2008 Anno El Possible
DC’s mad monthly laboratory for sonic surprises
New Technology, New Spirit, New Energy, New Music.
Sunday, Dec 7–Guitarrorism Special!
LAST SHOW AT GWU LOCATION!!
Alan Licht — Solo permutational guitar from legendary NYC veteran of numerous solo & ensemble projects, including Run On, Love Child, Blue Humans & Ass Run, documented on labels such as Drag City, Atavistic & Siltbreeze.
The Plums — Forged in the crucible (2001) of the cut-throat Arlington basement improv/indie/freakrock scene, The Plums got laptop, guitars, bass, drums and etc. Featuring members of Hat City Intuitive, Spaceships Panic Orbit, etc, The Plums’ 2 guitar attack brings the noise & makes the de rigeur “rock” instruments scream again with real life.
Field Shaman — DC sonic explorers Rich Sheehe and Doug Stailey find new ways to present guitar and cello in exciting duo music that somehow finds common ground between avant classical, rock, noise, and folk.
Anthony Pirog — Solo guitar excursions slipping between whatever cracks are leftover between avant jazz, avant rock and avant noise. One half acclaimed duo Janel and Anthony.
Nov 16–Croniamantal performs at Lyceum in Alexandria, VA!
Electro-acoustic free improvisation ensemble Croniamantal will be joining poets Anselm Berrigan, Charled Bernstein, Buck Downs, Mel Nichols, Tom Raworth, and others in a special tribute to experimental poet Rod Smith called “In Memory of my Theories.” This special event is produced by the Alexandria Performing Arts Association and Yockadot Poetics Theatre Project. The event will include readings, talks, performance, theatre, and music circling and celebrating the work of leading experimental poet Rod Smith.
“In Memory of My Theories” has nationally and internationally known poets Charles Bernstein, Tom Raworth, Nada Gordon, and more, coming to town to join Smith and others from the vibrant DC Metro-area poetry community in a genre-busting event celebrating the edges of poetic form. With “poetics theatre” by National Poetry Series winner Rodrigo Toscano, and experimental music by Croniamantal backing poets Smith and Mel Nichols.
Croniamantal — Named for the anti-hero of Guillaume Apollinaire’s surrealist novel The Poet Assasinated, El Possible’s first electro-acoustic free improvisation laboratory project gathers a set of local free improvisors and one avant garde poet to create some exciting new sounds. Current members include Pat Gillis (TL0741) on analog synthesizers; Amber Dunleavy (Echolalia) on theremin; Paolo Vallodolid on cello; Layne Garrett (Cutest Puppy in the World) on guitar and found stuff; Michelle Marcoccia (Ms. Conception) on didjeridoo and flute; and Jeff Bagato (Tone Ghosting) on cheesy keyboard and springamajig. Their bards for this incarnation will be George Mason U. poetry prof Mel Nichols and legendary DC avant garde poet Rod Smith, long holding it down as editor of Aerial/Edge magazine; his new book Deed was issued by University of Iowa Press. Rod was voted “DC’s Best Poet” for 2008 by Washington City Paper.
Schedule of artists:
3:30 Doors open
4:00 Buck Downs, Mark McMorris, Michael Hall, Adam Good, Lauren Bender, Chris Nealon, Gary Sullivan
5:30 Nada Gordon, Heather Fuller, Doug Lang, Tina Darragh, Peter Inman, Rodrigo Toscano
7:00 Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Tom Raworth
Croniamantal with Rod Smith and Mel Nichols
Rod Smith: In Memory of My Theories, featuring Croniamantal
Sunday, Nov 16 4-10pm
FREE! event–Donations accepted
201 S. Washington St.
Sunday, Nov 2–Platypus Dreams + Blue Sausage Infant + Beau Finley!
Platypus Dreams — Free improvisors Gary Rouzer (Vector Trio) and Jason Tremblay (Aleasthete) team up with Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group to explore chimerical phantasmagorias of sound and movement.
Blue Sausage Infant — The solo work of Chester Hawkins began in Washington, DC in 1986 as an outlet for sonic dada strangeness and harsh brutalism. In ’88, joined forces with the noise collective PYTHAGORAS, playing live at venues like the DCAC, BBQ Iguana, DC Space, and Dupont Circle’s Alternatives Festival. The return of solo works brought a new sound, blending harshness with the warm ooze of psychedelia. Using electronics, lo fi gadgets, and found sounds, the result blends nightmare noise, spacious trance, and surreal weirdness. This approach led to an explosion of activity in the late 80s and early 90s, including numerous cassetes and CDRs in limited releases. Live and studio collaborations included Lida Husik, Haunted Toilet, LD50, New Carrollton, The Happy Hollisters, Delta of Venus, Changes to Blind, and Stolen Government Binder Clip. 2008 marks BSI’s 20th anniversary and an new surge of recording and live performances, promising an unpredictable, hallucinatory stew of noises, drones, and loops.
Beau Finley — Decaying improv guitar loops played through multiple amps; soloist formerly with They Can Never Take Our Crow.
Sunday, Oct 12
Ben Miller/degeneration — Currently based in Brooklyn, Miller’s “degeneration” features a deconstructed electric guitar modified to stereo with multiple pickups. This set up was first used in the Michigan art band GKW (1982-1994), then with Chicago’s Dirty Old Man River (1997-2000), and now as solo and ensemble performance. He has released 4 CDRs, most recently Sirens of Phobos, which includes collaboration with SPIN 17’s Motoko Shimizu and Ed Chang. Miller’s musical history goes back 35 years to his time as guitarist in the post-psych rock quartet Sproton Layer with his brother Roger of Mission of Burma (69-71); as sax player with art-punk band Destroy All Monsters (77-78; featuring Ron Ashton of the Stooges and Michael Davis of MC5); and M3 (89-present, featuring brothers Lawrence and Roger).
Matt Weston — Phenomenal free improvising percussionist from Northhampton, Mass, returns with his singular kit comprised of timpani, metal percussion, and electronics. He’s asked Tone Ghosting to join him for an overthetop duo of clattering beats and intense electronics.
Baltimore Synthesizer DIY Variable Ensemble — The performance arts conspiracy aspect of the Baltimore/S.D.I.Y Group. this group was founded in mid-2008 by Logan Mitchell, Sr., as a way to foster communication and interaction in our electro-music community. Rapidly growing beyond the Baltimore area, it now has members scattered throughout the Balto. area, DC metro area, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland and continues to expand. The only prerequisite for membership is an interest in the art and science of the wide field of electronic music. Current members include builders, circuit-benders, modular, digital, analog, midi and more.
Tonight’s performers will be Logan Mitchell, Sr., Hal Schmulowitz, Robert Lorentz, and David Vosh. Logan/Hal and Robert/David will each perform as a duet, then close as a group improvisation quartet. Instrumentation will include analog and digital electronic musical instruments, analog modular synthesizer and homebrew/DIY electronics, and noise toys.
RDK — DC’s rhythm & noise uber-duo combine homebrewed and out-of-box electronics, noise & melodic elements to develop new soundworlds for electronic exploration.
Special Show–Sept 18–Croniamantal + readings by Michael Kimball and Danika Stegeman
Part of the Cheryl’s Gone reading series, held at Big Bear Coffee, 1700 First St, NW, WDC. Free show.
Croniamantal — Named for the anti-hero of Guillaume Apollinaire’s surrealist novel The Poet Assassinated, El Possible’s first electro-acoustic free improvisation laboratory project gathers a set of local free improvisors and one avant garde poet to create some exciting new sounds. Current members include Pat Gillis (TL0741) on analog synthesizers; Amber Dunleavy (Echolalia) on theremin; Paolo Vallodolid on cello; Layne Garrett (Cutest Puppy in the World) on guitar and found stuff; Michelle Marcoccia (Ms. Conception) on didjeridoo and flute; and Jeff Bagato (Tone Ghosting) on cheesy keyboard & springamajig. Their bard for this incarnation will be legendary DC avant garde poet Rod Smith, long holding it down as editor of Aerial/Edge magazine; his new book Deed was issued by University of Iowa Press. Rod was voted “DC’s Best Poet” for 2008 by Washington City Paper. Check out some of his work here.
Also on the bill: Baltimore fiction writer Michael Kimball, host of the 510 Reading Series celebrating the release of his new novel Dear Everybody, and poet Danika Stegeman, poetry editor of PHOEBE, George Mason U’s literary magazine.
