The Squid's Ear Magazine

Cochrane, Chris / John Thayer: Excavation [VINYL] (Astral Editions)

The core duo of guitarist & bassist Chris Cochrane (No Safety) and drummer & electronics artist John Thayer dig deep into a bag of aural tricks in eight compelling tracks that blur rock, jazz and experimental approaches to upbeat rhythmic music, assisted on various pieces by an excellent cast including Zeena Parkins, Graham Haynes, Gelsey Bell, and Kato Hideki.

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Chris Cochrane-electric guitar, electric bass, 12 string acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar, voice, hammond organ

John Thayer-drums, percussion, prophet 5, moog matriarch, electronics, field recordings, tape loops

Kato Hideki-electric bass, upright bass

Gelsey Bell-voice, vocoder

Zeena Parkins-harp

Graham Haynes-cornet

Sarah Bernstein-violin

Stuart Popejoy-organ, electric bass

Stan Zenkov-tenor saxophone, woodwinds

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Label: Astral Editions
Catalog ID: AE018LP
Squidco Product Code: 33204

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Thump Studios, in District Heights, Maryland, by John Thayer.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

The core duo of guitarist & bassist Chris Cochrane (No Safety) and drummer & electronics artist John Thayer dig deep into a bag of aural tricks for eight compelling tracks that blur rock, jazz and experimental approaches to upbeat rhythmic music, assisted on tracks by an amazing cast including Zeena Parkins, Graham Haynes, Gelsey Bell, and Kato Hideki.

John Thayer is known from the bands Drunken Sufis and YAI, and also is an active audio engineer; on this album he recored and mixed the material, bringing out the best of all performances (Kato Hideki provides the final mastering). Chris Cochrane has been heard less these days compared to his monumental 80s output in the young Downtown NY scene. His work on this album is a fantastic throw-back to those days in the diverse approaches employed on the album, ignoring boundaries and taking the tunes where they lead.

Astral Editions is the parallel label to Astral Spirits, releasing the more experimental and often rock-oriented albums, a perfect complement to the main label, as hear on this truly fantastic album.

Artist Biographies

"Chris Cochrane is a songwriter and guitarist who has been playing in New York since the 1980s.

Chris has played with Thurston Moore, Zeena Parkins, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Billy Martin, Eszter Balint, Mike Patton, Henry Kaiser, Andrea Centazzo, Annie Gosfield, Tim Hodgkinson, Miguel Frasconi, Richard Buckner, Davey Williams, Ladonna Smith and Jim Pugliese. He has composed music for Dennis Cooper, John Jasperse, Neil Greenberg, Nayland Blake, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Jennifer Monson and Circus Amok. He was in the bands No Safety and Curlew, and is currently in Collapsible Shoulder with Brian Chase, Kato Hideki and Kevin Bud Jones and Bee Line with Billy Martin and Kato Hideki. He will be touring this summer with Marc Ribot's Young Philadelphians."

-Chris Cochrane Website (

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"John Thayer is a New York-based musician and engineer whose experiential compositions are inspired by a deep attention to the sounds of the natural world. His recordings, centered around a hybrid of studio techniques and improvisatory performance, range from long-form, multilayered ambience to polyrhythmic electro-acoustic collage.

A trained drummer and percussionist, Thayer has toured internationally as a performing artist. His work has appeared in multiple television and feature films and he has released records on labels including Aural Canyon, Mexican Summer, Moon Villain, Surfacing Records, Not Not Fun Records and Spirit House Records.

In addition to his solo releases, Thayer creates site-specific sound installations and is an active collaborator in NYC's experimental scene. He has performed with a long list of incredible musicians including; Zeena Parkins, Daniel Carter, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Lucas Brode, Brian Chase, Chris Cochrane, Kato Hideki, Sarah Bernstein, Craig Schenker, Ezra Feinberg, Arp, Robbie Lee, Gelsey Bell, Jeff Tobias, Jim Pugliese, Nick Jozwiak, Stan Zenkov & David Lackner.

