Tongue Depressor + Sonnet / Matsumoto + Fluke Mogul / Weeks
Tongue Depressor (New Haven, CT) is the duo of Henry Birdsey (fiddle, lap steel) and Zach Rowden (fiddle, upright bass). They write, improvise, and perform music that draws from the fields of drone, harsh noise, and church music, often using microtonal tunings. Caspar Sonnet (lap-steel dobro) Kozue Matsumoto (koto) is an acoustic experimental, improvisational duo based in Los Angeles, California.
Tongue Depressor (New Haven, CT) is the duo of Henry Birdsey (fiddle, lap steel) and Zach Rowden (fiddle, upright bass). They write, improvise, and perform music that draws from the fields of drone, harsh noise, and church music, often using microtonal tunings. Recent projects and releases include the the ongoing Fiddle Music series (currently 4 volumes), Broad Is The Road That Leads To Death (2018 C/Site Recordings), and To See Not, a trio recording with percussionist Trevor Saint (Glockenspiel) out in January 2019 via Obsolete Staircases (Kentucky).
Sonnet / Matsumoto
Caspar Sonnet (lap-steel dobro) Kozue Matsumoto (koto) is an acoustic experimental, improvisational duo based in Los Angeles, California. Both artists employ numerous extended techniques exploring an array of sounds and textures heralding modern and early eastern and western folk traditions. The collaborations are fiercely intensive, concentrated duets where both players utilize prepared techniques composed in set time blocks. Each player is then assigned a specific set of tools to manipulate various parts of the instrument and are assigned set tunings, microtonal or otherwise. Their use of instrumental augmentation, movement and presence are captivating to witness.
Versus, released in April 2019 on Portland label Sounds et al., captures the intensity of their collaboration. Raucous tones, ringing notes, and harsh drones produced acoustically; at times terrifying, utterly overpowering the listener. Art that must be engaged with.
“As an experimental composer/performer/multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer, I create sound structures using prepared acoustic lap-steel dobro, harmonica, voice & percussion, employing an array of various extended techniques & just intonation, allowing spontaneous, improvised compositions to develop within time as it does. These time frames are regulated by use of sand and glass timers (hourglass) of varying durations or “soft time” which induces a sense of hyper-awareness within each player, thus time becomes a physical object in the room.” – Caspar Sonnet
“This project has been an incredibly exciting and intensive experience for me. It is a deep process of re-thinking and challenging my long-term relationship with the koto. I try to communicate with my instrument in various unconventional and sometimes absurd ways, and then ask: How do I feel about it? How is the koto responding to it? Is this experiment working? Are we still happy together? We discovered many things about each other, and the time we spend together became more powerful. Then Caspar. He is an artist with a full spirit, and creating music together with him is compelling. I really enjoy the constantly changing colors of sound and noise that Caspar creates.” – Kozue Matsumoto
Fluke-Mogul / Weeks
gabby fluke-mogul is a violinist, improviser, composer, & educator living in Oakland, CA. gabby explores the depths, infinite sounds, hues, & multitudinous voices of the acoustic violin. through improvising//composing, gfm hopes to create space for individual & collective intersectional process, intimacy, & vulnerability. they are interested in the sensual nature of sound—how desire & eroticism are embodied & translated within the political & poetic context(s) of improvisation. gabby holds a BA from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) in Music & Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning where they studied with Rachel Conrad, Marty Ehrlich, Jamie MacDonald, Dan Warner, & Becky Miller and a MFA in Music Performance and Literature with Improvisation Specialization from Mills College (Oakland, CA) where they worked with Pauline Oliveros, Jennifer Wilsey, Zeena Parkins, India Cooke, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, Kala Ramnath, W.A. Mathieu, & Kara Davis. gabby will complete Pauline Oliveros’s Deep Listening Certificate Program in December 2018. gabby believes in the power of listening, improvisation, babies, children, & kindness. gfm performs with a variety of ensembles & collaborative projects in addition to facilitating community-based workshops & teaching (toddlers-adults) in public, private, & non-profit learning spaces. YouTube
Tom Weeks is a composer, improviser, and saxophonist from the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. He has received a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, and a Master’s degree in Composition from Mills College, Oakland, CA. He has studied with Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Brown, W.A. Mathieu, Steve Adams, Richard Evans, Phil Wilson, and Greg Hopkins, among others. His music is influenced by various African-American musical traditions, the historical avant-garde, and the heavy metal and hardcore traditions; utilizing improvisation, extended techniques, and traditional and experimental notational practices. He has worked with musicians such as Alvin Curran, Makoto Kawabata, Ricardo Descalzo, The MolOt Ensemble, Jack Wright, Nick Millevoi, Hans Koch, Walter Thompson, Vinny Golia, William Winant, G. Calvin Weston, members of the ROVA saxophone quartet, and Henry Kaiser, among many others. His frequent collaborators include Camille Emaille, Nathan Corder, Joshua Allen, gabby fluke-mogul, and Scott Siler. YouTube