Glorious Ravage is released on CD and digital download on the iconic label of American weirdos and evil geniuses, New World Records. Order the CD from me here, and I’ll ship it out within a couple of days.
We recorded over two days at the historic Fantasy Records in Berkeley, CA with Adam Muñoz engineering, assisted by Myles Boisen. John Finkbeiner did all the mixing, and it sounds pretty incredible! The CD is a Digipak with booklet, including great liner notes by music critic and radio show host, Derk Richardson.
The NYC premiere features an all-Bay Area Band, plus the lovely and talented Ms. Victor, our New Yorker:
Fay Victor, voice Kyle Bruckmann, oboes Steve Adams, woodwinds Cory Wright, woodwinds Aaron Novik, contrabass clarinet and bass clarinet Darren Johnston, trumpet Alan Williams, trombone Mark Clifford, vibraphone Tim Perkis, electronics John Finkbeiner, guitar Myra Melford, piano and harmonium Jordan Glenn, drums Crystal Pascucci, cello Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Plus sound by Eli Crews and projection of films by Steiner-Quillian-Alvarez-Lipzin by Suki O’Kane.
I did an interview about Glorious Ravage with WKCR’s New Music Director that will be aired on Mon 10/9 during the Afternoon New Music show, 3-6pm EST. WKCR is my absolute favorite radio station of all time in the whole universe, what a huge honor to be in that building, and part of that history. Thanks Lena!
Final day finishing up an extraordinarily productive time at the Headlands Center for the Arts …. sun, wind, rain, rodents, coyotes, bobcats, charts, 3 rolls of scotch tape, a couple of reams of paper, 15 1/2″ binders, two exhausting and exhilarating rehearsals in Berkeley and SF last week, and lots of espresso…. add up to a premiere this weekend.
Here’s an interview with Cisco Bradley, great writer, booster and documenter of the improvised music scene, for his blog Jazz Right Now.
A visit today to Kathleen Quillian’s studio, where she’s prepping her materials for an animation based on the writings and travels of Mary Kingsley. Kingsley is one of my favorites of these Victorian women – she had an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and besides discovering a bunch of new West African fish species (yeah, I’m actually a lapsed ichthyologist), she was a self-styled ethnographer (and also a lapsed ethnomusicologist), and wrote eloquently of the need for Westerners to learn about and understand the customs of native people on their own terms.
Wow, what a night that was. After a strenuous rehearsal where we tore through a LOT of new material at breakneck pace, my stellar mini ensemble of winds and strings set up shop in the tower at the de Young Museum for our second work-in-progress event there this month. I was a little apprehensive because this was the smallest iteration of the band I’d tried performing with in public – 6 people sounds bare to me now! – and we had no films projected this time, so the onus was really on the music to hold everyone’s attention and create something for the people in attendance to hold onto. We played completely acoustic, and that can also make you feel vulnerable in an uncontrolled environment.
We set up in a circle, and were quickly surrounded by dozens and dozens of people, leaning against the glass walls, the stairwell, just hovering over us. What an incredible experience it turned out to be, to talk about all the ideas, stories, research behind this project for the first time, to a group of really curious, interested people. And then play the music, as it was that night – no drums or guitar or electronics, no amps or films or vocals. The ensemble really had to connect and gel to deliver this music as such a small group, and it was very good for us I think to have to be in that slightly uncomfortable, exposed zone. As the night progressed, and the sun set through the windows, it felt more like all these people were visiting us in our rehearsal space or living room, rather than us having this division that we were performing, they were listening in this very public space. And that lack of formality created a connection that was very powerful for me. I knew I’d learn a lot about the music, and where I wanted it to go, how I wanted to revise it, in holding these preview events–but I didn’t realize that these events were also little focus groups, a chance to interact with listeners and share some of my excitement about where all this work is coming from, with some new people. Kind of unbelievable.