Melanie Voytovich

Percussionist Melanie Voytovich and friends bring you a night of new work with premiers Bradley Hawkins and Ella Maher/Melanie Voytovich. Featuring Storm Benjamin, Scott Langdon, and Maggie Brown (percussion), Brad Hawkins (cello), and Ella Maher (dance).

Full Program:
Bodies of Water, In Italics – Benjamin Marx
Socket – Bradley Hawkins
Music for Flowerpots No. 1 – Elliot Cole
Untitled for Dance and Percussion – Ella Maher & Melanie Voytovich
Hold Fast – Ivan Trevino
Buzzed – David Molk

Inverted Space Ensemble

Inverted Space Ensemble presents its 5th Annual Composers Concert. This concert is dedicated to presenting newly composed works alongside a diverse mix of contemporary and experimental music. Featured composers are Charles Corey, Jacob Sundstrom, Ania Stachurska, Clint McCallum, Sergej Newski, Beat Furrer and John Cage.

Noisegasm/Brad Anderson/Goldenrod/Unser Verhaengnis

Noisegasm is Brad Anderson (keyboard, electronics) and Greg Weber (guitar, electronics). Using abstract sound textures with distorted keyboard and guitar lines, they combine elements of Industrial, Ambient, Rock and Soundtracks styles to create Weapons Grade Electronica.

In addition to his classical and electronic keyboard music, Brad Anderson also composes abstract soundscapes that not so gently unmoor the listener from reality.

Goldenrod is Noisegasm guitarist Greg Weber. He plays ambient drones highlighted with occasional melodic touches on guitar, synthesizer and harmonica. Influenced by Derek Bailey, Alvin Lucier, Carla Bley and Brian Eno, his recent music has been compared to Explosions in the Sky and Echelon Effect.

Unser Verhängnis is the latest project from Seattle-based experimental musician Peter Keller. Active since the mid-1990’s while living in Ohio with his influential harsh-noise act Bacillus, he has expanded his reach in the past 5 years with numerous other projects and collaborations. Other current acts include Dosenöffner, Condo Horro, Dirac Sea, and Kōan-Din, spanning the realms of dark experimental electronic music, from the noisy and chaotic to the subtle and serene. As Unser Verhängnis, using custom-built sound generators, he builds minimal walls of textural ambiance, creating an unsettling space with dark sparseness for the contemplation of our undoing. A double-cassette of new material released by Altar of Waste Records will be available at the show.

Pod Blotz + Bloom Offering + Cruel Diagonals

Doors open at 7:30.

Suzy Poling/Pod Blotz is a multi-media artist working with sound, video, film, photography installation, sculpture, painting, collage and performance art. She researches the multi- dimensional interferences between optics, mirrors, sonic resonance, electrical synthesis, video experiments, human/alien identities and photographic studies of geological anomalies. She is from Michigan, studied at Columbia College in Chicago, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost a decade and now resides in Los Angeles.

Visually, her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, Disjecta, Cal Polytechnic University, Chicago Cultural Center, Australian Center for Photography, Aperture Foundation, Cult Exhibitions/Aimee Friberg and Zg Gallery. Her images have been published in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Dazed Digital and a Metropolitan Museum of Art Book. She has lectured at Cal Poly University, de Young Museum, Headland Center for the Arts, Columbia College of Chicago. Poling is a recipient of the Mike Kelley Foundation Grant and was a nominee for the SECA Award at the SFMOMA.

Sonically, her project Pod Blotz has performed at the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Colour out of Space Festival, Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum, Human Resources, The LAB and Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts. Pod Blotz has made releases with Chocolate Monk (UK), Nostilevo (LA), Conjunto Vacio (Spain), Clan Destine Records (UK) and Dungeon Taxis (NZ/NYC).

Poling will be supported by local acts, Bloom Offering (industrial electronic solo project of Nicole Carr) and Cruel Diagonals (vocalist and field recordist, Megan Mitchell) + DJ sets from Hall ov Mirrors (Ambient cassette jockey HOM Ashley Svn of Motor & Katabatik) playing/spinning entirely original environmental music composed especially for the Chapel’s beautiful/unique resonances.

Loscil + Benoît Pioulard + bardo:basho

Loscil is the ambient/electronic project of Vancouver-based composer Scott Morgan. With Loscil, Morgan explores the marriage of electronic production and acoustic instrumentation to create “stark landscapes that are evocative, earthly, anything but abstract, and so much more than merely ‘ambient’” (The Quietus, UK). Monument Builders is the eighth full-length Loscil release on Kranky. The album was composed during a period in which the life-and-death battles of close friends and family forced Morgan to examine his own feelings on mortality. In the course of that introspection, Morgan says he found himself “buoyed by a feeling of celebration and a stubborn sense of survival – an acknowledgement of what it means to be able to breathe and create amidst the clash of love and chaos.” Ultimately, Morgan hopes the music on Monument Builders can offer listeners solace while leaving room for exploration and surprise.

Since a young age, Thomas Meluch (aka Benoît Pioulard) has been fascinated by natural sounds and the textures of decay. He played piano before his feet could reach the pedals and for more than a decade has sought to create a unique sonic environment influenced by pop song structures and the unpredictability of field recordings. An avid collector of instruments and analog devices, Meluch relies on guitar and voice as the bases for his body of work, which now includes six full-lengths for the beloved Kranky label (including 2015’s “Sonnet”) as well as collaborations with Rafael Anton Irisarri (aka The Sight Below) and Kyle Bobby Dunn.

Bardo:Basho composes primarily loop-based music designed to create a sense of stasis and a state of hypnosis in the listener. She combines field recordings and disorienting sound design with ethereal and often pretty melodies and harmonies using software synths and her own voice. Bardo:Basho’s compositional structures often fall between long-form, slow-evolving compositions commonly found in free jazz, raga, and dance music traditions, and more immediate, rigidly structured changes commonly found in pop and classical music. Her music embraces the timbral qualities of new age, techno, art pop, drone, and software-based noise music. Her debut self-titled album was released in March of 2015. Thom is also the co-founder of Elevator, a production company in Seattle, WA that hosts an event series in addition to an annual winter festival called Corridor.

32nd Seattle Improvised Music Festival (3/3)

The 32nd annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival concludes. Presented by Nonsequitur, with support of a Neighborhood & Community Arts grant from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

As in last year’s festival, three esteemed visiting artists and an array of Northwest musicians will meet in multiple duo, trio, and quartet configurations during the weekend, curated by organizers Greg Campbell, Kate Olson, and Steve Peters. Nearly all of this year’s artists are playing the festival for the first time.

Today’s events (start/end times approximate):

1:00-4:00 PM – Improvising Together: A Listening and Playing Workshop for Dancers and Musicians led by dancer Sheri Cohen and musician David Knott. We’ll use listening practices and interactive scores to illuminate the material shared between musicians and dancers and make our improvisations clearer and richer. ENROLLMENT IS FREE but limited to 12 musicians and 12 dancers. Please register by January 28. (Sorry, this workshop is for participants only and is not open to a general audience.)

Sheri Cohen has created dance with musicians for over 25 years, including improvisations with Stuart Dempster, Dave Knott, Eyvind Kang, Susie Kozawa, Andrew Drury, Pauline Oliveros, and many more. Her improvisation practice is influenced by Tuning, Contemplative Dance Practice, Skinner Releasing, and more. Dave Knott has collaborated with improvising musicians and dancers through projects such as the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, ROOM, 12 Hour Play and Here/Now and numerous artists including Sheri Cohen, Stuart Dempster, Joan Laage and Jeph Jerman. For the past 15 years, he has worked as a music therapist with a special emphasis on using improvisation to engage and facilitate therapeutic change with critically ill children.

5:00-7:00 – Potluck / Future Visioning Session: Improvising musicians and listeners are invited to bring food, drinks, and brilliant ideas to share about how SIMF might evolve going forward.

7:00 – Improvised Music Merch Mart – local artists and labels tabling improvisational music releases in a variety of formats.

8:10-8:30 – Mike Gamble (electric guitar; Portland) & Evan Woodle (drums)

8:35-8:55 – Steve Barsotti (home-mades/field recordings), James Falzone (clarinet), Arrington de Dionyso (woodwinds)

9:00-9:20 – Heather Bentley (viola/violin), Catherine Lee (oboe; Portland), Lisa Cay Miller (piano; Vancouver BC), Bonnie Whiting (percussion)

9:30-10:00 – Douglas Ewart (woodwinds; Minneapolis) w/ Steve Barsotti (home-mades/field recordings), Heather Bentley (viola/violin), Lori Goldston (cello)

Featured Visiting Artist: Douglas R. Ewart (photo by Frank Rubolino)

Douglas R. Ewart is a composer, improviser, sculptor and maker of masks and instruments, as well as an educator, lecturer, arts organization consultant and all around visionary. In projects done in diverse media throughout an award-winning and widely-acclaimed career, Mr. Ewart has woven his remarkably broad gifts into a single sensibility that encourages and celebrates – as an antidote to the divisions and compartmentalization afflicting modern life – the wholeness of individuals in culturally active communities.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1946, Ewart immigrated to Chicago in 1963. His travels throughout the world and interactions with diverse people since then has confirmed his view that the world is an interdependent entity. In America, his determination to spread his perspective is part of the inspiration behind his often multi-disciplinary works and their encouragement of artist-audience interactions. It is also the basis of the teaching philosophy with which he guides his classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has taught since 1990. Mr. Ewart uses his past experience as chairman of the internationally renowned Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) to celebrate and build upon the history and achievements of the organization, and is from this perspective a natural extension of the activities he has been engaged in for the past four decades.

Ewart maintains several ensembles: the Nyahbingi Drum Choir, the Clarinet Choir, Douglas R. Ewart & Inventions, Douglas R. Ewart & Quasar and Douglas R. Ewart & Stringnets. Each performance or production by Ewart reflects time-tested structures, but also incorporates his most immediate experiences of America and the world, and taps his many creative engagements with collaborators such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Myers, Beah Richards, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Anthony Davis, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson, Joseph Jarman, Yusef Lateef, Roscoe Mitchell, Ajule Sonny Rutlin, Rita Warford, Dee Alexander, Robert Dick, George E. Lewis, James Newton, Cecil Taylor, Richard Teitelbaum and Henry Threadgill.

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32nd Seattle Improvised Music Festival (2/3)

The 32nd annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival continues, presented by Nonsequitur, with support of a Neighborhood & Community Arts grant from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Three esteemed visiting artists and an array of Northwest musicians will meet in multiple duo, trio, and quartet configurations during the weekend, curated by organizers Greg Campbell, Kate Olson, and Steve Peters. Nearly all of this year’s artists are playing the festival for the first time.

Doors open at 7 PM for Improvised Music Merch Mart – local artists and labels tabling improvisational music releases in a variety of formats.

Tonight’s set list (start/end times approximate):

8:10-8:30 – Jeff Johnson (bass) & Evan Woodle (drums)

8:35-8:55 – Douglas Ewart (woodwinds; Minneapolis), Robin Holcomb (piano), Catherine Lee (oboe; Portland)

9:00-9:20 – Steve Barsotti (home-mades/field recordings), Brian Chin (trumpet), Arrington de Dionyso (woodwinds; Olympia), Mike Gamble (electric guitar; Portland)

9:30-10:00 – Nicole Mitchell (flute; Chicago via SoCal) solo + duo with Michaud Savage (classical guitar)

Featured Visiting Artist: Nicole Mitchell (photo by Brad Walseth)

Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as “Top Flutist of the Year” (2010-2014). Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), and Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works.

Mitchell formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. With her ensembles, as a featured flutist and composer, Mitchell has been a highlight at festivals and art venues throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

Ms. Mitchell is a recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts (2011) and has been commissioned by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra and Maggio Fiorentino Chamber Orchestra (Florence, Italy). In 2009, she created Honoring Grace: Michelle Obama for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. She has been a faculty member at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute, the Sherwood Flute Institute, Banff International Jazz Workshop and the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is currently a Professor of Music, teaching in “Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology,” (ICIT) a new and expansively-minded graduate program at the University of California, Irvine.

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32nd Seattle Improvised Music Festival (1/3)

The 32nd annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival begins, presented by Nonsequitur, with support of a Neighborhood & Community Arts grant from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Nearly all of this year’s artists are playing the festival for the first time. As in last year’s festival, three esteemed visiting artists and an array of Northwest musicians will meet in multiple duo, trio, and quartet configurations during the weekend, curated by organizers Greg Campbell, Kate Olson, and Steve Peters. However, instead of the usual three long sets per night, we’ve made them shorter (20 minutes) and added another longer (30 minutes) set featuring one of the visiting artists playing solo and/or with other musicians of their own choosing.

Another new feature will be a workshop for improvising dancers and musicians led by dancer Sheri Cohen and musician David Knott. This will occur on Saturday from 1-4 PM.

Check back here for yet more new developments, details forthcoming.

Tonight’s set list (start/end times approximate):

8:10-8:30James Falzone (clarinet) & Bonnie Whiting (percussion)

8:35-8:55Heather Bentley (viola/violin), Robin Holcomb (piano), Nicole Mitchell (flute; Chicago via SoCal)

9:00-9:20Heather Bentley (viola/violin), Brian Chin (trumpet), Michaud Savage (classical guitar), Bonnie Whiting (percussion)

9:30-10:00Lisa Cay Miller (piano; Vancouver BC) solo + duo with James Falzone (clarinet)

Featured Visiting Artist: Lisa Cay Miller (photo by Peter Gannushkin)

Vancouver, BC pianist Lisa Cay Miller has performed with international artists Audrey Chen, Nicole Mitchell, Butch Morris, John Zorn, Ig Henneman, Wilbert de Joode, Anne La Berge, Michael Moore, Jean Yves Evrard,Jaochim Badenhorst, Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney, and in Vancouver with Dylan van der Schyff, Peggy Lee, Jesse Zubot, François Houle, Ron Samworth, the NOW Orchestra, Orquestra Futura and ion zoo. Her compositions have been premiered by de Bijloke ensemble (Ghent) the Tetzepi Bigtet (Amsterdam), mmm… (Tokyo), the Quatuor Bozzini (Montreal), Vancouver New Music, Standing Wave, Turning Point Ensemble, The Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society, and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The Left Coast Ensemble, and Earplay (San Francisco). She has also directed workshops (for the Now Orchestra and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival) and produced concerts and multimedia installations (Vancouver New Music, Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Circus Maximus, Western Front Society).

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Jonathan Sielaff | Million Mists | Norm Chambers

Gift Tapes/DRAFT presents Jonathan Sielaff, Million Mists, and Norm Chambers for its first installment of its 2017 program at the Chapel Performance Space, in association with the Wayward Music Series.

Jonathan Sielaff (Portland, OR) plays bass clarinet. Because he likes to play with drummers and electronic instruments, he often amplifies the bass clarinet and processes it with guitar pedals. He cut his musical teeth in rock bands, new music ensembles and various schools of improvisation but most enjoys exploring the territory that exists between genres. His primary musical project is the duo Golden Retriever, with Matt Carlson on synth. They have a bunch of tapes and CDs out there as well as albums with Root Strata and Thrill Jockey.

Million Mists is the musical project of Jamie Potter (Portland). Utilizing a variety of consumer-level electronic instruments and outdated recording techniques, he has crafted a unique approach to experimental synthesizer music, referencing equally the subliminal atmospheres of new age and the rugged immediacy of 90’s hip hop production. Drawing inspiration from his visual and video art practice, he seeks primarily to create immersive, idiosyncratic sound worlds. In this performance Potter will create a live soundtrack to one of his video works. His musical efforts began with minimal Seattle drone group Bonus as well as involvement in free improvisation circles. He currently performs with Brother Raven and records solo work under the names Million Mists and Father Sound. His work can be found on Digitalis, Taped Sounds, Aguirre Records, Root Strata, JYRK and Gift Tapes.

Norm Chambers is a Seattle-based composer and synthesist. He has been active making music since the 1990s, however has gained more traction with his Panabrite project since 2010. Emerging from a love of early electronics, concrete/tape music, soundtracks and early new age, Chambers attempts to create worlds of sound that touch on many elements and moods, from more spatially motivated ambient to aspects of cosmic synth, minimalist composition and improvisation. Chambers utilizes an array of synthesizer equipment to achieve his sounds, in addition to field recordings and occasional acoustic elements. He has released numerous LPs, cassettes and CDs on such labels as Immune Recordings, Preservation (Australia), Aguirre (Belgium), Digitalis, VCO, Constellation Tatsu, Gift Tapes and many more. Chambers has recently retired the Panabrite moniker, yet continues to pursue new avenues of sound.

Earshot: Battle Trance

This tenor saxophone quartet weaves together complex and ethereal sonic landscapes. Their most recent album, Blade of Love, is a three-part composition devoted to the “physical and spiritual intersection of the saxophone and the human body,” with the quartet boldly experimenting with conventions to make their instruments extensions of their inner selves. Presented by Earshot Jazz.

The origin story for Battle Trance is one of obeying an insistent inclination. In 2012, Vermont/Brooklyn hornsmith Travis Laplante followed a mysterious feeling to get in touch with three wildly talented near-strangers – Patrick Breiner, Matt Nelson, and Jeremy Viner – to piece together an experimental saxophone band. The project launched with an exploration of circular breathing and a sonic connection surrounding the four players. Since, it has been the platform for two records and highly anticipated international concerts. Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking idiosyncratic saxophonists Evan Parker, Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, Roscoe Mitchell, and John Butcher, Laplante and the band explore multiphonics and singing into their instruments while exhaling to result in shifted vocal timbres. Laplante explains that by integrating non-traditional methods, his instrument is allowed to act as a resonant chamber to imitate sounds, such as arrows flying through the air, singing in church, running water, and the sound of rage.