STEEL CELLO: GENERATIONS at the GASHOLDER BUILDING

STEEL CELLO: GENERATIONS at the GASHOLDER BUILDING

April 23, 2005 8:00 PM - 10:00 AM

Peter Warren and Matt Samolis, Steel Cellos with Sarah Marian Warren, Steel Cello with Electronics Saturday, April 23rd at 8pm The Gasholder Building 1115 5th Avenue Troy, NY 12180 An evening of bowed-metal drone music, environmental sound and sensor-controlled electroacoustic music at Metroland's 2004 pick for "Best Experimental Music Venue". Suggested donation: $3 students and seniors/$5 general public Peter Warren and Matt Samolis' work on their modified steel cellos is in part a blending of the harmonic and drone traditions. The steel cello is a remarkably resonant and sympathetic assemblage of cymbals and tuned steel rods that once set into vibration, produces a huge variety of subtly shifting timbres and harmonic intervals. The unfolding of the music is patient and meditative, as the sounds gradually reveal a succession of overtones and timbral nuances. The process of acoustical sympathy between pitches is an active organizational force that promotes sustained pitch relationships, whether they be consonant or dissonant. What results is the creation of very unusual 'chords' that progress through various harmonic series and timbres, each with its own sense of musical suspension or resolution, until a final concluding episode emerges, creating a natural endpoint. Sarah Marian Warren has taken her uncle Peter's steel cello in a different direction, building a smaller version of the instrument amplified with contact microphones and adding a sensor-based computer interface. This instrument is a culmination of her work with musical composition, interactive installation, field recordings and the acoustic steel cello, and of twenty-five years as a performer of violin, piano and voice. The sensor-based computer interface enhances the physicality of Warren's performance resulting in a dance-like connection with the instrument. Warren recently received her MFA from RPI's iEAR program in Troy, New York. For further information Call 518-461-5456 Or email steelcello@gmail.com Reviews: KINDA-MUZIK - the modern music magazine - PETER WARREN & MATT SOMALIS| BOWED METAL MUSIC (CD, Innova) And the music is all that the title predicts. Not that is this metal music - it's music made on metal, with metal, by metal. Warren and Samolis, two Americans well-known in the improvisational genre, play the steel cello on this album. According to their website: "The steel cello is a remarkably resonant and sympathetic assemblage of cymbals and tuned steel rods that, once set into vibration, produces a huge variety of subtly shifting timbres and harmonic intervals". A good description, but it is the people who play it. And they play it well, I might add. This is a live recording, improvised as a continuous performance of sixty-five minutes, but with added indexpoints for convenience. Don't bother skipping tracks however, because this is something you have to experience as a whole. A sixty-five minute drone, filled with dissonant overtones. Words like ambient or soundscape don't fit, and with the term improv music is often meant something completely different like freejazz. A freeform soundscape maybe? Perhaps, but putting tags on this music becomes futile while listening to it. There is an enormous range of sounds and moods coming out of the steel plates, and all those different tones shift constantly over and through each other. Sometimes soft and serene, sometimes loud and harsh, sometimes uneasy and frightening, but always downright impressive. It's one of the most atmospheric records I've ever experienced, an experience best had lying down on a bed with headphones. One of the highlights of the year so far. (by Bas Ickenroth) Outsight - 8/1/01 Bowed Metal Music is a continuous, hour-long odyssey into the otherworldly dimensions populated by curved sheet metal, cymbals and vibrating rods. Warren & Samolis, our guides to these strange lands, pilot modified steel cellos through the enharmonic plains, forests of resonance and sympathetic song of ferrous unison. Years of labor by both musicians in the areas of improvisation and conjuring delicate acoustics from these sound sources culminated in this recording. This alien, acoustic experience confronts the listener with iridescent overtones that shimmer reflections of the percussion suns set in orbit by these sonic wizards. A complex, but serene experience, Bowed Metal Music is singular and exceptional. Paris Transatlantic Magazine - www.paristransatlantic.com/magazine/monthly2001/09sep_text2.html Sept. 2001 BOWED METAL MUSIC and more Innova releases Peter Warren / Matt Samolis "Bowed Metal Music" is a collaborative project featuring Pete Warren and Matt Samolis playing their modified steel cello (though it looks nothing like a cello on the photos), a slow motion metallic trawl lasting 65 minutes guaranteed to please drone connoisseurs. In fact, by the standards of Charlemagne Palestine and Tony Conrad, this is pretty active - sonorities and timbres are constantly on the move, albeit at a leisurely pace; it must be great to listen to flat on your back in the middle of a cornfield looking up at clouds drifting by (I say that because my mind wanders trying to listen to it in a big city, even late at night at home).
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