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I'm a composer and a contributor to ISSUE Project Room's slice of the Free Music Archive. Read my blog and follow me on twitter.

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beausievers on 05/02/2011 at 05:28PM

The Rat Bastard Experience

The Rat Bastard Experience at ISSUE Project Room, January 29. Photo by Lori Baily. View more photos.

Weasel Walter is involved in a number of different projects, including an upcoming set with Paul Flaherty, C. Spencer Yeh, and Steve Swell at ISSUE Project Room on Friday. But The Rat Bastard Experience, led by Cecil Taylor Unit drummer Marc Edwards, is unique. The band played at ISSUE Project Room on January 29th. A partial transcription of their performance follows.

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beausievers on 04/25/2011 at 01:00AM

Okkyung Lee & John Butcher

Photo by Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

This Wednesday (4.28 FREE | RSVP) cellist Okkyung Lee will kick off her Artist-in-Residency at ISSUE Project Room with a free performance featuring collaborators Tom Rainey, Liberty Ellman & Skuli Sverrisson. In honor of the occasion, we’ve unearthed her duo performance with John Butcher from November 11, 2009.

Okkyung Lee and John Butcher’s improvisation can be read as an extended investigation of two strategies central to improvised music which are always in tension: frenetic processes, which create structure by harnessing and directing the physical energy of the performer across the instrument, and differential structures, which crystalize musical materials in memory. Lee’s playing is always set in motion, a flurry of physical activity which collides and interacts with the material form of her instrument, while Butcher’s playing is mercurial, sympathetic with Lee’s approach but never adopting precisely the same course. His choices are sensitive and antagonistic by turns, sometimes interfacing with Lee’s twittering machines and sometimes punctuating or disrupting their flow with interjections of pitched material rich with reference. Lee responds to these impositions physically, never letting her processes turn into a simple slipstream, but by pushing ground outward into figure, disrupting its borders. This performance makes audible the strain and stress of a physicality made subject to the grasping demands of memory.

John Butcher’s first set from this concert was shared on the Free Music Archive in 2009. John Butcher & Okkyung Lee's first set from the evening is below.

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