Earshot: María Grand – Persephone / HerStory

Tenor saxophonist María Grand presents her solo project: Persephone / HerStory. A young woman tells her personal story, taking the symbolic figure of Persephone to give her story a universal dimension. María Grand uses the saxophone, her voice, and a gong, which she plays over a soundtrack she created specifically for this version of the piece, to express her vision of the stages of Persephone’s life.

Devised with Grand’s creative partner, writer and visual artist Satya Celeste, Persephone / HerStory is a creative retelling of the myth of Persephone, as performed by Grand. The story of Persephone’s betrayal, rape, and castigation is well known, but Grand’s performance offers a new, more universal telling that raises the question of why descriptions of Persephone’s experience always depict her as passive. Indeed, our portrayal of Persephone is ever-couched between the stories of the male gods Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. Grand, instead of recasting the morals of the myth learned through their infidelity, violence, and attempts to mend past treacheries, focuses on what we might learn by listening to HerStory. Through her embodiment of the goddess, Grand provides a space to acknowledge the Persephone’s living in the here-and-now, in our personal lives and communities.

One of the most exciting young voices to emerge from New York in recent years, Swiss/Argentine saxophonist, composer, and singer María Grand makes her first appearance in Seattle. She has performed with a wide array of musical luminaries, including Nicole Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Mary Halvorson, Chris Potter, Jen Shyu, Aaron Parks, Fay Victor, Rajna Swaminathan and Joel Ross. Her sound is deeply embedded within the jazz tradition, with a fullness and subtlety that radiates emotion, empathy, and strength that carries us into new sonic territories. Her music is of the rare type that invites listeners to challenge their deepest held assumptions, interrogate where they are complicit within ongoing abuses of power, and ultimately move towards personal healing through the shared experience of music.

Presented by Earshot Jazz, supported by The Selvage Fund.

Photo: Pedro Gil Rosas

Stephen Fandrich w/ Gamelan Pacifica & Del Sol Quartet

Composer Stephen Fandrich presents improvisations and compositions for just-intoned piano along with a program of unusual musical pairings, with very special guests Gamelan Pacifica and Del Sol String Quartet.

Stephen Fandrich will perform compositions and improvisations at the piano in an “8 series” just intonation, and will present two unusual instrumental combinations with Javanese gamelan. Iron Tears, for String Quartet and Javanese Gamelan, and Ketawang Chroma, for Diphonic Singing and Javanese Gamelan.

Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey” and two-time top winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, San Francisco’s Del Sol String Quartet is a leading force in 21st century chamber music.

Gamelan Pacifica is a Seattle ensemble based at Cornish College of the Arts and led by composer Jarrad Powell, specializing in the intersection of Javanese tradition and contemporary composition. “With an air of timelessness, Gamelan Pacifica has done an unparalleled job of taking gamelan music to new heights, while remaining respectful to the roots and cultural significance of its instruments.” SOMA Magazine.

Stephen Fandrich is a 20-year veteran as instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, and instrument curator with Gamelan Pacifica, composing for them what director Jarrad Powell called the world’s first piece combining harmonic singing and gamelan. He also founded the Seattle Harmonic Voices. Currently, Stephen can be found consistently performing, producing, and creating behind the scenes at the weekly house concert series known throughout Seattle as Spite House, composing and improvising at his piano in various forms of just intonation (the harmony of harmonic ratios), and performing music influenced by the ancient tonal colorizing form of raga in the piano/saxophone duet Outlaw Space with saxophonist William Monteleone.

Presented by Nonsequitur.

Austin Larkin & Ensemble

Austin Larkin and ensemble perform a composition of harmonics and tuned densities unfolding and persisting in time. Transmute states of variance and continuity are held, extended, measured through the vibration of strings and resonant bodies within a room. In the realization of this piece, a focus is placed on the ordering of tone, the diffusion of spectra, and congruences of silence.

Austin Larkin is an artist, composer and violinist focusing on in/audible forms and substances. Recently he lived in Yogyakarta to gain perspective into the architectural qualities of central Javanese karawitan, specifically how the tones dwell and unfold. Prior to this he studied composition at Cornish College of the Arts with Eyvind Kang, Jessika Kenney, and Jarrad Powell, all whose work and philosophy remain an influence. The violin remains a primary means for research as well as for the realization of his and others music. His work has been presented at festivals such as Yellow Fish, Umbral, and Corridor in addition to performing solo throughout North America, South America, and Asia. He currently lives on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people in what is now known as Seattle.

Photo: Jessa Carter


Onomatopoeia (all alternate spellings accepted) is Cassie Lear, flutes, Soren Hamm, saxophones, and Rebecca Olason, French horn. Faced with a menagerie of seldom-paired instruments and no repertoire whatsoever, these award-winning soloists and longtime friends came together to experiment with new ensemble timbres. Please join us to hear some brand new and newly-arranged music for this unusual combination!

The program includes but is not limited to:

Aus Liebe will mein Heiland Sterben by JS Bach (arr. Cassie Lear)
Found Objects on the Beach by Jenni Brandon (arr. Cassie Lear and Soren Hamm)
Trio by Steven Luksan (World Premiere)
Cityscape by Ben Seavello (World Premiere)
And some other aural treats from the brain of Chris Thile, arranged by Rebecca Olason

YOU DIED! + Tree Cathedral + Bit Graves

I WENT THROUGH THE WILDERNESS. Album listening event for experimental electronic group, YOU DIED!; live performances from YOU DIED!, Tree Cathedral, & Bit Graves.

Join us for the debut of the second album from experimental electronic group, YOU DIED! Josh Lim (Limanjaya) and Gabriel Wheeler come together to blend aspects of noise and ambience to create ever-evolving and dynamic pieces of electronic music. They use a wide variety of instruments from modular synthesizers, electric guitars, and more. They will be joined by modular-synth duo Tree Cathedral and experimental electronic / noise duo Bit Graves.

The Big Band at the End of the World

The Big Band at the End of the World asks and provides one of many possible answers to the question: What might improvisational music have to say to the relentlessly numbing and seemingly banal cruelty of our contemporary conjuncture – from border walls, internment camps, and the global rise of reactionary populism, to ubiquitous surveillance, to the melting of the polar ice caps and the extinction of species? Our answer takes the combined form of words, images, and sound. While the mood cannot but be of sadness, anxiety, and anger, the collective act is one of democratic hope.

We are 15 musicians, a visual artist, and a prose writer/performer. Stranger Genius Award-winning author Stacey Levine provides the words; artist & architect Anjali Grant provides video and animations; Gregg Miller has assembled an all-star line-up for the big band: Matt Benham (electric guitar), Heather Bentley (viola), Noel Kennon (viola), Jim Knodle (trumpet), Haley Freedlund (trombone), Kenny Mandell (flute/soprano sax), Jeremy Gonzalez (alto sax), Bryan Lineberry (alto sax), Alex Liebman (tenor sax), Gregg Miller (tenor sax), Domenic Chiaverini (bass), Nathie Katzoff (harmonium), Greg Campbell (french horn/percussion), Don Berman (percussion), Casey Adams (percussion).

James Falzone’s The Already and the Not Yet

Reflecting on 3 years living in Seattle, clarinetist and composer James Falzone presents his meditative solo work, Sighs Too Deep For Words, plus new compositions for his Tao Trio, featuring James alongside pianist Wayne Horvitz and bassist Abbey Blackwell. Also joining James will be dancer Alia Swersky.

Bodies.Space.Time.Sound, Volume 3: aléa

An Evening in Improvised Sound and Movement
Created and Curated by Alia Swersky and Tom Baker

An evening of improvisation consisting of 4 sound and 4 movement artists joining together in sets of chance occurrences. Groupings of movers and musicians will be determined by aléa (the French word meaning indeterminacy). Decisions will be made by picking out groups of players and durations of time just before they are to begin. As is the nature of improvisation, each group will work with unpredictable conditions, they will meet the moment and see what unfolds.

