Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taka Kigawa Performs Pierre Boulez' Complete Solo Piano Music August 25, 2014 at le poisson rouge New York City

From a media release:

Taka Kigawa, piano 
Performing Pierre Boulez' complete solo piano music
August 25, 2014 at 7:30 PM
at le poisson rouge


Get tickets

NEW YORK CITY -
Critically acclaimed pianist TAKA KIGAWA will present a solo piano recital with the program of Pierre Boulez Complete Solo Piano Music. He will perform Twelve Notations, First Sonata, Second Sonata, Third Sonata (including a rare performance of “Sigle”), Incises, and Une page d’éphéméride.

Pierre Boulez will turn ninety years old this coming March, 2015. To honor and celebrate his musical legacy and artistic achievements, this season and the upcoming season Taka Kigawa is touring worldwide with the Pierre Boulez Complete Solo Piano Music program. Recently he performed the program at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of the most celebrated concert halls in the world, and the concert was a huge success. Pablo Gianera, the critic for the Argentine major newspaper La Nacíon wrote, “Kigawa, whose rhythmic sensibility is truly astonishing, proved to be a real master,” “(Second Sonata) one of the best works that Boulez has ever written, and seldom has it sounded more focused than in Kigawa’s version” and “(Third Sonata) Taka Kigawa as an expert negotiator between freedom and restriction.”

Pierre Boulez’s piano pieces have been Taka Kigawa’s specialty. He has performed those pieces in public numerous times worldwide, and has received lots of acclaim from both critics and audiences alike. The New York Times hailed him, as “It was music of Mr. Boulez that spurred him to greater intensity and spontaneity. Mr. Kigawa’s feat deserves the highest praise, especially since it was combined with such alacrity and sensitivity to the musical material” and “Mr. Kigawa recast the (Boulez’s) sonata as an essay in how to apply suppleness to virtuosity, and the result was an energetic but also characterful account.” And Pierre Boulez himself highly praised Kigawa’s playing his works as “I was very much impressed by the brilliant way he performed them. He was precise, and at the same time inventive.” This recital is promised to be one of the most memorable concerts in the current season.

Taka Kigawa has steadily built his reputation as one of today’s most compelling young artists, renowned as much for his superb musicianship as for his courageous programming. Recently The New York Times described him as “A phenomenon. There’s no denying that he’s something special.” Since winning First Prize in the 1990 Japan Music Foundation Competition in Tokyo, and the 1998 Diploma Prize at Concurs Internacional Maria Canals De Barcelona in Spain, he has performed extensively both as a recitalist and soloist with orchestra in many prestigious venues all over the world, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Cité de la Musique and Salle Gaveau in Paris, and Plau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona. He has collaborated closely with such renowned musicians as Pierre Boulez, Unsuk Chin, Myung-Whun Chung and Jonathan Nott, to name a few. His performances and recordings have been broadcast over many television and radio networks, including WQXR-FM in New York. Mr. Kigawa received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Shinsyu University in Japan, and continued his studies in New York at The Juilliard School, where he holds a Master of Music degree.

All Ages
Doors Open: 6:30 PM
Show Time: 7:30 PM
Seated: $25 advance, $30 day of show
Standing: $20 advance, $25 day of show

Indie Artists: CD Baby Makes CD Baby Pro Available in Canada, Increases Potential Royalty Revenue

From a media release:

Northward Bound: CD Baby Makes CD Baby Pro Available in Canada, Increases Potential Royalty Revenue for More Indie Artists

CD Baby Pro, the one-stop toolkit for indie musicians seeking publishing administration and the income streams publishing generates, is now available to Canadian artists. Canadian musicians can opt in to collect royalties via CD Baby, thanks to a new relationship with SOCAN, the Canadian Performing Rights Organization (PRO), and an ever-deepening collaboration with international rights administrator Song Trust. This means more independent artists in North America can tap into substantial, often unclaimed pools of money.

CD Baby Pro launched last year (April 2013), and unexpected payouts for independent musicians point to the importance of publishing administration. One example: NYC-based indie rockers The Orion Experience got a check for $1800 out of the blue, for UK mechanical royalties, money they had no idea they were owed but that CD Baby Pro was able to collect on their behalf.

“A lot of folks, even those who work in the music business, don’t realize that the main money engine has always been on the publishing side,” notes CD Baby’s Director of Marketing Kevin Breuner, whose background in the songwriting-driven Nashville scene helped him gain this awareness. “The recording and touring side is what the public sees and that’s what people tend to think is the main revenue driver. But it’s the copyright and the rights associated with the songs that generates the most revenue.”

Though vital to artist revenue, publishing and mechanical rights are convoluted, and the organizations charged collecting royalties are frequently ill suited to working directly with musicians and small labels. Yet publishing and mechanicals promises to be the source of new and growing streams of income for indie musicians, as the digital revolution resolves into what may be a more transparent, indie musician-friendly industry.

“More and more types of music usages are generating publishing revenue,” explains Breuner. “And a lot of musicians and rightsholders don’t realize this. On Spotify, for example, if without publishing administration, artists will get a fraction of a penny per stream. They miss out on a mechanical royalty owed to them, if they wrote the song, money they can’t collect unless they have a publishing administrator.”

That’s where CD Baby comes in, the industry leader in connecting indie musicians with the full spectrum of professional services and income opportunities. Drawing on a strong relationship with international leaders in publishing and royalties administration, Song Trust, CD Baby looks to continue its international expansion, offering publishing and other high-value tools to artists in the UK and other markets over the coming months.

CD Baby sees this move as part of its overall mission: showing how the new music environment can benefit indie artists. “In the past, a lot of publishing royalties have been swept under the rug, eventually paid out in blanket sums to major labels,” opines Breuner. “Now, it’s easy to account for things one for one. Spotify can tell us a track played, even if it’s only once. That track deserves all the same protection and treatment as something that got a million plays. No matter how many sales or streams you generate, you have the same rights.”

Recently Released: Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World (Eternal Mind Records - June 23, 2014)

Recently Released:
Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World
(Eternal Mind Records - June 23, 2014)

Get the CD - and name your own price


Based in Asheville, North Carolina these days, Matt Townsend got his start busking on the streets of Burlington, Vermont about four years ago before graduating to coffeehouses and other venues in the area. It seems entirely appropriate that his debut full-length CD "Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World" should be a crowd funding success, featuring 9 tracks and a full band. He previously released a solo EP, "What Light Shall Be" in November 2012 and he's been busy playing in the northeastern U.S. and as far as Ireland since then.

This is straight up folk/folk-rock music that will appeal to any Dylan or Neil Young fan along with a new generation of listeners looking for insightful lyrics and a laid back folkie groove. This isn't a throwback album, but rather a continuation of the genre into the present. Matt counts Bob Dylan, Neutral Milk Hotel,  Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, William Blake and others as his influences even as he's clearly a citizen of the 21st century.

I've rode 10,000 miles
Like a man of many trials


He tips his hat to traditional songs like Man of Constant Sorrow in the title track. Matt's vocals were made for this music - strong and strident with a bit of a twang but nuanced when the phrasing calls for it and the addition of the full band - including slide and acoustic guitar, singing saw, harmonica and more - keep that country/roots swing churning along.

He's unabashedly sincere in his approach, with a straightforward delivery that emphasizes melody and harmony with a catchy rhythm. Carry On is a highlight, with its rich organ and violin and country choir back-up vocals.

Matt's lyrics are universal in approach and philosophy with clever and poetic turns of phrase. He's observational in the tradition of great folk music.

...the space between truth and masquerade...

Your television screen
Will never set your soul at ease


Tracks like Desire Like A Lion cross into the territory of personal stories and romance.

Because a lot of what was true
Would simply be unkind




He pays attention to both the words and the music, featuring enough variety in theme, mode and tempo to avoid any sense of repetition. Hollow City Streets features an interesting rhythmic foundation.

The tracks are largely up tempo with a few exceptions; slower tunes that focus more on his voice like Wind Without The Rain with its minimalist arrangement of piano and violin. He mixes up the instrumentation in a way that offers interest but remains true to his sound. In terms of theme and mode, he can convincingly go from the anthemic Love I'm Coming Home to the New Age-y Gratitude In Being.

Matt Townsend continues down the road of greats like Dylan and Young from the golden years of folk, bringing the music to contemporary sensibilities intact.

Members/Instruments:
Matt Townsend-Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Jamie Bright- Bass, Piano, Organ, Back Vocals, percussion
Tim Carman- Drums
Rachel Keyser- Violin, Backing Vocals
Johnnie Day Durand- Musical Saw
Jeremy Hammond- Acoustic Bass, Backing Vocals
Casey James Saulpaugh- Pedal Steel Guitar
Peter Bixby- Bass Guitar

Tracklisting:
1. Seventh Story
2. Carry On
3. Hollow City (Free Me to My Soul)
4. Wind Without the Rain
5. Takin' a Moment
6. Desire Like a Lion
7. The Garden Where the Grass Forever Grows
8. Love I'm Coming Home
9. Gratitude in Being

Websites:
www.MattTownsendMusic.com,
www.facebook.com/matttownsendmusic

Mountain Xpress and Sherwood's Music Present: Matt Townsend and the Wonder of the World from Mountain Xpress on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Glitch: Experimental Electronic Artist 1700 Monkey Ninjas

Experimental Electronic Artist:
1700 Monkey Ninjas

Get the new single


Well that's what art is, innit? Is you being free of all the world's heaviness.

Slagg II, the latest single release by 1700 Monkey Ninjas (1700MN) opens with a sample of British comedian Karl Pilkington intoning one of his more notable observations. Quirky, evocative, the message is entirely in keeping with the ethos of both the piece and the 1700MN body of work.

1700MN’s output since mid-2012 has been prolific and has consisted of self-produced indie audio releases available via the usual routes on iTunes and Amazon.com along with a series of some 40 videos that he’s released via his Youtube channel.  The videos feature his music paired with one of his digital art pieces. Like his music, the digital designs use a variety of eye popping techniques and colours in an abstract, post-modern fashion.

If the earliest waves of electronic artists helped to explore and establish the range of sounds available, subsequent waves are able to play with a vast repertoire of noise in creating their works. 1700MN’s work falls fairly neatly into the category of glitch, featuring the stuttering beat pioneered by late 1990's electronic artists. His work has been likened to that of some of the early greats of the genre like Kid606 and Like Vibert (aka Wagon Christ).

1700MN’s earlier releases range from heavier electronic assaults to tracks that combine melody and a danceable rhythm into the mix. Critics and music writers have gotten creative in describing his work – "…at times sounds like Rustie being put through a broken blender and played backwards over a broken, overdriven Burial record." – (http://www.crossradar.com/1700-monkey-ninjas-slagg-ii/)

Glitch finds its inspiration in sonic detritus; the sounds are normally edited out of an audio recording, and has come to include sampling and found noises. The range of sounds 1700MN uses includes analog and digital distortion, sampled material, cartoon and vintage video game noises.  There are vinyl stops and starts, machine noises and electronic hum. Like many other experimental glitch artists, 1700MN’s work has an intellectual rather than a visceral appeal, featuring elements of minimalism, techno and digital collage. What began as an underground movement has become mainstream and 1700MN comes as a new wave of the genre, confidently exploring the full range of possibilities in the context of easily accessible new media culture.  

His video output – uploaded to his Youtube channel between August 2012 and November 2013 – combine his digital art (albeit static, an odd choice for a video channel) with the music in characteristically short tracks in the 3 minute range and often less than 2. The video tracks tend to develop one theme/mode in various permutations rather than exploring multiple genres or approaches.

1700MN often uses flashes of humour, both in the choice of sounds (like cartoon and video game noises) and in snippets of dialogue. thuperin' thuckotash features cartoon sampling and dialogue. In some tracks like ehgooggkienendal (another video track), the mix actually approaches traditional song territory. But, before the conventional groove can get roots, it’s broken up and turned into noise.

Many of the tracks, in particular the video pieces, use a strong rhythmic element to glue the various other components together. The original track slagg appears in his Youtube channel, uploaded  October 13, 2012. It’s a playful piece that bashes its way to the end with a combination of noise over melodic piano samples and a danceable/tranceable beat . Flashes of conventional music mixed are happily married to the electronic noise.

