Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jaap Blonk “Polyphtong” & "YappiScope" | Earshot Jazz Festival: Oct 12 - Nov 4

Every year, the month of October marks the return of Earshot Jazz Festival. This is just months after Earshot brought us Andreas Stensland Løwe, Jo Berger Myhre, and Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød as the Scandinavian experimental jazz trio, Splashgirl. This year, the festival proper features the experimental improviser, video artist, sound-poet and all-around-madman that is Dutch voice virtuoso Jaap Blonk performing his own multichannel “Polyphtong” and DaDaist visionary Kurt Schwitters’ “Ursonate”. Should be an invigorating, ridiculous, energetic, cathartic night! Complimenting Blonk's performance at Chapel is the Northwest Film Forum's ongoing festival collaboration hosting a second performance by Blonk of "YappiScope" containing excerpts and recreations spanning the totality of his creative career. Which I can't even attempt to describe, so I'm going to leave that to Northwest Film Forum: "YappiScope contains an overview of Jaap's oeuvre, including "projected scores" of his sound poems with simultaneous live performance. These veritable vocal steeplechases include visuals generated in real time by live sounds, new short videos, a live improvised sound track to a silent abstract film, a live improvised sound track to an historic surrealist film, a beautiful multi-media work entitled Traces of Speech, and  the incredible sounds produced with Jaap's "cheek synthesizer" technique, seen in extreme close-up" Also in Earshot, there's the return of Philip Glass to Seattle after his "Music With Friends" series at Issue Project Room earlier this Summer. Performing here as a trio with African kora virtuoso Foday Musa Suso and percussionist Adam Rudolph, having previously worked with Glass on his score for Godfrey Reggio's "Powaqatsi". ECM's Nik Bärtsch and his Ronin Ensemble bringing a sound a good bit more intense than the usual ECM fare. Peter Brotzmann and Ken Vandermark collaborator, percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani in a duo with avant-violist Eyvind Kang and the long-running pianist's outfit the Matthew Shipp Trio and Trio X with Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen are among the the highlights I found in this year's calendar. As Fall rolls around this year, nice to find I'll be attending Earshot again!
Photo credit: Geof Huth