Ambient-Chaos at Spectrum (NYC): Groupthink, Amar Chaudhary, LathanFlinAli, Charity Chan

Today we look back at the November 15 Ambient-Chaos night at Spectrum in New York. Spectrum is a new loft space dedicated to experimental music, and I was happy to have the opportunity to both hear new music and perform there.

The performance opened with LathanFlinAli, a trio consisting of Lathan Hardy on saxophone, Sean Ali on bass and Flin van Hemmen on drums.

Their music was an intense free-jazz style that moved between individual hits, bends and other sounds to more idiomatic and rhythmic sections. Every so often the intensity would swell to a loud hit or brief run on all three instruments.

The trio was followed by Groupthink an electronic duo featuring Darren Bergstein and Edward Yuhas. While the first performance was all about percussive hits and rhythms, this set was the complete opposite with ambient drones and thick electronic textures.

Throughout the evening, large programmable lights were pulsating, casting different color patterns on the wall and onto the stage. It probably worked best with Groupthink’s music.

It was then time to take the stage. I brought a relatively compact instrumental rig with a laptop, iPad, a garrahand (a metal drum from Argentina), a Luna NT analog synthesizer and a DSI Evolver.

The garrahand was the centerpiece of the set, both as solo tuned percussion and as a source for laptop-based processing. The texture of the overall performance was quite varied, ranging from analog noise to more melodic phrases on the percussion instruments. You can see a brief excerpt of this set in this video:

Amar Chaudhary live set at Spectrum, New York City, November 14, 2012 from CatSynth on Vimeo.

The final set featured¬†Charity Chan on piano and Lukas Ligeti on drums. From the start, the pair’s sound was loud, aggressive and highly percussive. Chan definitely put the piano through a workout with her intense playing both on the keyboard and on the strings inside the instrument:

Ligeti was equally intense on drums, moving between loud hits and resonances.

The motion required for this music made the pair fun to watch as well as listen to.

Overall, it was a fun night of music and great way to start things out in New York. I am grateful to Robert Pepper (PAS) and Glenn Cornett

for hosting me at Spectrum, and hope to play there again.