CD Chatter Blip

Dafna Naphtali – sound processing, electronics & voice
Chuck Bettis – electronics & voice

Buy CD here, or buy at iTunes


Recorded March 2009

1 – council 64 (7:17)
2 – gab jiba (6:33)
3 – hybrid chatter (1:54)
4 – renegade (9:45)
5 – fade flatlands (12:26)
6 – breach (8:05)
7 – blip wiki (6:20)
Total Time: 63:20

CHATTER BLIP is a duo performance piece by Chuck Bettis (electronics/voice and Dafna Naphtail (electronics/processing/voice) — an interstellar multi-character audio operetta involving a multitude of human, alien, and machine voices, in a mash-up of primal and classic sci-fi and electro-acoustics.

Dafna Naphtali + Chuck Bettis: Chatter Blip by hansteg

Track 1:
council_64
a petition from a lowly human causes much debate among the Devices (the hybrid electronic beings from planet_64).   The living oracle predicts that all humans must return to earth in order to survive and will soon start an uprising.   The greek chorus are hybrid children — interrupting the proceedings, invading, and playing some ancient earth music they have discovered.

Track 2:
gab jiba
the Supreme Device agitatedly debates with itself about whether or not it can allow the human petitioner to return to her planet.  It fondly recalls the quaint human traditions, and their influence on the culture of planet_64, and especially a favorite– the ritual office dance.    to calm himself he gives orders for some of the humans to be brought in to amuse him.   Meanwhile, unseen, the petitioner surreptitiously slips into an idle transporter.  She starts desperately hitting random buttons, and is suddenly successful and serendipitously and instantly transported elsewhere in the galaxy.

Track 3:
hybrid chatter
the petitioner, now far from planet_64 discovers that her transporter is also itself a hybrid being (although it is not as intelligent as a Device).   To save herself, she befriends it, impersonating a Device. remaining quiet about her identity, she is able to keep the transporter unaware that she is actually a runaway human.

Track 4:
renegade
back on planet_64, at a renegade human settlement, humans toil side by side and live in harmony with lower caste machines and decommissioned (former) Devices.     The tribal leader calls the humans together and declares that the time has come for the great uprising and for humans return to their home planet as had long been foretold.   Energized, the humans immediately set to the task of completing the work of many generations, secretly building a transporter of materials that humans have grown and mined themselves (and using designs stolen from the Devices).

Track 5:
flatlands
the humans  finally lift off in their homemade transporter, to scour the galaxy and find the petitioner in her stolen craft.    But their navigation system is very primitive.   They can only navigate by using their feelings and intuition to communicate with the instruments and locate the petitioner.    As they built the ship themselves, their transporter is not a hybrid, nor a device.  It is powered with the help of mysterious flat beings who also were long ago enslaved by the hybrids and so are in alliance with and loyal to all humans.

Track 6
breach
on planet_64 the council discovers the breach. They angrily realize that the petitioner has made off with a vehicle, and worse, that a renegade group of humans has followed her in rebellion.

Track 7
blip wiki
the renegades’ transporter has located the petitioner and her ship. The two transporters begin to communicate and discover an affinity for each other —  they begin to move closer and attracted to each other both physically and emotionally.   The petitioner, lonely and hopeful, knows that very soon she will be with her people again and finally on her way back to earth.   She sings an ancient song she remembers from a previous life.  She does not know what awaits her.

cd reviews..
François Couture / Monsieur Délire
There are lyrics buried in the effects (and included in the booklet), sci-fi metaphores that give the music a futuristic aura it wears well. These are not songs but edgy improvisations with in a rough though stimulating style.

Massimo Ricci / TemporaryFault
Certain solutions are quite humorous – occasionally awesome – in their warped glory, completely unrecognizable voices utilized as instruments for the generation of baffling soundscapes abounding in rhythmic diversifications, clustery indeterminations and instant outgrowths dressed with timbres from the depth of a black hole.

Andrea Ferrari / Chain DLK
..strange analog-electronic, bleeps, angel vocals, lyrical intersections, outer space yodels .. creates this strange “life after death” experience.

 

 

CD Third Eye Orchestra

Innova 225, recorded 2006 at Roulette, New York, released 2008 on Innova, the label of the American Composers Forum. Total Time: 79:34 Minutes. With Mari Kimura (vio), Mark Feldman (vio), Stephanie Griffin (vla), Tomas Ulrich (cel), Briggan Kraus (as, bari), Marty Ehrlich (bcl, fl), Robert Dick (fl, cbfl), Detlef Landeck (tb), Dafna Naphtali (voice, live sound processing), Ursel Schlicht (p/kb), Deman Maroney (p/kb), Stomu Takeishi (b), Satoshi Takeishi (perc), Hans Tammen – concept, realtime arrangement.

To buy check Innova’s website here: http://www.innova.mu/artist1.asp?skuID=336

Liner Notes by Howard Mandel
Composer-conductor-endangered guitarist Hans Tammen is fascinated with creative spontaneity, which is not to say improvisation, if “improvisation” suggests a lack of planning, disregard for expectations and acceptance of casual results. Everything about Third Eye Orchestra, in which Tammen directs 13 of the most virtuosic instrumentalists to ever elude labels or boundaries, indicates mastery and control.
Yet Third Eye Orchestra’s musicians are called upon to assert and enjoy — for their composer-conductor, audience and not least of all themselves — enormous freedoms in their contributions to the ultimate shape of multiple movements adding up to a heroic chamber symphony (or two). Given the multiple results which issue from a single “composition” conducted (and so, created) twice through by Tammen in successive sittings of his ensemble, this album’s two versions, “Antecedent” and “Consequent” (each broken into six titled parts, according to Tammen by coincidence but for convenience) demonstrate how compositional and interpretive processes can work together to everyone’s benefit. Neither composers nor improvisers subjugate themselves under such a plan. And the music that emerges can boast both enough rigor of form and flights of fancy to satisfy all involved.

This was, no doubt, Tammen’s plan from the point of his inspiration by Earle Brown’s “Available Forms” and his determination to assemble an all-star ensemble for an evening-length concert. Third Eye Orchestra documents an extraordinary gathering in December 2006 of New York “downtown” players at Roulette, the most venerable yet diversely lively of all independent downtown performance spaces to feature new and experimental music, as it’s done since 1978. Glancing at the convened personnel, one is hard-pressed to find a player who has not presented music of their own design at Roulette, and several of the soloists (they are all soloists) are acclaimed as not just virtuosi but innovators on their instruments. As spontaneous composers-improvisers-call-them-what-you-will, these musicians do not stop even at devising new techniques; their aim is to use those techniques for purposes of self-expression. Considering the sensitivity and sophistication of their accomplishments across all these dimensions, it would be wasteful folly for a composer to dictate notes to them. But considering the wealth of ideas the collective can summon instantaneously, preconceived plot and guidance through it seem desirable, if not essential.

Though Tammen draws from a single repertoire of some 150 pre- conceived musical units for both performances of Third Eye Orchestra here, he never intended to cast the two performances in a single mold. “Opening” (set 1, part 1) starts with Mari Kimura’s exquisite violin exposition backed by low pitch alternations and a second intersecting part for a different subgroup of instruments, and makes the concert instantly welcoming by posing it as calm, perhaps meditative, clear and enveloping, moving gradually from near-unison towards polyphonic, polytimbral, polyrhythmic and polymetric complexities.

The mood changes radically as alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss asserts a rough-edged leading voice in “Death Clock,” and the brothers Stomu and Satoshi Takeishi (bass and percussion, respectively), along with pianist Ursel Schlicht, become ever more insistent, but the strings that follow them refer to the parts established in “Opening,” even as flutist Robert Dick takes off on a tangent of his own. The live sound processing Dafna Naphtali conjures in “Mdina Experience” even as she’s singing wordless harmony, triggers an episode that floats over Marty Ehrlich’s bass clarinet and rhythmic outbursts, leading to Detlef Landeck’s heroic trombone feature (he flew to New York from Germany, just for this concert), out of which comes a flute-contrabass flute (Ehrlich and Dick) duet that’s almost pastoral in nature, joined by Stephanie Griffin on viola, then Tomas Ulrich on cello. Mark Feldman’s tender violin, leaping to a penetrating high note over pianists Schlicht and Denman Maroney’s contemplative chords in “Verrano,” reset the overall mood. “Triadic Closure” commences with high-string tension, gains lowest register rumbles and Naphtali’s voice and processor-sweeps, horn riffs, off-kilter drum punches, Schlicht’s keyboard-spanning touches, and Krauss’s baritone sax squall to a pin-point end.

Suffice it to say Tammen’s second set has none of the first’s passages; “Consequents'” six parts do not even match the lengths of “Antecedent’s.” The moment was different, for players and audience alike certainly as cast to a degree by the effect of the first set’s parts. So how could the musicians, or the conductor/ composer, settle for the same?

It is difficult, nay impossible, to assert that either performance is “better” than the other, especially when the digital format of this album allows a listener to reshuffle the sequence of parts to his or her own heart’s content. There are many strikingly beautiful moments — for instance, the tutti comprising much of “Subtle Inconsistencies” — due to the combined talents of Tammen and his musicians; they would surely be less “beautiful,” cogent or coherent without either composer-conductor or this particularly alert and quickly responsive musical cohort. The combination of the two arrives at something inseparable, a sonic event that wraps impulse around forethought in a way that each survives and thrives. Take the single point of view of a composer-conductor, add in the multiple perspectives of a baker’s dozen top-flight instrumental improvisers, and come up with sound that’s broad and penetrating, all encompassing yet selective, too. Every listener may decide, individually, whether this is composition or improvisation, or a third thing that springs from the intermingling of those two, bearing forth Third Eye Orchestra. — Howard Mandel

Howard Mandel, contributor to Down Beat, SignalToNoise, The Wire and National Public Radio, is author as well of Miles Ornette Cecil — Jazz Beyond Jazz (Routledge, 2008).

Jacob Baekgaard (AllAboutJazz)
In jazz circles, New York is known for cultivating the sounds of the cutting edge; club Roulette has shown a particular seismographic ability to know what’s happening at the fringes of jazz. If anything, the release of Hans Tammen Third Eye Orchestra underlines this with striking clarity.
An innovative avant-garde guitar guru, Hans Tammen is mostly known for his elusive technique of endangered guitar, but he’s also the visionary behind the interesting contemporary avant-garde ensemble, The Third Eye Orchestra. Hans Tammen Third Eye Orchestra presents a live concert recorded at the Roulette. The pure thrill of exploring a world of sound really shines through on this release, which is nothing short of breathtaking.

