March 2018

April 2018

May 2018
  • 8:00 PMPaul Metzger & John Saint Pelvyn pres. by Fire Museum
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    Fire Museum presentsPaul Metzger & John Saint Pelvyn

    Since way back in the 70s, Paul Metzger has been experimenting, playing his various art-instruments including his distinct heavily modified 23 string banjo. In 2003 he went public playing out sets of his own music, part old time strung out blues and raga’s and part deep listening compositions that wind their way through you inner ear. This is not however the limit…what he can do with his instruments live also includes clangorous, rapidly punctuated percussive workouts that blow audiences away. He pulls the listener inwards and then takes them out the backdoor to experience the other.

    “As an unaccompanied instrumentalist Paul Metzger’s banjo and guitar soundings straddle a bunch of specifically American idioms, from contemporary guitar soli through old-timey music and the extended modifications of devotional music of late 1960s exponents like Sandy Bull and The Electric Prunes circa Mass In F Minor. It also factors in raga modes and Eastern sonorities, highlighting the drone that connects American and Asian vernacular music. But Metzger’s obsessively modified instruments place him in the tradition of the American musician-composer-inventor à la Harry Partch and Harry Bertoia, though there’s something a little more hands on and gonzo to Metzger’s approach that puts him alongside DIY mavericks like Eugene Chadbourne and his electric rake, or Charlie Nothing’s dingulators – metal guitars made out of salvaged automobile parts.” –The Wire, David Keenan


    John Saint PelvynGuitarist, thereminist, singer, and player of some species of dismantled electrified folk, John Saint Pelvyn is a musical enigma of the best kind. At the root of his playing is something akin to traditional stride, but rich with quivering whammy bar wobble and shimmering feedback. He often plays the tailfin strings of his archtop like one would play harmonics, or retunes seamlessly mid-stream to create a shifting temperament across the length of a piece. An affinity for the likes of John Fahey or Loren Mazzacane-Connors can be heard here, but the comparisons quickly fall away as one takes in this ambidextrous musical sensibility. He will sing otherworldly vocal duets with his theremin while simultaneously accompanying himself fingerpicking, or will throw modulated feedback tones across otherwise inviting harmonic landscapes based on blues & folk motifs, overshadowing them with clouds of squelch that loom like an approaching post-noise squall, but that ultimately swell and punctuate more like the tone clusters of Henry Cowell or the lyrical saxophone of Frank Lowe.

    “When wandering the stage singing into the F-holes of his electric arch top bringing forth arpeggios of feedback, or waving the neck of his guitar in the vicinity of a howling theremin, indeed, he seems to be playing the very air itself.” – Electro Motive Records

    Forthcoming solo release on Seeland/Electro Motive:

    more links at:

    Admission is FREE. Donations will be humbly requested at the door. 

  • 8:00 PMArs Nova pres. Practitioner performs Steve Lacy's Hocus Pocus
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    Ars Nova WorkshoppresentsPractitioner performs Steve Lacy's Hocus PocusBen Goldberg, clarinetMichael Coleman, piano

    Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the Philadelphia premiere of Practitioner, performing the music of Steve Lacy’s 1986 album “Hocus Pocus.”

    Clarinetist Ben Goldberg’s studies and friendship with the late, great Steve Lacy became a deep, rich well of inspiration that he has continued to draw on for decades. The two met in Paris in 1985, while Goldberg was on tour with The Klezmorim. Goldberg hectored the soprano great until Lacy conceded to give him a lesson, at the end of which Goldberg walked away with a gift: a new record called Hocus Pocus. The album consists of six etudes for solo soprano saxophone, each dedicated to a single artist and discipline that Lacy found inspirational - from Harry Houdini (magic) to James P. Johnson (classic jazz piano) to Sonny Stitt (bebop). Lacy wrote that these pieces were “deliberately made so as to be hard to play. [T]hey also contain many of the characteristic 'licks' which comprise the language that I use." Under the name Practitioner (borrowed from the umbrella title for Lacy’s collection of music studies, of which “Hocus Pocus” is one book), Goldberg and pianist Michael Coleman perform this notoriously challenging music in homage to and celebration of Lacy’s contributions.

    The New York Times has noted that Ben Goldberg’s music “conveys a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising, the constant usefulness of musicians intuitively coming together and pulling apart.”

    Ben Goldberg was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo and studied with Joe Lovano in addition to Lacy. Since 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music" (SF Chronicle), Goldberg has shaped a career through curiosity and experimentation across many genres and styles. Goldberg is part of Invisible Guy; The Out Louds; Orphic Machine; Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home; Ben Goldberg School; and the Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen. He is a member of the avant-chamber jazz ensemble Tin Hat, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, and performs in a duo with pianist Myra Melford called DIALOGUE. Michael Coleman is a pianist, improviser and composer who has worked with Bay Area greats such as Scott Amendola, Marcus Shelby, and countless other improvising musicians and songwriters. Michael is the composer and bandleader of the groups Beep!, Arts & Sciences and CavityFang. In his songwriting project Michael Rocketship, Michael plays all of the instruments and utilizes his home studio as a compositional tool. Apart from performing and touring tirelessly with his own bands, Michael has toured the world with Chris Cohen, tUnE-yArDs, Sean Hayes, Miles Kurosky and Jug Free America.

    Admission is FREE 

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