Brooklyn Rail Highly Selective Music Events
By the Editors
- Festivals: The season of free music begins! Beyond the daylong orgy of Make Music New York, check out:
- June 4: Long Distance Music at the Emily Harvey Foundation. The second installment in the Labyrinth Gives Way to Skin series producing the work of Maryanne Amacher, Long Distance Music presents four of Amacher’s City-Links projects, for which the artist transmitted live sonic feeds from different cities, incorporating them into installations, performances, and radio broadcasts. Jean-Luc Godard once spoke of cinema’s ability to convey “the news from where I’m from”; Wolf Haas wrote a novel titled The Weather Fifteen Years Ago. Amacher’s project would seem to encapsulate both.
- June 4 - 10: The Next Festival of Emerging Artists. Covering (le) poisson rouge to Albany, this festival features a unique juxtaposition: two performances of new music by violist Nadia Sirota, and two concerts of new songs by Richard Thompson, all on different days so as to avoid mental confusion.
- June 5: Vision Festival: Sun Ra Films at Anthology Film Archives. Anticipating the twenty-first annual Vision Festival (June 7 - 12) is an evening of films at AFA celebrating Sun Ra. John Coney’s ʼopens the proceedings at 7:00, followed by Phill Niblock’s The Magic Sun (with a soundtrack by Sun Ra), and Robert Mugge’s Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, featuring performances, rehearsal footage, and an interview with the legendary—or better yet, mythical—artist.
- June 6 - 9: Creative Music Studio Spring Workshop. Summer is close enough, so get out of town to the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian for this series of concerts from Karl Berger’s and Ingrid Sertso’s invaluable creative music project. Lineups will include Adam Rudolph, Meshell Ndegeocello, Hassan Hakmoun, Hamid Drake, Berger, Sertso, and many more.
- June 7 & 12: PRISM Quartet at Roulette. The saxophonists of PRISM Quartet have their hands in old classical, modern jazz, and new music, and in this series of concerts, they’ll be playing music from Steven Mackey, Ken Ueno, Donnacha Dennehy, Kati Agócs, Bryce Dessner, Harry Partch, Xenakis, and more, with their friends in Sō Percussion and PARTCH (who play their own reconstructions of Partch’s instruments).
- June 9: Yasunao Tone: AI Deviation at ISSUE Project Room. Working in collaboration with Tony Myatt and a team of researchers, Japanese composer Yasunao Tone experiments with the capabilities of artificial intelligence software. Tone will play puppet master, intervening in the software’s endeavors to recreate his own previous performances.
- June 10: No One and the Somebodies at the Gutter. The Bronx’s No One and the Somebodies head a Northside Festival showcase featuring Soupcans, Sic Tic, NO ICE, Law$uits, Rats Mouth, and DJ Already Dead. Come on down to witness impressive compositional complexity leavened by playful lyrics and a lo-fi aesthetic. As the band sings on “Chicken Milk,” “Draw something stupid on your hand if you’ve got five bucks for the touring band.”
- June 10 & 11: Mary Halvorson at the Jazz Gallery. Halvorson keeps doing so many interesting things and releasing so much new music it’s impossible to keep her off our list. Check out her new group, Code Girl, featuring Amirtha Kidambi, and Halvorson’s fellow members in the great trio Thumbscrew, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara—and then there’s Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet!
- June 12: International Anthem Summer Showcase at (le) poisson rouge. One of the most exciting new labels, Chicago’s International Anthem is already digging in deep with new jazz that has one foot in deep grooves and the other in abstraction, a combination for head and heart. This showcase features drummer and bandleader Makaya McCraven, the Jaimie Branch Quartet, and the great Chicago Underground Duo of Rob Mazurka and Chad Taylor.
- June 14: Lea Bertucci at ISSUE Project Room. In the last performance of her ISSUE residency, featuring works mixing voice, tape, and electronics, Lea Bertucci is joined by Max Alper, Amirtha Kidambi, and Kathleen Baird.
- June 16 - 18: Nørgård in New York at Scandinavia House. Three nights of performances featuring eleven U.S. premieres, this weekend festival boasts three concerts focused exclusively on the work of Danish composer Per Nørgård. Among the performers appearing are Momenta Quartet and Sarah Joy Miller.
- June 17 - 19: Dido the Queen - A Folk Opera at Clemente Soto Vélez. Henry Purcell’s gorgeous, moving baroque opera is given a bluegrass adaptation by Wila Bassen and Nick Robertson, plus puppets! Aimed at young people, this story and music is truly for all audiences.
- June 19 - July 1: Jazztopad Festival. Jazz had an important place in Polish artistic life in the 20th century—it was a field for intellectual and expressive exploration and freedom, and was an essential part of Polish cinema of the mid-century. Held at various venues, the Jazztopad festival keeps this great tradition alive with performances from the Obara International Quartet, the Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Piotr Damasiewicz, Tony Malaby, and a bevy of fine musicians.
- June 20: Downtown Music Gallery 25th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit at Roulette. How many record stores are left in New York City, maybe two handfuls? Of these, Downtown Music Gallery is the most important, vital place for experimental music of all kinds, the place you go and drop all your cash because you can’t believe what it is you found. How important? Here are the artists offering their talents for this benefit (and real celebration): Zion80 playing the music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and John Zorn via, Burnt Sugar Arkestra and their post-electric Miles/funk/conduction mix led by the estimable Greg Tate, and Bill Laswell’s Method of Defiance.
- June 25: Dave Harrington’s Merry Pranksters at Rough Trade. Harrington, known for his work in Darkside with Nicolas Jaar and in countless collaborations with other Brooklyn musicians such as Sunwatchers, brings together a nine-piece ensemble playing “groove-based improvisations inspired by jazz-fusion of the 70s” and, presumably, Ken Kesey’s Kool-Aid crew.
- June 29: Bernhard Lang’s The Cold Trip at the Austrian Cultural Forum. Of the current crop of composers coming out of central Europe, Bernhard Lang is the most interesting, surprising, witty, and entertaining. In the absence of a much needed Composer Portrait at Miller Theatre, catch his re-imagining of Schubert’s Winterreise, seen through Lang’s unique compositional repetition and fractured looping. Played by the Aleph Guitar Quartet, the program also has music from Georg Friedrich Haas and Alberto Hortigüela, and is free with a reservation.
- July 1: Ziemba at Ten Pins Tavern. The New York artist and musician has a debut record, Hope Is Never, coming out June 24th—pop music featuring a cozy yet expansive sonic palette, with René Kladzyk’s voice floating gently above.