Dec
13
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #9

Kevin Kastning and Carl Clements have been creating music together since the mid-1980s, and have released five duo CDs together. The work on these recordings defies any clear categorization, as Kevin and Carl draw on an eclectic variety of sources such as Western classical and contemporary music, jazz, Hindustani classical music, and numerous other styles and genres. While their approach to the creation of their music is primarily improvisational, the end result exhibits a strong sense of compositional integrity. Kevin performs on guitars of his own invention, including the 36-string Double Contraguitar, 30-string Contra-Alto guitar, and the 15-string Extended Classical guitar, 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar; and piano. Carl performs on tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, alto flute, and the North Indian bansuri (bamboo flute). Guitar Player Magazine called Kastning & Clements’ 2012 release Dreaming As I Knew“sublimely beautiful.” Holland’s DPRP Magazine said of Dreaming As I Knew: “Together, Kevin and Carl create gentle excursions of interwoven beauty that as indicated before, while having a deeply dream-like quality in keeping with the album’s title, are also very intricate in construction.” Watercolor Sky, Kevin & Carl's previous release, was named 2014 Album of the Year by acousticmusic.com

Kevin Kastning
Guitarist/composer Kevin Kastning has released numerous albums under the Greydisc Records label, including five solo albums. Other albums include collaborations with Carl Clements, Alex De Grassi, Michael Manring, Bálazs Major, David Siegfried, Sándor Szabó, and Mark Wingfield. He has performed internationally in various settings and configurations. Kastning is a contemporary classical composer with over 200 compositions for various chamber and solo instrumentation, including ten piano sonatas, seven string quartets and numerous works for unusual instrument duets, trio, quartets and quintets. Kevin’s works have been performed annually by the London Chamber Group since 2001. Kevin is also the inventor of various unique guitars, and has collaborated on their creation with Dan Roberts (Santa Cruz Guitar Co.) and Alistair Hay (Emerald Guitars).

Carl Clements 
Saxophonist/flutist/composer Carl Clements performs internationally in a variety of styles, with a particular focus on jazz, Hindustani classical music, and various forms of improvised and pre-composed music. He is featured on numerous recordings, and has performed at jazz festivals and concerts in the US, Europe, Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He received a 
Ph.D.in ethnomusicology at the CUNY York Graduate Center, an MFA in Jazz Performance from CalArts, a BM in Jazz Composition and Arranging from Berklee College of Music, and has studied North Indian classical music on the bansuri since 1989. As an educator, Clements’ primary areas are jazz performance, theory, and ethnomusicology, and he is currently Visiting Director of Jazz Performance Amherst College.


May Old Acquaintance Be Forgot is an experimental collaboration between a musician-academic and an academic-storyteller. Combining music with storytelling, Jonathan Hulting-Cohen and Kimberlee Pérez address, interweave, and dialogue across the tensions, pleasures, and connections that emerge from the colliding and disparate spheres they work within, embody and live: classical music and performance art, upper-middle and working-class, and white-Jewish and mixed-race Chicana. The two met as participants in the UMass Interdisciplinary Studies Institute where each eyed the other’s world with curiosity and uncertainty and which led to an unexpected New Year’s Eve at the symphony.  

 Jonathan Hulting-Cohen is a concert saxophonist and assistant professor at UMass Amherst. His work includes new and historical classical music, including concertos, solo repertoire, and chamber music.  Concerto engagements have led him across the country to perform with orchestras in Philadelphia, California and Michigan, and his work in chamber music has resulted in collaborations with David Shifrin and Rudresh Mahanthappa at Chamber Music Northwest and Princeton University, respectively. His saxophone sextet, The Moanin' Frogs, won First Prize at the 2018 MPrize Chamber Arts Competition and has appeared on stages from The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to The Gong Show on ABC. Recording and touring with harpist Jennifer R. Ellis in the Admiral Launch Duo resulted in their debut album in 2018 on Albany Records. As a solo artist, Jonathan explores the fringes of classical music through commissioning and performing genre-bending works. He toured these pieces as "Timbre|ine" to Croatia, Scotland, and universities in the South and Midwest, and is preparing them for recording. Jonathan earned his BM and MM under Donald Sinta at the University of Michigan and is a Conn-Selmer and D'Addario Woodwinds Artist.

