As many of you know, The Stone is THE space for experimental, improvised, and “avant-gard” music in Manhattan. John Zorn, the artistic director, chooses who curates the concerts. It started out being a different person each month but for the last while it’s been a different person every two weeks. It just shows what a wellspring of talent there is in this city that there has never been repeat curators in the seven-plus years it’s been in existence.
The Stone opened it’s doors on April 1, 2005, with a “John Zorn Improv Party,” and there have been two concerts a night almost every night (except Mondays) since then. The first month was curated by Ned Rothenberg and the schedule, as seen here, is a who’s who of the “downtown” improv scene at the time. I was fortunate enough to play there that first month as part of Raz Mesinai’s Shadow Music trio, a sort of drone-improv band with me on glass, Raz on percussion, flutes & electronics, and Ted Reichman on accordion. That’s still one of my most favorite bands I’ve been in. Zorn had also asked me to play a solo set that June, then Okkyung Lee asked me and Aki Onda to present our glass & cassette duo the following month. The first few months were somewhat insular but over-all Zorn has done a great job of keeping things fresh and representing all the various facets of new music in this town. (Heck, one curator told me Zorn had nixed my participation one month because I was playing there too much. I kinda was.)
So now I’m getting my turn to curate, and I’m overjoyed. I basically get to have my own personal two week music series and listen to exactly who I want to listen to (a small sampling, anyway) and play with people I love playing with. What more could a musician want? (Well….) Not only do I get to curate right after Pauline Oliveros’ two weeks, but my two weeks has John Cage’s 100th birthday right in the middle of it!
It’s been a total blast putting this together. There are a bunch of people coming from out of town, who’s music I have not heard in many, many years. Not to mention (just) some of my absolute favorite local folks. If I were me, I’d be at the Stone every night between Sept 1-14. Wait, I am, so I will. Hope to see you there.
Gelsey Bell (voice, piano, keyboards, toy accordion, metallophone)
An assortment of mostly solo songs with excerpts from SCALING, Our Defensive Measurements, Bathroom Songs, and music from You are my heat and glare, with special guest Dave Ruder.
Guy and the Graphics
Erin Heisel (soprano), Nadav Lev (guitar), Sean Statser (percussion),Â Salvatore Macchia (bass),Â Josh Henderson (violin), Guy Barash (computer)
Guy Barash’s chamber ensemble interpret graphic scores by Cage, Brown, and Frasconi.
Object Collection’s International Hash Ring
Devin Maxwell (percussion, guitar), John P. Hastings (guitar), Taylor Levine (guitar), Paula Matthusen (computer),Â Daniel Allen Nelson (activities), Kara Feely (direction, text, activities),Â Travis Just (computer, composition)
Shoko Nagai & Satoshi Takeishi
Shoko Nagai (prepared piano, effects, composition),Â Satoshi Takeishi (percussion, electronics)
This 2011 NYFA winner experimental duo has been incorporating composition, electronics, free improvisation, found objects and visual elements into performances to create a unique path into the world of contemporary music. Their performances are based on stories and they create sound textures almost visible to the listener. In this performance, they will perform new compositions where illusion is sustained by multiple shifting elements.
â€¢ CAGE100: A Three Day Festival â€¢
Cage100@Stone Festival, day 1: The Singular Cage
The Noisy Toy Piano Orchestra directed by Miguel Frasconi
Phyllis Chen, Miguel Frasconi, Stephen Gosling, Patrick Grant, Brian McCrokle, John Morton, Shoko Nagai, Paul Pinto, Kathleen SupovÃ© (toy pianos)
Many toy pianos, mostly from Frasconi’s own collection, play John Cage’s Cheap Imitation (1969) in unison.
Samuel Clay Birmaher
Samuel Clay Birmaher (performer)
Three performances of John Cage’s Variations III and 0’00″, both composed in 1962, for flashlights, architectural objects, breath and heartbeat,Â and amplification. Performance materials will be displayed.
Cage100@Stone Festival, day 2: The Noisy Cage
8:00 & 10:00
The John Cage Variety Show Big Band directed by Miguel Frasconi
Miguel Frasconi (glass, electronics). Daniel Goode (clarinet), Kathleen SupovÃ© (piano), Chris McIntyre (trombone), Cristian Amigo (guitar), Richard Carrick (guitar), David Watson (bagpipes), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), John King (viola), Erin Rogers (sax), Guy Barash (computer), Shannon Fields (voice), Damon Holzborn (ipad), and special guest TILT Brass.