The idea behind The Third Eye Orchestra is to gather some of the most exciting musicians on the improvising scene and let them perform music of instant composition under Tamman’s guidance. The result is an otherworldly music that feels both thoroughly composed and purely improvised. Formally, the album is split into two sections: “Antecedent” and “Consequent.” Each section is divided into six parts and every part brings forth different solo voices. “Part V – Verrano,” for example, features Mark Feldman’s awe-inspiring violin, who lets the notes soar like birds above the ground, spreading the light against the night sky of Denman Maroney’s muffled, repeated keyboard figures.

The conclusion to “Antecedent” is just as impressive, with vocalist Dafna Naphtali chanting over washes of violin sounds and gentle noise. This is the language of poetic creation, with words compressed to pure sound: humming, scatting and screaming. “Consequent” starts with Briggan Krauss’ honking baritone sax and settles into an abstract groove, only to evolve into a beautiful dialogue between Maroney and violist Stephanie Griffin.

The orchestra includes a wealth of musical voices, but what’s most amazing is how the individuals intuitively find their places in the sheets of sound, alternating between intimate, whispering confessions and cacophonic chaos. Overall, the mood of the album is tranquil, with rich textures and explorations of sound, rhythm and melody.

Ideally, music should appeal to all senses but it is as if this music actually instills a sixth sense or, perhaps, a third eye. What is cultivated then, is a new way of listening, which is what the historical avant-garde was always about—a new way of perceiving the world. Hans Tammen Third Eye Orchestra is a complete work of art that has the ability to change the world: a masterpiece of musical evocation.

Original Link

Marc Medwin (AllAboutJazz)
This is a stunning live recording from one of improvised music’s most fascinating proponents. Hans Tammen has gathered a dream team of 13 improvising musicians, but that’s hardly the totality of this project, which combines composed material with extemporization to create a score whose modus operandi is constant change on every level.
This is one of those discs that verbiage won’t encapsulate. The music on offer here is not to be compartmentalized, though it exists in discrete but connected sections. These large-scale vignettes might morph and grow with slow intensity or they might groove hard, but they share the performers’ penchant for timbral exploration. Check out the engagingly free inter-registral solo that opens the disc, courtesy of the wonderful violinist Mari Kimura. Below and around it, long-toned exhalations bloom and hang suspended, pause, then recur. They prefigure the final section of “Antecedent,” with its long looming tones shot through with tasteful signal processing, bringing a perfect sense of closure to the disc’s first half.

Journalist Howard Mandel’s liners state that “Consequent” is an alternate version of “Antecedent”‘s material. So different is the execution that resemblances become less important than what occurs in each moment. As its second part, “Subtle Inconsistencies,” unfolds, we can revel in the unique pianism of Denman Maroney as it dissolves effortlessly into Stephanie Griffin’s viola lead.

The production is as good as the music is diverse. Each musician’s identity is readily apparent while a unity is maintained. The Roulette audience is remarkably restrained and it is hard to believe this is a live recording without the accompanying documentation. Mandel’s notes are to the point; he resists hyperbole, focusing instead on simple elucidation of Tammen’s concepts and their genesis.

This is an excellent disc from a musical maverick whose approach keeps evolving. Not easy listening by any means, it will please those with a taste for long-form adventure.

Original Link

Ken Waxman (JazzWord.com)
Expanding his electro-acoustic expertise to a creation for large ensemble, on this CD German-born, New York-based endangered guitarist Han Tammen presents two mesmerizing suites from his 13-piece Third Eye Orchestra.
Apparently unfazed by the superstition about 13, Tammen doesn’t perform, but instead conducts and arranges in real time. Likewise ignoring the superstitious angle, some of Manhattan’s most accomplished and innovative musicians – and one ringer – handle with aplomb Tammen’s creation which calls for equal facility with improvisation and notated music, acoustic instrumental techniques and familiarity with electronic excursions. Although billed as two, six-part versions of the same piece – “Antecedent” and “Consequence” – it’s a tribute to all concerned that neither version mirrors the other. While the separately titled tracks exhibit certain homogeneity, soloists never eschew individuality even while blending with the others in section work or contrasting passages.
The ringer here is trombonist Detlef Landeck, a musical associate of Tammen’s from the Fatherland. Having flown from Germany especially for the concert, his contributions are particularly expressive. On “Antecedent: Part III: Mdina Experience” for instance, the measured dual keyboard pulsations and backbeat percussion cushion a contrapuntal duet between Stomu Takeishi’s thumb-popping electric bass and Landeck’s wide-ranging brays and blurts that finally swell to full-fledged gutbucket slurs. Mixing Trad Jazz-style wah-wahs and New music-like staccato tonguing on “Consequent: Part I: Istres Control”, Landeck matches Briggan Krauss’ baritone saxophone growls which in themselves proceed chromatically with the single-mindedness and strength of a boar searching for truffles. Then as part of Consequent’s finale, the last measures of pitch-sliding strings plus percussionist Satoshi Takeishi’s dense backbeat are superseded by dexterous tongue slaps and unaltered air forced through Landeck’s s horn’s body tube, adumbrating the concluding silence.

Overall nearly every sonic incursion corresponds with Tammen’s game plan, and eventually becomes interlocking parts of the whole. Hear Krauss’ work for other instances. Not just a low-pitched sax specialist, on alto saxophone he contributes jagged glissandi that at times balance the subtle murmuring from Dafna Naphtali’s sound-processed voice and elsewhere provide altissimo comments on metronomic piano chording. Meanwhile, Robert Dick’s sharp flute shrills moderate Krauss’ low-pitched sax lines at points and in another instance operate alongside spiccato slides from the string quartet.