Kimberlee Pérez is a queer chicana, reluctant academic, and sometimes storyteller. Her interests in the politics of belonging and coalition, intimacy, personal narrative and solo performance occasionally lead her out of the comforts of solitude and silence and into various publics. Like this one. Current thoughts on belonging manifesting through projects in progress, including her book project Queer Intimacies: On the Politics of Belonging in Performance. She is also working on an essay about the experience of survival, and another on audiencing across difference. Recent performances include Rubbing Up Against Difference (On the Complex Erotics of Audiencing), South of Living: Queer Belonging in Dangerous Times, and You Can Get Anything You Want. Performances in progress include The Quietest Camper and a (not quite) musical performance, Sideways with Phil (A Roadtrip Musical).





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Nov
1
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #8

Wayne Smith | Arctic Moth

Arctic Moth represents the collaborative work of cellist Wayne Smith and sound artist/musician Lysha Smith.  The pair seeks to explore new sonic territories that emerge from the synergy of classical cello and modern electronic sound design techniques.  Improvisation is essential to the duo's current explorations--each session or performance is unique unto itself.  The soundscapes that unfold vacillate between claustrophobic drones and soaring, sweet melodic bliss and originate almost entirely from the cello itself as it's vibrations ooze through analogue circuits and digital wizardry.

Arctic Moth began improvising together in 2015 and the following year teamed up with violinist Patrick Doane to compose an original score for Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent film Man with a Movie Camera.  The group performed the score live summer of 2016.  Since, they have established a studio in Shelburne Falls, MA where they continue to explore the possibilities of merging the sweet musicality of classical strings and the latent possibilities of modern electronic music technology.  

Wayne Smith | Lysha Smith
Cellist, Wayne Smith, gave his recital debut at the Kennedy Center in 1996, and has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Poland, and China. He has played with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the National Chamber Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic of New Jersey, the Princeton Chamber Symphony, and the Heidelberg Castle Festival Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany, among other groups, and was a featured soloist on the PBS Series “Musical Encounters”.  He has recorded and performed with such artists as Joe, Richard Smallwood, and the Spin Doctors’ Anthony Krizan, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Moody Blues.  He has also enjoyed an active teaching career and has taught lessons and master classes at Amherst College, Salisbury State University in Maryland, and the University of Massachusetts. He did his undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music with Steven Doane and his graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with Astrid Schween.

Lysha Smith is a sound artist, producer and musician from Shelburne Falls, MA.  He works with machines/electronics to create a palette of morphing organic soundscapes, in an effort to paint the air with sound.  Improvisation and spontaneity are key elements in all of Lysha's work, this most apparent in his work with cellist Wayne Smith and their Arctic Moth project.  Lysha graduated from Marlboro (VT) College in 2018 with a degree in Sound Studies, where his work was centered around finding a synergy between sound art and meditation via studio recordings, live performance and sound art installations.

Stephen Katz piece:  What Goes Around? Featuring Wayne Smith (cello), Bob Weiner (percussion)

How will our live/ambient/realtime/found sounds get caught up in electronic loops to become trancelike, repeating patterns that become mending, meditative music via improvised responses?

Cellist, teacher, and award-winning composer Stephen Katz has charted new territory for the rhythmic potential of the cello with the groundbreaking strumming approach he calls Flying Pizzicato. He has performed his compositions at Carnegie Recital Hall and toured internationally as a soloist, and with the Paul Winter Consort, Rachael Sage, and the Essex String Quartet. Stephen is also an improviser and composer in the Dance world, having made music for hundreds of “movement jams” using digital looping hardware to weave dynamic tapestries of sound. As a co-founder of the movement/theater company Seen & Heard with the late dancer and monologist BJ Goodwin, he literally danced with the cello while accompanying the dramas they played out on stage. Stephen has been featured on national radio broadcasts in the USA and is a NEA grant recipient. As a film composer he won a Jury Prize Gold Medal at the Park City Film Music Festival and has scored films broadcast nationally on PBS/Independent Lens. He is composer/music director for IMBOLC RIVERFIRE, an epic, festival celebration of fire, light, pageantry, song, dance, spectacle held in Hudson, NY on 2/2/19. A native of San Francisco, Stephen received a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and lives in Western Massachusetts. See stephenkatzmusic.com for recordings and publications.

