Author Archives: Michael E. Karman

Asymmetry archives (1): Ultima 2009

[Asymmetry has quite a backlog of material on concerts and festivals, going back to 2008. We have pledged to get caught up with that material in 2012 and to stay caught up with current happenings in the world. But we don’t want that material from years past to be lost just because it’s not current. […]

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March’s Modern Music Month

Monday evening, the fifth of March, was the start of Portland’s month-long celebration of modern music. Celebration and cerebration, as this evening’s events included a panel discussion with a few of Portland’s prominent musical thinkers. But first, Robert McBride introduced a “performance” of John Cage’s 4’33” (by all of us). This piece really could have […]

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Feldman’s 2nd in Portland

On Friday the 24th, around two hundred people took advantage of a rare opportunity to hear at least some of the four hour performance of Feldman’s 2nd string quartet that Third Angle put on in the Ellyn Bye Studio of The Armory in Portland, OR. The Studio seats about 200, but at no time were […]

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Favorite Releases of 2011

Sometime around last October, I was thinking about all the CDs I’d acquired that year and wondered how many of them had been released in 2011. I discovered, to my chagrin, that most of the CDs I got in 2011 had been released in 2010 or 2009. Asymmetry has already reviewed one of those, Michèle […]

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Who Put John Cage on the Guestlist?

Who put John Cage on the Guestlist? is the 2011 release of Hemmelig Tempo, a Norwegian project of Doktor Døv, Professor Waffel, and Professor Fokuda-san. With the exception of tracks five and six, which merge into each other, each track on this CD is quite distinct and different. But what I have to say about […]

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M. Cristina Kasem

Asymmetry: So I hear that you won first prize in the Bourges’ competition. Which category? Kasem: Musique electroacoustic with formal esthetics. Asymmetry: Without instruments. Kasem: Yes. Well, there are instruments in the mix, but not in real time. Asymmetry: When did you start composing? Kasem: At twenty-four or twenty-five years old. I started earlier than […]

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Festival Densités 2009 and 2010

Asymmetry visited the ’09 and ’10 Festivals Densités in Fresnes-en-Woëvre, once as Michael E. Karman and once as Michael S. Karman. This fortunately confused no one. Densités is a very bright, very tight little festival. High-powered music making with some of the most talented musicians alive today, all taking place in a remote village between […]

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New Jersey Laptop Orchestra

The New Jersey Laptop Orchestra’s first CD is called The Willingness to be Touched, which is also the title of the second track. And seriously, look at that album cover–that picture with those words? Who could resist? I’ve heard several laptop ensembles over the past six years, one in Ulm that was supposedly playing Luc […]

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Futura ’09

Futura ’09 was the second Futura festival Asymmetry has been able to attend. It is a short festival, only a weekend, but it is jam-packed with electroacoustic goodness. The initial draw for me in ’09 was the chance to hear another Bokanowski piece live (Trois chambres d’inquietude) as well as Ferrari’s Danses organiques. I have […]

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L’étoile absinthe and Chant d’ombre

L’étoile absinthe first appeared on a Metamkine 3″ disc, reviewed here, part of that label’s Cinéma pour l’oreille series. Although these two pieces are separated by four years (2000 and 2004, respectively), Bokanowski considers them as companion pieces, so it is not only nice to have L’étoile absinthe reissued finally but to have it coupled […]

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  • Upcoming Events

    Festival Mixtur 2017

    30 March through 9 April

    Music by

    Fausto Romitelli
    Jean-Claude Risset
    John Cage

    and many more, including people who are still alive, of course.

    Présences électronique

    14, 15, 16 April

    Most of the names I did not recognize, which makes me even more sad that I cannot attend this year. But you can. And probably should. If you love your ears, attend this festival.

    SIME 2017

    24 – 28 April

    Probably, though I'm not sure how it is possible, this will be the best SIME yet. Attend. Let me know.


    3-6 May

    Opening Performance Orchestra
    Terrible Orchestra
    Echofluxx Ensemble

    And film and more music and more performers. More of everything.

    Monaco Electroacoustique
    4, 5, 6 May

    Francis Dhomont
    Horacio Vaggione
    Annette Vande Gorne
    Hans Tutschku
    Robert Normandeau

    And many more. Two festivals that overlap is just cruel. But go to one or the other of these. Monaco or Prague, you choose.

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