Among the other textures in use by members of the lucky 13 are mercurial pitch-sliding and sharp, dissonant string slices from cellist Tomas Ulrich; zither-like twanging and rebounding from Denman Maroney’s prepared piano; plus Ursel Schlicht double-timed syncopation that expands from pecking, clipping and popping whether she plays acoustic piano or electric keyboard.
Not that some instruments’ traditional tones are neglected either. “Antecedent: Part V: Verrano” for example, begins with a violin solo from Mark Feldman that is almost classically pure in execution. As Maroney’s keyboard contributes further flowing patterns, the result resembles a chamber recital – especially when the other strings join with unison romantic glissandi.

Taken as a whole, both versions of the composition abound with similar connections and contrasts. “Consequent: Part IV: Intentionally Left Blank” for one, layers abrasive and shuddering multi-stops from the strings alongside vamping horn timbres and burbling, motor-driven electronic whizzing, held together by a solid bass line. But to isolate the praiseworthy skill that goes into the band members creating yet another slithering keyboard run or a bit of flying spiccato from a fiddler would be pointless.
More generic to the session is the realization that as a conductor, arranger and conceptualizer, Tammen now appears to have equaled his skill as an instrumentalist. One would hope that more large-scale works are planned for the future.

Original Link

Bruce Gallanter (DMG)
…for this disc, perhaps’ Hans finest moment yet, he has dispensed with his guitar altogether and he plays or directs an amazing downtown all-star orchestra. At first I was surprised that I missed this dynamite concert, but realized later that it was the same month that Manny & I curated at The Stone, hence I was there every night but Mondays, when The Stone is closed.
This disc is split into two halves with 6 parts in each. The first six parts are called “Antecedent” and the second are called “Consequent.” Hans brought together a most impressive downtown all-star orchestra for this concert and session. Right from the beginning of “Opening,” the great microtonal specialist violinist Mari Kimura is dazzling us with her beyond-the-limits of normal range playing. I love the minimal, haunting background suspense while Marty Ehrlich plays his cautious bass clarinet. Each section features a different soloist or handful of soloists playing an inspired solo(s) over Hans’ consistently engaging charts and/or direction. I dig the bent and barbed music that Hans has written, sections often don’t last too long before they are transformed into another quirky section. Hans’ wife, Dafna Naphtali is an extraordinary experimental vocalist and performs a few short but exciting solos. There are a number of superb solos from Mark Feldman, Detlef Landeck (a new name for me), Briggan Krauss, Robert Dick and Denman Maroney. This entire piece sounds well-planned, well-recorded and well-executed. Plus it is nearly 80 minutes long and it is consistently riveting for that long duration. Quite a great of big bang for your ($14) buck. Again, the good folks at Innova have provided us with another modern day classic.

Chris Kelsey (Jazz.com)
Those familiar with Hans Tammen most likely associate him with “endangered guitar,” the term he’s given his highly processed, largely textural electric guitar concept. Third Eye Orchestra is another aspect of his musical personality. Recorded live at Roulette, Downtown NYC’s premier presenter of experimental music, Tammen guides a group of 13 exceptional free improvisers through two performances of his minimalist-inspired, multi-movement composition titled “Antecedent” (in its first guise) and “Consequent” (in its second). “Part I: Opening” begins with the eel-y improvised squiggles of Mari Kimura’s violin. Groups of instruments make measured entrances. The atmosphere intensifies, then calms, as Marty Ehrlich plays a tightly focused, dynamically restrained bass clarinet solo. Ehrlich’s improvisation ends the movement, yet serves largely as a segue into the next section, as Tammen’s charges go on to explore nearly 80 minutes’ worth of a nicely balanced mixture of improv and composition.
Matthew A. Somoroff (Jazz Perspectives 2009)
Hans Tammen’s Third Eye Orchestra documents a 2006 live concert at New York City’s Roulette venue. Roulette—along with the Knitting Factory, NuBlu, the now-defunct Tonic, and its successor, The Stone—remains a stronghold of the Downtown experimental music scene in Manhattan. Melding elements of free jazz, experimental rock, electronica, and contemporary concert music, Third Eye Orchestra sits comfortably within the (anti)genre of “Downtown.” Tammen’s role on this album is similar to that of Butch Morris in the latter’s “conductions.” Here, Tammen directs a thirteen-piece ensemble through two semi-structured improvisations titled “Antecedent” and “Consequent.” The members of this ensemble will be familiar to followers of the Downtown scene, as this group includes violinist Mark Feldman, multi-wind player Marty Ehrlich, flautist Robert Dick, and keyboardist/hyperpianist Denman Maroney.
Most fans of avant-garde jazz can recall times when collective improvisations that deliberately flout generic boundaries have become self-indulgent, runaway musical trains that alienate the audience. Thankfully, this is not the case with Third Eye Orchestra. What I assume to be Tammen’s direction tempers the prodigious talents of the group’s thirteen musicians and keeps the musical events flowing with an attention to timbral and stylistic variety. A passage early on in “Consequent,” might be found in a chamber work by Olivier Messiaen or Toru Takemitsu. Here, winds and strings play in a high register accompanied by bright dissonant chords on piano. Ultimately, electric bassist Stomu Takeishi enters with a riff resembling Miles Davis’s “Ife,” now accompanying a flute solo (track 8, 5:35, through track 9, 3:26). Later on, brass and strings play an agitated, one-note riff as a background to free blowing by winds and electronics (track 9, 8:15-10:35). Just as this texture veers further toward a chaotic mass of convoluted and overlapping melodies, electric bass and drums enter to provide a heavy, rock-influenced bottom to the proceedings, eventually taking over the texture to engage in a drum and bass duet (track 10, 4:30-7:43; this time marking refers to the entire descriptive sentence which precedes it).

Jazzreview.com
Third Eye Orchestra is the brainchild of New York composer Hans Tammen. The thirteen-piece ensemble consists of some of the Big Apple’s most notable modern improvisers, each capable of delivering on-demand virtuosity. Recorded live in 2006, the disc consists of two lengthy suites: “Antecedent” and “Consequent.” The performances are all slightly pre-conceived, lightly structured provocations, enticing group oriented spontaneity from each musician.
Dark, sometimes brooding ensemble passages mix and mingle with extended solo cadenzas, creating layers of intensity, at times unsettling and frantic. Tammen’s compositional arsenal includes simple vamp figures (“Opening,””Coup D’Archet” and “Triadic Closure”) and bombastic clusters (“Istres Control,””Intentionally Left Bank”). Each piece melds into the next, creating a continuous motion of ever-changing sonic coloring.

One of the disc highlights, and there are many, is the string section extravaganza on “Treadmill” featuring violin soloists Mark Feldman and Mari Kimura with violist Stephanie Griffin and cellist Tomas Ullrich. Other notable solos come from alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss on the rocked-out “Death Clock,” trombonist Detlef Landeck on “Mdina Experience” and fretless bassist Stomu Takeishi rendering a distorted tirade at the end of “Intentionally Left Bank.”

Full of spontaneity and unconventional risk-taking, Third Eye Orchestra is a captivating ride, winding through improvised peaks and valleys.

Jay Collins (Cadence Magazine)
…The proceedings unfold cohesively, though there are many high water marks worth mentioning. As for the first section, “Antecedent,” thrives due to Mari Kimular’s textual musings on “Opening,” Briggan Krauss’ turbulent alto on “Death Clock,” Detlef Landeck’s haughty trombone amidst the Takeshi brothers’ roiling groove on “Mdina Experience” and the marvelous string-play during the last two sections, especially Mark Feldman’s violin and the processed vocals of Dafna Naphtali.
As for “Consequent,” Krauss’ excitable baritone work boils against the Takeshi groove, the strings swirl and an electronically manipulated vamp eventually emerges on “Zipangu,” spurred by Ehrlich’s fierce bass clarinet reverie. The final three sections continue the vibrant mix of instrumental collages, a blending of foreboding minimalism, solemnity, high-level sound processing and terse, hidden melodies meant to remind that within these shrouds of experimentalism, melodic counterpoint can serve as an effective hallmark. On the whole, the experience is, for the most part, riveting. While some of the moments do become somewhat unwieldy, Tammen’s unique fusion of composerly and improvisational terrains and a collective of brilliant soloists provide a wonderfully unique endeavor.

Bill Meyer (The Wire)
As improvising orchestras go, Hans Tammen is rather conservative. By setting himself up as a composer and conductor – the carefully articulated string passages should clue you to the presence of a score even if you never see the picture of Stomu Takeishi reading sheet music in the CD booklet – he retains a fair degree of control over the shape its music takes. His habit of rearranging the composition between performances, as he has done here, introduces enough variability that you might never know that the album’s two pieces are founded on the same material, but it also tips the balance away from total freedom.
Sam Prestianni (East Bay Express)
…too much ugly, too little beauty…

Lenore Malen: Be Not Afraid audio score (2-channel video, 2007)

“Be Not Afraid” is a two-channel looped video originally projected on suspended glass screens. A re-enactment of the first hypnotic session ever pictured (from an l9th century engraving) it also incorporates archival footage from the Worlds’ Fairs and NASA Footage.

In the video members of The New Society for Universal Harmony are hypnotized under a tree behind which the viewer can see the remnants of Philip Johnson’s NY State Pavilion, itself a tribute to the U.S. Space Program. The video explores two aspects of modernity, the remnants of the utopian dream and the origins of psychoanalysis.

The video was shot in June 2006 by Ezra Bookstein and Ilana Rein, directed by Kathryn Alexander, edited by Lenore Malen and Ruppert Bohle with a score by Dafna Naphtali. It was produced by Lenore Malen & The New Society for Universal harmony.

Be Not Afraid, 2007 from Lenore Malen on Vimeo.

more about Lenore Malen and Be Not Afraid and more

Landmine – Disklavier / sound-processing

landmine (2000 rev. 2007/2017) is a composition and performance project created for pianist Kathleen Supové,, on Yamaha Disklavier Grand Piano and with live-audio processing by Dafna Naphtali.  Commissioned in 1999 by American Composers Forum for Supové, it premiered that year.  The various sections of the piece are named for Unix processes, each one related to the musical concepts for that section. The piece has been performed in NY, Florida and Australia, was finally recorded by Supové and Naphtali in 2017, and performed most recently in 2019 at Areté in Brooklyn, NY. in 2019, landmine was finally released on Supové’s critically acclaimed album “Eye to Ivory” (Starkland label).

The composition and performance of this piece rely heavily on programs Naphtali has written in Max/MSP:  The piano part is based on a real-time algorithmic compositional “toy” that she developed, inspired by the music of Nancarrow and Xenakis.  It was used to generate all the basic harmonic and rhythmic materials used in writing the piece. 

The live audio processing in the piece uses a program she’s been developing since 1993 to control an Eventide effects processor, and it is an extension of the computer-instrument she uses in composed and improvised performances. Finally, in two sections (most notably the last measures of :q! quit without saving), the pianist improvises with and against the same algorithm that was used to generate the raw material for the piano parts, as well as with a program that creates “piano for 14 hands”.  The title reflects the way the “toy” algorithm behaves — inserting chords and repetitions in unexpected places that could potentially overwhelm the performer.

landmine: {dafna naphtali} movements

append
xp swap
:sh invoke a shell
:q! quit without saving

 
Performance 2/25/19 at Areté Venue & Gallery in Greenpoint Brooklyn, NY.
Kathleen Supové, piano.  Dafna Naphtali, live electronics / processing.

 
See video of Kathleen Supové performing with Naphtali at NIME 2007 in NYC.
 
 
 

Landmine @ NIME conference 2007 from Dafna Naphtali on Vimeo.

Men March — 2007

Men March, an electronic chamber work, was commissioned by Brecht Forum as part of the Neues Kabarett music series. The piece was created for an evening length performance: “New Art Songs for the 21st Century: spontaneous & premeditated compositions, audio machinations/meditations & explosive interludes”, which premiered February 10, 2007 – Bertolt Brecht’s birthday.

Scored for soprano voice, chamber group, electric guitar and live sound processing, on this evening, Dafna sang and played the guitar, and was joined by Briggan Krauss (baritone and alto sax), Alex Waterman (cello) and David Simons (drums, percussion, glockenspiel). She also performed with her live sound processing on all the instruments in the ensemble.

The texts in the piece envision a young girl growing up in an occupied territory, simultaneously encountering personal and poilitcal turmoil, in her coming of age and political awakening. Inspired by stories of Naphtali’s mother’s upbringing in British mandate Palestine and poems of Maya Angelou.

The Brecht Forum is a place for people who are working for fundamental social change and a new culture that puts human needs first. The Brecht Forum offers a year-round program of classes, lectures, seminars, art exhibitions, performances, popular education workshops and language classes in its new, beautifully renovated home looking out over the Hudson River.

The Brecht Forum’s Neues Kabarett series has presented monthly avant-garde / free jazz and experimental music concerts since 1998.  We create performing opportunities for established and emerging artists (sometimes involving visual artists, dancers and poets) and have helped create a viable, visible new performance space at The Brecht Forum. In addition, Neues Kabarett presents occasional events in other venues such as galleries and community gardens, and is a volunteer-run collective.

Neues Kabarett is made possible with the support of The New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Wheezer — 2005

Wheezer is an audio work for surround sound (5.1), released on Harvestworks Workspace projects 2005 DVD, and was a part of the traveling exhibit of sound pieces under the same name, with “performances” in Germany, Bulgaria and the U.S. in 2005/2006.

Wheezer was originally conceived and created as a piece for live performance with 16 individual speakers and a keyboard interface which allowed me to “play” the speakers as if they were instruments, commissioned and performed live at Engine 27 (a multi-channel sound gallery) in New York City in 2001.    The source sounds were all taken from audio processing I did on my intentionally ambiguous/microtonal vocalises.    I wanted the audio to move in the space in undulating motions not unlike (sometimes) labored breathing motions, as during the nighttime asthma-like attacks I had as a child.  The piece reflects some of the panic and claustrophobia I experienced during these episodes of not being able to breathe, and now looking back, perhaps also the backdrop of working (at Engine 27) in the climate of Lower Manhattan after 9-11.     This 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the piece was created specially for a 5.1 surround sound DVD created by Harvestworks in NY, has run as a sound installation in several places in the US and in Europe.


CD Mechanique(s) Live at Logos, Ghent

AHA 0801, recorded 2001 at Logos Foundation, Ghent, Belgium, released 2008 on Acheulian Handaxe. Total Time: 62 minutes. With Dafna Naphtali – voice, live sound processing, Hans Tammen – endangered guitar, Martin Speicher – altosax, bassclarinet.

Buy here or buy at iTunes

mechanique(s) is an ongoing collaboration between Dafna Naphtali, Hans Tammen and Martin Speicher involving live electronics, endangered guitar, reeds and voice. The trio was formed to investigate the overlap of various elements of their technical and aesthetic practices — in compositions and improvisational settings for Naphtali’s interactive processed sound/noise system, Speicher’s extensive sound palette of extended techniques on saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet, and Tammen’s mechanical and electronic manipulations for guitar.

Dafna Naphtali (www.dafna.info) singer, sound artist/improviser and composer, comes from a genuinely eclectic background of music-making. In the early 90’s she began studying classical voice and turned her attention to contemporary classical and experimental music. She performs and composes using her own custom Max/MSP programming for sound processing of voice and other instruments, appearing in venues and festivals in NY, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Israel and Russia.

Hans Tammen (www.tammen.org) calls his style of performance “Endangered Guitar,” because of the extreme alterations he enacts upon his instrument’s sound and construction. Signal To Noise called his playing “…a killer tour de force of post-everything guitar damage”.

Multi-reed player Martin Speicher has his roots in contemporary classical music as well as in Free Jazz. Since his early concerts in the 80s he performed with Paul Lytton, Evan Parker, Barry Guy, Cecil Taylor, the London Jazz Composer´s Orchestra among others. “Signal to Noise” wrote about him: “Speicher’s (excellent) clarinet playing recalls Boulez’s “Domaines” one minute, Peter Brötzmann the next.”

