Sun 8/7 | 6pm $5 @ Bos Meadery
849 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53703
solo & duo performances from
BEN WILLIS – double bass
BRIAN GRIMM – guqin, cello
Bos Meadery – “Mead Made Modern” our mission is to make the world’s oldest fermented beverage in the most modern possible way using local ingredients, so that our mead reflects the flavor of the Wisconsin landscape. Much like farm to table eating, this is field to glass drinking.
BEN WILLIS (DET/AA, MI) – solo double bass
Egret/Flatlander is a set of solo bass pieces by Ben Willis. Composed through development and exploration of improvisational practice, the movements have taken shape as open cellular structures, that act as themes and zones for extemporaneous development.
The pieces make use of a range of extended double bass techniques, drawing inspiration from contemporary classical music and free improvisation. The musical language draws from many influences, including rock structures, folk harmonies and melodies, and doom metal.
Ben Willis is a bassist whose affinities lie in collaborative projects, new music, improvisation, and the merging of cross-disciplinary elements. He’s performed his original collaborative work at venues and festivals around the U.S., including the International Society for Improvised Music Conference, Electroacoustic Barn Dance at the University of Mary Washington, the Whitewater Arts Alliance Series at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater and the Ratchet Series at the Skylark in Chicago. In 2013, he was a Robert Black Bass Fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. Much of his work highlights the importance of collaborative, performative process in the development of new art. He is a member of the Weather Duo, an electroacoustic ensemble with cellist Pat Reinholz, dedicated to performing new music that blends classical training with improvisation and folk idioms. The Weather Duo has contributed music to the Li Chiao Ping dance company, a video project with artist Doug Rosenberg and dancer Sally Gross, and composed occasional film scores. In live performance, they explore multimedia collaboration with the help of live video artist Anna Weisling. He has also toured and recorded as a sideman, working with many indie/folk artists, including Anna Vogelzang, Dietrich Gosser, and Thistle and the Thorns. He often participates in recitals of new music and collaborations with composers, and performs regularly with the jazz/rock project Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps, and the free improvisation trio Glacier. He currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI. He earned a BM in Performance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and MM in Improvisation from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He’s studied bass with Richard Davis, Diana Gannett, and Bob Hurst, and composition with Andrew Bishop.
Buy Egret/Flatlander here >>
BRIAN GRIMM (MAD, WI) – solo cello & guqin
Cellist & composer Brian Grimm grew up surrounded by Chinese string instruments of every sort. After initial lessons in Chinese music with Yang Wei (pipa) & Daxun Zhang (bass) of the Silkroad Enesemble, he was lucky to then study guqin (zither), pipa (lute), gaohu (fiddle) & daruan (bass lute) in Hong Kong with members of the 香港中樂團 Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra & Wuji Ensemble 無極樂團. Over the last 15 years Grimm has developed a deep language of Free Improvisation & Composition with groups such as The Brothers Grimm, Lovely Socialite, and Brennan Connors & Stray Passage. In conjunction with performing & teaching, Brian runs GrimmusiK Records – a label for all projects involving him & his brother AJ (classical & flamenco guitar).
** BC Grimm’s new CD “Orbis Obscura” for Pipa, Fuzz & Delay drops Friday, 8/12 on Other Obscura Records @ ArtIn Gallery on East Wash! **
Sat 7/23 | 10pm Free @ Mickey’s Tavern
1524 Williamson St, Madison, Wisconsin 53703
JULIAN LYNCH + BC GRIMM (MAD)
WEI ZHONGLE (CHI)
CLOUD BECOMES YOUR HAND (NYC)
CAP ALAN (MAD)
Wei Zhongle (CHI) & Cloud Becomes Your Hand (NYC) are touring together this July! Catch them both for free on Sat, 7/23 10pm at Mickey’s Tavern. Local acts bookending: Julian Lynch + BC Grimm duo opens / Cap Alan closes.
Mon 7/25 | 7pm door $8 all ages @ Arts + Literature Laboratory
2021 Winnebago St, Madison, WI
FAUN AND A PAN FLUTE (ATL)
CYRUS PIREH (MPLS)
BRENNAN CONNORS & STRAY PASSAGE (MAD)
Though experimental may be the quickest catchall word that comes to mind when describing Faun and a Pan Flute, the multi-talented nine-piece has evolved beyond its experimental roots. Last year’s sprawling self-titled LP showcased a virtually unclassifiable, new musical vocabulary. The individual strengths of the group’s members ebb and flow, giving each song its own tonal combinations where change is the only constant. Every song is composed with careful precision, but the unpredictability of the group’s songwriting adds a fluidity uncharacteristic of contemporary classical music. With any of its debut album’s four numbers, “John,” “Linda,” “Augur,” and “Dave,” Faun glides from swells of noise to modal motifs to abstract textures. The collective’s true strength lies in how nine musicians with such distinct styles find a unifying form instead of devolving into a battle of conflicting egos. Even when the group descends into an amorphous mass of sound, every second is unmistakably Faun.
Cyrus Pireh, a crafty guitarist who leans towards the tremolo side of life, specializes in making guitar amps inside of pill bottles and out of old telephones. Recently, Cyrus joined up with Rob Lundberg (JOBS) & Ryan Packard to form power trio Nestle. We can’t wait for his solo set on Monday!
Experimental Jazz Trio Brennan Connors & Stray Passage has been performing in Madison for over three years, exciting listeners with their range of sonic capabilities. The breadth of a performance ranges from focused minimalism to fiery high energy music, all while maintaining a sense of narrative organization and compelling ensemble interplay. Repertoire includes original compositions, a few old favorite tunes, and raw improvisation. The group is led by Brennan Connors on tenor and soprano saxophones. Geoff Brady provides orchestrated drum and percussion textures & Brian Grimm who rounds out the trio playing cello, contra-cello, and electric bass.
Wed 7/27 | 7pm $15 @ Shitty Barn Sessions: 139
506 E Madison St, Spring Green, WI 53588
ME eN YOU (MAD)
LOVELY SOCIALITE (MAD/MKE)
ME eN YOU are not an artist collective, ME eN YOU are a collective artist. We are the band that everybody in the world is in.
From the Wisconsin Public Television 30 Minute Music Hour: Madison-based hip-hop ensemble that combines the intense beats of a classic urban house party with the sweet expressions of a gospel choir.
Lovely Socialite, formerly Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps, is a Madison-based six-piece that combines the aesthetics of modern jazz with contemporary classical, driving rock, and hip hop. Lauded for their bold and intricate compositions, the group often draws comparisons to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The bands original music combines strict notation with moments of improvisation and maintains a healthy balance of dark and heavy rock grooves with quirky jazz obscurities.
While Lovely Socialites unusual mix of strings, traditional Chinese instruments, brass, and a jazz rhythm section suggest that the group might be a contemporary music ensemble, it is their use of stomp boxes, vocal processors, and other electronics that makes the group a suitable fit for any rock, hip-hop, or jazz bill. In fact, Lovely Socialite has been privileged to share the stage with such artists as Dessa, of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, as well as performing live on the UW Madison Terrace with Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes.