MSP/piano, trio w wind, voice & electronics virtuosi Beth Custer & Thomas Dimuzio (Sun 09 Nov @ SIMM Series, SF, 7:30pm) + Set 2: Art ↔ Jazz w Noertker’s Moxie, 8:30pm

Beth Custer - Joe Lasqo - Thomas Dimuzio

Beth Custer - Joe Lasqo - Thomas Dimuzio

Outsound: A New Sonic Collective for the 21st Century

I’m very excited to again join wind, voice and electronics virtuosi Beth Custer & Thomas Dimuzio at Outsound’s SIMM Series: 7:30pm, Sun 09 Nov (Set 1) at the Musicians Union Hall, 116 9th St @ Mission, SF (map).

Yakitori-ya in the rain at night, Shimbashi (夜の雨の中で焼き鳥屋、新橋)

Outsound’s SIMM Series reminds me of cozy parties among friends at my favorite yakitori joint, nestled under the Shimbashi Bridge in Tokyo in the night rain… from the outside a few hints of warm light and laughter, on the inside a serious wild time. The difference is that, unlike the yakitori joint, the SIMM Series is a spaceship that travels to other musical dimensions.

An acoustic-centered sister of the Luggage Store Series, SIMM has brought the best cutting-edge acoustic jazz and avant-garde musicians in and out of the Bay Area to SF audiences and delivered one musical adventure after another.

I’m delighted as well to be playing with two of the Bay Area’s most unique and unclassifiable musicians, clarinetist, vocalist, and composer, Beth Custer, and synthesizer sifu (師傅) Thomas Dimuzio. We were all delighted earlier in the year at how well everything clicked when we played together to create a mysterious, beautiful sonic universe, and we’re looking forward to another space expedition.

A sequence of typical quantum eigenvectors for the quantum map (Nodal domain statistics for quantum chaotic maps, by J.P. Keating, J. Marklof and I.G. Williams, New J. Phys. 10 (2008) 083023)

We’re planning an evening of improv interplay that will splatter sonic possibilities all over the quantum map into alternate universes where our musical triangle can have many more than three vertices.

Putative SLE trace from an eigenfunction of the quantum map (Nodal domain statistics for quantum chaotic maps, by J.P. Keating, J. Marklof and I.G. Williams, New J. Phys. 10 (2008) 083023)

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

Beth Custer (Photo - Anne Hamersky)

Beth Custer is a San Francisco based composer, clarinetist, vocalist, bandleader, and the proprietor of BC Records.

An original member of the Club Foot Orchestra, a trailblazing ensemble who pioneered scoring and performing with silent films (Pandora’s Box, Sherlock Jr., Metropolis, etc.), Beth is also a founding member of the 4th-world ensemble Trance Mission, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, and leads the quartet of esteemed jazz clarinetists Clarinet Thing, as well as The Beth Custer Ensemble. The Pacific Film Archive commissioned Beth to compose a live score for My Grandmother / ჩემი ბებია / Моя Бабушка, a rare Soviet film, which she toured internationally in Russia, Czech Republic, Ireland, and England, supported by Trust for Mutual Understanding and Mid Atlantic Arts Fund awards.

Beth Custer performs "For the Grace of Any Man" at the Red House Speak Easy, San Francisco, June 2012

She composes for theatre, film, dance, television, installations and the concert stage and has created scores for the contemporary chamber ensembles Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zeitgeist, Earplay, City Winds, + Turtle Island and Kronos String Quartets; for the theatre productions of Campo Santo Theatre, Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, California Shakespeare, Overtone Industries, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, and Cornerstone Theatre; for dancers and troupes Joe Goode Performance Group, Flyaway Productions, Osseus Labyrinth, AXIS Dance Company, and butō (舞踏) masters Harupin Ha (ハルピン派), Koichi Tamano (玉野黄市) and Ledoh (レドー). Her score for JGPG’s The Maverick Strain, which won an Isadora Duncan Award, excerpts enjoyed a run at the Joyce Theater in NYC during April ’09.

Beth created KQED’s Independent View theme with her band Eighty Mile Beach and composed for CBS/Film Roman’s Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat with Club Foot Orchestra, as well as creating music for the films of Cathy Lee Crane, Melinda Stone, Betsy Bayha, Julie Wyman, George Spies, Karina Epperlein, Will Zavala, Peter MacCandless, and Koohan Paik (구한). Beth created four musicals with award winning writer Octavio Solis in LA & SF, and her collaborative scores with inventor and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin led her to compose Vinculum Symphony, a site-specific, large-scale work that unites chamber musicians with experimental instrument builders.

Stephen Kent and Beth Custer perform in the Sanctuary of Dawn at the Garden of Memory event, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, 21 Jun 2012

Beth has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including inventor Trimpin; artists Vladimir Kokolia and Billie Grace Lynn; musicians Stephen Kent, Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka (正岡みや), Joan Jeanrenaud, Amy Denio, Tin Hat, Tango № 9, Pamela Z, Will Bernard, Sex Mob, John Schott, Grassy Knoll, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Violent Femmes, J.A. Deane, the late, great Snakefinger, Greg Goodman, William Cepeda, Elaine Buckholtz, Mark Eitzel, Penelope Houston, Anna Homler, Ollin, and Connie Champagne.

She has over 35 recordings out with her ensembles Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Trance Mission, The Beth Custer Ensemble and Club Foot Orchestra.

Head LIght by Trance Mission (Beth Custer: clarinets/trumpet/voice, Stephen Kent: didjeridu/percussion/cello, John Loose: multi-ethnic drums/samples, Kenneth Newby: Asian winds/percussion/digital atmospheres)

With such a creative explosion, it’s very hard to pick particular jewels out of the box, but Beth’s pathbreaking work with Trance Mission holds special significance for me as a musician integrating non-Western and Western musics, and the sparkling, sensuous tracks of Head Light are a wonderful place to hear the most disparate of world-musical elements click together as if they’d been designed to from the start.

Thomas Dimuzio

Thomas Dimuzio is a composer, multi-instrumentalist & electronic musician, mastering engineer, sound designer, and label proprietor based in San Francisco.

Long regarded as a musical pioneer for his innovative use of live sampling and looping techniques to create compelling works, Thomas is a true sonic alchemist who can seemingly create music events out of almost anything. Listed sound sources on his various CDs include everything from ‘modified 10 speed bicycle’ and ‘resonating water pipe’ to short-wave radios, loops, feedback, samplers, and even normal instruments such as clarinet and trumpet, while his current work is facilitated by the deep expanses of modular synthesis.

His use of signal processing, custom crossfade looping, and algorithmic mixing fuels a synergy of man and machine in his live performances, while intercepted signal feeds from collaborators, wild sources of MIDI-controlled feedback, modular synthesizers, circuit-bent toys, or ambient microphones on the streets, become integrated as sound sources within his system of live interactive electronics, effortlessly moving from electroacoustic and noise to glitch, dark ambient, improv and drone.

Thomas Dimuzio

In his work as a sound designer, Thomas has worked with synthesizer and processor manufacturers such as Kurzweil, Lexicon, and OSC to create custom presets and sample libraries, and he has collaborated with Fred Frith, Tom Cora, and ROVA Saxophone Quartet to create sound libraries for Rarefaction and Big Fish Audio. Thomas also continues to play a key role in the development of Avid’s industry standard Pro Tools HD recording and mixing system, as he has for the past 20 years.

As a collaborator, Thomas works with numerous artists and ensembles such as Dimmer (with Joseph Hammer), Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Dan Burke/Illusion of Safety, Nick Didkovsky, ISIS, Negativland, Arcane Device (David Lee Myers), Matmos, Wobbly (Jon Leidecker), Poptastic, 5uu’s, Tom Cora, Mickey Hart, Paul Haslinger, Arte Saxophone Quartett, Due Process, and Voice Of Eye.

Thomas Dimuzio

As a mastering engineer, Thomas has worked with independent artists and labels through his own Gench Studios since the early 1990’s. Among his clients are Matmos, Negativland, ISIS, AMM, Captain Ahab, Doctor Nerve, Psychic TV3, Xiu Xiu, Devin Hoff, GG Allin, KK Null (Kazuyuki Kishino / 岸野 一之), Joey P, Fred Frith, Scott Amendola, and many others.

Thomas Dimuzio’s recordings have been released internationally by ReR Megacorp, Asphodel, RRRecords, No Fun, Sonoris, Drone, Record Label Records, Odd Size, and other independent labels.

Album cover for Slew, by Thomas Dimuzio

Among his many gem-like albums, the one I’ve been listening to the most recently is the great Slew, a rich assortment of solo pieces that probe the facets of inter-dimensional sound space.

Joe Lasqo & Morgana perform w Jim Ryan's Green Alembic in the sfSoundSalonSeries at Center for New Music, San Francisco, 15 Apr 2014 (Photo by Carly Hoopes)

It’s my great pleasure and honor to join these eminent colleagues for your listening pleasure.

Set 2, 8:30pm: Noertker’s Moxie (Bill Noertker, Annelise Zamula, Dax Compise, Joshua Marshall)

Noertker's Moxie perform at SIMM Series (L → R): Joshua Marshall, Bill Noertker, Annelise Zamula. (Out of frame: Dax Compise; Photo by Peter. B. Kaars,

Noertker's Moxie perform at SIMM Series (L → R): Joshua Marshall, Bill Noertker, Annelise Zamula. (Not pictured: Dax Compise; Photo by Peter. B. Kaars,

We have the honor to share the bill with Noertker’s Moxie, the long-standing ensemble of bassist Bill Noertker, who comes to the show fresh from a recent triumph at the 2014 Outsound New Music Summit with his ensemble Obstreperous Doves (w Dave Mihaly, Nava Dunkelman, Karl Evangelista, and Christina Stanley).

Bill started out as a trombonist, then moved to the electric, and eventually, the acoustic, bass. In high school a teacher gave him Count Basie Jam: Montreux ’77, with Ray Brown on bass. Later that year, he heard Benny Goodman’s version of Sing Sing Sing while tripping on acid. These two events changed his perspective entirely, and he later became further de-tethered by dangerous levels of exposure to the music of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago tempered by the administration of cooling doses of Duke Ellington.

After studying with Putter Smith (…who also played assassin Mr. Kidd in the James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever) and Bobby Bradford, Bill moved to San Francisco and studied composition under Aldo Ryzy-Ryski and and bass with Mandy Flowers while a member of the experimental art rock band, Bardo, three of whose members, Bill, Annelise Zamula, and Dave Mihaly, later formed the After the End of the World Coretet. Bill and Annelise also later became the core of Noertker’s Moxie, for which Bill has composed 150+ pieces.

Kleiner blauer Teufel (Little Blue Devil), by Paul Klee

Kleiner blauer Teufel (Little Blue Devil), by Paul Klee

Ein weiterer Teufel... Bill Noertker (Photo by Peter. B. Kaars,

Ein weiterer Teufel... Bill Noertker (Photo by Peter. B. Kaars,

Bill has drawn on his travels in Europe — and an unusual working partnership with 20th-century artists like  Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, & Wassily Kandinsky (Василий Кандинский) — to create a large body of work that uses their paintings as a graphic seed for subtly surreal jazz compositions and suites such as the Blue Rider Suite, Sketches Of Catalonia, and Acrobats (a jazz ballet inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duineser Elegien).

Little Blue Devil — Blue Rider Suite, Vol. 2, by Noertker's Moxie

Little Blue Devil — Blue Rider Suite, Vol. 2, by Noertker's Moxie

A highlight of Noertker’s Moxie shows is usually such a trans-historical intermedia collaboration where one or more paintings of these European masters is paired with a composition inspired by it.

