$15 Cover @ the Door / Start 8pm / Doors 7:45pm
A new and unexpected collaboration between Grammy-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann (ECM) and electronic musician/producer Joseph Branciforte that merges the warmth and fragility of the human voice with the clicks and whirs of machines, modular synthesizers, and broken tape loops.
Bleckmann is widely known for his arresting and hauntingly emotive voice, an instrument capable of producing all manner of otherworldly sounds and textures. Contextualized here by Branciforte's contrasting palette — artificially synthesized tones, deep subharmonic oscillations, and gently layered sheets of noise — Bleckmann's soundworld can be appreciated in a wholly new light.
Armed with an array of looping devices, guitar pedals, found objects, and sound-making machines, the pair patiently builds and dissolves nuanced sonic tapestries, with a shared musical language drawing upon ambient, choral, microsound, and free improvisation.
Bleckmann and Branciforte will be celebrating the release of their debut recording, LP1, available in both vinyl and high-resolution digital editions via greyfade.
A vocalist and new music composer of eclectic tastes and prodigious gifts, Grammy-nominated Theo Bleckmann makes music that is accessibly sophisticated, unsentimentally emotional, and seriously playful, leading his work to be described as “from another planet” (The New York Times), “magical, futuristic” (All About Jazz), “limitless” (Philadelphia City Paper), “transcendent” (The Village Voice), and “brilliant” (New York Magazine).
Bleckmann has collaborated with musicians, artists, actors, and composers including Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, David Lang, Kirk Nurock, Frances MacDormand, Ben Monder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for over fifteen years.
In January 2017, ECM released Bleckmann’s album Elegy, a quintet recording produced by legendary label head and founder Manfred Eicher. In their album review of Elegy, the Wall Street Journal called Bleckmann “a jazz vocalist for the 21st century.” Bleckmann has most recently appeared as a special guest on recordings by Ambrose Akinmusire for Blue Note Records and Julia Hülsmann’s trio for ECM.
Bleckmann’s accolades include NPR’s 2012 Top 10 Jazz Albums of the Year for his album Hello Earth! The Songs of Kate Bush, top-five spots in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 DownBeat Critics’ Polls for Best Male Vocalist, and the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in his native Germany in 2010.
Joseph Branciforte is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, sound artist, and recording engineer based out of New York City. His wide-ranging musical interests have situated him at the intersection of several of New York’s most fertile progressive music scenes — from jazz and improvised music, to chamber music and algorithmic composition; from ambient and sound art, to experimental forms of rock and pop. At the bottom of these seemingly discrete threads lies an undying fascination with sound as a profound emotional medium — organized through musical form, articulated by a careful selection of sound sources, and framed through the act of recording.
Branciforte’s recent work as a performer centers around the Fender Rhodes piano, augmented with modular synthesizers, custom digital processing, tape loops, and found objects. In this format, he has performed solo and with artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree, and Theo Bleckmann. He is also the co-leader and drummer of The Cellar and Point, a “garage-chamber” ensemble whose debut record Ambit was called “one of 2014's finest albums of challenging, engaging, and genre-defying contemporary music” by AllMusic and was included on WNYC New Sounds’ Top Ten Albums of 2014.
As composer, Branciforte has developed a unique process of algorithmic composition for acoustic instruments using custom software of his own design. His ongoing collaboration with electronic musician and composer Kenneth Kirschner explores digital, generative, and procedural methods of composing for chamber ensemble, and will see its debut recording — featuring members of Flux Quartet, Talea Ensemble, and Mivos Quartet — released on greyfade in September 2019.
Equally well-known as a recording and mixing engineer, Branciforte has lent his sonic touch to over 200 releases, working with some of the most well-respected names in creative jazz along the way: Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Vijay Iyer, Nels Cline, Steve Lehman, Tim Berne, Marc Ribot, Eliane Elias, Mary Halvorson, and Nir Felder. Albums he has produced, engineered, and/or mixed have been included in the NPR Jazz Critics’ Poll Top 10 and Downbeat Magazine's Albums of the Year. His engineering and production can be heard on ECM, Sony, Pi Recordings, New Amsterdam, Sunnyside, Cantaloupe Music, and Naxos.