Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Two IonSound Concerts on June 28


In case you missed this on the Events Calendar (which now appears prominently at the top of the sidebar), You have not one, but two opportunities to hear IonSound Project this Sunday, June 28. In the morning you can hear the group at 10:30 a.m. at Mellon Park for the Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch. While IonSound won’t be performing any Bach or Beethoven, there is a rumor of a world premiere by Brunch. Looking forward to that one myself.

If 10:30 in the morning is too early for you, you can hear a different program at 7 p.m. at Larryville’s Your Inner Vagabond (which includes works by BYOB, another one of my favorites).

All the details are here.

June 25, 2009 at 10:24 am Comments (0)

Two IonSound Concerts on Sunday, June 28

June 28, 2009
10:30 am
7:00 pm

Mellon Park at 10:30 a.m., free

Your Inner Vagabond at 7 p.m., $10 at the door

IonSound Project will present two different programs in two very different venues on Sunday, June 28, 2009.  The first is a full concert on Pittsburgh’s popular Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch series in Mellon Park from 10:30 am-12:00pm.  This concert will feature IonSound favorites from over the years including works by Martinu, Milhaud, and Satie.  Bring your best picnic brunch and join us for this relaxing and fun event.

Later, that evening, IonSound Project will collaborate with folk musician Mark Dignam at Lawrenceville’s Your Inner Vagabond Coffeehouse and World Lounge at 7 pm.  This program will take on an edgier bent with works by Terry Riley, Daron Hagen, and new works by Jeremy Beck.  IonSound will also present a collaborative set with Mark featuring brand new arrangements of his works.  Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the door.  BYOB.

Sunday June 28, 2009, 10:30 am-12:00 pm
Mellon Park (corner of 5th and Shady avenues in Shadyside)
IonSound Project

BECK Slow Motion
ZAHAB entelechronicity
MARTINU Trio-mvmts 1 & 3
MILHAUD  Suite for clarinet, cello, and piano
SATIE  Three pieces in the Shape of a Pear
MONPOU Paysages
REICH  Music for Pieces of Wood
TORKE Telephone Book (1 & 3)

Concert and a Coffee

Sunday June 28, 2009,  7:00 pm
Your Inner Vagabond Coffeehouse and World Lounge (4120 Butler Street Lawrenceville, PA 15201)
IonSound Project with Mark Dignam, folk singer
$10 General admission

BECK In Flight Until Mysterious Night
BECK Third Delphic Hymn
KOLM Haven
HAGEN Angel Band mvt I

June 22, 2009 at 10:34 pm Comments (0)

Avant-Jazz and Schoenberg’s Trio, Starting Tonight


Wanted to get this post up sooner, but my idealized image of blogging from the coffee shop where I was working ran afoul of phone lines damaged by last night’s storms rendering the shop free wi-fi-free. But here goes anyway. Lots of new music to be heard this weekend with some classics mixed in too.

Tonight (Thursday), 10 p.m. at Remedy: All-star avant-jazz trio Lisle Ellis, M.C. Schmidt, and Jason Willet, aka Instant Coffee, will play at Remedy, starting promptly at 10 p.m.  and the group will be joined by local improv heroes Josh Beyer (micro-set on homebuilt guitar & electronics), David Bernabo Vocal Assembly (all vocal ensemble + laptop), Plainswalkers (Mike Kasunic, Ryan Emmett, Reeves Smith doing things),  and Michael Johnsen + Margaret Cox (electronics, etc.) Cover charge is $5-$10 or whatever you can afford. All proceeds go to the Trio. (H/T to Edgar Um for heads-up on the local acts)

Saturday, 2 p.m. at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium: Eugene Phillips and friends play Schoenberg’s Trio, Haydn and Schubert, free.

Saturday, 8 p.m. (also) at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium: Dutch Jazz Trio Bram-DeJoode-Vatcher, $10 at the door.

