Episode 108, MV Carbon

MV Carbon is a cellist/multi-media artist who has been active in broad range of creative activity since the mid 90s, including film, sound art, installations and clothing design. She has toured frequently with her band Metalux in addition to collaborating with some of the greatest musical thinkers of the last fifty years, including Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine. For this conversation we talk veganism, Chicago, Tony Conrad, what happens after you die and a whole lot more. This is a good one.

 

MV Carbon

Episode 107, Frank London

For episode 107, it is my great honor to speak with trumpeter, bandleader and composer Frank London. Since the 80s Frank has been at the forefront of the klezmer revival, a stalwart of the downtown scene of improvisers and a scholar of Jewish history. For this talk Frank takes me back to his early days in Long Island, his hippy days in Boston to his work with his seminal band, the Klezmatics. This is a conversation that I have wanted to happen for a long time and I am delighted to finally be able to share it.

Frank London

Episode 106, Lester St. Louis

Lester St. Louis is a young cellist & composer who you will be hearing a lot from in the coming years. Born in Queens, he has been living in Brooklyn since he was seventeen, immersing himself in the city's music scene. He has performed with Joe Morris, Dre Hocevar, Chris Pitsiokos and others, has presented several solo concerts, programs a music series in Brooklyn and for the past several years has managed the Lower East Side venue Spectrum.

Episode 105, Susie Ibarra

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Since the early 90s, Susie Ibarra has been one of the most exciting and compelling composer/performers to come through the world of New York experimental music. As a drummer, there is really no one like her, a top notch improviser who turns her kit into a fine tuned orchestra. She's worked closely with Ikue Mori, John Zorn, Sylvie Courviosier, David S. Ware and many more and continues to inspire drummers all over the world. For this talk, Susie takes me back to her upbringing in Texas, where as a teenager she opened for the Flaming Lips, her early days in New York, and much much more.

 

Susie Ibarra

 

Episode 104, James Ilgenfritz

James Ilgenfritz is a bass player and composer who has been living in New York City since 2003. He is also one of the first musicians that I met and played with upon my arrival. He has worked closely with Lukas Ligeti, Elliott Sharp, Anne Gosfield and more. Since his move to New York he has also been incredibly active as a curator and organizer. For this talk, we go back to the first few years in New York, as well as the challenges that James faced from 2008-2013, his newest work with his label Infrequent Seams and much much more.

James Ilgenfritz

Episode 103, Aaron Siegel

Aaron Siegel was born in Maryland, educated in Michigan and has been living in New York City since 2001. He has studied with Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivila, Anthony Braxton and Bunita Marcus among others. In addition to composing and leading his own ensembles, since 2011, he has co-lead Experiments In Opera, with whom he has produced over 30 new operatic works since its founding in 2011. Aaron is a multi-faceted composer/performer, a unique individual and great guy.

Aaron Siegel

Experiments In Opera

Episode 101, Miya Masaoka

Originally from the Bay Area, Miya Masaoka is a multi-faceted composer/performer who has been making a mark on the international music scene for the past three decades. Her main instrument is the koto and her work sits comfortably at the intersection of composition and improvisation, instrumental virtuosity and technological investigations. She has worked closely with Bang On a Can, Zeena Parkins, Pamela Z and Larry Ochs, among many others. She is a true original and I am delighted to share this conversation.

Miya Masaoka

Episode 99, Liberty Ellman

Born in New York and raised in San Francisco, Liberty Ellman is a wonderful guitarist who has been making a name for himself in contemporary jazz circles for the past twenty years. He has worked closely with an array of modern luminaries including Henry Threadgill, Vijay Iyer, Butch Morris and Tyshawn Sorey. In 2015 he released a new trio recording, his first nine years. For this talk Liberty takes me through his upbringing in a musical home, collaboration, working as a guitarist and much more.  A good talk with a good guy. 

Liberty Ellman

Episode 98, Matt Hollenberg

Born and raised in Philadelphia and now based in Brooklyn, Matt Hollenberg is an extremely talented and inventive guitarist.  He plays in the bands Cleric, John Zorn's Simulacrum and his newest project, Shardik.  For this talk, Matt tells the history of Cleric, getting the opportunity to work with musical heroes and the importance of creating context for one's work.  A good talk.


Cleric.

 

Episode 97, Brandon Lopez

Brandon Lopez is my kind of dude. He's a young bass player, who attended the New England Conservatory and since 2013, has been living and gigging regularly in New York City. He's got a sick sense of humor and an even sicker musicianship to match. For this talk, we discuss his upbringing in a cemetery, his non-traditional musical education, new methods of musical distribution and a whole lot more. A good talk with a great cat, who you'll be hearing more from for years to come.

Brandon Lopez

Episode 96, Steve Swell

Steve Swell is a trombonist who has been living and working in New York City since 1975.  A veteran of the bands of Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker, Steve has been forging a singular voice on the trombone and has become a crucial member of the Downtown scene in the last forty years. For this talk, we go back to his roots in New Jersey, New York in the 80s and talk about the current living/working conditions of the twenty first century musician in New York City.

