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Estamos Trio (McDonas / Escobar / Tamez): Dire Warning (Relative Pitch)

Highlighting issues between the US & Mexican borders, Thollem McDonas' Estamos Trio presents their 2nd album, here with Carmina Escobar (vocals, electronics, guitarron), Milo Tamez (percussion, found objects, electronics) and Thollem (keyboard, vocals, clay pot) in a work commissioned by and recorded at the 2018 "Casa Tomada" (House Taken Over) in Santa Fe for SITE.

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product information:

UPC: 5902249002249

Label: Relative Pitch
Catalog ID: RPR 1101
Squidco Product Code: 28472

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at SITE, in Santa Fe, California, on October 19th, 2018, by Jono Manson.


Carmina Escobar-vocals, electronics, guitarron

Milo Tamez-percussion, found objects, electronics

Thollem McDonas-keyboard, vocals, clay pot)

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Artist Biographies:

"Carmina Escobar is an experimental vocalist from Mexico City who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She is on the Voice Arts faculty of California Institute of the Arts and is the co-founder and vocalist of "LIMINAR," a contemporary music ensemble based in Mexico City. Her work is shown regularly at Machine Project. Escobar is most widely known for her work on Massagem Sonora, which gained attention through its role in a large scale collaborative project of the Getty Museum in tangent with Machine Project. She has been awarded several grants and residencies including the Performer's Grant by the National Endowment of the Arts in Mexico twice, and the 2014 NFA Master Artist Grant."

-Wikipedia (

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"Milo Tamez. Born 1971 in an artistic family. San Luis Potosí, México.

An incessant researcher, Milo Tamez artistic envision urges for a renewed listening sensitivity on drumming and percussion music. He focuses on percussiveness phenomena in nature and reflects it on his inventive and creative approach to music. His study concentration relates to body-mind interwinding, and eukinetic and proprioceptive body-instrument interrelationship. Continuously exploring into new elements of compositional complexities of pure rhythm and sound in Nature. The psychophysical experiencing of energy in time space in human perception, as a system for a unique foundation for expression and evolution.

Tamez instrumental work evolves from an embodiment of organic integrative element sound organization, that nourishes his constructive imagination and inventiveness. He has been a major leading voice in new creative and experimental music for solo drumming and real time composition performance in México. From the minimal-silent reductionist environments to the more energetic, open space free improvising ones; covering multidisciplinary fields with poetry, painting and video art, dance and performance, audiovisual installations and space interventions.

His collaboration with other artists includes AvantJazz projects, New Chamber Music Ensembles, Free Improvisation, Contemporary Dance and Theater, Experimental Music, Film and Visual Arts. He has been active in festivals and art encounters, performing solo and in collaboration with many worldwide renown artists and musicians.

He lives in Mexico City since 2017, creating, developing and producing projects like POLLOCK tambores pintores, TALLER ABIERTO, FIELDS, COLLAGE ENSEMBLE, as participating with many other collaborative projects."

-Milo Tamez Website (

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"Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, organist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Though Thollem's widely known as an acoustic piano player, he's also the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and has recently branched out significantly into the world of electronics through a multitude of projects.

Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a young child and absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he's refocused his attention these last 15 years on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in that span on 22 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. "Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument" (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Rob Mazurek, Martha Colburn and ACVilla. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. Presently Thollem is developing an audio/visual experience about America through an 8 month, 48 state odyssey with his partner the videographer ACVilla. He's also a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine."

-Thollem McDonas Website (

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track listing:

1. The Brink Of Failure 17:27

2. Global Climate Genocide 3:56

3. Ecological Solitaire 5:43

4. Hurricanes Of Change 5:23

5. The Sixth Extinction 7:01

6. The First Extermination 7:08

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Estamos Trio is an exploratory music ensemble formed through the cross-border Estamos Project founded by Thollem McDonas in 2010. The trio includes Carmina Escobar (vocals, electronics, guitarron), Milo Tamez (percussion, found objects, electronics) and Thollem (keyboard, vocals, clay pot). The trio is celebrating their 2nd release on Relative Pitch Records with a series of east coast concerts. Recorded live at SITE Santa Fe, Dire Warning, the work is a commission for SITE's 2018 biennial "Casa Tomada" (House Taken Over), which informed the trio's approach to this album: the present and impending global migration of humans caused by climate change.

Carmina Escobar is a performer, improviser, sound and intermedia artist from Mexico City. Her work focuses primarily on sound, the voice, the body, and their interrelations to physical, social, memory and present spaces. Mexican creative drummer/composer and independent artist Milo Tamez specializes in solo extended-prepared drum set percussion. He has produced compositions exploring new percussive poetics, cinematic experiences and tour de force drumming manifestos. Tamez also has collaborated with composers premiering new music works for solo drum set percussion. Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent his life in perpetual motion, collaborating within scores of arts communities with hundreds of artists. His work is ever changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences.

Baltimore native, Bashi Rose is a filmmaker, theatre artist, and musician whose aesthetic is strongly influenced by the Black Arts Movement. He is co-founder of the band, Konjur Collective and member of the percussion duo, Pwisans Ete'nel along with Jamal Moore. He began playing drum kit as a tool for spiritual awareness and healing. He's looking forward to opening for Estamos Trio."-Rui Eduardo Paes

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Trio Recordings
Unusual Vocal Forms
Objects and Home-made Instruments
New in Improvised Music
Friends of Squid

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