Last East Coast Engagement: New Year's at 119 Gallery

This will be the final performance just a week before Eli and I drive West. I'll perform with Grau Garten, one last time until next winter. This will be an all out blast out with Id M Theft ABle, Crank Sturgeon, the return of Birdorgan, as well as others. Gallery is at 119 Chelmsford, Lowell, MA. THe show will get started around 6 I think. For more information go to the 119 Gallery website: http://www.119gallery.org/?page_id=7161
Video of Crank Sturgeon at 119 Gallery New Year's Eve 2008:

Sun Worship XI at BUOY Gallery; 12/17/2011

Last night concluded the quarterly series I've curated for the past three years. For three years every three months I have accumulated some of the most inspiring performers I've had the honor to know and call friends in New England. For this final installment I brought together some really special people. The night started off with Id M Theftable. Just two days off the plane from a tour of England, tired, disoriented, jet-lagged, he was fantastic. Voices came from him that seemed impossible from such a body as his.

Second was the trio Los Condenados. A firey fury of electronic sounds melded with the vocalizings of Andrea Pensado and the horn playing of Jules Vasylenko. Walter Wright provided controlled electronic chaos via his various circuit boards of noise. Third round was Eric Dahlman and Eric Nugent of the Auddity trio, performing as Eric and Eric or Audd. Next up we had bunq present a film strip about little boy who wanted to be an artist. Then Crank Sturgeon. Next I performed with Dei and Marc Bisson, an homage to my first show in Manchester, at the old M.A.P. gallery. With only three people in the audience we decided to just perform together as one set. That started a lot of things for me in the New England free improvisation community. Greg Kowalski projected on the wall behind us and all that was missing was Steve Norton, our horn player/percussion guru who couldn't make it as he was performing in Somerville at the time. After our set came Skinny Vinny. They are always a crowd pleaser and are able to cross boundries and offer something people can relate to. And unlike many of these performers whom the uninitiated may not be able to discern whether or not they are educated in their line of performance, or whether they are novices or seasoned veterans, Skinny Vinny is easily identifiable as two performers who know their chops. Another demonstration by bunq defining the Winter Solstice and describing some of the traditions around it, as well as sacrificing a stuffed dog and distributing beef jerkey from amongst the synthetic fill. The evening concluded with 2/3 of Mystic Out Bop, Kit and Frank Turek. It was one of the best Sun Worship events I could recall, the Winter Solstice always being my favorite and seeming to involve some excellent performances. I look forward to visiting in the future and setting up the occasional Sun Worship show. And who knows, somebody might carry on the tradition once I'm gone. But I don't think it will be quite the same. Thanks to all who have come to perform or witness this special event. It's really meant more to me than I can put into words. The series has been a way I was able to participate both in the free improvisation community and the local community in Kittery, melding the two, trying to present art to this area that has been inspiring me. And now it is time for another chapter.


Time Slipping, Final Performances in New England

Time speeds up when the dance card is filled. I made the announcement to fellow Grau Garten members after a performance at 119 Gallery, Lowell back in August. It didn't go over so well. We'd all been finding our voice collectively, feeling where we fit in with each other. Now I change the plans.
Now in December, time is running out and I've been performing as much as possible before we depart.
Last night was a long evening at the Flandrew Flopera on Congress Street Boston. 10 sets, projections, etc. I performed solo sound second to last. Friend and projectionist Greg Kowalski accompanied me. Other sets of note were Marc Bisson in a quartet with Joshua Jefferson, Morgan the violinist, and a trumpeter I hadn't seen before, topless Dei wrapped in christmas lights with Crank Sturgeon self inflicting sneezing fits with black pepper liberally consumed. Oroboros with Dave Seidel electronics and Bill Bacon drums and flutes, Greg Kowalski doing an incredible mapping projection on the window spines in the loft. Walter Wright, Lou, and Joe Bourgio squalking, squeeking, shuttering, buzzing, moving.
The weekend prior was at the Wombat Zone in Somerville, former home to the Combat Zone punk house. The show was on the tail of a Russian party that hadn't yet concluded which meant a night of coming and going and incredibly over packed impossible enviornment. Set up was stressful and I was convinced I would leave something behind at the end of the night. But all that stress made for a great set, all of us packed into the kitchen, my speaker and Greg's projector perched on top of the refrigerator. Our set was concise, the three of us sounding off of eachother. I taped Marc's guitar to my mic'd wheel 3/4 of the way through until he was helpless in my packing tape web! Not a bad final show for the next 12 months. I have promised to return and visit and set up shows while back East in the future.
That was a long night. I dropped Greg off at home in Newburyport after 3am. Then I had another half an hour drive to get home to Kittery Point. The cold I had the previous day was raging the following morning.
Prior to that evening was our November 20th show at the Whitehaus. Eli and I had just come off a grueling bike swap trip in Dundee, MA. We drove from Dundee to Jamaica Plain where we delivered some bikes and components off at Bikes Not Bombs. From there we found the Whitehaus with help from Steve Norton. Eli and I were hours early and killed the extra time wandering the meandering streets of JP. Eventually we returned to find Steve, Greg, Marc and Dave Bacon in the living room setting up. Another great set, again consolidated into a confined space. 2/3 of the way though the set Marc Bisson was on the floor infront of my table when I became unamplified. For the remainder of the set the packing tape was flying every which way with some percussion elements.
It's an emotional time approaching our departure date, spending last evenings with friends in a performance scene unique and so rich compared to other similar scenes around the country. Something really special is happening in Northern New England and I have been so lucky to be a part of it. As I've told everybody, we will be back and Grau Garten will continue. But few and far between will be these moments. Out there in the West is another chapter in my life that has yet to begin. I know it will be rich and it will change me in some ways I am not yet aware of. I know to simply trust in the future and my will to continue growing and evolving as an artist and human.


