Polyorchard’s Fifth Anniversary Celebrations

Five Gigs to Celebrate Five Years

2017-12-01 Polyorchard performs at Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC) Aaron Bachelder, Vatel Cherry, Eugene Chadbourne, Michael Thomas Jackson, David Menestres. Part of First Friday celebrations in conjunction with an artist talk by Monique van Hinte. Event runs from 6-10pm, Polyorchard will perform at 7pm.

2017-12-04 Polyorchard’s Residency at Neptune’s Parlour (Raleigh, NC). Spontaneous compositions and another annoyances for clarinets and low strings, with Crowmeat Bob, Michael Thomas Jackson, David Menestres, Charles Phaneuf, and Dan Ruccia.

2017-12-05 Polyorchard Exsufflation Series at The Carrack (Durham, NC) with Crowmeat Bob, Jil Christensen, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres.

2017-12-11 Polyorchard’s Residency at Neptune’s Parlour (Raleigh, NC) with Jil Christensen, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres, Charles Phaneuf, Dan Ruccia.

2017-12-18 Polyorchard’s Residency at Neptune’s Parlour (Raleigh, NC) with Jason Bivins, Laurent Estoppey, Shawn Glavin, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres, Charles Phaneuf, Chris Robinson. Performance will include the US premiere of Estudios Edafonicos by Alan Courtis and a special duo set from Zkrabuj et chou et pâté.

 

Exsufflation Series #8

Polyorchard will be performing Jacques Demierre’s 17 on October 10th at The Carrack. 17 is a text score for quartet comprised entirely of words from Christian Wolff’s score for Exercise #12. Polyorchard will be Jil Christensen, Laurent Estoppey, Steve Landis, and David Menestres.

Jacob Wick (from Mexico City) will also be performing a solo set.

Music at 8pm. Suggested donation of $5.

The Carrack is located at 947 E. Main St, Durham, NC.

 

Exsufflation Series #7

POLYORCHARD + GHOST TREES
TUESDAY September 12
The Carrack
947 E. Main St, Durham, NC 27701
8pm
$5 suggested donation

Jil Christensen, Laurent Estoppey, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres, Charles Phaneuf

Part of the ongoing Exsufflation Series. Premiering new works written for Polyorchard by D. Edward Davis and Laurent Estoppey.

Followed by a set from Ghost Trees, Seth Nanaa and Brent Bagwell,
our friends from Charlotte.

Red October

available October 15, 2017 from Out and Gone Music
Red October is the new live album from Polyorchard, featuring the quartet of

Jeb Bishop – trombone

Laurent Estoppey – saxophones

Shawn Galvin – percussion

David Menestres – double bass

Recorded live in concert in the basement at Neptune’s Parlour (barely more than a week after the studio sessions that resulted in the previous album Color Theory in Black and White), the quartet spins ideas with the tensile strength and malicious beauty of a spider working alone in the dark. Polyorchard is a flexible fighting unit, expanding and contracting as needed to face the battle of the day. The Red October quartet features players who have been the foundations for several strains of Polyorchard since its inception in December of 2012.

Red October is available from Out and Gone Music as a limited edition cassette or download. polyorchard.bandcamp.com/album/red-october

Liner Notes by Emily Leon desertsuprematism.com

Within seconds of listening to Red October, I felt as though I was the steel ball in a pinball game – the subject being manipulated inside of a glass box. I’m not suggesting cheap entertainment, but rather implying that, like the steel ball, this album propels you into the playfield: targets, holes and saucers, spinners and rollovers, gates. The gate motif often represents an entrance and an exit, a passage to a new beginning, and there are clear moments of a sounding procession throughout this album. Red October produces infinite possibilities of sound, and can be heard and experienced in infinite ways. There is an energy that consumes your consciousness, traps you in your own mind, and releases you as a means to undergo a transformative experience.

Perhaps Gaston Bachelard’s question featured in The Poetics of Space applies here, “In this drama of intimate geometry, where should one live?”

 

Matthew Wutherich, writing in Dusted:

…the group displays a bold commitment to the practice, not the genre, of improvisation. The distinction is a subtle but crucial one.