The pieces often use playful pop culture references like vintage video game sounds and cartoons and most tracks have whimsical or made up names like Urk, Eenoo Meenoo Muhnoo Moo or
Phrysteel. However, the work does turn serious on occasion like the obviously politically-minded video UStaythe FUCKouttaSYRIA. In it, a cacophony of computer noises percolate over the sound of talking heads on the news. It's repetitive with a purpose and works to get the message across.

Slagg II, his newest release pushes the sound into even more abstract territory. Here the stuttering beat precludes a conventional groove and the moving kaleidoscope of sounds has a distinct sense of fun about it. The electronic meandering ventures into the danceable only to bash away noisily, from squeaks to hisses to gaming sounds, occasionally lapsing into a melodic passage. It’s imbued with a sense of constant change and experimentation that is maturing with the artist and 1700MN’s prolific output.

The broken, stuttering grooves flit from one idiom to another in a crazy ride of noise. While the effect is pell-mell, the trip along quality means that the genres flow into each other – a percussive section into a repetitive, trance-like section into full frontal noise.  The track plays with the genres, juggling sounds and flitting seamlessly from one to another at a dizzying pace. He goes through a dozen genres, deftly spliced together in a kinetic arrangement. Like the original slagg, it combines analog and digital sounds to create the idiosyncratic idiom. It’s not background music by any stretch of the imagination.

While glitch as a genre has come under fire in recent years for becoming too predictable and obtuse, 1700 Monkey Ninjas comes as a rejuvenating influence. Abstract yet accessible and appealing, the creative energy of 1700MN elevates it above the level of the mundane.

Alongside his work as 1700 Monkey Ninjas, 1700MN – aka Ed Purchla –has recorded music under his own name in a singer/songwriter vein.  His digital designs are available on a wide range of merchandise from t-shirts, bags and stickers to cups and posters. His digital art similarly features a whimsical, cartoony sensibility in a bright and appealing palette and include 1700 Monkey Ninja logo items.

Videos available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh2t7nf8MVbwdSfYuNHUNMw

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/1700monkeyninjas

Discography (available on iTunes or Amazon.com):
  • Slagg II - single - Feb 26, 2014
  • Consupiscent Chaos - Dec 21, 2012 (Full length release)
  • at the height of all human indecision EP - August 31, 2012
  • Cycle of Immeasurable Indifference -August 7, 2012 (Full length release)
  • Sherful - Single - Released June 23, 2012
  • 3 little wishes EP - June 15, 2012

Friday, July 18, 2014

CD Review: Eric Frisch' Goodbye Birdcage (Independent - April 14, 2014)

CD Review: Goodbye Birdcage
(Independent - April 14, 2014)
Eric Frisch - vocals, piano, guitar, bass, percussion

Buy the CD


I found myself humming the tune to Pretty Girls and some of the other songs on Eric Frisch's release Goodbye Birdcage hours after I'd listened to the CD. Eric's obvious love of that bright, innocent pre- and early-Beatles era pop music lights up this collection.

He lists his many influences from the Beatles, Beach Boys, Sam Cooke and the Four Tops to Bob Dylan and Jackie Wilson and credits his parents back home in Toronto for introducing him to the music early on. He's been in New York City for two years now and released Goodbye Birdcage at a concert at Webster Hall. The self-produced release is his first full-length CD.

Naturally, it features a sixties pop standard instrumentation of the classic four-piece guitar-drums-bass-vocals along with a horn section and back-up chorus here and there. His vocals are pop-lite and convey the appropriate youthful longing and angst through a trippy and rose-coloured lens. The lyrics are G-rated - no tales of brushing your teeth in whisky  here - with a thread of understated humour in some songs like Telephone. The song follows the telephone tag adventures of lovers who can't quite get together for years but then ends with the pair in one house and throwing out the phone.

I'll just say things to your face
I'll just say things to your face...


He does capture the upbeat innocence of that era with a straight-faced take on it and a more modern sensibility to the lyrics. It's easy to find yourself swaying back and forth or tapping a finger to the catchy melodies. The title track is an inspirational pop ballad that features piano and a more soulful, heartfelt vocal approach.