Sunday, Sept 7
Nobu Stowe Duo with Alan Munshower and special guests — Baltimore-based dynamic duo of pianist Stowe and drummer Munshower power through Keith Jarrett’s “total-improvisation”* concept with aggressive flair and sensitive lyrical interplay. Stowe has been recording like crazy as a leader, with discs on Konnex and Soul Note, joined by Perry Robinson, and on his latest disc “An Die Music” (Soul Note) by Badal Roy, tabla player who worked with Miles Davis (among others). The duo will be joined by DC musicians Ted Zook on bass-cello and electronics and Daniel Barbiero on bass.
Bicameral Mind — Chapel Hill, NC duo of Bryce Eiman and Shaun Sandor, formed in 2007. Eiman has explored tape treatments, electro-acoustics, ambient and noise music for 20 years in various projects. Sandor has been performing ambient and electronic music as Promute since 2006 using field recordings, homemade junk and gadgets, and simple signal processors. Together, they enact Jaynes’ idea of the left-brain and right-brain working together to form a single output.
Macaroon Five — A collaboration among Arthur Harrison, Michael Engle, and Kevin Buckholdt. Their sounds are mostly electronic with much of it created by analog sequential oscillators, pseudo-random tone generators, and theremins made by Harrison’s manufacturing company. Complimenting these instruments are various synthesizers, both analog and digital, and a host of effect processors covering the gamut from now-antiquated 8-bit to more modern 16-bit high-fidelity devices. For good measure, cassette tape players are used for backing beats adn libretto. Harrison’s experience in electronic music goes back to the mid-70s, when he began experimenting with transistor circuits for making sound, eventually leading to his involvement with DC-area groups such as No-Thing, SGBC, Jobs for America, The Parlor Scouts, and currently, The Cassettes. Kevin Buckholdt and Michael Engle back Harrison’s theremin with their keyboards, sequencers, and other apparatus. While improvisational and free-form in nature, Macaroon Five nonetheless draws considerable structure from the members’ skillful, complimentary interaction. The result is music containing elements of poetry, melody, and rhythm, combined with refreshing sonic textures.
Aug 3–Random Access Rendezvous–free improv workshop & jam!! Back by popular demand!
A workshop project for improvisors playing either acoustic or electric sound sources. We’ll be conducting impromptu partnerships for on-the-spot conjury of dissonance, euphony, & zizania. Bring your axe and your skillz. Best to bring your own amplification if you’ll need it (as well as all patch cords, FX, power strips, etc). If you’re familiar with the “Volunteer Crap Shoot” hosted by Baltimore’s Red Room, you know what we’re after here. Bystanders welcome. This is a free event!
Chester Hawkins (videographer)
Sunday, July 6–Guitar Overload!!
DCIC — “DC Improvisors Collective is a trio exploring the intersection of jazz. contemporary composition and rock music. Their current line up features Ben Azzara (drums), Jonathan Matis (guitar), and Mike Sebastian (reeds). Drawing on the visceral energy and immediacy of rock music, along with the spontaneous creativity and subtlety of the jazz tradition, DCIC forges new music that possesses both great intensity and mindfull nuance.”–from the DCIC website. Jon Matis just finished a tour in a trio with Joe Lally (Fugazi bassist). And DCIC just released their first studio album, Triangulation.
PRV Trio — Duo guitar + drums attack covers many stylistice bases in the “avant rock” universe. Featuring the talents of Anthony Pirog and Ed Ricart on guitars and effects and Scott Verrastro on kit drums and little percussion. Pirog plays around DC regularly as a jazz player, and with the duo Janelle and Anthony. Ricart played in DC bands Contact-Contact and Motreb, and makes film music somewhere out in the boondocks. Verrastro is well known for his work in Kohoutek, backing Marshall Allen & Elliot Levin, and a million other projects, and for booking all the cool shows in DC.
Seventh Ring of Saturn — Atlanta based band careens from psych-pop gems to Turkish breakdowns before launching into deep space jams. Their LP features sweet psych-pop to Vangelis covers to improv freeqouts. They promise to deliver a healthy dose of the latter during their El Possible appearance. “Seventh Ring of Saturn is an intergalactic, suberranean psychoactive experience whose music segues from edgy cacaphony rooted in Miles Davis through intense, hard-driving rock ‘n’ roll rhythms and transcendental vocals like a cryptic spirit at haunt int the darkened recesses of the Fillmore West.”–Skip Williamson
Cash $lave Clique — Go go noise core madness links DC’s indigenous beat with the power noise mastered by the duo’s solo projects 36 and Rape Ape. As noted in Minneapolis City Pages: “This rudely named Virginia duo churn out a busy, techno-noise, machinist-mob hum that strongly recalls Yellow Swans at their electronic-blizzard best. Play loud.
