Friday, June 11, 2010

The Friction Brothers, KAMAMA, and Benjamin O’Brien


Hz Collective presents The Friction Brothers, KAMAMA, and Benjamin O’Brien

Saturday, June 26, 2010
8pm
$5
The Bridge PAI
209 Monitcello Rd.
Charlottesville, VA

The Friction Brothers (Michael Colligan, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang) are perhaps the only dry-ice/cello/percussion trio in the visible world. Begun in 2005 to perform improvised works that explore their love of scraping, rubbing, hitting and freezing various objects to the point of vibration, they have appeared at a number of questionable venues in Chicago. While often sounding like electronic music, they make all their sounds mechanically. To produce these sounds each member has developed an expansive vocabulary of extended techniques. Zerang has raised the back scratcher to an essential component of the modern drummers stick collection. Colligan, warms up metal objects and the super cools them on a block of dry ice making them vibrate in the audible range. Lonberg-Holm’s grind tone remains an unexplainable phenomena by acousticians.

Although the trio is a relatively new group, the members have worked together extensively for over 15 years in a wide variety of settings from the seminal lower case 4tet Pillow to the internationally known free improvised jazz powerhouse Peter Broetzmann’s Chicago 10tet.
Their first CD was released by the Sort Of Records imprint Abstract On Black. They are currently working on a second release due out on the Flying Aspidistra label in June to coincide with their first North American tour.

Fred Lonberg-Holm currently lives in Chicago where he works with a
wide variety of musicians in as many situations as possible. Current
and ongoing projects include the Valentine Trio (with Jason Roebke and
Frank Rosaly), the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, Ken Vandermark’s
Territory Band, Frame Quartet and Vandermark 5, Joe Mcphee’s Survival
Unit III (with Michael Zerang), Friction Brothers (Colligan,
Lonberg-Holm and Zerang), The Boxhead Ensemble, Horses Ha (Janet Bean
and Jim Elkington), Flatlands Collective (w/Jorrit Dykstra), Tony
Malaby’s Cello Trio, Vox-Arcana, Sherpa, Keefe Jacksons Fast Citizen’s
as well as numeorous one off ad-hoc groups.
Improvisors he has worked with include Clare Cooper, Charlotte Hug,
Andrea Neumann, Shelly Hirsch, Carrie Shull, Carrie Biolo, Birgitte
Uhler, Rachel Wadham, Mary Halvorson, Joelle Leandre, Joanne Powers,
Zeena Parkins, Judy Dunaway, Lotte Anker as well as a number of guys.
He also leads a revolving cast large ensembles under the name
Lightbox Orchestra.
He has studied composition with Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton,
Pauline Oliveros, Bunita Marcus and Noah Creshevsky and cello with
Orlando Cole and Ardyth Alton.

Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois and is a first generation
American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician,
composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised
music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater,
experimental theater, and international musical forms. He has
collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other
multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards
for Original Music Composition in Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000. He
has over sixty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and
internationally since 1981 with and ever-widening pool of
collaborators. He was the artistic director of the Link’s Hall
Performance Series from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts
of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other
forms of forward thinking music. He continued to produce concerts at
Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick
Maker in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 – 2005. He has
taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates
to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of
Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts
Center; courses in Composer – Choreographer Collaborations at
Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull
House. He has held workshops in improvisational music and percussion
technique and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music
composition, and percussion technique.

Michael Colligan uses dry ice as an instrument. He made the discovery
you could make sound with dry ice while working his first job at
Baskin Robbins as a scooper.
He has also played various homemade and traditional reed instruments.
Past and current projects include Math ( Mr. Quintron, Monotrona), The
Flying Luttenbachers (Weasel Walter, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kurt Johnson),
Pillow ( Liz Payne, Ben Vida, Fred Lonberg-Holm), Corine (Kevin Drumm,
Matt Weston), Friction Brothers (Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang),
and other fleeting groups. He has improvised with numerous people over
the years including Taku Sugimoto, Ken Vandermark, Rhodri Davies,
Hamid Drake, Frank Rosaly, John Butcher, Carrie Biolo, Jim O’Rourke,
Jeb Bishop, Phill Niblock, Radu Malfatti, Sean Meehan, Sarah
Washington, Jeff Parker, and many others. He was a host for the
Improvised Music Workshop at Myopic Books in Chicago for many years,
and currently resides in that city.

KAMAMA is Luca Marini (drums/percussion) and Audrey Chen (cello/voice/electronics)
kamama in cherokee means both elephant and butterfly. there is no overlap in meaning other than the supposed resemblance of the long trunk and flapping ears to the proboscis and wings of that insect. this duo loosely embodies elements of this kind of disparate pairing. chen and marini combine the raw energies resultant from and continuously growing out of their respective histories and experiences. since their first encounter early this year in 2010, they have been forming a new language which steadily deepens, evolves, converges and exposes their inherent similarities and striking differences. it is ecstatic music. it is contrary music. and at times, they depart completely from one another as two distinct creatures, but then are drawn back into the fold of an undeniable tenderness and comprehension.
— for sound go to: www.myspace.com/audreychen

AUDREY CHEN is a Chinese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic.
Now, using the cello, voice and analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of a homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language.

Recently, her primary focus has been her SOLO project but she is also involved in many various collaborations. Among musicians, she has worked with Phil Minton, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ko Ishikawa, Elliott Sharp, Aki Onda, Phill Niblock, Frederic Blondy, Jerome Noetinger, C. Spencer Yeh, Alessandro Bosetti, Mats Gustafsson, Mazen Kerbaj, Michael Zerang, Tatsuya Nakatani, Le Quan Ninh, Joe Mcphee, Susan Alcorn, Michele Doneda, Paolo Angeli, Gianni Gebbia, plus many more. Some current projects include: duos with Phil Minton, Luca Marini (kamama), Frederic Blondy, Robert van Heumen (abattoir), Katt Hernandez (Isabel), Nate Wooley (heave and shudder), and Id M Theft Able. Trio with Nate Wooley and C. Spencer Yeh. Plus three new quartet projects with Jeff Carey/Morten J. Olsen/Raed Yassin, Miya Masaoka/Hans Grusel/Kenta Nagai and also with Frederic Blondy/Michael Johnsen/Jerome Noetinger.

Chen has performed in Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Canada and the USA. She is currently based in Baltimore, MD USA but primarily maintains an active touring schedule throughout Europe.
www.myspace.com/audreychen

LUCA MARINI (1982) is a German/Italian drummer who mostly grew up in France and is now based in New York (USA). After studying jazz and improvised music at various conservatories and music colleges in Europe and North America he developed his own language and approach to percussion while living in Berlin (D).

He performed and toured in Europe and North America playing improvised music, jazz, rock and electronic music with bands and artists like the GRIPI collective, SONIDO13, INEZEBA, Spyros Manesis trio, Nicolas Masson, Roberto Pianca, Tom Blancarte, Dario Fariello, Matan Gov Ari, Louise D.E. Jensen, Johannes Lauer, Raoul van der Weide, Wanja Slavin, Filippo Giuffré, Gael Navard, Natalio Sued etc…

Current bands include the duo HERBERT ECKARDT with Danish saxophonist Louise D.E. Jensen, the duo BLIN with Dutch guitarist Jasper Stadhouders, KAMAMA with Chinese-American cellist and vocalist Audrey Chen, CAVEX from Brooklyn, The LITTLE from Germany and TATUNE from France.

Other collaborations include works with Matt Meade, Kenny Warren, Tom Blancarte, Xavier Lopez, Vilijam Nybacka, John Stanesco, JMSU, Frans van der Hoeven etc …
www.myspace.com/lucamarini
Benjamin O'Brien

Benjamin O’Brien is a composer and performer. His compositions are
inspired by the polarity of chance and certainty that, although are
inherently antagonistic in principle, can be adeptly manipulated to
form a cohesive musical expression. Specifically, he is interested in
composing works which are finite with respect to the sound sources and
transformation procedures, but indeterminate in their performance of
such operations. Benjamin writes both acoustic and
electro-acoustic/computer music (Max/MSP, SuperCollider), and performs
regularly with Vanessa & Her Many Moons, League of Art Game Composers
(LAG), The Sexy Ultimatum All-Star Society, and Moby & The Dicks. His
compositions have been performed in the US, France, Italy, Scotland,
Portugal, and New Zealand.

Benjamin recently received his Masters of Arts in Music Composition
from Mills College. He studied composition and improvisation with Fred
Frith and Roscoe Mitchell, electro-acoustic/computer music with John
Bischoff and Chris Brown, and tonal and post-tonal theory with David
Bernstein.

Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University
of Virginia in May 2006, though his musical talents and passion were
present even then. As an undergraduate student, Benjamin explored jazz
guitar and improvisation with John D’Earth and Michael Rosensky, as
well as Post-Tonal orchestration and computer music with Ted Coffey.

In Fall 2010 Benjamin will begin course work at the University of
Florida for a Ph.D in Music Composition.

26 comments:

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