He is a 2018 Montello Foundation artist in residence his sound installation "Currents" premiered at Brooklyn's Trestle Gallery in 2019. His long form piece "Listening Sky" premiered at the SUMA, the Southern Utah Museum of Art in October 2021. Thayer is a graduate of the Institute of Audio Research and George Washington University."

-John Thayer Website (

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"Kato Hideki (family name Kato) is a Japanese-born multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, engineer and educator. His work is truly diverse with a wide range of forms and sounds from experimental, ambient, alternative rock, soundtrack and to sound design. He released seventeen titles as artist. As composer and producer, he collaborated with musicians, choreographers, film makers, theatre directors and visual artists. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Born in 1962, Kato studied creative writing at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his future collaborator, Yoshihide Otomo and became a member of the trio Ground Zero. He collaborated with various musicians such as Tony Buck, Yamatsuka Eye, Koichi Makigami, Tatsuya Yoshida and John Zorn. He produced his own records, including Player Piano with Yoshihide Otomo, Makio Tada and Michiaki Tanaka; and a twin-bass trio, Bass Army, with Ruins bassist, Kazuyoshi Kimoto and Ground Zero drummer, Masahiro Uemura. He also worked as a composer and engineer for a music library production company.

In 1991, Kato appeared on Koichi Makigami's album "Koroshi no Blues" (produced by John Zorn) with Marc Ribot and Nana Vasconcelos. In 1992, he moved to New York City; he performed at Zorn's 40th anniversary festival at the Knitting Factory with Fred Frith and Eyvind Kang. He was an artist-in-residence at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center in 1993.

In 1995, he composed, recorded and produced the acoustic album "Hope & Despair," featuring Dougie Bowne, Masahiko Kono, Zeena Parkins and John Zorn. The piece was originally inspired by the photography of Robert Frank. The live performance at Roulette featured Daniel Carter, Susie Ibarra, Masahiro Kono and JC Morrison. The album was reissued in 2021 with new cover art by MAGNUM photographer Alec Soth. A vinyl LP of the album is to be released on Joyful Noise Recordings in January, 2023.

In 1995, he co-founded the experimental trio Death Ambient with Ikue Mori and Fred Frith. Their highly-acclaimed debut album was recorded at Bill Laswell's Green Point Studio by Bob Musso. Death Ambient toured Europe and the UK with guitarist Jim Plotkin; their performance in London at the Queen Elizabeth Hall was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The trio's second album "Synaesthesia" was recorded at B.C. Studio by Martin Bisi and released in 1999. Their third album, "Drunken Forest" was produced by Kato. The pieces on the album were composed around the theme of the climate destruction. The basic tracks were recorded with the trio by Myles Boisen in Oakland, CA. Kato recorded additional instruments & sounds, and mixed the album in Brooklyn.

For the solo bass work "Turbulent Zone," Kato developed his own prime number tuning system for fretless electric bass. He recorded with his Rick Turner Model 1 bass, and released the album in 1998. He performed the piece at "Swirled Music" concert in 1996, Bang On a Can Marathon in 1999, and on tour in Europe. The piece was noted in Bill Martins' Book "Avant Rock: Experimental Music from the Beatles to Björk" (Open Court, 2002).

In 2001, he received a commission from The Kitchen where he premiered his composition for 10-piece ensemble, "Mystic Ship of Life." In 2004, Kato recorded "Green Zone" with Yoshihide Otomo and Masahiro Uemura. The theme of the music was the US invasion of Iraq. Green Zone toured Japan and recorded their second album, "Bayt". He formed the "electro-guitar" trio OMNI with Toshimaru Nakamura (guitar and no-input mixer) and Tetuzi Akiyama (guitar and electronics) in 2006. Their self-titled CD was released in 2009, with cover photography by Alexey Titarenko. In 2007, he composed the piece "Tremolo of Joy," based on Native American myth and magical realism, and recorded it with Charlie Burnham, Calvin Weston, Briggan Krauss and Ed Tomney.

In 2010, he formed the group Plastic Spoon, featuring Karen Mantler, Doug Wieselman and Shahzad Ismaily. Kato wrote songs based on social justice issues; the music was sonically inspired by productions from the 1960's. Plastic Spoon appeared on Spinning on Air (hosted by David Garland on WNYC) in 2011. The album "Singles in Mono" was released in 2020. The idea of making a record in mono was inspired by a conversation with the legendary Latin bassist, Andy Gonzalez, with whom Kato had worked as a composer and engineer.

In 2012, Kato was selected as an Artist-In-Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA, where he created the sound installation Hashigakari ("Sound Bridge") with drums.

In 2019, Kato appeared on Jeremiah Cymerman's 5049 Records Podcast and discussed his work.

As Composer / Sound Designer, Kato has composed music for dance, theatre, live performance and films, including: choreographer Takehiro Ueyama's works There and Here (2014) and In the Sea of Heaven (2017) for TAKE Dance and Dallas Black Dance Theatre; the Irondale Ensemble's production of August Strindberg's "Ghost Sonata," directed by Johan Petri (1995); the La Mama production, "After the Rain," directed by Watoku Ueno (2008); live performance project, "Sirens of NYC" by Raphael Perret, which was commissioned by the Swiss Institute (2009); and performance artist Jefferson Pinder's "Escape Artist" (2011). His film scores include "In Heaven" (1991) and "Exit B9" (1991) by Japanese director Hideaki Sasaki; "Platform" by Bangladeshi director Rashid Mamun (2008); and Chilean director Nicole Costa's feature documentary, The Journey of Monalisa (2019), which was presented at DOC NYC and Cannes Film Festival in 2020.

As Instrumentalist, Kato has been an active collaborator with other sound and visual artists. With Nicolas Collins, he performed at the Sound in Motion Festival in Belgium for a multimedia project in 1999, appeared at the Mixology Festival at Roulette in 2003, and New Sound New York in 2004. With James Fei, he recorded and released the CD "Sieves" in 2003. The duo performed at UCSB, The Stone, and Issue Project Room, and toured Japan in 2004. He was a frequent performer in Michael Schumacher's Room Piece, appearing at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Merkin Hall, and the Sounds Like Now Festival 2004. He was a member of the analog synthesizer group, Analogos with Kabir Carter, James Fei, David Galbraith, Michael Schumacher, Sergei Tcherepnin and Ed Tomney. In April 2007, he collaborated with Briggan Krauss for the sound and visual installation piece ZURE ("gap") at Diapason Gallery, NYC. With the visual artist Ursula Scherrer, he created an installation/public art piece "Elevator 55" at the Dumbo Arts Festival (2008), a performance piece, "Dream Within a Dream", at Experimental Intermedia in NYC (2009), and an installation, Slash, at Diapason Gallery (2010). He appeared at the Feeding Back, Listening In festival at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, performing with James Fei and Toshimaru Nakamura, along with Alvin Lucier and Yoshihide Otomo. He also appeared at the Whitney Museum of American Art for the Christian Marclay Festival in 2009, performing solo, as well as in collaborations with Zeena Parkins, Nels Cline, Wayne Horvitz and Robbin Holcomb. He performed in Marina Rosenfeld's "roygbiv&b" at the Museum of Modern Art in 2011. He formed a duo, Amorphous, with the composer John King and performed at Bates College and The Stone. Their self-titled album was released on BandCamp in 2013. He collaborated with interdisciplinary artist Sachiyo Takahashi for a performance at Japan Society in 2021.

As Bassist, he was a member of Peril with The Necks drummer Tony Buck, Yoshihide Otomo and Michael Sheridan which toured Japan and Australia funded by the Australian Council for the Arts. They released their self-titled album in 1992 and appeared on Australian TV. He joined the trio Dying Ground with Eyvind Kang and Calvin Weston, releasing a CD and touring Europe as part of the Tzadik Records tour in 1999. He toured Europe with No Safety (with Zeena Parkins and Chris Cochrane) in 1994 and appeared on their album "Live in Italy" (2021). He appears on Karen Mantler's albums Pet Project and Business is Bad (which he also co-produced and engineered). He joined the Brooklyn-based band Collapsible Shoulder with Chris Cochrane, Kevin Bud Jones and Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Their EP "Everywhere" was released on BandCamp in 2016. He is a member of Baba Bibi, a Brooklyn band led by singer-song writer / playwright Stew (The Negro Problem; Passing Strange) and he produced their debut album in 2021. He has worked with Derek Bailey, Eszter Balint, Samm Bennett, Steven Bernstein, Carla Bley, Hiram Bullock, Sim Cain (Rollins Band), Michael Callen, Anthony Coleman, Chris Cutler (Henry Cow), J.D. Daugherty (Patti Smith Group), Huge Davies, Anton Fier, Marco Franco, Keiji Haino, Erik Friedlander, Hikashu, Shelley Hirsch, Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto), Takehisa Kosugi, Gary Lucas, Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Sean Meehan, Raz Mesinai, Eric Mingus, Arturo O'Farrill, Gen Ogimi, DJ Olive, Mike Patton (Faith No More), Robert Poss (Band of Susans), Nuno Rebelo, Jon Rose, Greg Saunier (Deer Hoof), Elliot Sharp, David Shea, Syd Straw, Steve Swallow, Yumiko Tanaka, Tenko, Kazutoki Umezu, Hideo Yamaki, Yo La Tengo, Bill Wells and Carlos Zingaro.

As Producer, Kato has produced all of his own recordings as leader. He co-produced Death Ambient's three titles with Ikue Mori; and co-produced music with Chris Cochrane for the Bessie Award-winning "THEM" by Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper and Chris Cochrane. He co-produced and engineered Cochrane's solo project "The Invention of Shoes vol. 1 & 2" in 2020. He co-produced, engineered and played bass on Karen Mantler's "Business is Bad;" Collapsible Shoulder's EP "Everywhere;" Stew's "Baba Bibi," and Eszter Balint's "I Hate Memory!"

Kato teaches sound design at NYU Tandon School of Engineering's Integrated Design & Media program. He has also taught workshops at Bates College, the Experimental Festival in Buenos Aires, IAMAS, Chukyo University, Nagoya University of Art and Science, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago."

-Kato Hideki Website (

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"Gelsey Bell is a singer, songwriter, and scholar - a composer-performer, teacher, and sound artist. She has been described by the New York Times as "one of New York's most adventurous musicians" and the "future of experimental vocalism." She performs regularly as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, culling from a wide range of techniques and styles to create her own performance works, to literally voice those of contemporary composers, and to explore improvisation.

Her works often center the voice and range from song cycles and sound walks to collaboratively created operas and structures for improvisation. Her experimental opera mɔɹnɪŋ [morning//mounring] was commissioned by the HERE Arts Center as part of their residency program and premiered in 2023 in the Prototype festival to an extended run of sold-out shows. Her sound walk Cairns (2020), created with composer Joseph White, was listed on the New York Times' Best Theater of 2020 list. After many years as a singer-songwriter, during which she released two studio albums, Under A Piano (2005) and In Place of Arms (2010), Gelsey began to bring her songwriting into the experimental world through song cycles and collaborative works. These include SubtracTTTTTTTTT (2020) and A Series of Landscapes (2020), created with thingNY for online; Skylighght (2019), created with composer and saxophonist Erin Rogers; shuffleyamamba (2019) and shuffleyamamba: Yamamba as a Bear (2021), created with choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi; Prisoner's Song (2015), created with visual artist Erik Ruin; This Takes Place Close By (2015), a collaboratively composed opera by thingNY; Airs and Interruptions (2015), originally composed for CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston's performance of Merce Cunningham's choreography, with music by John King - this became the album Ciphony (2017); WIFE (2015), which was commissioned by Avant Media; the song cycle Our Defensive Measurements (2013) for five performers, which was commissioned by Roulette and the Jerome Foundation; SCALING (2011) for piano and two vocalists; and Bathroom Songs (2010), which has been performed in bathrooms all over the world. Her smaller pieces include "Murmuration" (2020), commissioned by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn; "Aviatrix" (2019), commissioned by Megan Ihnen and Alan Theisen; the This is Not a Land of Kings suite (2018), which was also released as an EP; Spent Horizon (2015), first performed with vocalist Odeya Nini; "Weight" (2014), which was commissioned by Ne(x)tworks; and Locker Room Duet, commissioned by the LUMEN festival and created with fiddler Cleek Schrey. She also developed and composed music for Wealth from the Salt Seas with choreographer Anna Sperber and composed music for choreographer Kimberly Bartosik's You are my heat and glare. She received a 2017 sound/music grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and both a residency (2015-2016) and a commission (2013) from Roulette and the Jerome Foundation. She has been a resident artist at Mount Tremper Arts, the Kinosaki International Arts Center, and the Exploring the Metropolis Ridgewood Bushwick Composer-in-Residence. Her work has been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.

