We had a wonderful show last night @ Bright Red Studios! Thanks to all who came out!
∮ Lovely Socialite explored a quartet free-improv set with Pat on cello, Abe on vibes, Mike on assorted home-made percussion and drum set, & BCG on gaohu, pipa, bass & cajon. So much open, quiet space. We were able to explore individual solo moments all around, as well as every duo pairing within the larger quartet. Very rewarding, as most Socialite sextet improvs exist in a wall-of-sound-madness! I was grateful to explore sparcer orchestrations for such an open ear’d audience. (new album due out by early fall!)
∯ Taralie of Spires That In The Sunset Rise, known as Tar Pet when solo – gave us a really deep set. My favorite two pieces were in the middle. One was a layering of melodic cello drones that bubbled forth minute changes, all playing against one another to create a long landscape. Once the scene was set, she switched to sax and blew an elegy to Ornette Coleman, who passed away this week. I think we all knew what it was about, because Taralie was so excellent and clear in her delivery of the meditation. What a way to send-up Ornette! [peace, respect]
…oh yeah, DISTORTED CELLO DRONES!!!. < that’s all I need to say on the one that followed.
∰ The touring musician of the night, Jonah Parzen-Johnson (Brooklyn, NYC), treated us to his carefully crafted ‘bari-sax + electronics’ compositions. Inbetween pieces, he would share introspections and wonderments de jour. Anything his soul was searching at the moment. A lot of it about how we interact with each other, but all of it posed in the form of (yet) unanswered questions. Much appreciation for the insight into his being and process. Jonah is on tour for his new album “Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow”, which you should buy right now! He’s halfway through a 5 week tour, help support his final leg with a purchase of his well developed music!
From FOMA ~This is the premiere show for this great new house venue! (Make sure to tell Jeff Stanek you want more!!!)
Vote Diana Sussman for home snowcoming queen and David Pedersen will kick the ceiling! Or, just kick back as Jeff Stanek serves cupcakes and Brian Grimm pours tea to the sad harp strains of Molly Wells. Candlelight and kale chips. Improvisation and album sneak peeks. We can’t wait to share the fun!
(^This information may or may not be entirely fictional…)
Netmoiré creates an energetic, abstract, and mercurial experience that blends the avant-garde with electronic, beat-driven music. Netmoiré is an improvisational trio featuring Jason Charney (computer), Josh Simmons (computer), and Nick Zoulek (saxophones). The trio came together while pursuing graduate studies at Bowling Green State University, and bonded over a shared passion for improvisation. Searching for the overlaid patterns found through improvisational networking, Netmoiré creates an energetic, abstract, and mercurial experience that blends the avant-garde with electronic, beat-driven music. Their influences and inspirations include Death Grips, Colin Stetson, J Dilla, Tim Hecker, Evan Parker, Ben Frost, and most importantly, an affinity for chaotic sound.
Special Note: Lovely Socialite will be in Blast House Studios on Jan 3rd & 4th, finishing their second album with Landon Arkens!
…shifting the approach from the narrow field of ‘note/genre based’ improvisation, to the wide universe of ‘sound/conversation based’ exploration!
>> *Update! We have lowered the price of this workshop to just $24 for each 2-hr class. You can still sign up for the whole series ($90) – OR – sign up for a one-time class on December 7th ($24)!
Who should sign up?
Any age. Any instrument(s). From experienced improvisers to beginners, all are welcome. I’m especially interested in reaching people who are “afraid to fail” in improvisation, so we can break down that barrier.
First and foremost, anyone, at any skill level can participate – together. This workshop will shift the participant’s perspective on what improvisation is. We’ll take it from simply being note/genre focused and transform the player’s approach to being sound/conversation focused. It will greatly broaden who the player can improvise with, how long they can play, and how creative they can be!
When it comes to improvisation, sometimes people freeze… “what do I play next?”, “I can’t think of any other ‘things’ to play…”, “what if it doesn’t ‘sound good’?”, etc. ad infinitum… This can easily be overcome by shifting the approach from the narrow field of ‘note/genre based’ improvisation, to the wide universe of ‘sound/conversation based’ exploration.
EVERY TIME WE HAVE A CONVERSATION, WE ARE IMPROVISING!
Every single person who uses language is an improviser… So, everyone already possesses the skills required for group-improv. When you sit down to free-improv with a group of musicians – even if you’ve never played with them before – it should be natural, music is a language. We’ll work on communication skills in order to have a conversation in sound.
We’ll touch on Avant Garde & Extended Techniques as a dialect of improvisation. We’ll focus on how, much to the surprise of traditional thinking, experimental sounds can be found in nature everywhere. I have heard many of my improvising collaborators play rhythms & textures that I’ve previously experienced in nature &/or surrounding environments. It is coded in our DNA & can’t be escaped, but rather must be acknowledged and embraced. There is naturalism in experimental sound that needs be explored in order to communicate & relay your meaning to the listener.
In each class we’ll take time to listen to examples of different approaches to improvisation that correlate to the session’s focus.
By the very nature of the word/process, you must be open to failure. You must be willing to “play a wrong note” or “try a sound/technique you’ve never played before”. That’s what an experiment is: you have an educated guess about what outcome may happen, but you can’t know for sure until the experiment is performed & data collected. – Try a new sound or technique, listen… did it work? No? Alter the experiment & try again… still No? Then, it’s probably safe to move on to a new sound-experiment. OR Yes? Great!! Keep exploring it, what else can you create from that experiment, and where will it lead you?”
“BCG… who in the scootin’-fruidy is this guy?!…”
BC Grimm is active professionally as a teacher, composer, improviser, performer, sound designer, electronic musician, & multi-instrumentalist on cello, bass guitar, & Chinese String strings (古琴 guqin, 古筝 guzheng, 琵琶 pipa, 二胡 erhu, 高胡 gaohu). A frequent collaborator in Madison’s avant-garde music scene, BCG is also passionate about exploring music traditions from around the world. After earning a Bachelor of Music Composition with honors from Butler University, he has found a niche composing, performing, and recording scores for dance, theatre, & film.
“ … compositions are both classical and experimental, both disciplined and exploratory.”
– Isthmus, The Daily Page (June 2012, ‘Redolent Spires’ album review)
“Madison-based multi-instrumentalist Brian Grimm specializes in playing the guqin and guzheng, Chinese zithers that sometimes run as large as a small canoe. He’s also a classically trained cellist and, under the name Brain Grimmer, produces adept and twisted instrumental hip-hop. In performances with Julian Lynch’s band and various jazz and improvisational groups around town, Grimm draws on both formal music studies and avant-garde extremes.”
– Arts Extract Podcast, Scott Gordon (June 2014, ‘The Ideating Knell’ album review)