june 26 2014Keir Neuringer (sax)
Ben Bennett (percussion)
Weed Tree (drums/gtr)
Renée Regan (performance)
doors at 8
music at 830
sliding scale $5-10 donation
Keir Neuringer is a musician and interdisciplinary artist who is involved in creative arts communities in Poland, Holland, and the US. He has cultivated a personal and intensely physical approach to saxophone improvisation, plays analogue electronics and Farfisa organ, and sings and narrates text. After training as a composer and saxophonist in the US, he spent two years on a Fulbright research grant in Krakow. He then moved to The Hague, where he spent eight years, curating performative audiovisual art and earning a masters degree from the experimental ArtScience Institute. He lives in Philadelphia and continues to travel widely to present his work, collaborating closely with Rafal Mazur, Ensemble Klang, and Julius Masri, among many others.
“Ceremonies Out of the Air is the premiere double-length solo album of virtuoso Philadelphia-based saxophonist Keir Neuringer. Consisting of five extended improvisations performed before an invited audience in August 2013, the album presents the widely-travelled composer-performer’s raw emotions laid bare in sound. These ceremonies are physical exhalations of grief at the loss of his mother months before the recording – by turns contemplative, ecstatic, restrained, and unbridled. They reveal Neuringer’s prodigious technical vocabulary and physical stamina, as well as his idiosyncratic compositional influences and sensibilities. Central to all of it is the uncompromising urgency that is a key facet of Neuringer’s creative work.
Between the album’s opening okay we can go now – an uninterrupted 21-minute meditation on the harmonics of the alto’s lowest pitch – and the keening closing folk rhapsody we had mostly good timesover an hour later, the sound of the saxophone ceases only between tracks, as Neuringer’s use of the circular breathing technique is set in relief against a wide emotional palette and a wealth of sonic history and musical practice.
Ceremonies Out of the Air is released on CD and double-vinyl gatefold LP by New Atlantis Records in April 2014. Recorded by Eugene Lew and mastered by Kato Hideki, it features specially-commissioned art by Brooklyn-based painter Erin Rice and a deeply personal text by Neuringer. The album takes its title from a passage in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: ‘Evoke the forms. Where you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.’”
-New Atlantis Records
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Ben Bennett began musical training as a young child, studied jazz percussion, and soon began playing free improvisation exclusively. He has developed a highly personal and intensely physical approach to percussion, which involved gradually distilling the drum set down to a single vibrating membrane, and developing breath, friction, and other techniques to produce a wide array of sounds from minimal materials. His application of timing, repetition, and compositional form can reveal a surprising musicality in the most unlikely gestures.
He has toured North America, Europe, and Japan, performing solo and in collaboration. Groups include Wrest with Jack Wright and Evan Lipson, Central Ohio War Coalition with Joe Panzner and Mike Shiflet, and bst.cr with Wilson Shook and Ryan Jewell. He has collaborated with many others, including Steve Baczkowski, Pascal Battus, Jack Callahan, Ben Hall, Michael Johnsen, Fred LonbergHolm, Ilan Manouach, Bob Marsh, Andrea Pensado, and Aaron Zarzutzki. He has released albums on Experimedia, Public Eyesore, Bug Incision, and Edgetone.
“The crux of Bennett’s output is formed through his anomalous showmanship and in the resourceful nature of the instruments he tailors. If there is “value” to be found in his art, then these aspects surely make for a sensible starting point. Recycled objects and household items are transformed into contraptions assembled for a purpose unknown to the performer until the very moment he drags them before baffled onlookers, inserting them into an orifice or smashing them with an unrelated implement. Such instances of universal obscurity add to the queer web of noise that makes the resulting sound so riveting from the perspective of the audience.” Tiny Mixtapes
“It appears that he is psychically and physically communed with sound itself in a way that is unique in our modern electrified music world, and that gives him the ability to sonically both reflect and compete with the urban and industrial environment, even while standing in opposition to it.” Chuck Hoffman
“Ben Bennett is an extraordinaire percussionist whose performances transcend the realm of sound to become profound, personal, artistic statements.” Andrea Pensado
“Cordes, flûte, baguettes de batterie, voix, corps, électronique… Ben Bennett joue avec intensité; des rythmes frénétiques, des craquements, des souffles stridents viennent dessiner un paysage musical où le corps se déplace. Un personnage libre, une musique tout en joie, en frottements mais aussi tout en retenue, en petites agressions contenues voire même silencieuses.” Aymeric Hainaux