Sunday, June 1
Blue Sausage Infant — Marking the 20th anniversary of BSI’s first cassette release and his return to DC, Chester Hawkins looks forward to making a “damned confusing racket.” BSI began as a solo project in DC in 1986, inspired by the European pioneers of “difficult music.” Hawkins eventually joined forces with the noise collective PYTHAGORAS, performing sets of orchestrated feedback, distorted tape-loops, and amplified aluminum ductwork at DCAC, BBQ Iguana, DC Space, etc.
Field Shaman — Creates new soundworlds touching on avant classical, folk, rock and drone by combining cello and guitar under the influence of a pile of FX pedals. Doug Stailey holds the cello and Rich Sheehe holds the guitar.
Violet — DC’s resident master of drone and proprietor of the Zeromoon record label uses unconventional sound sources (dry ice, warped turntables, autoharp, etc) to layer successive walls of noise into gargantuan citadels of shimmering light. Jeff Surak has released numerous recordings as Violet, and his other present/past projects include All Violet, V, and the 80s noise conglomerate New Carollton. Old skool still rules!
Sunday, May 4–Three Flavors of Electro-acoustic free improvisation
Angus Brainpan — Cheryl (guitar + efx, beats, vox) and Pat (electronics, beats) touch down with a new set of shoegaze-inflected trance states and noises without apology. Interstellar bucolic soundscapes commingle freely with rhythmic squalls. No web site, no recordings, you’ll just have to be there.
Geodesic Gnome — John Berndt’s conceptural Baltimore supergroup takes abstract music to a whole new level, with paradoxes-as-compositions, logically impossible scores, merging of totally unrelated areas of human cognition, foundationless games, and “Gnomic Utterances” which are so hard to parse they actually temporarily decrease a user’s intelligence. The group dissolves the categories of drama, language, music, film, lightshow, and sound effect in classically disorienting ways, while still managing to be a bunch of extremely talented and singular improvisors. They have been called “All Things to All People,” and “More Fun Than Theodore Sturgeon’s Liver.” With John Berndt, Sarah El Jallad, Ric Royer, Lexi Macchi, Mike Muniak, Samuel Burt, John Eaton, and Ciat-Lombarde.
Vector Trio — DC-based project designed to explore freedom and possibility in three voices, contextualized by cultural disharmony. The limitations of a trio are quickly dissolved by their use of looping devices which create infinite possibilities. Their latest direction, which began last summer, mixes industrial noise, extended improvisatory techniques, fractured funk, and film score techniques with a no-holds-barred approach to improvisation. VT includes: Scott Forrey–trumpets, effects, loops, percussion; Gary Rouzer–NS bass cello, effects, loops and preparations; Marshall Hughey–drums, electronics and landscape percussion. Also see their myspace page.
Sunday, April 6–Fifth anniversary show!
Experimental voice works
Jenny Graf — Baltimore based musician (and art professor!) Jenny Graf Sheppard creates vivid, compelling soundworlds using intuitive/primitive homebrewed electronics (including stuff built by Pete Blasser), guitar and voice. Jenny is one-half of the famed noise duos Harrius (with Chiara Giovando, great LP on Ehse Records) and Metalux (with MV Carbon, recordings on Hanson, Load and 5RC/Kill Rock Stars, etc).
BLK w/BEAR — J S Adams heads into a mountain range of drones as a setting for intense emotional, personal and political ideas drawn from Wilcox-Gay Recordio Discs and other prepared vinyl sources. (Recordio discs were homemade recordings created in photo booth-like setups where an individual could record their message/song and get one acetate recording out of the machine.) New BLK w/BEAR recording available for download: “Version 3” the third installment in Long Division with Remainders’ “14 versions of the same EP project.” Adams will be joined by regular collaborators Doug Poplin on cello + effects, and PD Sexton on bass and effects. Among other recordings, check out BLK w/BEAR’s collaboration with Rothko; one of their trax was even used on some TV show. Adams is also the instigator of the annual Queering Sound festival.
