The Squid's Ear Magazine


Gregorio, Guillermo / Brandon Lopez: 12 Episodes (Relative Pitch)

Known best for his Chicago trios, Argentinian born clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio joins forces with New York contrabassist Brandon Lopez for 12 "episodes" of free improvisation that never loses track of a jazz basis, both players using an arsenal of techniques, from circular breathing to extracting sound from the physical forms of their instruments.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Guillermo Gregorio-clarinet

Brandon Lopez-contrabass


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UPC: 5902249001280

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR1080
Squidco Product Code: 26949

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Barker Studios, in Houston, Texas, on June 15th, 2017, by Andrew Barker.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Guillermo Gregorio (clarinet) and Brandon Lopez (contrabass) play freely across twelve tracks lasting 39 minutes on 12 Episodes. I love duos because each player is given ample time and space to really display their personality and still engage in player to player communication. The duo is a rare and welcome format for these two; I believe this is Lopez' first recorded duo and Gregorio has only recorded the format with Paul Giallorenzo on Multive

"Guillermo Gregorio (clarinet) and Brandon Lopez (contrabass) play freely across twelve tracks lasting 39 minutes on 12 Episodes. I love duos because each player is given ample time and space to really display their personality and still engage in player to player communication. The duo is a rare and welcome format for these two; I believe this is Lopez' first recorded duo and Gregorio has only recorded the format with Paul Giallorenzo on Multiverse and Ran Blake on Something To Live For. The duo do well for themselves and I hope it's the first of many meetings, especially considering Gregorio's penchant for developing lasting relationships with physical, violent strings (e.g. Fred Lonberg-Holm and Kent Kessler) and Lopez' penchant for playing such strings.

The 12 tracks are structured in such a way that the first two thirds of the recording last as long as the last third, with the earlier vignettes having only enough time to explore one thread though they navigate few thematic changes in the longer tracks too. Despite the tracks' structural monotony, each one is timbrally rich. Gregorio cuts up mellifluous lines with overblown distorted tones, circularly breathes furiously flurried flights, and utilizes key clicks, air notes, tongue clicks, and perhaps some light voicing. Lopez switches up his typical, physical arco by tapping the strings with the bow, sawing below the bridge, tapping and rubbing the body, preparing the bass by threading something through the strings, plucking the strings so hard they buzz against the neck, rubbing the strings so hard the flayed sound is almost like a chair creaking (think Raging Bull), and splaying out bowed tones' chroma like a prism disperses a ray of light. And though there aren't many thematic changes to listen to each other for, the communication between the two is present and prompt, with each player matching the cadences and complimenting the textures of the other.

Beyond the somewhat limiting structure of the takes, my only criticism is that Lopez tends to resort to a walking - or rather lumbering - bassline when Gregorio falls back to more mellifluous playing, and I think some syncopation or unequal time would have complimented Gregorio's more subtle angles a bit better. However, this is a rich, colorful study from two masters that's just as much fun as Gregorio's legendary Hathut run or Lopez' recent exceptional work, including this year's Old Smoke with Steve Baczkowski and Chris Corsano (also on Relative Pitch)."-Keith Prosk, The Free Jazz Collective

rse and Ran Blake on Something To Live For. The duo do well for themselves and I hope it's the first of many meetings, especially considering Gregorio's penchant for developing lasting relationships with physical, violent strings (e.g. Fred Lonberg-Holm and Kent Kessler) and Lopez' penchant for playing such strings.

The 12 tracks are structured in such a way that the first two thirds of the recording last as long as the last third, with the earlier vignettes having only enough time to explore one thread though they navigate few thematic changes in the longer tracks too. Despite the tracks' structural monotony, each one is timbrally rich. Gregorio cuts up mellifluous lines with overblown distorted tones, circularly breathes furiously flurried flights, and utilizes key clicks, air notes, tongue clicks, and perhaps some light voicing. Lopez switches up his typical, physical arco by tapping the strings with the bow, sawing below the bridge, tapping and rubbing the body, preparing the bass by threading something through the strings, plucking the strings so hard they buzz against the neck, rubbing the strings so hard the flayed sound is almost like a chair creaking (think Raging Bull), and splaying out bowed tones' chroma like a prism disperses a ray of light. And though there aren't many thematic changes to listen to each other for, the communication between the two is present and prompt, with each player matching the cadences and complimenting the textures of the other.

Beyond the somewhat limiting structure of the takes, my only criticism is that Lopez tends to resort to a walking - or rather lumbering - bassline when Gregorio falls back to more mellifluous playing, and I think some syncopation or unequal time would have complimented Gregorio's more subtle angles a bit better. However, this is a rich, colorful study from two masters that's just as much fun as Gregorio's legendary Hathut run or Lopez' recent exceptional work, including this year's Old Smoke with Steve Baczkowski and Chris Corsano (also on Relative Pitch)."-Keith Prosk, The Free Jazz Collective



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Artist Biographies

"Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1941, American composer and clarinet player Guillermo Gregorio has lived variously in Europe and the United States since 1986. Leading his Chicago-based trio and other ensembles, Gregorio has performed extensively, and his compositions have been recorded on numerous CDs by the Swiss label hatART and the American labels New World Records, Atavistic, and Nuscope, among others. His works have been played by noted New Music ensembles in the USA and Europe, among them Makrokosmos Ensemble (Switzerland) , Ensemble N_ER (EU), International Contemporary Ensemble (USA), Fonema Consort (USA), and the Maverick Ensemble (USA). In addition, as an instrumentalist, Gregorio has worked with many experimental and improvisational groups, including those that recorded the music of Cornelius Cardew, Anthony Braxton, and Philip Corner, among other contemporary composers (see discography for details).

