May 13th: Wild Hen + Lightbulb Ensemble + Sharmi Basu

Wild Hen is a group of four musicians who are deeply invested in the exploration, investigation and practice of free improvisation. The group performs scores written by Crystal Pascucci (cellist), which utilize a variety of notational styles including standard, graphic and text that frame and focus the improvisations for each piece. They will be performing from a suite of five pieces for clarinet, cello, vibraphone and drums.

Sharmi Basu attempts to catalyze a political, yet ethereal aesthetic through combining her strict anti-colonial and anti-imperialist politics with a commitment to spirituality within the arts. Beast Nest, Sharmi’s primary performing project, uses her unwavering depression & restrained horror to channel left-eyed spirits that still walk the earth. While simultaneously clearing and entering, the sewage pipes of the body and the patriarchy congeal into watery soundscapes as a vehicle for achieving liberation through the darkest of fears. Based in Oakland, she is an MFA student at Mills College in the Electronic Music and Recording Arts department.

The Lightbulb Ensemble is a newly formed composers collective who champions experimental music, instrument building, and contemporary gamelan. The group is based in Oakland, CA., and emerged out of the culture of new music surrounding Mills College, as well as the longstanding Bay Area Gamelan Sekar Jaya. The Lightbulb Ensemble performs on steel metallophones built and designed by Brian Baumbusch, and heralds a new genre of American Gamelan rooted in the tradition of American experimentalism. Performing only new repertoire, the group presents in-house compositions and collaborates with active members of the American new music community, including The Paul Dresher Ensemble, The Jack Quartet, The Center for Contemporary Music, among others. Members of the group include: Brian Baumbusch, Wayne Vitale, Jon Myers, Keenan Pepper, Peter Sloan, Tim Black, Lydia Martin, Nava Dunkelman, Scott Siler, Ryan Jobes.

April 8th: Cash Pony +Tujurikkuja + Damon Smith (Houston)

Active Music Series presents Cash Pony +Tujurikkuja + Damon Smith (Houston)

Cash Pony is ethno-slacker psych prog algebra slamdunk music from Oakland CA. Owen Kelley, Guitar; Charles Lloyd, Guitar/Sitar; Ian Saxton, drums; Stevo Wright, bass.

Tujurikkuja is an ambient noise project from Christian Dixon (Earth Jerks, Death Sentence: PANDA!, Murder Murder) and Joshua Kit Clayton (Orthlorng Musork, ~scape, Mille Plateaux).

Damon Smith returns to the Bay Area for the first time since August 2010. Improvisations with Aram Shelton, alto saxophone; Scott Looney, keyboard; Jacob Felix Heule, percussion.

Active Music Series – Second Tuesdays at the Uptown
Music at 9 No cover, donations accepted.

March 11th: Eat the Sun + Tonal Masher + Tiberius

Active Music Series presents Eat the Sun + Tonal Masher + Tiberius + Active Music Photography Exhibit Reception

Eat the Sun Gretchen: Gretchen Jude (koto), Jason Hoopes (bass), and Noah Phillips (guitar) played their first official show as Eat The Sun during the solar eclipse of 2012. Their music is freely improvised, always with a mind toward finding groove, and walking the line between melody and noise, accessibility and confrontation. Their first album will be released later this Spring.  

Tonal Masher is the saxophone & electronics alter ego of Aram Shelton. Much like the anagram which creates the name, in this solo project Shelton re-arranges and extends his acoustic sounds via processing. Layers of tones and harmonics are combined with extended techniques including multiphonics and circular breathing: 

Tiberius is primarily a spontaneously creative unit comprised of Dominic Cramp (Evangelista, Borful Tang, Lord Tang, Vulcanus 68) playing organ and electronics and Mike Guarino (Sir Richard Bishop, Oaxacan) playing drums, guitar, and electronics. Between them they have performed throughout the United States, Europe and South America with such artists as Nels Cline, Richard Bishop, Bill Gould, Mike Watt, John Dietrich, Carla Bozulich, Shahzad Ismaily, Ches Smith and Damo Suzuki.

We’ll also be having a reception for the Active Music Photography Exhibit in the front room. Photos of musicians by Lenny Gonzalez, Carly Hoopes, Omid Zoufonoun, Tom Djll, Aram Shelton, Charles Smith and Myles Boisen. Come at 9pm to meet the photographers and view the work!

Active Music Series – Second Tuesdays at the Uptown
Music at 9 No cover, donations accepted.

January 14th: Antimatter + Rankin-Parker/Pearce + M22 + Deconstruction of What You Know

Active Music Series presents The Deconstruction of What you Know + Antimatter + MK22 + Rankin-Parker / Pearce

The Deconstruction of What You Know features the electro-acoustic improvising quartet of Joshua Allen (tenor saxophone); Christina Stanley (violin), Henry Kaiser (electric guitar); and Phillip Everett and Timothy Orr (drums and percussion). Devoted to the exploration of indeterminate sound, noise and sonic timbres, each member bears responsibility for propelling the group. The music and musicians straddle the line between jazz and rock, new music and esoteric microtonal traditions, and skronk — balancing the weird, serious, and outrageous in a celebration of Bay Area musicians that are known for defying convention.

ANTIMATTER is the sound work of Xopher Davidson – an ongoing exploration into the material of sound. Xopher builds his experiments in electronic sound from a basis in painting, photography, and film, and through an interest in electronic circuits going back to building radios and homemade circuits as a kid. Over a course of the last 11 years he has built and explored the sound world of a homebrew modular synthesizer comprised of surplus laboratory equipment: various oscillators, pulse generators, filters and an ‘analog computer.’’

Teddy Rankin-Parker and Daniel Pearce are Bay Area-based improvisers whose music considers friendship. A cello player and graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Rankin-Parker has performed, toured, and/or recorded with dozens of artists, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble N_JP, Iron & Wine, Glen Hansard, Birthmark, OosImaginary Art Collective, the Kirtan Choir, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Joffrey Ballet, AACM, Chicago Folks Operetta, Opera Cabal, Renee’ Bakers Mantra Blue Free Orchestra, Henry Grimes, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, and Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble. Pearce is a drummer and writer based in San Francisco who has performed, toured, and/or recorded with numerous groups, including Tenebre, the Ghost Shirt, the Odilon Swan Ensemble, the Canyon Rays, Cardboard, and Ex-Nihilo.

M22 is Kent Cates and Daniel Hintz, an Oakland guitar feedback duo. M22 began high-volume feedback experiments in November of 2012, and they are focused on live performance. M22 is named after the very beautiful and curious Messier 22 elliptical globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius, near the Galactic bulge region. It is one of the brightest globulars that is visible in the night sky. Two black holes of between 10 and 20 solar masses each have been discovered, initially with the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico, and corroborated by the Chandra X-ray telescope in 2012. Their detection implies that gravitational ejection of black holes from clusters is not as efficient as was previously thought, and leads to estimates of a total 5 to 100 black holes within M22.

Active Music Series – Second Tuesdays at the Uptown
Music at 9 No cover, donations accepted.
activemusic.wordpress.com

Uptown
1928 Telegraph
Oakland

November 12th: Murder Murder + The Scope + Jordan Glenn

Active Music Series at the Uptown November 12

Active Music Series presents Murder Murder + The Scope + Jordan Glenn

The Scope (Matt Ingalls – clarinet & violin, Thomas Dimuzio – guitar, and Thomas Scandura – drums) is a convenient travel-sized Bay Area trio with a minty fresh burning sensation. With germ-killing ACTIVE INGREDIENTS free improv, noise, and rock, the band’s refreshing dual-blast ultra-sonic malodorous sound lasts 5 times longer than brushing alone. Rinse, spit, and repeat.

Murder Murder is a Bay Area-based organ of chaos and entropy led for over a decade in a de facto manner by Paul Costuros (Death Sentence: Panda!/Total Shutdown/XBXRX) and generally featuring a bevy of unhinged freakazoids culled from the creme of the SF/Oakland art-punk-spuzz-weirdo-rock-free-jazz-noise scene including Weasel Walter, John Dwyer, Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, Mochipet, John Weise, Ches Smith, and C. Spencer Yeh, as well as members of Child Abuse, XBXRX, Burmese, Comets On Fire, T.I.T.S, Sic Alps, Erase Errata, and The Hospitals. The actual music is a matter of perspective: some might call it “fake jazz”, some might tag it “noise”, some see it as “performance art”, some might call it “bullshit on a stick”, but, call it whatever you will: Murder Murder is really an ongoing attempt at gleeful, reckless spontaneity within the underground scene.