Massimo Ricci (BrainDeadEternity)

The components of this group share a proclivity to confounding the listeners in regard to the origin of the sonic matter they bring into being. Dafna Naphtali’s voice is processed by a computer running custom Max/MSP programs, its fundamental nature and a gazillion of refractions – altered, intermingled or just obsessively repeated – weighing exactly the same in the overall context. Martin Speicher’s alto sax and bass clarinet appear as pretty normal on a first approach, then non-conform wickedness and idiosyncratic impatience gradually become essential traits in the improvisational setting. As far as the “endangerment” of Hans Tammen’s guitar is concerned, much has already been written; suffice to say that one gathers very different interpretations of concepts such as “virtuosity”, “harmony” and “open-mindedness” after hearing what an instrument originally born with parlour purposes can do in the munificent hands of a bright manipulator.

Interested in “the overlap of various elements of their technical and aesthetical practices”, Mechanique(s) recorded this great disc in 2001 at Logos Foundation in Ghent, Belgium. That’s right, eight years have gone away meanwhile. But make no mistake – this music proudly shows no wrinkles, sounding as if taped two weeks ago. The musicians wander around structures that glitter as pure diamond and sound absurdly periphrastic at once, pretty distant from certain liturgical behaviours currently found in the reductionist faction of EAI. The improvisations exploit the single members’ total attentiveness in relation to the procedural possibilities, accomplished contortions crowded with sparse culminations, stomach-churning sneering and breathtaking apogees. The only way to escape the logic of rambling transparency shown by the trio is abandoning ourselves to a fantasy of timbral spitefulness, decomposed protocols and, ultimately, extraordinary complexity defining the absolute gratification of organisms ready to accept and swallow hundreds of consecutive contrasting messages that, miraculously, make the whole work like a perfectly oiled machine.

Emotions are hidden everywhere if we only want to find out – even behind warped sounds. There’s an urgent need to launch a repulisti of all the convention-derived encrustations of the intellect to realize what’s actually possible. This is much better than letting someone dictate the rules of your knowledge – in the name of an aim that does not exist – tracing a depressing trail according to which one arrives at the end of life without having done nothing meaningful or at least intelligent. Wasted time is not returned to anyone.

Andrea Ferraris (ChainDLK)

This live recording at the Logos Foundation in Ghent presents the performance of another interesting live-impro trio using a massive dose of electronic filters and sounds: Dafna Naphatali (voice, live processing) and Hans Tammen (endangered guitar) twist and reshape heavily the nature of their “instruments” while Speicher’s alto-sax and bass clarinet is more easily distinguishable. One of the most interesting characteristics offered by the trio is represented by their natural attraction for dilated atmospheres and for we can label as a visionary approach. Don’t expect it to be your usual abstract aphasic fragmented performance, they superimpose different layers without creating a wall of sounds but at the same time they team-up to paint the whole room of a single color. They also throw in several odd melodies which ease the tension a little bit, infact even if this’ not exactly a nervous release most of these odd melodies end resulting weird or deep. Believe it or not the whole work is not just odd or weird, these improvisations have a melodic heartbeat pulsing underneath and its intensity sometimes is really catchy. Some really long tracks showing improvisation world sometimes can be looked at with a psychedelic eye.

CD What Is It Like To be A Bat?

Kitty Brazelton has been a mover and shaker in the downtown scene for well over a decade; a singer, bandleader and composer of striking originality. Along with Dafna Naphtali, she performs two extended suites of twisted, powerful chamber rock blending a raucous punk aesthetic with vocal harmonies, noise and much, much more. Complex, visionary weirdness from two of the strangest minds in contemporary music.   Released August 2003.

Buy CD here at Tzadik Website

Band website:  http://www.kitbraz.com/bndl/bat

Personnel:
Kitty Brazelton: Voice, Computer Soundtracks, Electric Bass, Sampler
Paul Geluso: Filtering, Voice
Dafna Naphtali: Voice, Live Audio Processing, Max/MSP, Electric Guitar
Danny Tunick: Drums, Octapad, Voice, Electric Bass, Sampler, Soprano Recorder

dot.Product

Dafna Naphtali, electronics, live processing, voice
Alex Waterman, cello;
Darius Jones, alto sax;

dot.Product: sonic proliferation / duels / cooperation

Documentation from this trio’s 2009 performance at Issue Project Room here.

This trio (dot.Product) with Alex Waterman (cello), and Darius Jones (alto saxophone) — and me, Dafna Naphtali (adaptive electronics / sound processing / vocalisms / audio machinations..) has performed only a few times. The enclosed recording was our second time taking the juggernaut out. I really love playing and doing my personal take on live sound processing on the sound of these two amazingly perceptive musicians – it’s an unnervingly powerful expedition. My sound processing is a distinct voice in the improvisation, and I treat the processing as an ersatz instrument that I “play”.

Bios:

Dafna Naphtali is a sound-artist/ improviser/composer from an eclectic musical background. As singer/guitarist/electronic-musician she performs and composes using her Max/MSP programming for sound processing of voice and other instruments.

Dafna has collaborated / performed with many experimental musicians and video artists over the past 15 years, such as Ras Moshe, Alex Waterman , Lukas Ligeti, David First, Joshua Fried, Darius Jones, Kathleen Supové and Hans Tammen as well as video artists Benton-C Bainbridge and Angie Eng and choreographer Daria Fain. She’s co-lead the digital chamber punk ensemble, What is it Like to be a Bat? with Kitty Brazelton ( HYPERLINK “http://www.whatbat.org” www.whatbat.org) , and is a founder of Magic Names vocal ensemble. She’s received commissions and awards from NY Foundation for the Arts, NY State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, Experimental TV Center, Brecht Forum, and residencies at STEIM (Holland), Music OMI and iEAR at Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute. She’s twice received commissions from American Composers Forum (1999 for pianist Kathleen Supové, and in 2010 for Magic Names vocal ensemble), and she is 2011 recipient of Franklin Furnace Fund award to develop her piece for Eric Singer’s LEMUR music robots. She’s performed and traveled widely and under usual circumstances for her music (to festivals and venues around the world), including India in February 2010 to work with Hindustani singer, Vidya Shah (and funding from American Music Center). Dafna teaches and gives workshops at universities in the US and Europe, and has a Masters in Music Technology from New York University, where she is part-time faculty teaching interactive programming and Electronic Music Performance . She teaches programs and consults about computer music since’95 at Harvestworks (New York) and as a freelancer, and has done sound design and/or programming work for the projects of many artists at the forefront of digital and interactive music.

Alex Waterman is a founding member of the Plus Minus Ensemble, based in Brussels and London, specializing in avant-garde and experimental music. In New York he performs with the Either/Or Ensemble. Alex has worked with musicians such as Robert Ashley, Richard Barrett, Helmut Lachenmann, Keith Rowe, Marina Rosenfeld, Anthony Coleman, Elliot Sharp, Ned Rothenberg, Gerry Hemingway, David Watson, Chris Mann, Alison Knowles, Thomas Meadowcroft, and Michael Finnissy. He has performed as guest musician with numerous ensembles, including Trio Event (Berlin), Champs d’Action-Antwerp, Q-O2-Brussels, and Magpie Music and Dance Company. Waterman has made music for numerous European ballet and modern dance companies including Freiburg Ballett/Pretty Ugly, Scapino Ballet, Nederland Dans Theater III, and others. As a curator he has organized events at Les Bains:Connective in Brussels, OT301 in Amsterdam, Miguel Abreu Gallery and The Kitchen. His duo projects with the dancer Michael Schumacher have toured in Switzerland, Italy, Holland, the Opera of Monaco and most recently in all 5 boroughs of New York in a Joyce Theater production in association with the City Parks Foundation in July of 2008.
In 2007 Alex curated two exhibitions in New York, one on experimental music and poetics: Agapê (June 2-July 28th, 2007) at Miguel Abreu Gallery; and the other on graphic notation, Between Thought and Sound: Graphic Notation in Contemporary Music (September 7-October 20, 2007) at The Kitchen in Chelsea. Alex is presently working on his PhD in musicology at NYU as well as writing a book about the composer Robert Ashley with the designer and writer Will Holder. Alex participated in Dexter Sinister’s residency at the Armory for the 2008 Whitney Biennial writing a new work based upon Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener. Alex Waterman and Beatrice Gibson’s film, A Necessary Music, narrated by Robert Ashley and with original music by Waterman, premiered at the Whitney Museum ISP show and won the Tiger Prize for Best Short Film at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2008. Alex lectured and performed as part of the exhibition The Possibility of Action at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona in 2008, and was in residence at the ICA in May 2009 with his ensemble, in addition to performing solo works. He installed a permanent 12 speaker sound installation out in Napa Valley in July of 2009 at the residence of Norah and Norman Stone, and is presently working on a new film project in Vieques, and starting up his record label (D.S. al coda). He also plays the music of Arthur Russell with Arthur’s Landing whenever he can. His writings have been published by Dot Dot Dot, Paregon, FoArm, and Artforum.

Darius Jones, is an alto saxophonist, composer, and producer.

He joined the New York music community in 2005, after living and studying in Richmond, Va. Darius comes from a diverse musical background that has lead to his unique, alternative, and soulful approach to music. Jones has composed and performed in a wide variety of areas such as electro-acoustic music, chamber ensembles, contemporary jazz groups, avant-garde jazz groups, modern dance performances, and multi-media events. Darius enjoys playing with a steady group of artists and improvisers. The current bands Jones works with are the Cooper-Moore Trio, Mike Pride’s From Bacteria to Boys, Nioka Workman’s House Arrest Band, William Hooker’s Bliss Quartet, Trevor Dunn’s Proof Readers, The Hub, Lewis Barnes’ Hampton Roads, and Period.
Darius has collaborated with Andrew D’angelo, Esther Lamneck, William Parker, Flip Barnes, Jim Black, Charlie Looker, Dafna Naphtali, Sam Hilmer, Weasal Walters, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, S.E.M Ensemble, Lisle Ellis, Rob Brown, Warren Smith, Alex Waterman, etc.

In New York, Darius has produced records for Korean jazz vocalist Sunny Kim and country-folk artist Mary Bragg. Jones has performed in Italy, France, U.S. and Canada.
Jones has a band with Travis LaPlante, Ben Greenberg, and Jason Nazary called Little Women, which recently went on a national tour to promote the release of their first record Teeth on Sockets and Gilgongo Records. Jones is the recent winner of the Van Lier Fellowship awarded by Roulette.

More information:

Dafna Naphtali – HYPERLINK “https://dafna.info” www.dafna.info

Alex Waterman – HYPERLINK “http://www.alexwaterman.com” www.alexwaterman.com

Darius Jones – www.myspace.com/blackdajones