Philadelphia Improvisation and Experimental Music Calendar

09.  16.  19

Monday             7:00PM

Discovery Center

Argyle Torah, Bonnie Lander + Batya McAdam-Somer, Peter Redgrave

3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121, USA
An evening of New Music, Dance, and Earthly Delights featuring
Bonnie Lander: Voice
Batya McAdam‐Somer: Violin
György Kurtág’s Kalfka Fragments
Peter Redgrave: Movement
performing his new solo work
The Audition
Argyle Torah (Aaron Pond + Thomas Patteson)
Improvisations of Man and Machine
Bonnie Lander (soprano) and Batya Macadam-Somer (violin):
classically trained musicians who specialize in collaborative new chamber music. After meeting in 2011 at the UC San Diego graduate program, Batya and Bonnie have been collaborating on a variety of projects including new chamber music, folk music, original music, and improvised performance.
Peter Redgrave:
an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Baltimore, Maryland. He creates movement based performances, dances, but they are not really dances. He has trained with Butoh dancers, contact improvisors, clowns, and he skateboarded for years. He is trying not to fall down as much.
Argyle Torah
Thomas Patteson + Aaron Pond are buds spiraling out from soil in delicate procedures. The difference- small. Both befriend the spirit of the sun. Thomas channels UV rays through circuits into pure aurality. Aaron makes petals ruminate.

09.  18.  19

Wednesday             8:00PM

University Lutheran

Eric Wubbels: if and only if

3637 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
A new chamber formation brings together Josh Modney, Mariel Roberts, and Eric Wubbels, three of the leading musicians of the New York new music scene, whose playing draws on over a decade of experience playing together in the Wet Ink Ensemble and Mivos Quartet. Their debut program features if and only if , a new large-scale work by Eric Wubbels, written over an extended period of close collaboration with Modney and Roberts. if and only if combines a microscopic attention to tuning, acoustic beating, and instrumental vibration with an austerity and simplicity derived from Medieval music.
Josh Modney is a violinist devoted to creative music-making. A “new-music luminary,” “superb violinist” (The New York Times), and “multitasking virtuoso” (The New Yorker) hailed for “jaw-dropping technical skill…” and as “one of today’s most intrepid experimentalists” (Bandcamp Daily), Modney collaborates with a wide array of renowned ensembles and artists as part of a broad scene of adventurous music that thrives at the nexus of composition, improvisation, and interpretation.
American cellist Mariel Roberts is widely recognized not just for her “virtuosic” performances, but as a “fearless explorer” (Chicago Reader) in her field. Her ravenous appetite for collaboration and experimentation as an interpreter, improvisor, and composer have helped create a body of work which bridges avant-garde, contemporary, jazz, classical, and traditional music. Roberts is widely recognized for her “technical and interpretive mastery” (I care if you listen) and for performances which seethe with “excruciating intensity” (The Whole Note).
Eric Wubbels is a composer and pianist, and a Co-Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble. His music has been performed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the U.S., by groups such as Wet Ink Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, yarn|wire, Splinter Reeds, Kupka’s Piano (AUS), SCENATET (DK), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, and featured on festivals including Huddersfield Festival (hcmf//), LA Phil Green Umbrella Series, Chicago Symphony MusicNOW, New York Philharmonic CONTACT, MATA Festival, and Zurich Tage für Neue Musik.

