Dafna Naphtali & Gordon Beeferman — Pulsing Dot
(Classic Music Vault Clang 064, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-09-29
Gordon Beeferman is a keyboard player, and one I was familiar with from his excellent ensemble release Four Parts Five released on Innova a few years ago, a four part work composed by Beeferman by a five-piece group doing something akin to math-jazz. He’s had his hands in a lot of other musical projects throughout the years as well, from jazz ensembles to theater works and so on. Other than a collaboration with Kitty Brazelton from around 15 years ago (which I remember little about), this is my first exposure to Dafna Naphtali, although she has been hard at work as a composer singer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic musician on the jazz / avant / experimental / electro-acoustic music circuit for a good twenty years. Pulsing Dot is their first recorded collaboration as a duo, essentially five free improvisations with Beeferman on piano and Naphtali doing mostly wordless vocalizations and creating electronic effects and unusual percussive sounds (electronically), and processing the sampled sounds from voice and piano in various ways on the computer, creating an unusual and occasionally chaotic collision of acoustic and electronic sounds. With her amazing voice she is also capable of diplophonic techniques, which she uses occasionally here (think of the late singer Demetrio Stratos of the Italian jazz-rock band Area, who was well known for that technique). Some of the material here is pretty far out, and hard to wrap one's ears around in an everyday muscal listening situation, although the piano provides a path to follow. That said, if one listens closely to all of what’s going on herein (headphones, please), every moment is genuinely interesting and the live interaction between the collaborators makes for some truly groundbreaking improvisation.
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more