Organized by NYC choreographer (former Seattle resident) Beth Graczyk and composer Tom Baker, Radiosonde brings an element of structure to an open improvisatory setting. With scores designed by Graczyk and Baker, the group follows prompts (shapes, words, colors) to give an overall shape to the moment-by-moment decisions being made in real-time.

The key to the performances are trust and surprise, two elements that can be complementary, though are often at odds. For these performances, the performers have a deep trust with each other, while the surprises shape the totality of the work and a form begins to emerge.

Tom Baker, guitar; Greg Campbell, percussion; Jesse Canterbury, clarinets; Brian Cobb, bass; dancers Corrie Befort, Beth Graczyk, others TBA.

Love Theme + Sun Pack + Medina/Walsh

The Vera Project presents Love Theme with special guests Sun Pack! Doors at 7:30, music at 8 PM.

Love Theme, composed of Alex Zhang Hungtai, Austin Milne and Simon Frank, crafts new age dirges with drones, dark-toned horns and background static. Their self-titled release, an edited arrangement of an improvised sax/synth/percussion/drums/vocal session in late June of this year, is described by Pitchfork as “like putting your ear to a robot’s chest and hearing a heartbeat.”

Sun Pack, the quintessential seafoam ambient project of Niki Smith and Collin Ward, exists in a space somewhere between Teen Suicide and Mogwai. Head Cabin sounds how sitting on the rocks by a lake feels, if you’ve split off of your group to watch ducks and the moon’s reflection in the water. Niki Smith’s voice glides on the surface of rippling interwoven acoustic guitar, lofi synths, and bird sounds.

Joshua Medina & Paurl Walsh explore the intersection between contemporary folk, drone, ambient, noise and electronic music. The duo is seemingly a paradox unto itself: Medina, a self taught finger-style guitarist and Walsh, a sound artist, synth guru, and classically trained composer; their compositions reflect a dichotomy in style as well as sound, gentle serenity often leads to jarring dystopia.

Hans-Joachim Roedelius + Xambuca + Hair & Space Museum

Renowned as one of the greatest innovators of the krautrock and ambient movements, Hans-Joachim Roedelius has had a successful musical career spanning several decades. Born in Germany in the 1930’s, he formed the influential krautrock group Cluster and went on to be a member of Harmonia, as well as the jazz trio Aquarello. He was a founding member of the Zodiac Free Arts Lab in West Berlin in the late 1960’s and was instrumental in fostering the early German experimental music scene which continues to influence the landscape of electronic music to this day.

Roedelius has collaborated with a number of influential artists including Brian Eno, Michael Rother and Moebius, and has an extensive discography including the classic Harmonia’s Musik von Harmonia and Cluster’s Cluster and Cluster II. His musical catalog spans multiple genres including ambient, jazz, techno and experimental and he tours regularly, performing at festivals and other venues around the globe.

Avant-garde electronic artists XAMBUCA will be joining Roedilius as an opening act. XAMBUCA is an international collective anchored by multimedia artist Chandra Shukla.

Known for their multimedia meditations on the generative, cosmic properties of sound, Hair and Space Museum, is the synthesizer-and-voice duo of Emily Pothast and David Golightly (also the co-founders of the band Midday Veil).

Presented by Patchwerks.

Sahba Sizdahkhani + Ivan Arteaga

Iranian multi-instrumentalist Sahba Sizdahkhani serves as a unique crossroad of East meets West. Inspired heavily by 1960’s free-jazz and Persian Traditional Music, he constantly channels the fire-energy and longing for connectivity that these two stormy histories represent.

Sahba has recorded with artists on the imprints of Dischord Records, Southern Lord, and Drag City, and has appeared live with Peter Brotzmann, Devendra Banhart, Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto), Marc Ribot, Eli Keszler, and Mary Halvorson. He completed a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Maryland in Art History and Archeology as well as in Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music.

For this performance of 104-string santour and percussion, he will be channeling slow, long-form compositions coupled with primeval pulse-rhythms, based on the ancient spiritual ceremony of Sama: a ritual used by the Persian Sufi Dervishes to achieve a state of spiritual trance and numbness. Recent studies of the Sufis by scientists have found that, while under the influence of these rhythms, the chemistry of the brain changes causing a shift from anger to sadness to kindness to joy.

Ivan Arteaga is a Seattle-based saxophonist and composer performing a new solo for alto saxophone, body & space entitled Stings & Pulleys. Choreographer Allison Burke is a Seattle-based movement artist who helped develop the piece. Being on a stage is inherently theatrical and this work takes advantage of that. It uses the body and performance space as theatrical elements with which to infuse experimental solo playing.

Presented by Nonsequitur.

S. Eric Scribner: “Fantastical Sounds: Music from Tond”

As part of the setting in the series of four fantasy novels set in the world of “Tond”, Mr. Scribner describes the music of the Fyorian, Sherványa, and Karjan peoples. Some of that music can actually be played, and in this concert, folk and experimental music artists get together to perform it. Modal or microtonal, and often strongly rhythmic, it is music based on traditions everywhere but with a sense of strangeness from an invented world. Performers include Mr. Scribner on prepared piano and hammer dulcimer, Carol Levin and Mike Gurulé on harps, Karen and Keith Eisenbrey on found instruments and percussion, Phillip Arnautoff on harmonic canon (prerecorded) and the band Waterbound on mandolin and autoharps.

S. Eric Scribner (Steven E. Scribner) grew up in the Seattle area, and has performed here, in Japan, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of his compositions form an extended series of graphic scores based on landscapes, to be performed over prerecorded sounds. Two of the larger projects from this series are the 9-hour StormSound Cycle (played in its entirety at the Chapel in May 2011) and a video/audio installation with audience participation, (The) Nature (of) Sound, which ran from August 22 – October 24, 2014 at Jack Straw New Media Gallery. This Music from Tond concert is somewhat of a departure from those sprawling ambient works into more rhythmic and melodic territory.

Evan Smith

Evan Smith is a Seattle saxophonist who recently completed his doctoral work at the University of Washington researching the composed saxophone works of famed improviser and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef. He specializes in contemporary-classical music that bridges the divide between composition and improvisation and explores the flexible sonic palette of the saxophone. For this program, Smith will bring Lateef’s rarely-performed works to life. In addition to his Sonata for Saxophone Quartet, the program will feature Lateef’s Saxophone Sagacity, which has no known recordings.

Working with the compositions of another famed improviser, the program will also explore the quartet and sextet works of Julius Hemphill, founder of the World Saxophone Quartet. The ensemble will play works from some of Hemphill’s later works as recorded by Marty Ehrlich and the Julius Hemphill Sextet on The Hard Blues.

Finally, Seattle composer Nat Evans brings forth a new work for saxophone sextet and percussion that explores America’s early musical heritage and is inspired by popular saxophone ensemble recordings from the 1920’s.

Janet Feder & Fred Frith

Denver-based prepared guitarist and composer Janet Feder and legendary British guitar wiz Fred Frith finally get around to celebrating their 2006 duo recording Ironic Universe here in Seattle. Come for the incredibly lovely compositions, stay for the wildly inventive improvisational interplay. Presented by Nonsequitur.

Steve O’Brien’s Moving Out

Steve O’Brien is a tall trumpeter, composer and curator with The Spitehouse Concert Series. This performance will be his last large work done in Seattle, before he moves to further his career in a new city.

O’Brien credits composer James Knapp, trumpeter Jay Thomas, and trombonist Julian Priester as his biggest influence in deciding to move to Seattle in 2009. He studied with them privately while he finished his degree at Cornish College of the Arts. Since then he has produced one EP of original music with his chamber group, Only Trio; written and performed original pieces for big band, septet, sextet, quintet, quartet, trio, brass quintet and brass duet; worked with composers Wayne Horvitz, Louis Andriessen, and Butch Morris; appeared on stage with Murphy/Lachow Company at OTB and with Frank Boyd at ACT Seattle; and recorded with Wayne Horvitz, Naomi Siegel, Real Don Music, Spyn Reset, Whitney Lyman, Ron Scalzo, 45thst Brass, Issues, Fox and the Law, Sam Lachow, Solzilla, Fatal Lucciauno and Erica Cooper.

Performing tonight with O’Brien are Devin Bews (drums), Josiah Boothby (horn), Alex Dugdale (alto sax), Geoff Harper (bass), Kate Olson (tenor/soprano sax), Rodger Pegues (piano), Colin Pulkrabek (trombone), Oleg Ruvinov (tuba), Greg Sinibaldi (baritone sax), Jay Thomas (trumpet), and Lucas Winter (guitar).

The evening will start with a brass quintet piece that will feature Jay Thomas. Then two septet pieces, that feature Geoff Harper bass, and Rodger Pegues piano and Lucas Winter guitar. The second half will have a few trio songs arranged for sextet featuring soprano saxophonist Kate Olson and collective improvisations with O’Brien using conduction (a la, Butch Morris), closing with a quintet piece and a blues to feature everyone.

(Photo by Haley Freedlund)

Eric McElroy, piano

Pianist Eric McElroy celebrates the incredible diversity of music in our time, ranging from neo-romanticism to pop-classical fusion. The highlight is Frederic Rzewski’s De Profundis, one of the masterpieces of contemporary music. It is composed for “speaking pianist”, meaning the pianist not only plays but also speaks, sings, shouts, hums, and much else. The spoken text is taken from Oscar Wilde’s eponymous letter which he wrote while imprisoned at Reading Gaol, condemned for acts of “gross indecency”. It is an expression of sorrow, love, despair, and spirituality. It is the attempt of a ruined man to reconcile himself to his fate. The concert also features Eric’s own composition The Perilous Realm (2014), which won the 2015 MTNA National Award for Composition, Jacob TV’s The Body of Your Dreams for piano and soundtrack, and the American premiere of Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 71 (1972), by John Joubert in celebration of the composer’s 90th birthday.

Seattle Composers’ Salon

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

Patrick O’Keefe, Sonata for Piano
S. Eric Scribner
Blake Degraw, Diler, for strings
Cole Bratcher, Transit Maps, fixed media with projection

The Seattle Composers’ Salon fosters the development, performance and appreciation of new music by regional composers and performers. At bi-monthly, informal presentations, the Salon features finished works, previews, and works in progress. Composers, performers, and audience members gather in a casual setting that allows for experimentation and discussion. Everyone is welcome!