Two very different, yet very unique, local ensembles bring their own versions of "outside" music into the Black Cat on November 8.
Who: DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC), Gestures
What: "Outside" music
When: Tuesday, November 8th, 9:00pm. $6
Where: The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW (metro: U Street)
Venue Phone: 202-667-7960

It's been a long time since "alternative" music was anything other than mainstream. It's been a long time since "free jazz" was controversial. It's been a long time since "experimental noise" was a novel way to describe your band.

Two very different, yet very unique, local ensembles bring their own versions of "outside" music into the Black Cat on November 8. The DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC) and a new "super-group" of sorts, Gestures, featuring Sean Peoples (of Hand Fed Babies), Rebecca Mills (of The Caution Curves) and Fiona Griffin (ex-Meltdown, Et At It, Horses, etc.) will deliver an evening of music that's anything but ordinary.

The DC Improvisers Collective is 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). These musicians come together from diverse backgrounds, bringing experience from performing in rock bands and jazz groups, as well as post-classical composition. With ears wide open, they craft intricate compositions on the fly. Although the common metaphor for group improvisation often seems to be conversation, this metaphor fails to capture the true real-time, simultaneous collaboration that fuels the work. Equal parts tightrope act and group meditation, the ensemble explores the fertile territory of surprise just beyond the boundary where words fail.

Gestures brings together three luminaries of the local experimental music scene. Sean Peoples - of Hand Fed Babies and the FFFFs, is a co-conspirator of Ruffian Records with his bandmate Hugh McElroy (ex-Black Eyes) and conspirator of the CD-R label Sockets CDR, on which he releases a series of audio zines featuring music performed by members of Washington DC's fertile improvised noise scene. His instruments include drum machine, pedals, clarinet, thumb piano, and Dictaphone, among many other possibilities. Rebecca Mills, of The Caution Curves, is too modest to write anything particularly glorifying about herself for these purposes. She uses laptop, samplers, and voice to create organic sonic landscapes, and occasionally throws in a wind instrument or two (the two being clarinet and flute). Fiona Griffin, ex-Meltdown, Et At It, and Horses, among many other bands, performs on prepared guitar and voice, among other possibilities.

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