As a composer and improviser, Gregorio has collaborated with Fred Lonberg-Holm, Ran Blake, Steffen Schleiermacher, Steve Swell, Jim O'Rourke, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustaffson, Axel Dörner, Josh Abrams, Jeff Parker, Jason Adasiewicz, Carrie Biolo, George Graewe, Franz Koglmann, Thomas Lehn, Heiner Reinhardt, Le Quan Ninh, Akikazu Nakamura, Ab Baars, Sebi Tramontana, Mary Oliver, Klaus Koch, Gene Coleman, Enrique Gerardi, Paulo Alvares, Vinko Globokar, Makrokosmos Quartet, François Houl, and Stephen Dembski, among others.

He participated in the Argentine experimental music scene throughout the 1960s, '70s, and early '80s. His involvement with New Music included both composing and playing clarinet, saxophone and miscellaneous instruments in the Movimiento Música Más (Fluxus Group), the Experimental Group of Buenos Aires, and the Group of Contemporary Music of La Plata, featuring Fluxus events, multi-media spectacles, environmental pieces, and experimental concerts. Some of his earlier work in Argentina is available in the CD Guillermo Gregorio: Otra Música. Tape Music, Fluxus and Free Improvisation in Buenos Aires 1963-70 (Atavistic UMS/ALP209CD). After leaving Buenos Aires Gregorio had the opportunity to experience the European creative music scene of the middle '80s, i.e. the fruitful convergence of Free Jazz and 20th-century music and its interconnections with visual art. The interaction with composers and artists of that milieu constituted an indelible mark in his further explorations.

Gregorio-a visual artist himself-has frequently explored the intersection of visual and musical experience. His involvement in visual arts and design is a central influence in his music. In his series entitled "Madi Pieces" and "Coplanars" (1999-2005) Gregorio used Constructivist and geometrically generated ideas in scores ranging from conventionally notated material to graphic systems and open structures. In these compositions, a reinterpretation of the fundamental and structural concepts of Constructivism converges with the historical experiences of Argentinean Conceptualism, Fluxus, intermedia synthesis, and graphic realization. In January 2001, he founded the Madi Ensemble of Chicago, which performed original and historical scores that draw from the conceptual foundation of diverse Argentinean avant-garde currents. His scores related to that period have been exhibited in numerous shows at galleries and institutions, among them the Block Museum of Art (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL), Chelsea Museum of Art (NY), Kettle's Yard Gallery (University of Cambridge, UK), and Elastic, Sound & Vision Gallery (Chicago). Some of Gregorio's works belong to the permanent collections of the MADI Museum and Gallery in Dallas, Texas, and the Centre d'Art Geometrique MADI in Paris. His works have been published in Leonardo, Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, Notations 21 (Mark Batty Publisher), Noon Literary Annual, and other specialized publications. His series of pieces entitled "Otra Música" (2005 to the present), composed using conventional notation, focus on history and critical issues as well as syntactic aspects of texts and music. Still maintaining the openness of the works from the former period, the name of the series-"Otra Música"-refers to the title of a monthly column on experimental and avant-garde sounds that Gregorio wrote for a specialized magazine in Buenos Aires during the early '70s. Currently, Gregorio's interests are related to improvisation and "composition in real time" playing clarinet, in addition to the aforementioned compositions.

Gregorio has a degree in Architecture, and has worked as a graphic designer. As an educator he taught history and theory of architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and history of industrial design and visual communication at the University of La Plata, Argentina. In the USA he has taught history of 20th-century art and art appreciation at Purdue University North Central, Indiana, sound improvisation at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and worked as advisor of Grad Projects in the Sound Department of that School. At the present time Gregorio teaches History of Communication Design at Columbia College, Chicago."

-Guillermo Gregorio Website (https://ggregorio.com/biography/)
4/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"[..] Composer/bassist, Brandon A. Lopez, deemed "The Ubiquitous Free Improv Bass Ace" by the Village Voice and said to play with a "Bruising Physicality" by the Chicago reader.

He was born and raised in the splendors of Northwestern New Jersey, in the shadow of the (New York) city. It was there that he cultivated a taste for the left of center musics and subsequently, dug graves.

He's had the pleasures of working with many of the world's luminary weirdos. Here's a list: Nate Wooley, William Parker, Chris Corsano, Justice Yeldham, Weasel Walter, Peter Evans, Tyshawn Sorey, Gerald Cleaver, Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, Paul Lytton, Mette Rasmussen, Jooklo Duo, Michael Foster, Leila Bordreuil, Jaimie Branch, Joe Morris, Brandon Seabrook, Cactus Truck, John Dykeman, Daniel Carter, and many others.

He's currently leads a trio dubbed "The Mess", another one called the Brandon Lopez Trio, works as a soloist and is formerly/currently/latterly writing more and more music. He may play some it sometime soon (see "gigs").

He attended New England Conservatory."

-Brandon Lopez Website (http://www.brandonlopez.nyc/)
4/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Episode 1 1:20

2. Episode 2 1:43

3. Episode 3 1:52

4. Episode 4 3:00

5. Episode 5 1:58

6. Episode 6 2:46

7. Episode 7 2:16

8. Episode 8 4:04

9. Episode 9 8:00

10. Episode 10 3:31

11. Episode 11 6:55

12. Episode 12 3:39

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Chamber Jazz

Search for other titles on the label:
Relative Pitch.


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