Croniamantal — El Possible’s first improvisation laboratory project gathered a set of local free improvisors and one avant garde poet to create some exciting new sounds. Four original members (Pat Gillis/TL0741, Amber Dunleavy/Echolalia, Paolo Vallodolid, and Jeff Bagato/Tone Ghosting) plus newbie Layne Garrett on guitar and found stuff. Their bard for this incarnation will be legendary DC avant garde poet Rod Smith, long holding it down as editor of Aerial/Edge magazine; check out Rod’s work here. Rod also promises to drag along a trio of visiting Russian poets.
Sunday, March 2
36 — DC power noise legend Sam Lohman brings a box full of stomp machines and drum boxes to unleash the maximal sonic mayhem of his 36 project, started in Osaka, Japan over decade ago. One half of Ca$h $lave Clique–who’s new CDR “White Props” (Panic Research Audio) will be available at the show. Sam’s also held down the drum kit for Acid Mothers Temple (no joke!) and sax legend Steve Mackay; toured as a member of noise supergroup Radon Ensemble, played drums in Osaka’s avant rock trio Nimrod, and cofounded Japan Overseas records. Respect!
Cutest Puppy in the World — Bryan Rhodes (B’more) & Layne Garrett (DC) explore emergent formes, extremes of saturated and empty space, scorched remnants of the familiar. Freely improvised music made with keyboards, guitars, found objects, & whatever’s within reach. “…a gloriously unkempt patchwork…gritty amp-hum claustrophobia…, chaotic ecstasy…, mangled, soulful kinetics…From this strange vantage point in the nexus of these disparate traditions and vocabularies, The Cutest Puppy manifest pieces of music whose range and depth is nearly as varied and limitless as the imagination itself…”–Germ Ross, Artnoise
MudPie — Avant-eclectic trio of Sergio Dalek, Tim Sickles, and Carlos Pazmino promise to do their “e-bow set”, one of many modes they’ve developed over the 2 years since they played El Possible. “The term Mudpie came to describe an experience in tonal communication which we may have unknowingly experienced when we were small children playing with sand, mud, sticks, rocks, and anything else to create our own little Utopia within the sphere of life….This is an opportunity to rekindle that innocence and liberation we felt as children and participate in the serendipitous harmony of the whole. We are all musicians, but more importantly, we are pulsators–a term to describe all of life within and around us which has not been created in isolation, but is a gift of universal harmony and balance.”–from their website.
Sunday, February 3–El Possible’s first book reading!!
Marc Masters — DC-based music writer reads selectrions from his new book No Wave (Black Dog Press)–a history of the 1970s underground scene that spawned Lydia Lunch, DNA, Mars, etc. Marc writes for Wire, Signal to Noise, and other publications. Books available for sale and signing!
Pierce, Putter and Rumble — Trio of GWU profs takes jazz to the 5th dimension. Includes El Possible sponsor Peter Fraize on sax, Jim Levy on piano, Steve Hilmy on electronics.
Safe 2 — Solo incarnation of local electro-acoustic improv unit using analog modular electronics PLUS video processing module. Full spectrum sound & vision experience!
Sunday, January 6
Mind Over Matter Music Over Mind — DC-based experimental electronics trio uses laptop, turntables and keyboards to create soundscapes of dynamic aesthetic and political consciousness. Features two members of the Transparent Productions crew bringing free jazz artists to DC. Tonite, MOMMOM will be performing to “Luma 1,” a new film by Michael Sargent. MOMMOM is: Chris Downing – freeboards, laptop; Bobby Hill – record players; Thomas Stanley – electrons. Bobby Hill also produces “The Other Side” on WPFW, playing avant garde jazz, hip hop and other musics.
Many/36 — Two DC outmusic legends together for the first time! Many Spaceships (Hat City Intuitive/The Plums/Spaceships Panic Orbit) and 36 (Cash Slave Clique/Nimrod/Acid Mothers Temple). Likely to include some combination of sax skronk, intense drumming, guitar noise, FX pedal abuse, and the unknown.
Nuss — Solo project of Piasa’s Scott Nussman plays sets “ranging from acoustamatic to harsh noise to songs using a drum machine, bass, and a sampler.”