Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
Staff Consensus Picks:
- June 4 - June 22: Suoni per il Popolo, Montréal. Possibly the greatest festival of genre-crossing experimental music on the planet, along with the typically surprising and fantastic music, the festival this year is adding film screenings (like The Shining forward and backward simultaneously) and is featuring an ultra-rare appearance from Richard Skelton and just as rare performances of Cornelius Cardew’s avant-garde scores The Great Learning and Treatise.
- June 21: Make Music New York. Over 1,200 concerts all around New York City, all outdoors, all free, of all kinds, from dawn to past dusk. Andrea Gordillo says check the “Solstice Celebration at Socrates Sculpture Park. Lesley Flanigan’s performances are jaw-dropping and leave you ruminating on the ontology of music and art. She sculpts sounds through controlled feedback, recorded samples, and her own voice. Flanigan will perform along side numerous other sound artists.” Hit the streets.
- June 22: Bang on a Can Marathon. The 27th anniversary of the free event that has featured virtually everyone who’s anyone in new and experimental music. With performances this year by Meredith Monk & Theo Bleckmann, Dawn of Midi, So Percussion, and many, many more.
- June 29: Either/Or: Morton Feldman’s For Philip Guston at ISSUE Project Room. For Either/Or’s 10th anniversary show, and as the culmination of their spring festival, the ensemble has ambitiously chosen this rarely played four-and-a-half hour masterpiece. Written for his friend Guston, Feldman’s piece is a true testament to abstraction, with long moments of silence and constantly changing time signatures.
- June 8 & June 15: 7th Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival. The best jazz festival bang for your buck around: $10 each day gets you Ralph Alessi, Harris Eisenstadt, Azares, George Coleman and the Rivington Project (with Brian Charette on organ), Tim Berne’s Decay, and more, outdoors in the lovely Urban Meadow.
- June 11 - 15: Vision Festival 19 at Roulette. One of the premiere events for exploratory jazz here in the jazz capitol of the universe. The festival this year honors Charles Gayle, and anticipate greatness from Women with an Axe to Grind, James “Blood” Ulmer and the Music Revelation Ensemble Revisited, Sakato Fuji, Matt Shipp, and a reading from our own Steve Dalachinksy.
- June 12 & June 13: Opera Cabal at the Kitchen. This Chicago company specializes in new and experimental opera, and they’ll be partnering with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble for productions of Georg Friedrich Haas’ ATTHIS, and three premiere stagings from Marcos Balter. Come Friday afternoon for a panel discussion on contemporary opera, featuring yours truly.
- June 13 & 14: Chelsea Opera. Good opera tends to come in small packages, and this professional company is producing Copland’s The Tender Land at St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea. This is a beautiful, modern classic, and an enterprising company.
- June 13: Ekmeles performs Stockhausen’s Stimmung. Jeffrey Gavett’s terrific vocal ensemble sings Stockhausen’s greatest work, and one of the most mysteriously beautiful pieces of music in the modern classical tradition. The concert starts at 7:30 at the DiMenna Center, 450 West 37th.
- June 26: Nate Wooley’s Argonautica at Roulette. Cutting edge new music trumpeter Wooley describes this project as combing “aleatoric and minimalist compositional aesthetics and forces them through the prism of early fusion (when jazz/rock was dirty).” Where can I buy the tickets?
- June 7: O’Death at the Wick. Brooklyn’s O’ Death is a folk/rock/appalachian/country band that manages to blitz right past all the thorny questions of authenticity that plague those genres, making music that is equal parts thrilling and terrifying.
- June 24 - 29: Kris Davis Residency at the Stone. Some highlights of the pianist’s weeklong residency are a CD release for Ingrid Laubrock’s Octet on Thursday the 26th and a performance on Saturday the 28th by Paradoxical Frog, a trio that features Davis and Laubrock playing together with drummer Tyshawn Sorey.
- June 13: Omar Souleyman with Dutch E Germ, Prince Rama at Glasslands. For many of us living in the West, much of what we hear of Syria and the Middle East are sound bites, news reports, and statistics. Omar Souleyman is a Syrian folk-pop star who has been active for decades and who has made waves globally since recording the album, Wenu Wenu, last year and touring all over the world. His performance at Glasslands will surely enlighten those of us unfamiliar with the influential culture and entertain with his adventurous and entrancing musical approach.
- June 14 - 23: Dark Circuits Festival at Silent Barn. Music technology enthusiasts are sure to find their niche in this cutting-edge, week-long festival.
- June 27: Crystal Stilts, Christines, Honey at Baby’s All Right. The Crystal Stilts are a bewitching mash-up of mid ’70s-influenced, lofi, garage-pop-punk. You might find yourself dancing despite the group’s moody tone.
- June 7: Julianna Barwick and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus present: Soundscapes at Roulette. What promises to be a night of beautiful ambient choral music, featuring works by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Caroline Shaw, and Barwick herself, off of her new album, Nepenthe.
- June 12 – 15: Northside Music Festival. Brooklyn’s own version of CMJ, spread across four days, 400 artists, and dozens of venues, the festival provides an opportunity for labels to showcase their lineups, for venues to expand their programming, and new artists to make a splash. Some shows I’m particularly excited for:
- June 12: Terrorbird Media, Carpark Records, Kanine Records and Insound present: TEEN, Saint Pepsi, Las Rosas, Herzog, Chandos, Dog Bite, Gondola at Cameo Gallery
- June 14: UNOversary presents: CFCF, Aquarian, Gobby, Kuhrye-oo, Feral at Cameo Gallery
- June 14: Sacred Bones & Ad Hoc present: Lust for Youth, Pharmakon, Container, Croatian Amor, Uniform at Baby’s All Right
- June 7: VDSQ Showcase at ISSUE Project Room. Bill Orcutt, Glenn Jones, Mark McGuire, Matthew Mullane and Anthony Pasquarosa each perform solo sets on guitar in advance of upcoming releases on Vin Du Selecte Qualitite. McGuire, whose solo work has been spare post-Emeralds, will look to channel the unique blend of loop-based magic that made his output so engaging both with his former band and as a solo performer.
- June 8: Bill Orcutt/Chris Corsano Duo + MV & EE at Baby’s All Right. The jagged improvisations of ex-Harry Pussy guitarist Orcutt and utility-percussionist extraordinaire Corsano should mesh nicely with the stoned ragas of sonic astronauts MV & EE. Every MV & EE set—whether an extended drone or a straightforward folk set— seems to feel completely different, and hopefully the trend will continue.
- June 14: Circuit des Yeux/Tsembla/Kuupuu at ISSUE Project Room. Haley Fohr, better known as Circuit des Yeux, makes a long awaited return to Brooklyn after the success of last year’s superlative effort “Overdue.” Fohr’s noisy folk melodies often build to elated moments of catharsis. Tsembla and Kuupuu will open for Fohr while conjuring up the brand of warped free-folk experimentation that Finland has become known for.
MARSHALL YARBROUGH is the Brooklyn Rail’s assistant music editor.Christopher Nelson
CHRISTOPHER NELSON lives and works in Brooklyn.George Grella
GEORGE GRELLA is the Rail’s music editor.Andrea Gordillo
ANDREA GORDILLO is a writer based in New York City.Taylor Dafoe
TAYLOR DAFOE is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in Afterimage, artnet News, BOMB, Elephant, Interview, Modern Painters, and Photograph Magazine, among others.