Michaud Savage: Departures

Michaud Savage is a working musician in the Seattle area, and tonight he will be presenting a collection of compositions for solo guitar, followed by compositions for small chamber ensembles. These pieces are vignettes, windows. They are glances into rooms, memories as they formed, they are nowhere to go. This collection is a curated series of departures.

Michaud Savage, classical guitar
Violin, Kimmy Harrenstein
Violin, Janet Utterbach
Viola, Teresa Sandys
Cello, Nick Pozoulakis
Contrabass, Ross Gilliland

Rebecca Gates + Kyle Hanson

In 2005, Rebecca Gates collaborated with sound artist Jane Phibrick to create Southwest Harbor Songline, an audio piece describing the coast of Maine. Since then Gates has composed and performed her Horizon Line Scores series in Joshua Tree, CA, Mount Hood National Forest, and Sedona, AZ. Horizon Line Scores allow landscape to determine the proscenium and amplification of the performance, while vocals are used to explore and describe the geography of a specific site. For the Wayward Music Series Gates will reinterpret and re-contextualize research field recordings from past scores, using them as a raw sonic data for treatments in live performance with vocals and guitar.

Rebecca Gates is a U.S. based musician, artist, and arts advocate who has released six albums, three as leader of the critically acclaimed group The Spinanes. She has toured internationally, and appeared as a vocalist on numerous records by various artists including The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, and Willie Nelson. Her programs and work relating to issues of sound and space, listening, and artist’s roles in their communities have been hosted by PS1, Mass MOCA, Georgetown University, New York University, WFMU’s Radiovision Festival, PICA/TBA Festival, and galleries in the United States and Europe. Gates co-curated Ballroom Marfa’s sonic exploration of land arts, The Marfa Sessions and is director of Sound and Associates.

Composer and accordionist Kyle Hanson (aka The Murkies) innovated the extended technique described as ‘alternating transverse oscillation of the bellows’ by which he obtains a shimmering sound and immersive effects. His music ranges from ambient soundscapes to psychedelic pop with many stops in between. Kyle led Seattle’s Black Cat Orchestra for many years with partner and collaborator Lori Goldston, producing 4 albums, including one with Mirah, and a song with David Byrne; other collaborators include Amy Johnson, Britta Johnston, Curtis Taylor, Eve Cohen, Bob Jenkins.

Mir is a set of skeletally-composed music-in-progress inspired by the 1997 film Out of the Present by Andre Ujicá. The film is a dreamy, poetic chronicle of daily life aboard the space station Mir over a 10-month period in 1991, during which the Soviet Union collapses.

Presented by Nonsequitur.

(photo: Dan Sharp)

Stacey Mastrian & Stephen F. Lilly: Back & Forth

Composer-performer Stephen F. Lilly and soprano-actress Stacey Mastrian present an evening of their collaborations from the last fifteen years. At times humorous, at times reflective, the music and sonic artworks on this program include solo voice as well as spoken word and singing with kalimba, piano, typewriter, and pre-recorded and live electronics. The program will also feature the world premiere of The Second as well as a setting from Seattle poet-musician Ivan Molton, and an appearance by composer-pianist Josh Archibald-Seiffer. All donations help fund the recording of these works in partnership with the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

“Manifestly courageous” (Boston Globe) and “inspired” (New York Times) soprano Stacey Mastrian is a Fulbright Grantee, Beebe Fellow, and Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient whose repertoire extends from Monteverdi to the 21st century. She has sung with the Konzerthaus Orchestra (Berlin), Nova Amadeus Orchestra (Rome), and at such venues as the Fondazione Cini (Venice) with the Experimentalstudio Freiburg, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (Montréal), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), St. Peter’s (Vatican City), and in collaboration with Nuria Schoenberg Nono, at the Conservatorio di Musica Respighi (Latina). She has performed across the U.S., most notably with The Bay Players Experimental Music Collective, Vocal Arts DC, CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Opera Lafayette at the Kennedy Center and Rose Hall-Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Chamber Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times has praised her for “intensity, focus, and a warm, passionate sound,” and her singing has been hailed by the Berliner Zeitung as “very impressive…tremendous ease and beauty.” Dr. Mastrian has been Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Voice at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College and has taught at American University, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and University of Maryland College Park.

