Jim Baker & Michael Zerang - Celebrating 35 Years

Jim Baker & Michael Zerang - Celebrating 35 Years

Matchess

Tue, November 7, 2017

9:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL

$10.00

Jim Baker & Michael Zerang - Celebrating 35 Years
Jim Baker & Michael Zerang - Celebrating 35 Years
Michael Zerang and Jim Baker, longtime Chicago experimentalists, are celebrating their 35th year of making music together with a Tuesday night residency series at the Hideout this November 2017.

Each night, Zerang and Baker will perform their duo for the first set, consisting of music for percussion and electronics. For the second set, they have invited various Chicago experimentalists to join them.
Michael Zerang
Michael Zerang
Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.

As a percussionist, composer and collaborator, Zerang has over one hundred titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to 35 countries since 1981, and works with and ever-widening pool of collaborators, primarily in The United States, Western and Eastern Europe.

Beginning in 2004, Zerang began to work with musicians and artists living in the Middle East. He traveled to perform, hold workshops, and study, to Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Morocco.

In November, 2007, Zerang played his first concert in Poland. Between 2007 - 2015, he had performed over 100 concerts. Several of these concerts where from existing ensembles that visited Poland, but the majority of the concert were in collaboration with Polish musicians and artists.

Michael founded and was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series in Chicago from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. He was a Board Member of Links Hall from 1989 - 2013. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005.

Zerang has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in collaboration with Redmoon Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

Michael has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts Center; courses in Composer/Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House.

Michael currently tours and holds workshops in improvisational music and percussion technique, and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.
Jim Baker
Jim Baker
Jim Baker is an eccentric and deep-thinking musician who has jammed with some of the best in the world, from Chicago flautist and bandleader Nicole Mitchell to Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, of Massachusetts. His talent and humor shines in his solo Delmark CD, More Questions Than Answers, which is the perfect album to let play on repeat for auditory relaxation or intense retrospection — depending on your mood. If you’ve not seen and heard Baker labor like a scientist or switchboard operator over the complex assemblage of cables, pedals and knobs that he uses to control his ARP synthesizer, then you’ve not experienced the best Old School electronic music that gets played in Chicago. - Chicago Jazz Festival, 2012
Matchess
Matchess
The Rafter appears amidst the Matchess Trilogy -- Seraphastra, Somnaphoria, and Sacrecorpa (forthcoming) – a temporary diversion into darker psychedelia and, at once, deeper mindfulness. The title is derived, in part, from a transcendent experience by Ólafur Kárason of Ljósavík, the central character of the novel World Light by Halldór Laxness. Though he has been all but abandoned in the barn loft by his foster family, Ólafur is sustained by his unwavering drive to become a true poet. After suffering injuries and illnesses from farm work and neglect, the bedridden child stares at the angled roof, facing his death. Only at the point of utter disorientation does Ólafur discover the light of the world descending from The Rafter.

“So he lay there hovering between life and death, and time passed—or rather, time ceased to pass. Day and night, weekdays and Sundays, no longer succeeded one another in the order laid down by the calendar issued by the Icelandic National Society; there was no longer any distinction between one and two. The narrow became broad and the long became short of its own accord and without natural cause; there was no relationship between things. The fever pushed life and all consciousness onto another plane where all measures of time were wiped out, where one did not know what one was nor what one had been nor what one would become, nor what would come next; one was a compound of the greatest dissimilarities of existence, one was God, one was eternity, one was a glowing spark or a strange rhythm, one was the ream or the river or a girl, one was a bay down by the sea and there was a bird, one was the part of the homefield wall that faced the mountain. Events were always incredibly varied, one novelty after another, without rule or logic.

Occasionally he was washed up on the shores of reality, but only for a short spell at a time; he just had time to wonder at how quiet and uneventful everything was in reality. He could not understand how people could live a whole lifetime in this dreary sphere of consciousness called reality, where one thing corresponds to another and night separates the days and everything happens according to the laws of nature, and this is such and such, and that follows this. But fortunately he soon drifted back into the realm of improbability where no one knew what followed which, where nothing corresponded to anything, where everything was possible, particularly the incredible and the incomprehensible. Before he knew it, his being had once again become a welter of hallucination and consolation and lightning flashes and God and release form reality and from human strife and human reason, from life and from death.

But then he opened his eyes one day and it was all over. It was just like waking up in a normal way, the day was like any other day, and there was a tiny patch of sunshine on the rafter above him... He said no more and did not mind not having died. Actually he was a little disappointed, even though that patch of sunshine was on the rafter; the world of perception was unbelievably poor compared with the world of hallucination.”

The Rafter looks upward, waiting for the sun to move. This single spot of sun becomes a golden chariot, baptizing Ólafur into the light of the world. Among the sounds used to compose The Rafter, the “bull roarer” stands out, a musical artifact of prehistoric Scandinavia used to call across great distances. The cover artwork by Heather Gabel includes carvings in the Kivik King’s Tomb in Skåne, Sweden and images of other objects and artifacts found inside.

Three sinister hallucinations – The Fog, The Wind, and The Rafter – are offset by three sigil mantras – Alite, Awdo, and Aweh. While recording The Rafter, Matchess devised the sigil mantra lyrical practice to sublate seeming contradictions (“aufheben” in Hegel and Marx), a merger of Austin Osman Spare’s theory of the sigil with the transcendent mantra of deep meditation. Through the trance-induced repetition of a sentence or phrase, some syllables disappear while others unite, and the resulting sigil mantra is both a unique personal possession and an aspect of universal consciousness. Do you recognize these breaths: Alite, Awdo, Aweh? Have you ever encountered a malicious hallucination? Perhaps under the right conditions, The Rafter can liberate the listener through the guided sigil mantra practice, witnessing a shady reflection of the light of the world.

“When the sign is clarified
the old world light will bring the silence.”

Facebook comments:

Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
http://www.hideoutchicago.com