Post epic-show comedown, again...

Many of the times I've said the title of this blog post, it is in reference to a house/basement/DIY show, something a little more ragged around the edges but overflowing with heart, soul, and all that goodness. Last night was very different, but a complete success on pretty much every part (which is good because a lot of people put a LOT of work into it, which I witnessed over the course of the past week.)

I'm of course referring to the Big Room/Uncertainty Music collaboration that occurred last night, showcasing dance/movement by Rachel Bernsen, music by Carl Testa, Taylor Ho Bynum, Matthew Welch and Broadcloth, my trio with Anne Rhodes and Nathan Bontrager. Broadcloth performed Elastic, Carl Testa's interactive electronic environment for improvising musicians, which was basically like improvising on a really, really tricked out sonic playground, and was loads of fun to perform. As an improviser doing my own work and working with others, I've found it difficult in the past to interact with electronics in a meaningful way; thankfully, Carl has the background as both an improviser and an electronic composer to make such a thing work (and we triggered/recorded our sounds with Wii-motes, which Nintendo should be paying Carl tons of money for.) Broadcloth also performed a short improvisation which took us in a different direction than we had gone in the past, partially due to the fact that we had a bigger room and different spacing than our normal semi-circle setup for the small rooms and stages we've played before. I'll be curious to see if that direction persists the next time we get together.

I also had the chance to perform Taylor Ho Bynum's "Three Fables from Borgel," based on a text by Daniel Pinkwater. These were some really bizarre, tremendously entertaining (to perform, and judging from what I could see of the audience's reactions, to listen to) songs that really captured the spirit of the absurdist/surrealist children's book they came from, which I'm now determined to check out. Working on these over this past week with Anne and Taylor was really a treat, and I hope opportunities to play compositions like this aren't so few and far between in the future.

Matthew Welch accompanied one dance piece by Rachel, and performed a solo improvisation on his own. Suffice to say he's a monster, the bagpipes have never ever seemed cooler and I'm further building my case to eliminate electric guitars after hearing the extended techniques bagpipes are capable of, and the good old-fashioned shredding when necessary too.

Rachel presented four pieces, one accompanied by Welch, one with electronic sound and light by Carl, one accompanied by a really impressive cornet score by Taylor and the last featuring live bass guitar by Carl, voice by Anne, and a choreography that incorporated them both. I've started to develop an appreciation for dance after spending the last two years accompanying for modern dance classes (albeit for much younger dancers, at Neighborhood Music School), but I'm far from being a connoisseur; I did really appreciate Rachel's choreography in each of those contexts, recognizing some aspects of improvisation in them that I can immediately relate to as a musician. The fact that so many of these pieces were interdisciplinary at heart was part of what made them so engaging to me and to some of the folks I spoke to during the intermission and afterward. There was a nice turnout, especially for an event of this nature, and it seems as though there were a lot of people who were in my shoes as of two + years ago, surprised to see such a strong avant-garde art scene in New Haven surviving and, dare I say, flourishing.

And on top of all that, I met Anthony Braxton. Like I said, biiiiig comedown...


Broadcloth at Take Your Time

Next week, May 28th, at the Big Room in Fair Haven, CT, Broadcloth will be performing as part of a killer lineup in the premiere installment of a new series called Take Your Time. Below, I'll post the official writeup, but Broadcloth will be performing a structured improvisation alongside live electronics by Carl Testa as accompaniment to one of Rachel Bernsen's dance pieces which are the focal point of the evening. I will also be performing with Anne Rhodes and Taylor Ho Bynum on Bynum's "Borgel Songs," a short song-cycle.

It looks to be an incredibly diverse evening of new music and art, and a fully multi-media experience. Hope to see you there!

The Uncertainty Music Series and The Big Room introduce Take Your Time, an interdisciplinary performance series, featuring new works by Rachel Bernsen, Carl Testa, and special guests.

Friday May 28, 2010 at 8pm

The Big Room - Erector Square 315 Peck St. New Haven, CT, Building 6W, Studio D

Tickets are $12. Seating is limited. Reservations are recommended. For reservations email: thebigroomnewhaven@gmail.com

On Friday May 28th, a consortium of New Haven-based artists will launch a new semi-regular performance series called Take Your Time. In a co-presentation of The Uncertainty Music Series and The Big Room, choreographer Rachel Bernsen and composer Carl Testa will offer the New England premieres of new and recent work in their first shared evening. Rachel will perform three pieces, each a unique collaboration with musician/composers including Taylor Ho Bynum, Anne Rhodes, Carl Testa, and Matthew Welch. Carl will perform a new composition for light, sound, and movement, and present a new piece for trio and live electronics featuring the collective improvisation trio Broadcloth. Bynum, Welch, and Broadcloth will also be performing short improvisations and original compositions.

