon Mueller

Polyorchard will be opening for the great Jon Mueller on May 2 at Neptunes Parlour. Very excited to be opening for one of my favorite musicians (Death Blues, Volcano Choir, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Pele, etc.). The show will start promptly at 7:30pm.

jon-mueller-polyorchard

Buy advance tickets here.

IndyWeek Preview:

Jon Mueller is one of music’s most versatile drummers. Pounding on the kick and cracking at the snare, he has served as the engine behind the rock-scrambling bands Pele, Collections of Colonies of Bees and Volcano Choir (essentially a collaboration between that last act and Bon Iver). As an improviser, he’s created long-form, stamina-demanding pieces that turn simple beats into pulsing, tantric drones. And as a bandleader, he built Death Blues, a cathartic and communal collective that treated symphonic forms, gospel choirs and string arrangements as methods for going loud and triumphant. For this solo tour, he will create an immersive, meditative soundworld using a hand drum and wordless vocals that he loops and mutates in real-time. Don’t be surprised if the set rattles your perception; Mueller’s ecstatic explorations have a tendency to do that. With Polyorchard. 7:30 p.m., $10, 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh, 919-833-1091, www.kingsbarcade.com. —Grayson Haver Currin

 

From Jon:

Within a 40 minute solo performance of percussion and voice, using a hand-made Arabic bass drum and looped wordless vocals, Mueller conjures world music and sound while remaining very particularly other worldly. Drawing from minimalism and a variety of musical and non-musical disciplines, including meditation, trance, and physical stamina, Mueller’s solo performances have been described by audiences as resilient, intense, and meditative.

The aim of Mueller’s solo performance is to engage an audience in listening practice by creating a variety of input both recognizable and not, understood and not, which causes a unique experience in each individual.

Jon Mueller has been a drummer and percussionist for over twenty-five years, performing throughout North America, Europe, United Kingdom, and Japan at places such as New Museum (New York), The Arnolfini (Bristol, UK), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, (Montréal, QC), Issue Project Room (New York), Guggenheim Museum (New York), Alverno Presents (Milwaukee), Hopscotch Fest (Raleigh), SXSW (Austin) and Cafe OTO (London, UK). His recordings have been released by record labels such as Table of the Elements, Type Recordings, Hometapes, Important Records, SIGE Records, Taiga Records, and others. A founding member of the bands Volcano Choir, Collections of Colonies of Bees, and Pele, he has also worked with musicians Rhys Chatham, Jarboe, James Plotkin, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Marcus Schmickler, Asmus Tietchens, and Z’EV, dancers Molly Shanahan and Heidi Latsky and filmmaker Scott Kawczynski, among others. In recent years, Mueller has directed the multi-disciplinary project Death Blues, encouraging presence and celebration of each moment. More info at www.rhythmplex.com.

“An audacious ringleader for new music.” – Pitchfork

“A complex experience you touch, live in, and meditate on.” – NPR

“Cerebral, emotional, and spiritual in nature.” – A Closer Listen

 

muellertour

 

Color Theory in Black and White

Polyorchard - Color Theory in Black and White - booklet - page 1

 

In the two and a half years of Polyorchard’s existence the band has blazed a trail across the territories of modern music performing their own compositions (spontaneous or otherwise), collaborating with Merzbow, paying tribute to Sun Ra on his 100th arrival day, and performing Terry Riley’s In C on the 50th anniversary of its premier. Polyorchard is a flexible fighting unit morphing to fit the battle of the day in formations ranging from small scale trios to the sprawling madness of a double dectet. Polyorchard has shared bills with artists as diverse as Duane Pitre, thingNY, Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley duo, Michael Pisaro & Greg Stuart, Jon Mueller, and Half Japanese. Plans for 2015 include collaborating with Olivia Block, exploring the late work of John Coltrane, and further work with balloons.

Over one beautiful weekend in late September 2014 Polyorchard laid down it’s first studio recordings. Color Theory in Black and White represents two aspects of the trio personality. The first trio on the album is a string trio of Chris Eubank on cello, Dan Ruccia on viola, and David Menestres on bass. The back half of the album is occupied by the trio of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Laurent Estoppey on saxophones, and David Menestres on bass.