09.  20.  19

Friday             7:30PM

Cherry Street Pier

George Crumb – The River of Life

121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106
George Crumb's
The River of Life (2003)
(American Songbook I – A Cycle of Hymns, Spirituals, and Revival Tunes)
The seven volumes of George Crumb’s American Songbooks are the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’s explorations of America’s folk song heritage that include stunning transformations of African-American spirituals, Appalachian ballads, Native American chants, New England hymns, Southern revival songs, Western cowboy tunes, and in one volume, more popular folk music by Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.
Each volume was written for, dedicated to, premiered and recorded first by Orchestra 2001 as it emerged from Mr. Crumb’s suburban Philadelphia studio over a period of a decade. There are few examples in modern classical music in which a composer of such stature has written so much music for a specific ensemble. We believe this cycle to be one of the most unique and beautiful celebrations of America's folk heritage any artist has ever conceived.  
Volume I, The River of Life  (2003) – Songs of Joy, and Sorrow – A Cycle of Hymns, Spirituals and Revival Tunes for Voice, Percussion Quartet, and Amplified Piano, contains nine of Crumb’s sometimes haunting, sometimes hilarious, always magical settings of American folk songs surrounded by the myriad colors of his astonishing music.
The River of Life is scored for more than 130 different percussion instruments including bosun’s (boatswain) whistle, log drums, Appalachian musical saw, Chinese cymbals and temple gongs, Japanese temple bells and kabuki blocks, Tibetan prayer stones, Indian ankle bells, Thai wooden buffalo bells, Cambodian anklung, frog voice guïro, Moroccan bendir, Swiss almglocken (large cowbells), water-tuned crystal goblets, toy piano, and a number of instruments played underwater.

09.  22.  19

Sunday             8:00PM

Holy Apostles

Lonnie Holley + Moor Mother with Nelson Patton

NW Corner 51st & Spruce Streets Philadelphia, PA 19139
Bowerbird is pleased to present Alabama-born sculptor and musician Lonnie Holley (performing with Nelson Patton -Dave Nelson and Marlon Patton) and Philadelphia-based musician, poet, visual artist, and activist Moor Mother. “Despite undeniable sonic and aesthetic connections to Sun Ra and Arthur Russell, Lonnie Holley’s music is a law unto itself, with the inimitable blues orator free-forming at its core”. (vinyl factory) “Lonnie Holley is the closest thing America has to a prophet.” (SF weekly). As Moor Mother, Ayewa’s work operates at the intersection of spoken word, rap, punk, and free jazz, examining consciousness, identity, blackness, and the global socio-political landscape through an Afrofuturist lens.
Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. From the age of five, Holley worked various jobs: picking up trash at a drive-in movie theatre, washing dishes, and cooking. He lived in a whiskey house, on the state fairgrounds, and in several foster homes. His early life was chaotic and Holley was never afforded the pleasure of a real childhood. Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound.
Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and workshop facilitator, and has performed at numerous festivals, colleges, galleries, and museums around the world, sharing the stage with King Britt, Roscoe Mitchell, Claudia Rankine, bell hooks, and more.