Gelsey is a core member of new music ensemble thingNY and performance collective Varispeed. With thingNY, she has collaboratively written and arranged music for multiple projects including SubtracTTTTTTTTT, A Series of Landscapes, This Takes Place Close By, IN HOUSE, TIME: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts, and the many SPAM extravaganzas. She has also performed in Rick Burkhardt's Passover, Vinko Globokar's Un Jour Comme Une Autre, and Paul Pinto's minis and Erin Roger's Trajectories and Chronolinea (released on the album minis/Trajectories in 2016). As a founding member of Varispeed, Gelsey collaboratively arranged and performed in their critically acclaimed adaptation of Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives and John Cage's Empty Words. She has also taken the lead in arranging their three-person rendition of Robert Ashley's "Love is a Good Example" and Kenneth Gaburo's Maledetto. Gelsey is also a member of the improvisation trio the Chutneys with Chris Cochrane (guitar) and Fast Forward (percussion). They released their debut album Home in 2019.

Gelsey has also had the honor to have worked with a wide range of performance creators as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, including composer Dave Malloy, originating the role Princess Mary in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (from Ars Nova to Broadway), and as Pearl and a co-arranger in Ghost Quartet; composer Robert Ashley, in his final opera, CRASH, in a part that was written for her, and the revivals of Improvement and That Morning Thing; visual artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler, as part of the Wake Ensemble in The River of Fundament; composer Kate Soper, in her opera Here Be Sirens; composer John King, alongside Joan La Barbara in his Micro-Operas, as well as Impropera; choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi, for BELL; composers Rick Burkhardt and Brendan Connelly and the Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, for their opera You, My Mother; in various projects with composer and fiddler Cleek Schrey, as well as composer and glass player Miguel Frasconi; composer Anthony Gatto and sculpture Chris Larsen in their opera Wise Blood; Avant Media, for various performances of the music of John Cage; and Panoply Performance Lab, for the recording of their opera Institute_Institut.

In January of 2015, Gelsey received her PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. Her dissertation, Voice-Acts: Performance and Relationality in the Vocal Activities of the American Experimental Music Tradition, traces the stories of five experimental composers writing music for their own performing voices during the 1970s. She was awarded the Monroe Lippman Memorial Prize for her dissertation and the 2012 NYU Stefanos Tsigrimanis Artistic Scholar Award. She has published articles in Tempo, Performance Research, TDR/The Drama Review, The Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, and Movement Research Performance Journal. She is a Contributing Editor for TDR/The Drama Review and an Associate Editor for The Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies. She is part-time faculty in the College of Performing Arts at the New School, where she is particularly involved in their MM for Performer-Composers program.

-Gelsey Bell Website (

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"Multi-instrumentalist/composer/improviser, Zeena Parkins, pioneer of contemporary harp practice and performance, reimagines the instrument as a "sound machine of limitless capacity." Parkins has built three versions of her one-of-a-kind electric harp and has extended the language of the acoustic harp with the inventive use of unusual playing techniques, preparations, and layers of electronic processing.