Where many free improvisation performances can fall into a predictable dynamic pattern of peaks and valleys, Polyorchard crafts intricate forms with clear but idiosyncratic arcs. Each extempore arrangement is packed with surprise. Just when they seem to be building in intensity and volume, they might cut it off before it boils over, as they do in the middle of “Montana.” They also avoid the exploratory feeling-out stage that improvised settings often produce. At the opening of “Seen” Menestres throws down a challenge in the form of a tense, rapid-fire phrase, which in turn sets the tone for the entire piece.

Throughout these performances, dialogues quickly emerge within the turbulent flow then just as quickly dissipate and reform somewhere else. “Have” starts as a slow duo between bass and trombone on a melodic theme, but gradually disintegrates into particles of rough-hewn, pointillist sound, only to coalesce for a brief instant in a stomping groove. Even the intense conclusion of “Like” finds Bishop and Estoppey crafting tart melodic phrases around the scabrous interplay of Menestres and Galvin.

The group also resists the enormous gravity of the horns–bass–drums format, rejecting all easy solutions to spontaneous group from. There are no drones, no genre/historical references (at least explicitly), and no resorting to high-intensity, free-jazz style blow-outs. This lack of shortcuts makes for a prickly, armored music but also a robust one. Even the more subdued passages, such as as the near-dirges that open “Montana” or close “I Would,” burn with a special intensity. Though their interaction might at times echo some earlier group (I hear the volatile, near-vocal dynamics of Charles Mingus’ classic Candid quartet in the middle of “Like”), they still retain their own voice, the specturm of improvised traditions deeply internalized.

One key to the group’s sound is how they reject any hierarchy of instruments. Trombone, sax, bass, drums are, simply put, just devices for sound production, there to create a complex weave of interaction in which the traditional capabilities of the instruments are honored as well as extended. On the conclusion of “Like” the group creates a mix of proto-electronic textures, while on the opening of “To” they turn to vocal timbres and, in Bishop’s case, even some slow legato melodies. On the outro of “Montana” they take this even further, emitting all manner of wheezing, hissing and moaning in a secret, sublingual ritual.

It should be noted here that Red October contains, in Menestres’s own words, “no previously agreed upon material.” Since this performance was recorded, Polyorchard has expanded its repertoire to include performances of text scores and compositions for field recordings and improvising ensemble, a move that can only enrich their already extensive improvisational lexicon. Yet Menestres’s statement is still somewhat jaw-dropping. After a good two months of visiting and revisiting this record, new aspects emerge on every listen, the band’s ability to create spontaneous structure consistently fascinating, and more than a little befuddling.

The Exsufflation Series #4

The Polyorchard Exsufflation Series at The Carrack with special guest Andrew Weathers. Andrew and David will play a duo set followed by a group set from Polyorchard. Polyorchard will be performing a new work written by Andrew, the first work on Polyorchard’s ongoing Outside Series of commissions. The Outside Series features works from composers outside the core group of Polyorchard.

Polyorchard will be Jason Bivins (guitar), Laurent Estoppey (saxophones), Bill McConaghy (trumpet), David Menestres (bass), Christopher Robinson (saxophones), Dan Ruccia (viola).

Music starts at 8pm. Donations accepted. BYOB.

The Exsufflation Series #2: Those of the Gray Wind

The second concert in the ongoing Exsufflation Series will happen April 18th at The Carrack (947 E. Main St., Durham). Polyorchard will be performing my new composition “Those of the Gray Wind,” very loosely based on the book of the same name by naturalist Paul A. Johnsgard, notated completely with concrete poetry techniques. The music starts at 8pm. The event is free and open to all. BYOB.

Polyorchard will be Jason Bivins, Jil Christiansen, Laurent Estoppey, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres, & Charles Phaneuf.

Duo version of Collapss (Laurent Estoppey & Steve Landis) open with video work by Emily Aiken.

Photo of Polyorchard at the first Exsufflation concert March 21,2017. Laurent Estoppey, Shawn Galvin, Charles Phaneuf, & David Menestres. Photo by Emily Leon.

 

Polyorchard at Glenwood Books

Polyorchard plays a rare daylight gig at Glenwood Books in Greensboro (1212 Grove St.) on Saturday April 15 at 4pm, part of the Perciever of Sound League monthly series.

Polyorchard will be Laurent Estoppey, Bill McConaghy, David Menestres, Michael Thomas Jackson, and member of ensemBle baBel from Switzerland.

 

The Exsufflation Series at The Carrack

Exsufflation
ex·suf·fla·tion
eksəˈflāshən

the action of breathing forth or blowing; this action used as an exorcism in some rites of baptism

Polyorchard is pleased to announce The Exsufflation Series, a new monthly residency at The Carrack in Durham. Following on the heels of the successful monthly Free Improvised Tuesday series, The Exsufflation Series will focus on the grey area that Polyorchard has been mining for the last four years: the intersection of jazz, classical, & experimental traditions. In addition to free improvisation, the repertoire will be drawn from all manners of music with a special focus on spontaneous compositions from the ensemble, commissioning new works from members of Polyorchard and from other composers around the world, and selections from the repertoire of late twentieth/twenty-first century classical music.

The first date in the series, March 21, marks the first Polyorchard performance in NC since May of 2015. Performers for March 21 will include:

Laurent Estoppey (ensemBle baBel, collapss, Christian Marclay, etc.)
Shawn Galvin (New Music Raleigh, NC Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, etc.)
Bill McConaghy (MicroEast Collective, etc.)
David Menestres (leader of Polyorchard, Eugene Chadbourne, etc.)
Charles Phaneuf (hardest working man in showbiz)

On March 21, Polyorchard will be performing “An Answer to An Inquiry” based around a text of Agnes Martin.

The music begins at 8pm, every third Tuesday. The events are free and open to all.

Future dates in the series:
April 18
May 16
June 20
July 18
August 15

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.”

 

Allison Hussey’s Concert Preview in IndyWeek:

Much like taking a dip in a flowing river, you never take in the same Polyorchard show twice. Combining elements of free jazz, classical music, and whatever the hell else they feel like, Polyorchard is a free-form experimental music collective that challenges—and often outright transcends—boundaries of genre and style. The group went on an extended hiatus that began in the spring of 2015, when leader David Menestres decamped for a spell in New Mexico. Menestres has since returned and so, too, has Polyorchard. The group has long relied on a revolving roster of players, and this week’s iteration features Laurent Estoppey and Charles Phanheuf on saxophones, New Music Raleigh cofounder Shawn Galvin, and Menestres on bass. Tuesday night’s gathering is the first in a monthly series at The Carrack that runs through August.

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The Carrack http://thecarrack.org/  947 E. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

Polyorchard’s first album “Color Theory in Black and White” https://polyorchard.bandcamp.com/

“Color Theory in Black and White” was #11 on IndyWeek’s 25 Best Albums of 2015
IndyWeek review of “Color Theory in Black and White”

Polyorchard performs “Between Know and Then” a tribute to Sun Ra on his 100th birthday https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67MmaJlV9h0&list=PLjACqM_Pm2eiA00JAZizc5xJhootMqKFv

Polyorchard performs Terry Riley’s 1964 composition “In C” on the 50th anniversary of it’s premiere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVwqgd_jwss&list=PLjACqM_Pm2ei6ImXQKnagWbEugQ9LP5YH

Live recordings https://soundcloud.com/polyorchard

Lovesphere 22

I will be taking part in the Lovesphere 22 event in Greensboro, NC on Friday March 17 7:30pm at Greensboro Project (219 Lewis Street). Read about it below:

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Lovesphere 22 is the 22nd installment of a 67-year art festival that began in 1995 which takes place every year on the Spring Equinox.

Lovesphere is all about cross-pollinating generous and creating new audience experiences, and Lovesphere 22 will be pushing the envelope in new and innovative ways. GPS will be loaded with improvising musicians, each of whom carries a transistor radio. At 8pm, Lovesphere will broadcast a live solo musician—the great Laurent Estoppey— from WUAG-FM, and the musicians at GPS and across the world will accompany them. So, as one walks through the gallery, one can hear the same lead instrument with a constantly shifting rhythm section. Also, other musicians and groups can accompany from home or across the country, and we will later collect some of these recordings and mix them together—making it the largest recording studio ever created. Musicians include Ben Singer of Modern Robot, Dan Ruccia of Cyanotype, Vattel Cherry (the legend), Gwen Young of Knives of Spain, Gregory Miles Hoffman of Cenote, Sara Jane Mann of Van Reipen Collective and 1-0, and Andrew Beach. Also starring performance artist Lu Xu.

For more information, photos, recordings, etc. please contact Gary Heidt at psl@lovesphere.net of 336 897 7232.

 

http://www.greensboroprojectspace.com/upcoming/lovesphere

https://www.facebook.com/events/631797987012133