Learn to Swim - directed by Steve Tonti:



"Goodbye Birdcage is a throwback to 50s and 60s pop productions. I wanted to create an album that was true to my biggest influences like the Beatles and the Beach Boys and reminiscent of the classic Motown sound. I wrote all of the songs in a two week span, and I wanted the album to tell a story. The title track, “Goodbye Birdcage,” is about leaving my home in Toronto behind and moving to New York City to pursue music," says Frisch in a media release.

The rhythm section trips along underneath the melodies in songs with a repetitive structure, with an easy to figure out chorus that you might be singing along to.

The drawback in a single artist recording all the parts to the all the songs is that it can miss the synergy of energies that will happen in a band or even in the studio. In The Sun in Santiago, there's a nice, jazzy arrangement with horns that gives a nod to Fifties-era pop-rock but the vocals float on top of it, curiously separate from the groove. They don't swing with the music and it has a kind of dulling effect.

There's a Celtic flair in the song Heaven Only Knows, but it's muddied by an odd arrangement with whistling crowds in the background and a fuzzy back-up chorus. The country-rock swing of Stick Around and Mary Ann - an uptempo ode to the woman who turns a boy into a man - works more succesfully.

All in all, Goodbye Birdcage is easy on the ears, hum along pop music. The last track, All Over Town is a highlight. Here all the pieces come together seamlessly in a love song where...

My heart goes, but my feet won't follow...

Pretty Girls - directed by Steve Tonti

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off Broadway: Brad Fraser's Love and Human Remains Opens July 21 2014

From a release:

Off Broadway: Brad Fraser's Love and Human Remains
Opens: Monday, July 21st 2014
Closes: Saturday, August 2nd 2014
730PM performances
Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons
416 West 42nd St - New York, New York 10036
Phone +1 212-564-1235

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NEW YORK CITY - Here's the Official Trailer for LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS by Brad Fraser - playing this summer at the Peter J Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons 7/21-8/2. Tickets on sale at TicketCentral.com. We are expecting a sold out run. Do NOT miss this edgy, provocative experience that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

Love and Human Remains by Brad Fraser is an edgy, provocative, dark-humored drama about the intertwined lives of seven individuals. Starring Frances Brennand Roper, Zach McCoy, Kerri Lynn Miller, Nicholas Baroudi, Paul Castro Jr, Cassandra Paras and Dan Almekinder.

From Brad's website:

David McMillan is a former actor, current waiter watching his twenties tick away. Together with his book reviewing roommate Candy and his best friend Bernie, David encounters a number of seductive strangers in their search for love and sex. However the games turn ugly when it appears one of their number might be a serial killer.

Electro Latin: Héctor Guerra Releases Fantazy Video from the Upcoming Album Desde el Infierno

From a media release:

Electro Latin:
HECTOR GUERRA presents the new video of the new song from his upcoming new album to be released January 2015


Buy the single

Los Angeles, CA - July 9th.- FANTAZY is the first single of HECTOR GUERRA's upcoming new album, which will be called "Desde el Infierno" [From Hell"] and it will be released in January 2015.

One of the major figures of Electro Latin takes us through a musical trip with FANTAZY, which goes from the elements of Cumbia, Banda Sinaloense, Dancehall, Trap,  House, Reggae, and Hip Hop. This first single has been produced at Artco Studios (México Df)  by Marco Moreno (The Who, Paulina Rubio,  Wyclef Jean, London Symphony Orchestra, Moderatto, Natalia Lafourcade)

The video was beautfully shot in the Coast of Nayarit, Mexico and was directed by Benjamin Ramauge and Eva Aguilera.

FANTAZY comes out after an extensive two-year tour, presenting his first album AMOR, which was praised as one of the best independent latin album of 2012.

Amor Tour took Héctor Guerra through México, USA and Europe, taking with him a Bomba De Amor (Bomb of Love) to a lot of cities around U.S. and Mexico, to Paris and Toulouse and as the opening acts for shows with Molotov and Panteón Rococó among many other. In addition, Héctor Guerra took part of prestigious international festivals such as  SXSW in Texas, and in front of thousands of people at Cumbre Tajín, Veracruz (México) or Festival Rio Loco in Toulouse, in front of over 50,000 people  with the Grammy nominated band, Sistema Bomb.

The tour dates for Héctor's upcoming U.S. Tour will be released shortly.