[Music] Richmond Avant Improv Collective – Chance Operations

As I finally had a long stretch of time where I could actually enjoy hearing whole albums again, I decided that RAIC would be Album Number One today.  What a revelation this one has turned out to be!

According to the collective’s Bandcamp website for this release, “Chance Operations was inspired by John Cage’s “Silence.” RAIC often brings together musicians who normally would never play together. For Chance Operations, twenty musicians from a wide range of backgrounds- jazz, rock, noise and world music, some with backgrounds in improvisation and some without – came together at Etching Tin Studios in Richmond, Virginia. The musicians’ names were written on different ping pong balls and then placed in a sealed container. In a separate container were balls with the number for the ensemble ranging from a duet to a sextet.”  Chance operation, indeed.

The album itself makes for eerie listening.  There is one track which stood out for me, “Irrigating An Arid World,” where shrieks, wailing and very sparse instrumentation make one feel like they are on a heavy hallucinogenic trip.  The spirit of John Cage having a heavily spiked mushroom tea with Sun Ra and, maybe, Cathy Berberian or Diamanda Galás, permeates this album.  The group have a new album coming soon, and I’m already looking forward to hearing much more from them.

[Music] Stéphane Clor & HJ Ayala – Motoco

Listening to what I would assume is microtonal guitar work (if my friends would be so kind as to correct me, I would be much obliged) proved to be a very rewarding expeience.  HJ Ayala, a friend of this blog, collaborates with cellist Stéphane Clor in this release clocking in at just under 40 minutes.  This is a quiet release, but the interplay between guitar and cello seems to intricate that it managed to hold my attention throughout.  I’m already a fan of Ayala’s guitar playing, so I’m not surprised he continues to release improvisational music of such great quality, but it’s nice to see him collaborate with Clor, whose work I had never heard until today.  A recommended disc.

[Music] Selen Gülün – Many Faces

I’ve had the pleasure of following Selen Gülün’s work for about five years now, and her albums keep getting more and more interesting.  Many Faces sounds like a work straddling the line between music, theater and painting.  The sounds are delicate, graceful, but never sappy.  The vocals are crisp and sharp, with no feeling of wasted motion.  It’s a beautiful album.

I only have one gripe – I would love to see all of her back catalog become available digitally, at least, through Bandcamp and, if possible, to see these all come out on vinyl.  It’s a selfish wish, of course, because I find her music is suited best to the audiophile world, but one can dream.

[Music] Art Ensemble of Chicago and The Necks to Perform in Melbourne — Avant Music News

Source: Broadwayworld. Supersense is thrilled to announce a once in a lifetime line-up bringing together two legendary ensembles of contemporary music, jazz and improvisation: ground breaking pioneers of American free jazz the Art Ensemble of Chicago and transcendent, internationally revered Australian trio The Necks. In a never-to-be repeated double bill at Hamer Hall on Sunday […]

via Art Ensemble of Chicago and The Necks to Perform in Melbourne — Avant Music News

[Music] Gisèle – Gaston

Montreal-based band Gisèle were one of the first purchases I made on Bandcamp, so it’s quite nice to see their name pop up on my feed after a long, quiet absence.  It’s a mish-mash of improvisational music, post-rock and progressive rock done tastefully.  Two tracks only, but the listening is good and engaging.

[Music] NUM – False Awakening

Only a fool would believe we’re not living in a great time for music.  The world of pop is banal, and should only be seen as entertainment.  Actual music, that which is trying to continue breaking borders, bending (or snapping) rules, is doing quite well.

Iranian-born composer Maryam Sirvan has been featured on the blog before, having her powerful solo album reviewed here, but this is a newer release where she teams up with fellow composer Milad Bagheri and saxophonist Rezo Kiknadze.  Few composers of this stripe are able to combine the intellectual rigors of electroacoustic music, especially that of the INA-GRM variety, with the gritty, ghostly feel of 20 Jazz Funk Greats-period Throbbing Gristle.

This is a brilliant work, and I hope to see more composers appearing out the of Caucasus soon.

[Music/Podcast] Neurotica (featuring Jeffrey Kinart and Adrian Belew)

I couldn’t be happier to promote this upcoming show! My old friend and colleague Jeffrey Kinart is pairing with the legendary Adrian Belew on a new podcast called (what else?) Neurotica.

Check out the bumper on the Spotify link to get a taste as to what’s headed your way. It will expand to other services shortly, so if you have any suggestions as to where they should go, send the suggestions my way, and I’ll forward it to them.