Tom Baker: My Life with the Guitar

This concert will feature guitar music by Seattle composer Tom Baker, spanning the past 25 years. Works for solo classical guitar, guitar and soprano, and for electric guitar. Baker published his first guitar composition in 1992, called The Green Guitar while a graduate student in music at Arizona State University. Since then, he has written many works that include guitar, both in a solo setting and with ensembles. He has asked several of the area’s most accomplished guitarists (and good friends) to perform seven of his guitar works on this evening celebrating the instrument: Michael Partington, Michael Nicolella, Mark Hilliard Wilson, Satchel Henneman, Cherie Hughes.

Works will include the aforementioned Green Guitar from 1992, and the most recent Cage Elegies for electric fretless guitar. In between will be Possible Lullabies for guitar and soprano, based on texts by Garcia-Lorca; The Curse of the Fathers – a work exploring the creation of the universe; Three Movements – each movement represents a different type of movement (slalom, butoh, and rapid-eye); and Eleven – a work for solo electric guitar (dedicated to the great, fictional guitarist Nigel Tufnel.

Inverted Space Ensemble

Inverted Space Ensemble showcases an evening geared at sculpting time in new ways. Drawing on a tradition of long works, Inverted Space returns with a pair of newly composed long pieces. Our co-director Jeff Bowen unveils a world premier ensemble piece. Also on the concert is the Seattle premier of John Eagle’s tuning #3 (first position) performed by our artistic director and violinist Luke Fitzpatrick.

Ensemble Economique + Jim Haynes + Robert Millis & Greg Kelley

Liminal drone-pop from Ensemble Economique (Denovali, Not Not Fun), tactile sound corrosion from Jim Haynes (Editions Mego, Ghostly International), and polyglot esoterica by way of murder ballad and / or blotted collage from Robert Millis (Climax Golden Twins, Abduction, Sublime Frequencies).

Based in California’s Humboldt County, Brian Pyle wanders the world on his countless travels. Far from being restless, he has his very own Pylesque way of travelling. Much like a Lynchian version of Hemingway, he has an eye for the thin layer between restlessness and relaxation, gloom and serenity. Wherever he goes, he ardently absorbes these nuances, rarefies them and molds them into a seamless array of glimmering styles, from drone and ambient to shoegaze and post-wave, giving birth to yet another creation of his prolific Ensemble Economique project.

Jim Haynes is a California artist defining his work through the phrase, “I rust things.” The statement embraces a multiplicity of meanings across various media. There are three major approaches in the work at large: the mangled surfaces of corroded photographs, the cryptic tension of the video / expanded cinema pieces, and the caustic field disturbances in sound composition. Blight. Dislocation. Subcutaneousness. Toxicity. Brackishness. Psychic unease. These allusions (amongst others) develop and materialize through various chemical, digital and/or analog means, often an intertwined amalgam. This process seeks to accentuate the instability of these conditions and territories as a series of evocations, hauntings, convulsions, and evanescence.

“Some people can sum up their lives on a business card; Robert Millis needs a whole deck, full sized, both faces of each playing card, and you’re still liable to miss something while he shuffles. Filmmaker, photographer, guerilla ethnographer, collector and sharer of 78 RPM records, weaver of multi-layered ambiences, improviser, annotator, jokester, traveler…” Bill Meyer, Dusted. He’ll be playing a duo set with trumpeter Greg Kelley.


Dowsing uses saxophone, synthesizer, and cymbals as divining rods to locate deep musical aquifers.

This performance is the debut of saxophonist Steve Griggs with his son Ben on analog synth. While Steve improvises on the acoustic foundations of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, Ben plugs into experimenters Pauline Oliveros and Steve Reich.

Greg Campbell joins on percussion. Steve and Greg first collaborated in 2001 on the Earshot Voice and Vision Series at the Seattle Asian Art Museum and have crossed musical paths ever since. Every meeting generates new conversations.

Melissa Plagemann: Song Cycles

Mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann premieres two song cycles for voice and piano: The Burning Harp, by Forrest Pierce, is set to poetry by Rumi, and a cycle by Seattle composer Sheila Bristow, exploring dance and movement in poetry.

Praised for her “clear, burnished voice” and “mezzo rich with an alto’s strength and a soprano’s shining top edge” (Tacoma News Tribune), Melissa Plagemann’s busy performing schedule spans the stages of opera, oratorio, chamber music, and ensemble performances. The 2016-17 season sees her return to Seattle Opera for performances of Janacek’s Katya Kabanova (Zena), and to the Tacoma Symphony for performances of Handel’s Messiah. She also sings the role of Una in Sterling Tinsley’s children’s opera St. George and the Dragon, a recital of American song with the Regency Voices of Pacific Lutheran University, performances of Nutcracker and West Side Story for Pacific Northwest Ballet, and previews of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (witch). Melissa teaches on the faculties of Pacific Lutheran and Western Washington Universities.

Sheila Bristow is a church musician, accompanist, and composer living in Tacoma. She is the Organist & Choirmaster at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, an Affiliate Artist at Pacific Lutheran University, and a freelance opera rehearsal pianist. She holds degrees in music composition from Cornish College of the Arts, where she studied with Bern Herbolsheimer as a Kreielsheimer Scholar, and the University of Washington, where she served as a graduate student accompanist while earning her MM in organ performance. She is currently studying composition with John Muehleisen. Sheila finds her primary compositional inspiration in poetic texts. Her choral works have been performed by the Cascadian Chorale, The Medieval Women’s Choir, Pacific Lutheran University’s Choral Union & University Singers, Pacifica Children’s Chorus, Seattle Pro Musica, and the University Unitarian Church choir. Sheila’s art songs have been featured in concerts sponsored by Pacific Lutheran University, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Washington Composer’s Forum.

John Krausbauer + C. Spencer Yeh + Greg Kelley

Three distinctive voices in the fields of experimental sound utilizing the human voice, electronics, violin and trumpet to explore the realms of pure sound, noise and concepts of music beyond genre. WARNING: PART OF THIS PERFORMANCE INCLUDES STROBE LIGHTS.

John Krausbauer will be performing an extended-durational piece for amplified violin, voice and synth, utilizing high volumes, just tunings and stroboscopic lighting, to create an immersive experiential sound environment.

C. Spencer Yeh will perform on amplified violin, exploring an array of self-taught techniques through minimalist compositional frameworks.

Greg Kelley will present a single piece for amplified trumpet, including non-standard techniques and electronic processing capitalizing on The Chapel’s unique acoustics to create an immersive soundfield.

John Krausbauer is a music maker currently living in Los Angeles. He has performed his music in a multitude of settings – from basements and rock clubs to colleges and art galleries. Numerous recordings of his work have been released on independent labels in both the US and Europe. In recent years his focus has been on his solo work, involving ritual endurance happenings with voice and violin, accompanied by synth and strobes; his compositions, mainly concerned with sytems-based phasing constructions; the Ecstatic Music Band, a collective exploring just tunings with amplified strings at high volumes and long durations, with stroboscopic lighting; The Essentialists, a country-blues-boogie-raga guitar/violin duo; and most recently the formation of the “M”inimalist psych-punk group, Night Collectors. Trance-Psychedelia is the aim and goal, thru experiential-architectural sound environments.

C. Spencer Yeh was born in Taipei Taiwan and is currently based in Brooklyn New York. Yeh’s sonic practice first developed within the autodidactic and u venturesome strategies of the American and International underground, most prominently with his project Burning Star Core. Preferring the distinction of “working with sound and music” over more familiar nominations of “musician,” Yeh considers not only timbre, texture, and temporality as material considerations, but the construction of genre, audience, and lore as part of the listener/consumer’s experience. Having amalgamated numerous artistic mediums and roles over his numerous endeavors, Yeh’s formative infatuation with noise and improvised music could still be regarded as his most unadulterated expression – a bespoke array of facilities and parlance on a foundation of unconventional musical pedagogy.

Greg Kelley began studying the trumpet at age 10. He attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where in addition to studying the Conservatory curriculum, he also immersed himself in a deep study of avant-garde and experimental music, eventually coming to the conclusion that his musical focus fell outside of the academic sphere. After his studies, Kelley moved back to his native Massachusetts, quickly insinuated himself into the local avant-garde circles and soon commenced a period of intense travel and collaboration, bringing him throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Argentina & Mexico. In 2014, he relocated to Seattle. He has appeared on over 90 recordings and plays in a number of long running groups including Nmperign (with Bhob Rainey), the BSC and Heathen Shame (with Wayne Rogers & Kate Village of Major Stars). Other collaborators have included Jandek, Keiji Haino, Donald Miller (Borbetomagus), Anthony Braxton, Kevin Drumm, Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee and Lionel Marchetti. In addition to playing the trumpet, Kelley has also recorded music using electronics and musique concrete elements, sometimes utilizing trumpet-based sound sources, other times not.

Clifford Dunn + Uneasy Chairs

Clifford Dunn is a flutist/composer/software developer living in Seattle. He seeks to always push the boundaries of his flute capabilities and utilize the most advanced and esoteric technology available to create unapologetic and intense music that will make you think. His influences range from heavy metal and rock and roll, Japanese Onkyo, jazz, and classical music. He has performed throughout Europe, the USA, and Canada as a soloist and collaborator.

Patrick Neill Gundran has been performing live as a guitarist in the Pacific Northwest under the name Uneasy Chairs for the past 4 years, focusing entirely on free improvising and experimenting with sound. As well as performing solo, he has also been an active live collaborator with a diverse community of musicians and artists with backgrounds ranging from jazz, classical, rock and roll, electronic, noise as well as Butoh dance. An interest in various approaches to meditation and Buddhist philosophy informs his playing, listening and approach.

Concert Imaginaire

Concert Imaginaire is a Seattle-based chamber ensemble founded in 2011. The group records, performs concerts, and gives new music workshops at colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest. Our core ensemble is Becca Baggenstoss, percussion; Ruthie Dornfeld, violin; Evan Robertson, bass; Lewis Thompson, piano; and David Hahn, guitar/music director. In tonight’s concert we will be joined by soprano Sarah Joanne Davis who gives the world premiere performance of Chippewa Songs, a cycle with Native American lyrics composed for and dedicated to the North Dakota Water Protectors. Mezzo Katie Weld will be singing Aria Anum J, a dramatic song about the enjoyment of marijuana. The title piece of the program will feature the Orango-Tango dancers – one man, one, woman, one orangutan. Filling out the program will be Slogan, also a world premiere performance, for narrator and ensemble. The piece examines the true meaning behind political slogans. The excellent visuals accompanying the performance tonight are assembled by Leo Mayberry.

Concert Imaginaire’s debut CD, Fortune’s Wheel will be available for purchase at the door. If you would like to book Concert Imaginaire for a concert or workshop, or would simply like further information about us, please contact our manager Rigtig God.

Lori Goldston: floating in the high cold air

Seattle based cellist and composer Lori Goldston plays solo amplified cello in honor of her friend, visual artist, musician and poet Geneviève Castrée, whose death in 2016 left a gigantic hole in many hearts. Facebook Event Page

Cursive: Tall Wind

Cursive is a new chamber group specializing in performing unjustly neglected modern classical works with a shifting ensemble, making each program unique not only in its instrumentation but in its mixture of composers, styles and moods. With each program you’re guaranteed to hear works that you’ve never heard before and may never hear again.

Our newest program, Tall Wind, is built around a stunning early work by Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung for the unusual combination of voice, flute, oboe, guitar and cello, and extrapolates on the richly shifting mental and emotional landscape of changing seasons. As with all our programs the repertoire stretches across many decades, with the oldest being the 10 Blake Songs of Ralph Vaughan Williams from the late ’50’s, and the most recent being the haunting Aether by the Canadian Jordan Nobles. The program is also balanced to showcase each of the instruments in different combinations, giving each player a chance to shine and giving the audience a lushly-colored instrumental experience.

The players are flutist Colleen McElroy, leader of the Emissary Quartet; oboist Ursula Sahagian; guitarist Michaud Savage of the Seattle Composers Alliance; cellist Mary Riles of the North Corner Chamber Orchestra; and led by vocalist/trumpeter Peter Nelson-King of Brass Band Northwest and Ensign Symphony and Chorus.