Taking the title from Brandon Sanderson's book series The Stormlight Archive, where a soulcaster is an instrument that transforms one object or life form into another; Joanna Mattrey transforms her viola and a tromba marina, aka a nuns' fiddle, with preparations, objects and unusual approaches through technique, creating a remarkable set of 11 unique and inventive improvisations.
Recording at the Chamber of Commerce in Brooklyn in 2021, the duo of Sandy Ewen on prepared guitar and Jason Nazary on drums & percussion take a nearly pugilistic approach to their improvisations, building aggressive sections of intense pummeling, then slipping back to catch their breath before the next round, each filled with curious elements and energetic determination.
Releasing their first studio work in 2020, this album presents the first two live concerts in Brooklyn and Saugerties for the ea-improv trio MAW of Frank Meadows on upright bass, Jessica Ackerley on electric guitar and Eli Wallace on prepared piano & synth, in two 2-part improvisations: the darkly heavy "Mise-en-Place" and the brighter experiments of "Opus 40".
Named after one of the eight core revolutionary operas produced during the Cultural Revolution in Korea, composer & performer Sunik Kim constructed this fascinatingly dense and constantly surprising set of compositions using Max MSP and SuperCollider, including a live version constructed from phone and Zoom recordings of performances at Cafe OTO and at Counterflows, in Glasgow, Scotland.
A dark album of sound art from the quintet of mostly St. Louis improvisers--Damon Smith, Louis Wall, NNN Cook, Michael Williams and noted flutist Fred Tompkins on two tracks--starting through shrouded percussion and unidentifiable sources, the group's sessions are edited into a cohesive album that takes its listeners on a unique journey of electronic and acoustic interaction.
Bringing to ears a 2003 encounter in Chicago, IL between legendary violin improviser, conceptualist and writer Malcolm Goldstein and exploratory cello improviser Fred Lonberg-Holm, through two extended dialogs weaving their strings around each other and finding unusual intersections and unions, from rapid action to introspective beauty; unsettling and inspired.
Unusual interactions between electronically manipulated violin and an AMPIRI--an electronically enhanced Korean double reed instrument--from the Brooklyn duo of Leo Chang and Adrianne Munden Dixon, seven improvisations numbered "Sixteen" to "Twenty-Two", each a uniquely idiosyncratic exchange from quick slippery dialog to raspy dissonance of unexpected directions.
The second album on Notice Recordings for West Coast free improvising saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi is a duo with San Diego-based double bassist Kyle Motl, in an exceptionally well-balanced example of powerful expression from both players, free blowing and turbulent exchanges offset by experimental introspective passages in four extended and excellent improvisations.
Four configurations of far-reaching free improv at Notice Recordings's 2021 event in Accord, NY: a solo performance by Charmain Lee on voice & electronics; a duo between Lee and Weston Olnecki on synths & trombone; a trio from Gabby Fluke-Mogul on violin, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and Joanna Mattrey on viola; a duo between Lonberg-Holm and Olencki.
Sonic exploration and studio composition from Kobe, Japan-based, Canadian sound artist Tim Olive, using amplified objects, cast-off electronics and home made instruments including metal teeth, tuning forks, clockwork motors, electromagnets, cassette playback heads and magnetic pickups, recording each and layering them in the studio to create corrosively captivating aural journeys.
Narrated by text-to-speech vocalization, Korean-American pianist and composer Lucy Liyou collaborates with Bulgarian-born guitarist Ivana Kafedjiyska (YSKA) in an album of languorously floating and understatedly abrasive music complemented by subtle field recordings, two works of curiously philosophical, baffling and observational verse; unique and compelling.
An improvisational investigation into two bass drums over two extended recordings from West Coast experimental improvisers Kevin Corcoran and Jacob Felix Heule, as they apply an arsenal of unusual techniques and engage every inch of the drums with a diverse set of objects, evoking strange sounds, pattering rhythmic echoes, metallic cries and deep rumbling effects.
Featuring electronically-augmented vocal interpretations of lieder songs by such composers as Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, New York vocalist Judith Berkson also presents purely electronic pieces engaging noise and feedback-oriented vignettes, the evolution of her project started in 2016 as she re-contextualizes classical music in powerfully expressive ways.
A live solo recording made using the amplified and processed sounds of snow, hail, and wind, captured by sound artist Max Hamel using a piezoelectric disc taped to a metal plate stuck out his window during the first snow storm of 2019, processed in real time using resonant filters, delay lines, and chaotic processors, the whole edited for these two compositions.
Despite using traditional instrumentation, the Montreal trio of pianist Lisa Cay Miller, guitarist Vicky Mettler, and bassist Raphael Foisy-Couture avoid sounding anything but traditional, through preparations and a mischievous attitude transforming their instruments and applying them to a highly interactive and darkly optimistic set of very unique dialogs.
Recorded in two studios — Saint-Petersburg, Russia and Zurich, Switzerland — capturing 5 encounters between experimental improvisers Ilia Belorukov performing on modular synthesizer, and Jason Kahn, who steps away from his electronics and drums in favor of stark vocalizing, each providing perfectly caustic responses to the other's intense and determined tactics.
Captured live at Chicago's Elastic Arts, the trio of Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Ben Bennett on percussion, and Zoots Houston on synthesizer, work on a nearly microscopic level as they use extended techniques and unusual synthetic timbres, transforming from abrasive and gritty to broad tonal environments, from monumental sound to moments of pin drops; fascinating.