Susan Alcorn/Chris Corsano/Bill Nace, Erik Ruin's OCE & A/U
Susan Alcorn/Chris Corsano/Bill Nace trio: One of the world’s premiere musical innovators on her instrument, Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. Known among steel guitarists for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Alcorn soon expanded the vocabulary of her instrument by studying modern classical music, the deep listening of Pauline Oliveros, Astor Piazzolla’s nuevo tango, free jazz, and world music. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression.
Chris Corsano is a drummer who has been working at the intersections of collective improvisation, free jazz, avant-rock, and noise music since the late 1990’s. He began a long-standing, high-energy musical partnership with saxophonist Paul Flaherty in 1998. Their style, which they occasionally refer to with (semi-)tongue-in-cheek humor as “The Hated Music”, infuses modern free-jazz’s ecstatic collectivism with the urgency and intensity of hardcore punk.
A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to concentrate on his solo music, an always-spontaneously-composed amalgam of extended techniques for drum set and non-percussion instruments of his own making incorporated into his kit. In February 2006, Corsano released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, and Japan. He spent 2007 and ’08 as the drummer on Björk’s Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, C. Spencer Yeh, and Jandek.
Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, including a duo with Michael Flower, Vampire Belt (with Bill Nace), Rangda (with Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and his solo work, further expanded in its use of contact microphones and synthesizers. In 2017, he received the prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist Award.
Corsano’s dedication to collective improvisation led to collaborations with many kindred spirits and resulted in his appearance on over 140 records and 1000 live performances. In addition to the the musicians mentioned above, he’s worked with, among others: Paul Dunmall (released by the label: ESP-Disk), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), Okkyung Lee (Open Mouth), Mette Rasmussen (Hot Cars Warp Records & Clean Feed), John Edwards (OTOroku & Dancing Wayang), Sylvie Courvoisier (Relative Pitch), Nate Wooley (No Business & Astral Spirits), Jim O’Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City & Polystar), Merzbow (Family Vineyard), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Heather Leigh (Volcanic Tongue), Ken Vandermark (Audiographic), Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand).
Bill Nace is an artist and musician based in Philadelphia PA. He has collaborated with an extraordinary range of musicians, including Michael Morley, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano, Jooklo Duo, Chris Cooper, John Truscinski, Thurston Moore, Jake Meginsky, Jessica Rylan, Paul Flaherty, Wally Shoup, and Kim Gordon, with whom he regularly plays as one half of the duo Body/Head. Their latest LP “The Switch” will be released released on Matador in July . He has been a featured musician in festivals such as ATP (curated by Jim Jarmusch and held in Monticello, NY), Colour Out of Space(Brighton, UK), Supersonic Festival (Birmingham, UK), International Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville, QC), and Homegrown (Boston, MA). He has performed in a wide variety of venues, running the gamut from the Musee d’Art Contemporain (Strasbourg, France) to The Stone (NYC) to Bennington College (Vermont). Nace’s range has been described as “ veering from sculptural, almost Remko-Scha-esque chime to Loren Connors-style elegance in only a few short moves.” (Mimaroglu Music, 2010). Recordings can be found on Ecstatic Peace (Northampton, MA), Ultra Eczema (Belgium), Holidays (Italy), 8mm (Italy), Throne Heap (VA), HP Cycle (Toronto, ON), as well as on Nace’s own label Open Mouth
Erik Ruin’s Ominous Cloud Ensemble: Erik Ruin’s Ominous Cloud Ensemble is an ever-evolving, collectively-improvising large ensemble for projections and music, led by visual artist Erik Ruin, recently lauded by the New York Times for his “spell-binding cut-paper animations.” Erik manipulates intricate paper-cuts and painted films on overhead projectors to create abstract landscapes and fragmentary scenes that are nonetheless charged with meaning, merging with music that ranges from dark atmospherics to ecstatic peaks of dissonance. Members of the ensemble include a rotating cast of Philly’s finest musicians, who have collaborated with everyone from Anthony Braxton to the Sun Ra Arkestra, Chris Forsyth to Bardo Pond.
Eric Arn/Margaret Unknown: Explosive free-guitar veterans Eric Arn (Primordial Undermind, Bird People) and Margaret Unknown ((In) The Abyssity of Grounds w/ Linda Sharrock) will be touring the US as a duo this fall. For 10 years, Eric Arn and Margaret Unknown have been exploring the outer reaches of improvised music with results as fascinating as they are audacious. Using any and all techniques, discarding conventional foundations, they eliminate boundaries between psychedelic explorations, freedom music, abstract noise, and contemporary composition. They are releasing their first duo LP ‘Paranza Corta’ on Feeding Tube Records in summer 2018.
Admission is FREE; donations appreciated at the door