Jordan Glenn will perform etudes and improvisations for the drum set. In addition to drums and cymbals, the traditional pallet will be extended with small percussion, a mix of odd and conventional. http://www.jordanglennmusic.com

Active Music Series – Second Tuesdays at the Uptown
Music at 9 No cover, donations accepted.
activemusic.wordpress.com

Uptown
1928 Telegraph
Oakland

October 8th: Moe Staiano! + Opera Wolf + Karl Evangelista

Active Music Series presents Moe Staiano! + Opera Wolf + Karl Evangelista

Moe! Staiano is an experimental composer, drummer, percussionist, songwriter and multi-instrumental performance artist who has been at the forefront of the Bay Area improvisation scene for over a decade. Moe!’s innovative solo percussion shows feature prepared drum kit, found objects, audio looping and the inventive use of a “percussion guitar” woven in with performance art, which always gets the audience involved and eagerly expectant of what might happen next. He also fronts his current angular Surplus 1980, a post-punk band that continues the journey of no-wave musical exploration begun in his previous project, Mute Socialite. Surplus 1980′s revolving slate of first-class Bay Area musicians complement Moe!’s bracing guitar and wry wordplay. Here’s a past solo performance.

Opera Wolf performs free improvisation and improvised based works. The cello/sax/percussion ensemble performs graphic scores, text based score, partially notated pieces, and conducted works. Drawing on influences in contemporary classical music, free jazz, and electroacoustic experimentation, they work with atmospheric timbres, modulating rhythms and extended technique to mold sound in a way that challenges compositional organization and performance practice. Influences range from John Zorn to Edgard Varèse, and include Debussy and Sun Ra. Crystal Pascucci (cello), Joshua Marshall (sax) and Robert Lopez (percussion) have all studied composition and improvisation together under a number of preeminent musicians and educators, including Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins and William Winant. Opera Wolf performs regularly in the SF Bay Area and has recently been featured in the Outsound Music Summit Festival.

Karl Evangelista, electric guitar; Michael Coleman, keys/electronics; Tom Djll, trumpet/electronics; Nava Dunkleman, percussion. With its genesis in a semi-apocalyptic duo performance between Evangelista and Coleman, an edited version of which provided the soundtrack to SNEAL’s similarly foreboding short film “The Last Days of the San Diego Zoo”, this first time quartet is a unique mixture of free improvisation, intense noise, and moody electronic textures–music that is both chilling and beautiful.

Active Music Series – Second Tuesdays at the Uptown
Music at 9 No cover, donations accepted.
activemusic.wordpress.com

October 10 at the Uptown
1928 Telegraph
Oakland

Order of Animals + Beauty School + Staiano/Guarino – August 13

Active Music Series presents Ava Mendoza’s Order of Animals + Beauty School + Staiano Guarino Duo

Ava Mendoza’s Order of Animals with Ava Mendoza, guitar; Aram Shelton, saxes; Michael Coleman, synths; Ellie Erickson, bass; Marshall Trammell, drums. This group features five players as comfortable playing free as they are playing groove-based music. Springboarding off of loose written motifs, they launch into hard-hitting open improvisations that range from the completely abstract to the ass-shaking. A careful listener will hear hints of elephantine proto funk, zebraesque melodic counterpoint, mysterious but compelling starling murmurations, wolfish battle calls, and more. Including members of Beep!, CavityFang, Erase Errata, Ton Trio, Black Spirituals, and Unnatural Ways.

Beauty School is a blossoming electroacoustic trio. Extreme extended technique on electric bass, trumpet, and drums combines with nasty homemade electronics and circuit bent keyboards to create an orgy of skronk and ugliness. Get up with it. With Matt Chandler, bass guitar; Tom Djll, electronics+trumpet; Jacob Felix Heule, percussion+electronics. http://vimeo.com/64815649

Moe! Staiano and Michael Guarino are two Oakland-based percussionist who share the same interest in musical taste and visual drum play. They have both been in various bands and recordings throughout the years including Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Mute Socialite, Surplus 1980 (Moe! Staiano), Oaxacan, Compomicro Dexall, Caroliner (Michael Guarino), and others. Both are currently active in the local music Community.

Active Music Series – Second Tuesdays at the Uptown
Music at 9 No cover, donations accepted.

