Keston and Westdal at Nublu, NYC Circa 2009

I just had a listen to these videos of Keston and Westdal with Graham O’Brien on drums at Nublu in New York, Feb 7, 2009. The eight year old recordings were shot by my mate, Benjamin Montag, who is responsible for the majority of the art and design work for Unearthed Music, including the art on my new solo album, Isosceles.

I was using the Nublu house Rhodes, which I repaired earlier that night replacing a couple of broken tines and tuning a few notes. I brought along a laptop and interface to live-loop the Rhodes and send a click track to Graham. I borrowed the Korg MS2000 from Simone Giuliani. You may also notice distortion on the Rhodes at about 6:47. For that I brought along my BOSS DF-2 Super Distortion & Feedbacker pedal, which I have been using on Rhodes since the ’90s.

Since I had the laptop to loop the Rhodes in Ableton Live I ended up a few nice phrases that I ended up posting here on Audiocookbook. For example, in one post I shared a nice phrase and discussed my repair job before the gig and another includes a field recording inside a taxi on the way to the show. Checkout a few archival recordings from the gig below:

Rhodes Loop from the Nublu Backline
Another Rhodes Recording from Nublu
Segment of Recording from Nublu
Inside a Taxi in New York with Ben and Simone

Music for Merce: A Two-Night Celebration

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few weeks (I wouldn’t blame you if you were), the Walker Art Center is currently neck deep in a months long series of exhibitions and performances celebrating the life and work of choreographer Merce Cunningham. Merce Cunningham: Common Time includes a series of dance pieces in the Perlman Gallery with live musicians and former Merce Cunningham dancers. I have the privilege of performing on March 30, 2017 with Graham O’Brien for one of these ten Walker Cunningham events.

Also included is Music for Merce: A Two-Night Celebration on February 23 & 24, 2017 in the McGuire Theatre. These two nights will feature the likes of David Behrman, Christian Wolff, and Joan La Barbara to name a few. Here’s a blurb from the Walker about these extraordinary concerts:

Cunningham and longtime partner/composer John Cage were renowned for their legendary collaborations with the most significant experimental musicians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Join us to celebrate this remarkable legacy over two historic evenings with a festival of music and sound performances curated by composer/guitarist John King. Featured with King are electronic music pioneer and longtime Merce Cunningham Dance Company associate David Behrman, contemporary classical composer Christian Wolff, and composer/performers Joan La Barbara, Fast Forward, Ikue Mori, George Lewis, Zeena Parkins, and Radiohead’s Philip Selway with London multi-instrumentalist Quinta. Each evening consists of a separate set of solo, duo, ensemble, and landmark works, concluding with a collectively made real-time composition.

Visit the Walker Art Center to get tickets for one or both nights of music. I for one am thrilled to be a part of this series and look forward to participating as an audience member and a performer.

ISSTA 2017 International Festival and Conference on Sound in the Arts, Science and Technology

The International Festival and Conference on Sound in the Arts, Science and Technology (ISSTA 2017) is currently calling for works and papers to be presented at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland this September. Acceptable works include performances, installations, and workshops from makers, creators, performers, thinkers and researchers. The range of perspectives are broad and fascinating including: new creative approaches using self-designed or hacked controllers, communities and maker spaces/hackspaces, open culture and creative technologies to name a few.

ISSTA aims to bring together practitioners integrating fields of music, art, sound, science and technology. Our events serve musicians, researchers, scientists, engineers and artists by promoting sound within the arts, science and technology, within Irish and international communities. Since 2010 ISSTA has hosted an annual conference, gathering researchers from around the globe to present papers, installations, concerts and workshops. This year we are running our annual conference and festival at Dundalk Institute of Technology with Peter Kirn and Dr. Theresa Dillon as keynote speakers.

The call can be found here: issta.ie/call-for-submission-2017/ or read on for all the details below. Continue reading

Sound / Simulacra at Jazz Central Studios

Starting January 25, 2017 Cody McKinney and I are booking a monthly series at Jazz Central Studios titled Sound / Simulacra. The series explores musical improvisation as a “faithful and intentionally distorted” representational process. Sound / Simulacra will bring together some of the Twin Cities most unique voices to “recreate, distort, and create the hyperreal”.

Cody McKinney works with sound by actively theorizing, organizing, practicing and challenging its properties. He studied bass and improvisation under many luminaries including: Johannes Weidenmueller, Bruce Gertz, Jim Black as well as composition under Kirk Nurock, Rory Stewart, Steve Lehman and Diane Moser. Cody’s group, Bloodline, along with John Keston and Pete Hennig, have recently recorded an album due out mid 2017.

Volume 1: Wednesday Jan. 25th 2017
Cody McKinney & Jeremy Ylvisaker

Jeremy Ylvisaker is a multi-instrumentalist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a member of the indie rock bands Alpha Consumer (with Michael Lewis and JT Bates) and The Cloak Ox along with Andrew Broder of Fog, Mark Erickson and Dosh. He plays guitar in Andrew Bird’s touring band alongside Martin Dosh on drums and Michael Lewis on bass.

Volume 2: Wednesday Feb. 22nd, 2017
John C.S. Keston and Graham O’Brien

Graham O’Brien is a drummer and electronic music producer/composer from St. Paul, MN. His most recent work is focused on the interplay between his unique drumming and composition styles. Currently he is performing new music written for solo live performance, utilizing a customized electro-acoustic drum set concept. As he puts it, “I’m exploring ways to perform my music – or rather, conduct it – via the rhythms of my drumming, in real-time. My performance concept is a practical way to extend the range of my drum set to include control of melodic and harmonic electronic instruments.”

Stand with Bandcamp in Support of Immigrants / Human Rights

This Friday, February 3, 2017, BandCamp has pledged to donate 100% of their share of album sales to the ACLU in support of immigrants and basic human rights. I have decided to join them and donate 100% of our share of BandCamp album sales to the ACLU as well. This means the full price of every sale for the Unearthed Music catalog on Friday will be donated to the ACLU. This includes my new solo album Isosceles:

And my recent album in collaboration with Chilean produced Lister Rossel, Isikles:

I had the privilege of immigrating to the United States at the age of ten and I’m saddened that that privilege is being denied to many many deserving children, elderly, and people seeking asylum simply because of their religious beliefs and country of origin. This executive order from 45 is a xenophobic reaction that will do nothing to prevent terrorism. Please support the ACLU in their campaign to block this executive action and listen to some great music in the process.

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