MSP/piano w Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra | Aram Shelton’s sax quartet with MSP processing @CNMAT (Berkeley, Fri 27 Apr, 8pm)

I’m very excited to have been asked to play with Aaron Bennett’s phenomenal ensemble Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra at CNMAT (1750 Arch St., Berkeley) at 8pm on Fri 27 Apr.

I’ll be adding MSP and piano into the mix.

If you’ve already heard the first album released by Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (cover below) you know exactly what I’m talking about, and you’re already coming to this great show. If not, run, don’t walk, to get a copy at and hear what the fuss is about.

Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra (cover art: Nancy Bennett)

Among Aaron’s many stellar contributions to the Bay Area improv and new music scenes (like sax trio arrangements of Bollywood standards!)  are fantastic “breathing chart” compositions for large improvising groups that deliver heightened coherence and adventure at the same time. They stand as Himalayas of group improv music. And Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra is the Mt. Everest.

Vapor Trails of Structure in Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Improv

To quote Aaron: “The members of this ensemble utilize the electro-magnetic field of their collective mind to attain a unitive transcendent state of sonic consciousness and in turn, create sublime and/or unusually expanded sonic experiences for their listeners.”

‘Nuff said…

Aaron Bennett in Space

Bio note: Saxist/composer Aaron Bennett has been bending space in the Bay Area jazz and improvised music communities for more than 15 years. Beyond his studies in composition and performance of western music at California Institute of the Arts, Aaron has also studied and played the music of West Africa, Indonesia, India, and Traditional Japanese 雅楽 (Gagaku) music. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad including performances with Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Donald Robinson, Marco Eneidi, Gianni Gebbia, Weasel Walter, Adam Lane, Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, John Raskin, Victoria Williams, Aphrodesia, Lagos-Roots, The Rova Saxophone Quartet and many others.

Aaron Bennett in Time

He leads his own groups Go-Go-Fightmaster, Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra and performs in the Oakland Active Orchestra , Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait & Switch, Vijay Anderson Quartet, and Guerilla Hi-Fi. Aaron has composed for large ensembles, chamber groups, plays, films, dance performances, wind quintet, saxophone quartets and trios as well as pieces for solo instruments.

In addition to Aaron Bennett (sax & compositions), the line-up will also include:

Darren Johnston – trumpet

Darren Johnston

Rob Ewing – trombone

Rob Ewing

Jeff Hobbs – violin

Bob Marsh – cello (and spiritual guidance counselor)

Jeff Hobbs (L) & Bob Marsh (R), performing in OPEYE ORCHESTRA @ Tuva Space

Eli Crews – bass

Joe Lasqo – piano & MSP

Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo:,

Set 2: Aram Shelton: Octet & others, for sax quartet & processing

Aram Shelton composed three minimalist works for an octet of winds and strings via loop pedal back in 2002. For this concert, he’ll re-imagine the first of these, Octet, for saxophone quartet and processing via Max, bringing the piece close to its initial form. Each saxophone will be live-sampled, and the processed sound will be distributed through the space at CNMAT. Aram will be joined by Ritwik Banerji, Cory Wright and Jacob Zimmerman. They may also play A Rare Thing (Shelton, 2003), originally played by the 774th Street Quartet (Bloody Murder).

Aram Shelton

Aram is very familiar to Bay Area lovers of jazz and new music, leading many ensembles and playing in even more (for example, Cylinder, one of my favorites)

Beginning on tenor while growing up on a small ranch in southeast Florida, Aram switched to alto in college, moved to DC and then Chicago, where he played creative jazz and improvised music in many groups, including Dragons 1976, Arrive, and Rapid Croche. Over time he began to use computer-based electronics for the live sampling and manipulation of acoustic instruments, and with Johnathan Crawford formed the group Grey Ghost.

Aram moved out west to study electroacoustic music at Mills College and developed compositions that focused on the technique of phrase modification, wherein written phrases played by orchestral instruments are recorded in real time and rearranged via custom built patches in MAX/MSP.

Aram has performed with a wide variety of talented musicians including Tim Daisy, Ken Vandermark, Jason Ajemian, Josh Berman, Audrey Chen, Darren Johnston, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Dave Rempis, Damon Smith, Steve Bernstein, Weasel Walter, Jason Roebke, Liz Albee, Rob Mazurek, Matt Bauder, Jessica Pavone, Håvard Wiik, Josh Abrams, Harris Eisenstadt, Jeb Bishop, Tim Perkis, Kevin Drumm, Kjell Nordeson, Frank Rosaly, Guillermo Gregorio, and Chris Brown.

Aram’s partners in crime for this outing include monster saxists Ritwik Banerji (pathfinding creator of AI improvising agent, Maxine), Cory Wright (creator of uniquely structured jazz/post-jazz compositions, member in many ensembles, and leader of Green Mitchell & the Cory Wright Quintet), and Jacob Zimmerman (organizer/member of the Lawson Ensemble performing music inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the Lawsonite people and Anteater, specializing in rhythmically complex original music).

Ritwik Banerji (ঋত্বিক ব্যানার্জী) & Maxine perform with Joe Lasqo & Maxareddu, 25 Jul 2013 @ Outsound New Music Summit (Photo - Peter Kaars,

Ritwik Banerji (ঋত্বিক ব্যানার্জী) & Maxine perform with Joe Lasqo & Maxareddu, 25 Jul 2013 @ Outsound New Music Summit (Photo – Peter Kaars,

Cory Wright

Jacob Zimmerman

Join us for an amazing and unique evening in one of the world’s foremost computer music centers!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply