Press Release: Shelley Burgon & Trevor Dunn, DC Improvisers Collective
Their repertoire consists of both strictly notated compositions as well as purely improvised music—a repertoire that walks the line between chamber music and extended technique.
Who: Shelley Burgon & Trevor Dunn, DC Improvisers Collective
What: Harp and Bass duo from New York
When: Saturday, March 5, 8:00pm. $10
Where: Sangha, 7014 Westmoreland Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Venue Phone: 301-891-3214


You probably have to have a screw loose to take up the pedal harp. You definitely have to be nuts to go on tour with one. Perhaps it's the sheer size of their instruments that brought this duo together? Shelley Burgon (harp) and Trevor Dunn (double bass) bring a taste of the downtown NYC scene to DC on March 5th.

Originally from San Francisco, harpist Shelley Burgon relocated to New York in 2002. Since her move Shelley has performed with John Zorn (Music for films by Joseph Cornell), a quartet with Chris Speed, Ikue Mori and Skuli Sverrisson, Tin Hat Trio, Marina Rosenfeld and Raz Mesanai.

Trevor Dunn has made a name for himself through relentless touring, performing, and recording. He has a background in punk and death metal, contemporary classical, blues, and jazz—both standard and free. Dunn is co-founder and composer of the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle (with vocalist Mike Patton), which started in 1985. Through the '90s, Dunn was active, rock-wise, in the Secret Chiefs 3, a side project with two other Mr. Bungle members, which released two CDs. In addition to playing in this group, Dunn is a member of several jazz outfits including various Ben Goldberg groups. At the end of the '90s, Dunn was working on a hardcore project called Fantomas with Patton, Slayer's Dave Lombardo, and Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins. More recently, Dunn has been playing with John Zorn's Electric Masada, David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness, Susie Ibarra, Marc Ribot and Jenny Scheinman. He can be heard on over forty recordings including his own Trio-Convulsant whose new CD "Sister Phantom Owl Fish" was released on Ipecac Recordings in July, 2004. The trio completed a six-week tour opening for The Melvins in the Fall of 2004.

This unique, totally acoustic duo of bass and harp have been a part of the downtown music scene in New York City since 2001, playing venues such as Tonic, Barbes, The Issue Project Room and The Brooklyn Conservatory. Their repertoire consists of both strictly notated compositions as well as purely improvised music—a repertoire that walks the line between chamber music and extended technique. Utilizing instruments that are typically buried by thick orchestration, Burgon and Dunn make the most of their distinct setting by exploring subtle and sometimes barely audible properties of sound. Their dynamic range is as vast as their sonic palette. Between haunting, minor melodies one may hear bass strings played with mallets and harp strings pummeled with a metal rod.

In the Summer of 2004 the duo toured the North East U.S playing venues from Portland, ME to Hampton, VA. Later, in the Fall, they toured the West Coast appearing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, BC and the Oregon Festival of American Music in Eugene. In December the duo performed world premiers of pieces from John Zorn's Masada: Book Two in NYC. They have plans to release a recording in 2005.

Don't believe the hype. Read this review of a previous performance: http://www.track0.com/japh/archive/000583.html

Opening the show will be the DC Improvisers Collective: a quartet exploring the intersection of jazz, contemporary composition and experimental music. Their current lineup features Ben Azzara (drums), Daniel Barbiero (bass), Jonathan Matis (guitar), and Mike Sebastian (reeds).

photos by: Pete Duvall | design by: ben azzara © 2005-2007