Talibam!, a 14-year working unit based in New York City, can be described in various ways — as a classic keyboards/drums expanded-jazz duo, as Dadaist provocateurs with an innate love for the history of music, as a Fluxus-informed theater troupe, as an electronic ensemble inspired by Stockhausen, or as a rhythm section at the cross hair of agility, speed, punctuation, and intention. Since their inception in 2003, Talibam!’s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion. Matt Mottel (keys) and Kevin Shea (drums) have remained devoted to their belief that the application of diversity in sound is paramount to the appreciation of diversity among fellow beings. Talibam! delights in creating music that cannot be pinned down within the safe-spaces of existing genres. With each new album, Talibam! reinvents their methodological palette in order to bolster a fresh clarity of joyous auditory surprise, something their fans have come to depend on. Talibam! has worked hard to proselytize their process.
Microkingdom is a trio of Baltimore MVPs: Marc Miller (guitar) of Oxes, John Dierker (reeds) master improviser and member of LaFayette Gilchrest’s New Volcanos (and many other bands and collaborations), and experimental composer Will Redman (percussion).
Audrey Chen is a Chinese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic.
Since then, using the cello, voice and occasional analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of the homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language.