09.  24.  19

Tuesday             8:00PM


Pitsiokos/St. Silva/Zederberg trio & Blacksberg/Data/Suarez trio

1542 E Montgomery Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Chris Pitsiokos:
Chris Pitsiokos is a Brooklyn-based saxophonist, composer and improviser. His compositions often provide a framework for performers to express a singular aesthetic vision without subjugating their voices as creative elements in their own right. In this way his work contrasts with traditional modes of composition in which the composer or band leader is the sole, or primary arbiter of a unified, preconceived vision.
Chris has been praised by Rolling Stone for his “startlingly original vision” and “astonishingly fleet sax work.” Downbeat has identified his band CP Unit as “a persuasive combination of harmolodic jazz and contemporary noise rock.” As a soloist he has developed a unique voice on the alto saxophone: his expansion of the instrument’s vocabulary has served to multiply its emotive and formal capabilities.
Sue St. Silva:
Sue St. Silva is a trumpeter, improviser and composer from Porto, Portugal.
In the last years she has been considered by the international press as one of the strongest emerging voices in contemporary jazz and improvised music.
With a singular approach/voice that comes out of a comprehensive spectrum of influences, from classical and contemporary music to jazz and textural sound art, she is interested in stretching the boundaries of the instrument and in exploring new ways of expression within music.
Toby Zederberg:
One of creative music’s most eloquent exponents, having emerged from the fertile Swedish jazz scene around 2005. With his band Toby Zederberg Hot Five, he began a fruitful relationship with the thoroughly excellent Moserobie label, run by his frequent band mate, saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar, and by the time he was making records like Skildrar Kvinnans Kamp and Och Den Stora Frågen, Corbett Vs. Dempsey were completely hooked. Zederberg is a Mingus for our times. He’s a composer of unusual means — great sense for how to harmonize his inventive melodies; how to make a sextet sound like a big band and how to clear space for an unaccompanied solo; his slightly devious sense of humor underlying all the drive and swing that make the best in a bass player; and best of all a respect for his musicians, who have always found ways to push his great compositions up a notch”.-Corbett vs. Dempsey
Dan Blacksberg/madam data/Leo Suarez trio:
Trombonist and composer Dan Blacksberg is one of the premiere practitioners of traditional klezmer on the trombone, and a rapidly rising voice in experimental music. With work spanning avant-garde jazz, modern classical music, improvised music, and klezmer, Blacksberg has developed a complex style to carve out new spaces for the trombone in modern experimental and Jewish music.
Ada Adhiyatma  is a musician who explores machine interfaces and the embodied idea of distance. Working with handmade computer programs, field recordings and old samplers, they fantasize about sound as a way to echolocate spaces defined by separations, the trauma of dislocation, the impossibility of empathy. Ada’s performance personas in Philadelphia include the apocalyptic insect noise purveyor Madam Data, and various component identities of sci fi noise-thrash quintet OOLOI and the environmental improvisation duo ‘place’. They also produce a podcast of discarded sound called The Floating World.
A recent transplant from Tampa, FL to Philadelphia, percussionist Leo Suarez performs, records and tours within various rock contexts, as well as in many different experimental and improvised settings. Suarez currently stays active with his groups TONED (with Nathan Corder and Tom Weeks), wMerchandise, Carnivorous Bells and countless duos and trios. In November of 2018, Leo Suarez released “Marbles On Tile”, his first release for solo drum-set which explores colors, overtones and melodic development through the vehicle of improvised percussion.

09.  26.  19

Thrusday             7:00PM

The Pharmacy

26 SEP: Queen Elephantine, Ooloi, Suuduer, Pyramid Minds

1300 S. 18TH ST PHILADELPHIA, PA 19146
//outsider psychedelic free jazz drone sludge freakout\\
Queen Elephantine
"Incredible... Masters of evocative, atmospheric drone, enlisting a multitude of musical traditions from across the world to create aural environments that feel ancient and earthy. Entrancing riffs crawl and repeat before either exploring into a flurry of noise or collapsing complete to almost nothing but an ego-destroying drone and group chanting." —Terrorizer
"Avant-noise punk jazz supergroup featuring members of Space Fuck, Static Bros, Sour Spirit, King Azaz among others" - XPN
Pyramid Minds
If you've ever wondered what particle physics might sound like -- we might do it.

09.  27.  19

Friday             8:00PM

Pageant : Soloveev

Streets of Philadelphia: Desertion Trio and SoP Chamber Ensemble

607 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Streets of Philadelphia is a series of 25 new compositions by Nick Millevoi. These pieces, all inspired by and named after streets in Philadelphia, were written to be played by any instrumentation. They're all new compositions and none of them have been recorded, so think of this as my new album, it's just on paper. The book was designed and printed on Risograph by Erik Ruin, a Philadelphia-based visual artist and leader of the audiovisual band, Ominous Cloud. The Streets of Philadelphia book is limited to 100 copies.
Desertion Trio
(Nick Millevoi - guiatr, Johnny DeBlase - bass, Kevin Shea - drums, and Ron Stabinsky - organ)
Streets of Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble
(Veronica MJ - viola, Dan Blacksberg - trombone, Tom Kraines - cello, Anthony Di Bartolo - percussion)
Nick Millevoi is a guitarist and composer whose music searches for the sonic cracks between jazz, rock and roll, noise, and modern composition. He leads the band, Desertion Trio, featuring bassist Johnny DeBlase and drummer Kevin Shea, whose sound has been described as “supremely weird desert noir” (Noisey) and “the sweet spot between Neil Young's exploratory Crazy Horse jams and a spaghetti western soundtrack” (NPR Music). Desertion Trio has released three full-length albums on the labels Shhpuma/Clean Feed and Long Song Records, which have been lauded by outlets such as Downbeat Magazine, and JazzTimes, with Rolling Stone describing their latest release, Twilight Time as “warmly nostalgic and potently surreal.”

