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andrewcsmith on 11/29/2010 at 05:22AM

ISSUE twenty-ten twenty-one

It's getting close to the end of ISSUE's first full year on the FMA, so it seems time for a bit of a round-up. I stuck to tracks that were actually recorded at ISSUE, so some of the more recent performers may be a little underrepresented here. However, there are a few gems that I dug up from the archive well after the performance had actually taken place: MV Carbon & Philip White's improvisation, which was originally the opening for a Merzbow concert but featured for Carbon's Artist-in-Residency; Spectre Folk's "Toot! Toot!" for which I originally accidentally uploaded Steve Gunn's improvisation instead; or Alessandro Bosetti's live speaking piece with a dancer, "This is not the same as chanting", performed in February but featured last month for his recent show with Kenta Nagai & Tony Buck of The Necks. And speaking of The Necks, their live set broke free of the Free Music Archive, making it to NPR's news feed and achieving a bit of a second life. 

Most of these tracks are either totally improvised, song-oriented, or the work of solo composer-performers, but it's been one of my personal goals to turn ISSUE's curator page into somewhat of a repository (or at least a little slice) of through-composed music written by composers working with their own ensembles. To that end, my favorites this year have included Travis Just's piece "Fabric for Jim," performed by Object Collection, Matt Bauder's "Paper Gardens," and Aaron Siegel's "Re-imagining," performed by Mantra Percussion, Emily Manzo, and loads of other New York chamber performers. 

Finally, the solo, duo, and trio improvisation could probably be studied in depth from ISSUE's archives alone. There's the MV Carbon & Philip White duo, mentioned above, but there's also the Jon Rose/Maya Masaoka/Alex Waterman trio that banded together for a Sunday afternoon, or the performance by Elliott Sharp and percussionist Andrea Centazzo, or Audrey Chen & Nate Wooley's vocal-instrumental hybrids. On the solo side, there have been sets by instrumentalists using instruments not generally associated with solo performance: the string bass work of Joëlle Léandre, banjo performances by both Uncle Woody Sullender and Paul Metzger, Marina Rosenfeld's solo turntable performance, and William Basinski's transcendent tape-deck performance of "Vivian and Ondine." As you dig in to the last month of 2010, take this five-hour mix along with you.

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katya-oddio on 12/06/10 at 08:04PM
What an incredible year! Thank you for all you do, and especially for sharing ISSUE highlights at the FMA. Remarkable performances.
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