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.

 

Out and Gone Record Release Show in Greensboro

It is happening again! The second record release show for two of the three new albums on Out and Gone Music with a special performance from Microkingdom, our friends from Baltimore who are also on the road in support of their new album.

Polyorchard will be Aaron Bachelder, Jil Christensen, Laurent Estoppey, David Menestres, Chris Robinson, and Michael Thomas Jackson.

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.

 

Polyorchard 1 + 1 and Bad Luck

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On October 14th, the newest iteration of Polyorchard will be opening for Bad Luck at Tortuga Gallery in Albuquerque. Polyorchard 1 + 1 will feature the double bass madness of Ben Wright and David Menestres. Bad Luck from Seattle will be on tour featuring Chris Icasiano on drums and Neil Welch on saxophone/electronics. Show starts at 8pm and is $10 at the door.

Listen to recordings of Polyorchard 1+1

 

Listen to the new album from Bad Luck

More on Bad Luck:

Over half a decade after their first performance, drummer Chris Icasiano and saxophonist Neil Welch continue to develop a unique musical voice together. Bad Luck has become a sonic outlet to be reckoned with. In the highly trodden medium of drums and saxophone, Bad Luck proves that there is much left to be said.

Called “One of the best Seattle jazz recordings in years” (Earshot Jazz) Bad Luck was awarded the “Best Outside Jazz Group” of 2009 by Earshot Magazine, and a finalist for “Best Avant Group” in the 2009 Inside Out awards. Performing all original compositions, the pair use live loops and pedals to create an astounding range of sound. Icasiano and Welch can quickly shift into fierce improvisations, sound art and carefully constructed harmonic palettes. A duo with skin tight precision and melodic inventiveness, their music is set off by a commanding stage presence.

 

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.

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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 13: Polyorchard opens for Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart

On April 13th Polyorchard will be opening for the composer Michael Pisaro and percussionist Greg Stuart and the Nightlight as part of the Experimental Music Study Group.

From the EMSG:

Monday, April 13, Nightlight, 8pm – EMSG performance + Polyorchard + Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart
Tuesday, April 14, The Carrack, 8pm – Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart: numbers and the siren
Join the Experimental Music Study Group for a captivating two-night residency featuring California-based composer Michael Pisaro and South Carolina-based percussionist Greg Stuart. A member of the Wandelweiser collective, Michael Pisaro crafts intricate soundscapes that hover at the boundaries between sound and silence, drawing attention to the act of listening. Greg Stuart’s inventive percussion music explores alternative techniques including sustained friction, gravity-based sounds, and sympathetic vibration. For nearly a decade, Pisaro and Stuart have collaborated on heralded projects and released recordings on the Gravity Wave label, forging a close bond between composer and performer.
On April 13 at Nightlight, Pisaro and Stuart perform closed categories in cartesian worlds, ethereal music for crotales and sine tones; performers from the Experimental Music Study Group will perform Pisaro’s fields have ears (4); and local improv collective Polyorchard will perform a set. And at the Carrack on April 14, Pisaro and Stuart unleash the spellbinding numbers and the siren, a ninety-minute duo for percussion and electronics in which distant sounds seep into the main performance space from a separate location. Both nights will offer a typically EMSG mixture of the unfamiliar and the enchanting: we hope to see you there!
$7 cover


(Set order: EMSG, Polyorchard, Pisaro/Stuart, Crowmeat Bob/Patrick Gallagher)
*Note: there will be an EMSG discussion meeting at 6:30pm prior to the performance; if you are interested in participating, please email williamlrobin@gmail.com

Collapss + Polyorchard present COBRA: March 29 & April 3

Every society has rules that people deal with in different ways. What I basically create [in the game pieces] is a small society and everybody kind of finds their own position in that society. It really becomes, like, a psychodrama. It’s like scream therapy, or primal therapy. People are given power and it’s very interesting to see which people like to run with that power, which people run away from it [and] who are very docile and just do what they’re told [and those] who try very hard to get more control and more power. . . . It’s very much like the political arena, in a certain kind of a sense . . . [where performers] are having a little carrot dangled in front of them. And it’s interesting to see who tries to grab the carrot and who doesn’t. And a lot of times the people who try to grab the carrot, it’s pulled out of their hands by someone else in the band. So, it becomes kind of a scary, frightening thing to be in front of that band to see these people blossom and become the assholes that they really are.

-John Zorn speaking about Cobra to Derek Bailey

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Collapss + Polyorchard present John Zorn’s Cobra:

March 29 at The Shed 8pm (807 E. Main St., Durham NC 27701)

April 3 at Empire Books in Greensboro at 7:30pm (1827 B Spring Garden St., Greensboro NC 27403)

Scheduled to be participating:
Carole Ott (voice) Tadeu Coelho (flute) Steve Stusek (saxophone) Nick Rich (guitar) Jonathan Wall (electronics) David Menestres (bass, objects) Jason Bivins (guitar) Dan Ruccia (viola) Bill McConaghy (trumpet) Christopher Robinson (saxophone) Charles Phaneuf (clarinet) Laurent Estoppey (Cobra Commander)

IndyWeek preview:

John Zorn’s Cobra is a sort of musical game. The composer becomes the conductor, leading an ensemble of varying sizes by holding up cue cards, making some gesture or movement, and commanding a subset of players to respond to the instructions. By design, it’s incredibly mutable, capable of shifting from atonal paroxysms to dreamy drones without any sense of logic. For this performance, Raleigh’s Polyorchard and Greensboro’s Collapss combine for a two-show tour, starting in Durham tonight but ending in the Gate City April 3rd. For maximum edification, see both, and understand just how flexible games can get. —Grayson Haver Currin

 

February 28: Polyorchard + Microkingdom

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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