Stephen F. Lilly is a composer, performer, audio engineer, and sound artist. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Stephen ventured east to study composition. He has graduate degrees from the University of Maryland and composition and bass performance degrees from the University of Idaho. He also spent a year at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. Theatricality, language, and abstraction are themes that continually resurface in his creative work, the majority of which is scored for chamber ensembles, incorporating signal processing and computer generated sounds. Stephen has written works for CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) Britsol, pianist Hayk Arsenyan, saxophonist Steven Leffue, and soprano Stacey Mastrian and has worked closely with a collective of composer-performers he helped found, the Bay Players Experimental Music Collective. His writings on contemporary experimental music have been published in Organised Sound, Performance Research, Perspectives of New Music, and Computer Music Journal. Recordings of his compositions are available from ink&coda, the SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures Recording Series, and C7 Music and recordings he has engineered have been released on Neuma, Navona, and Albany Records. Stephen currently lives in DC where he composes, teaches, and performs with These Quiet Colours.

A Microscope + Curtis Dahl

If Morton Feldman had a baby with Mahalia Jackson, that baby would grow up to have a lot in common with NYC-based musician Kris Wettstein. Performing as A MICROSCOPE, Kris blends minimalist piano textures with gospel music and West African guitar lines. Trained as a classical pianist, Kris also spent time in Dakar, Senegal collaborating and performing with musicians including Carlou D and Alfadio Dara. Since then, he has been playing gospel music at a church in the Bronx. In 2014, he released For Nothing Holds You In, an EP of quiet, sparse pop songs he made in collaboration with members of itsnotyouitsme, Kelley Polar, and the Boston Public Quartet. He is currently touring in support of an hour-long new piano piece, Tent of Meeting, which brings these different styles of music together into one shifting cloud of sound.

CURTIS DAHL is a pianist living in Seattle who likes to experiment with spontaneous melodies, made-up harmonies, and previously unheard-of forms. He also likes to dabble in electronic sounds, recording household items and other unlikely sound sources to manipulate in the studio to come up with original soundscapes not usually heard in waking life. Once in a while he finds time to produce other peoples’ work, and enjoys bringing an impressionistic aesthetic and a sense of the infinite to a project. As a member of the Three Corners trio with Kenny Mandell and Tim Volpicella, Curtis successfully brought to the table his classical and aleatoric background to a purposefully broken jazz collective. In the Tonal Vision duo, again with Mandell, Curtis and Kenny weave together lines and pointillistic notes with circuitous harmonies and sudden changes of direction to create and express impossible feelings.

Parnassus Project

Parnassus Project presents a concert exploring American mysticism, featuring works by John Luther Adams, Lou Harrison, Peter Garland, and a new work by Luke Fitzpatrick.

Parnassus Project is a collective of musicians dedicated to presenting a fresh take on the chamber music experience. We seek to create a more social atmosphere at concerts and to break down barriers between performers and audiences by performing in alternative venues and encouraging interaction. In addition to promoting local musicians, Parnassus also strives to present new works by local up-and-coming composers.

Music in the American Wild

Music in the American Wild is a touring celebration of the 2016 US National Park Service centennial, featuring new music inspired by and performed in national parks across the country. Eleven composers and seven performers, all affiliated with Eastman School of Music as faculty or alumni, have collaborated to honor this milestone of conservation by creating new works inspired by the national parks and performing them in the natural theaters of the parks themselves. The mission of Music in the American Wild is to enhance the park-going experience by encouraging audiences to explore and interact with their parks in a new way, through music. Along the way, Music in the American Wild is also performing concerts in nearby cities, joining in the National Park Service centennial initiative, “Find Your Park,” to inspire new audiences to interface with parks in their own communities.

In June, Music in the American Wild toured three parks in the southeast: Mammoth Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, and Shenandoah National Parks, performing and recording in scenic locations from mountaintops to caves 30 feet underground. During their August tour of the Pacific Northwest, Music in the American Wild will continue their centennial celebration with performances at Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic, and San Juan Island National Parks.

Music in the American Wild is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Alan Cook & friends: Une nuit de trios

Une nuit de trios, the night of the trios, brings together some of the finest improvising musicians from the Seattle creative music scene and beyond for a night of unbridled collaboration and discovery.