Celebrating the composer on the day of his birth, 100 years ago. Pieces will include Sonata for Clarinet (1932), In a Landscape (1948), Fontana Mix (1958), Aria (1958), Music for Amplified Toy Pianos (1960), Variations II (1961), Atlas Eclipticalis (1962), Solos from Song Books (1970), Child of Tree (1975), c Composed Improvisations (1990),and an ensemble performance of 4’33″ (1952).
Cage100@Stone Festival, day 3: The Intimate Cage
Ecstasy Mule vs. John Cage vs. Ecstasy Mule
Kurt Gottschalk & Len Siegfried (guitars and stringed instruments, radios, piano with objects)
Ecstasy Mule vs. John Cage vs. Ecstasy Mule is a game of luck in which there will be a winner. It is an aleatoric piece as opposed to an indeterminate one, using elements of the Cage compositions Indeterminacy, Music Walk, Water Walk, 4’33″, Variation #1, Imaginary Landscape #5 and Radio Music, as well as some other chance determined sound sourcings.
Varispeed performs Empty Words
Gelsey Bell, Brian McCorkle, Paul Pinto, Dave Ruder, Aliza Simons (vocals and electronics)
Varispeed performs selections of their recent arrangement of Cage’s Empty Words, a mid-70s epic that explores the â€œdemilitarizationâ€ of syntax and the voiceâ€™s power to evacuate meaning and create music.
Perkis, Park, & Eisenstadt
Tim Perkis (electronics), Han-Earl Park (guitar), Harris Eisenstadt (percussion)
Tom Djll (trumpet, electronics), Tim Perkis (electronics), Andrew Drury (percussion)
KINDA GREEN presents California composer Tom Djll’s INTERMINACY, “lost” John Cage stories, plus chance-determined accompaniment.
Scot Gresham-Lancaster (electronics)
California composer and co-founder of the computer-network band, The Hub, presents a piece based on Philip K. Dick’s “The Martian Time Slip” regarding recovery from mental illness, desire, time and “grubbish,” Dick’s term for the deterioration of reality through time and/or psychosis. “Inside Mr. Kott’s skin were dead bones, shiny and wet. Mr. Kott was a sack of bones, dirty and yet shiny-wet.”
Music by Gordon Monahan
with guest Pauline Kim Harris (violin)
A reprise of the Canadian composer’s classic Piano Mechanics, with a new composition for violin with interactive processing controlled by theremin and Max/MSP.
Aki Onda & G. Lucas Crane
Aki Onda (cassettes) G. Lucas Crane (cassettes)
Two cassette masters Aki Onda and G. Lucas Crane cast their tape-buckets into a deep well of ephemeral noises to create collages that celebrate lo-fi aesthetics while conjuring a robust and immersive sonic palette.
Doug Wieselman & Kenny Wollensen
Doug Wieselman (clarinets), Kenny Wollesen (percussion, glass tiers)
Present, Past and Future Sees
Sasha Bogdanowitsch (voice, original instruments, electronics)
An original solo work that explores the ancient vocal and instrumental relationship of the bard through contemporary ears.
New Folk Music for the Digital Era
Peter Whitehead (homemade guitars, homemade flutes, vocals, electronics, toys)
New songs, instrumentals, and text pieces.
Annea Lockwood & Miguel Frasconi:Â Other Glass Worlds
Annea Lockwood & Miguel Frasconi (glass objects)
In the late 1960s Annea began her Glass Worlds project. In the late ’70s Miguel co-founded the Glass Orchestra, inspired, in part, by Annea’s explorations. Tonight they explore glass object duets.
Music by Philip Corner
Miguel Frasconi (objects)
In 2013, this legendary Fluxus composer will turn 80.Â This evening’s pieces were chosen by Phil Corner specifically for this performance by Miguel Frasconi.
John Morton (music boxes), David Simons (theremin, electronics), Denman Maroney (hyperpiano), and Lisa Karrer (video).
Suzanne Thorpe (flute, electronics)
Katie Down (glass, strings, winds), Jeffrey Lependorf (flutes), Miguel Frasconi (glass, winds, small instruments).
Band4: Carrick, Cochrane, Frasconi, & Parkins
Chris Cochrane (guitar), Richard Carrick (piano), Miguel Frasconi (glass), Zeena Parkins (harp).