How do I begin to reflect on March 2020? At the end of the month, I started a quest to revisit every Studio Ghibli film, which led me to watching the epic masterpiece, Spirited Away. It’s a film I’m coming back to after some time, and one that really captured my imagination when I was about 14. Spirited Away tells the story of a young … Continue reading March 2020 in Experimental Music
Place, a new, three-part work created by composer Ted Hearne and poet and activist Saul Williams, grapples with gentrification from different perspectives. Written as a call-and-response between Hearne and Williams, Place is gnarly and knotty, digging deep into the complexity of its subject matter rather than shying away from the issues at hand. The music is surprising, the words are acidic. The result is an … Continue reading Video Premiere: Ted Hearne & Saul Williams, “What About My Son”
What makes a good remix? We’ve all heard remixed versions of original songs that feel more like a repackaging than a well-crafted new perspective. But there’s potential for a remix to provide a new angle for understanding, or a means to dive deeper into a song’s original intentions. Goldfeather, a Brooklyn-based indie-folk-rock band, are using remixes as a means to further explore the songs on … Continue reading Jordan Bortner (aka Null Object) and Phong Tran on the Art of Remixing
Vigorous music undulates as poet Camae Aweya, also known as Moor Mother, declares “stay on it” with the power of a magnitude nine earthquake. “The Code Noir / Amina” is a formidable opening for five-member jazz ensemble Irreversible Entanglement’s defiant second album, Who Sent You? The group, formed in 2015 at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event, layers striking poetry over unrestrained jazz, creating music … Continue reading Album Review: Irreversible Entanglements, Who Sent You?
Alarm Will Sound, a cutting-edge contemporary music ensemble, emits a jolt of energy in their performance of composer and string player Caleb Burhans’ Escape Wisconsin (Alarm Remix). The piece, whose title is a play on the “Escape to Wisconsin” bumper sticker, is a feverish exploration of fiery emotion. Melodies stack on top of each other with pulsating vigor, creating an urgency that flows all the … Continue reading Video Premiere: Alarm Will Sound performs Escape Wisconsin (Alarm Remix)
A wombat is a medium-sized Australian marsupial that has the brawniness of a bear, the face of a weasel, and the temper of an angry toddler. In other words, it’s a rarity that comes with a side of volatility. Not unlike its namesake, Wombat, an Iowa City-based free jazz trio, leans into unpredictability on their newest record, The order in which they exist. Visceral sound … Continue reading Album Review: Wombat, The order in which they exist
Usually, February is quite the dismal affair: no one goes outside and everyone posts too many things about love or a lack thereof on social media. February gloominess certainly stayed true for the state of American politics, but I’ve been quite lucky to find some solace and, believe it or not, positivity, this past month. As for music, a wide swath of new releases for … Continue reading February 2020 in Experimental Music