Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Talking with Producer and Performer Martin Bisi

Legendary producer Martin Bisi will be in Pittsburgh on Sunday night for a performance at the Brillobox. Martin’s producer credits include Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Africa Bambaataa, The Dresden Dolls, Herbie Hancock (Rockit), Boredoms, and many other varied and significant artists. This week I had a chance to video chat with Martin about his upcoming show in Pittsburgh and get his thoughts on the challenges of moving between studio and live work, reflections on working with John Zorn, Sonic Youth, and much more. As always, you are welcome to listen to the raudio (posted below, my questions got a little rambly in places, so sorry…). In the meantime, here are some highlights. The show is May 2 at the Brillobox starting at 9 p.m. and includes local standouts Dave Bernabo + Assembly and Mandrake Project. Admission is a mere $6 at the door.

Here is Martin’s description of what to expect from Sunday’s show.

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Talking about the differences between studio work and live work led pretty naturally to discussing some of the motivations behind his recent CD release, Sirens of the Apocalypse.

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John Zorn’s name and musical contributions came up frequently, especially as an example of someone who is able to see the big picture artistically and bring others on board. Martin had some interesting perspectives on why Zorn was able to accomplish all that he did.

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When I asked Martin about up and coming artists he had some surprising insights on why certain groups like Sonic Youth and Dresden Dolls have been able to put their ideas across successfully.

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Joining Martin for the Brillobox show are Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls on drums and Michael Kaminski (ex-Cop Shoot Cop). Hope to see you there.

Listen to the full interview. (Please note that this started as an effort to produce a video chat, but the video component didn’t quite work out. Hopefully we’ll have this working for future interviews.)

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April 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm Comment (1)

Wealth of new music from CMU

Under the musical direction of Maestro Ronald Zollman, Carnegie Mellon’s Contemporary Ensemble is exploring and presenting some very exciting new works to the Pittsburgh community. An interpretive dance troupe joins the ensemble for Hindemith’s Der Dämon.

The final (free!) concert of the year takes place at 8 p.m. this Friday, April 30 in Kresge Theatre on the CMU campus.

John Casken – Infanta Marina
(conductor: Jan Pellant)
Kenneth Hesketh – Threats and Declamations
(conductor: Tobias Volkmann)
Annika Socolofsky* “Three Images of a Winter Night”
(conductor: Jan Pellant)
Jindrich Feld – Nonet (conductor: Jan Pellant)
Jorge Sastre-Martinez Trapped Metamorphosis
(conductor: Tobias Volkmann)
Paul Hindemith – Der Dämon
(conductor: Ronald Zollman)

*Annika is a sophomore dual degree student, majoring in music performance and chemistry.

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April 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm Comment (1)

Martin Bisi at Brillobox, with Dave Bernabo+Assembly, and Mandrake Project

May 2, 2010
9:00 pm

The Brillobox

Martin Bisi brings his unique blend of singer-songwriter story-telling, indie rock, and experimental psychedelia to the Brillobox on Sunday, May 2. Joining Bisi for this show are Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls on drums and Michael Kaminski ex-Cop Shoot Cop.

Martin Bisi has been a NYC musician and record producer since the 80s. At a studio he started with Brian Eno in Brooklyn, he has since realized albums by Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Africa Bambaataa, The Dresden Dolls, Herbie Hancock’s Rockit, Boredoms, Helmet, White Zombie, Cop Shoot Cop, Material/Bill Laswell, Foetus, Serena Maneesh and others. This year he’s released a CD, Sirens Of The Apocalypse and an EP, Son Of A Gun on Contraphonic.

Also on the show are local standouts Dave Bernabo + Aseembly and the Mandrake Project.

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April 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm Comments (0)

Webern at PCMS, Stravinsky and Danielpour with the PSO

Last week was a great week for “new” new music in Pittsburgh and this week is a great week for “old” new music with two of the major presenters in the the city, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society and the PSO, presenting seminal works from the early 20th century. PCMS hosts the Hagen Quartet on Monday night in a concert that features Webern’s 1909 Five Movement’s, Opus 5 and the PSO unleashes Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1913) this weekend (starting with a 1:30 day game on Thursday). This weekend also marks the final PSO concerts featuring Richard Danielpour, capping his tenure as Composer of the Year with a performance of Rocking the Cradle. Enjoy!

April 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm Comments (0)

Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble presents THAW: A Reawakening

April 23, 2010
12:00 pm

PNC Recital Hall at the Mary Pappert School of Music, Duquesne University
Free

Spring has finally arrived and the antarctic-like weather has subsided. Our concert celebrates the arrival of spring with seven very distinct, colorful pieces. I am very happy and excited to say that the concert features not one, but THREE new works by Duquesne student composers…

Chris Jarvis’ Music for When the Sun is Absent from the Sky (world premiere, based on G. Gabrieli and Thomas Hardy)

Gracie Sutherland’s Novaya Zemyla (back by popular demand)

Scott Steele’s Three Cello Shorts (world premiere of second movement)

….as well as a new arrangement of a work by Mark Danciger’s Thaw, a new arrangement of a song by Sarah Kirkland Snider (Chrysalis), and the second Pittsburgh performance of Missy Mazzoli’s Magic with Everyday Objects. All three of these pieces are truly magical, and the performances will be so focused that they will surely help to usher in spring. Please join us for music, magic and food afterwards.

The Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble is:

Caitlyn Bovard, flute

Nolan Petote, clarinet

Abby Gross, alto saxophone

Chris Jarvis, euphonium, composition

Molly Rae Maiolo, soprano

Michael Borowski, electric guitar

Scott Steele, percussion, composition

Mary Kefferstan, piano

Cara Garofalo, violin

Peter Levine, cello

Amy Gilman, contrabass

Patrick Burke, co-director

Submitted by Patrick Burke


April 21, 2010 at 8:28 am Comments (0)

Bernabo, DCE, Outer Circle, and ELCO, April 19-25

Update: Just added Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble’s concert titled Thaw: A Reawakening (Friday April 23, PNC Recital Hall at noon) to the Events Calendar. (H/T Patricke Burke).

We have a tremendously diverse array of contemporary music taking place over the next week. It all starts on Monday, April 19 with Dave Bernabo’s DJ Responsibility installation at Carnegie Library Main (the installation runs through May 31st), continues with a performance by The Outer Circle at Morning Glory Coffee House on Friday, April 23, and will finish off with Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra’s Das Uber-Kabarett at the Grey Box Theater on Sunday, April 25. All the details are in the Events Calendar, so check it out.

April 17, 2010 at 11:08 am Comment (1)

ELCO presents Das Uber-Kabarett

April 25, 2010
8:00 pm

Grey Box Theater

Tickets available at the door the evening of the event (cash only). $5 for students or artists and $10 for all others.

The ever-provocative Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra presents another genre-bending program at the Grey Box Theatre on Sunday, April 25 at 8:00pm with their latest concoction, Das Über-Kabarett. Tickets are available at the door the evening of the event (cash only) for $5 for students or artists and $10 for all others.

True to their orchestra’s name, this time ELCO presents the music of Austro-German cabaret and glam rock: arrangements of the music of Kurt Weil, Arnold Schoenberg, and their own unique take on the music of glam rock icon, David Bowie. Singers Brian Edward Leach, Rebecca Covert, Greg Richards, and Anna Elder join the orchestra in this exciting performance.

Through its unique repertoire, which ranges from classical to rock, the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra brings together diverse audiences in non-traditional spaces. The group exposes listeners to genres of music which they may have never before experienced in addition to looking at familiar music in a new way.

April 17, 2010 at 10:38 am Comments (0)

The Outer Circle at Morning Glory Coffee House

April 23, 2010
7:00 pm

Morning Glory Coffee House

Pittsburgh experimental music collective The Outer Circle play pieces by David Bernabo, Aaron Brooks, Elliott Sharp, and Steve Reich, plus free improvisation.


April 17, 2010 at 10:31 am Comments (0)

Dave Bernabo’s DJ Responsibility Installation

April 19, 2010toMay 31, 2010

Carnegie Library Main Music Department

Free

DAVID BERNABO’s new project, DJ Responsibility, seeks new spaces for music listening and performance. The album FORMALISM is a short work (19 minutes) that is being released in an edition of one copy. The sole copy is only available in the Music Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland, setting up a contradiction between publicly-shared and exclusive.

The extremely limited copy is not available for sale, but will be presented as a free installation in the Music Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland from April 19 to May 31, 2010. Passers-by are invited to listen to the 19-minute album through headphones. The project aims to set up the contradiction between exclusive and freely-available, placing itself in the middle of special edition and boutique records, art installation, and the growing trend of free music (via Bandcamp, free album streams, illegal downloads).

The music itself spans a number of genres and styles, from the TV-show segways of “Before the Event” and “During the Event” to the electronic time changes in “Nearer, the Twelve Bens”. “As In Form” starts as an interplay between field recordings and glitches, transitions into a clip-filled electric piano dirge, and ends with a race of vibraphone and electronic synths. The closing track, “After the Event”, blends tight drums with harpsichord, electric piano, and the sounds of a lightning storm on Saturn.

Made up of local composers, the vocal quintet Vocal Assembly makes a guest appearance in “Voice, and Then”, which is an attempt to translate the art of Paul Klee into music. Some of the sounds that creep into the piece include streams and abandoned coal plants in Shamokin, PA, gate doors in Point State Park, and piano and vibraphone sessions performed by composer Nathan Hall and Bernabo.

“Nero and His Fire” opens with filmmaker and musician tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE playing chains, bass drum, a bicycle wheel, and the “Wheel-of-Fortune” before erupting into a flurry of stacked instruments and overlapping time signatures.

Starting as a joke during the Vale and Year days, DJ Responsibility has come into existence to spread the word of responsibility in music creation and distribution.

Thanks to the generosity of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the album will be available in the Music Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland during normal library hours, Monday through Thursday – 10AM to 8PM, Friday and Saturday – 10AM to 5:30PM, and Sunday 12PM to 5PM.

PERFORMERS

David Bernabo [electronics, drums, wurlitzer, harpsichord, piano, guitar, bass, vocals, synthesizer, rocks, soil]

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE [bass drum + chain, bicycle wheel, Wheel-of-Fortune (6)]

Nathan Hall [piano and vocals (3)]

Kerrith Livengood [flute (2), vocals (3)]

Ben Harris [vocals (3)]

Brandon Masterman [vocals (3)]

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April 17, 2010 at 10:14 am Comments (0)

This Week: Alia Musica and IonSound Project

A quick reminder that Alia Musica’s second spring 2010 performance is this Thursday, April 8, at Synod Hall. Be sure to check it out. I’ve been hearing great feedback about the March 26 concert.

IonSound will perform on Sunday, April 11 at Bellefield. Here’s a preview of their concert courtesy percussionist Eliseo Rael.

April 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm Comments (0)