Wendy Eisenberg: Eye Music

Thursday, April 14, 2022. 8:00 pm
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Wendy Eisenberg: Eye Music

Thursday, April 14, 2022. 8:00 pm
Roulette 2022 Commissioned Artist

Eye Music is an experimental song cycle composed and performed by commissioned artist Wendy Eisenberg. The piece was written for a new ensemble featuring Eisenberg on guitar and vocals, Chris Williams (trumpet), Zekkereya El-Magharbel (trombone), Andrew Links (piano/keyboards), Tyrone Allen (bass), and Booker Stardrum (drums). This is a world premiere of both the cycle and this new band, and features a video projection by photographer Richard Lenz.

Eisenberg composed Eye Music as a reflection on their experience receiving eye surgery. Finally being able to see the world easily and unmediated, their relationship to tactility, immediacy, waking up, and perception itself changed, deeply and completely. Subsequent meditations on “vision” “the visible” “eyes” “signs” and “view,” informed the structure of the piece, a semi-improvised song cycle in seven parts. Eye Music is a sonic exploration of the language of the visual, and its relationship to our sensual experience of the world. Each lyric and each form contains some reflection on the visible and its relationship to the imperceptible, or to eyes and duality, or to sight’s relationship to ownership and division.

Wendy Eisenberg: guitar, voice, compositions
Chris Williams: trumpet
Andrew Links: piano/keyboards
Zekkereya El-Magharbel: trombone
Tyrone Allen: bass
Booker Stardrum: drums
Richard Lenz: projections

Wendy Eisenberg is an improviser and songwriter who uses guitar, pedals, the tenor banjo, the computer, the synthesizer, and the voice. Their work spans genres, from jazz to noise to avant-rock to delicate songs; their performances span venues, from international festivals to intimate basements. Though often working solo as both a songwriter and improviser, with acclaimed releases on Tzadik, VDSQ, Out of your Head, and Garden Portal, they also perform in the rock band Editrix, and in endless other combinations of their heroes and peers including Allison Miller, Carla Kihlstedt, John Zorn, Billy Martin, and Caroline Davis. They are also a writer on music and other things, with published essays on music in Sound American, Arcana, and the Contemporary Music Review.

Booker Stardrum is a composer, percussionist, producer, and educator. His compositions are sculptural, carved from the dense layering of instruments and manipulated samples, a pantonal harmonic sense, and an intuitive approach to rhythm. Stardrum has released three solo records (Crater in 2021, Temporary etc. in 2018, and Dance And in 2015). Throughout the last decade, Stardrum has performed, toured, and recorded with Horse Lords, Lee Ranaldo, Weyes Blood, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Landlady, Lisel, and the Young Jean Lee Theater Company, in addition to countless experimental and improvisational collaborations. He has toured in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America and has performed at such festivals as Meltdown (U.K.), Brighton (U.K), Rewire (NL), Le Guess Who (NL), Festival Bo:m (ROK), Hopscotch (US) and Ecstatic Music (US). His discography includes solo and collaborative releases on independent labels such as NNA Tapes, Northern Spy Records, Mexican Summer, Saddle Creek, Luminelle, Prom Night Records, and Home Tapes.

Vibraphonist and marimbist Patricia Brennan “has been widely feted as one of the instrument’s newer leaders.” observed The New York City Jazz Record. Patricia’s extensive sidewoman work includes the Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus, Matt Mitchell’s Phalanx Ambassadors, the Webber/Morris Big Band, Tomas Fujiwara’s 7 Poets Trio, Mary Halvorson’s Amaryllis, amongst other groups and collectives. She has also collaborated with pianist Vijay Iyer as a member of Blind Spot and Open City. Patricia has appeared on numerous recordings from classical to improvised music, including an ECM recording with Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus called “The Distance” and a world premiere recording with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach on Ondine Records. Patricia released her solo debut album “Maquishti” in January 2021 under the label Valley of Search. Patricia Brennan is a BlueHaus Mallets artist, an Audeze artist, and is currently a member of the faculty at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and at the Jazz Studies program at NYU Steinhardt.

Chris Ryan Williams is an interdisciplinary artist and improviser based in Brooklyn often collaborating with contemporary dancers, sound artists, and other experimentalists. His work explores the dyad of ancestral trauma and power existing in all Black Americans. Williams uses a mix of trumpet, electronics, and text to create lush sonic tapestries in his performances with a wide range of artists including Pink Siifu, Luke Stewart, and Patrick Shiroishi.

Hailing from Temple Hills, MD, Tyrone Allen began his musical journey on recorder at the age of 3. Taking instruction from his father who taught in DC public schools, Tyrone developed an ear for many genres very early on. He studied Classical and Jazz music at Eastman School of Music under James VanDemark and Jeff Campbell respectively, and then went on to attend the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, where received Masters of Music. Tyrone now resides in Brooklyn, NY, and performs with Ralph Peterson in the Ralph Peterson Fo-tet, Terri-Lynne Carrington, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Sullivan Fortner, David Kikoski, and Wayne Escoffrey, to name a few since graduating from Berklee. Most recently Tyrone has performed around the globe with Jazzmeia Horn, Laurin Talese, and has performed and recorded with Rodney Greenʼs newest project, Jackson Miller.

Zekkereya El-Magharbel is an interdisciplinary artist originally from the Los Angeles Area. They are a member of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and has also worked with West Coast Luminaries such as Busdriver, JMD, Trevor Lawrence, William Roper, Zeroh, MAIA, and Michael Session. They have also shown animated films internationally, most of them exploring visual music. They also make graphic scores both animated and still.

Wendy Eisenberg: Eye Music is a Roulette commission and is possible, in part, by the Jerome Foundation. The Jerome Foundation, a long-time supporter of young composers, was a mainstay in Roulette’s early development and continues to help us fulfill our mission by presenting ambitious work by promising artists.
Photo Credit: the artist, assembled by Richard Lenz