John Zorn's Stone Commissioning Series presents: Brian Chase
featuring Zeena Parkins & Ursula Scherrer
6pm doors • 7pm show
New Music. New Jazz. Curated by John Zorn.
The John Zorn Commissioning Series celebrates The Stone, Zorn’s revolutionary venue non-profit venue that was “dedicated to the experimental and avant-garde” and served as a vital spot for new music in Manhattan’s Alphabet City for over a decade. Held on the last Wednesday of every month, National Sawdust honors the spirit of the Stone, hosting the world premieres of new works.
This month’s concert spotlights renowned drummer Brian Chase. Chase “is best known as a member of the vital indie-rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but that only reveals the tip of the iceberg where his creative life is concerned. A longtime participant in New York City’s busy underground-music scene, Chase has performed and recorded with a dizzying range of innovators” (Steve Smith).
For this concert, Chase will present two beloved projects with two esteemed collaborators. The first will be a performance of his Drums and Drones material (“an indispensable statement on how drummers hear sound” — The Wire) accompanied by the stunning visuals of video artist Ursula Scherrer. The second will be a duo set with harpist and composer Zeena Parkins. This concert will be a special record release event for Zeena and Brian’s new record, Live At San Damiano Mission.
Brian Chase is a drummer and composer living in Brooklyn. His diverse range of work includes projects with Grammy-nominated rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the community of the New York experimental music scene, and Drums and Drones, an electroacoustic project focusing on the application of the just intonation tuning system to drums and percussion. Performances have taken him across the world to such notable stages as the Sydney Opera House, the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Counted among these are innumerable DIY and independent art spaces of music’s “underground” communities. Recorded works include several with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and many albums with leading improvisors such as Zeena Parkins, Anthony Coleman, and Jeremiah Cymerman.
In 2018, Brian released Drums and Drones: Decade, a triple album with a 144-page book, covering the first ten years of Drums and Drones. This album was the debut release on his own label, Chaikin Records, which was followed by a duo album with saxophonist Catherine Sikora. As an educator, Brian was a visiting professor at Bennington College and guest lecturer at Sō Percussion’s Summer Institute at Princeton University. Writings have appeared in John Zorn’s Arcana, Modern Drummer Magazine, and Talkhouse. Performer and artist residencies have been held at The Stone and Headlands Center for the Arts. Away from the drums, Brian is a regular practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga.
Zeena Parkins is an electro-acoustic composer, improviser, and pioneer of contemporary harp practice and performance. Parkins re-imagines both the acoustic harp and an evolution of her original electric ones through the use of expanded playing techniques, preparations, and custom-designed processing. Within a shifting constellation of improvised and composed gesture, touch, space, sound, and noise music, Parkins is engaged in translations of sonicity, often within multi-channel environments: architectural, emotional, topographical, and social.
Commissions include: Whitney Museum, Tate Modern, Montalvo Arts Center, Sharjah Art Foundation, NeXtWorks Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble/Ensemble Son, Donaueschinger Musiktage, SWR German radio, Bang on a Can Spit Orchestra, Eclipse Quartet, iLand, Thin Man Dance, Human Future Dance Corps, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Awards include: Doris Duke Artist Award, 3 Bessies for her groundbreaking work with dance, DAAD Fellowship, Multi-Arts Production Fund, Shifting Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, NYFA Fellowship, the Jerome Foundation, Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mention.
Residencies include: Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist-in-Residence, Herb Alpert/Ucross Prize, Rauschenberg Fellowship Residency, Civitella Ranieri/Umbertide, Montalvo, Oxford University/The Ruskin School.
Performances/recordings include: Björk, Ikue Mori, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Christian Marclay, Butch Morris, Elliott Sharp, William Winant, Nate Wooley, Nels Cline, Bobby Previte, Mick Barr, Mary Halvorson, Brian Chase, Leila Bordreuil, Yuka C Honda, Okkyung Lee, Matmos, Yoko Ono, Yasunao Tone, Pauline Oliveros, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Myra Melford, and Miya Masaoka.
Parkins is the Distinguished Visiting Artist at Mills College in Oakland, California.
The poetic quality of Ursula Scherrer’s work reminds one of moving paintings, drawing the viewer into the images, leaving them with their own stories. She transforms spaces and landscapes into serene, abstract portraits of rhythm, color and light — inner landscapes in the outside world where the images, words, and actions have less to do with what we see and hear then with the feeling they leave behind.
Scherrer is a Swiss artist living in New York. Her work and collaboration with composers, choreographers, stage directors, light artists, and poets has been shown in festivals, galleries, and museums internationally. Her aesthetic training began with dance, transitioned to choreography, and expanded to photography, video, text, mixed media, and performance art.
Her work has been shown at REDCAT, Ideas City Festival of the New Museum, the Clocktower, the Chelsea Art Museum, Pioneer Works, the Brooklyn Museum, Roulette, Vebikus Kunsthalle, the Sofia Underground Performance Art Festival, Inference, See Djerba, Salisbury University, SHARED.museum, Seoul Square, the Gana Art Gallery, Organhaus, LACE, artMuse, ZKM, LAB/San, Würtemburgischer Kunstverein, Kunstraum Walcheturm, Raum in Bologna, Kunstraum Krems, O’artoteca, Gasometer, Espai Ubu, and Centre d’Art La Panera, among others.