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Here’s a glimpse of what’s been going on at KZSU this Sunday. I made do with the iPhone and the UStream feed, as I forgot to bring my real camera. Captions and possibly more photos to follow.
The “what” that’s going on is the KZSU Day of Noise! Official explanation is on the Day of Noise page, and I blogged my own preview yesterday. If you’re seeing this on Sunday, April 14, 2013, go ahead and check out the aforementioned UStream video feed.
UPDATE: You can also check out some more professional photos at the KZSU Facebook photo stream (Facebook subjugation — er, subscription — not required). Note that I’m linking to the stream, so if you’re reading this significantly after April 2013, it might show a whole other set of photos.
Clarinetist François Houle will be down from Vancouver on Thursday, March 14, to perform “Aerials” at the Center for New Music (San Francisco). The solo improvised performance should be a nice chance to hear the clarinet fill the room and explore the acoustics of the Center. It’ll be followed by a duet where Zachary Watkins processes and feeds back the sound, turning Houle’s clarinet into an ensemble.
“Aerials” is not a set of specific songs, but an improvisational project Houle developed during a five-week residency in Italy, after nurturing the idea for years.
Houle explains more in this All About Jazz article from 2006. Aerials is a foil to Double Entendre, the album where Houle performs new-classical works solo with the aid of overdubs. (I gave it a mention in 2011.) For Aerials, his inspiration was John Carter, and his goal was to “make a strong musical statement.”
That, he did. Aerials could have been an exploration of every-sound-possible, but Houle edited his explorations to give the album a pervasive mood. It’s celebrates the room’s reverb but also its stillness; it’s an inviting sound that doesn’t let the air drag, even in the most reflective pieces.
“Liege” has the sound of a Native American flute, yet it wiggles and wanders, as if the clarinet were taking a drink. The last melody in this sample is the motif with which Houle started the piece; he returns to it, turning “Liege” into a kind of improvised song.
“Tuilerie” gets into a varied wandering, reminiscent of Evan Parker’s long sax solos of circular breathing. It’s rich in detail, with Houle jumping all over the clarinet’s range.
On the more sad and melodic side, “Pour Sidney” flows like a film noir ballad.
Read more about Aerials — the album and the process behind it — at Misterioso.
NBC Bay Area — the Channel 11 nightly news, basically — gave The Residents some love on Valentine’s Day.
I doubt there was an accompanying TV spot, but the NBC Bay Area web site ran a story that day about The Residents’ “40th Anniversary” tour, noting that no particular milestone of theirs appears to have happened exactly 40 years ago.
Cleverly, that gave writer Nicole Powers a chance to trace the band’s early history, getting more Residenty goodness onto the web site of — I can’t stress this enough — a TV nightly news operation.
Of course, why not give The Residents some ink? Their story is compelling even to the non-converted: A mysterious quartet that doesn’t reveal their identities yet has carved out a 40-plus-year career that’s included an impressive number of live performances. They deserve the publicity.
That’s 10:00 a.m.to 12:00 noon Pacific time, specifically.
It’s a one-off gig, subbing for another DJ at KZSU, and my first time on the air in about four months.
For those who had no idea I did a radio show, you can find old playlists in KZSU’s Zookeeper site.
This is almost two years old, from the March 2011 issue of Gramophone. But I didn’t have a scanner then.
It’s an album review. Enjoy.
… and ROVA has some photos of it up on Facebook.
The Kickstarter-funded filming of the Guelph Jazz Festival concert (reference here) also went as planned — an ambitious five-camera shoot assembled in relatively short time.
A Kickstarter update posted Monday by Larry Ochs (the “O” in ROVA, and the group’s manager) explains it all. Sounds like it was an amazing show.
Ochs brings up something I hadn’t considered: With “Electric Ascension” — a modernized realization of John Coltrane’s epic, “Ascension” — having already been released on CD, in 2003, would a second concert recording be redundant? Especially considering the band is almost entirely the same — minus Otomo Yoshihide and Donald Robinson, who are replaced by Rob Mazurek and Hamid Drake?
The final answer was No, Ochs writes: “It had its own arc, its own storyline.” Which makes sense, considering the improvisatory nature of the piece and even the 10-year span between recordings. I’d probably share Ochs’ trepidation if I were helping present the concert, but from a few thousand miles away, it was pretty easy to lean back and say “It’ll be great!”
Can’t wait to see and hear the results.
Some things from recent weeks that are worth your attention, if you haven’t found them already:
1. The recent SF Offside festival got a shout-out from NPR, in a story about grass-roots jazz efforts. An L.A. festival and record label also get listed, as does NYC’s club Small’s (highlighted here), which videocasts and archives its nightly concerts. (h/t: Alex Pinto, @pintobeans2885)
2. The AUM Fidelity label is turning 15 — congratulations to Steven Jeorg, who’s steadily serviced college radio with his releases. The Village Voice interviewed musicians for a nice oral history of the label. (h/t: Avant Music News and Improvised Communications)
But after seeing Signal to Noise, my favorite music magazine, shrink with the times — from monthly publication, to quarterly, and now to semi-annually — finding it in my mailbox last week was like an unexpected visit from a friend who’d been on vacation. The magazine’s format, style, and mission are all the same, packed with the same goodness including features, live-show reviews, and CD reviews. In other words, it feels like a normal issue, which is good.
Part of what’s inside:
- A Tim Berne feature written by Christian Carey, focusing on the current Snakeoil band.
- A feature on the Houston improv scene, past and present, featuring bassist Damon Smith, formerly of the Bay Area.
- A story on Loren Connors.
Big thanks to publisher Pete Gershon for keeping the faith, and to all the sponsors for keeping StN alive.
Find out more about the current issue (“current” will have hopefully changed, if you read this after October 2012) at SignalToNoiseMagazine.com.
Not much else to say. Pretty cool: