Randall Dunn is a musician, producer and sound engineer who for the past twenty years has been lending an utterly unique approach to the records of some of contemporary music's most exciting artists. In addition to being the mastermind of Master Musicians of Bukkake, he's worked closely with Eyvind Kang, Earth, Bill Frisell, Oren Ambarchi, Wolves in the Throne Room and was a major contributor to the Sunn O))) masterpiece "Monoliths and Dimensions". He recently located to Brooklyn after two decades in Seattle and continues to stay active as a premiere sound alchemist.
Kyle Bruckmann is a composer, oboist and bandleader from Danbury CT who has been living in the Oakland since 2003. Since the mid 90s he has collaborated with many of contemporary music's most forward thinking musicians including Fred Lomberg-Holm, Oxbow, Greg Kelley and Damon & Naomi. With his bands Wrack, EKG and Lozenge he has released records on 482 Music, Another Timbre, Porter and New World Records among others. For this talk we cover a lot of ground from his early days in Danbury to his time in Chicago up until his recent activities in the Bay Area. A good man.
Gyan Riley is an absolute virtuoso of the nylon string guitar, an extraordinary musician who plays with great detail and elegance. Originally from California, he has been based in Brooklyn for the past several years. He has worked closely with John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3, Timba Harris, Wu Fei and has a long standing duo project with his father, composer Terry Riley. Gyan is the real deal and a joy to talk to. Dig.
Colin Stetson is an unbelievably talented saxophonist who has been on a very personal musical journey since a young age. An undisputed virtuoso, he has been blowing the minds of audiences around the world with his solo concerts since the early 2000s. His personal language is incredibly lyrical, using extended sax and extra musical mic'ing techniques to add multiples layers of complexity and soul to his work. He's worked closely with the Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Tom Waits, Sara Neufeld and most recently with the quartet Ex-Eye. This conversation took place just a few weeks ago and was an utter delight.
Jon Madof & Shanir Blumenkranz are old friends of the show, both of whom have been on past episodes. For this special mini episode they dropped by to talk about their new record label, Chant Records, as well the four night festival that they'll be presenting this week at NUBLU. Good dudes, good music, good talk.
A composer/multi-instrumentalist of startling range and clarity, Patrick Higgins has been blowing minds on the NYC scene for the past decade. He's active across a broad range of creative activity and is also a funny motherfucker. For this talk, we get into it: Zs, string quartets, growing up in NYC, the pain of recording studios and a whole lot more. GET IT.
For episode 134, I talk to a cat whom I've known for a long time and should have been on the show ages ago. Tomas Fujiwara has been in New York since the mid 90s and has cut a most impressive career as a drummer, working with artists such as Matana Roberts, Mary Halvorson, Anthony Braxton and Taylor Ho Bynum. More recently, he's stepped out as a band leader and this Friday, his newest album"Triple Double" comes out on the Firehouse 12 label. Tomas is a wonderful human being and I really, really enjoyed this conversation.
Jaimie Branch is a trumpet player/band leader of great virtuosity and sensitivity. She's also funny as shit. For this talk we discuss her extraordinary debut record "Fly or Die" as well as her early days on Long Island, her move to Chicago and much much more. A good one with a solid and beautiful musician.
For listeners of this show, trumpet great Dave Douglas hardly needs an introduction. For the past thirty years he has been at the forefront of New York's composer/performers, a tireless musical seeker who draws equally from classical and jazz, pop and roots music, musique concrete and blues. He has traveled the world with some of 20th century's greatest artists as well as a long and impressive list of his own ensembles, featuring a growing list of the brightest up and coming musicians. Dave is also a podcaster and he and I have a lot to talk about. Strap in for a good one.
Originally from Wisconsin, Dan Kaufman is a Brooklyn based guitarist, songwriter and journalist who has led the band Barbez since their inception in the late 90s. His music is a brilliant and thoughtful amalgamation of avant rock, Eastern European folk music and contemporary classical with a strong literary component. Their sixth album, "For Those Who Came After: Songs of Resistance From the Spanish Civil War" comes out on Important Records on October 6th, 2017. In addition to his musical output, Dan has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the New Yorker. He is currently working on a book entitled "Divide and Conquer", that traces the dark history of Wisconsin's transformation from a progressive state where labor unions flourished, to the modern day Conservative nightmare state.
