Tag Archives: John Zorn

A bright, musical — and FREE — way to end a dull, gray Tuesday

Miller Theatre’s Pop-Up Concerts are back

Ugh. It’s pretty grim to realize it’s only Tuesday. And what a nasty Tuesday it has turned out to be.

But there’s something happening tonight that’ll put a drink in your hand, a smile on your face and send you back out into the world with a head full of music: Pop-Up Concerts at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

And it won’t cost you a dime.

Here’s the deal: One Tuesday a month, this very cool program takes over the theater for a quick, casual get-together that ends in a very cool concert. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Grab a free drink (thanks to Harlem Brewing Co.) when you get there, and hang out with fellow music lovers until the show starts at 6.

Tonight’s program is Minimalism’s Evolution. Sure, it sounds a little heady, maybe even academic. This is happening on an Ivy League campus, after all. But this series isn’t like any college course you might remember. Pop-Up Concerts let you get up close and personal with the artists in an informal performance that lasts just an hour.

Be sure to save the dates of the next two installments of Pop-Up Concerts: Nov. 13 of 120 Years of Solo Piano and Dec. 11 for John Zorn for Strings.

Tonight you’ll get three members of the awesome Ensemble Signal: Courtney Orlando on violin, Lauren Radnofsky on cello and Paul Coleman on sound.

Read on for the full program and all the details you need to get there. Continue reading

Hey, Buke and Gass, ummm, GASE, are back with new music

Thoughts on a name change

Buke and Gass keep their feet busy, too. (Photos © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)


It’s been more than a year since Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?  mentioned Buke and Gass. We’re overdue.

Arone Dyer on buke.

Maybe you’ve already noticed that there’s something different about this intense duo — their name. They’re now Buke and Gase, in what appears to be a slightly sad surrender to phonetics.

For those who have been paying close attention, the morphing began late last fall when the band posted this brief, cryptic bulletin on its website:

October 26 – Just played a show in Canada and our name is morphing.

But the reality didn’t sink in until we saw announcements for the band’s May 4 appearance at The National‘s Bryce and Aaron Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry series at BAM. We thought somebody had made a typo. On further investigation, we discovered the band had indeed changed the spelling.

Aron Sanchez on gass.

Although the pronunciation of the band name was easy to remember once you knew what it stood for — baritone ukulele=Buke, while guitar+bass=Gass — it appears the second half of the name was too often the butt of jokes rhyming with ass. So Arone Dyer, who plays the buke, and Aron Sanchez, on gass, gave in and changed the spelling.

But they didn’t change the sound, as you’ll hear on this great preview track from their next album, which they hope to release in September.

If you can’t make it to Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, or you just want more Buke and Gase, check out the lineup they’ve curated (they’re not listed as performing, just curating) through May 15 with Terry Riley‘s son Gyan Riley, at The Stone, John Zorn‘s music venue in Manhattan’s East Village.

Erik Friedlander brings his show back home

Erik Friedlander performs at The Stone in NYC this Spring

Erik Friedlander performs at The Stone in NYC this Spring

Cellist Erik Friedlander is bringing his multimedia show  Block Ice and Propane back home to Rockland County, N.Y., this Sunday when he performs at the Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA).

Block Ice is a cycle of compositions based on the road trips that New City native Erik’s family took every summer in a camper atop a 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck. Erik couples his music with images to give the audience a chance to share his childhood experiences. While Erik plays, the audience will see projections of photos taken famous father, photographer Lee Friedlander, who still lives in Rockland. If it weren’t for Lee’s work, Erik might never have taken the summertime road trips that inspired Block Ice.

If you don’t know Erik’s work, come knowing that this won’t be a conventional, classical concert. Erik is one of the world’s premier experimental cello players. He coaxes an amazing array of sounds from his cello. He takes what he likes from classical, jazz and pop, unfettered by conventional rules. And he’s not shy about working with other musicians in all genres, either. He’s collaborated with artists as varied as performance artist Laurie Anderson and indie rockers The Mountain Goats.

Erik is keeping his RoCA show intimate to fit the space, but it’s worth noting that he has created another, larger-scale version of Block Ice with Bill Morrison, an experimental filmmaker. The full-blown version, designed for bigger venues, couples Lee’s images with Bill’s new videos of some of the places the Friedlander family traveled.  He’ll be performing this version in December at the Wexner Art Center in Columbus, Ohio, and the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis. (See WYMMWIG‘s previous post about Erik.)

In the RoCA show, Erik tells WYMMWIG:

“I will have more freedom to pick from my repertoire to perform pieces I don’t get a chance to play in the usual ‘Taking Trips To America’ show. Things like Carlos Santana’s Golden Dawn, Eric Dolphy’s Serene and Arthur Blythe’s Lower Nile are all tunes I love to play and haven’t had a chance recently.”

“Also there’s all the [John] Zorn Volac, Masada Book II music that is also in play. So, though there aren’t any films, there will be images from the family trips and a whole lot of cool music I look forward to playing.”

Erik Friedlander performs at 2 pm on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Rockland Center for the Arts, 27 South Greenbush Road, West Nyack, N.Y. More information is available here. Call (845) 358-0877 for tickets. $20/$15 for RoCA members.