Dani Dobkin and Matt Sargent are on an east tour in support of “Bend,” out now on Waveform Alphabet. Beginning with a phrase from Gertrude Stein

, “Act so that there is no use in a centre,” the improvising duo delights in the exploration of their contrasting sensibilities: “Bend” opens with a smash cut sampler/squelch beat from Dobkin against ringing microtonal guitar harmonics from Sargent.

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Dani Dobkin is a New York City based artist, composer and educator currently working with sound, ceramics and modular synthesis.  Recently their work has engaged with ideas of grief, decay and ephemerality.  

Past and recent collaborators include Yarn/Wire, International Contemporary Ensemble, CT::SWaM, Qubit and Women in Sound.

As an artist and composer, their work has been showcased at a variety of venues and galleries including ISSUE Project Room (NYC), Dimenna Center for the Arts (NYC), Spectrum (NYC), Fridman Gallery (NYC), Mom’s Gallery (NYC), The Wallach Gallery (NYC), The Rubin Museum (NYC), Public Records (NYC), Chronos Art Center (Shanghai), NextSunday (Tokyo) and Little Berlin (Philadelphia).  

Dobkin received a BFA from Bard College and an MFA in Sound Art from Columbia University.  They are currently a doctoral candidate in music composition at Columbia University and teaches modular synthesis at Bard College.

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Matt Sargent (b. 1984) is a composer, guitarist, recording engineer, and music technologist based in upstate New York, where he is an assistant professor of music at Bard College. His music grows from interests in resonance, the making/breaking of patterns, and computer models of musical thought. Over the last decade, his work has focused extensively on musical algorithms and real-time notation systems, which can be heard in his compositions and technical collaborations with other artists.

His compositions have been described as “bringing a sharpened sense of the transcendental into the 21st century.” (Paul Muller, Sequenza21) On his 2018 release, Ghost Music, Bill Meyer writes, “this music isn’t about following in anyone’s footsteps; it uses bare resources to establish a bounded and essential place.” (The Wire Magazine)

His albums include Illuminations (Sawyer Editions, 2023), Between Time and After (Chen Li Music, 2023), Bend (Waveform Alphabet, 2023), Tide (A Wave Press, 2020), Separation Songs (Cold Blue Music, 2019), Tide (for ten basses) (Marginal Frequency, 2019), and Ghost Music (Weighter Recordings, 2018).

He is currently engaged with expanding available repertoire for the pedal steel and electric guitar. In 2022, Matt commissioned new works for solo pedal steel from Michael Pisaro-Liu, Carl Stone, and Nomi Epstein. His performance of Trails (2019-2022), a new concert-length work for pedal steel by Kevin Good, was recently released by Sawyer Editions. He commissioned and premiered James Romig’s concert-length work for electric guitar, The Fragility of Time, which will be released by A Wave Press in Fall 2024.

In demand as an audio engineer for contemporary music, Matt’s recent production credits include Alvin Lucier’s One Arm Bandits (Important Records), Ricochet Lady (Black Truffle), and Works for the Ever Present Orchestra II (Black Truffle), Musica Elettronica Viva’s Symphony No. 107 – The Bard (Black Truffle), Sarah Hennies’s Spectral Malsconcities (New World Records), Kyle Gann’s Whispers, and Ensemble Signal / David Felder’s Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux (Coviello Contemporary), among many others. He recently restored Richard Teitelbaum’s soundtrack for the Suzan Pitt film, Asparagus, which will be released by Black Truffle Records in 2024.

As a technical producer and software designer, Matt developed a networked music notation program for the Swiss-based Ever Present Orchestra, which facilitated performance of numerous large ensemble works composed by Alvin Lucier. In 2021, he co-composed A Murmur in the Trees, for twenty-four basses, with Eve Beglarian and bassist Robert Black. Along with Chris Cerrone, he is currently reconstructing the electronics of the late composer Ingram Marshall. Praising his work on Robert Carl’s album, Splectra (Cold Blue Music), Fanfare Magazine writes, “he could find no better collaborator than composer and sound designer Matt Sargent.”

Jil Christensen – piano
David Menestres – bass
Will Redman – drums and compositions

David Menestres is a double bassist, improvisor, composer, radio host, and writer.

“There’s clear sympathy in their playing together, Menestres’s double bass particularly seductive on Plays A Word for Sun, oscillating between vibrating string scrapes and fluid stretches of note splay.” – Jon Dale, The Wire (February 2023)

“The profound intensity of this music is what free playing is all about” – Sammy Stein, FreeJazzBlog (October 31, 2022)

Event location:

425 E 31st St, Baltimore, MD 21218

The Red Room is a volunteer-run space in Baltimore dedicated to mind-expanding experimental culture, headquartered at Normals Books and Records.