Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Fri Feb 25 at Thunderbird Cafe

Chicago’s legendary progressive jazz trio Ethnic Heritage Ensemble takes another go at Pittsburgh during
their biennial Black History Month tour, this time on Friday February 25 for a 7 pm (sharp) concert at the
Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler St. in Lawrenceville. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door and can be obtained at Paul’s CDs, Caliban Books, Dave’s Music Mine, The Exchange Squirrel Hill, The Exchange Downtown
or at the Thunderbird’s ticketing site at http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net. The show is over 21 and will be non-smoking.

For more than 35 years, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has carried on the African-American tradition of percussive jazz from a distinctly Midwest-Chicago perspective, growing organically out of the extremely
important Windy City-based AACM organization, which also spawned such artists as the Art Ensemble of
Chicago and Anthony Braxton. One of the longest continuously operating groups in jazz, the EHE currently includes founder/percussionist Kahil El’Zabar (also of Ritual Trio), saxophonist Ernest Dawkins (also of New Horizons and Chicago 12) and trumpeter Corey Wilkes, a rising young star who filled the deceased Lester Bowie’s position in the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The EHE has a storied history of acclaimed album releases, mostly on the established Delmark label. Their previous appearances in Pittsburgh have included stops at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Check out Kahil El’Zabar’s website at http://www.kahilelzabar.net.

January 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm Comments (0)

February experimental music series at Garfield Artworks

This February, performance space Garfield Artworks, with the help of local new music patrons The Consortium,
has scheduled a group of experimental music concerts that happened to congeal into a mini-series. Here’s
the information on the events. All take place at Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Avenue, and are open to all ages
with doors opening at 8 p.m. Tickets available at the door only.

Wednesday February 2 $8.00
free-improvisational trio from New York City
ACID BIRDS (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acid-Birds/130746556939449)
Jaime Fennelly, harmonium + electronics
Charles Waters, alto saxophone + bass clarinet
Andrew Barker, drums
with special guests Ben Opie (celebrate the release of his duet CD with Anthony Braxton!),
Riley Harmon (electronic musician from Carnegie Mellon), and Matt Wellins (local sound artist).

Acid Birds is an exciting trio fusing free jazz improvisation, noise and drone that “falls somewhere between [Anthony] Braxton and [Cornelius] Cardew.” Formed in 2004 in Brooklyn, NY, Barker & Waters are both founding members of Gold Sparkle Band, and Fennelly, who recently relocated to Chicago from the Pacific Northwest, is 1/3 of Peeesseye. Their first self-titled LP came out on the Italian label QBICO in 2009. Their second LP, Acid Birds II, was released in January 2011 on Sagitarrius A-Star, and the new Brooklyn label Electric Temple Records will be releasing their first cassette, entitled Mock Load, to coincide with their Midwest / East Coast tour in February 2011.

Monday February 14 $7.00
experimental electronic group from Sydney, Australia
that plays entirely circuit-bent toy instruments
TOYDEATH (http://www.toydeath.com)
with special guests Half Nelson (new LP on Wolf Eyes’ American Tapes label), Robot Cowboy (electronic
musician from Carnegie Mellon), and Bureau of Nonstandards (local circuit-bending duo)

Formed in 1995, Sydney band Toydeath coerce all their music from tortured electronic toys! They have collected an arsenal of toys to make any kindergarten green with envy. You will hear talking dolls, Speak and Spells, Rock Guitars, Hulk Hands, telephones and lots of other fantastic toys! Toydeath use circuit bending to hand-modify the toys allowing them to be amplified and also extending their sonic capabilities. They assume toy-like characters with colourful costumes as part of our stage show. On stage you will see G.I. Joe, Big Judy and Super Dad. Toydeath have both major rock festivals and art biennales (such as Ars Electronica) and toured Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Japan, Korea and China. Bring your kids to this one and let them stay up late for a change!

Friday February 18 $7.00
experimental electroacoustic duo from Trondheim, Norway
above the Arctic Circle!
VERTEX (http://www.myspace.com/vertexmusic)
with special guests Radic Sun’til (tribal electronic postrock ensemble) and Dreamweapon (local electronic artist)
Vertex spontaneously composes electroacoustic music that is both immediate and enticing to listen to. From lowercase drones through beautiful melodic passages to assaulting industrial walls of sound, Vertex creates a plausible yet otherwordly soundscape with its own set of natural laws. Their debut album, “shapes & phases” has been released on the renowned label SOFA, mixed and mastered by the talented Giuseppe Ielasi. Petter Vågan uses guitars, lapsteels and prepared guitars with an array of effects in a delicate manner to mangle and distort reality in his own way. Tor Haugerud has developed a unique playing style with his unorthodox drumset, electronics and unconventional instruments like fans, drills, singing bowls, bows, and stones.

Saturday February 26 $10.00
renowned New York City percussionist and poet
WILLIAM HOOKER (http://www.williamhooker.com)
with special guests Matta Gawa (drums/guitar improv duo from Washington, D.C.), Michael Johnsen (local
electronic improvisor on self-built instruments) and Abram Taber (solo experimental guitar from Boston)

William Hooker is an American jazz drummer and composer. Early in his career, he played with the Isley Brothers and Dionne Warwick. In college, Hooker began broadening his musical vision, writing a paper on Alban Berg and befriending members of Funkadelic. A move to New York City led him to the “loft scene” of adventurous free jazz performers. While most of Hooker’s output is rooted in free jazz, critic Neil Strauss has written, “William Hooker is a man determined to get his music ‘out there’, and he’ll cross any genre to do it.” His work has also crossed over into noise rock and free improvisation, working with Glenn Spearman, Christian Marclay, DJ Olive, William Parker, Sabir Mateen, Dave Soldier, and Sonic Youth founders Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo. He has releases on the following labels: Table of the Elements, Alien 8, Atavistic, Knitting Factory, Homestead, Silkheart, and Ecstatic Peace.

January 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm Comments (0)

Milton Babbitt: 1916–2011

As many of you have no doubt heard, Milton Babbitt passed away yesterday. Here’s a report form NPR.

January 30, 2011 at 10:29 am Comments (0)

Third Coast, Alia Musica, and a Media Roundup

Two great concerts this weekend: Third Coast Percussion, featuring Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s own David Skidmore, plays at the Carnegie Lecture Hall on Saturday night at 8; Alia Music Pittsburgh gives its Winter Concert on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at Chatham’s James Laughlin Music Hall. Complete details on the Events Calendar.

Can’t wait for all the new music goodness? Don’t!

And in case you missed them, some nice articles in the Post-Gazette recently covering the adventurous end of the local music spectrum. Check out Andy Druckenbrod’s article on Music on the Edge at 20, as well as Manny Theiner’s write-up of Ben Opie’s recent CD release of duets with Anthony Braxton.

And finally, for your reading and listening pleasure, Kerrith Livengood has a blog.

January 27, 2011 at 8:50 am Comments (0)

Benjamin Beilman Performs Tower, Rogerson

February 7, 2011
7:30 pm

Bellefield Hall Auditorium

20-year old violin phenom Benjamin Beilman continues the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society’s Bellefield Recital Series with a concert that includes works by Joan Tower and Christopher Rogerson. Find out more about the program here.

Sonata in E major, BWV 1016

Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18

Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001

Lullaby: no bad dreams

String Force

Carmen – Fantasie Brillante, Op. 3, No. 3

January 25, 2011 at 8:28 am Comments (0)

Bask in the Post-Championship Warmth—with New Music!

Rob Frankenberry and Lindsey Goodman

Bask in that warm, post-championship afterglow with a recital by flutist Lindsey Goodman, pianist Robert Frankenberry, and vocalist Eva Rainforth as they perform chamber music featuring lots of Pittsburgh composers, today at Duquesne University. It’s a free concert at 3 p.m. in PNC Recital Hall and more details are here. Lindsey, a dedicated follower of Troysus, is encouraging people to bring their Terrible Towels, so how can you go wrong?

January 24, 2011 at 8:34 am Comments (0)

Alia Musica Pittsburgh Winter Chamber Concert

January 30, 2011
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Alia Musica Pittsburgh returns January 30th with their annual Winter Chamber Concert; featuring the best of this summer’s recital series, including pieces by composers near and far, such as Burkhardt Reiter, Steven Stucky, Francis Poulenc, and many others.  Come join us at James Laughlin Hall on the Chatham University campus (music building) at 7:00 PM.  Tickets are $12 at the door, $10 in advance (through the website www.alia-musica.org, or from an Alia Musica Pittsburgh member).

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January 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm Comments (0)

January 22-24 New Music Hat Trick

Lots of great concerts coming up in quick succession, starting off on Saturday with Winter Void, a slate of abstract, noise-based acts including local favorites Edgar Um and Tusk Lord. On Sunday, Ben Opie and friends bring the avant-jazz for the release of his CD of duets with Anthony Braxton. And for the hat trick, Lindsey J. Goodman, Rob Frankenberry, and Eva Rainforth will give a recital of music by living composers at Duquesne’s PNC Recital Hall on Monday afternoon. Have I got your attention yet? Events Calendar. Now. Go.

January 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm Comment (1)

Goodman, Frankenberry, and Rainforth in Recital at Duquesne University

January 24, 2011
3:00 pm

PNC Bank Recital Hall
Admission is free.

Flutist Lindsey Goodman, pianist Robert Frankenberry, and vocalist Eva Rainforth will perform chamber music by living American composers during a Common Hour recital at Duquesne University. Goodman and Frankenberry will play and sing the world premiere of a new work by Gilda Lyons and play the American premiere of Eli Tamar’s Vicious Circles. Eva Rainforth will join to sing Jeff Nytch’s From the Soul of Silence, and Pittsburgh composers Amy Williams and Roger Zahab will also be featured.

Eli Tamar Vicious Circles (American premiere)
Amy Williams First Lines
Roger Zahab … some measures for living …
Gilda Lyons (world premiere)
Joseph Schwantner Black Anemones
Jeffrey Nytch From the Soul of Silence

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January 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm Comments (0)

Ben Opie Releases CD of Duets with Anthony Braxton

January 23, 2011
8:00 pm

Kresge Theater in the College of Fine Arts at CMU
free admission (donation requested)

Ben Opie’s new double CD set of duets with Anthony Braxton, “Duets (Pittsburgh) 2008” is now available. The CD is available at Paul’s CDs, benopie.bigcartel.com and at Opie’s performances. The double CD set was recorded at CMU in 2008 during the “Braxton Plays Pittsburgh Plays Braxton” festival, at Anthony Braxton’s suggestion. Braxton played sopranino, soprano, and alto saxophones, and contrabass clarinet; Opie played alto and tenor saxophones, and B flat and contrabass clarinets. There are two approximately one hour performances, the first on Braxton’s “Composition 220”, the second on “Composition 340”. “220” is an early example of Braxton’s Ghost Trance Musics (GTM) series, in which a continuous line of single, evenly played notes give way to breakdowns, recombinations, and improvisations. “340” is a late generation GTM, in which a continuously shifting succession of polyrhythms leads to graphic notations, further blurring the lines between the composed and improvised materials.

A CD release party will take place with a performance of Anthony Braxton’s “Composition 50” at Kresge Theater in the College of Fine Arts at CMU. David Bernabo, Ben Harris, Kerrith Livengood will join Opie for the performance. “Composition 50” was composed in 1975, originally for two reed players and two synthesizer players. The work consists of a succession of cued events, involving instructions, graphic notation, a small bit of traditional notation, and the possibility of collaging other works inside of it. Describing his approach for the event, Opie says,

“For this performance, I wanted to step away from the five or six people I work with most often and call on other colleagues. David, Ben, Kerrith and I all worked together in HiTEC; Kerrith, Ben and I performed Gino Robair’s “I, Norton” with Dust & Feathers, and also all played in the orchestra I assembled for Anthony Braxton when he was here in Pittsburgh.”

January 18, 2011 at 8:24 am Comments (0)

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