Sound: Tom Baker, Greg Campbell, Jesse Canterbury, Brian Cobb
Movement: Tamin Totzke, Matt Drews, Fox Whitney & TBD

What is B.S.T.S?
What happens when seasoned musicians and movers come together to create variable durations of improvisational performance?

These improvisational events will consist of a varying selection of curated sound and movement artists who will be brought together in purposeful improvisational collaborations. These ongoing performance happenings will selectively group artists with the intention of instigating dynamic collaborations. Each event will consist of a unique set of guidelines in relation to body, space, time and sound, but the constant for each grouping is that they connect in some way before the performance. Selected artists will be introduced, then asked to score and rehearse their piece in accordance with the indeterminacy of meeting one another, the performance themes of each event, and the convening of their shared interests. A goal is to bring together artists in different disciplines, and bridge diverse improvisational aesthetics. Performers will be asked to create structured scores that harness the unknown spontaneity of improvised performance.

Performers to include: Tamin Totzke, Matt Drews, Fox Whitney, Mike Hodapp, Tom Baker

SKINESPHERES: Somatic Ecologies in a More-Than-Human World

In a striking integration of Deep Ecology, electroacoustic sound art and experimental dance, this performance invites the audience to consider the connection(s) between sensorium and ecosystem, the body and the earth.

The culmination of a 6-week interdisciplinary environmental science and somatic studies workshop, the dancers and musicians in this performance experiment with performing both sonic and somatic choreographies modeled after biological creatures quantum physicist Karen Barad calls “Queer Critters.” These highly intelligent and interconnected beings — from the underwater Brittlestar to the subterranean Mycelium fungal networks — do not posses a central brain and challenge our Western understandings of delineated corporeality. They perceive and understand the world with their body; they make sense of the earth with their skin. This performance asks: How can other-than-human beings illuminate our understandings of embodiment, and how can their dances through the world further enrich our own?

Sound artist Rocco Strain utilizes miniature contact microphones to sense audio vibrations produced by physical contact with the flesh and skin of living plant and fungal organisms such as plants, trees, moss, mycelium, mushrooms, lichens and flowers. Looped seamlessly into into a textural tapestry of sonic transmission, what you hear is flesh-to-flesh contact and cross-species encounters, the rubbing of overlapping earthly skins, the attraction and the repulsion. In this live electroacoustic sound piece, the musicians also incorporate bio-sonification devices that use electrodes hooked up to living, breathing plants to translate the bioelectricity and electromagnetic currents occurring within the plant’s organism into soundscapes.

Choreographer Iván Espinosa, highly influenced by his intensive studies of Japanese Butoh, takes up Nancy Stark Smith’s conceptualization of the “Skinesphere” to explore the intimate links between our senses and the earthly sensuous. An obscure footnote in Contact Improvisation, a postmodern dance form initiated in 1972 by American choreographer Steve Paxton, the SKINESPHERE aims to draw attention to that which is contained within the boundaries of the body and how this inner sensorium leads to bonding with the Earth. In connection to the sensorial modes of perception embodied by the Brittlestars, Mycelium and other “Queer Critters,” the dancers in this performance engage with the SKINESPHERE as a cross-species phenomenon. Breath by breath, pore-through-pore, skin to skin, we invite you to join us as we meditate on what ecologist David Abram calls the “reciprocity between our animal body and the animate terrain…the simple, somatic affinity that entangles our body with the bodies of other creatures, binding our sentience with that of the local earth.”

To learn more about choreographer Iván Espinosa’s electroacoustic sound art and live dance collaborations, you can read about his work here.

Doors at 7 PM.
The performance will be followed by a Q&A and refreshments.

Inverted Space Ensemble: Twin Peaks a la Partch

Inverted Space presents a reinterpretation of the music from Twin Peaks. The concert will feature a handful of the Harry Partch instruments and draw upon different elements of improvisation. The goal will be to produce a new sound to an already innovative score.