6/13 | Jonah Parzen-Johnson / Tar Pet / Lovely Socialite @ Bright Red Studios

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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!


 

4/18 | FOMA w/ Jeff Stanek & BC Grimm

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I think this foto says it all! Come get goofy with us!

IT’S NOT A FORMAL FAT SUIT!

Sat, 4/18 |  Doors 7pm / Music 7:30-10pm

515 Maple Ave, Madison WI

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…)

FOMA Videos >> Here!

FOMA = Diana Sussman + db pedersen + Molly Wells | free movement and sound based improvisations

Jeff Stanek = host + pianist + provider of tasty treats

BC Grimm = cello + guzheng + eater of tasty treats


12/07 | Music Workshop “CONVERSATION = IMPROVISATION” @ Madison Music Foundry

Click here to sign up on the Madison Music Foundry website!

Click here to sign up on the Madison Music Foundry website!

CONVERSATION = IMPROVISATION

Music Improvisation workshop with BC Grimm

Sundays from 12-2pm

Nov 11/23 11/30  Dec *12/07 12/14  @ Madison Music Foundry 

…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!

SESSION FOCUS
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.

LISTENING
In each class we’ll take time to listen to examples of different approaches to improvisation that correlate to the session’s focus.

EXPERIMENT
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)


9/22 | Surrounded By Reality: Thollem McDonas & Sisters Three @ Audio For The Arts Studios

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SURROUNDED BY REALITY PRESENTS

THOLLEM MCDONAS 

SISTERS THREE

(aka Brothers Grimm + db pedersen)

 Join us for our reinvented concert series, Surrounded By Reality! This time, we welcome Thollem McDonas and The Sisters Three. Doors open at 7:00 pm for this 7:30 pm performance. Tickets are $10. Stream the concert live. 

Thollem’s solo piano work is a constant flow full of nuances and collisions of his studies of 350 years of keyboard musics and those found in the ever-changing environments along his perpetual travels. “Thollem McDonas does what few can: He combines extreme imagination with terrific post-classical chops and an ability to communicate through melody. A fresh, disciplined avant-pianist with an attractively extreme viewpoint.” (Greg Burk – LA Weekly)

“An intense and virtuosic keyboard improviser” (TimeOut, NY), Thollem ”inhabits a world uniquely his own, rhythmically, harmonically and formally. A true original.” (Terry Riley)



“The Sisters Three are: my brothers, my sisters, my challengers, my keepers, my fellow mossy stones, my companions in chaos.” – Huckleberry Grimm

The Sisters Three (Brothers Grimm + db pedersen), ‘so wither’d and so wild in their attire, that look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth,’ – on this autumnal equinox performance – invite you to both celebrate Summer’s end and to encourage the return of Fall. Bring elements of Autumn, memoirs of Fall. By time The Sisters Three convene this September 22nd, the current embers of Madison’s cicada choir will be totally absent as will all the anxious energy spun by Summer’s zeal. Provided silent sanctuary, The Sisters Three will pay special homage to those courageous leaves which cast off chlorophyll pretensions and reveal the wide spectrum of their honest selves.    


8/09 | Lyre Power workshops @ Edgewood College

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Sat, 08/09 | Lyre Power has over 10 workshops available for their August 9th festival at Edgewood College‘s center for visual & theater arts, The Stream.  I (BC Grimm) will teach a new workshop, ‘Conversation = Improvisation’, in parallel with other workshops taught by some very talented friends of GrimmusiK including; Rob Lundberg, Yid Vicious (Geoff Brady of Brennan Connors & Stray Passage), Nick Zielinski (ARP of the Covenant) & more!

The workshops are open to all ages, child to adult!  Choose your 2 favorite sessions & sign up today!  “The cost to participate is $35, which covers the full day (two workshops and performances) from 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Saturday, August 9. No money is due upon pre-registering online. The registration form we send by mail will include payment information.”

LYRE POWER WORKSHOPS 2014

≽ Sign Up Now!

Special thanks to Jeff Stanek, Shad Wenzlaff, & Debbie Yee, the coordinators of Lyre Power, for organizing what will prove to be a most excellent day of improvisation & composition workshops!

| LyrePower.com | fb.page | fb.event page |

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7/6 | Unrehearsed MKE @ Jazz Estate

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Sun, 7/6 |  Unrehearsed MKE          7pm $2 @ The Jazz Estate, MKE

The idea is simple:  We are looking to bridge the gap between music scenes by randomly putting musicians that have never played together and give them a chance to create a set of improvised music.  Be a part of something new and great in MILWAUKEE.  When is this great thing, you ask?  Well it is the FIRST SUNDAY of the month at The Jazz Estate, first set starts at 7:30pm. 

Group 1
Matt Blair – Piano (Madison)
Wilberforce Anton Greene – Guitar (Madison)
Jason Nanna – Modular Synth

Group 2
Nick Weckman – trombone
Chris Bresette – trumpet
Michael Bettine – percussion/gongs
Nicholas Buchel – painting/visual art

Group 3
Jim Schoenecker – Electronics
John Schoenecker – Electronics
Brian Grimm – Stringed Instruments (Mad)
Barry Paul Clark – Bass

 

We’re back again and going strong. Thanks again to everyone for the continued support and curiosity in the unknown and creating such a beautiful scene of creative, improvising and listening musicians.  ~ www.unrehearsedmke.com

listen. learn. exchange. grow. communicate. create. experience!

The Jazz Estate   2423 N Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI 5321

.   ..   …   ….   ……   ……   …….   ……..   ………   ……..   …….   ……   …..   ….   …   ..   .

 

Redolent Spires (2012) now on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Rdio, Beats, G.Play & more!

4/15 |    The Brothers Grimm 2012 release Redolent Spires” 

Now available on all major digital music platforms.
Whichever music service you use,
– simply search for Redolent Spires & add it to your library!

* scheduled for release on Pandora next month

On Spotify > The Brothers Grimm – Redolent Spires

RS.iTunes

click to purchase Redolent Spires on iTunes

RS.GooglePlay

click to purchase Redolent Spires on Google Play

RS.Amazon

click to purchase Redolent Spires on Amazon

 

1/9 | 7-9pm Dobra Tea – Thank You Show

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Thurs 1/9, 7-9pm @ DOBRA TEA

THANK YOU SHOW

BC GRIMMguqin, guzheng

DB PEDERSEN – throat singing, flutes, vox sfx

ERIC MILLER – bass viola da gamba

For three years The Brothers Grimm have been heading the experimental music series “Tea & Improv” at Dobra Tea.  Sadly, Dobra will close it’s doors this January, 2014.  We’ll have one last show on Thursday 1/9 as a way to say thanks to all who have worked/come out to enjoy these events since 2011.  DB, BC, & Eric will all perform short solo sets, as well as improvise together.

It can be difficult to find a welcoming platform for experimental & improvised music.  Dobra has been our enthusiastic home base for much of this Madison experience.  It has not simply been “a venue”, but a meeting place of disciplined philosophies, where music & tearoom perfectly alight in purpose – to have conversation.  In a vibrant, hue-struck room with no internet or to-go options, the result is meaningful discussion with close friends.  It was never the intent of our music to overpower the space (& people in it) to a hush, but rather to be another conversation & accept all happening sounds as music/inspiration.  3..2..1.. Now!  ~ All conversation is improvisation.  We fuel off the energy you give us and channel it back, vibrating the air.  No sound is excluded from this Cageian discourse ~ kettle boils, clayware scrapes, somewhere a laugh, all is music.

Perhaps the most important element of performance in Dobra has been a public space for unknowing teagoers to encounter “avant-garde”//”difficult-edgy-freaky-‘nonmusic’music-skronky-improvised-noise…stuff”.  We’re thankful for situations where people may come/go at any moment, have lively chit-chats, not feel they have to be classically-stuffy/know-the-rules, & happen upon experimental music over the flowing cup.  Hearing such racketous free-for-all (beautiful to some…) on a record, coming at you through the speakers can be challenging for unpracticed ears – but having that be a live experience and seeing that the musician performing extended techniques is another breathing, sweating, emoting, human being that is trying to communicate something to you – is when this music becomes immediate & relateable.  The more you as an audience give of your energy/vibes – the better the conversation is.

We’ve released a couple of albums at Dobra, including: Moonish Lodestar (2013) by Watercourse Quartet & Redolent Spires (2012) by The Borthers Grimm.  Had wonderful performers such as:  Watercourse Quartet w/ Ben Willis, Pat Reinholz (aka Weather Duo + Brothers Grimm); Lovely Socialite, db pedersen, Eric Miller, Thollem McDonas (aka Thollem Electric), Brian Tairaku Ritchie, Sult w/ Jacob Felix Heule, Guro Skumsnes Moe, Håvard Skaset; Timbre, Samuel Lockridge, Brother Stripes w/ Timothy Russell & Nick Zoulek; Prom Night Records w/ Brad Henkel, Nathaniel Morgan, & David Grollman; Dale Kaminski, Joey Molinaro, Zane Merritt, TJ Borden, Wrest Trio w/ Benjamin Bennett, Jack Wright, Evan Lipson; Stray Passage w/ Geoff Brady, Brennan Connors & more! – The tearoom has also played host to local Hindustani & Carnatic Indian Music group Saaz, Baroque & early western period instruments, & Yuri on the Russian domra.

Thanks to Qi Hong for fostering communitea.

Thank to the close friends who have come out over the years to support  &/or participate in these happenings.

Thanks to all of the great Devoteas who have worked at Dobra & become a part of our lives.

Much love & one cup!

~ BCG   (on behalf of The Brothers Grimm)

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