Wednesday July 20 * 7pm * MASKS, VAX REQUIRED
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Jack Wright, an American saxophonist based in Philadelphia, has been playing freely improvised music exclusively since 1979, after a period of political and academic involvement. In the 1980s he planted the seeds of free music on long road trips across the US, the first musician to do this. He also came to Europe, especially Berlin, where he stayed for long periods of time in the mid-80s, touring in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. In the late 90s he was influenced by reductionism, and renewed his visits to Berlin and then Paris for this purpose in the early 2000s. (Europe and Japan Tours since 2002) . He plays regularly at his Spring Garden Music house in Philadelphia, but most performing is on the road. At 77 he is still touring as much as ever.
Wright's playing was originally melodic and fast, then became rougher and bolder when he heard European free jazz in the early 80s. His current playing is once again very physically engaged, but with greater attention to timing and precision. His musical range is as wide as his vocabulary, from fiery, breathless free jazz to quiet, breath-filled, and often animalistic sounds.
In 2017 his book The Free Musics was published and has been well received by reviewers and musicians.
A reviewer for the Washington Post newspaper said, "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king".
Percussionist Ben Bennett has developed a commanding and highly personal synthesis of both traditional and extended techniques which takes the lineage of jazz, free-improvisation, and experimental music as its foundation. In searching for an expanded sonic palette, and fluid movement between disparate timbres, he has distilled the drumset into a compact assortment of drumheads, stretched membranes, and other objects which become multi-functional when placed in different physical relationships to each other, and activated by striking, friction, circular-breathing, and other techniques. Bennett’s music often sounds electronically-generated, although it is produced entirely through bodily interaction with acoustic materials. The versatility of his approach combined with the simplicity of his setup allows for a high degree of responsiveness in improvisational situations, as well as unencumbered portability. Bennett has been performing and touring actively for the past 12 years, playing across the US and abroad as a soloist, in long-running groups with Zach Darrup, Michael Foster, Evan Lipson, and Jack Wright; and with many other collaborators including Pascal Battus, Leila Bordeuil, Tashi Dorji, Sandy Ewen, Travis Laplante, Ingrid Laubrock, Charmaine Lee, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Brandon Lopez, Weston Olencki, Jacob Wick, and Nate Wooley.
Continuing on the path of dematerialization (doing more with less), some outgrowths of Bennett’s practice have involved no instruments or objects at all. Between 2014 and 2019, Bennett live-streamed 300 episodes of a YouTube series entitled "Sitting and Smiling", in which he sat cross-legged on the floor, smiling directly at the camera without moving, for four hours each time. His channel went viral in January of 2015, creating an internet/media buzz and getting coverage from The Atlantic, VICE, Gawker, TechTimes, and other outlets. It was live-streamed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and has received more than 17 million views worldwide.
Patrick Crossland is an avid improvisor, working with a wide range of musicians and dancers including Günter Christmann, Alexander Frangenheim, Jack Wright, and Heidelberg's Unterwegs Theater. He was a featured artist in the 2013 High Zero Festival in Baltimore, MD and in the concepts of doing festival in Berlin (2013, 2015). He is currently a member of the Composers Slide Quartet and Ensemble Laboratorium.
Mána Taylor and Telo Hoy are an experimental voice/guitar and percussion duo from Chicago and Santa Fe currently based in Queens, New York. They explore texture, loops, drones, and repetitions in the contexts and limitations of their voices and instruments. For their performance at Rhizome, Mána will be “playing” the slide projector and Telo will be performing inspired by the photographs projected. https://telohoy.bandcamp.com/album/the-duos-ep
Ryan McDermott is a guitarist who works to make the instrument sound like anything other than a guitar. Like a cello. Or a sledgehammer. Or a 60-foot fall. https://ryanmcdermott.bandcamp.com
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