Last week, I stumbled upon the Aphonia Recordings site. Discovering yet another local label with a fully stocked roster reminded me of the "six-month rule" I learned from Doug Haire.
In 2002, Haire, producer of KEXP's Sonarchy, told me how he kept his weekly radio show stocked with a fresh stream of musical experimenters: "Every six months, a new crop of musicians appears on the scene. I don't know where they come from. Suddenly they're here." Thus the six-month rule.
Started earlier this year, Aphonia Recordings aims to, in the words of label owner Ben Robertson, "encourage the release, promotion, and exposure of experimental, electroacoustic, microtonal, and strange pop music."
At a time when many small labels retain an "artist roster" of one, i.e., the label owner, it's refreshing to see such a motley assemblage—Aphonia has about 20 artists—under a single aegis.
Slated for the label showcase: the droning analog textures of KRGA; a solo set from cellist Derek M. Johnson, a veteran of many local ensembles (including the Tacoma Symphony) with an abiding interest in wiry polyphony; and Myello, who layers nasal synth tones in looped, almost kitsch-pop rhythms. Label honcho Robertson plays a set too, as "the Precambrian," with Aphonia cofounder Andrew Senna. I'm curious to hear how Robertson's penchant for swarming, complex timbres meshes with Senna's skewed folkie sensibility.
Cannily, Aphonia enlisted a mainstay of the Seattle avant scene, Amy Denio. Usually heard on saxophone or accordion, here Denio contributes a set for solo voice and electronics. When she finds the room's resonant frequency, the walls (and your ears) will seem to bend.
Catch the Aphonia Recordings Showcase Fri Oct 26 (Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave, 322-1533), 8 pm, free, but donations accepted.
Straddling the hazy territory between ambient and avant, Ambarchi can deliquesce a single plucked string into a dreamy, meditative space. Guitarist Sir Richard Bishop opens and "prog country metal specialists" Wah Wah Exit Wound close the show. The Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823, 10 pm, $10.
Here's a feast of ferocious, post-classical music for solo clarinet. Davis, a veteran of several outstanding European ensembles, tackles Luciano Berio's formidable Sequenza IXc for bass clarinet, "Soft" by Franco Donatoni, and "Let me die before I wake..." by one of the finest Italian composers born after World War II, Salvatore Sciarrino. Also on the program, a transcription of Eric Dolphy's "God Bless the Child," Tiodhlac II by UW composer Joël-François Durand, and more. Brechemin Auditorium, UW campus, 685-8384, 7:30 pm, $10.
JEAN-MICHEL PILC TRIO
Rising young drummer Ari Hoenig powers this under-the-radar jazz piano trio. I like how Pilc, a former rocket scientist, makes the swooning melody of "Satin Doll" on New Dreams (Dreyfus Jazz) bloop and bleep, only to toss out ribbons of notes that unfurl into an easy groove. Part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. Also Sat Oct 27. Tula's, 2214 Second Ave, 443-4221, 8:30 pm, $16/$18.
Alas, this fine choir discontinued their concert season last spring. The Tudors return for a one-off, hour-long concert presenting the "Western Wind" mass and other works by John Taverner (ca. 1490—1545). St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave, 382-4874, 8 pm, $20 suggested donation, students and seniors pay as able.
ONYX CHAMBER PLAYERS
In his chamber music, Brahms sparkles and surges with energy often absent from his symphonies. For this early evening concert, the OCP sally through the Piano Trio No. 2 in C major, op. 87 and the Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, op. 25. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255, 5 pm, $10—$18.
One of the great experimental violinists and a master improviser, Goldstein's violin sings, howls, sprouts static, and soars. When duetting with his own voice, he creates a turbulent surface of fragmented texts and tones. Fourth-floor Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 8 pm, $5—$15 sliding scale donation.
Back in the 1970s, Halloween meant hordes of kids going door to door amassing bags and bags of sugar-laden loot. Mostly I remember the weirdos: stoners doling out tightly wrapped bags of nickels and pennies in lieu of already-eaten munchies; well-meaning but hated hippie parents passing out apples, bricklike bran cookies, and useless sundries like miniature tubes of toothpaste; and most of all, the neighborhood nut who scared the big kids by blasting creepy sound-effects records from his stereo at 16 rpm. Nowadays hardly any kids venture out to collect candy, so I'll probably go hear organist Carole Terry and her students stir up spooky organ classics. Walker-Ames Room in Kane Hall, UW Campus, 543-1201, 7:30 pm, $10.