May 302013
 
Photo by A. Howes, Copyright 2009.

Photo by S. Howse, Copyright 2009.

Here’s episode 103: Tim Barnes and William Tyler artist showcase, recorded July 13th, 2012.

Chris Davis organized a fantastic show at the Downtown Presbyterian Church featuring free jazz legends Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston. He also booked Louisville-by-way-of-New-York experimental percussionist Tim Barnes and Nashville guitarist William Tyler to perform that night, and that duet is what you’re about to hear. We released the Weston / Watts recording as episode 92.

Jesse Jarnow at AllMusic writes,

Tim Barnes emerged in the late 1990s, contributing to indie rock staples like the Silver Jews and the Elephant 6-affiliated Essex Green, as well as pop-fancying avant-garde mainstay Jim O’Rourke. . . He hovered on the edge of Sonic Youth’s world, as well, joining the band for their deeply psychedelic Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui release and serving as occasional member in Lee Ranaldo’s Text of Light.

As a Louisville resident Tim has played with The For Carnation, MV+EE, Wooden Wand, Jason Ajemian, R Keenan Lawler, Jim Marlowe, Jordan Richardson, and Steve Good.

William Tyler is the founder of the excellent local record label Sebastian Speaks , member of Lambchop and the Silver Jews, and a session guitarist for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Tim Chad and Sherry, Laura Cantrell and others. He just released his new instrumental album The Impossible Truth on Merge Records, and it’s been getting rave reviews. You can buy it via the Merge records online shop or your local record store.

Incidentally, William is performing a free outdoor show this Sunday, June 2nd, 4pm at Dragon Park. Details here. On Monday, June 3rd, he’ll be introducing the film Heaven’s Gate at the Belcourt Theatre prior to the 7pm screening. Thanks to Sam Smith for tipping me off to these events.

May 082013
 
Thomas Lehn & John Butcher, St. Louis, 06-08-2012. Photo by Joseph Raglani

Thomas Lehn & John Butcher, St. Louis, 06-08-2012. Photo by Joseph Raglani

For the 100th Theatre Intangible podcast, we’ve been saving a very special performance: the Thomas Lehn and John Butcher artist showcase.

This is a recording of their spectacular June 7th, 2012 performance at Downtown Presbyterian Church. Thomas and John very graciously allowed me to release the recording as a  podcast.

This rare event was organized by Brady Sharp, Chris Davis, and David Maddox.

Here’s an excerpt from my Nashville Scene Critic’s Pick:

“Thomas Lehn and John Butcher are two of the most important players in the European free improv scene. Lehn plays unearthly sounds out of an EMS Synthi A, a unique 1970s analog synthesizer that supplants the Moog-style patch bay for a matrix of Battleship-like resistor pegs. His sputtering, crackling, and at times combative timbres are just as unique as the instrument he plays, and a far cry from the soothing tones of ambient electronic music.

If Evan Parker is the pioneer of extended saxophone technique, John Butcher is the lab scientist. Formerly a theoretical physicist, Butcher meticulously catalogs every sound he discovers on the sax — and I do mean every sound. Where most musical adventurers remain content mapping out the big spaces in the middle, Butcher charts every crack, crevice and blind alley. He’s famous for treating the room as an extension of the instrument (having recorded in caves, oil tanks and underground reservoirs), and you can be sure the amazing acoustics of the chapel at DPC will play a big part in both players’ performances.”

The acoustics of the space did play a big part of the performance. The reverb you hear on the recording is in fact the chapel’s natural room reverb.

This was a very special performance, and I’m indebted to Brady, Chris, and Dave for putting the show together and to Thomas and John for bringing their talents to Nashville.

Also, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the talented performers who have ever appeared on Theatre Intangible. 100 episodes down. Here’s to 100 more.

As always, thanks for listening.

Apr 102013
 
Dane Khan and Lakha Khan.

Dane Khan and Lakha Khan.

So many great shows have been happening in Nashville lately that I haven’t been able to keep up with them all. Concurrence’s Greg Bryant had a hand in bringing the legendary organist Dr. Lonnie Smith to town. (By the way, check out Greg’s excellent new podcast JazzWatch.) Chris Davis organized a show with Carter Thornton, Malocchio, and Grandpa Egg. And Sunday brought Michael Holland’s magnum opus in art curating: VORTEX and the BAD BOY!

If you missed any of those shows, don’t fret. The rest of April is loaded to the gills with rare opportunities!

On Friday, April 12th, there’s the legendary jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter at Schermerhorn. Ben Ratliff of The New York Times called Shorter “jazz’s greatest living composer.”

Chris Davis organized at least three amazing lineups in the coming weeks, including Saturday at Betty’s Bar & Grill: The Wrest Trio (Jack Wright/Evan Lipson/Ben Bennett) and Craig Schenker/Tommy Stangroom.

Jack Wright is the legendary underground experimental saxophonist whom Davey Williams called “the Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation.” (Yes, I’ve used the word “legendary” three times so far. It’s the right word in all cases.) To see a force of nature like Jack Wright engulf the tiny room at Betty’s, well that’s just an experience you can’t afford to miss. The saxophone/percussion duo of Craig Schenker and Tommy Stangroom open the show.

The very next night, catch, yes I’ll say it, the fourth legend this month:  Ustad Lakha Khan at the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Lakha Khan plays the sindhi sarangi, a bowed North Indian folk instrument with a tone similar to the human voice.

Lakha Khan, 63 is a sarangi player and vocalist, and perhaps the greatest exponent of the sindhi sarangi. He was born in the village of Raneri in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India into a family of traditional musicians from the Manganiyar community. He was trained at an early age by his father Tharu Khan and later, by his uncle Mohammad Khan, in rendering the compositions of the Multan school of Manganiyars. His first public performances were in the late 60’s and 70’s under the guidance of the late Komal Kothari, a highly regarded Indian historian and ethnomusicologist. Today, Lakha Khan is one of the last remaining Manganiyars to have mastered this complex instrument and to carry forward the centuries-old musical tradition of Rajasthani folk and Sufi music. He has performed extensively across Rajasthan and India, and internationally in the U.S. and Europe. — Amarrass Records

Nashville’s Kirby Shelstad opens the show on tabla and vocal. Chris Davis organized.

On Tuesday, April 23rd, DJ’s Pub & Grill welcomes Chris Corsano, Leslie Keffer, and The Cherry Blossoms. Percussionist Chris Corsano is a member of Drag City’s Rangda and plays in a duo with saxophonist Paul Flaherty. He was a touring musician with Bjork and was featured on her album Volta. He also recorded with Evan Parker, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke, Jandek, and C. Spencer Yeh.

Leslie Keffer is an internationally-known noise artist who currently calls Nashville home. The Cherry Blossoms describe themselves as “Middle Tennessee’s finest anarchic post neo-skiffle collective specializing in kazoo-exotica.” Keffer and Chris Davis organized this show.

In addition to all of that, we at Noa Noa are hosting an Electro-Dance party featuring Nudity, Scale Model, and The Prime Ordeal on Friday, April 19th. Nashville Film Festival pass-holders get in free. This show isn’t experimental per-se, but it does feature three great acts incorporating electronics into their sound. This will be the first public performance by The Prime Ordeal, an electronic duo comprised of Robert Amsbary and Shawn Jenkins who “explore exotic and subconscious soundscapes through an improvised medium of rhythmic sample looping, steeped in elektronische musik and pseudo-musique concrète.” For those of you in Huntsville, Alabama, catch rising stars Nudity the very next day at Happenin Fest 2013 at Lowe Mill.

Sep 072012
 

Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston live in Vancouver, July 3, 2011. Photo by Peter Gannushkin.

On today’s podcast, I’m incredibly excited to have legendary British free jazz pioneers Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston!

Saxophonist Trevor Watts, along with drummer John Stevens, is co-founder of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, a loosely-knit group of free improvisers first assembled in London in the mid-60’s. The SME’s influence in the avant garde and free improv communities cannot be overstated. Members at various times include Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Julie Tippetts, Robert Calvert, Kenny Wheeler, Roger Smith, Nigel Coombes, Maggie Nichols, Colin Wood, Dave Holland, Barry Guy, and Kent Carter. In addition to his work in the SME, Trevor formed the groups Amalgam and Moiré Music ensemble and has performed with jazz greats such as Steve Lacy, Don Cherry, and Archie Shepp.

Pianist Veryan Weston performed with Trevor Watts in Moiré Music and on the duet album 6 Dialogues. He’s also played with the Eddie Prévost Quartet, Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton, and John Butcher.

On Friday, July 13th, 2012, Watts and Weston performed together at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. It was a phenomenal experience. Trevor and Veryan very kindly gave me permission to record and release the performance, and that’s what you’re about to hear.

I recorded the show with two Shure SM58 Beta vocal microphones hard panned left/right, mounted high on mic stands placed in the second pew of the Chapel. The mics went directly into a Marantz digital field recorder. The room’s natural reverb sounds just about right two pews from the performers.

In post, I added a light amount of compression, turned up the left channel a little, edited out pauses between songs, and that’s about it.

Without further ado, here’s Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston live at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Enjoy!