I really love the Australian piano trio the Necks. They have a collective approach to performing and spontaneously composing that is unparallelled in my opinion. It generally falls beyond the genre’s of jazz, rock, minimalism and ambient music, but utilizes aspects of them all. Listening to the Necks (especially live) creates the paradoxical feelings of intense focus, as if being in the midst of a micro-detailed task, and towards the end of a performance, or somewhere in the middle, the awe of a great vista or a roiling ocean surrounding you. Seeing them at Le Poisson Rouge in 2009 was a mesmerizing, sublime experience.
I quite enjoyed this radio piece discussing their approach-
Not Just Music: collective authoring and new Australian music
Thursday, October 25 915pm
Kaoru Watanabe-flutes, Brett Sroka-laptop Shapshifter Lab
18 Whitwell Place
(Park Slope) Brooklyn, NY (map)
This Thursday at Shapeshifter Lab I’ll be collaborating with one of my oldest friends, Kaoru Watanabe, for the first time. Kaoru and I met on our first day of college at Manhattan School of Music, (in a time even before the internet, if you can imagine that). Because of our mutual love of skateboarding (and music) we became friends instantly, and during those four years discovered, learned and experienced so much. Kaoru had a yearning to connect with his roots and after school took the boldest move of any of our classmates, he moved to the remote Sado Island in Japan to audition for Kodo, the world renowned Taiko Ensemble. For a decade he toured the world with them and in 2006 returned to New York a seasoned, brilliant musician.
Little by little over the past year we’ve been putting together a computer and flute/fue project, which was has lead to a broader installation that I’ve been imagining for for a while. Sine Qua Non will be a generative surround-sound installation that evolves out of a live, improvisational performance, and I’m pleased to announce I’ve recently been invited to develop it at the Institute of Electronic Arts at Alfred University. Thursday’s show will illustrate the performance aspect of it, and sound something like this:
Big thanks to Dr. Guthrie Ramsey for having us to present our music and thoughts at the University of Pennsylvania, and thanks to composer Erica Ball for writing this thoughtful review.
“The shadows of bebop, Coltrane, Sun Ra, and other jazz greats are present in Ergo’s music, but Ergo takes these more traditional jazz sounds to unexplored territories with the addition of drones, unconventional forms, and live processing.”
The Sonic Circuits Festival was amazing this year. There was lot’s of creative music/sound/weirdness happening all over, and I think Ergo gave one of our best shows yet. Big thanks to all who put it together. Here’s a brief clip of our performance:
These incredibly dense, complex, beautiful sounds come from a field recording of a late night walk at I-Park in East Haddam, CT. It was amazing how loud and truly rhapsodic it became at night, all the crickets, insect, birds and frogs came out to speak and sing to one another. I intended to edit it down, but new, fascinating sounds continuously rise and fall, so sampling at any point will reveal something interesting. midnight at I-Park by srokasonic