May 18th

(Charles Cohen + Logan Higbie)

Bowerbird Presents GATE
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
8pm; FREE
Join Bowerbird for a night of homegrown, spontaneously generated music with the dynamic quartet of Jack Wright (saxophones), Evan Lipson (double bass), Alban Bailly (guitar), and Johan Nystrom (percussion), vastly expanding beyond “extended techniques” to a world of rich, fugitive sounds; Charles Cohen and Logan Higbie advocating retro-futuristic synth sounds as the “The Chaz and Digbee Show”; and Unguent offering a far more minimal and spacious approach to Lance Simmons' (Dick Neff, Social Junk, and Mirror Men) invented/intuitive music.

Jack Wright / Evan Lipson / Johan Nystrom. TRACK ONE and TWO.

** Unfortunately, the Shaking Ray Levis have cancelled their tour. **
Jack Wright was a soprano choir boy and a marching band saxophonist in the fifties, a bluegrass washtub bassist in the early sixties, a university lecturer in history, and a revolutionist in the late sixties and seventies. Since then he has been playing freely improvised saxophone, touring the US and Europe, and has been dubbed "the Johnny Appleseed of Improvised Music". He is accused of impersonating pigs, ducks and human blowhards, but lately has been remembering the proper use of the saxophone --to support the tottering universe. His roots are in Philly, where he owns a house for wayward improvisers (Johan Nystrom is one of them and Evan used to be). Jack plays with everyone but performs and tours only with the finest, which usually means the most obscure, from Europe and the US. He and his partners are among the few true believers in absolutely free, unrestrained, unstructured, unselfconscious improvisation, played at soberingly high levels of musicianship.

Evan Lipson has been active as a musician since adolescence. In an on-going pursuit of all things occult and aberrant, Lipson acquired an early interest in the lateral realms of visionary & experimental music -- quickly seeking to transcend the existent paradigms of idiomatic expression. This particular 'left-hand path' has afforded him the opportunity to work in a wide variety of contexts and styles (esoteric and otherwise); his formative experiences being primarily rooted in underground rock, modernist composition, outsider pop, jazz, noise, as well as various modes of improvisation. Employing numerous tactics & strategies, Lipson's efforts strive towards cultivating a palpably intense and vehemently iconoclastic body of music. With a central emphasis on working directly with his own bands, including regular tours as well as regional performances, Lipson's modus operandi has indefatigably been based on the pragmatic synthesis of divergent influences; intuitively seeking the rarefied and liminal zones in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect.

Johan Nystrom is a drummer working with sound and things he finds on the street. Activities since 2005 include playing high concept composition in a large orchestra for pirate TV, gamelan, amplified food, and countless free improvisation solos and groups. He has developed a range of extended percussion techniques that have more to do with electro acoustic and microtonal musics than paradiddles, but he refuses to relinquish the musicality of simple sticks and skins. Rather than dissociate these two elements, he plays a traditional kit but with a jerky, polyphonic fluidity to move as if he played a pitched instrument: the drum is a voice. He has been active on the East Coast, USA (Pittsburgh to Philly) and in London, U.K.

Alban Bailly is a multifaceted instrumentalist who studied composition, jazz, and improvisation in France. He performed extensively in Europe before moving to the United States in 2005. Playing rock music in his youth, Alban moved onto studying jazz, which led him to various forms of improvised music. In 2001 he studied Arabic music and oud in Marrakesh, Morocco. After his return to France, he became an active performer, collaborating with various music and dance ensembles in Europe. Alban is in demand as an improvisor and continues to tour in United States, Canada, and Europe. He is a founder, composer, and guitarist of the ensembles Inzinzac and Yapp. He is also the guitarist for the modern tango group Oscuro Quintet, among other projects. He is involved with dance ensembles as well, for which he performs and composes electro-acoustic music.

The Chaz and Digbee Show (Charles Cohen + Logan Higbie) Based in Philadelphia, Charles Cohen, has been composing and performing electronic music since 1971. His instrument is the Buchla Music Easel, an extremely rare integrated analog performance instrument obtained from synth pioneer Don Buchla in 1976. Logan Higbie is a recent graduate of The University of the Arts He is a craftsman in wood, leather, and sound.

Unguent: Psychic salve for the fried. A man from the South, Lance Simmons has been moving in underground music circles for some times. Notable projects include Guhts, Dick Neff, Social Junk, and Mirror Men. Unguent offers a far more minimal and spacious approach to Simmons' invented/intuitive music. Topics include visions of induced forms, questionable mortality, and bad energies.
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.


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