Bringing together two of the leading lights in the Seattle creative music scene with a recent transplant to the Pacific NW from Southern California, the Campbell/Cook/Icasiano Percussion Discussion promises to be a rich and varied dialogue drawing on the immense strengths and deep sensibilities of these highly accomplished practitioners of the percussive arts: Greg Campbell, Alan Cook, Chris Icasiano.

Big Sky is a new trio that brings together three supremely gifted musicians, two springing from the state of Montana, whose wide open vistas gives the group its name, and one born in Scotland, but whose growth as a musician was grounded mainly in the rich creative music community of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. The love of the wild and untamed runs through each of their work, and together the heavens will blaze. Scot Ray, slide guitar/effects; Tari Nelson-Zagar, violin; Alan Cook, drums/percussion.

Greg Campbell plays drums, percussion, and French horn in styles ranging from mainstream jazz to freely improvised music to classical to Afro-pop. He has worked with Bill Smith, Stuart Dempster, Matana Roberts, the Tom Baker Quartet, Wayne Horvitz, Stuart Dempster, Stewart Copeland, the Young Composers Collective, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Seattle EXperimental Opera, and the Seattle Percussion Collective, and co-leads the traditional Ghanaian drumming group Anokye Agofomma. He has studied with Dave Holland, Cecil McBee, Joseph Jarman, Bob Moses, Tom Collier, and Michael Crusoe.

Alan Cook brings a dynamic and multifaceted perspective to the creative exploration of the percussive arts, with over 50 years of diverse musical experience which includes performing with Nigerian master drummer Francis Awe’s Talking Drum Ensemble, competing to top international honors with the Misty Isle Pipe Band, ensembles large and small covering music in a wide range of genres, as well as extended experience in solo accompaniment for modern dance and performance art. He has studied and performed with renowned musicians such as Dave Holland, Albert Mangelsdorf, Bobby Bradford, Fred Katz, Lee Konitz, Don Thompson, Ralph Alessi, Vinny Golia, Karl Denson, Kei Akagi, among many others.

Chris Icasiano has quickly established himself as a force in Seattle’s new music and avant-garde jazz scene. He performs regularly in the co-led duo Bad Luck with long-time friend and collaborator, saxophonist Neil Welch, which was recently awarded the 2009 Alternative Jazz Group of the Year by Earshot Jazz. Bad Luck’s self-titled debut album was received with much critical acclaim and has been described as, “…one of the finest Seattle Jazz recordings in years – fresh, assured, mature way beyond it’s players’ ages.” (Peter Monaghan, Earshot Jazz). Chris is a co-founder of the local record label Table & Chairs, an organization which has, for two consecutive years, won the Earshot Jazz award for Concert of the Year in 2012 and 1013. Chris is also a co-founder of the New York Times acclaimed music series The Racer Sessions, a weekly composition and improvisation workshop that provides an alternative space for musicians of all backgrounds to come together and participate in collective improvisation. He is a very active contributor the Seattle music scene and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Tari Nelson-Zagar is a third generation violinist and improvisor whose focus is collaborating with composers, choreographers, and other creative artists. Nelson-Zagar’s involvement with contemporary music began in her late teens when she joined the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra – a freewheeling orchestra led by Kent Nagano and dedicated to performing contemporary music. Tari worked as a professional violinist in orchestras until she left the violin for the contrabass, playing with adventurous jazz and improvised music artists. Tari has lately returned to her home instrument, the violin. Tari maintains an active teaching studio, and engages students to develop excellent technical and musical abilities.

Scot Ray‘s eclectic slide guitar work is informed by his many years as a professional trombonist – from work with Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats (which involved collaborations with Gwen Stefani, Tony Bennett, and Bob Dylan; along with the Grammy awarded recording Vavoom), to pop icons Jason Mraz, Dionne Warwick, Elliot Easton (of The Cars) & Ray Manzarek (of The Doors); from Cuban percussionist Francisco Aguabella to new music pioneers Steuart Liebig, Bill Barrett, Alex Cline, Vinny Golia, & Nels Cline; from Caribbean cruise ships and Buddhist funeral bands to past performances on David Byrne’s Sessions At W. 54th Street, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, The DuMaurier Jazz Festival, and Harmonica Sur Cher France; from soundtracks ‘Stuart Little’, ‘Me, Myself, and Irene’, and ‘Three To Tango’, to a vote as ‘rising star’ from Down Beat Magazine.