Details about all these shows on the Events Calendar, and don’t forget your Life Tiles…

June 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm Comment (1)

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble Releases 09 Schedule

Got my PNME schedule in the mail yesterday and it is also now available online. Pitttsburgh composers highlighted this season include Roger Dannenberg (July 10, 11) and Amy Williams (July 24, 25). Other highlights include world premieres by Pierre Jalbert and Stacy Garrop.

June 14, 2009 at 2:52 pm Comments (0)

Instant Coffee plays Remedy

June 18, 2009
10:00 pm




$5–$10 (What you can afford, all proceeds will go to the trio)

A bizarre love triangle strung between the Baltimore noise scene, contemporary electronics and the New York jazz world, Instant Coffee play improvised music which spontaneously assembles itself into ‘song’ shapes that blossom, catch fire, explode and distort in ways that are unpredictable and disorienting. It’s all good fun– until someone loses an eye. A trio comprised of Lisle Ellis, M. C. Schmidt and Jason Willett, the band members boast some unusually chequered pasts:

Lisle Ellis is one of the foremost bassists in modern jazz, and having played with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Fred Frith, Marilynn Crispell and John Zorn, he’s now exploring the electroacoustic combination of traditional jazz techniques with realtime computer processing.

M. C. Schmidt has been one half of the conceptually oriented electronic provocateurs Matmos since 1997, and has made music with Bjork, the Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley and Zeena Parkins; in this band he plays a perverse array of percussive objects and many recalcitrant synthesizers.

Jason Willett is a Baltimore veteran of avant and “out” music both on the fringes of rock and noise; he has been in too many bands to mention, but was a longtime member of Half Japanese and collaborator with Jad Fair, and also plays in harsh free jazz/noise ensembles such as Leprechaun Catering. In these sessions, Jason plays contact-mic-ed rubber band and an improbable cluster of custom electronics created by noted Baltimore instrument maker Peter B.

You would expect the results to fall into a Bermuda Triangle between jazz, electronic music and noise, but in fact Instant Coffee’s sound ranges further afield: unexpectedly lovely ambience, murky Italian movie soundtracks, humid mirages of drone that take sharp turns towards rhythm, and a closing brush with mittel-European mournful lyricism. There are no noodly solos and no tedious, predictably looped “grooves”: this music stakes itself on a casually surreal series of “dissolves” from one form to another.

HT M.C. Schmidt, Instant Coffee

June 12, 2009 at 10:17 am Comments (0)

NIME coverage at Classical Musings

This one got by me last week, but if you haven’t done so, stop by Andy Druckenbrod’s blog for coverage of NIME. The post includes an excellent video montage from the conference featuring CMU’s Roger Dannenberg.

June 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm Comments (0)

Eugene Phillips and Friends Perform Schoenberg’s String Trio

June 20, 2009
2:00 pm



Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, free

Violinist, composer, teacher, and  local legend Eugene Phillips will be joined by violinist Roger Zahab, violist Paul Silver, and cellists Lauren Scott Mallory and Hampton Mallory in a rare live performance of Schoenberg’s String Trio, op. 45. The program will also include Haydn’s String Quartet in D, op. 64, no. 5 The Lark , and Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, op. 163, D. 956.

HT Roger Zahab

June 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm Comments (0)

PA Council on the Arts Funding

Pittsburgh New Music Net is, above all else, about advocacy for our City’s contemporary music scene, and by extension, advocacy for the arts in general. That’s why I wanted to make sure everyone was aware that the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, an organization that supports the offerings of numerous non-profit presenters in our region, is in serious danger of being de-funded. The state Senate already passed a bill with no funding for PCA grant making, but the house is considering a bill that restores this funding. Fortunately the arts community isn’t just sitting on its hands and our friends at Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania  have plentiful resources to help you decide what action to take. Particularly helpful is their Legislative Action Center which posts information about arts-related legislation under consideration at both state and federal levels. Finally, for what it’s worth, I’m including the text of the message I sent to my own representative, Don Walko. It sums up my thoughts on the subject pretty well.