Could it be? SUN WORSHIP 10 Comes To BUOY Gallery

Coming up soon is the 10th installation of the quarterly series known as Sun Worship. The series has been dedicated to bringing the work of performance artists involved in free improvisation to the Seacoast area for two and a half years now.
Sun Worship Series::: http://offsetneedlesound.blogspot.com/p/sun-worship-history.html
BUOY Gallery::: http://www.buoygallery.org/

For this particular Sun Worship event I have imposed a restriction on the performers to present work without the aid of electricity. This is not only a way to celebrate those artists who already have been able to present works unaided by electric current, but also challenge those of us that have thus far relied on it.

Two such artists are pioneers of the experimental music field from New York, Tom Hamilton and Al Margolis. Long time friends Tom and Al have performed all over the world together. This will be a very special one of a kind installation by these two who have been developing their set specially for this acoustic version of Sun Worship.
Tom Hamilton::: http://www.myspace.com/dataday
Al Margolis::: http://ifbwana.com/content/bio

Horn blower, percussion percussor and visual artist Steve Norton will be bringing his group Kilter to BUOY. Steve has been playing free improvised music and other means of audio expression for decades. He is an expert in knowing when, what, and just how much.
Kilter::: http://www.rednotebook.org/music/kilter.html

A Boston group that celebrates their non electric eccentric with every performance is Skinny Vinny. I'm going to take a guess that this will be a 4th participation for The Skin Vins at Sun Worship. Their sound has momentum!
Skinny Vinny::: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=35433

I was hoping to be joined by trumpet player Forbes Graham but alas he is in Europe and will not be attending. Bicycle wheels will be summoned for sound with or without aid from another sounder. (Instead I performed with an amended version of a group I am part of, Grau Garten. Missing was Greg Kowalski, participating were Steve Norton, Marc Bisson, Dave Bacon, and Dei Xrist)

Another Boston trumpeter and returning artist Eric Dahlman has let me know he will be able to participate and will be accompanied by friend Erik Nugent.

And the latest addition is William Jasper and friend Myles. William and Myles are 14. William and his siblings have performed around Portsmouth for years and it will be an honor to include them at this 10th Sun Worship event.

BUOY Gallery has been very generous to share their space and host the Sun Worship Series for the past two years. Please come, bring some beverages, a donation, something to share, an open mind and ears. This event is sure to be a memorable and moving experience.


Upcomming Offset Needle Radius Stuff...

Upcoming events of bicycle wheel and whatever elseness coming down the pike around New England. Next up will be

FRANTASIA FEST 8 up in Livermore Falls. Yes, it's time for another three day bonanza/residency/thingy up in sleepy town Livermore Falls, Maine, hosted by the generous people Fran and Kathleen Szostek. Fran is absolutely tireless in assembling these three day events, a process that takes a year of work and much sacrifice to put together. This year brings the added feature of a partnership with the music department at UMaine Farmington. The first night of Frantasia will take place at a performance space on the University campus while Friday and Saturday nights will continue the tradition of taking place in Livermore Falls' Treat Memorial Library building, right on the main drag.

Offset Needle Radius will be the second set Friday evening, just after the Skinny Vinny thingy.

NEXT appearance will be as part of the Grau Garten trio at 119 Gallery in Lowell, Mass. Grau Garten has performed in a few different mutations and in it's full capacity consists of Steve Norton on sax, horns, and various other wind thingies and percussive stuff, Marc Bisson on guitar slinky, and other things, Greg Kowalski performing improvised projected visuals and myself on the bicycle wheels and perhaps a few other elements.