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Oct
4
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #7

Shumoto & The Byrde | Guitar, Amplified Bowls, Water.
Shumoto & The Byrde is the mostly improvised duo of Austin Hatch and Jefferson Pitcher.  Using multiple amplifiers and sound sources, they create a sonic landscape of clanging, clicking, drifting, and swelling drones, with plenty of melody and an intense focus on overtones and space.  With a deep interest in blurring the lines of composition and improvisation, theirs is a vast, meditative, and at times explosive sound world.  

Jefferson Pitcher is a guitarist and composer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He spent his formative years involved in the DIY Berkeley punk-rock scene, at 924 Gilman Street, which still influences him today.  While much of his work explores free improvisation, he also draws heavily on his gift for melody, as well as on the simple repetitions of minimalism, the space and North African influence of flamenco, and a history of performing and recording in the West Coast indie-rock scene as a singer-songwriter, where he fronted the band Above the Orange Trees.

Since that time, Pitcher has released music with Standard Recording Co. (USA), Digitalis Recordings (USA), Camera Obscura (Australia), Tape Drift Records (USA), Moonpalace (Spain), Dutch East India (USA), Words on Music (USA), Tract Records (USA), and his own Mudita Records (USA). He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists including Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Okkyung Lee, Scott Amendola, Rosie Thomas, Christian Kiefer, J. Matthew Gerken, Denison Witmer, Sarah Weaver, Mark Dresser, Mike Bullock, Tim Keiper, Doug Van Nort, Jonathan Chen, David Gibson, Kristina Forester, Ron Guensche and many more. He has twice been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and has been well reviewed by Pitchfork, Blurt, The Melbourne Sun, Prefix, and Harp magazines.  Pitcher holds an MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he studied improvisation and composition with Pauline Oliveros and Tomie Hahn.

Austin Hatch is the frontman of Americana indie band Matt Byrde, and the primary composer of the duo song-based project called Shadowcat.  He daydreams about fronting a traditional jazz quartet with a perfectly subtle trumpeter.

Wendy Eisenberg | Guitar Improvisations

Wendy Eisenberg is an improvising guitarist, banjo-player, vocalist and songwriter. She has written for and performed in numerous projects, including the critically acclaimed experimental band, Birthing Hips, described by NPR as “brainy, noisy punk based in sonic adventure, technical mastery, and rejection of the status quo."  Her work as an improviser has led to collaborations with Ted Reichman, Joe Morris, Damon Smith, John Zorn, Matt Mitchell and Zach Rowden, among many others. Eisenberg has premiered work by Mitchell, Zorn, Maria Schneider, and Bill Holman, as well as the work of her many peers.

In addition to her work as a collaborative artist, she has two solo careers: improviser/composer, and songwriter. Wendy’s debut improvisational solo guitar record as an improviser will come out on Steve Lowenthal's VDSQ imprint in 2018. Her “songs” album, Time Machine, released on HEC Tapes in April 2017, was re-released on vinyl on Feeding Tube records on September 7th. She also has a trio album with Trevor Dunn and Ches Smith on John Zorn's Tzadik label, set for release this October.

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Sep
6
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #6

Priscilla Page, Djola Branner, and Shakeel Sohail Gilbran CullisTell That

“I want to tell the American story from the kitchens where I learned it. Because there were so many hips, recipes, a multiplicity of languages…so many possibilities before you cracked the egg. I wanna tell that.”  -Laurie Carlos

Laurie Carlos was an innovator of theatrical form whose voice continues to shape the jazz aesthetic in performance today. She is an art mother to Priscilla Page and Djola Branner, as well as a generation of  contemporary creative spirits in theater. Blending poetry, music, and movement, the trio builds a storyscape intertwining the personal and the political. Featuring texts by Laurie Carlos, Djola Branner, and Priscilla Page alongside improvised music by bassist Shakeel Sohail Gilbran Cullis,Tell That is an exploration of individual voices weaving together a tapestry of global perspectives. 

Priscilla Page is a writer, performer, dramaturg, and educator who believes creative expression is a powerful tool for the transformation of self and society. Her performance credits include La Llorona in Quiero Volver by Diana Alvarez; ensemble member in Latinas con Pluma; and solo performance poetry/storytelling in When the Women Gather and Women Who Are Free. She regularly publishes essays, articles, and reviews on the intersections of race, culture, feminism, and theater. She is a contributing editor for Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light: A Play by Joy Harjo and A Circle of Responses, forthcoming from Wesleyan Press.

Djola Branner is an interdisciplinary artist/educator who combines movement, sound and light to create compelling portraits of American life for the stage. His original dramas give voice to individuals historically absent from the theater, and explore a diverse range of human experience. Co-founder of the award winning performance group Pomo Afro Homos, Branner toured nationally and internationally with their shows Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life and Dark Fruit, performing in venues as varied as college cafeterias and the Lincoln Center. His work has been supported by Creative Capital, the Jerome, McKnight and Bush Foundations, and published in such anthologies as Colored Contradictions, Staging Gay Lives and Voices Rising: Celebrating 20 Years of Lesbian and Gay Black Writers. He is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild.

Shakeel Sohail Gibran Cullis is a South African bassist currently studying at Berklee College of Music’s Global Music Institute. He has performed with renowned musicians such as Nduduzo Makhathini, Bokani Dyer, Kyle Shepherd, and Louis Moholo-Moholo. He has also performed alongside Madosini, Mark Fransman, Claude Cozens, Jonno Sweetman, Keenan Ahrends, Andrew Lilley, and Linda Sikhakhane. He plays in a variety of ensembles ranging in style from straight ahead jazz to swing, South African jazz, Latin and Cuban music, contemporary South African jazz, free jazz, Nigerian ogu music, Nigerian jazz and traditional Xhosa Music ensembles. He recently performed at the Oslo Jazz Festival, Norway (Herr Nilsen & Sentralen) (2017); Grahamstown National Jazz Festival (2016); Joy of Jazz Festival; Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2016); Buyel'ekhaya Festival, East London (2016/2017); Infecting the City Festival, Cape Town (2017).   

Mike Bullock | Fossar/Geysir | Listening session

Fossar/Geysir is constructed from recordings made around the southwest of Iceland at various waterfalls (fossar) and at Geysir (the geyser after which all others are named). Edited only for beginnings and endings and stitched into a continuous journey by foot around and through Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, and a little-known waterfall, anonymous to me, featuring a salmon ladder.

Mike Bullock is a composer, improviser, visual artist, and writer based in Holyoke, MA. Bullock has been performing since the mid 90s at venues across the US and in Europe, including Fylkingen in Stockholm, Sweden; Instants Chavirés in Paris; Café OTO in London; Experimental Intermedia and ISSUE Project Room in New York City; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; and EMPAC in Troy, NY. In June 2015, Bullock received a Performance Grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Bullock is the Philadelphia Ambassador for The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland [KREV]and also serves as the KREV Minister of Fine Noise and Light.

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Aug
2
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #5

Jessica Pavone | Solo Viola
Pavone’s recent works for solo viola and voice stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. She combines her long tone rituals with delay, understated melodies and sparse lyrical content while continuously experimenting with new forms. She is interested in the physicality of performing her somewhat larger-than-comfortable instrument and believes that cultivating physical bodies as a strong container for her thoughts is part of the creative process.

 Pavone has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, performing in venues ranging from international music festivals, universities, and art galleries, to community centers and basements. Her music has premiered in venues in New York City such as, Roulette, Issue Project Room, and The Kitchen, and at the Klangbad Festival in Sheer, Germany. In 2011 she was featured in NPR’s “The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40.” She has received grants and commissions from the Aaron Copland Recording Fund, the American Music CenterNew Music USA for her collaboration with choreographer, Anna SperberThe KitchenMATA, The Jerome Foundation, The Tri-Centric FoundationExperiments in Opera, and the chamber music collective, Till By Turning.

Pavone’s music is available from Taiga Records, Tzadik, Thirsty Ear, Relative Pitch, Porter, Skirl, and Peacock Recordings.

