The Strung Festival - New York 2000
New York City at TONIC,
curated by Jon Rose and David Watson
4th to 14th October 2000
Violinist Jon Rose has displayed enormous dedication to expanding the limits of stringed instruments' performance and construction over the last 30 years in his ongoing project... The Relative Violin. Necessary to this concept has been innovation in the fields of new instrument design (over 25 deconstructed violin instruments), environmental performance (eg. playing fences in the Australian outback using the violin as a bow), and new instrumental techniques (tested sometimes in marathon concerts of up to 12 hours long). Jon has more recently initiated projects with Chris Cutler, Otomo Yoshihide, Barre Philips and Kaffe Mathews. Unlike the STRING'EM UP festivals of Rotterdam and Berlin in recent years, TONIC's STRUNG festival will concentrate on already existing bands that feature one or more outstanding string players. ...and 'strings' this year will include acoustic and amplified guitar strings and piano strings (lots of)... not to mention the exotic contributions of Min Xiao's high speed pipa and Sang Won Park's bowed Komungo... or the re invention of early music's viola da gamba by Jay Elfinbein... or the appearance of the extraordinary 'Hutchins' bass violin with Dominic Duval. There's much more...
4th Wednesday - 8.00 pm
Soldier String Quartet
Dave Soldier is one of the most prolific composers for strings anywhere and to these ears anyway, the best of arrangers of American Folk/Blues for string quartet. Marlene Rice, the lead violinist with the quartet has got the happening sound for that! Also featuring Ron Lawrence on viola, Dawn Buckholtz on cello and the extraordinary vocals of Tiye Giraud and Jimmy Justice... performing classical repertoire of Detroit and new works by Iggy, P-Funk, MC5, Seger, Amboy Dukes and the soul of Aretha.
4th Wednesday - 10.00 pm
The Borah Bergman Trio
- Borah Bergman . . . piano
- Mat Maneri . . . violin
- Michael Wimberly . . . percussion
Bergman has been mesmerising audiences with his extreme left hand counterpoint since the 1970's, recording with such great as Andrew Cyrille, Evan Parker, Roscoe Mitchel and Thomas Chapin. He is joined by up and coming jazz star on violin, Mat Maneri who has learnt his trade and chops in his famous father's bands. Michael Wimberly is best known for his work with Charles Gayle.
5th Thursday - 8.00 pm and 10.00 pm
Matthew Shipp trio
featuring William Parker
Watch out for the premier of this new trio with currently very much in demand Mathew Shipp on Piano and Mr. everywhere with everyone bass player William Parker, pushed hard along by Gerald Cleaver on drums.
6th Friday - 8.00 pm
Alvin Curran & Jon Rose
- Alvin Curran . . . string samples
- Jon Rose . . . violin & tenor violin
Alvin Curran is one of America's great maverick originals who first came to notice with MEV in the 60's... one of the first electronic improvising groups. Since then he has specialised in performances and events, bringing together the most unlikely sonic components within his futuristic vision. Alvin and Jon first performed together in Berlin in the mid 80's. This will burn and he's promised not to play his Sonic Youth samples.
6th Friday - 10.00 pm
- Brandon Ross . . . guitar
- Melvin Gibbs . . . bass guitar
- J.T. Lewis . . . drums
A meeting of three intense and extremely loud personalities whose individual brilliance and collective experiences includes work with Herbie Hancock, Lou Reed, Cassandra Wilson, Caetano Velosso, Henry Rollins and Henry Threadgill.
6th Friday - midnite
with DJ Olive and Toshio Kajiwara
Turntablist experiments with heaps of string samples, including the String Quartet in a box where each part of the 4 parts is on a different record apparently... would have been cheaper by New York rates) to hire a real string quartet, wouldn't it?
7th Saturday - 8.00 pm
The David Watson Guitar Army
If you are expecting something really really loud, you may get more than you bargained for, because they play really really quiet too... maybe if Glen Branca had been musical, it might have sounded like this. With David Watson, David First, Roger Kleier, Alan Licht, Aaron Mullan, Dean Roberts and Skuli Sverrisson on still the world's favourite instrument.
7th Saturday - 9.30 pm
- Diane Peters . . . solo harp
Well you can't have a string festival without a concert harp in it, can you? And this harpist flew all the way from Australia, that's dedication.
7th Saturday - 10.30 pm
Charles Burnham Trio
Their millenial debut, the 'Hidden City Brand' will play 'The Music of Brooklyn'. Featuring three of King's County's finest musicians; Brandon Ross on acoustic guitar; Peter Apfelbaum on piano and sax; and the great Charles Burnham on violin and mandolin. Not to be missed, this is full contact music with Charles as possibly the best living example of the African American violin tradition.
11th Wednesday - 8.00 pm
- Kato Hideki . . . double bass solo
Ground Zero/Death Ambient bassist Kato gives his fingers a rare workout on the tree tonight... stand by for a well thought out composition.
