Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ryuichi Sakamoto "Playing the Paino" Tour & Earshot Jazz Festival : Oct 15 - Nov 7

Most notably amidst the quality lineup at this year's Earshot Jazz Festival, is the solo Ryuichi Sakamoto piano performance at The Moore. Sakamoto's discography is decades-spanning, ranging from new romantic pop and electronic experimentation, to a Japanese brand of sublime minimalism. The majority of western listeners know his music from his earliest involvement in Yellow Magic Orchestra, and the numerous soundtrack albums of the 1980s which followed. Yet it may be his 21st Century work which is the most compelling. This is represented on the domestic release of his 2010 "Playing the Piano" and 2009 "Out of Noise" double album release on Decca Classical. Taken alongside recent collaborations with experimental guitarist Christian Fennesz, and the series of albums made in conjuncture with the digital austerity of Raster-Noton's Carsten Nicolai, the mid-2000s have been both prolific and of the highest quality strain from the Japanese composer. Other names of note in this year's Earshot lineup include Thrill Jockey Records artist, The Chicago Underground Duo, and Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) conducting the Odeon Quartet in a new conceptual chamber symphony piece. This latter work exploring the theme of ecological impact to the and the vast open seas that were once the ice shelf of the Arctic.

Link to Earshot Jazz Festival site

Link to official Ryuichi Sakamoto site

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Christoph Heemann "The Rings of Saturn" Tour at Chapel Performance Space: Oct 25

Christoph Heemann longtime collaborations with Jim O'Rourke, Andrew Chalk, Charlemagne Plalestine and Andreas Martin over the years has produced a wide-ranging corpus of work spanning Psychedelic Dronsescape, Surreal Ambiance, Downer Folk, Krautrock Jams and John Fahey-like acoustic guitar meanderings, many of them released through his own Streamline label but it's mostly just his adept, almost alchemical working of SOUND itself that stands most highly. Heemann's most recent work is a cinematic exploration of the themes and concepts from the literature of W.B. Sebald, aurally evoking the haunted scapes of his "The Rings of Saturn". I expect it will be this material explored in this rare (decades apart) performance by him stateside. Should be quite a night of sonic journeying not to be missed, and not just for it's rarity alone!
From Wayward Music Series: "Christoph Heemann (born 1964 in Aachen, Germany) began his musical work in 1983 as a founding member of the group HIRSCHE NICHT AUFS SOFA, who released several albums of their surreal collagemusic between 1985 and 1993, drawing inspiration from such diverse elements as musique concrete, avantgarde, krautrock and improvised music. After the group disbanded Heemann continued working solo and with the group MIMIR (with Edward Ka-spel and Jim O'Rourke), the drone projects MIRROR (with Andrew Chalk), and IN CAMERA (with Timo van Luyck). Heemann's solo compositions have often been described as "ear-movies", in which he fuses field recordings, acoustic instruments, electronics, and electroacoustic sounds into audio narratives. Aside from this Heemann has done a series of musical collaborations (with Jim O'Rourke, Lee Ranaldo, Charlemagne Palestine, William Basinski) and works as a producer (Keiji Haino, Charlemagne Palestine, Limpe Fuchs, Current 93). Since 1994 he runs the Streamline label."

Link to Nonsequitur/Wayward Music Series Christoph Heemann site

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sounds on Rotation - Oct / Nov - Books in Circulation

Been a while since I've done one of these! So here's whats been playing at my place/on my pod
this past month or so. Have been particularly enthused again with the past couple months of new
albums I've acquired, these being (as per usual) mostly dissonant, minimal, abstract, avant and
atmospheric type sounds. Consisting of random modern composer titles, few choice electronic
releases, couple new avant-jazz/improv recordings, noise post-rock psych stuffs and a couple
doom-ish metal records. Indeed! New sounds make such an excellent compliment to the change
of seasons, as the Fall/Winter is definitely here with the torrential rains, sunset at 6pm and the
changing leaves falling from trees. 5 more months of spectacular off-and-on crepuscular
Northwest gloom, here we come!

Supersilent "10" & "11" (Rune Grammofon)
Alva Noto & Blixa Bargeld "Mimikry" (Raster-Noton)
Cloudland Canyon "Fin Eaves" (Holy Mountain)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma "Love Is A Stream" (Type)
Ultralyd "Inertiadrome" (Rune Grammofon)
Max Richter "Infra" (Fat Cat)
V/A "Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep" (Rune Grammofon)
Peter Broderick "Music For Contemporary Dance" (Erased Tapes)
Earth "Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular-Extraction" (Southern Lord)
Pan Sonic & Keiji Haino "Synergy Between Mercy & Self-Annihilation Overturned" (Blast First)
Marcus Fjellström "Schattensieler" (Miasmah)
Hildur Guðnadóttir "Mount A" (Touch)
Grails "Black Tar Prophecies - Vol. 1-4" (Important)
Boris "Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol.1-4" (Southern Lord)
Rafael Anton Irisarri "The North Bend" (Room40)
Philip Jeck "An Ark for the Listener" (Touch)
Emeralds "Does It Look Like I'm Here?" (Mego)
Nadja "Autopergamene" (Essence)
World's End Girlfriend "Seven Bastards" (Virgin Babylon)
Jasper TX "Singing Stones" (Fang Bomb)
Kemialliset Ystävät "Ullakkopalo" (Fonal)
Goldmund "Famous Places" (Western Vinyl)
Aaron Martin "Worried About the Fire" (Fang Bomb)
Benoit Pioulard "Lasted" (Kranky)
Brian McBride "The Effective Disconnect" (Kranky)
Morgan Packard "Moment Again Elsewhere" (Anticipate)
François Couturier "Un Jour Si Blanc" (ECM)
Arvo Part "Symphony No.4" (ECM)
Tord Gustavsen Ensemble "Restored, Returned" (ECM)
Pale Sketcher "Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed" (Ghostly Intl.)
Ryuichi Sakamoto "Playing the Paino" (Toei Music)
Svarte Greiner "Penpal Forever (and Ever)" (Digitalis)
Jon Meuller "Whole" (Type)
Kangding Ray "Pruitt Igoe" (Raster-Noton)
Heavy Winged "Sunspotted" (Type)
Hauschka "Foreign Landscapes" (Fat Cat)

Books in question being split between a couple authors, the Bolano was recently completed
and near mind-destroying in it's depth, intensity and duration. The Ballard is a ongoing on/off
again dipping in/out of in the midst of other books as it's his short fiction collection, the others
being pop/pulp adventures to satisfy that appetite:

Roberto Bolano "2666" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
J.G. Ballard "The Complete Stories of j.G. Ballard" (W.W.Norton)
Jonathan Lethem "Chronic City" (re-read) (Knopf)
Jeff Noon "Vurt" (St. Martin's Griffin)
Audrey Niffenegger "Time Traveler's Wife" (Houghton Mifflin)
Daniel J. Boorstin "The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination" (Vintage)
Alan Moore "Swamp Thing" Hardcover Vol.1-3 (DC Comics)
Grant Morrison "Batman & Robin" & "The Return of Bruce Wayne" (DC Comics)

...And the new Sept/Oct issue of Film Comment, Oct issues of The Wire, Sight & Sound,
Artforum, Frieze and McSweeney's 34 have all made for good reads.

Photo credit:
Petrocelli Designs LLC from a series for the Rafael Anton Irisarri release "The North Bend"