9 June 2008


Artist statement

“I think the destructive element is too much neglected in art.”
– Piet Mondrian
from “The Dada Painters And Poets: An Anthology, Second Edition,” (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: 1981), edited by Robert Motherwell, pg. xviii. 


Tentet/Sonore- November/December 2007

Arrived back in Chicago after more than two months of concerts in Europe (a week of solo performances in New York for the “Musician” film screenings; then the Free Fall, Ab Baars Trio, and Sonore tours, then the work on the Resonance project), and it was probably time for some kind of break but there wasn’t time. I got home on November 21st. Paal Nilssen-Love arrived on the 26th to help sequence and master the Fire Room album. On the 28th the Tentet began a week of 10th anniversary celebration concerts in Chicago, which were made possible thanks to the assistance of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the only venue in North America where it was financially viable to perform with the ensemble in 2007 (after much effort was made to locate some kind of arts support for the group to tour in the United States, the group came up empty handed; once again, economic and artistic survival would have to be found in Europe).

Paal and I finished the Fire Room album with Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The album, called “Broken Music,” would be released in March of 2008 on Atavistic; it presents cutting edge improvisation by a trio that includes electronics expert Lasse Marhaug, which blurs distinctions between rhythm, noise, and melody. We were barely done with that project before the first small group concerts began, but there was still a chance to visit Peter Brötzmann’s art exhibition at the Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery before it closed on December 1st. What a collection of paintings and objects! I believe that anyone who is a fan of Peter’s music should and would be interested in his visual art; there is a clear parallel between the two. The beautiful catalog for the show, packed with tons of great photos of the material, might still be available- contact the gallery at www.corbettvsdempsey.com.

Concert number one of the 10th anniversary took place at the Hideout on Wednesday, November 28th, a double header that opened with Peter Brötzmann and Fred Lonberg-Holm in a duo, followed by the cd release performance by the Thing and myself for our recording, “Immediate Sound” (on Smalltown Superjazz). The album we recorded at the Hideout’s 1st anniversary celebration in April 2007 proved to be no fluke, the set we played was super-charged with energy from note one. I feel extremely lucky to be able to do these gigs with Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love, and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and I’m already looking forward to the scattered gigs that are going to happen throughout 2008: Vancouver in June, Kongsberg in July, Tokyo in September- incredible!

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