The Honorable Representative Don Walko

Dear Sir,

I was very disappointed to hear that the PA Senate passed SB 850, a budget bill which includes no funding for Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is an indispensable source of funding to many of our state’s most important non-profit arts organizations and I urge you to support HB 1416 which includes 14 million for arts grants.

Since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act many important steps have been taken to rebuild our nation’s transportation and energy infrastructure. But we must also rebuild our intellectual infrastructure if we are to meet the challenges that face us. Arts funding (along with funding for education and public broadcasting) is a critical component in equipping Pennsylvanians with creative, and intellectual vigor that will be required to solve the problems that lie ahead. 

I urge you to support HB 1416 that includes $14 million for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants to arts organizations.


Philip Thompson
Pittsburgh, PA

June 10, 2009 at 11:01 am Comments (0)

Trumpeter, Pittsburgh Native Andy Kozar Returns with loadbang ensemble

July 18, 2009
8:00 pm
July 19, 2009
6:00 pm

Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m., Garfield Artworks (Additional Show!)

Sunday, July 19, at 6: Trinity Concert Series presents loadbang, free
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church


Trumpeter and Pittsburgh native Andy Kozar will be performing with his New York City based contemporary/experimental music ensemble loadbang as part of the Trinity Concert Series at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Freeport, July 19th at 6:00pm. loadbang will be performing a varied program of works written by and for the group including a new work for the ensemble by 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang, and a work by Carnegie Mellon Graduate Paul Pinto. The sounds will range from richly textured works evoking a male choir to arrangements of 60s experimental rock tunes, framed by daring improvisations.

The members of loadbang met as part of the first class of Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance program, and have been playing together ever since. In the past year they have premiered more than 15 works for their unique instrumentation (bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, baritone voice), including several works written by members of the band, and a new arrangement of the “Waiting for the man” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Their repertoire ranges from wordless timbral meditations to works of comic absurdity to politically charged works, like Conrad Winslow’s “Truth Squad,” which they performed in an Election Night concert this Fall. They also perform classic works for indeterminate ensemble, including Brown’s December 1952 and Cage’s Four6. Though always commissioning new notated repertoire, loadbang is equally known for their improvisations, exploring through their unique sound the edges of instrumental and vocal timbre and technique. They performed at the New Music Bake Sale alongside SO Percussion, JACK Quartet, Dither, ACME and Newspeak. Recently, loadbang traveled to Boston for a joint show with ai ensemble, and to Philadelphia to perform on the Sci-Fi Philly Series. Their recent performances in New York include appearances at The Tank, The Stone, and an all John Cage evening at the Gershwin Hotel.

Free admission, free reception follows
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
323 5th Street
Freeport, PA 16229

June 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm Comments (0)

Dutch jazz trio touches down at Frick Fine Arts

June 20, 2009
8:00 pm



Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh, Oakland, $10

Michiel Braam – piano
Wilbert DeJoode – double bass
Michael Vatcher – drums

Trio Braam DeJoode Vatcher comprises three of the Dutch jazz scene’s most idiosyncratic musicians, for whom freedom and adventure are essential values. They all play an absolutely equal role in the music, which can go in any direction depending on decisions made on the spot. Their long musical friendship results in intuitive playing of the highest order. The trio shines in short powerful pieces written by Michiel Braam, and combines a playful incorporation and expansion of older forms with forward-thinking innovation.

Listen to their latest CD “Change This Song” at http://www.michielbraam.com
or at http://www.myspace.com/bikbentbraam

“Pianist Michiel Braam is yet another superb performer who perfectly encapsulates everything that’s made New
Dutch Swing one of the most consistently lively and enjoyable scenes in contemporary jazz.”
-Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

“The trio has one of the most integrated sounds I’ve heard from any such grouping. They travel the continuum from Trad to Free with ease and dexterity. This one’s for lovers and haters of the piano trio alike.”
-Marc Medwin, Cadence Magazine

Reposted to the Events Calendar from Manny Theiner’s announcement.

June 4, 2009 at 11:44 am Comments (0)

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