Color Theory in Black and White was recorded in glorious binaural sound by Dan Lilley and mastered by Andrew Weathers. Listen at maximum volume in front of your best speakers or get lost deep in the sound of your favorite headphones.

Black
Chris Eubank (cello)
David Menestres (bass)
Dan Ruccia (viola)

White
Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Laurent Estoppey (sax)
David Menestres (bass)

All music by Polyorchard ©2015

Binaural recording by Dan Lilley at The Store, Raleigh, NC September 27-28, 2014

Mastering by Andrew Weathers, Oakland, CA October 2014

Design by Lincoln Hancock

Liner notes by Emily Leon

Downloads & limited edition 2xCDr boxsets available at polyorchard.bandcamp.com

 

 

Chris Vitiello, writing in IndyWeek:

The revolving, motley assortment of classical, jazz and rock musicians have played practically every kind of music in every possible configuration in almost every Triangle venue, emerging as a vital and wonderfully vexing force of the area’s sonic fringes. But at last, and mere weeks before founder and sole constant David Menestres leaves North Carolina for New Mexico, Polyorchard have issued their first recording, Color Theory in Black and White. An impressive entry point into group improvisation, it arrives better now than never.

Polyorchard’s studio debut appears to pit strings against brass. On its “black,” first side, the trio of cellist Chris Eubank, violist Dan Ruccia and bassist Menestres deliver four tracks. (Ruccia is an occasional INDY contributor.) The second, “white” side contains six cuts with Jeb Bishop on trombone and Laurent Estoppey on saxophone, Menestres binding the two together. But this oppositional setup is a matter of presentation, not competition.

Still, it’s hard not to choose a team. Within passages that flow from microscopic sounds to lyrical swells and anxious moments that suggest Hitchcock soundtracks, the black trio offers plenty of classical toeholds. “Black 1,” the first and longest track on the album, shows Polyorchard’s penchant for establishing a motif but moving along before it goes stale. The action opens with a spidery crawl and builds full phrases from small scuttles. It develops until the sounds suggest the musicians working together to renovate a house, the audience left to listen from the basement. “Black 2” explores the percussive possibilities of the bodies and strings of the instruments. It’s simultaneously destructive and constructive, as though the group is playing while being bashed about by a windstorm.

The horns of the white trio offer fewer jazz echoes but instead breathe and burble with molten intensity. Their output feels more disparate and airborne, with the insect sounds of strings giving way to the honks and chirps of the birdlike horns. “White 1” echoes “Black 2” in its opening, fooling the ear into wondering if this is organized music at all, and not a field recording from some remote rain forest. The tracks take time in developing from a chatter of clipped, skittering sounds into declarative choruses of sustained notes and elaborated phrases. “White 4″doesn’t begin to cohere until around the six-minute mark, when it finds a bright melody and some momentum, suggesting something Stravinsky might have shoehorned into The Rite of Spring.

The album and track titles stem from an inexpensive, black-and-white edition of Josef Albers’ seminal 1963 treatise, Interaction of Color. Albers intended for the influential book to be an exhaustive teaching catalog of how color combinations can produce specific results to the human eye. In discussing harmony, he differentiated its visual and musical aspects. Albers described visual art as spatial and music as linear. Music was experienced as a single tone or set of tones moving “perhaps not in a straight line, but of necessity in a prescribed order and only in one direction—forward. Tones heard earlier fade, and those farther back disappear, vanish.”

With Color Theory in Black and White, Polyorchard shows how Albers’ definition of music is limited. Group improvisation requires a sustained attention not only to the present moment but to the music that preceded it as well as the many possible directions it could take. While some improvisers vie to get out in front of each other to show off their chops, the elements of Polyorchard get behind each other. This holistic surface never wavers, a byproduct of all those gigs during the last three years. The musicians are listeners first, players second.

