Tuesday, March 24, 2009

John Berndt NYC Experimental Concert Series

John Berndt NYC Experimental Concert Series

Three nights of music in Soho as part of the first retrospective gallery exhibition of works by the improviser, experimental composer, film-maker, writer, and installation artist John Berndt.

All taking place at:
Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery
537 Broadway at Spring Street - 2nd floor
New York, NY 10012

Friday April 17th, 7PM-10PM, free
Opening reception and free concert. three very different collaborations between John Berndt and four legendary experimental improvisers.

John Berndt and Elliot Sharp — string delirium
John Berndt and Lukas Legetti — polymetric kaleidoscope syncopation
John Berndt, Peter Zummo, and Katt Hernandez — paradoxical dispersal music

Friday April 24th, 7PM-9PM, $6
A night of music by John Berndt and THUS, his 17-year long project with Neil Feather to invent a new idiom of music on original experimental instruments, with special guests.

John Berndt — solo acoustic and electronic saxophone
THUS (John Berndt and Neil Feather) — original music on original instruments
THUS with Michael Evans (drums) and special guests

Saturday April 25th, 7PM-9PM, $6
A night of solo and orchestral music featuring SECOND NATURE, a 15-person ensemble of virtuoso improvisers directed by Berndt, dedicated to the development of a new free improvisation musical ethic and aesthetic for the large group.

John Berndt — new electronic music compositions
Second Nature — improvised music, orchestral scale

About John Berndt

One of the more active experimental music performers on the East Coast for the past decade, John Berndt began his musical career by composing wildly abstract electro-acoustic and conceptual tape music in 1978 at the tender age of 11. His first compositions in this mode premiered on the radio at age 14, and by his late teens, he was active in an international cultural scene that included some of the most radical cultural activists of the 80's and 90's. From the beginning his work was singular, ranging over the disjoint subcultures of sound art, improvised music, industrial, musical instrument design, and language experimentation. His solo CDs are available on Stereosupremo (Italy), HereSee (Baltimore), Abstract On Black (Pittsburgh) and he has many published recordings of collaborations.

Berndt began as a composer with a distinctly "inhuman" style and severe set of conceptual preoccupations, but in an unusual development process expanded his sensibility in a variety of contradictory directions, such that his work today is so aesthetically varied as to seem the work of a number of unrelated artists. In 1991 Berndt had heard saxophonist Jack Wright, who became his saxophone teacher, and as a result began to focus on developing his abilities in spontaneous instrumental performance to a high degree. His rigorously strange aesthetic then broadened to incorporate lessons from a variety of clashing modalities: jazz, Indian and African music, and extreme modernist instrumental technique. In this transformation, he was also highly influenced by another collaborator and teacher, the philosopher Henry Flynt, whose critique of the western computational mind-set greatly enabled Berndt's own critical path.

Berndt has always had a wide range of intensive ensemble projects, many of which are only now receiving attention outside of Baltimore. Since 1992, his duo THUS with Neil Feather has produced an entirely unique idiom of "very strange" music on an orchestra of original instruments they invent. As a part of THAT NOTHING IS KNOWN, a quartet with Jack Wright, Michael Zerang, and Bob Marsh, Berndt participated in some of the most inspired "fast" free improvised music of the 90's. Today, he performs regularly with his groups DEATH IN THE MAZE (a post-reductionist chamber improvisation ensemble), GEODESIC GNOME (a super-group performing Berndt's "Impossible" conceptual compositions), directs SECOND NATURE (Baltimore's 16 performer free improvisation orchestra) and recently participated in EXPLODING GARDENS (a post-jazz composers collective with Katt Hernandez, Gordon Beeferman, and Will Redman). He is also a hired gun performer occasionally with the well known electronic group MATMOS.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ehse Records set to release new LP by Baltimore’s Needle Gun

Ehse Records set to release new LP by Baltimore’s Needle Gun

Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Needle Gun is an avant-free-noise-punkish outfit equal parts Jack Patterson, Max Eilbacher, Gram Hummell, and Mike Allison.

The group has been playing since the summer of 2006 and has released several platters on local and DIY labels. The latest release -- an energetic, noisy, and challenging full-length LP on Ehse Records (Harrius, Snacks, Little Howlin’ Wolf, Blaster Al Ackerman) -- was recorded at Diamond Eyes Studio and was produced by Twig Harper of Nautical Almanac.