Tonal Masher is the solo electroacoustic project of Aram Shelton. To find a new application for the use of his 1937 Conn alto saxophone, Shelton has chosen to remove the reed and mouthpiece, and work with the tones that are a result of feedback via microphone and amplification, and the percussive elements of keys and pads. Using a Max patcher that he has developed over several years, Shelton creates music that uses the unique harmonic palette of the instrument to create patient polyphony from a monophonic instrument, while highlighting the rhythmic side of the saxophone via key clicks and pad thumps.
Aram Shelton is a saxophonist, improviser and electronic musician from Oakland, California, where the projects Tonal Masher, Gold Age, and the Broken Trap Ensemble represent his music. He is connected to Chicago (where he lived from 1999 to 2005) through his Quartet, the cooperative sextet Fast Citizens and Jason Adasiewicz’ Rolldown. His playing and music are available through Delmark, Clean Feed, Cuneiform, 482 Music, Locust Music, MultiKulti, Edgetone, and his own Singlespeed Music.
Fred Frith/Nava Dunkelman Duo
Fred Frith is a songwriter, composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist best known for the reinvention of the electric guitar that began with Guitar Solos in 1974.
He learned his craft as both improviser and composer playing in rock bands, notably Henry Cow, and creating music in the recording studio. Much of his compositional output has been commissioned by choreographers and filmmakers, but his work has also been performed by Ensemble Modern, Hieronymus Firebrain, Arditti Quartet, Robert Wyatt, Bang on a Can All Stars, Concerto Köln, and Rova Sax Quartet, among quite a few others.
Nava Dunkelman is a Bay Area based percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother, her musical interests span the globe from Japanese taiko to Indonesian gamelan to American marching band, and from classical to contemporary to the avant-garde. Nava studied percussion under Eugene Novotney at Humboldt State University before attending Mills College, where she studied with William Winant, Fred Frith, Maggi Payne, Zeena Parkins, and David Bernstein.
Since graduating with a degree in music performance in 2013, she has performed and collaborated with William Winant, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Ikue Mori, George Lewis and many others. She has performed classical and contemporary pieces with the William Winant Percussion Group, inkBoat, The Luna Ensemble, San Francisco Girls Chorus, among others.
She also formed the improvisational trio Dapplegray, as well as electro-percussion experimental noise duo IMA, and improvisational duo DunkelpeK.
Nava enjoys discovering her own musical language by exploring experimental approaches to communication, progression and space.
Mark Clifford’s See-Saw Quartet
A much sought after performer and improviser, Clifford is equally involved in free improvisation, new music, jazz, and rock; he is involved in multiple projects in the Bay Area and around the Country. His performance experience spans worldwide; he has had the honor of playing alongside an array of esteemed contemporaries, including: Jeff Parker, Kjell Nordeson, Ches Smith, Joan La Barbara, Aram Shelton, Colin Stranahan, Ron Miles, Scott Amendola, Tatsuya Nakatani, Danny Meyer, Lisa Mezzacappa, So Percussion, Oakland Active Orchestra, and has served as a percussionist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
As a composer, Clifford keeps busy writing music for a wide range of projects, ensembles, and commissions. He is the leader of The Dirty Snacks Ensemble, an eclectic post jazz ensemble in which he serves as the composer, vibraphonist and vocalist.
Clifford’s recent writing employs strong conceptual parameters for long form works, such as basing compositional interval structures on the ratio of vertebrae in human spines in Fair Slope (2014). After improvising with his established parameters, he transcribes and orchestrates the results for the working ensemble. Throughout the composition process, Clifford works closely with the performers to emphasize each individual player’s strengths and interests.
Tue, March 8th, 2016 at Omni Commons, Oakland
Active Music Series
Doors at 7:00 PM
Music at 7:30 PM
$5-15 sliding scale.
4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland