Adam Stansbie–Isthmus

The five pieces on Adam Stansbie’s Isthmus are presented in chronological order, tempting one to draw conclusions about the evolution of style. But when I succumbed to that temptation (in my mind) all I found was that these five pieces are different. And really, isn’t that all that’s necessary? That a composer gives you something that you’ve never had before, from that composer or from any other composer. I think so.

So down to specifics. The title piece, Isthmus, is in three sections. The first explores acoustic string sounds and electronic pitched tones, separately and in combination. There are some really amazing things going on in this piece–quick changes, sudden shifts from acoustic to electronic and back, figures that would be ordinary (but still pretty cool) on a violin but which are given to electronic pitches, figures that start off as acoustic but change, mid figure, to electronics. I’m tempted to say that it’s the aural equivalent of riding a rollercoaster, but it’s a much more varied experience than a simple ride. The thrill that comes from the unexpected is similar in both.
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Emmanuelle Gibello–Labyrinthe/c104 goto N901

Your first step into the labyrinth is with the hollow creaking and clanking of Bamboo Cry. The background, which started out as silence, gradually fills with other sounds until the whole thing becomes very rich and dense. Not too gradually, though. Bamboo Cry is only 2′ 39″. But it’s as sweet a two and a half minutes as you’ll ever spend, I’m sure of it.

The next track, Crashtest #10, is over twenty-six minutes long, long enough to have three substantial sections–or, more accurately, long enough to make two substantial metamorphoses, of sound sources and of aesthetics. It starts off with outdoor, country sounds–bird calls, dogs barking, even a few car noises eventually. (There are cars in the country, too.) All underpinned with low frequency thuds and some hiss (pink noise) that gets louder and louder until the hiss is foreground and the birds are background. Read More »

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Asymmetry on the radio

Asymmetry founding editor Michael Karman will be Robert McBride’s guest on Club Mod this Saturday. Club Mod is a show on All Classical KQAC in Portland, OR. And while the realities of programming on a classical station means that some of the things Asymmetry values could not be played, I think we have still come up with a pretty interesting show with some very delightful music.

John Cage, Imaginary Landscape no. 1
Marisol Jiménez, Guijarros-Humaredas
Gráinne Mulvey, Akanos
Bronius Kutavičius, Lokys (scene 8 and part of 9 of Act II)
Tomas Marco, Symphony no. 2
Federico Martínez, Ritual (el aliento y el trueno)
Balázs Horváth, Looking back (A or B)
Simeon Ten Holt, Canto Ostinato (six tracks from the performance on Etcetera)
Balázs Horváth, Looking back (B or A)
Michèle Bokanowski, L’etoile absinthe
Fausto Romitelli, Introduction and Hellucinations 2/3 from Index of Metals
Lidia Zielinska, Nobody is Perfect (as much of it as can be played before the end of the show)

You can listen in from wherever you are just by going to the KQAC website and clicking on Listen Now at the top of the page for a live stream (Club Mod airs from 8pm to 10pm) or choose Audio Archive in the window that pops up when you click on Listen Now and choose the appropriate Club Mod selection. The archive is only good for a week or two after the show, so don’t wait too long.

Forgive us for loading you up with announcement after announcement. The interviews and the reviews of recorded music and the reports on live shows will be back shortly.

And thank you all very much for your continued support!

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Donating from outside the US

Up until this past Christmas, the donate button for Asymmetry Music Magazine did not allow donations from outside the United States.

I have had all the information necessary to have concluded this all year long, but lacked the intelligence necessary to draw the conclusion.

This Christmas, the problem was shoved under my nose and then very swiftly solved by Asymmetry’s webmaster.

My apologies to anyone who has tried to donate from outside the US this past year.

Anyone outside the US can now donate to Asymmetry to their hearts’ content. Please do!

In other news, I was interviewed in Oregon Music News recently. If you haven’t had a chance to see that yet, it’s here.

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The Future of Asymmetry

Aside from a very welcome donation last year from a staunch supporter, Asymmetry Music Magazine has operated solely from funding off of one source. After seven years, that source has dried up. For Asymmetry to continue its mission of reporting on new music concerts and recommending recordings of new music and interviewing the people who make that music, the magazine must now look for funding outside of that one source. Read More »

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A Moveable Feast: The Odyssey of Anthem Records

Over the past eight years, one of Portland’s coolest music stores has wandered around the town, from just off of Belmont on the east side to Couch Street downtown then back to the east side on 28th and Flanders to its most recent location on Sandy and 28th (2706). For this last move, I had originally planned a little announcement/tribute to the store that has supplied me with some of the most frequently replayed music in my collection, but when I went down to Anthem’s new location and asked Jon an innocent question about foot traffic, his answer to that, which chronicled his store’s travels as well as its philosophy, sent me back to my house to get my Zoom H1 and do a proper interview. Read More »

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New Ferreyra CD

Beatriz Ferreyra’s latest CD, which contains four pieces dated from 2005 to 2011 (odd years only), is a welcome addition to the composer’s recorded ouevre, a welcome addition to the world of electroacoustic music–to the world of music, generally–and quite possibly a welcome addition to your own collection. It is available, in line with current trends, as both a physical CD and a digital download.
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Kontact sonoreS third annual festival of new music

Kontact sonoreS is a really fine festival in a very pretty town, and its shows cover a pretty wide range of musics in quite a short span. The 2011 version, which I found out about thanks to Beatriz Ferreyra, one of the participants that year, was so much fun that I went back this year, too, as you may already know. Scroll down a bit and you can see the report on the 2012 festival.
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Improvisation Summit of Portland

Improvisation is a many splendored thing, and the recent two day Creative Music Guild festival of improvisation gave us many of its various splendors. Jazz and not jazz. Traditional jazz and free jazz and mixed. Electronics and acoustic and mixed. Solo sets and large (conducted) groups and everything in between. Music and dance, music and film, dance, and music. Portland musicians and visitors from around the country. All of it packed into ten hours of high-powered and fantastic music making.

It was a lovely festival and no mistake.

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Kontact sonoreS 2012

The 2012 Kontact sonoreS started out with an intriguing set by Polish group Karbido, The Table. Four guys are seated around an amplified table, and no ordinary table, either, but one designed to make different sounds in different places, supplemented by many and various noise makers. Unfortunately, after about four minutes of some really delightful explorations of the table’s sonorities, the group settled in to some quite ordinary 70s rock n roll, including one song–yes, they sang, too–that mentioned some 70s bands by name. That lasted for at least until I finally gave up and left.

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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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