A month or three ago, a nice gent from Chicago came by my apartment to interview me about one of my favorite local artists The OO-Ray for a documentary he was making on Ted Laderus and his amazing music. I nervously, haltingly, blunderingly stumbled my way through an on-camera interview and hopefully sounded like I had some idea of what I was talking about. I’m still not sure if any of my chatter made the cut, but I do know that the director, Hamid Bendaas, is getting close to a finished product as evidenced by this wonderful, short preview of the film that he just put online. Even if I’m not in it, I’m really looking forward to seeing the full documentary whenever it is wrapped up.
Today, we bring you a gorgeous and slightly chilling piece from guitarist Mike Gamble, found on his new album Self Stor.age that sends his melodies through some lovely and occasionally disconcerting visual effects. It’s not unlike the iTunes Visualizer at times, but his emphatically spaced out classical guitar playing covers over those little lung-like pulsations that take over the screen. Gamble will be releasing videos to accompany many of the tracks from his new album. And if you’re in Portland tonight, be sure to swing down to Valentine’s to catch him performing live.
If you were at Mississippi Studios last night, basking in the sound of William Parker, Hamid Drake, and Peter Brotzmann tying themselves together into knots and restructuring every idea you may have about jazz music, you have the Creative Music Guild to thank.
Those tireless volunteers have been doing some incredible work, curating their regular Outset Series concerts and using their meager budget to bring in artists from out of the area to dazzle and intellectually stimulate fans of avant garde music. This year, alone, that has meant incredible performances by Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Joelle Leandre, John Haughm, Sister Mamie Foreskin, MSHR, and so many more. And did I mention the people working these shows are all volunteer?
All this is to say that the CMG need your help to continue their work, in particular their upcoming Improvisation Summit of Portland, going down at Disjecta on June 4th, 5th, and 6th. The lineup they have in place for this is, as you might imagine, a jaw-dropper: AACM member Roscoe Mitchell, Gordon Ashworth, CATFISH, Brumes, Arrington de Dionyso, Secret Drum Band, and so many more. If your ear is even slightly bent towards experimental sounds, this is a weekend you do not want to miss.
[Oh, and I’m going to be hosting a panel on one of the days, subject TBD. And no, I’m not being compensated for my time. All for the love of the game, fam.]
If you have some extra cash to spare, I encourage you to throw some dough to this cause. Their goal is modest (thanks to the help of the RACC and the other fundraisers they’ve thrown through the year), so this should take little time for them to reach it. As long as you can help out, of course. Click right here to offer your support.
One of my few disappointments about this week’s Experimental Portland Radio was that I had to hurry to get the thing finished and out into the world without a track from the new album by Moongriffin. With apologies to Elliott Ross, I knew if I dragged my feet any longer on getting the new episode into the world, it might never have gotten done.
Regardless, your kind attention should be be paid to Glimpse of Future. It’s a marvelously modern jazz record, driven by the sonic playfulness of Ross and his oft-processed guitar and post-production trickery. And he’s joined in the fun by a slew of great players, with an especial nod to Nate Lepine, whose sax and flute work throughout is smartly angular and the scrabbling beats of drummer Charles Rumback. This doesn’t feel like a glimpse at the future, but rather a long, unbroken look that allows you to drink in every detail and rejoice in what’s to come.
And if you like what you hear here, be sure to drop by The Waypost this coming Saturday, where Moongriffin will be celebrating the release of this album and the new label Cartilage Osseux Records with a live performance featuring Tim DuRoche on drums, Andre St. James on bass, and Mike Gamble on guitar.
At long last a new episode. No talking from me right now, just music. Until I get a new microphone, that’s the way it’s gonna be. Deal with it.
Don Haugen – Death Of The King
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – Semi-Self Detached
playing at Jimmy Mak’s on May 5th
Tetrad Veil – L.W.R.
I’ve been hearing rumors and discussion about this collaboration between Scott Worley (aka Jatun) and Tim Gray (aka Ethernet) for a long while now. A two-person exploration of modular synth and digital software improvisation brought into the world by two of the smartest players in the experimental electronic game.
The pair are finally making good on their promise with the upcoming release of a cassette/digital album under the name High Light. The three tracks that are available to stream (or to download if you pre-order) are just what a heart needs after the passing of Tangerine Dream leader Edgar Froese. These two locals are carrying the flame of mind-bending swirls of melody and cinematic drones and burbles. The added beauty of this collaboration is that it’s obvious how much the two are listening to each other and growing this sound as a unit. They put their individual musical identities aside for the sake of the whole project.
I was lucky enough to spend part of last night in the company of the Third Angle ensemble and one of my favorite writers, Alex Ross of The New Yorker, as the former presented a showcase of 20th and 21st century composers from the West Coast (incl. Lou Harrison, Henry Cowell, and John Luther Adams) with narration and comments from the latter. It was a majestic and challenging and inspiring evening that reaffirmed what amazing work this small organization is doing to keep the spirits of both the chamber recital and contemporary classical music alive.
They also used the evening as an opportunity to announce the next season of Third Angle performances, which you can find here on their website. As expected, it is an impressive series that includes a celebration of Steve Reich’s 80th birthday with the help of the gents from So Percussion (pictured above) that includes the Portland premiere of the composer’s Sextet, an evening dedicated to the Radio Happenings conversations that took place between John Cage and Morton Feldman between 1966 and 1967, and lots of music by contemporary composers like Evan Kuhlmann, Michael van der Aa, and Jay Derderian. It’s such a thrilling selection of performances, so much so that for the first time, I’m trying to see if i can work a full-season subscription into my already tight budget. Maybe I’ll see you there?
A new edition of the show for y’all. This time just a straight mix of music with no voiceover from me. Hope you like it.
Davis Hooker & Evan Spacht – PANTING [from PANTING]
Evan Spacht – tazen
The OO-Ray – Hunting Song [from Empty Orchestra]
While the rest of the world slobbered over the accidental release of the new Kendrick Lamar album, I’ve been tingling all over while watching this video multiple times. Ted Laderas has been one of my favorite local artists for some time, an inspiring figure whose cello performances and recordings have delighted and soothed my ears to no end. But he has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet if these snippets of sound are to be believed. This new music, which will be heard in complete form on his upcoming album Empty Orchestra, is expansive and dense and daring in ways that I wasn’t expecting from The OO-Ray and now that it’s here, I want to hear nothing else for the next few weeks.
According to the man’s Twitter account, Empty Orchestra (which will be unleashed by Lifelike Family and New Ruin Tapes on April 3rd) took him “three years to write. It’s propulsive and urgent in a new way and I think it’s a new direction for me. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” I’m more than happy to agree with him on that.
Asher Fulero – Spacetime
THE YRS – Trax 07-08
Seth Fox – 20141201 [from pilot wave]
Tunneler – Night Flight