Andy Lampert is one of a kind. He's a filmmaker, an archivist, a thinker, a listener and a total mensch. He's presented his work at venues from the Whitney to the Kitchen, the Stone to Anthology Film Archives. A conversation with Andy is likely to go all night and this is a good one. DIG.
A founding member of the Bad Plus, pianist Ethan Iverson has been serious student of jazz for most of his life and at the forefront of generation of contemporary practitioners for the past two decades. For over a decade Ethan has also been conducting interviews with elders statesmen of jazz via his blog Do the Math, documenting crucial conversations through a most unique lens. After seventeen years, as he gets ready to leave the Bad Plus, Ethan joined me for a conversation at my apartment this past Friday to discuss his history with the band, his upbringing, how he feels responsible to the tradition of jazz masters and what the future holds for him.
Singer/song writer/multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon is a 100% completely unique and original musical specimen. Born and raised in Brattleboro, VT he presents music that is a highly realized synthesis of his many disparate influences: folk music, free jazz, music concrete, performance art, indie rock, etc etc etc. The list of descriptions could last forever, but one thing is sure: he sounds unlike anyone I've ever heard and his music is something that I've been returning to time and time again for the past decade. Please enjoy an hour with a true American original.
Carl Testa is an imaginative and resourceful bassist/composer who has been making a name for himself for the past decade in the fields of composed and improvised music. Based in New Haven, he has worked closely with Anthony Braxton, Mario Pavone, and Christopher Riggs among many others. In addition to being the production manager at Firehouse 12, he is also the Director of Publishing and Creative Technology for Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation and has spent the past several years incorporating live electronic processing into his solo performances. For the past ten years he has booked the Uncertainty Music Series, which will come to a close this September with a two day festival at Firehouse 12.
Fay Victor is a vocalist and composer who has become an increasingly regular and vital participant in the world of New York City jazz and improvised music. She grew up in Long Island, cut her teeth in Brooklyn and has worked with a broad range of contemporary artists from Butch Morris to Anthony Braxton, Ken Filiano to Joe Morris. Her vocals and lyrics express a deep courage and vulnerability. For this talk Fay takes me back to her early days of musical exploration, through her time in Japan and the Netherlands, up to her current work. A good one.
An avid and life-long listener, Jon Abbey started the Erstwhile label in 1999. Since its inception, Erstwhile has served as a crucial source for uncategorizable music and has become an institution and home for artists such as Keith Rowe, Toshimaru Nakamura, Sachiko M, Günter Müller and Otomo Yoshihide. For this talk, Jon takes me back to his early days in the mailroom at the Time Life building, the early days of Erstwhile and his current listening habits. A good one.
Tyshawn Sorey is a remarkably talented and internationally acclaimed composer and performer who has been fiercely dedicated to his craft since an early age. A native of Newark NJ, Tyshawn has premiered work at Roulette, Walt Disney Hall and the Ojai Festival. As a drummer, he has collaborated with Steve Coleman, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Vijay Iyer and many many more. Tyshawn is a rare talent and for this candid and often hilarious conversation, Tyshawn and I get to know each other for the first time.
For episode 123 it is my great honor to welcome poet, archivist and radical thinker, Kenneth Goldsmith onto the show. Active since the late 80s, Kenneth Goldsmith is a true original. He started Ubuweb in 1996, one of the internet's richest resources for the Avant-Garde, a website that one can get lost in and come out much richer for it. He's published several books, most recently "Capital", an unrivaled work that pays tribute to New York of the 20th century entirely through quotations. Kenneth is a true mage and this conversation was an utter delight.
Originally from Carbondale, IL, clarinetist John McCowen who has been living and working in the Bay Area for the past few years. A student of Roscoe Mitchell, he has honing an extremely unique approach to the clarinet that is based in extended techniques, personal language, electroacoustic strategies and hard work. He plays in the band Wei Zhongle and has collaborated with many notable improvisers including Fred Frith, Tom Djll and Kyle Bruckman. John is a remarkable musician, from whom you will be hearing much more from in the coming years.
Tyondai Braxton has been living and working in Brooklyn NY since 2001, forging a most singular path as a composer/performer in a wide variety of creative contexts. In 2002 he started the band Battles, which he left in 2010. Since that time he has focused on electronic music as well as large scale explorations of compositions for classical instruments. Ty is a most sincere individual who brings a strong sense of self to every project. For this talk, we explore electronic music strategies, the Brooklyn DIY scene of the early the 2000s, growing up Braxton and a whole lot more. A great talk!