Ten Years Together: New Amsterdam Records & Le Poisson Rouge Turn 10
with Tigue, Subtle Degrees, itsnotyouitsme, Molly Joyce & No Lands
Mon June 11th, 2018
Minimum Age: 18+
Doors Open: 6:30PM
Show Time: 7:00PM
Event Ticket: $12
Experiencing one emotion at a time is a luxury of the past. Think back to that moment at the women’s march or the pro-science rally, when you spied a small child holding a handmade sign that read “I love naps but I stay woke” or “Boys will be boys good humans” or “May the facts be with you.” How adorable! How upsetting! How the hell are they going to make it to adulthood in this toxic environment?
Deerhoof is right there with you. They recognize that we are simultaneously living in two worlds, one a maniacal, mainstream monoculture hell-bent on driving humankind into extinction, the other a churning underground teeming with ideas and dogged optimism and the will to thrive and survive. Mountain Moves refutes the former by ecstatically celebrating the latter.
Though Deerhoof have often made albums from start to finish with virtually no input from the outside world, now is not the time for artists to operate in isolation. Mountain Moves throws the doors wide open. Working quickly, the band invited myriad guests to participate, some of them dear friends, others practically strangers. They are of different ages, different nationalities, different disciplines. The only common thread was that each and every artist on Mountain Moves doesn’t fit into a single, neatly-defined category – and doesn’t wish to.
The results, as expected, were unexpected. Guide vocals and simple melodies were dispatched via email, only to be answered with an outpouring of alternate harmonies, suggestions for arrangements, additional instrumentation. Every file received triggered a new rush of jumbled emotions. Some guests crafted their contributions in the small hours of the dawn, toiling in hotel rooms before driving eight hours to the next tour date; others hopped on the subway and recorded with the band in-person.
Collisions and collusions abound on Mountain Moves. In addition to its bounty of originals, the program includes three covers that epitomize the album’s assemblage of disparate ideas and personalities. Reducing Bob Marley’s “Small Axe” to a beat-less fragment of hymn-like simplicity magnifies the song’s rebellious spirit and undercurrent of violence. Deerhoof vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, a Japanese immigrant, lifts the Staple Singers’ “Freedom Highway” out of its original place and time, imbuing it with a new sense of alienation from one’s own country. Snippets of the bass recitative “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth” from Handel’s Messiah provide the foundation for a fresh take on Chilean folk hero Violeta Parra’s bittersweet masterpiece “Gracias a la Vida.”
Adventures outside the United States also informed the making of Mountain Moves. During a recent visit to Brazil, the band was astonished to see how enthusiastically audiences at concerts sang, danced, and reveled – a cultural response, they learned, to the scarcity of resources for all but the nation’s wealthiest elites. Elsewhere, the experience of confronting unfamiliar audiences of fired-up Red Hot Chili Peppers fans taught them that one of their greatest skills – the ability to recalibrate their sound nightly to suit a particular venue – wasn’t limited to basements or small clubs. The broader strokes of Mountain Moves sprang forth from lessons learned while trying to engage audiences of 20,000+ across the vast distances of Northern European sporting arenas.
If Mountain Moves were a movie, it would be a double feature, Journey to the Center of the Deerhoof and Escape from Planet Deerhoof, shown side-by-side simultaneously. The record epitomizes the band at its very best, exploring new realms between the poles of independence and invention. It also serves as a welcoming point of entry for new listeners outside Deerhoof’s traditional orbit, an opportunity to bring even more voices into the communal conversation. We’re all in this together.
Deerhoof is John Dieterich, Satomi Matsuzaki, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier. The only thing they see eye-to-eye on is the freedom to not see eye-to-eye. Their guests on Mountain Moves include Awkwafina, Juana Molina, Matana Roberts, Xenia Rubinos, Lætitia Sadier, and Jenn Wasner. Together, they made this record for you. For all of us.
Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez
Tigue is a group of three percussionists with a fluid musical identity. The Brooklyn-based trio (Matt Evans, Amy Garapic and Carson Moody) makes their own kinetic and hypnotic blend of instrumental minimalism while opening up the possibilities of their instrumentation through commissioning and collaboration. Tigue’s debut album Peaks was released in 2015 with New Amsterdam Records with highlighted performances at the Ecstatic Music Festival, Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and the Zemlika Festival in Durbe, Latvia. Recent commissions and premieres have included works by Molly Herron, Randy Gibson, Jason Treuting, Adrian Knight and Robert Honstein alongside collaborative ventures with Kid Millions and visual artist / sculptor Michael Mercil. These works have been presented in concert halls, galleries, black box theaters and universities throughout the country including EMPAC, Roulette, The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Noguchi Museum, Yale School of Music, and Princeton University. Praised for their focused and “high octane” performances (New York Times), the Ohio-born band members have worked together since they were practically children.
Along with performing, the members of Tigue are dedicated to outreach and community projects. In collaboration with Make Music New York, the trio has led three 10-week music education programs with adult and adolescent inmates at New York City’s Rikers Island Correctional Facility, featured in both the New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine. Working with inmates in both men’s and women’s facilitates, the trio shared the communicative nature of music through West African musical traditions and hand drumming culminating with inmate performances for the Rikers population. Tigue has also presented workshops and masterclasses with collegiate universities, elementary classrooms and community groups across the globe.
This past spring Tigue events included a Carnegie Neighborhood series performance in the Bronx premiering the latest movement of Jason Treuting’s piece 9 numbers, a trip to Boston, MA to perform on the Celebrity Series “Stave Sessions “ with fellow Brooklyn trance inducers Innov Gnawa, the premiere of Randy Gibson’s “The Four Pillars Appearing from The Resonating Discs invoking The 72:81:88 Confluence in a setting of Quadrilateral Starfield Symmetry ATS4 Base 6:81” with the Avant Media Festival, a weekend in Columbus, OH performing the latest version of Michael Mercil’s “Thoreau’s Desk” and a week long workshop and performance of new music for new instruments with composer Molly Herron and instruments designed by Dartmouth College engineering students.
2016 was a busy year for Tigue. The ensemble appeared as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival, Avant Media Festival, American Music Festival, and Celebrate Brooklyn! Festivals where they performed new music of their own along with composers Adrian Knight and Jason Treuting. The group made their first trip to the West Coast, with help from the Permutations Series and the Center for New Music, and they flew to Latvia for their first international performance as part of the Zemlika Festival. In between these projects Tigue played intimate shows with their friends in the Brooklyn community, presented workshops and master classes for elementary school classrooms and ivy league institutions, and started recording their second album. Most recently, this past February, Tigue hosted a three week Sunday night residency at local Gowanus music venue Three’s Brewing, presenting concerts with Brooklyn community talents Alice Cohen, J. Hoard, Qasim Naqvi, LADAMA, Wilder Maker and Innov Gnawa.
Photo Credit: Catalina Kulczar
A Dance That Empties is Travis Laplante‘s latest album-length composition, written for Subtle Degrees, a new two-musician ensemble consisting of Laplante (tenor saxophone) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). The duo’s uncategorizable sound evokes everything from contemporary classical music, avant garde jazz, minimalism, technical metal, and sacred world music. Laplante is also the founder/composer of saxophone quartet Battle Trance and the ensemble Little Women.
A Dance That Empties is the culmination of a very long musical relationship. In 2001, when he was only 18 years old, Laplante played a concert at New York’s Knitting Factory, then a pre-eminent mecca for adventurous music of all kinds. Cleaver was in the audience, and came up to Laplante afterwards, handed him his phone number and said they should play together sometime. They soon did, “and I felt a very intimate and spiritual connection with Gerald that feels more alive than ever today,” Laplante says. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Gerald and have long considered him one of my favorite living improvisers.”
The two have performed together various times over the ensuing 17 years, but Laplante never felt he was quite ready to record with Cleaver. “It got to the point where I took a multiple-year break from playing with him because I felt like I didn’t have enough to bring to the table,” says Laplante. “I needed to practice so I could have more to give to our musical relationship.” Then, in the fall of 2016, Laplante received a commission to compose a piece to be performed at Roulette in Brooklyn the following spring. “I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to return to this relationship with Gerald.” And so Laplante began composing an epic-scale work with Cleaver’s rhythmic virtuosity in mind.
Inspired by the longer durational forms of spiritual ceremonies, A Dance That Empties is a continuous journey that unfolds over 43 minutes, with musical motifs that foreshadow, recur, and evolve. The piece refines sonic territory that Laplante has pioneered in his celebrated saxophone quartet Battle Trance, as well as his solo saxophone work, utilizing long passages of circular breathing and other extended techniques to create specific and yet ineffable emotional and sonic resonances. A Dance That Empties, as the title implies, adds the distinctly new element of complex rhythmic pulses precisely and expressively executed by Cleaver, that compel listeners to lose themselves in the hypnotically repetitive yet subtly shifting grooves.
With A Dance That Empties, Laplante and Cleaver throw themselves into unknown territory, delving further into the devotional intensity that has long distinguished both their work.
Travis Laplante on Subtle Degrees:
“Playing in this duo with Gerald is by far the most exposing musical experience I’ve ever had. I think it feels so raw and vulnerable because it has a similar nakedness to playing solo, while at the same time I’m completely relying on and needing to stay connected with Gerald, no matter what. It requires 100% trust in another person, as well as myself. Our respective parts in A Dance That Empties are so meticulously interwoven that it can potentially be disastrous if one of us makes even a tiny mistake. It feels like the riskiest piece I’ve ever written in terms of the psychological, emotional, physical and sensory demands.”
ITSNOTYOUITSME was formed in Harlem, NYC in 2003. Members Grey McMurray and Caleb Burhans met while attending the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. They played in various musical settings together while in school, including a large improvising group called Dialects, heavily influenced by ambient, free-jazz and post-rock musics. Grey and Caleb moved to New York soon after and formed itsnotyouitsme as a means of continuing the aesthetic and objectives of Dialects. In order to create a large sound with the new stripped-down instrumentation, they began using looping devices, which play a significant role in performance as well as in the compositional process. Along with their own material, itsnotyouitsme has since performed works by composers ranging from J.S. Bach to Philip Glass.
The duo has released four acclaimed albums on New Amsterdam, walled gardens (2008) and fallen monuments (2010), everybody’s pain is magnificent (2011), and This I (2013). They have been called “gently mesmerizing” (Time Out New York), and “lush and evocative” (The Very Short List). walled gardens was listed as one of the best CDs of 2008 and regarded as “meltingly beautiful” by the New York Times.
Active as a composer and performer, Molly Joyce’s music has been described as “impassioned” (The Washington Post), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “energetic, heady and blisteringly emotive” (Paste Magazine). Her works have been commissioned and performed by several distinguished ensembles including the New World Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and theNew Juilliard, Decoda, and Contemporaneous en
Her debut EP, Lean Back and Release, was released in January 2017 on New Amsterdam Records to much acclaim. Featuring violinists Monica Germino and Adrianna Mateo, the EP was praised as “energetic, heady and blisteringly emotive” by Paste Magazine and “arresting” by Textura. Additionally, Molly’s piece Rave was included on pianist Vicky Chow’s recent album on New Amsterdam, and the work was subsequently featured on Pitchfork and WNYC’s New Sounds.
Past seasons have seen commissions from performers such as Avi Avital, Vicky Chow, The Riot Ensemble, Mike Truesdell, Present Music, and the Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble, among others. Additionally, Molly has received grants from New Music USA, the Jerome Fund / American Composers Forum, and has held residencies at ArtCenter/ South Florida, De Link Tilburg, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Willapa Bay AiR.
As a performer, Molly often plays on her vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay and has performed on in multiple capacities; including solo, with toy piano, and with a beatboxer. She is additionally active as a DJ, spinning under the moniker “DJ MJ.”
Molly has studied at The Juilliard School (graduating with scholastic distinction), the Royal Conservatory in The Hague as a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Grant, and the Yale School of Music.
Photo Credit: Nir Arieli
No Lands (Michael Hammond) is an electronic musician, producer, and songwriter living in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in West Tennessee, Hammond studied jazz guitar and recorded several albums of original music on his family’s desktop computer. Hammond’s debut album as No Lands, Negative Space, was praised as “startling stuff” by PopMatters (8.0 review) and “one of the most thrilling headphone experiences of this year” by Tome to the Weather Machine. The album was also named the best electronic album of the year by the Brooklyn Rail. As a sound artist, Hammond has collaborated and performed with Shara Nova, So Percussion, the Kitchener‐Waterloo Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, Residentie Orkest, and Signal in venues including The Kitchen, Le Poisson Rouge, Zankel Hall, and the Kaufman Center. Most recently, Hammond worked with composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, contributing sound design to her two song cycles, Penelope and Unremembered. Hammond is currently working on the next No Lands album.
Photo Credit: JM Harper