Philadelphia Improvisation and Experimental Music Calendar

03.  21.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

University Lutheran

John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes

3637 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Bowerbird, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania Department of Music, is pleased to present Amy Williams performing Sonatas and Interludes, John Cage’s groundbreaking cycle for prepared piano.  The work was composed in 1946–48, shortly after Cage’s introduction to Indian philosophy and the teachings of art historian Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, both of which became major influences on the composer’s later work. Significantly more complex than his other works for prepared piano, Sonatas and Interludes is generally recognized as one of Cage’s most important compositions. The cycle consists of sixteen sonatas (thirteen of which are cast in binary form, the remaining three in ternary form) and four more freely structured interludes.Cage’s works will be interspersed with new interludes by Jay Alan Yim, Jeffrey Weeter, Robert Reinhart and Philly composers Adam Vidiksis and Kevin Laskey. The influence of Cage’s invention is still felt 70 years after the premiere and will be reflected in the new works using the same set of preparations. Pianist/composer Amy Williams will present this journey through the eight permanent emotions of Ancient Hindu aesthetics: the “white” emotions (heroic, erotic, mirthful and wondrous) and the “black” emotions (fear, anger, disgust, and sorrow). All lead to a state of transcendence and tranquility.

03.  24.  19

Sunday             8:00PM

Johnny Brenda's

Yunohana Variations

1201 N. Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA

Featuring:
YoshimiO – drums
Susie Ibarra – drums + percussion
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – electronics
Yunohana Variations brings together a trio of experimental luminaries, each of whom has built their own towering reputation on transgressing stylistic and performative boundaries: drummer and singer YoshimiO from the mighty Boredoms, avant-garde composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra, and singer and synthesizer master Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, known to many as Lichens.

03.  27.  19

Wednesday             6:30PM

Institute of Contemporary Art

Amirtha Kidambi & Elder Ones

118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Vocalist and composer Amirtha Kidambi and her quartet, Elder Ones, present a selection of performances influenced by free jazz, modal meditation, atonal expressionism, free improvisation and melodic invention. Amirtha Kidambi is the composer and bandleader of her quartet Elder Ones, with Matt Nelson, Max Jaffe and Nick Dunston. Their forthcoming release From Untruth builds upon the bedrock foundation of Kidambi’s previous compositional and conceptual work with Elder Ones, while forging uncharted territory.

03.  28.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Johnny Brenda's

Mike Baggetta-Mike Watt-Stephen Hodges Trio

1201 N. Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA

Featuring:
Mike Baggetta – guitar
Mike Watt – bass
Stephen Hodges – drums
Please join us for a performance by a truly one-of-a-kind trio led by guitarist Mike Baggetta and featuring drummer Stephen Hodges and punk legend Mike Watt.
New York guitarist Mike Baggetta has it all, from swinging modern bop chops that flow like John Abercrombie to whammy bar pedal steel licks influenced by his first guitar hero, David Torn. In this raucous new trio he’s joined by drummer Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits, Mavis Staples, David Lynch) and Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, whose wide-ranging career also spans work with Iggy Pop and the Stooges and fIREHOSE. The music they create together is utterly unclassifiable; calling it post-genre-improv-jazz-rock may come close, but still doesn’t even begin to touch on the wild electric textures Baggetta’s guitar alone brings to the table.

03.  30.  19

Saturday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

Alash Ensemble

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Philadelphia favorites Alash return to The Rotunda for a FREE concert. Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing (xöömei), a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. Masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as the art of throat singing, Alash are deeply committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture. At the same time, they are fans of western music. Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, the musicians subtly infuse their songs with western elements, creating their own unique style that is fresh and new, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.

04.  04.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

The Art Depot

Maria Grand & Jupiter Blue

1638 East Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Maria Grand (solo):
María Grand is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and vocalist. She moved to New York City in 2011. She has since become an important member of the city’s creative music scene, performing extensively in projects including musicians such as Nicole Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Mary Halvorson, Jen Shyu, Fay Victor, Joel Ross, Steve Lehman, Aaron Parks, Miles Okazaki, etc. María writes and performs her original compositions with her ensemble, DiaTribe; her debut EP “TetraWind” was picked as “one of 2017’s best debuts” by the NYC Jazz Record and her full-length album Magdalena was praised by major publications such as the New York Times, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Billboard, JazzIz, and others. The New York Times calls her “an engrossing young tenor saxophonist with a zesty attack and a solid tonal range”, while Vijay Iyer says she is “a fantastic young saxophonist, virtuosic, conceptually daring, with a lush tone, a powerful vision, and a deepening emotional resonance.”
Jupiter Blue:
From the Arkestra’s engine room, Jupiter Blue’s tone scientists D.Hotep and Jupiter Girl (Tara Middleton) emerge to reveal elements and precepts of another kind of language, another tomorrow, learned through years of discipline to be given freely in the present. Hotep’s own ARP (Akimbo Research Projects) develops through-composed and free-improvised performance based on sonification of pitch-sets derived from elemental particles. Expect the never-expected as electronics, electric guitar, celestial vocals, percussion, and violin call forth shadows of unseen worlds.

04.  04.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

University Lutheran

Magnus Granberg and Ordinary Affects

3637 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Bowerbird is pleased to present the Philadelphia premiere of the Boston-based experimental music ensemble Ordinary Affects and a new evening length work by Magnus Granberg, a Swedish composer closely associated with the Wandelweiser movement. Of Granberg’s recent How Vain Are All Our Frail Delights?, journalist Ben Harper notes, “[Granberg] combines individual sounds and small fragments of material into a type of mobile structure, allowing the musicians to draw from one group or another at different times. A resemblance to late Feldman comes here from the sense of hearing patterns overlap and repeat, only never quite the same. The music feels like one extended moment, constantly changing in appearance but never changing in substance.”

04.  09.  19

Tuesday             7:00PM

Kislak Center

Maryanne Amacher: An Introduction

3420 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104, 6th floor

Bowerbird, in collaboration with The University of Pennsylvania’s Music Department and the Kislak Center, are pleased to present “Maryanne Amacher: An Introduction” a talk by scholar-artist Bill Dietz on the life and work of Maryanne Amacher (1938 – 2009). Featuring rarely presented archival material, the talk will illuminate Amacher’s unique methodology and studio practice.

04.  12.  19

Friday             7:30PM

Holy Apostles and the Mediator

Adjacencies, Petra, Supreme Connections (Night One) Maryanne Amacher

NW Corner 51st & Spruce Streets Philadelphia, PA 19139

Sound, space, and psychoacoustic phenomena are explored as three different facets of Maryanne Amacher’s creative work are joined together in a single evening for the first time. The program features two of Amacher’s rare compositions including live instruments: Adjacencies (for percussion and spatialized, four-channel electronics) and Petra (for two pianos). The artistic collective Supreme Connections will also create a site-specific interpretive installation using archival audio and visual materials. Each work will be staged in a different architectural space inside the beautiful and expansive Holy Apostles and The Mediator Church.
 

04.  13.  19

Saturday             1:00PM

Holy Apostles and the Mediator

Ways of Hearing (workshop) with Supreme Connections

NW Corner 51st & Spruce Streets Philadelphia, PA 19139

Ways of Hearing is a multi-part workshop lead by the artist group Supreme Connections that explores the complexity and nuance of Maryanne Amacher’s artistic practice and her idea of “perceptual geography” as an approach to composition. These events will include in depth listening and discussion of archival audio, and the presentation of unpublished images of scores, notes, and texts selected from the Amacher Archive. The workshop is open to all, but overall group size is limited. Advanced registration is strongly encouraged.
This program runs from 1pm to 5pm. Breaks and light refreshments will be provided.

04.  13.  19

Saturday             7:30PM

Holy Apostles and the Mediator

Adjacencies, Petra, Supreme Connections (Night Two) Maryanne Amacher

NW Corner 51st & Spruce Streets Philadelphia, PA 19139
Sound, space, and psychoacoustic phenomena are explored as three different facets of Maryanne Amacher’s creative work are joined together in a single evening for the first time. The program features two of Amacher’s rare compositions including live instruments: Adjacencies (for percussion and spatialized, four-channel electronics) and Petra (for two pianos). The artistic collective Supreme Connections will also create a site-specific interpretive installation using archival audio and visual materials. Each work will be staged in a different architectural space inside the beautiful and expansive Holy Apostles and The Mediator Church.

04.  16.  19

Tuesday             7:30PM

The Rotunda

Xylouris-White & Elkhorn

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Xylouris-White:Xylouris-White is firmly rooted in the past and future. Playing Cretan music of original and traditional composition, the band consists of Georgios Xylouris on Cretan laouto and vocals and Jim White on drum kit. Xylouris is known and loved by Cretans and Greeks at home and abroad and has been playing professionally from age 12. Jim White is an Australian drummer known and loved throughout the world as the drummer of Dirty Three, Venom P Stinger and now Xylouris White. For the last four years these two men have been performing as Xylouris White, the culmination of 25 years of friendship forged through music and place.
Elkhorn:
Elkhorn (Philadelphia/NYC) is a guitar duo featuring Jesse Sheppard on 12-string acoustic guitar and Drew Gardner on electric guitar. Their music digs deep into the traditions of Folk, Jazz, Blues, African, Indian, and Psychedelic music. Their latest album, Sun Cycle, is being released by Feeding Tube Records in the Spring of 2019.

04.  19.  19

Friday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

Yasmin Williams + Daniel Bachman

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Bowerbird is pleased to present a double bill of fingerstyle and American primitive guitarists Yasmin Williams and Daniel Bachman.
Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist with an unorthodox, modern style of playing. Her music has been commonly described as refreshing, relaxing, and unique and has been called some of the most imaginative guitar music out today. She utilizes various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping in her music to great effect. She has won various local talent shows, was a finalist in the Rolling Stones Young Gun guitar competition, was the Grand prize winner of New York University’s Ultra Violet Live talent show, and won the grand prize in Culpeper Has Talent. She was recently featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday show.
Daniel Bachman emerged as a guitar wonderkid at the beginning of this decade, quietly asserting himself as the heir to John Fahey’s throne with his prolific and deeply traditional approach to American Primitive music. While others who rode the wave of the instrumental guitar resurgence turned their six-string dexterity to modern interpretations of the style, Bachman has steadfastly mined the limitations of what ghosts can be summoned from his acoustic instruments.

04.  23.  19

Tuesday             8:00PM

Martha

Heart Of The Ghost & MJ/Engle/Capecchi trio

2113 East York Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Heart Of The Ghost:
For the past two years, few improvisation units have been as omnipresent in the D.C. area as Heart of the Ghost. For good reason: The trio of alto saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore, bassist Luke Stewart, and percussionist Ian McColm is something of a trinity of the finest free jazz improvisers in the region. If you’ve seen Heart of the Ghost in concert, then you know—Gilgore, Stewart, and McColm’s performances feel like a kind of séance, with the trio locked into a musical conversation with one another.
Veronica MJ/Matt Engle/Dan Capecchi trio:
Veronica Jurkiewicz (MJ) is a violist, violinist, and vocalist based in Philadelphia.  She is drawn to sound involving the intersection of experimental, improvisational, and traditional practice.
Veronica is often seen playing in a string quartet performing new/experimental music, singing Bach, improvising alongside Afro-Cuban percussionists, interpreting new music, and bringing chamber music to the people with Classical Revolution Philly.
Matt Engle (bass) has been an active member of the Philadelphia creative and improvised music scene for over 15 years. He is a member of the Dan Blacksberg Trio, Bobby Zankel small group, and Sonic Liberation Front among others.
Born and raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota (St. Paul and Minneapolis), percussionist Dan Capecchi moved to Philadelphia in the fall of 2002, where he became increasingly interested and active in the world of improvised music. Dan has been involved with Shot x Shot, Peter Robbins, Jeff Baumeister, and Toshi Makahara as well as
short term engagements with Susie Ibarra and others.

05.  04.  19

Saturday             8:00PM

University Lutheran

Kevin Laskey’s Almanac Variant 6, Warp Trio, Kevin Sun Quartet

3637 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Bowerbird presents acclaimed ensembles Variant 6, Warp Trio, and the Kevin Sun Quartet in Philadelphia composer Kevin Laskey’s new evening-length work Almanac. Crossing many stylistic borders, the work explores an almanac’s dual nature as information compendium and prophetic text. Dark sibylline prophecies emerge from catalogic texts about colors and food and flowers. And despite its best efforts, this Almanac cannot completely predict its own fate. Confronted with unforeseen circumstances, the performers improvise, seeking an ordered conclusion from a flotsam of cliches.

05.  11.  19

Saturday             8:00PM

University Lutheran

Mystical Paths, Ekmeles

3637 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Bowerbird is excited to present Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble performing Mystical Paths, a program of music with spiritual focuses as diverse as Sufism, silence, cooking, and humor. Taylor Brook’s Motorman Sextet anchors the program, as an expressive setting of the most nostalgic episodes from David Ohle’s cult novel Motorman. Forrest Pierce’s Tighten to Nothing explores the composer’s Sufism through a text by medieval Dutch mystic Hadewijch II. Lucia Ronchetti’s Anatra al sal, heard here in its U.S. premiere, is a raucous exposition on cooking (the title is Duck with salt). Agata Zubel’s Madrigals, another U.S. premiere, draws from the composer’s experience as a renowned contemporary vocalist. Evan Johnson’s 3 in ad abundantiam, and vo mesurando, are extraordinarily delicate works that play on the edge of sound and silence, questioning the very nature of vocal performance.

05.  16.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

Maas Building

Wally Gunn: Moonlite Variant 6, Mobius Percussion, Veronica Jurkiewicz

1325 N Randolph St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA
Bowerbird is pleased to present Moonlite, a new work by composer Wally Gunn and librettist Maria Zajkowski performed by Variant 6, Mobius Percussion and Veronica Jurkiewicz. Moonlite concert-length oratorio is based on the true story of the 19th-century Australian outlaw Andrew George Scott, known as “Captain Moonlite.” Captain Moonlite—a rogue, a brigand, a criminal, and a queer—is an outsider who chafes at the constraints of Victorian-era society. He dreams of founding a utopia for himself and the lover he met in prison, James Nesbitt. Unable to make a life in society upon their release, Scott and Nesbitt resign themselves to living outside it, and in pursuing this end, the pair, by misconduct and misfortune, fall foul of the law. Banding together with some other misfits, they set off on a gruelling trek through Australia’s arid outback and find themselves in a series of increasingly desperate situations which culminate in a stand-off and shoot-out with police. An officer is shot and killed, and Nesbitt, also shot fatally, dies in Scott’s arms. Scott, stricken and defeated, is imprisoned and sentenced to death by hanging for his crimes. In his cell, he writes heartrendingly of his love for Nesbitt, his terrible loss, and his hope that he will be reunited with his lover in the next world.
Variant 6
Rebecca Myers and Kathryn Radakovich, sopranos
Elisa Sutherland, mezzo-soprano
Steven Bradshaw and James Reese, tenors
Daniel Schwartz, bass-baritone
Mobius Percussion
Mika Godbole
Nicole Patrick
Victor Pablo
Jessica Tsang
Veronica Jurkiewicz, viola

06.  13.  19

Thursday             8:00PM

University Lutheran

Morton Feldman: Trio Longleash

3637 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Continuing an already ten year commitment to exploring the music of Morton Feldman, Bowerbird is pleased to present his landmark work Trio (for piano, violin, and cello), performed by NYC based ensemble Longleash.  Originally premiered in 1980, Trio is one of Feldman’s earliest extended duration works (predated by only his String Quartet No. 1).  And though epic in duration (approximately 1 hour 40 mins), the work is threaded together with an intricate patchwork of quiet blocks of sound, pointillistic colors, and wispy melodies that stretch the listener’s musical memory and perception of time. The performance includes work by lighting designer and artist Julie Zhu.

06.  21.  19

Friday             8:00PM

The Rotunda

New Perplexity Daniel Fishkin, Cleek Schrey, Ron Shalom

4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Bowerbird is pleased to present New Perplexity (Daniel Fishkin, Cleek Schrey, Ron Shalom) in an evening of new works created during their upcoming artists-in-residence at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. New Perplexity is a composer-performer collective intent on creating new contexts for the daxophone, a thin hardwood strip played with a bow, created by the German improviser/inventor Hans Reichel in 1987. The instrument’s sound, somewhere between a cello and badger, ranges from furtive gurgles and delicate whistles to wild screams.  In 2015 they performed at Dublin’s Science Gallery as part of Trauma: Built to Break, an exhibition on art and trauma. In 2016 they participated in Daniel Fishkin’s ambitious series of concerts in Philadelphia, supported by The Pew Center, which posed the question “What is Tinnitus Music?”.  As an ensemble of the same instrument, more so than the string quartet or trio, they find themselves in the spiritual lineage of the viol consort. The group improvises, makes original work, and commissions new works from other artists, including a new quartet by the esteemed experimental composer Alvin Lucier. Future collaborations include the electronic music pioneer David Behrman.
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