The Orlando Weekly’s Review of Midaregami

I wanted to post this review of the Tangled Bell Ensemble‘s performance of Midaregami here as I am very proud of that piece and it is a stellar review.

This Little Underground: Jim Ivy’s Tangled Bell Ensemble debuts at the In-Between Series

The local rule is that if Jim Ivy is involved, it’s gonna be weird or smart, often both.

For the consistently intriguing music monthly the In-Between Series, he rolled out a rather grand conceptual experiment with the debut of his Tangled Bell Ensemble (May 18, Gallery at Avalon Island). Using the early 20th century poetry work of Japanese author Akiko Yosano as impetus, the idea of the performance – titled “Midaregami (Tangled Hair)” – was to explore orchestrating heterogeneity into concert. To do that, he assembled a cast of 11 members – the biggest to perform the series yet – from an intentionally wide spectrum of musical backgrounds. Many of them looked and sounded like more classical players, but musicians I recognized from my usual beat included members of weirdo acts like Moon Jelly and Happy Valley. The resulting body was a small orchestra expanded with guitar, piano, accordion, voice and modern drum kit. At its head was Ivy pulling double duty as conductor and player on his trademark sax.

Sonically, the four-act journey was a tapestry of music and word (English and Japanese) that slithered from mystery to beauty to excitingly unchained bedlam at the end of the second act. Though structure and arc formed the program’s narrative, the individual pieces were composed loosely to allow some placed pockets of improvisation, moments that seemed to make Ivy beam with the most joy and that at some point engaged each and every player. Further testament to the extemporaneous spirit of the performance was the fact that the first time the entire ensemble was in the same room together was about 40 minutes before the show. Though the end was an interesting, fully in-the-moment display in itself, this was a demonstration of the art of process and spontaneity. As such, the result was adventure not recital, and it was an experience of unfolding, evolving tension.

by Bao Le-Huu

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End of Year update

Things are moving along as usual, but not on this site. So, here is a brief “catch-up”:

OblitObliterati has reformed, after 15 year, and are performing shows and writing new material. Crazy. We will be at Will’s Pub on Sunday, December 28th, if you want to catch us.

Unblit-smallA one-time offshoot of Obliterati has released a CD on Bipediment Records. Known as Unbliterati for this session, Instant Songs is a group improvisation recorded live in the studio on August 31st and November 9th. You can listen to it free here.

nakataniThere were a number of improvisation shows I participated in since my last posting, including performing in an ensemble format in Gainesville with Tatsuya Nakatani (thanks to Andrew Chadwick for setting up the show and inviting me to be a part of it) as well as a very successful large ensemble conducted improvisation of Disney music at the Sun Ray Cinema in Jacksonville, organized and conducted by Jamison Williams.

NYE2014The Delusionaires have become the hardest working sods I know, with a mind-blowing, blow out show on New Year’s Eve at Will’s Pub, along with The Woolly Bushmen and The Golden Pelicans (tickets available here), January shows in Atlanta and Athens, a March show in Chapel Hill, NC, and a June show in New York. And that’s not the end of it. But that’s as far as this post is going.

Spring Forward

A quick note on a pair of shows coming up in the next week:

Dels in a boxThe Delusionaires make a (seemingly) triumphant return to one of our favorite stomps from the good ol’ days, The Emerald Bar in St. Petersburg. It’s been many a year since we’ve walked through that beer-stained doorway and can’t wait to swill our fill alongside St. Pete’s finest. Don’t know if anyone we knew then still works there, but I’m sure whoever is serving will do The Emerald proud. We’ll be there Saturday, March 8 along with The Intoxicators and Crippled Masters. It’ll be epic, if not downright terrifying.

Milton_bradley_portraitThe next afternoon, Sunday, March 9 at 2pm, has me still in St. Pete, this time at the main library for New Music on a Sunday Afternoon, presented by The New Music Conflagration, Inc. This will be the final performance of Milton Bradley, a game piece I created for the 2012 CageFest in Jacksonville. Although this is the fifth or sixth performance of the piece, it is the first time I will present it on Florida’s west coast. Joining me in the quartet will be Kris Gruda on guitar, electronics and voice, A.J. Herring on trombone, guitar and alto saxophone, and Elizabeth A. Baker on piano, theremin, and an as yet unnamed third instrument. You can read more about the game piece here.

Hope to see all of you on the dreamy shores (or side streets) of St. Pete.

2014 Off and Running

A slew of upcoming shows to begin the year:

January 10 and 11: Midnight Exterminations: A tribute to William S. Burroughs. Here’s the full event disclosure:

1461572_10202380018879145_740552842_nA tribute reading of William S. Burroughs accompanied by segments of avante garde musical arrangements. This productions orations will be performed by: Megan Faubel, Patrick Greene and Christian Kelty. All musical composition is written by Dana Fasano , Jim Ivy, Kris Gruda and Todd Elliott. Please come and enjoy this event with us and celebrate what would have been Mr.Burroughs 100th birthday upcoming on Feburary 5. 2014…. 12a.m. Janurary 10th and 11th… $ 5 cover @ The Venue.

January 31: The Delusionaires with D.J. Dots at Nobby’s St. Augustine. Our favorite vinyl spinner joins us for an over-the-top party.

Fun_house_reissueAn as of yet unannounced special performance of the entire Funhouse recording by The Stooges in February. More details to come.

And more shows in March including the final performance of the game piece, Milton Bradley and another surprise appearance by The Delusionaires.

Also slated is a Gatto Pazzo release and my TrIP Project contribution, Discarded Angel, full release. More detail to come.

Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe

the-book-of-knotsMay means many things but for me, May means great music. May marks the greening of the grounds, but first and foremost, May marks the time for the wonderful FIMAV festival in Victoriaville!

zorn1This year’s line-up is, once again, outstanding: Iva Bittova/Gyan Riley/Evan Ziporyn, Michel Doneda/Tatsuya Nakatani, Haunted House, Oxbow, ZGA, Anna Homler, The Book of Knots (!), The Thing and Thurston Moore, Hikashu, and many more. And to close out the festival this year, a full day of John Zorn projects to mark his 60th birthday, including Moonchild, The Dreamers, Electric Masada, chamber ensembles, a “song project”, and solo church organ! Hooray for May! More details here.

wilmer14_7950To top off the month of May, there will be a tribute to Albert Ayler at Jacksonville’s Burro Bar on May 26th. This show was set up and organized by Jamison Williams, who asked me to participate. I have arranged The Spiritual Unity Suite, a suite based upon the Spiritual Unity album, with a bit of other Ayler thrown in. Other musicians participating in the evening include Jamison Williams, Kris Gruda, Steve Bristol, A.J. Herring, Bill Henderson, Jack Allen, Jeff Abbott, Kathy Burkett, Jason Dean Arnold, Dan Kozak, Tim Albro, Micheal Lanier, and Lucy Bonk. It will be a monumental tribute to a monumental artist. Be there if you can.

Of Gongs and Kings…

Mark your calendars:

nakataniTatsuya Nakatani solo and Gong Orchestra will be performing at the Church of Holy Colors in Gainesville, Florida on February 27th. Gatto Pazzo will open the show. Gatto Evan will also be participating in the Gong Orchestra. If you’ve never witnessed Tatsuya Nakatani, then what are you waiting for?

Nakatani’s approach to music is visceral, non-linear and intuitively primitive, expressing an unusually strong spirit while avoiding any categorization. He creates sound via both traditional and extended percussion techniques, utilizing drums, bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, metal objects and bells, as well as various sticks, kitchen tools and homemade bows, all of which manifest in an intense and organic music that represents a very personal sonic world. His approach is steeped in the sensibilities of free improvisation, experimental music, jazz, rock, and noise, and yet retains the sense of space and quiet beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music. His percussion instruments can imitate the sounds of a trumpet, a stringed instrument or an electronic device to the extent that it becomes difficult to recognize the source of the sound. He has devoted himself to a musical aesthetic where rhythm gives way to pulse, often in a way that is not always audible or visible, in currents that incorporate silence and texture.

KingKhanBBQThe Delusionaires will be opening two shows for King Khan and BBQ Show (!!!!), April 22nd at The Basement in Atlanta, and 23rd at Siberia in New Orleans. If we all survive this extravaganza, there will be many sordid stories to tell. THESE ARE THE ONLY TWO SOUTHERN U.S. SHOWS OF THIS TOUR! DON’T MISS IT!

AuschAlso of note: the new limited edition CD from Gatto Pazzo, Ausch Dönitz, will be available at the Tatsuya Nakatani show, all in an artfully crafted, hand made slim case. Buy it while it lasts. Thank you for your patronage.

October Feast

There is plenty brewing for the month of October.

Gatto Pazzo will deliver a rare (only the third) performance at the October 10th B.L.U.R.T. show at SIP in Orlando. Gonna be a great show with other artists including Kevin Greenspon (from California), Electric Inertia (from Ohio), Hardon Collider (from Ohio), Whitey Alabastard (from outer space), Quantyzer, and our ol’ pal Trotsky’s Watercooler.

Available for the first time at this B.L.U.R.T. show will be the first two releases from the extremely limited edition art/CD projects by Gatto Pazzo. These items will be hand-made, unique, beautiful, will include lots of artwork by the trio, and will not last long, as they will be produced in very small numbers.

A very exciting event on October 19th: The Delusionaires will crawl out of the basement for a one-time special show, filling the honorable slot of warm up band for the amazing Tav Falco and Panther Burns!!!!! This will be a very special evening. Hangovers predicted.

And rounding out the month will be the latest installment of the improvised music showcase at Urban ReThink on October 28th beginning at 3pm. Details are still being worked out, but, as always, these showcases are not to be missed.