10.  01.  19

Tuesday             8:00PM

Ruba Club

Roscoe Mitchell-Moor Mother Duo

416 Green Street Philadelphia, PA
Master saxophonist and recent NEA Jazz Master Roscoe Mitchell is one of the great innovators in creative music of the post-Coltrane, post-Ayler era. He has for over 50 years been a restless explorer of new forms, ideas and concepts. In 1967 he founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago (originally the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble), a hugely influential collective whose motto – “Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future” –  has been a rallying cry for adventurous artists for more than half a century. He is also distinguished as the founder of the Creative Arts Collective, The Roscoe Mitchell Sextet & Quartet, The Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble, The Sound Ensemble, The New Chamber Ensemble, and the Note Factory.

10.  02.  19

Wednesday             8:00PM

Johnny Brenda's

Fred Frith Trio

1201 N. Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA
Fred Frith – guita
Jason Hoopes – bass
Jordan Glenn – drums
Heike Liss – visual art
Songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist (bass, keyboards, violin) and improviser Fred Frith needs little introduction to fans of adventurous music. The eclectic Englishman is a founding member of avant-rock pioneers Henry Cow, as well as being a member of such mind-warping bands as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Key, and John Zorn’s Naked City. He’s collaborated with a who’s who of inventive and experimental musicians, including Robert Wyatt, Derek Bailey, The Residents, Lol Coxhill, Brian Eno, Mike Patton, Lars Hollmer, Bill Laswell, Iva Bittová, Jad Fair, Kramer, the ARTE Quartett, and Bob Ostertag.
The Fred Frith Trio teams the leader with a pair of gifted Bay Area musicians, bassist Jason Hoopes (OrkestRova, Scott Amendola) and drummer Jordan Glenn (Roscoe Mitchell Orchestra, tUnE-yArDs). The trio has released two albums on Intakt Records: Another Fucking Day in Paradise (2016, which All About Jazz described as a “hardcore off-centered delicacy;” and Closer to the Ground (2018), leading DownBeat’s Peter Margasak to describe the group as “a scrappy improvising trio.” For this rare Philadelphia appearance, the trio will be joined by live visual artist Heike Liss as well as a special surprise guest.

10.  03.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Pagaent : Soloveev

Sarah Davachi / Matchess

607 Bainbridge St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
As a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi‘s work is primarily concerned with disclosing the delicate psychoacoustics of intimate aural spaces, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize subtle variations in overtone complexity, temperament and intonation, and natural resonances.  The instrumentation she employs is varied, including piano, electric organ, pipe and reed organ, voice, tape-replay samplers, analog synthesizers, early western strings and keyboards, orchestral strings, brass, and woodwinds.
Whitney Johnson is a musician, composer, and writer based in Chicago. She performs, improvises, and collaborates through the viola, as well as vocalization, organ, and electronics. In her solo work, Matchess, she considers the reproduction of sound and meaning through a range of historical material processes, including reel-to-reel tape looping, cassette tape sampling, and field recording.

10.  05.  19

Saturday             8:00PM

Ruba Club

Makaya McCraven

416 Green Street Philadelphia, PA
Makaya McCraven – drums
Jeff Parker – guitar
Luke Stewart – bass
Joel Ross – vibraphone
Makaya McCraven can best be described as a beat scientist. The cutting-edge drummer, producer, and sonic collagist is a multi-talented force whose inventive process and intuitive style of performance defy categorization. Called “a sound visionary” ( who is “not your everyday jazz drummer” (, McCraven brilliantly moves between genres and pushes the boundaries of jazz and rhythm to create forms of his own.
McCraven’s breakthrough album In the Moment was a dramatic statement by McCraven, with which he debuted a unique brand of “organic beat music” that quickly launched him into the vanguard of not only internationally-known jazz artists, but also a niche genre of next-wave composer-producers blurring the boundaries of jazz and electronic music. The album was named a “Best of 2015” selection for Los Angeles Times, Pop Matters, NPR Music’s Jazz Critics Poll, and Apple Music, and hailed by Turntable Lab as “one of the most important recordings to date in the modern jazz world.”

10.  06.  19

Sunday             7:00PM

Painted Bride Art Center

Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive

230 Vine Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Please join Ars Nova Workshop, in partnership with Painted Bride Art Center, for the Philadelphia debut collaboration of Go: Organic Orchestra and the boundary-pushing Indian classical musicians of Brooklyn Raga Massive.
Master percussionist, composer and bandleader Adam Rudolph has created the prototype for a “Future Orchestra” with his innovative Go: Organic Orchestra. On the remarkable new album Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas, the Orchestra joins forces with the boundary-pushing Indian classical musicians of Brooklyn Raga Massive, showcasing Rudolph’s game-changing vision by bridging ancient traditions and forward-looking excursions. The 30+-piece ensemble embraces diverse cultures, genders, traditions, generations and voices to create a breathtaking original sound that invents a communal way forward while reverberating with echoes of the recent and ancient past. Drawing parallels with another groundbreaking and singular epic, Ragmala has already been referred to as a “Bitches Brew for the 21st century.”

10.  10.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Annenberg Center

George Crumb: Out of Darkness

3680 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
George Crumb: Out of Darkness
Arcana New Music Ensemble
A collection of George Crumb’s most evocative music performed by Philadelphia’s Arcana New Music Ensemble. The program features the haunting setting Apparition, with texts drawn from Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” and all four books of Madrigals with text by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.

Dream Sequence (Images II) (1976)
Mundus Canis (A Dog’s World) (1998)
Apparition (1979)
Eleven Echoes of Autumn (Echoes I) (1965)
Madrigals, Book I – IV (1965, 1969)

10.  10.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

World Cafe Live

Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way

3025 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary
Please join us for our 50th anniversary celebration of Miles Davis’s landmark recording In A Silent Way led by Philadelphia drummer Charlie Hall, best known for his work in The War on Drugs.
Charlie Hall is best known as the drummer for The War on Drugs, though his eclectic talents also extended to leading the Philadelphia male choral ensemble The Silver Ages and co-founding The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society, a conglomeration of Fleetwood Mac enthusiasts from Philly and New York. He has also recorded and toured with Jens Lekman and Tommy Guerrero, among others. In addition to being indie rock royalty, Hall is a longtime Miles Davis aficionado, with a particular fascination for the trumpet icon’s electric period.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the dawning of that controversial era, inaugurated by the release of Davis’s landmark album In a Silent Way. Hall and his group of stellar collaborators have been exploring the ‘69-’75 era of Miles Davis’s canon since the late 90s in San Francisco, and will reconvene to celebrate the 50th anniversary. The original brought together Classic Quintet members Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams with soon-to-be fusion pioneers Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul and Dave Holland.

10.  11.  19

Friday             8:00PM

Annenberg Center

George Crumb: Kosmos

3680 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
Margaret Leng Tan & Adam Tendler
Two major works for solo amplified piano, the zodiac-inspired Makrokosmos I and the more recent Metamorphoses, celebrate George Crumb’s unfettered imagination as he requires the pianist to be a virtuoso at the keyboard while playing inside the piano and vocalizing as well.

Makrokosmos, Book I (1972)
Metamorphoses, Book I (2015 – 2017)

10.  12.  19

Saturday             8:00PM

Annenberg Center

George Crumb: Black Angels

3680 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
Daedalus Quartet & friends
The Daedalus Quartet performs Crumb’s Vietnam War-haunted Black Angels for amplified string quartet, “a work of frightening intensity, where Jimi Hendrix and Pierrot Lunaire shake hands with the devil.” A selection of Crumb’s early music rounds out the picture of this essential American artist’s lengthy career.

Sonata for Solo Violoncello (1955)
Four Nocturnes (1964)
Three Early Songs (1947)
A Little Suite For Christmas, 1979, A. D. (1980)
Black Angels (1970)

10.  17.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Caplan Center

Ethan Iverson Quartet featuring Tom Harrell

320 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
Record Release Celebration
  • Ethan Iverson – piano
  • Tom Harrell – trumpet
  • Ben Street – bass
  • Eric McPherson – drums
Please join us for the ECM Records release celebration of Ethan Iverson’s latest quartet featuring the prolific trumpeter Tom Harrell.
The latest ECM album from Ethan Iverson, Common Practice, presents the former Bad Plus pianist at the head of his own quartet, in a program of standards and blues recorded live at Manhattan’s famed Village Vanguard. The virtuosic all-star band features as its prime melodic voice veteran trumpeter Tom Harrell, who was voted Trumpeter of the Year in 2018 by the Jazz Journalists Association. The quartet is also driven by a buoyant swing courtesy of the dynamic rhythm team of bassist Ben Street and drummer Eric McPherson.

10.  18.  19

Friday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

Laraaji with Chris Powell

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Philadelphia-born, New Jersey-raised polymath Laraaji has maintained a pursuit of spiritual transcendence through music since the mid-70s. After several years of studiously developing an aesthetic informed by Eastern faiths and transcendental research in his long-time home in Harlem, in 1979 Brian Eno stumbled upon him busking in Washington Square Park in New York, improvising celestial meditations with his electric zither. The producer invited him to contribute to his influential Ambient series, resulting in the 1980 album Day of Radiance. Ever since he’s remained an outsized figure in new age and ambient music, eschewing synthesizers in favor of hand-made sounds, consistently embracing a human presence in his ever-seeking performances.
Philadelphia’s Christopher Sean Powell is well known for his involvement in art- rock bands like Need New Body, Man Man, and Icy Demons, but over the years he’s also developed a vibrant modular synthesizer practice. His pieces are at once whimsical and mesmerizing, a playful tumble of pointillistic counterpoint where cascades of blorpy tones coalesce into entrancing melodies.

10.  24.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

Arthur Brooks Ensemble V

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Trumpeter-composer ARTHUR BROOKS is one of the unsung heroes of the new music. In his 40+ year career he has collaborated with such legendary figures as Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Sharrock, Alan Silva, and Frank Wright among others. For over 20 years he taught alongside Dixon in the Black Music Division at Bennington College. Brooks founded Ensemble V at Bennington College in 1973 and the music has continued to evolve. Though Brooks is technically the leader and creator — or perhaps curator — of Ensemble V, he emphasizes that the band is a democracy. “Everybody’s a leader. And everybody has big ears. We find ourselves in areas that I would like to take home and develop and write, but I wouldn’t want to limit what we’re going to do.” For this performance, he’ll be joined by Jeremy Harlos – bass; Bill Heminway – trumpet & flugelhorn; Anthony Santor – bass and Matt Weston – percussion.

10.  27.  19

Sunday             8:00PM

Ruba Club

Deradoorian / Lea Bertucci

416 Green Street Philadelphia, PA
Deradoorian / Lea Bertucci
  • Deradoorian – flutes, electronics
  • Lea Bertucci – alto saxophone, tape machines, electronics
Please join us for this very special drone-centric double-bill featuring Deradoorian and Lea Bertucci.
Some imitate the past, while others divine inspiration and transmit it elsewhere. Angel Deradoorian embodies the latter idea, synthesizing faint hints of Alice Coltrane and Can, Terry Riley and Dorothy Ashby. As the former bassist, keyboardist and vocalist for Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian’s levitating vocals memorably buoyed the Brooklyn-based group. Deradoorian has also been a member of Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, sang on Flying Lotus’ “Siren Song,” and collaborated with Vampire Weekend, Björk, Matmos, the Roots, and others.
Lea Bertucci is a composer, performer and sound designer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her instrumental practice with woodwind instruments, she often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique and tape collage. In recent years, her projects have expended toward site-responsive and site-specific sonic investigations of architecture. Deeply experimental, her work is unafraid to subvert musical expectation.

10.  31.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Johnny Brenda's

Sounds of Liberation feat. David Murray & Creative Arts Ensemble

1201 N. Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA
Sounds of Liberation feat. David Murray & Creative Arts Ensemble
performing Drum Dance to the Motherland
This Halloween, Ars Nova Workshop celebrates the groundbreaking, eclectic career of one of Philadelphia’s legendary jazz pioneers, the vibraphonist and composer Khan Jamal.
Sounds Of Liberation was a band – and a social movement – formed in of the Germantown & Mt Airy neighborhoods of Philadelphia in 1970. Originally conceived and formed by Jamal, the arrival of Byard Lancaster in 1971 helped shift their focus and efforts into a higher gear, placing the ensemble at the forefront of avant-garde Black expression in the early 1970s. The group issued one self-released album, New Horizons, in 1972 on their own Dogtown label, before making a surprise return in 2019 with a long-lost 1973 session from Columbia University and an ANW-presented reunion of the band’s surviving members. They’ll return to the stage with one of their most iconic contemporaries, free jazz tenor powerhouse David Murray, as their special guest.
Several members of Sounds of Liberation, including guitarist Monnette Sudler, drummer Dwight James and bassist Billy Mills, also convened as members of the Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble. The same year as New Horizons was released, the CAE’s mind-blowing performance at Philadelphia’s Catacombs Club was captured for Drum Dance to the Motherland, an extremely limited edition release on Dogtown before a long-overdue reissue in 2018 reintroduced the band’s genre-blurring sounds to the world. In its improbable fusion of free jazz expressionism, black psychedelia and full-on dub production techniques, this eccentric, one-of-a-kind masterpiece remains a bracingly powerful statement 45 years after it was recorded.

12.  20.  19

Friday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

Sarah Hennies: Contralto

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Sarah Hennies: Contralto
plus Flourish with Ashely Tini
Ithaca composer and percussionist Sarah Hennies presents a cinematic version of her stunning 2017 video work Contralto, a bracing yet tender meditation on gender dysphoria viewed through the lens of transgender women finding a comfortable new speaking voice. Based on her experience in Ithaca College’s Voice and Communication Modification Program for People in the Transgender Community, the composer gathered seven diverse transgender women to perform vocal exercises designed to aid in so-called, “voice feminization.” Contralto is an intimate glimpse into the participants articulating stock phrases, singing notes, and sharing personal details to present a powerful example of the harrowing difficulties involved in the process.
To open the evening Hennies and Philadelphia percussionist Ashley Tini—who is among the musicians on the cinematic version of Contralto—will perform the composer’s Flourish (2013), for two vibraphonists positioned on opposite sides of the same instrument. The work presents different modes of stasis, from relentlessly pulsing mallet strikes to billowing clouds of overtones and spooky interference patterns.

01.  17.  20

Friday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

Ikue Mori + Charmaine Lee

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Since her emergence in New York’s No Wave scene in the late 1970s as a percussionist in DNA, Japanese native Ikue Mori has used auto didacticism to forge one of the most singular aesthetics in contemporary music. Since switching from a richly intuitive approach to drums to electronics during the 1980s she’s refined an elusive, liquid sound that translated her rhythmic vocabulary into a shape-spilling mass of daydreaming gurgles, bloops, smears, rattles, and fractals that’s at once serene and unsettling.
New York improviser and composer Charmaine Lee has quickly become a force in experimental music circles in the last few years, parlaying her voice with staggering extended technique and electronics to create a forceful, elusive practice that shares more in common with noise and experimental approaches than conventional singing. Her wordless, cacophonous improvisations viscerally transmit ultra-high- pitched frequencies, manic vocal fry, and guttural shrieks manipulated with distortion, feedback, and objects like glass and water to deliver an unsettling attack that is simultaneously brittle and violent. Mori and Lee will each perform solo, followed by a duo set—a young partnership marked by exquisite tension, piercing timbre, and quicksilver exchange.
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