St. Mary's Hamilton Village
3916 Locust Walk in Philadelphia, PA
Admission: $20 cash at the door/night of show
Following the success of their collaboration album Lift a Feather to the Flood, Robert Rich & Markus Reuter will improvise a set of music based on this innovative work live before a receptive audience at The Gatherings Concert Series on 19 May 2018 within the reverential setting of St Mary's Hamilton Village.
Art can offer redeeming metaphors, even in the face of unsurmountable adversity. Like Cervantes' Don Quixote, an artist can maintain ridiculous ideals of hope and virtue, while seeming a fool to those watching. The act of making art is pointless, meaningless, like lifting a feather to a flood (or tilting at windmills); yet it is all that musicians like Robert Rich & Markus Reuter know how to do - because it is this very meaningless act that gives meaning to life in the poetical sphere. It is a shamanic act of healing the spirit in the knowledge of certain mortality.
The album Lift a Feather to the Flood is the result of the editing down of three hours worth of studio improvisations between Rich & Reuter from their January 2017 sessions. An all acoustic album, its focus is on making each piece ambiguous, and asking listeners to delve into this music and have us think while listening. It is believed that with this type of music, each listener is guided into a personal space where they may become more alive.
Much of Lift a Feather to the Flood is quite sparse, very inquisitive, and somewhat open ended. There are no easy answers or easy melodies, nor does it conform to an easy form. Yet, while sometimes it may seem uncomfortable, this work is never meant to be confrontational.
In May of 2018 Robert Rich & Markus Reuter will embark on a brief concert tour. Each stop will provide this duo with an opportunity to delve deeper into a new set of the explorations first encountered in the making of Lift a Feather to the Flood. With Rich at the grand piano, and Reuter breathing out atmospheres and textures from his touch guitar and synthesizer, this duo will realize subtle thought zones meant for pondering and questioning - more so than assurance and confirmation.
The duo of Robert Rich & Markus Reuter debuts at The Gatherings Concert Series in Philadelphia on Saturday 19 May 2018. Friend and guitarist of note Tim Motzer will provide an opening set of improvised soundscapes.
Lift a Feather to the Flood by Robert Rich & Markus Reuter
Review: Lift a Feather to the Flood (2017) by Robert Rich & Markus Reuter
Robert Rich & Markus Reuter are well-known for their many musical journeys - from the back of beyond to the brink of the mainstream. On Lift a Feather to the Flood (66'00") they mainly explore tonality, and many of its subtle shades and moods. With Rich at the grand, and Reuter breathing out atmospheres and textures from his touch guitar and synth, this duo realizes eight subtle thought zones meant for pondering and questioning - more so than assurance and confirmation. On Lift a Feather to the Flood we do find the dignified, stately procession of reverberant piano notes walking thoughtfully through a cloudy haze of digital mist. But the most potent pieces are made with an ear for light, motion and surface - compositions that we must reason our way through. It is in these deepest moments that we may feel this album's personal tone. As they work in this unique frequency, using melody and harmony likes signs and symbols, Rich & Reuter lean into the Avant-Garde. Locating tone is their mission, and the production of these rarefied ambient zones touches a distinctive, inquiring energy, and maybe even a bit of our fear of the unknown. This work does seem to be searching, just for the stimulation of it - with Rich & Reuter sharing their deep wondering about music, humanity and life. This duo knows about this music's secret mind, and in their dreamy, drifting, lulling, pulling sonics, we approach something like the actual flow of consciousness.
Guitarist/improviser/composer Tim Motzer lives in a technicolor world of music. He is known for his distinct textural guitar voice utilizing looping, bowing, electronics, and prepared techniques. After 20 years of world touring, stunning collaborations, and over 80 albums of credits, this Philadelphia-based guitarist continues to traverse manifold territories in music. In 2016-18, Tim toured the world playing concerts and jazz festivals in Tokyo, London, Europe, Scandinavia, and the United States with Bandit65, an improvising trio he co-leads with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and drummer Gintas Janusonis. He has collaborated with numerous musical luminaries: David Sylvian, Burnt Friedman, Jaki Liebezeit (of CAN), poet Ursula Rucker, King Britt, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Markus Reuter, and Pat Mastelotto among others. In modern dance, Motzer composes and performs live solo scores around the world. He composes for film and video, and is a composer/accompanist for University of the Arts Dance in Philadelphia.
In his solo concerts, Motzer improvises with guitar and electronics creating cinematic landscapes of sound, drones, densities, oblique forms while exploring the unknown. Motzer has performed solo in Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin, Wroclaw, Princeton, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., Toronto, Oujda Morroco, Baltimore, Hackensack, and Galloway among other cities. He has released several solo albums recorded live on various radio broadcasts, and live concerts, including Soak, Unseen Universe, AKA, and Live from Star's End. Chuck van Zyl from WXPN's STAR'S END radio show says Motzer's music "provokes thought and binds genres; it's about the plasticity of time, and how it may be felt as both infinite and finite, elusive and recognizable."
Tim Motzer returns to The Gatherings Concert Series on Saturday 19 May 2018 with an opening set for Robert Rich & Markus Reuter
Tim Motzer: Live 13 August 2017 STAR'S END/WXPN Philadelphia, PA (excerpt)
Review: Tim Motzer Live From Star's End (2014) by Tim Motzer
Tim Motzer is a musician so wide open that there is almost no look at tradition. While improvising and well into a space doing the thing he wants it is hard for him to think about the past or the future. He is too busy learning new things about himself, things he would have never known had he not done the searching. Motzer's album Live From Star's End is loaded with lush layered guitar orchestrations that may not have been thought out completely ahead of time, but were certainly thought about deeply. Like a benevolent spell that refuses to break this hour long set is a work the listener visits, not merely listens to. From wild color and barely controlled chaos, where its sheer strangeness sustains our curiosity, to an odd sonic emptiness Motzer plays lithe and liquid solos with breathtaking ease - and provides productive slumber for the listener and audio radiance for the radio audience. Part of the now legendary 3 November 2013 all live music broadcast of STAR'S END Ambient Radio Motzer's set seems to be more about shaping form than about the playing of ordered notes. In this context, live on the air of a venerable spacemusic radio show, he incorporates other things but does not alter the philosophy of the music or format. In some places the music seems like a self-organizing system - and that once the work gets to a certain level of complexity it goes in its own direction, while elsewhere it is coaxed and guided by the artist in beautiful sonorities, textures and harmonies. While Tim Motzer's live musical ideas presented on STAR'S END provokes thought and binds genres, his work here is really about the plasticity of time, and how it may be felt as both infinite and finite, elusive and recognizable - the six-string part of a six-hour odyssey Live From Star's End.
The Gatherings Concert Series presents Robert Rich & Markus Reuter plus Tim Motzer live in concert on Saturday 19 May 2018 at 8:00PM(doors open at 7:30pm) in the church sanctuary of St. Mary's Hamilton Village3916 Locust Walk (just east of 40th & Locust) on the Penn campus in West Philadelphia. Admission: $20 cash at the door, night of show; $10 for full-time students with proper ID (available at the door).
CIMA of PA - The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania
Robert Rich & Markus Reuter plus Tim Motzer at The Gatherings Concert Series on 19 May 2018 is funded by CIMA of PA(The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania), the all-volunteer, non-profit organization responsible for organizing and producing The Gatherings Concert Series. The basic mission of CIMA of PA is to bring innovative music concerts to the public and further the advancement of this form of art.