Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
Staff Consensus Picks
- October 16 - 17: Elliot Sharp’s Port Bou at ISSUE Project Room. Elliott Sharp’s opera—which he discussed on last month’s Rail Tracks podcast—takes as its subject the final moments in the life of Walter Benjamin, drawing on the philosopher and critic’s seminal writings to explore his state of mind as he neared the end. This debut performance features Nicholas Isherwood, Jenny Lin, William Schimmel, and video by Janene Higgins.
- October: The Stone. A jaw-dropping month of contemporary jazz, all month long any and every night is packed with fantastic musicians. The line-up of residencies is: Ches Smith, Tim Berne, Julian Lage, and Oliver Lake, capped by improviser Makigami Koichi. Go like you should vote, early and often.
- October: In the Garden of Sonic Delights at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. An open-air sound art exhibition, filled with new, commissioned works. As the leaves turn and the air turns crisp, you can wander the landscape and see and hear pieces from Laurie Anderson, Eli Keszler, Annea Lockwood, Trimpin, Stephen Vitiello, and others.
- October 10: Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast at Shapeshifter Lab. Thomson, Renaissance-man reed player (Gutbucket, Ensemble Signal, Asphalt Orchestra) has a new record, Settle, with his jazz ensemble Slow/Fast, and this date concludes a whirlwind tour. Thompson’s jazz voice is unique, with a subtly powerful grasp of form and the virtues of swinging group improvisation. The record is exciting and powerful, and the band cooks in person.
- October 14: RAM Players at Caffe Vivaldi. This under-the-radar new music collective has a newly formed repertory ensemble, made up of stellar musicians David Broome, piano, Pauline Kim Harris, violin and viola, and Kate Dillingham, cello. They’ll play music by equally stellar composers Gilbert Galindo, Frances White, Stefan Weisman, Wang Jie, and more.
- October 17 - 18, 28: Tyshawn Sorey Trio. Sorey has appeared in our recommended listings more than once, which is appropriate because he is one of the most individual and outstanding musicians across all genres. His new recording, Alloy, comes out at the end of the month on the Pi label, and it is one of the most intellectually involving and viscerally satisfying discs of the year, across all genres. Hear the music live at the Jazz Gallery, and believe that Morton Feldman, Autechre, Debussy and jazz can combine as the fruitful materials of a boundless vision.
- October 22: This is the day you can start buying general admission tickets to a benefit performance for ISSUE Project Room: Matmos will perform scenes from Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives on December 9. If we listed this for December, you’d never have the chance to see one of the events of the year.
- October 23: Stefan Wolpe: Four Portraits of a Visionary at the DiMenna Center. Wolpe is a phantasmal figure in the history of musical modernism, a composer who’s influence has been felt through the number of important students he taught. This concert, played by the fine Moment Quartet, has several of his own pieces, which are finely made and have a personal stamp, with those of two of his most important students, Ursula Mamlok and Ralph Shapey.
- October 26: Paul Dresher Double Duo/Ashley Bathgate & Lisa Moore at Roulette. A rare and welcome visit from Dresher, who has been one of the most important figures in new music on the West Coast for decades. He has a new piece, and the group will also play Martin Bresnick’s Fantasia on a Theme by Willie Dixon. Bang on a Can All-Stars Moore and Bathgate will play music for a newly invented instrument, the Marimba Lumina.
- October 3: Ava Luna at Baby’s All Right. The jittery romance of Brooklyns Ava Luna moves from tight, soulful harmonies to loose, guitar-forward grooves, with a latent, pent-up energy that keeps popping out at odd angles.
- October 7: Prince Rama at Glasslands. The concept for Prince Ramas 2013 album, Top Ten Hits of the World, was to create a post-apocalyptic greatest hits record, with ten different tracks by ten imaginary bands: Those Who Live for Love Will Live Forever by I.M.M.O.R.T.A.L.I.F.E. being one bizarre standout of the bunch. The one-time ISSUE Project Room artists-in-residence put on a brilliant live show, not unlike watching someone do yoga while trapped in a prism.
- October 24: Muuy Biien and Bambara at Leftfield. One of three chances to see Athens, GA’s Muuy Biien—along with shows on October 21 at Cake Shop and October 23 at Shea Stadium—on the bands first tour outside the Southeast. Expect an energy-laden assault complemented by the moody bombast of fellow Athenians-turned-Brooklynites Bambara.