AMPLIFY 11 festival lineup announced: Graham Lambkin, Keith Rowe, Jason Lescalleet, Michael Pisaro, and other solemn gentlemen

AMPLIFY 11 festival lineup announced: Graham Lambkin, Keith Rowe, Jason Lescalleet, Michael Pisaro, and other solemn gentlemen

AMPLIFY 11: stones was fast approaching and I was determined not to miss out this year. I had long ago worn out my 7xCD/DVD set of recordings from AMPLIFY 2002: balance, and the thought of having so many of my favorite EAI artists under one roof in New York City was too unlikely and momentous to ignore. Yes, the festival was running for over two weeks and cost $10 per set, but this wasn’t going to deter me; as soon as I had seen the lineup announcement on Tiny Mix Tapes back in April, I began setting aside substantial portions of my paycheck for the event. I even made hotel reservations near The Stone for September 1-16 to avoid transportation costs. My only remaining concern was deciding who would attend the festival with me. As luck would have it, my old friend Lionel was planning a New York visit for the month of September, and he too had great interest in the possibilities of free improvisation.

I met Lionel outside The Stone on September 1, a chilly Thursday evening. A crowd had begun to form outside, anticipating the kick-off performance for AMPLIFY 11 — two sets by the trio of Barry Chabala, Dominic Lash, and Ben Owen, premiering new works written by Antoine Beuger and Michael Pisaro. I hadn’t seen Lionel in nearly six years, and was thrilled to have him by my side as we entered the venue. Lionel told me that this year’s AMPLIFY was the most ambitious yet, and what he most looked forward to was the final three days, which would be taken up by the Gravity Wave subfestival curated by Michael Pisaro. He also explained that — as he understood it — ‘stones’ referred not only to the festival’s fantastic venue, but also to Christian Wolff’s fascinating Stones prose score, the program notes of which provided an apt description of AMPLIFY 11 itself. Lionel quoted: “Stones is for me an extreme instance of combining maximum transparency, flexibility and freedom for performers with at the same time an unmistakable irreducible identity.” I agreed that such a quote was fitting for what we were about to experience over the next two weeks, and I put my arm around Lionel with pride as the musicians began their set.

Twenty minutes later, Lionel was dead. He had stepped outside for a cigarette break, and the tow rope on a passing truck came loose, tossing a 55-gallon oil drum onto the sidewalk and crushing Lionel instantly. I’ll never forget the times we shared.


AMPLIFY 11: stones schedule:

September 1:
8 PM and 10 PM (two sets): Barry Chabala/Dominic Lash/Ben Owen perform Wandelweiser (featuring premieres of pieces written specifically for this night by Antoine Beuger and Michael Pisaro)

September 2:
8 PM: Bonnie Jones/Maria Chavez
10 PM: David Kirby (solo)

September 3:
8 PM: Graham Lambkin/Vanessa Rossetto
10 PM: Olivia Block (solo)

September 4:
8 PM: Jason Lescalleet (solo)
10 PM: Keith Rowe (solo)

September 6:
8 PM: David Barnes/Richard Kamerman/Graham Stephenson (three duo sets)
10 PM: Taku Unami (solo)

September 7:
8 PM: Keith Rowe/Taku Unami
10 PM: Joe Foster/Kevin Parks

September 8:
8 PM: Toshi Nakamura/English (Joe Foster/Bonnie Jones)
10 PM: Keith Rowe/Toshi Nakamura

September 9:
8 PM: Radu Malfatti/Keith Rowe (composition)
10 PM: Toshi Nakamura/Taku Unami

September 10:
8 PM: Radu Malfatti/Keith Rowe (improvisation)
10 PM: Toshi Nakamura (solo)

September 11:
8 PM: Keith Rowe (solo)
10 PM: Radu Malfatti/Taku Unami (improvisation)

September 13:
Radu Malfatti/Michael Pisaro duo (2 sets)
8 PM: Claude Lorrain 2 (Malfatti)
10 PM: Ascending Series (6) (Pisaro)

September 14 (Gravity Wave festival):
8 PM: A cloud drifting over the plain (Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart, Barry Chabala, Dominic Lash)
10 PM: Mind is moving (I and IV) (Michael Pisaro, Dominic Lash)

September 15 (Gravity Wave festival):
8 PM: ricefall (2) (with melodic extensions) (Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart)
10 PM: fields have ears (6) (Barry Chabala, Michael Pisaro)

September 16 (Gravity Wave festival):
8 PM: Reliefs series (Greg Stuart solo)
10 PM: asleep, street, pipes, tones (Michael Pisaro, Katie Porter)

• Erstwhile: http://www.erstwhilerecords.com
• The Stone: http://www.thestonenyc.com

[Photo: Yuko Zama]

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