Bromp Treb | Sound (s).
Bromp Treb is a long-running music/sound/performance project of artist Neil Cloaca Young. Bromp Treb is the clumsy body-music/noise of eager uncertainty. Celebrating crooked rhythms and complex textures interjected with joyful spasms of dysfunction, Bromp Treb is built on an improvised and intuited foundation of electronic sound synthesis, samples, tapes, voice and percussion. Since 2002 or so, Bromp Treb has put many recordings in circulation and has performed at fancy-pants places like ICA Boston and the High Zero Festival as well as countless basements, bars, lofts, living rooms, closets and art spaces all around North America and Europe.

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Jul
5
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #4

Salvatore Macchia and Jazer Giles | Contra-Temp

Contra-Temp is an exciting contemporary music duo that features composer/performers Salvatore Macchia (Contrabass), and Jazer Giles (Electronics). Formed in 2015 the duo has performed numerous concerts in a wide variety of settings throughout the Northeast. Its repertoire runs the gamut from completely notated pieces, to works which feature partial or sometimes complete improvisatory frameworks. Their concerts also include mixed media elements which often including video. Featured works will be Macchia’s Gargoyles for Bass, Live Electronics and Interactive Video, Giles’s Chiasmus for Bass, Synthesizer and Live Electronics, a score which includes both written and improvised material, and finally a free improvisation based on a ground bass of former UMass composition professor Robert Stern and Amherst resident Robert Stern.   

Tristatic Video + Live Score

Tristatic is Jacqueline Dougherty, Julia Handschuh, and Haley Morgan. This trio makes performance for video, generating work through the embodied exploration of space and identity, and using a camera to document, amplify, and share their playtime. Based in Atlanta, GA and Turners Falls, MA. www.tristaticdump.tumblr.com

Live Score performed by: Batya Sobel, Haley Morgan, Stephanie Lak, and Jenifer Gelineau.

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Jun
7
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #3

Destination Freedom (for quadrophonic sound)
Yvette Janine Jackson
Destination Freedom begins in the cargo hold of a tall ship transporting Africans to the Americas and traverses time in search of freedom. It is a radio opera - a meditative electroacoustic experience presented in darkness. A fixed media, multichannel composition, it features members of the Invisible People ensemble: Judith Hamann (‘cello), Tommy Babin (double bass), Nick Lesley (drums), Malesha Jessie Taylor (voice), and Yvette Janine Jackson (piano). Freedom (Next Episode) is the sequel to Destination Freedom .

 Infinities of Yonder/ness
Daniel Warner (live electronics) + Jason Robinson (saxophone) 
Infinities of Yonder/ness is an improvisational electro-acoustic homage to Sun Ra. The "comprovisation" draws on material from Sun Ra's 1970 album The Solar-Myth Approach Vol. 1.  The piece is built on heavily transformed versions of the Sun Ra samples,  pre-recorded musical "commentary" by my wonderful Hampshire College colleague Marty Ehrlich, and live improvisation by my friend and collaborator, Jason Robinson. The title of my piece is drawn from the liner notes for the original BYG-Actuel album by Tam Fiofori.

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May
3
8:00 PM20:00

Soundworks Gathering #2

Set 1
Fine Noise and Light:
Mike Bullock & Linda Aubry

Set 2
Pioneer Valley Creative Music Gathering Bass Ensemble
Wes Brown, Mike Bullock, Michael Harrist, George Kaye, Jamie MacDonald, David Picchi, Wayne Roberts, Fumi Tomita.

Jason Robinson, conductor
Compositions by Carl Clements, Bruno Raberg, and Jason Robinson

 

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Apr
5
7:00 PM19:00

Soundworks Gathering #1

7pm, Series Kickoff Reception, free and open to the public
Show starts at 8pm, $10 donation

Set 1
Jason Robinson (tenor saxophone, alto flute)
Matan Rubinstein (keyboard)

Set 2
From Water to Wood: a “conduction” style piece by Bob Weiner featuring:

Don Anderson (trumpet), Claire Arenius (percussion), John Caban (guitar), 
Carl Clements (woodwinds), Stephen Katz (cello), Jamie Macdonald (bass), 
Stephen Page (keyboard), Priscilla Page (spoken word), Jefferson Pitcher (guitar)
Jason Robinson (woodwinds), Wayne Smith (cello), Bob Weiner (conductor)

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