Inspired and connected to visual arts, dance, film, and history, Zeena follows a unique path in creating her compositional works. Through blending and morphing of both real and imagined instruments, crafting, recombining, and layering mangled, sliced, massaged or possibly disengaged sounds, drawing from extra-musical sources for unusual scoring and formal constructions as well as utilizing multi-speaker environments, Zeena remains in process with sound as material and music, engaged in translations of sonic states in the concert hall, the black box theater, the dance studio, the recording studio, the classroom, the cinema, the skyscraper, the ocean and the gallery. Zeena has a particularly strong commitment to making scores for dance and continues to re-evaluate the nature and issues of the body's imprint on sound and sound/music's imprint on movement.

Parkins's compositions have been commissioned by NeXtWorks Ensemble, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Roulette Intermedium, The Eclipse Quartet, William Winant, Bang on a Can, The Whitney Museum, The Tate Modern, Montalvo Arts Center, The Donaueschinger Musiktage and Sudwestrundfunk/SWR.

Parkins has released four solo records featuring her electric and acoustic harp playing and has released her compositions and band projects on six Tzadik recordings, with a new Tzadik CD with Ikue Mori and Phantom Orchard Orchestra, Trouble in Paradise, to be released in November 2012. As a sought-after collaborator Zeena has worked with: Fred Frith, Björk, Ikue Mori, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Maja Ratkje, Hild Sofie Tafjord, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Chris Cutler, Elliott Sharp, Nels Cline, Alex Cline, William Winant, Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Christian Marclay, Matmos, Yasunao Tone, So Percussion, Bobby Previte, Carla Kilhstedt, Tin Hat, James Fei, Kim Gordon, Lee Renaldo and Thurston Moore.

Awards: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Fellowship, NYFA Music Fellowship, Meet the Composer Commission, NYSCA Composer Commission, Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant, American Music Center, BAFTA award for best interactive media with visual artist Mandy McIntosh and sound artist Kaffe Matthews, Peter S. Reed Fellowship, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Commissions, Arts International, Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mention for Phantom Orchard in the Digital Music category.

Curatorial: Guest curator for The Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria, co-curator of the Movement Research Festival: Sidewinder, in NYC and curator for a month + a week of shows at The Stone in NYC

Residencies: Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, Oxford University, Harvestworks, Steim, Paf: Performing Arts Forum, Wooda Arts Residency, Montalvo Arts Center, RPI/iEAR and The Watermill Center.

Teaching: Zeena has given lectures at Oxford and Princeton Universities and has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Bard and Mills College. Currently, Zeena is a Distinguished Visiting Professor, at Mills College Graduate Music Department."

-Zeena Parkins Website (

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"Graham Haynes (born September 16, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American cornetist, trumpeter and composer. The son of jazz drummer Roy Haynes, Graham is known for his work in nu jazz, fusing jazz with elements of hip hop and electronic music.

With aspirations to push jazz beyond its traditional boundaries, Graham Haynes' first foray into electronic music came in 1979 upon meeting alto saxophonist Steve Coleman. Together, they formed a band called Five Elements, which launched an influential group of improvisers called M-Base Collective. After the formation of his own ensemble – Graham Haynes and No Image – and the subsequent release of an album (What Time It Be?), Haynes would spend the balance of the 1980s studying a wide range of African, Arabic and South Asian Music. After a move to France in 1990, Haynes incorporated these far-off influences into his next two releases – Nocturne Parisian and Griot's Footsteps.

Haynes returned to New York City in 1993 to take advantage of the flourishing Hip-Hop scene; and the resulting album was the sample heavy Transition. After the release of yet another hybridized album – 1996's Tones For The 21st Century – Haynes discovered drum 'n' bass and began working with some of the genres finest DJs and producers in London and the U.S. This manifested in the release of 2000s BPM, a fusion of drum n' bass beats with the classical music of Richard Wagner.

Over the years, Haynes has kept busy with several critically acclaimed multimedia projects, composed the score for films Flag Wars and The Promise, and lectured at New York University, while receiving two nominations for the prestigious Alpert Award For The Arts. He has collaborated with artists such as Roy Haynes, Cassandra Wilson, Vernon Reid, Meshell Ndegeocello, The Roots, David Murray, George Adams, