Musica Elettronica Viva

In the spring of 1966, in Rome, a handful of artists laid the foundations of a free improvisation group where everything is allowed. Fifty years later, three founding members keep searching for the unheard. In the history of improvised music, MUSICA ELETTRONICA VIVA is up there, on the ladder of importance, with AMM and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Since its early years, when MEV shocked audiences, sparked diatribes, and pushed the very concept of music into new territories, the group has gone through intermittent periods of activity and dormancy, while its remaining three members led very busy solo careers: composer Alvin Curran, the man of great designs masterfully mixing art and life; Frederic Rzewski, the piano virtuoso and composer of the classic variations on The People United Will Never Be Defeated; Richard Teitelbaum, the live electronic music pioneer. Now these three old friends reconvene to share the stage and break new collective ground. Each performance becomes an exceptional moment where everything is allowed, except taking yourself too seriously.

(photo by Huddersfield)

Seattle Composers’ Salon

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

Keith Eisenbrey
Jeremy Shaskus
Daniel Webbon
Neil Welch

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!

Seattle Modern Orchestra: Reflections on Sound & Silence

7:30 PM Pre-concert conversation with co-artistic director Jérémy Jolley and guest composer Andrew Waggoner.

Seattle Modern Orchestra opens its 2016-17 season with a concert featuring works by three composers who reflect on the past, both personal and cultural, to create an expressive music for today. Both celebrated German composer Wolfgang Rihm and Lithuanian composer Vykintas Baltakas (winner of the 2003 Claudio Abbado International Composition Prize and the 2007 Ernst von Siemens Grants-in-aid Prize) recontextualize ideas from other works in their respective catalogs, with a language of gesture linking us to past traditions. Also on the program is the world premiere of American composer Andrew Waggoner’s Concerto for Piano, written for Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng, conductor Julia Tai and the Seattle Modern Orchestra.

Vykintas Baltakas – Redditio for ensemble (2010) – U.S. Premiere

Wolfgang Rihm – Chiffre II (Silence to be beaten) for 14 players (1983) – West Coast Premiere

Andrew Waggoner – Concerto for Piano (2016) – World Premiere – with Grammy Award winning pianist Gloria Cheng

(photo by Amy Vandergon)

The Sound Ensemble: In Nature’s Realm

All of the music for “In Nature’s Realm” is inspired or influenced by nature. Throughout history artists have depicted nature from many perspectives and through many mediums. In music, the depiction of nature has become more immersive, it is like the difference between looking at a painting and using virtual reality equipment. Each of these pieces portrays a different facet of our interaction with nature, allowing us to explore through the mind of the composer.

John Teske susurrus
Tom Cipullo Rain
Greg Dixon Cedar Forest
John Cage Litany for the Whale
John Luther Adams songbirdsongs
Anna Thorvaldsdottir Hrim

Earshot: Renée Baker

Renée Baker is a violinist/violist, composer, and improviser who has been at the extreme forefront of creative/avant garde music. She has performed and recorded with Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Strings, Karl E. H. Seigfried’s New Quartet and Galaxy String Quartet, the David Boykin Expanse, Orbert Davis, George Lewis, Mwata Bowden, the Great Black Music Ensemble, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. She is a member of the Chamber of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, Ms. Baker also leads the Mantra Blue Free Orchestra (performing her own work), and is principal violinist and Artistic Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta Chamber Ensemble.

For this concert, Ms. Baker leads an ensemble of twelve of Seattle’s outstanding improvising musicians performing works combining conduction, graphic scores, and standard notation: Ivan Arteaga (saxophone), Heather Bentley (viola), Samantha Boshnack (trumpet), Greg Campbell (percussion), Isaac Castillo (bass), Clifford Dunn (flute), James Falzone (clarinets), Beth Fleenor (clarinets), Tiffany Lin (piano), Tari Nelson-Zagar (violin), Greg Powers (trombone, didjeridu), Gretchen Yanover (cello).


Cabinet of Wonder Suite (world premiere)
i. Another Sphere for Drone Quartet and chamber ensemble
ii. Not This Way for voices and piano
iii. Refusal of Refuses for string trio and piano

RAGE for Chamber Collisions

Altered Consciousness (A spatial conversation between minds)

“In the creation of these works I have endeavored to capture in notes, colors, forms, gestures and lines the commonality of humankind…we are not separate unless we want to be…Artificial boundaries keep us from taking the best from other existences. Here, we meet once again…not in nomadic memories, but in the here and now…sharing our individual cabinets of wonder…” – RB

Presented by Nonsequitur and Earshot Jazz Festival. Interview with her at Second Inversion.

Katsura Yamauchi + Blue Moon Raga

Katsura Yamauchi (b. 1954) picked up his first saxophone in the early 1970s and was quickly drawn to modern jazz, avant-garde and free improvisation. Born in Beppu, far from the traditional creative centers around the bigger cities in Japan, Yamauchi was until recently relatively unknown, but has now shown himself to be one of the most unique musicians in Japan. Yamauchi has developed his own original style, mixing improvisation and minimalism with melodic elements. The music is at the same time challenging and easily accessible, unrecognizable and beautiful. He has released several solo CDs and recorded with Michel Doneda, Gunter Müller and Norbert Möslang from Voice Crack and performed with Taku Unami, I.S.O., Misha Mengelberg, Tatsuya Nakatani, Sharif Sehnaoui, Jason Kahn, Otomo Yoshihide, sachiko M, Barre Phillips, Kim Dae-Hwan, Gino Robair, Toshinori Kondo, Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, Travassos, Toshimaru Nakamura, Seijiro Murayama, Han Bennink and many others. (Watch videos here, here,, and here.)

An uncompromising voice in contemporary music, Arrington de Dionyso integrates ancient soundmaking techniques with trans-modernist inquiries into the nature of consciousness. His propulsive improvisations utilize voice and reeds (primarily bass clarinets and his invention the Bromiophone) as multiphonic tools in the navigation of liminal spaces between shamanic seance and rock and roll ecstasy. The BLOOD MOON RAGA project is usually a trio with de Dionyso on reeds and voice, Oomung Varma on tabla, and Nathan Gibson on modular synthesizer. The intent is to explore and expand upon the territories discovered in the meetings between Hindustani classical singers such as Pandit Pran Nath and the burgeoning avant-garde of American Minimalism in the mid-sixties Lower East Side NYC as exemplified by LaMonte Young, Tony Conrad, and Henry Flynt et al.

Earshot: Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri

Romanian pianist Lucian Ban has impressed on the New York scene with his Third Stream-oriented explorations. His brilliant collaborations with violist Mat Maneri, long a leading jazz innovator, have become legendary. Presented by Earshot Jazz Festival.

(photo by Claire Stefani, ECM Records)

Earshot: Frode Gjerstad Trio

The fierce Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad, much applauded in earlier Seattle appearances, performs with Chicago-based cellist and prolific avant-garde composer Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jon Rune Strøm, a first-call modernist bassist throughout Scandinavia. Presented by Earshot Jazz Festival.

(photo by Daniel Sheehan)

Earshot: Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey

Ingrid Laubrock, DownBeat’s 2015 soprano saxophone rising star, and Tom Rainey, a drummer “who swerves between avant-garde notions and a mainstream sensibility” (L.A. Times), improvise with captivating intuition. Presented by Earshot Jazz Festival.

(photo by Peter Gannushkin)

Loop 2.4.3: Time Machine_music

Stories of Power, Control, Love, War, and Hyper-Reality inform Loop 2.4.3‘s new album Time-Machine_music. The multi-media concert version brings together fine art, film, and composed and improvised music (using pitched and unpitched percussion, drums, voices, samples, and electronics), to paint poignant narratives. Part of a West Coast tour, the Seattle performance will feature local percussionists Denali Williams and Melanie Voytovich, and film maker David Derickson, in collaboration with the NYC artist collective.

Loop 2.4.3’s “hard-driving” and “intricate, energetic” live set featuring “haunting, twisting tones,” has been covered by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Daily News, and more.

“It all sounds like part of a well-thought-out tradition. Only the tradition has never existed until now.” – NPR / Fresh Air