Episode 95, Simon Hanes

Simon Hanes is a gifted and incredibly busy young musician, who has recently settled in Brooklyn. Since his time at the New England Conservatory, Simon has hit the ground running, helming several ambitious and wildly creative projects, such as Guerilla Toss and Trigger. His most recent project, Tredici Bacci, is a fourteen piece mini orchestra that pays homage to Italian soundtracks from the 1960s & 70s.  Their newest record, "Amore Per Tutti", is available NNA Tapes and is a wildly creative and well executed recording, featuring guest vocals from Charlie Looker, JG Thirlwell and Jennifer Charles.  For this episode, Simon talks the pleasures and pains of leading a fourteen piece band with a DIY aesthetic. 

Tredici Bacci

Episode 94, Greg Fox

Greg Fox is a remarkable drummer, a hard worker with an open mind & heart, who spends equal amount of time in avant rock and metal bands as he does free improvising with some of New York's greatest musicians. As a member of Zs and Liturgy, among many others, he has played a crucial role in some of the most cutting edge music to emerge from the Brooklyn underground in the past ten years. For this talk, Greg and I discuss growing up in New York City, touring, 9/11, improvising, weed, Milford Graves and a whole lot in between.  This is a good one.

Episode 93, Michael Nicolas

Cellist Michael Nicolas, without exaggeration, exists at a level of musicianship that very few people ever get to. A former student of Fred Sherry and a graduate of Julliard, he has worked extensively in the past decade with the International Contemporary Ensemble, John Zorn, Third Sound and most recently, as the cellist for Brooklyn Rider. He just released his debut solo album "Transitions" on the Sono Luminus label, and starting December 13th, he will be in residence for six nights at the Stone in New York City. For this talk, Michael and I discuss his early years as a cellist, his entry into contemporary music, and more recently, his entry into the world of free improvisation.

MICHAEL NICOLAS

Episode 92, C. Spencer Yeh

Born in Taiwan and raised in Cincinatti, C. Spencer Yeh is a remarkable violinist, vocalist, improviser and film-maker.  Since moving to New York in 2010, he's been incredibly active in a wide variety of creative settings including collaborations with musicians like Nate Wooley & Lasse Marhaug, acting as programmer for Brooklyn's Spectacle Theater as well as being a contributing editor for BOMB Magazine. For this conversation, taped only two days before the 2016 presidential election, Spencer and I discuss his personal history, noise aesthetics, how to properly roast a chicken and record store culture.  C. SPENCER YEH

Born in Taiwan and raised in Cincinatti, C. Spencer Yeh is a remarkable violinist, vocalist, improviser and film-maker.  Since moving to New York in 2010, he's been incredibly active in a wide variety of creative settings including collaborations with musicians like Nate Wooley & Lasse Marhaug, acting as programmer for Brooklyn's Spectacle Theater as well as being a contributing editor for BOMB Magazine. For this conversation, taped only two days before the 2016 presidential election, Spencer and I discuss his personal history, noise aesthetics, how to properly roast a chicken and record store culture. 

C. SPENCER YEH

Episode 91, Travis Laplante

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Travis Laplante is an extremely focused and sincere tenor player who first moved to New York City to study jazz.  Currently he splits his time between Brooklyn and southern Vermont, where he and his wife operate a qigong and acupuncture clinic called Sword Hands.  For this talk, we go back to Travis' childhood in Vermont, learning to play the sax, starting his first band, Little Women, up to his current work with his quartet, Battle Trance.  Travis is a great guy and I hope that you will enjoy this one.

TRAVIS LAPLANTE

Episode 90, Amirtha Kidambi

Amirtha Kidambi is an utterly unique composer, vocalist, band leader and activist based in Queens, NY.  Since moving to the city in 2009, she has collaborated with broad range of artists, including Darius Jones, Ben Vida, Robert Ashley, Charlie Looker and Matana Roberts.  Her work blends influences of carnatic vocal music, experimental rock and free improvisation.  Just last week, she released her first album as a leader, "Holy Science", on Northern Spy Records.  For this talk, Amirtha and I go back to her first days in NYC, the long process of putting a band together and how one can use music to effect change.

AMIRTHA KIDAMBI

Episode 89, Bruce Lee Gallanter

Since the late 1970s, Bruce Lee Gallanter has been a crucial figure on the Downtown scene.  As an archivist/historian, Bruce was there for the very first New York concerts of artists like John Zorn, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell & Eugene Chadbourne.  An early supporter of artists who went on to change the world, Bruce has been running Downtown Music Gallery, perhaps the most important shop for improvised and creative music in the world, for the past twenty six years.  For this conversation, Bruce and I go back to his hometown roots in New Jersey to the early days at Studio Henry, all the way up to the present.  This conversation was a long time in the making and one that I am incredibly proud to share.

DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY