Just saw these incredibly talented musicians perform some traditional Persian material, some originals of theirs, some improv and some I Ching-based sound meditation triads at Zoraspace, a cute little known venue/bar/art gallery on 4th Av in Park Slope. Eyvind’s magnificent viola playing was complemented by some electronics and sampling/looping techniques as well as by his new found love for the two stringed microtonal setar (whose gracing-style of playing he compared to the ‘green flash’ of the sun). Jessika’s heavenly voice interpreted Persian traditional material in original language and translated, Latin poems of the Virgil era and pieces they wrote themselves. April sparsely accompanied them both with her Arabic hand drums. I have had/am having the pleasure to record this material at EastSide Sound over the past few months, whenever Eyvind is in town for something, and have a new session with them this week. If you can catch Eyvind playing with Laurie Anderson at BAM every day until October 3rd, if not definitely check them out online at http://www.myspace.com/eyvindkangeyvind
In the studio today recording with Jessica Pavone’s new distorted viola-driven rock group Army of Strangers… Session is goof great and the musicians are solid. Fun times. Most musicians I know usually lie down to take a break, she’s the first one who I see that stood up… flipped around! FYI I did ask her if I could post this picture on my blog
I went to see Laurie’s new show “Delusions” tonight (currently playing at BAM in Brooklyn) and, not to my surprise, it was an amazing show!
Needless to say she is the greatest female story teller NY, if not the world, has had in recent times. This show is still political, but to a much smaller degree than “Homeland”. Above all it is personal, very much so, with tales of dreams, stories about her parents(‘s death), her dog and her travels and encounters. The amazing thing is that all the stories are true, and those who know her to varying degrees, will relate to a lot of what she is saying. Fenway (her down-pitched male alter-ego voice) is very present too and she even does some singing in between the majestic spoken word parts.
Musically the show is more dynamic, with louder parts and very soft ones. Her supporting group consists of the uber-amazing Eyvind Kang on viola and the super-low-drones-producing horn player Colin Stetson.
Visually “Delusions” marks a return to the projections and to a more complex, but still simple, stage presentation. The beautiful set is made of a huge screen for projections, two smaller side screens for more projections (and to show the silhouettes of her two accompanying musicians) and a white couch in the middle which also serves as a projection surface.
Laurie Anderson is without a doubt one of the most gifted and original artists out there and I miss the times I was on tour with her.
If you live in NY I strongly recommend you, I urge you, to go see the show at BAM (it plays for another few days) and if you are not in NY go see it as soon as she is in a city near you. It is worth every mile you’ll travel and every penny you’ll spend! Guaranteed.
Is it really bad to say I never really checked them out back then? I guess they weren’t that big over in Europe where I used to live although I remember hearing the name thrown around in music magazines… Anyhow, better late than never, right? I’m filling in the gaps in my musical knowledge…
But the real highlight of the night is hanging out with my dear friend Dan again, their tour manager… We’ve been on tour together and got some stories…
I’ve been wanting to go check out the new Rockwood Stage 2 and I’ve been wanting to see Mike Visceglia’s own musical projects ever since I saw (and really liked) his playing alongside his long time employer Suzanne Vega at SXSW in Austin earlier this year. Well both were really pleasant surprises tonight: the band is called Destination Moon and consists of the amazig Oz Noy on guitar, Joe Bonadio on drums, Clifford Carter on keys, the soulful Elaine Caswell on vocals and Mike himself). They played an emotional set of great tunes, moody vibes and bad ass grooves. These are all amazing musicians and it’s a treat to see them in such an intimate setting. Rockwood 2 is a perfect place for it. Bigger than the original and adjacent Rockwood Music Hall and with better sound system and even better layout and use of space, the two stages have similar good vibes and are very conducive to this kind of stuff. After their beautiful and heartfelt set I also got quick taste of the following act, a very talented young singer called Vicci Martinez, so it’s obvious Rockwood’s owner Ken is keeping his commitment to quality music and carefully selected talent leaving me wanting more… Just the way it should be!
I just did some sessions with a very interesting VA-based NY-native new music composer by the name of Scott Barton. Besides being a guitar player who loves to bit-crush, loop and edit the shit out of his performances, this nice guy also studies applied robotics down in Virginia where together with other students he builds robots which (who?) can actually play instruments (or which are instruments themselves). The three prototypes they built are: MADI which plays the snare with two dozen different beaters; CADI which is a beater that can be applied to any percussive instrument; and PAM, which is a two-string instrument with a pick and some “fingers” that clamp down the strings to create different pitches and sounds like a mixture of a sitar and some middle eastern instrument or a zither. As you can imagine the record I am mixing is actually played by Scott himself on guitar and these robots (along with a bunch of other human guests). I think that definitely qualifies as one of the most interesting projects I’ve worked on lately (besides the always exciting ones I do with Zorn) and aside from the concept the music is very cool too. Definitely hard to label or even describe, I’d say it’s sort of a mixture of glitch-electronica, experimental noise and digital hardcore (treated, finely minced and bit crushed distorted electric guitars). Not sure when this album will be finished or released but keep an eye out for the creations by Scott Barton and check out his websitesÂ www.scottbarton.info and www.expressivemachines.com (it’s also a nice coincidence for me that this project’s name has two sixths of the words that make up my old electro-industrial band’s name, which was The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab – which stands for Modern Expressive Machines Of Revolutionary Youth).
It’s about time somebody stole the thunder from that psycho who inhabited my homepage for over a month now (I’ve been on vacation and “unplugged” a bit, hence the lack of postings…).
I just wanted to share this video with you. It’s a live recording of artist Daniel Wayne live at Southpaw in Brooklyn this past May. Drummer Brent Follis produced the video, which is a nice multi-camera shoot made with the latest HD-shooting SLRs and a bunch of smaller flip-camera-like devices. The results are really good, it’s well edited (I love the quick fade from the reflection of the kick drum skin to the back-camera angle) and a great way to see this very valid band.
I was only marginally involved as I mastered the audio but I think everyone did a great job on this production.