On Friday February 3, I’ll be playing in a special trio with Molly & Eugene Chadbourne opening for the great Lonnie Holley at King’s (14. W. Martin St. Raleigh). Doors at 8:30, show starts at 9pm. $10/12
Free Improvised Music Series at Neptune’s Parlour (Raleigh, NC) night one, programmed by James Gilmore. Performing: Vattel Cherry, Laurent Estoppey, Shawn Galvin, James Gilmore, and David Menestres. Music at 8:30pm.
Eugene Chadbourne Presents the International Wonder of Weird Songbook every Monday in January at Neptune’s Parlour. Featuring a rotating army of weirdos including the Chadbourne Family Singers (Molly, Lizzie, and Jenny Chadbourne), Carrie Shull, Laurent Estoppey, James Gilmore. Dave Doyle. Joe Westerlund, myself, and other assorted oddities.
Doors at 8pm. Music at 8:30pm. $8 at the door.
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 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
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
Polyorchard performing live at Neptunes Parlour in Raleigh, NC on July 15, 2014
Jeb Bishop – trombone
David Menestres – bass
Dan Ruccia – viola
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 .
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.
On March 17th there will be an excellent house show featuring three incredible musicians. Erik Carlson (International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, etc.) and the Kalmanovitch Maneri duo will be playing at the former Nordon Grocery Store at 719 Devereux St., Raleigh, NC 27605 (corner of Devereux & Gaston) at 8pm. We are incredibly lucky to have three world class musicians playing in one of the most beautiful homes in Raleigh. There will be a suggested donation of $10 at the door.
Erik Carlson will be playing the first set and is expected to play works by Jürg Frey, Manfred Werder, and other composers. Kalmanovitch Maneri duo will be playing a fully improvised set starting around 9pm.
Special thanks to the Experimental Music Study Group for bringing Erik Carlson to town for a three day residency March 15-17. Check the EMSG Calendar for more information about Erik Carlson & R. Andrew Lee’s residency and sign up for the EMSG newsletter to be informed on future events.
Erik Carlson has performed as a soloist and with many chamber and orchestral ensembles throughout Europe and the Americas. He is a highly active performer of contemporary music and has had works written for him by numerous composers, including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Tom Johnson, Jürg Frey, and Georges Aperghis. Mr. Carlson is an enthusiastic proponent of interdisciplinary collaboration, and performs frequently with poets, dancers, actors, and film.
He is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Talea Ensemble and is the founder of the New York Miniaturist Ensemble. He has been featured on over a dozen recordings, including his own two recent albums of music for violin. Also a composer, he has had his musical compositions performed in a wide variety of venues. He studied violin with Jorja Fleezanis, Ronald Copes, and Robert Mann, and holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. Mr. Carlson enjoys expensive bourbon and long walks on the beach.
About Kalmanovitch and Maneri
Praised for his high degree of individualism and a distinctive marriage of jazz and microtonal music, violist and violinist Mat Maneri has established an international reputation as one of the compelling artists of his generation. His recordings are widely acknowledged as among the most important developments in improvised music. Maneri lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches at the New School.
Over the course of a 25-year career, violist, writer and ethnomusicologist Tanya Kalmanovitch has continually re-defined what a 21st century musician can be. She teaches in the Department of Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory, and is Coordinator of Entrepreneurship at Mannes College the New School for Music. Kalmanovitch lives in Brooklyn, NY.
About The Music
It can be difficult to write about what we do as improvisers. Perhaps it’s easier to explain it through a series of questions we’ve been asking, ourselves.
What is composition?
What is chamber music? Is it repertoire, or rather an approach to creative collaboration?
What is musical time? Is it linear? Cyclical?
What is jazz when you remove its canonized instrumentation and approach?
What are the essentials in the musical language we like to present?What are the styles and ideas that motivate us? Abstract art? Schumann lieder? Eliot Carter? How do we evoke these ideas without mimicry?
What do you call this music? Is it chamber music; is it jazz? Is it Mahler? Is it free improvisation?
It’s everything we love.
* * *
I’ve worked with Tanya Kalmanovitch on and off for ten years and, of course, our musicality together has strengthened in that time. That being said, our very first encounter was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Two violas (an unusual instrumentation) improvising with no genre or premeditation, producing fully realized gems. How was this possible? Sometimes I feel there’s a hint of magic in it, but the best definition I can come up with is ‘exponential experience’ – a kind of super-consciousness, rare in even the best of musical collaborations, that involves some sort of alchemical transformation into some element much richer and deeper than we could each find on our own.
In some ways, we’ve had very similar backgrounds: string players in the classical realm, both fighting our way into the jazz hierarchy, and both passionate about the extreme diversity in the music this world has to offer. We’ve also had many dis-similarities along the way, whether geographical (Tanya grew up in Alberta’s isolation, while I came of age in the environment of New England Conservatory), educational (Tanya studied at Juilliard, while I leaving the conservatory at 17 to work with the Joe Maneri Quartet) and gender (which was a big deal when we were coming up in through the jazz ranks). Through these differences and similarities, it was our hard-found empathy that allows for the shared, exponential experience that we are continuing to explore, fine tune, and share with others.
Mat Maneri, January 26, 2015
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.
And the new album
The good Dr. Chadbourne returns with a band of kranks & kooks to finish what we started last summer. Every Monday in February New Directions in Appalachian Music returns to Neptunes Parlour. In change from last summer, the show starts at 9pm and there will be one 90 minute set. According to the Doc “this is to try to make sense of the audience attendance patterns we experienced in the past and of course eliminates the hassle of fetching musicians from the bar at breaktime.“
9pm show, suggested donation of $8-12. Read more here.
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