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January 30, 2015 Friday

Battle Trance, Faun and a Pan Flute, Jon Ciliberto
9:00PM - - -
Price:  10

Battle Trance

Battle Trance had an auspicious inception. One morning, Travis Laplante (Little Women and a trio with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Ches Smith) literally awoke with the crystal clear vision that he needed to start an ensemble with three specific individuals Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, and Patrick Breiner. Laplante was actually unfamiliar with their work as musicians and had only a minimal relationship with them as individuals. He was also aware that a band of four tenor saxophones could be the worst idea ever. In spite of this, Laplante followed through and contacted Nelson, Viner, and Breiner. He gave them very little information beyond his morning experience. But no one hesitated - the ensemble formed that evening.

Since many of the techniques used in the piece are nearly impossible to notate in traditional form, Palace of Wind was transmitted via the oral tradition. The rehearsals were much like martial arts training: intricate sounds were rigorously copied and repeated by the ensemble members until they perfected the techniques. Many hours were spent building the sheer strength required to sustain continuous circular breathing for extended periods. Likewise, a steady focus on physicality was required to repeat rapid note patterns for long periods without sacrificing speed. Palace of Wind is such a demanding composition that there is a high risk of physically burning out before the piece concludes, as once it begins there is no opportunity for rest or even a quick drink of water. There was also extensive training in dissolving the distinct individual identities of the players into the greater collective sound: The band did various long-tone exercises, similar to group meditation, the purpose being to blend together into one sound, so that the origin of the collective sound's components is completely impossible to discern - even by the members of the ensemble.

Faun and a Pan Flute

Atlanta experimental outfit Faun and a Pan Flute cares little about any one genre or category. The Atlanta-based nonet, now in it’s third year as a collective entity, has just released its self-titled debut. Composed and arranged through a year of twice-weekly rehearsals and recorded over a weekend in the intimate confines of Studilaroche in Atlanta, GA, Faun and a Pan Flute exhibits the band’s patient dedication to its craft and reveals the possibilities of its peripatetic nature. The group’s musical approach is wholly unique to this set of players: a spherical assembly line wherein each worker applies his trade and touch in an electric, swirling exchange to produce a work of honesty, beauty and discovery. In its current incarnation, the group involves Daniel Bailey (bass), Adam Babar and David Gray (guitar), Ben Shirley (cello), Peter Webb (saxophone), Julian Hinshaw (tuba/organ), Chris Childs (marimba) and John Gregg and Daniel Betts (percussion). In an interview with Creative Loafing Atlanta, Bailey once explained Faun’s ceaseless M.O. as an unavoidable circumstance — a fortunate and flourishing symptom of nine like-minded players wanting nothing other than to collaborate at constant rate. “We all play music all the time. Through eat, sleep, sex, defecation, and death there is music falling out of these people. If there is downtime, it is flooded with sound,” Bailey explained. Each member produces sound like common people sweat, bleed or breath. The four tracks of Faun and Pan Flute are a subtle mix of movements that are at times earth-movingly massive, lurching forward with every heaving breath. Other times, the group sounds as light as a whisper of death, admitting the finality to all things.

Jon Ciliberto
Jon Ciliberto is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, but most comfortable playing plucked, stringed instruments. He also likes small, battery-powered devices. He plays across a wide range of musical forms, including classical gamelan, Hawaiian music (slack key and hapa haole), Americana, and electronic noise. He is a Hambidge Creative Residency Fellow, has composed music for numerous choreographers, and has performed at Eyedrum, Lenny's, Dotties, the Goat Farm, 11:11 Teahouse, amongst myriad other odd and unusual locations. In general, Jon recommends direct experience and the dictum, "don't believe the type."

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