Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Ueno Closeup in The Glassblock

Do most definitely check out David Bernabo’s video feature of Ken Ueno in The Glassblock.

May 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm Comments (0)

Ben Goldberg Trio Sun 3/22 @ Thunderbird Cafe

March 22, 2015
8:00 pm

Thunderbird Cafe
Sun March 22 8 pm 21+ $16 adv/$20 door

West Coast avantjazz & klezmer pioneer, former leader of the New Klezmer Trio.

He hasn’t been in Pittsburgh since 1996 (Jews With Horns tour @ Rodef). Rare appearance!

Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler St, Lawrenceville

tickets on sale now at: Sound Cat Records, Caliban Books, Dave’s Music Mine, Acoustic Music Works. Online tickets at http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net

Named the #1 rising clarinetist in the 2011 Downbeat Critics Poll, San Francisco-area musician Ben Goldberg has been around for much longer. He was a member of famed Berkeley klezmer revivalists The Klezmorim (who had releases on important folk labels such as Arhoolie and Flying Fish). With Dan Seamans and Kenny Wollesen (of John Zorn’s Masada) he formed the New Klezmer Trio, right in the thick of the Radical Jewish Culture movement, and released three CDs on Zorn’s Tzadik label with that group in the ’90s (they also reconvened in 2009 with Greg Cohen on bass).

With musical heroes such as Steve Lacy, Thelonious Monk and Joe Lovano, Goldberg also emphasizes a strongly forward-thinking approach to jazz. His trio recording “Plays Monk” won an award in Downbeat in 2007. He has a long-running quartet called Tin Hat which includes Mark Orton and Carla Kihlstedt (of prog-rockers Sleepytime Gorilla Museum). Goldberg has also collaborated on recordings with the likes of Myra Melford, Larry Ochs (ROVA), Marty Ehrlich, Miya Masaoka, Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantomas) and others on labels such as Tzadik, Cryptogramophone, Knitting Factory, Ryko, Victo, Music & Arts and Songlines, as well as his own label BAG.

Goldberg’s latest releases include “Short Sighted Dream Colossus” (with John Dietrich and Scott Amendola), “Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues” (including Joshua Redman and Ches Smith), and “Unfold Ordinary Mind” (featuring Nels Cline of Wilco, and Ellery Eskelin). He’s also received composer commissions from San Francisco’s De Young Museum and Friends of Chamber Music, and a grant from Chamber Music America.

February 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm Comments (0)

Hypercolor (Ligeti/Maoz/Ilgenfritz) Mon 3/10 @ Howler’s

March 10, 2015
9:00 pm

Monday March 10 9 pm $7 21+
Howler’s Coyote Cafe, 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield

from New York City on Tzadik Records
jazz-rockers HYPERCOLOR

with special guests ((microwaves)) and Billy Castle

review from All About Jazz:
Hypercolor: Hypercolor (2015, Tzadik Records)
By DAVE WAYNE, Published: February 11, 2015

The past few months have seen a stream of truly—and in some cases mind-bogglingly—wonderful guitar-centric power trio albums. Yet, the eponymous debut of the Brooklyn-based avant-jazz-rock band Hypercolor stands out, but not for the reasons you’d think. Sure, the trio consists of musical brainiacs James Ilgenfritz and Lukas Ligeti; genre omnivores whose own work and collaborations draw as heavily from the worlds of free improvisation, contemporary classical, various ethnic musics, and art-rock as they do from jazz. How guitarist Eyal Maoz, best known as one of the most distinctive young musicians in John Zorn’s orbit, has remained an underground sort of figure is beyond me. Like his bandmates, his playing is distinctive and virtuosic, and his recordings to date have been consistently fresh and restlessly eclectic. Take, for example Hope and Destruction (Tzadik, 2009) which successfully fused traditional Yiddish melodies and modern metal with the hyperactive rhythms of 70s disco-funk.

Hypercolor is similarly eclectic. The trio eliminates the overt references to dance music, and replaces them with a punkish sort of old school jazz-rock energy. The album is rife with the sort of strutting attitude that made Tony Williams’ Lifetime (in all of its concatenations) so much fun to listen to. The end result, though, is more along the lines of Fred Frith’s great trio, Massacre, or perhaps the Nels Cline Singers.