April 5: House Show with Jacob Wick

jacob 5

From Jeb:
The concert will feature trumpeter Jacob Wick, who’s playing a series of concerts in the Southeast around then. Jacob is an artist, writer, and improviser with musical connections to the communities in New York (including Jason Ajemian’s avant-party High Life), Chicago, and the Bay Area. He lives in Mexico City. Information about Jacob is at www.jacobwick.info .

You can hear some sounds from Jacob here: http://music.promnightrecords.com/album/objet-a
and see also http://jasonajemian.com/project/hilife

For this concert, Jacob will play a solo set, followed by a set with area musicians including Jeb Bishop, Dan Ruccia, David Menestres, Chris Eubank, and Carrie Shull.

The concert will start at 8 PM, and there will be a jar for voluntary donations. Feel free to bring your own beverage.

Dan Lilley’s home is a beautiful and unique setting for live music, and we are lucky and grateful to have the chance to present these concerts there.

February 28: Polyorchard + Microkingdom

microkingdom-2

Polyorchard + Microkingdom will be playing a house show on Saturday February 28 at 719 Devereux St. (Raleigh, 27605). Show starts at 8pm with an $8-10 suggested donation at the door, cash only.

Polyorchard will be Jeb Bishop, Chris Eubank, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres, & Dan Ruccia.

Microkingdom will be on tour supporting their new album Smooth Tendencies, released by Friends Records on Valentine’s Day. Check out a recent live performance from Microkingdom:

And the new album

 

January 13: Polyorchard opens for Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley

Polyorchard will be opening for Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley at Neptunes Parlour on Tuesday January 13. Polyorchard will be Jeb Bishop, Chris Eubank, Dan Ruccia, and me.

9pm show, suggested donation of $8-12. Read more here.

 

IndyWeek preview:

Nate Wooley and Ken Vandermark, both giants of current American free jazz and experimental scenes, convened as a duo in the summer of 2013. The pair issued the resulting live recordings last month as East by Northwest, a nine-track set that finds Vandermark’s saxophones and clarinet and Wooley’s trumpet to be wonderfully expressive partners. They both have the ability to be plaintive and brooding or spastic and restless, qualities that make their navigations of even very familiar pieces feel invigorated. A weekend dance club, Neptune’s is becoming one of the Triangle’s better weeknight listening rooms thanks to engagements just like this. —Grayson Haver Currin

Carrack FIT 9/16

Dan Ruccia is spearheading a new monthly improv series at The Carrack in Durham. This month, the happiness occurs on 9/16 after which the madness will take place on the second Tuesday of the month.

From Dan:

 

The first in a continuing series of freely improvised music on Tuesdays at The Carrack Modern Art, curated by Dan Ruccia. This month’s show will include Dan Ruccia (viola), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Chris Eubank (cello), Jamie Keesecker (horn), David Menestres (bass), Chris Robinson (bari sax), and Carrie Shull. Free admission!

 

BookFace page

New Directions in Greensboro 8/22

NDIAM 8:22:14

Hot on the heals of July’s residency in Raleigh, Dr. Eugene Chadbourne’s New Directions in Appalachian Music hits Friday August 22 at 8pm at Mack and Mack  in Greensboro. Expect EC originals as well as standards by Cyndi Lauper, John Prine, Duke Ellington, Melvina Reynolds, Ray Davies, Thelonious Monk, Willie Nelson, and many others. Or perhaps we’ll play none of that. Who knows?

You can check out some videos from July below

 

 

House Show 8/9

I’m playing a house show on Saturday August 9th that should be one of the more interesting shows in Raleigh this year. Three bands, $10 suggested donation, first band at 7pm. Contact me for the address.

Group 1: Albert Wildeman, Jeb Bishop, Dan Ruccia, Chris Eubank, David Menestres

Group 2: Albert Wildeman, Jeb Bishop, Scott Clark

Group 3: Steve Marquette, Marcello Benetti, Jeff Albert, Jesse Morrow

Video: New Directions in Appalachian Music

Video from Monday night’s New Directions in Appalachian Music performance has been posted by IndyWeek. They also wrote a great article about Eugene Chadbourne complete with quotes from your favorite jerk.