Senyawa + Arrington de Dionyso

Senyawa (Jogjakarta, Indonesia) embodies the aural elements of traditional Indonesian music whilst exploring the framework of experimental music practice, pushing the boundaries of both traditions. Their music strikes a perfect balance between their avant-garde influences and cultural heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian new music.

Their sound is comprised of Rully Shabara’s deft extended vocal techniques punctuating the frenetic sounds of instrument builder, Wukir Suryadi’s modern-primitive instrumentation. Inventions like his handcrafted ‘Bamboo Spear’; a thick stem of bamboo strung up with percussive strips of the animal skin along side steel strings. Amplified it fuses elements of traditional Indonesian instrumentation with garage guitar distortion. Sonically dynamic, the instrument can be rhythmically percussive on one side whilst being melodically bowed and plucked on the other.

They have collaborated and performed with many notable musicians such Yoshida Tatsuya, Otomo Yoshide, Lucas Abela, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Rabih Beiani, Melt Banana, Jon Sass, Damo Suzuki, Jerome Cooper, Oren Ambarchi, David Shea and Kazu Ushihashi. In 2012 they completed a film in collaboration with French filmmaker Vincent Moon. Their next album is due to be released mid 2016 via Morphine Records.

Arrington de Dionyso (Olympia, WA) conjures Utopic Spaces with multiphonic vocal work & minimalist instrumentation. It’s shamanic seance meets rock and roll ecstasy; “TRANCE PUNK” combining traditional ritual trance, electrified experimental approaches, dancehall rhythms, gamelan scales and mystically inspired Indonesian incantations.

Kam Morrill: New Works

Kam Morrill studied composition with Ned Rorem at the Curtis Institute. His music shows its American roots in its emphatic rhythmic drive and its melding of vernacular idioms with the contrapuntal discipline of art music, drawing on models ranging from hymnody and blues to jazz fusion and the minimalist school. Primarily a vocal and operatic composer, he brings his feeling for the singable line to instrumental music as well.

This recital will feature 9 premieres, of works written in Seattle over the past 2 decades. Among the pieces programmed are works for piano, unaccompanied cello, string quartet, piano quartet, and vocal quartet. Participating artists include singers Ryan Bede, Katie Hochman, Kristen Keymont, Brian Minnick, and Katie Stevenson, conductor Roger Nelson, cellist Colin Meek, pianist Nobuko Hasegawa, and the Bella Sala Quartet.

Earshot: A Consecutive Sequence + Hound Dog Taylor’s Hand

Earshot’s Jazz: The 2nd Century program invites Seattle musicians to creatively consider the future of jazz, in any and all of its possibilities. Curated each year by a different “blind jury” from responses to a general call for submissions, the resulting concert series showcases original compositions by Seattle artists on four consecutive Thursday evenings in July.

A Consecutive Sequence
A Consecutive Sequence is a duo on a quest for authenticity, innovation, and connection – a connection with jazz’s history and culture, with audiences, and with the music itself. Comprised of Bryan Lineberry (saxophone) and Dio Jean-Baptiste (drums), the group draws on influences of EDM, hardcore punk, hip-hop, and even heavy metal to craft a visceral, powerful sound.

“With the greatest access ever in history to the vast catalogue of music,” says Lineberry, “it becomes easier for musicians to gravitate towards new territories to be influenced by.” And it’s their ever-expanding draw of influences, reverence of the art form, and dedication that positions A Consecutive Sequence to be a reflection of what is happening in the second century of jazz.

Hound Dog Taylor’s Hand
Hound Dog Taylor’s Hand is Jeffrey Taylor (guitar), John Seman (contrabass), and Mark Ostrowski (drums), a trio that has been performing together for more than five years. Taking its name from the six-fingered blues slide guitarist, the group creates spontaneous compositions rooted in the language of the blues and free jazz. Taylor weaves guitar improvisations like themes through a sermon, fanning the flames of long-time Monktail rhythm section of Seman and Ostrowski. Reverence for the roots of improvised music meets an unbridled passion to push boundaries, making for a propulsive and unpredictable sound.