Uptown
1928 Telegraph
Oakland, CA

EMPTO + TASTYVILLE + BRAN(…)POS – July 9th

Active Music Series presents EMPTO + Bran(…)Pos + Tastyville

Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra. Aaron Bennett, Darren Johnston, Crystal Pascucci, Rob Ewing, Lisa Mezzacappa, Bob Marsh (on accordion or cello), Joe Lasqo-keyboards. The members of this ensemble utilize the electro-magnetic field of their collective mind to attain a unitive transcendent state of sonic consciousness and in turn, create sublime and/or unusually expanded sonic experiences for their listeners.

Tastyville – electrified baritone saxophone and physical movement by Cansafis Foote, Charlie St. Clair and guests.

bran(…)pos is the ongoing audio-visual-performance-noise-musique-brain-bend of Jake Rodriguez from San Francisco, CA. Rodriguez has been performing and recording under this moniker for 15 years with releases on C.I.P., Resipiscent, Ratskin Records, Animal Disguise, and Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack. synthesizer and mouth manipulations are the most common audio elements, rounded out with rubber face and a live video component to complete the human-analog-digital-human circle. in March 2011, two bran(…)pos releases were on display at the Editions of You fair in Oxford, UK and added to the Oxford Brookes University Popular Music Research Unit’s permanent collection of hand-made editions and zines. more info, sounds, photo, video can be found at soundcrack.net. “With a background in theater performance and sound (and a seriously demented mind), Rodriguez with his bran(…)pos project has boiled down the most absurd elements of our ongoing ritual into an amalgamation of human, sound, and light that is at once ridiculous and terrifying.”

Music at 9
No cover, donations accepted.

Uptown
1928 Telegraph
Oakland

Thomas Carnacki + Bryan Day + Lopez Lugo Duo – June 11th

AMS Carnacki 1Thomas Carnacki is an East-Bay-based organism engaged in the dubious endeavour of concocting soundscapes that tread the path between the foreboding and the absurd. Others with perhaps a little bit more critical detachment have on occasion described the music as “the spontaneous madness of illogical sounds and colliding electro-acoustics” and “hauntological semi-musicality, always slanted toward the odd and the surreal.” Let that serve as a warning to you all.

AMS Bryan Day 2Bryan Day (b. 1979) is a sound artist, musical instrument designer and conceptual artist based in Richmond, California. Day’s sound work focuses on the subtle textural interplay of natural and electronic sounds generated by his invented instrumentation. Day has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe and Asia and has been featured as part of the Megapolis (Baltimore), Heliotrope (Minneapolis) and Sonic Circuits (Washington, D.C.) festivals. In addition to his own audio work, he has run the Public Eyesore / Eh? labels since 1997.

AMS Lopez Lugo 1The Robert Lopez and Mateo Lugo duo aims to shock, is built on impulse synergy, and creates catharsis through composition and improvisation. Hailing from Oakland, CA, their sound is born from a sonic blur of sharp cutting drums and relentless electric guitar; growing into liminal resonances and zero bullshit. The duo is constantly moving towards the ineffable, intangible, impossible. It is equally a sound of freedom and a sound attempting to be free: struggle and seamlessness collide and let go.

Music at 9
No cover, donations accepted.

Uptown
1928 Telegraph
Oakland

Key West / Lords of Outland + Music for Hard Times + Angela Roberts and Scott Goff – May 14th

Active Music Series presents Key West/Lords of Outland + Music for Hard Times + Angela Roberts and Scott Goff

The Lords of Outland & Key West: Rent Romus created the Lords of Outland in 1994, a collective of like-minded musicians focusing on exploring improvisation, melody, noise, and sound art. Key West began in 2000 with similar sonic pursuits and a rotating cast of characters. Romus has been playing with Key West since 2010, this will be the first time these two units collide. With CJ Borosque- no-input pedals and trumpet; Philip Everett- drums; Ray Schaeffer- electric bass; Rent Romus- alto, soprano, C-melody saxophones; Brian Pedersen- alto, soprano saxophones; Sung Kim- the hare; Tim Orr- drums

Music For Hard Times (Tom Nunn & Paul Winstanley)is a free-improvisation noise band, exploring syntax and duration through the use of wildly extended techniques and unique invented instruments. The sounds range from conversational, to tonally haunting, to purely textural landscapes which seamlessly evolve. MFHT donates all their proceeds to poverty relief charities.

Angela Roberts is a cellist and improvisor. Scott Goff plays live electronics. The duet has been active since 2007 largely performing improvised noise sets in Seoul, ROK, and not performing very often at all in the Bay Area. Their music is a sequence of tiny noise miniatures.