fotofono


120115 + 120216 (an improbable tree)

One thing I really enjoy about documenting the meetings at Fotofono is the opportunity to observe firsthand the group dynamics which unfold in and around the studio. As I read the _participants abc list (here at left) I see a loose collective of artists that keeps growing and mutating like an organism. What I like is the unpredictability of its crossings and bifurcations, and the eclectic range of its sonic manifestations.


120115, first set: Doron Sadja


120115, second set: Tyler Wilcox


120115, third set: Andy Hayleck and Ben Owen

This plurality is well reflected in the present post, which includes recordings from two recent events roughly separated by a month of time. The first three tracks are from the latest open doors event of January the 15th, which featured solo sets by Doron Sadja and Tyler Wilcox and a duet by Andy Hayleck and Ben Owen.
A fourth recording was made when a nine-piece ensemble gathered again in the studio just about a month later.

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A
t work in the dark: Doron Sadja
Doron Sadja (computer) [27 min. 13 sec.].
With firm hands in the flickering candlelight and a resolute evil shine in his eye Doron tames his quadraphonic beast to a lush culmination. Wonderful opening set.

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Tyler shows the score of the piece he’s just performed

Tyler Wilcox (soprano saxophone, field recording)
In this meditative, very quiet set Tyler performs his new composition “4hk4ak 2012”. Field recordings from Coney Island and Rockaway Park Beach are looped into brief sequences, constructing a  carefully paced structure over which Tyler lays out his soprano sax playing.  A sense of fragility permeates the piece, beautifully enhanced by the absolute stillness held by the audience tightly packed in the studio during the performance [32 min. 28 sec.].
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Andy and Ben chilling during sound check.

Andy Hayleck and Ben Owen (computer and electronics)[25 min. 59 sec.].
Ben and Andy have known each other for years, but to my knowledge this is the first time that they have performed together as a duo. This low-frequency dialogue constitutes a brilliant study on poise and understatement. While the listener’s imagination (at least in my case) drifts in the mystery of the spectral elision, Andy’s and Ben’s sound creature slowly fills the room, finds a comfortable place in it and then slowly dissolves. It takes a few silent minutes before an applause follows and marks the end of the concert.

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mpld projection

Gill Arno (mpld setup), Carver Audain (computer), Mike Bullock (acoustic bass), Bryan Eubanks (electronics), Tim Feeney (percussion), Andrew Lafkas  (acoustic bass), Catherine Lamb (viola), Ben Owen (electronics), Keiko Uenishi (computer and microphone) [36 min. 10 sec.].
The last piece of this post shows the other side of fotofono – the last-minute coming together of regular “closed doors” studio sessions.

On February 16th a bunch of improvisers got together when Mike Bullock and Tim Feeney briefly stopped by in Brooklyn while on transit towards New Jersey. This is the first piece of two that were played that night, and I think  the recording translates quite well the excitement that I felt at the time for the nice group that had gathered in the studio. For a nine-participant improvised session, there is  quite some space for everybody to explore unconstrainedly. As I listen back to this recording I really enjoy finding each participant’s signature sound to define the contour of the collective exploration.

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Download all sets as zipped files:
flac [444.8 MB]
mp3 320 kbps [268.7 MB]

Recorded and prepared by Gill Arno.
Thanks for the photos to Derek Morton and Theres Wegmann.



Summertime news

I know….. we are experiencing delays with the blog updates. And yet, after quite a busy spring, our HOT studio summertime has definitely started – and will continue stepping up with more sessions and events in the months of July and August.

So this will be a loaded post. There are recordings and many images from the last event of May the 24, plus an extra recording from a recent studio session that happened on the 10 of June. The latter inaugurates a new blog category dedicated to the “closed doors sessions”. More information on this below.

Let’s start with the event of May the 24 – Ian Fraser, Jesse Kudler and Tim Albro were in town, giving us a great opportunity to have their trio to play here before Tim’s relocation to Rhode Island. Second set had Kyle Bobby Dunn and Michael Vincent Waller playing guitar over the video of Nick Zeig-Owens (not projected, but presented instead as a boxed picture in an old tv set). For a third set I joined (as mpld) Audrey Chen and percussionist Luca Marini who were just back from having toured Europe together in the previous weeks.
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Tim Albro, Ian Fraser, Jesse Kudler. [26 min. 13 sec]

Excerpt from Kyle Bobby Dunn’s and Michael Vincent Waller’s duo set. [9 min. 54 sec.]

Audrey Chen, Luca Marini, mpld. [28 min. 47 sec.]

Download zipped files: ogg [208.6MB]; 320 kbps mp3 [142.4MB].
Recorded at Fotofono by Jesse Kudler on May 24, 2010.
Many thanks to Jesse for recording and mastering help.
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Set 1: L to R Jesse Kudler, Ian Fraser, Tim Albro.


Set 2: Kyle Bobby Dunn.


Set 2: Michael Vincent Waller


Set 2: Nick Zeig-Owens


Set 3: Audrey Chen (foreground), Luca Marini’s shadow, mpld slide.

Above are a few photos of the 3 sets (by Theres Wegmann and myself). Also, to document the party before the concert I had asked our daughter Vera to ‘unobtrusively’ handle the camera duties for us – so here is an exclusive album of her fine portraiture. Thanks Vera! (now, I just hope to find out how the ‘album’ button works…)

 



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As announced above, in the second part of this posting we introduce to the blog a new category: sessions is an area of the archive set to collect the recordings from the less formally convened meetings. Since much of the action at Fotofono happens besides the concert series, there is a growing accumulation of recordings stacking up. They document the evolving dynamics of an active community of artists and sometimes offer unexpected surprises, like interesting first-time meetings and assorted chance encounters that usually happen spontaneously and go unannounced.
I have been thinking for a while about pulling out of storage this material, and this looks like the right time to set up a new blog category dedicated to these ‘regular’ sessions..

I am not even going to fret about choosing what to post here first, as the latest recording matches pretty well all the requirements. Here goes the background story: Tucker Dulin’s old friend Patrick Crossland was visiting for a few concerts in town with Swiss-based Ensemble Laboratorium. Tucker summoned Andrew Lafkas and myself for an improvised session with three of Laboratorium’s members: trombonist Crossland, trumpet player Nenad Markovic and percussionist Rie Watanabe.

It turned out to be a great match. As no photos were shot to document the meeting, the picture above shows the setup that I was using during this take – radio feedback over the piano soundboard.

Session participants:
Andrew Lafkas – double bass
Nenad Markovic – trumpet
Patrick Crossland – trombone
Rie Watanabe – percussion
Tucker Dulin – trombone
Gill Arno – radio transmitter/receivers, piano soundboard

Improvised session with all the above [35 min. 33 sec.].

Download zipped files: ogg [125.3MB]; 320 kbps mp3 [77.9MB].
Recorded by Gill Arno at Fotofono, June 10 2010.

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