11th Wednesday - 9.30 pm
Curtis Bahn & Dan Trueman
- Curtis Bahn . . . bass/sensor interface
- Dan Trueman . . . elec violin/rbow/sensorbow
And now it's time for the high tech stuff. 'Interface' is free improvisation with bags of sensors, interactive live electronics and experimental spherical speakers installation.
11th Wednesday - 10.30 pm
Mark Dresser Quartet
- Mark Dresser . . . double bass
- Mari Kimura . . . violin
- Tomas Ulrich . . . cello
- Jon Rose . . . violin & tenor violin
Four of the hottest and most original string players in contemporary music make up this quartet of Mark's choice. Both he and Mari were invited to the first 'String'em Up' festival in Berlin 1998 by Jon... Tomas will add his wild personal sparks to this group which will fly.
12th Thursday - 8.00 pm
Chris Tignor project
- Maxim Moston . . . violin
- Carlos Guedes . . . fender rhodes
- Peter Cressy . . . guitar
- Christopher Tignor . . . computer
He creates digital signal processing instruments which recompose the sound of the other instrumentalists live. By avoiding the use of pre-recorded material, there remains the possibility of a live ensemble sound more relevant and perhaps more expressive in relation to the present moment... come and see if he's right.
12th Thursday - 9.30 pm
Ken Butler's Voices of Anxious Objects
- Butler . . . homemade strings
- Stomu Takeishi . . . bass
- Seido Salifoski . . . dumbek, percussion
The artist/musician performs eastern trance textures and driving melodic gypsy grooves on an amazing arsenal of amplified hybrid strings made from household objects and tools. Expect a new appreciation for tennis rackets and snow shovels as Duchampian Dada meets Hybrid Hindu Hendrix. 'One of music's most ingenious and eccentric personalities' (John Zorn).
12th Thursday - 10.30 pm
Hank Roberts Trio
- Hank Roberts . . . cello/vocals
- Peter Chwazik . . . bass
- Bill King . . . drums
Hank is a long time partner of Tim Berne and has recorded with many ex down town post heroes like Bill Frisel, etc. His music is marked by lyrical folk rock passages, R & B musings, straight out bebop, Afrocentric and classical rhythmic and harmonic complexity and a passion for spontaneous improvisation... he also seems to wrap his legs at least twice around the cello in performance. Full on.
12th Thursday - midnite
A birthday bash with lots of guitar strumming guests. His mother is expected... on a viola.
13th Friday - 8.00 pm
Martha Mooke & Randolf Hudson
- Martha Mooke . . . elec viola
- Randolf Hudson . . . e-bow guitar
According to the Voice, Mooke's strikingly original music nods to Ravel, Riley and beyond... yes indeed.
13th Friday - 9.30 pm
Malcolm Goldstein & David Behrman
- Malcolm Goldstein . . . violin
- David Behrman . . . electronics
Fashions come and go but these two guys go on regardless for ever it seems. 2 absolute masters from the world of 'new music'. Malcolm with his uniquely personal, atomised, organic language... and the whole history of electronic music owes David one big thankyou.
13th Friday - 9.30 pm
Jay Elfinbein Duos
The first one with Jose Moura (6 string bass guitar). An extraordinary collision of music with Jay (viola da gamba) showing how all that early music should really be played/stroked... while duetting on a Latin paradise island somewhere. The second one with Virginia Kaykoff (Vielle) and Jay moving over to Mediaeval Fiddel... again if only early music sounded like this. I'll repeat that if you like... if only early music sounded like this.
13th Friday - 10.30 pm
Tomas Ulrich Trio
with Jason Hwang (violin) and Dominic Duval (bass)
Cellist Tomas Ulrich has a trio with a special chemistry. Jason adds his superb timing and Dominic plays one of the rare Hutchins Basses... a treat for anyone into string instruments (this one is the baritone bass, part of the uniquely designed and powerful sounding Violin Octet of instruments, of which there are only 3 complete sets in the world).
14th Saturday - 8.00 pm
- David Watson . . . elec guitar
- Jon Rose . . . violin, amplified bow, midi bow
- Sang Won Park . . . kumongo
- Hal Ouserud . . . double bass
A pool impro group of continental drift proportions. David and Jon last played together in Tasmania about 17 years ago... hope they haven't forgotten about the gig.
14th Saturday - 10.00 pm
Marty Ehrlich's Dark Woods Ensemble
featuring Erik Frielander (cello), Mark Helias (double bass), Jerome Harris (guitar)
Along with Erlich's original compositions for his long running ensemble will be covers of Bob Dylan and Eliahu Hanavi... plus plenty of time for some classy and intimate string playing.
This STRUNG festival at TONIC is one of a number of ongoing projects initiated by Jon Rose who has spent most of his life creating just about everything imaginable on, with and about the violin.