Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On the Lookout for New Sounds

This Sunday (May 6), the Wesleyan University Experimental Group presents the Broadcloth Trio (pictured left) and bassist/composer Carl Testa in concert at 8 p.m. in the Russell House, 350 High Street in Middletown, CT.  Broadcloth is Anne Rhodes (voice), Nathan Bontrager (cello) and Adam Matlock (accordion) and the sounds you hear have myriad influences; like all good improvisatory music, it changes with each performance.  Ms. Rhodes has a wonderful, pliant, voice that can reach great heights yet never sounds shrill or harsh.  Both she and Bontrager are members of Professor Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra while Matlock creates music in a number of different settings (from electronic music to "neo-cabaret to tango and klezmer.) 

Carl Testa, also a member of a number of Professor Braxton's ensemble, is the curator of the Uncertainty Music Series (held in various in New Haven - see below) as well as a solo artist. He creates works for acoustic bass and electronics that he calls "textural and melodic ambient music", drawing the listener in to a different yet engrossing sonic world.  Testa also has performed with the members of Broadcloth separately and together as well as in a duo setting with experimental guitarist Christopher Riggs, in the works of choreographer Rachel Bernsen and organist/composer Brian Parks.  

Sunday's show is free and open to the public - for more information, go to www.carltesta.net.

The day before the Wesleyan performance, Ms. Rhodes will debut a new work at 2 p.m. in the Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford. Commissioned by the Hartford New Music Festival, this fascinating piece is a combination of textiles and sound, an 8 foot by 2 foot piece of sliver burlap stretched over an artist's canvas frame on which Ms. Rhodes will embroider (in her words) "graphics... in the form of a flowchart, allowing the musicians to move through choose paths between cells of information."  Scheduled to perform with the vocalist/embroiderer are cellist Bontrager, accordionist Matlock, bassist Testa along with Ben Klein (tuba), Bill Solomon (percussion), Maura Valenti (harp) and Libby Van Cleve (oboe). To find out more about Anne Rhodes work with design and sound, go to annerhodes.net/news/.

The Uncertainty Music Series continues on Wednesday May 9 with a concert featuring the Scott Clark Quartet. Drummer/composer Clark and his group - saxophonist Jason Scott, trumpeter Bob Miller and bassist Cameron Ralston - are part of the burgeoning jazz and improvised music scene based in Richmond, Virginia.  As one might deduce from the instrumentation, the band (formed in late 2010) was initially influenced by the classic Ornette Coleman Quartet on the late 1950s and early 60s.  One can hear by the music on Clark's website (scottwclark.wordpress.com/listen/), the band has already begun to move into its own territory.

The SCQ plays at 9 p.m. in Elm Bar, 372 Elm Street in New Haven.  For more information and a look at the upcoming schedule (including a rare appearance by New Haven native guitarist Michael Gregory on Wednesday June 6), go to uncertaintymusic.com.

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