Eyal Maoz, James Ilgenfritz, and Lukas Ligeti make up Hypercolor, the NYC- based spastic jazz-rock hybrid whose ridiculous artsong craftsmanship alternately revels in complexity or brazen simplicity, favoring entropy and near-disaster over order or tidiness.

Like experimental grafting surgery gone horribly awry, Hypercolor bears limbs borrowed from 80s NYC No-Wave, and early jazz/rock, and orchestral rock textures.

Eyal Maoz is a guitarist, composer, Tzadik and Ayler Records artist and a guest member of John Zorn’s Cobra. His ensembles performed at major music festivals worldwide such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, Red Sea International Jazz Festival, NYC 2007 Winter JazzFest, the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival, Florida Music Harvest, The Jewzapalooza Festival in NYC and more.

Transcending the boundaries of genre, composer and percussionist Lukas Ligeti (son of composer Gyorgy Ligeti) has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown NY experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, and world music, particularly from Africa. Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free- improvised, often exploring non-Western elements, and has been participating in cultural exchange projects for the past 15 years. Lukas has been commissioned by Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, and the American Composers Orchestra, to name a few. He frequently performs solo on the marimba lumina, a rare electronic percussion instrument. As a drummer, he co-leads several bands including Burkina Electric, the first electronica band from Burkina Faso. He has also performed and/or recorded with John Zorn, Henry Kaiser, Gary Lucas, Marilyn Crispell, John Tchicai, Jim O’Rourke, Borah Bergman, Eugene Chadbourne, and many others. He has led or co-led experimental intercultural projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho, and has taught at universities in Ghana and South Africa.

Brooklyn composer, bassist, and educator James Ilgenfritz has been active in creative music since the late 90s. His work has been praised in Time Out New York, All About Jazz, and Downbeat Magazine. Recent performances include work with Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, and Anthony Braxton. James has received grants and residencies from Issue Project Room, the American Composers Forum, and OMI Arts Center. Notable performance venues include Roulette, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Symphony Space, and the New Museum in SoHo. James is on Faculty at the Preparatory Center of Brooklyn College and at Brooklyn Conservatory.

February 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm Comments (0)

CAPA Antithesis and CAPA Elektro-Acoustik Ensembles Spring Concert

CAPA Antithesis and CAPA Elektro-Acoustik, the new-music ensembles of Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, present a joint spring concert on Tuesday, April 29th at 7:00 pm in the CAPA Cabaret Theatre. Under the direction of Dan Lindey, the Elektro-Acoustik set will feature student compositions written to accompany the great silent film Nosferatu. Antithesis, conducted by Lenny Young, will perform several student works as well as compositions by Knut Nystedt, Nicolas Collins and Pittsburgh composer Roger Zahab.

CAPA’s Cabaret Theatre: 111 9th St. (corner of 9th and Ft. Duquesne, enter on 9th)
free admission

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April 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm Comments (0)

The Ghost and Mr. Able


Looking for a last minute gift idea for the holidays? Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra has got you covered with the release of their five-track digital album The Ghost and Mr. AbleThe album is a collaboration between composer Sean Neukom and Will Lardinois who wrote all the songs together, with Neukom creating the string quartet parts as well as singing, playing drums, and engineering the handsomely produced album.

So what is The Ghost and Mr. Able? A rock album? Chamber music? Prog rock/orchestral/fusion? Well, yes! I’m not going to do that annoying rock criticism thing where I try to ferret out all the influences that are apparent in an album and then throw in a few completely obscure band references to underscore the fact that I am as hip as you wish you were. We have the interwebs, so give it a listen. Also, buy it for yourself so that the Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra can pay the gas bill and make more great albums. 

Speaking of Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra, they are part of Symbiotic Collusion which has also brought us Freya String Quartet. I mention this because you know how everybody is talking about how musicians need to be more entrepreneurial and there are classes in it at conservatories and stuff? And these are usually a very complicated way of saying, “You all better work your asses off because seriously, there are not many gigs out there. Also, tuition is going up next year.” Anyway, SC is doing the music entrepreneurship thing about well as anybody and it is very significant to me that they are not just out there hustling for gigs (which is commendable in any case), but that all the hustling is toward the goal of creating unique projects like this one. It’s a good model and one that I hope we see more of.

December 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm Comments (0)

CAPA Antithesis and CAPA Electro-Acoustic Ensemble Winter Concert

Thursday, January 24th, 7:00 pm
CAPA’s Cabaret Theatre
111 9th St

CAPA Antithesis, the new-music ensemble of Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, presents its winter concert, under the direction of Alia Musica member (and CAPA teacher) Lenny Young. This concert will also see the debut of a brand new music group, CAPA Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, under the direction of composer Alec Summers. Music includes original works by the directors and students, plus pieces by Charles Mingus, Carl Bergstrom-Nielsen, Tom Johnson and local composer Dave Bernabo.


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January 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm Comments (0)

Molly Joyce and her finalist piece “Dollhouse”

Molly Joyce is a young up-and-coming Pittsburgh-borned-and-raised composer. She’s studying composition at Julliard since 2011, and her music is getting a lot of attention around the country… ensembles, blogs, audiences, etc. Her piece Dollhouse was selected as one of the 5 finalists in the PNME/Alia Musica 2012-13 Competition, so it’s part of the program in Alia Musica’s concert Friday (Kresge Hall, 7:30, $15/12).

I had a nice talk with her last Friday. We had ‘skyped her in’ for one of the rehearsals, so we thought, why not have a conversation about things? Here’s some of it, check it out:

November 13, 2012 at 10:37 am Comments (0)

E.L.C.O. and OvreArts get some publicity!

Here’s a great write-up of recent performances by Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra and OvreArts by dance critic Jane Vranish!


September 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm Comments (0)

PNME/Alia Musica Competition

A reminder to all Pittsburgh-related composers: this Friday is the deadline for submission to the Call for Scores and Commission Competition with Alia Musica and the PNME, a new opportunity for Pittsburgh-related composers that offers both a performance of an existing work and a commission for a new piece.

Composers are invited to submit:

1 piece
for 5–15 performers,
7–15′ in length,
by July 15, 2012.

There is no entry fee. 5-6 finalists will be performed by Alia Musica in the Fall of 2012,
and out of that concert a winning composer is selected for a $4,000 commission by the PNME, for premiere in the Summer of 2013.

Submission is by email: a score and an mp3 of any available recordings (no MIDI). Full guidelines here


July 9, 2012 at 11:35 am Comment (1)

From Cage and Varèse to Tsontakis and DJ Spooky…

What a great concert last night with the Bugallo-Williams piano duo—a great wrap up for Music on the Edge’s 2011-12 season. Pittsburgh’s new music scene is really moving along!

In fact, I’m excited to announce the Hear/Now festival on April 13 and 14. It’s coproduced by the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Alia Musica.—I’m really honored to have helped curate a pretty cool line-up for this first time.

I don’t even know where to start mentioning the highlights and keeping the list short without leaving out some of the coolest stuff! Performers include eighth blackbird’s Tim Munro, DJ Spooky, Attack Theater’s Dave Eggar, PNME’s Conor Hanik, Pittsburgh’s own Eric Moe and Michael Johnsen… there are numbers by Alia Musica, ELCO, OvreArts, and Freya Quartet, multimedia acts by Chris McGlumphy, Alisha Wormsley, and a party at the Shadow Lounge with Ben Opie and DJ Soy Sos.

And the music that is being played! We’ll get to hear Varèse (Alia Musica is playing Octandre), Cage (in Tim Munro’s own solo-flute version of the Aria for solo voice), Feldman and Worinen played by PNME’s Conor Hanik, a Philip Glass quartet performed by Freya Quartet… I get to premiere a piece by George Tsontakis with Alia Musica too

Not to mention the plenty of music by Pittsburgh composers: Mathew Rosenblum’s wonderful Circadian Rhythms, piano music by him and Eric Moe (performed by Eric himself), John Newkom’s string quartet, a premiere by John Arrigo-Nelson, the music of Luke Mayernik…

For details and discount tickets visit the Kelly Strayhorn website. The event is also announced on Facebook, so make sure to like the organizations involved!


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April 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm Comments (0)

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