Our November 2014 Frequency Fridays show features avant-garde saxophone quartet Battle Trance (NYC), experimental electronic musician Fissure Shaft (IN), and dark ambient duo Jungle Animal Posse (CMH). Date: Friday, February 6, 2015. Location: It Looks Like It’s Open (13 E. Tulane Av., 43202). Admission: $10, $15 for 2. Doors open 8pm. Our Frequency Fridays 2014-2015 season is supported by a grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
About the performers:
BATTLE TRANCE had an auspicious inception. One morning, Travis Laplante (Little Women and a trio with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Ches Smith) literally awoke with the crystal clear vision that he needed to start an ensemble with three specific individuals: Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, and Patrick Breiner. Laplante was actually unfamiliar with their work as musicians and had only a minimal relationship with them as individuals. He was also aware that a band of four tenor saxophones could be the worst idea ever. In spite of this, Laplante followed through and contacted Nelson, Viner, and Breiner. He gave them very little information beyond his morning experience But no one hesitated – the ensemble formed that evening.
Since many of the techniques used in Battle Trance’s piece “Palace of Wind” are nearly impossible to notate in traditional form, it was transmitted via the oral tradition. The rehearsals were much like martial arts training: intricate sounds were rigorously copied and repeated by the ensemble members until they perfected the techniques. Many hours were spent building the sheer strength required to sustain continuous circular breathing for extended periods. Likewise, a steady focus on physicality was required to repeat rapid note patterns for long periods without sacrificing speed. “Palace of Wind” is such a demanding composition that there is a high risk of physically burning out before the piece concludes, as once it begins there is no opportunity for rest or even a quick drink of water. There was also extensive training in dissolving the distinct individual identities of the players into the greater collective sound: The band did various long-tone exercises, similar to group meditation, the purpose being to blend together into one sound, so that the origin of the collective sound’s components is completely impossible to discern – even by the members of the ensemble.
“Palace of Wind” does embrace both the cerebral nature of composition and the visceral act of performance, but immediately locates itself, the musicians and the audience in a purely spiritual space. It is a new kind of music and therefore modern, and yet it’s absolutely primordial, the transformative act of human beings blowing air through tubes and producing something timeless.
Members of Battle Trance have also performed with: tUnE-yArDs, Little Women, Tim Berne, Gerald Cleaver, Michael Formanek, Trevor Dunn, Ingrid Laubrock, Rafiq Bhatia, Ches Smith, Steve Lehman, Weasel Walter, Mat Maneri, John Hollenbeck, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Evans and many others.
“[Battle Trance] uses hocketing patterns, furry multiphonics, and drones fueled by circular breathing to create a constantly changing piece that wends from the parade-ground precision of Philip Glass’s small-group music to the emotionally extravagant expressionism of storefront gospel.”
– Chicago Reader
Fissure Shaft is John Jude Windland, from the village of West College Corner, IN. Fissure Shaft began around 1995, and was a 97x Exposure finalist 1999. Prior to that, John was a member of the infamous Oxford Ohio artist collective known as Platter Sliced Bacon. Fissure Shaft is influenced by: John Cage, Throbbing Gristle, Edgard Varese, William S. Burroughs, and Autechre. Fissure Shaft is at the moment creating between dark experimental and something you can groove to, utilizing current, advanced modern electronic techniques, as well as unique sounds via circuit bending and hommade custom instruments.