Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
By the Editors
- November 5 & 6: Yoshi Wada: Earth Horns and Electronic Drone at Emily Harvey Foundation. Wada, a composer and artist involved in the Fluxus movement in the 1970s, is joined by local musicians Nate Wooley, Dan Peck, Jen Baker, and others, along with his son Tashi Wada, for two performances of his early 1970s work Earth Horns and Electronic Drone. Presented by ISSUE Project Room.
- November 6 & 7: Richard Reed Parry and Bryce Dessner’s Wave Movements at the Met Museum. Twin pillars of the indie rock world Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Bryce Dessner (The National) continue to boost their classical music bona fides with the premiere of this collaborative work for chamber orchestra. Featuring video by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
- November 10: The Charlatans at Webster Hall. The UK band, touring in the wake of its acclaimed twelfth album, Modern Nature, brings its substantive, layered pop music to Webster Hall.
- November 10 & 24: Pop-Up Concerts at Miller Theatre. Miller is the leading venue for the uptown (appropriately) avant-garde, and they are now in their fourth season of free, late afternoon “Pop-Up” concerts. The two this month are stellar, and amazing to consider as free performances: Pierrot Lunaire, then a concert with a premiere from Ken Thomson and music by Carline Shaw, David Lang, and Xenakis. Get there early.
- November 11: Bitches Brew Listening Party at Spectrum: Editorship has its privileges—Rail music editor George Grella is hosting a special event for his new book, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew on 33 1/3 Books; more than a reading and a talk, Grella will spin the entire album through Spectrum’s stellar audio system (built by Lawrence DeMartin). Hear this singular music in an entirely new way, and pick up a signed copy of the book while you’re at it.
- November 12: Holding it Down: The Veteran’s Dream Project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. How does this country fight our Forever War? With people. Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd’s multimedia theater piece bears witness to the dreams, and nightmares, of our contemporary veterans. Powerfully moving, at times overwhelmingly so. A must see.
- November 15: ALT Alumni: Composers and LIbrettists in Concert at National Sawdust. The American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program offers support for young composers, young librettists, and young composer-librettists; in this inaugural event, the ALC shows off recent alumni such as Christopher Cerrone, whose Invisible Cities adapts the Italo Calvino book; Gregory Spears; Kamala Sankram; and more.
- November 15: “The Wizard of Roz” at (le) poisson rouge. Roswell Rudd, one of the greatest trombonists, is eighty years old this year, and he’s giving you a party. Rudd has played free jazz, co-led the first Thelonious Monk repertoire band with Steve Lacy, played African blues, and music more, all with smarts, humanity, and humor. He’ll be playing and receiving tribute from musicians galore, including Beau Soleil and the all-trombone ensemble of Jose Roseman, Steve Swell, Deborah Weisz, Art Baron, Brian Drye, and Greg Glassman. No ’bone jokes please, this is the real deal. Oh yeah, there he is with Sonic Youth …
- November 17: Cecil Taylor at Harlem Stage. In a benefit for Harlem Stage, Jason Moran co-hosts an evening honoring avant-garde jazz titan Cecil Taylor; Taylor himself will be in attendance.
- November 17 - 22: Tyshawn Sorey Trio at the Village Vanguard. A tremendously exciting week at the Vanguard. Sorry is one of the finest, and arguably the most important, drummer in contemporary jazz. And he’s also one of the most musically articulate and intriguing composers in contemporary classical music. His trio combines both these qualities through music where the lines between notation and improvisation, modern rhythmic practice and theory, songs and organic/through-composed works are impossible to discern. But the music the Trio makes is so fine and enthralling that you’ll find yourself not caring where the lines are, you’ll want to experience the entire, special, whole.
- November 18 - 22. Real Enemies at BAM. At the end of Copolla’s 1974 film, The Conversation, the main character, Harry Caul, sits amidst the wreckage of this studio, forlornly playing his tenor sax. Caul spies on people with audio surveillance and, believing that someone is spying on him, tears apart his workspace, unable to find the bug. Forty years later, the great Brooklyn composer Darcy James Argue bing his Secret Society to the stage, with a piece written and directed by Isaac Butler that explores the great American pastimes of surveillance and conspiracy theories. Argue consistently produces the impossible, so expect to be amazed.
- November 19: Anthony de Mare at Symphony Space. Pianist de Mare has put out one of the most surprising and richest albums of the year, Liaison: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano. Each of the thirty-seven tracks are a Sondheim song re-arranged by a contemporary composer; William Bolcolm’s “A Little Night Fugue,” Steve Reich’s two piano arrangement of “Finishing the Hat,” Ethan Iverson’s rich treatment of “Send in the Clowns.” De Mare has also presented the project in ongoing performances at Symphony Space, and this final installment is the first to come after the album release. Some of the music you now know—and you should!—will be NY premieres from Wynton Marsalis, Andy Akiho, Duncan Sheik, and Jherek Bischoff.
- November 19: C. Spencer Yeh: Video on Demand at Anthology Film Archives. ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence (and film programmer at Spectacle Theatre) C.Spencer Yeh premieres two new moving image works, extending his multidisciplinary reach.
- November 19: Performancy Forum: Sonar and Semblance at Panoply Performance Laboratory. Three performers—Lumberob, Tropical Resources, and Amelia Marzec—explore the electrified koan, “If the amp is turned on but there is no XLR plugged in, is amplification still occurring?”
- November 20: Wume at Palisades. Wume’s 2015 release, Maintain, is an unclassifiable combination of classic analog sounds, music with an upfront pulse and a strong, insinuating intelligence underneath. It’s dance music, it’s rock, and something you want to listen to again and again. Joining them on this show is the spectacular line-up of Zs, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, and Sunwatchers.
- November 20: Awesome Tapes from Africa DJ Set at BAM Café (presented by World Music Institute). Sometimes the Internet is good, and Brian Shimkovitz’s Awesome Tapes site is great—a place of pure serendipity. Shimkovitz has been cataloguing and sharing awesome cassette music, of all kinds, from Africa, for years, and he does indeed take his show on the road. South African bubblegum disco sung in Zulu and English anyone? Fall by BAM for this free show of music you will never hear anywhere else (set starts at 9:00 pm).
- November 23: Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra at Roulette. Rudolph’s rich synthesis of jazz and world music reaches some sort of apotheosis with this ten-guitar ensemble. His new recording with this group, Turning Towards the Light, came out last month, and at Roulette the orchestra will play the music, which is warm, complex, and unlike anything else. Oh, and the orchestra? Rudolph will be leading Brandon Ross, Nels Cline, Damon Banks, Marco Capelli, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Joel Harrison, Miles Okazaki, Kenny Wessel, and Jerome Harris.
- November 27: Harry Bertoia: Complete Sonambient Collection 11CD Box release on Important Records. Bertoia was a sculptor and a sound artist, making music out of sculptural works (and what is an instrument if not a kind of sculpture). His recordings capture the rare and beautiful confluence of two fundamentally related endeavors, making things and making sounds. This is his centennial year, and this deluxe package collects all his recordings, remastered, along with a 100-page booklet.