The following night will bring the 10th edition of Sun Worship at BUOY Gallery, Kittery. This is a special ALL ACOUSTIC edition which will challenge those of us who regularly rely on amplification for our performances while coming naturally to those whose sound sources are acoustically amplified.

Please come out to experience some of these amazing performances. There is always something for everyone and a chance to witness some out of the ordinary creative expression.


Friday may 13::: YDLMIER Tape Releaes Show, BOSTON

In February I recorded over 2 hours of material to be released on the exclusive YDLMIER cassette label. The result is the 47 minute cassette entitled "Spoke Tension". Friday May 13 will be the release show, hosted by YDLMIER at the Flandrew Floft in Boston. Greg Kowalski will be performing free improvised projections with me. Other cassettes being released and performances by:

Moon Climb The Wall

Ghost In Salad


After May 13 I will have a handful of cassettes for sale for $6 in person, $7 in the mail.

UPDATE::: Here is video from the performance recorded by Greg Kowalski:::


Sun Worship 8 at BUOY March 19th

   I am very excited for the 8th in the Sun Worship Series.  Not only because the line up consists of performers whose work I truly hold in high regard, and that some of these performers have become my friends.  But Sun Worship 8 concludes two years of the series.  Two years is not so long to be doing something.  But in the early days I really had no idea if I could pull something like this off.  Now it's two years later.  Thank You BUOY!
   This Sun Worship takes place of the night of the Super Moon, a full moon while the moon passes above the closest it's been in 18 years.  Scientists studying the moon's influence on our planet report an increased incident of earthquakes, unusually high tides, and volcanic activity during a Super Moon occurrence.  This will obviously have an affect on the energy on Saturday night which will be intense.  Come experience some intense energies at BUOY!  If you're unsure about coming out to be at a public occasion, wear a mask or costume.  Or stand out under the intensity of the super moon light watch through the window.  But please if you can donate a buck or two for out of town performers its much appreciated...

Andrea Pensado has ventured off into solo and occasional collaborative performance since the disbanding of her previous duo QUFUQ DUO.  Overheard recently at XFest where she performed with guitarist Dave Ross and Lou Cohen, a comment about the brief description of Andrea's work: laptop.  Her performance goes vastly beyond what comes to mind when imagining a performer behind the laptop generating sound.   Andrea uses her voice and passion with screams, screeches and subtler sounds to create sound pieces that range from static and gentle vocalizations to harsh high decibel intensity.

Crank Sturgeon for those uninitiated, earned himself a reputation for public nudity and being a nonsensical nut over the 20 years he has been performing.  I know him as an extremely approachable fellow that transforms into a half fish half human sound scientist who has assembled some unpredictable experiments to share with his audience.  His performances are constantly changing incorporating various props and special effects as well as audience participation. 

Steve Norton is an expert player of many horns who has been tooting around Boston for a stack of decades.  He partakes in many Boston area groups such as Duck That!, and Metal And Glass Ensemble.  He has enlisted floutest Matt Samolis who is credited with founding Metal And Glass Ensemble among many other great honors.

Eric Dahlman is a Boston area horn player who incorporates various other acoustic sound elements to his improvised performance.  Horns, some common some strange like the two headed horn, wind up toys, aluminum foil, all thrown into the mix.  Performances I have seen of Eric's I would describe as gentle, playful at times.  Sometimes angular and generative.

Dave Seidel spent 10 years playing electric guitar in New York's New Music scene, and playing some killer gigs at that.  Now he lives in Peterborough and performs primarily on computer using CSound to generate compelling drones of sound that hook one's attention and then pulls the listener through a transformative listening experience.  Is it magic?  Is it hypnotism?

Joshua DeScherer was granted his PhD for music composition from Buffalo University in 2009.  I first heard him perform an unusual piece written for voice and double bass at Frantasia Festival that same year.  He's been teaching music in Portland and working on repurposing electronic toys and studying the sound qualities of dismembered vinyl Lp's.  I am looking forward to finding out what he might bring to his first Sun Worship event.  

Art from the 2011 Art-PM Challenge will be showing in BUOY Gallery at the same time. 

This will be the second consecutive Sun Worship event which I will not be performing at.  Offset Needle Radius will be back for the following two Sun Worships.  June will be the Divisible By 3 Sun Worship  9 on 06/18, comprised of all trios with the live projections of Greg Kowalski.  I will be performing with Steve Norton and birdorgan's Marc Bisson.
Sun Worship 10 will be all acoustic in which I will perform a duo with trumpeter Forbes Graham.