Noertker's Moxie perform at SIMM Series (L → R): Annelise Zamula, Bill Noertker, Joshua Marshall, w guest appearance by the painting of Paul Klee (Out of frame: Dax Compise)

Noertker's Moxie perform at SIMM Series (L → R): Annelise Zamula, Bill Noertker, Joshua Marshall, w guest appearance by the painting of Paul Klee (Out of frame: Dax Compise)

The surreaistic poetry of Ektor Kaknavatos (Έκτωρ Κακναβάτος)

The surreaistic poetry of Ektor Kaknavatos (Έκτωρ Κακναβάτος)

He’s also composed music for three films that showcase the intimately-scaled sculptures of David Beck, and composed the score for a film by Nikos Koumoundouros (Νικος Κουμουνδουρος), The Commandments or The Nostril of Ektor Kaknavatos (Οι εντολές, ἠ το ρουθούνι του Έκτορα Κακναβάτου), which was selected for the Short Film Corner at the prestigious Festival de Cannes 2010, and he’s now at work scoring the upcoming Olympia Stone film Curious Worlds: the Art and Imagination of David Beck.

Bill’s other ensembles and collaborations are far too numerous to list in full, including work with Jon Birdsong, Laurie Buenafe Krsmanovic, Brett Carson, Graham Connah, David Cooper, Rob Ewing, Annette Giesriegl, Motoko Honda (本田素子), Darren Johnston, Kasey Knudsen, Jason Levis, Tracy McMullen, Lisa Mezzacappa, David Slusser, Karen Stackpole, Greg Stephens, Strawberry Moon String Quartet, John Vaughn, and Eli Wallace.

For 14 years Bill has also collaborated with saxophonist & neo-joikist Rent Romus in Outsound Presents to produce the SIMM Series, our cozy host for this show.

Annelise Zamula (Photo by Peter. B. Kaars,

Annelise Zamula (Photo by Peter. B. Kaars,

Annelise Zamula started on flute at age 11 and picked up sax at 14 after falling in love with jazz. She studied classical flute with Wallace Mann, and, after moving to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, with Matt Marvuglio.

In addition to being a founding member of the After the End of the World Coretet and Noertker’s Moxie, Annelise has performed with the Riffrats, Moodswing Orchestra, Montclair Women’s Big Band, Connie Champagne & Her Tiny Bubbles, Carwash, The Strayhorns, Golden Gate Park Band, the Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet (BTMSQ), the Indigo Girls, and the Pat Graney Dance Company.

Annelise currently performs with Big Lou’s Dance Party, Noertker’s Moxie, and the Berkeley Saxophone Quartet, and is now in the studio with Bill Noertker, recording the soundtrack for Curious Worlds: the Art and Imagination of David Beck.

Dax Compise

Dax Compise

Drummer Dax Compise is one of the founding members of the California Outside Music Associates (COMA).

Dax has performed throughout the region in settings ranging from the symphony, to blues & jazz groups, to fully improvised percussion ensembles, and his creativity and command of trap set has led to him being great demand as a sideman.

Besides regular performances with COMA, he’s a key collaborator with the improv community in Sacramento, including upcoming recordings with Ross Hammond and Tony Passarell.

Josh Marshall

Joshua Marshall is an Oakland-based saxophonist and composer/improviser. His work involves architectural innovation, narrativity, advanced extended saxophone techniques, and live digital media. He’s studied with Pauline Oliveros, Evan Parker, Butch Rovan, I.M. Harjito, & Steve Adams of ROVA Saxophone Quartet. Joshua has worked with Opera Wolf, Ikue Mori (もりいくえ), Rent Romus’ Lords of Outland, Architect/Enchantress, Medium Sized Band, Josh Allen’s Deconstruction Orchestra, Key West, and Modest Machine. His amazing technique gives him relaxed command of cracked multi-phonics, exotic trills, and timbre tremolos, which he uses to superb effect.

Join us for some space yakitori and surrealism/jazz tapas among friends with these two special sets…


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