Rachel Bernsen “has the ability to make even the most simple things completely fascinating. She is an amazing performer and a compelling artist” (Michael Helland, Curator, Dixon Place). Her most recent projects create dialogues between sound and movement; where the musician’s physical presence and role is equally important to that of the dancer, integrally connected to the flow of time and the organization of space. Her work has been presented at such New York City venues as Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Roulette, Dixon Place, and Issue Project Room. At Take Your Time, Rachel will perform three works: User in collaboration with Anne Rhodes and Carl Testa, Glimmer Glint Glisten (with a live score by composer/cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum), and Singular Present, a collaboration with New York based composer and bagpipes player Matthew Welch.

Carl Testa is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, most notably as the bassist in composer Anthony Braxton’s septet and 12+1tet with whom he’s performed throughout the US and internationally. Testa’s own compositions have been described as “engaging and unique” (Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery) and “human music, with varied emotions and sublime moments” (Richard Kamins, The Hartford Courant). For his performance at The Big Room, Testa will use interactive electronics and computer-controlled lighting equipment to create dynamic environments for both movement and sound. www.carltesta.net

The evening will feature additional performances by Taylor Ho Bynum, called “one of his generation’s top avant-garde figures” by The New York Times; the trio Broadcloth, a unique instrumentation of voice (Anne Rhodes), cello (Nathan Bontrager) and accordion/recorders (Adam Matlock) that plays from notated, graphic, embroidered, and textual scores in addition to completely spontaneous pieces; and Matthew Welch, a virtuoso bagpipe player and composer "possessed of both rich imagination and the skill to bring his fancies to life" (Time Out New York).

The Uncertainty Music Series www.uncertaintymusic.com is a New Haven, CT based creative music series that has been presenting concert events since September 2007. The goal of the series is to provide a venue for local and regional artists that may not have the opportunity to present their work elsewhere. The Big Room is a new studio and performance space providing the New Haven area with a much needed, low-tech platform for interdisciplinary collaboration, experimentation and research in dance and performance.


Coming VERY soon...Ephemeral Stampede!

I've mentioned this on and off over the past few months. Ephemeral Stampede is an album that has been mostly written and arranged for almost two year now. I had intended to record it all nice-like with a real studio and some session musicians/friends filling out the sound, but after something resembling a complete financial breakdown, I had to bite the bullet and self-record the whole thing. I'm actually quite satisfied with the turnout, and the re-done arrangements reflect what I've been hearing in my head after performing many of these songs live and solo in the last 9 months, which is quite different from the Kurt Weill-influenced cabaret sound I was originally going for. If some sugar-parent wants to give me a great deal of money to re-record these closer to my original vision, I would not say no. But I'm ready to move forward as well, having completed another full-length of An Historic material that I would like to record soon-ish, too (which budget concerns will probably force me to, again, self record and release, as much as I'd like to save my computer the strain of burning endless copies.) So that's that...hoping to self-produce a limited run before tour begins, so that I've got something more current that reflects a little more of the direction that An Historic has gone, since producing CDs is awfully expensive if you don't have the money for an upfront investment. And of course, it will be cheap on Bandcamp too...

Creative Commons License
Ephemeral Stampede by An Historic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at gzarapanecko.bandcamp.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.myspace.com/adammatlock.

An Historic Mini Tour with Mallory (help!)

This might just be the cutest thing ever.

In June I'll be hitting the road for about a week to go on a small northeast tour with Mallory, ending up in Halifax for the Harbour Water festival put together by lots of sweet punks up there like Ryley of Fairy Boy and the Official Suckers. This is my first tour and I'm a little nervous but mostly just excited. I'm lucky to be traveling with Mallory who are not only nice musicians but sweet people as well, so I have high, high hopes.

As you can see, we could use some help in Brattleboro, in New Hampshire, and in Portland, as well as the first date in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've never been to any of these places as a growed-up person, so any help anybody had with venues, contacts, etc would be really sweet. You can contact me through this here myspace thing, or via email at weillwedance at gmail dot com.