Stay tuned and thank the Sun.


Self Torture Mental Sickness

Yesterday was the first day of XFest, a mash up of musicians from the area with some visitors from NYC and Montreal.  Each set is comprised of two regional and one visiting performer.  Nothing is predetermined, all music or sound pieces created on the spot.  As with last year I performed in the first set of the festival with a trumpet player from Boston I really admire and a guitarist from NYC. 

All day I was tearing myself up, wondering what the hell I was doing devoting my time for creative expression to performing these sound collages on bicycle wheels.  Is it any good?  Is there some relevance to what I'm doing?  Or is it misguided garbage just pissing away the energy into the dumpster?   I was really being hard on myself.  Then we got down to the 119 Gallery where it all takes place and I saw Walter who curates the festival. And Skot Id M from Portland.  Eli came with me too.  I set up and then came Forbes and the guitarist. 

Anyhow, we played and there were some truly magic moments there and all my self torture just melted away.  I have a posse and they were all there.  Later in the evening another fellow sound explorer performed on a couple of small cardboard boxes bound together with rubber bands and a coffee can hanging from his mic stand by a piece of wire.  It's good to have community, even the nuts need it.


Nortwest Campaign Complete:::

    Saturday February 5th concluded the performances for this trip to the Northwest, with a live broadcast on KPSU 1450am in Portland, Oregon.  Listen to the streaming archive HERE.  (See Ricardo Wang's digital photos of the performance HERE:::)The good news is that we were on time to the station at 11 am having left Seattle at 7.  Sleep deprived and coffee sweat induced for sure.  The previous night's escapades were a performance in Seattle's Gallery 1412 with Jane who sang her heart felt banjo and accordion tunes as Cowlick.  After the Offset Needle Radius set I answered questions for about 15 minutes about my performance and free improvisation in general.  Fun fun and fun.
   The good times began with a live set on KAOS Radio Olympia on Richard Sinclair's Dancing In Circles radio show Tuesday night Feb. 1st.  I was still under the throws of a nasty cold.  But despite that and written quarrels with the parking cops, the radio expose itself was a great time with Eli in the studio taking photos and trying not to snag the many cables that criss crossed through the air.
   All in all Offset Needle Radius had great receptions in all three venues and it just goes to show determination is a great tool.  All these performances were booked within two week's time.  Next year I'll plan ahead and really get something together.


:::Offset Needle Radius LIVE on the radio:::

Through a fierce last minute campaign to drum up some performance opportunities in the Northwest I've been offered two live on air slots.  Although I have guest engineered on live radio and played in a band live on the radio, this will be a first for Offset Needle Radius.

  To hear streaming broadcasts, check out KAOS Radio Olympia for the Dancing In Circles radio show 9 to 11pm Pacific (Midnight to 2am Eastern) and to KPSU Radio Portland for the What's This Called? show on Saturday February 5th 12 noon to 1pm (3-4pm Eastern). 


Northwest Territories, Here Comes Offset Needle Radius:::

Last minute preparations and attempts to try and squeeze just a couple of performance opportunities out of the Northwest has so far resulted in one booking so far, for Friday February 4th at Gallery 1412.  The show will be 8pm with local acoustic songster Cowlick.  I will be spinning, soothing, and torturing the steel wheels generously donated by my friend and once co worker Matt Cardinal. 

Unfortunately my timing for a visit to the Northwest is not quite ideal as I seem to be fitting my time there in between the "Is That Jazz?" festival and the Seattle Improvised Music festival.  So it goes.  I am grateful for the opportunity to bring it to Seattle in any capacity.  Thanks to the generous people at Gallery 1412.

Gallery 1412 is located at 1412 18th Avenue in Seattle between Pike and Union.  If you are reading this, I hope you'll come check it out:::


Bonus Track from Impending Release

   Fionas Week was recorded over a week residency in Concord, NH in January 2010.  I set up in the kitchen of the house and recorded every night.  Instrumentation consisted of the 700c one cross pattern bicycle wheel mounted on the Park TS 2 stand, as well as Fiona's collection of instruments for little people including miniature piano, plastic keyboard xylophone, whistles, mini cassette recorders, and a buddha box. This track was a bonus that didn't make it onto the final album but is none the less a good example of the recordings.
   Whatever T.W.T.D by OffsetSound

Mastering is being done in Brooklyn by Andrew Gerhan, layout assistance from Michael Winters, inside photograph by Eli Thompson, 2010.  Released on Wow Cool -vs- Offset Sounds Recordings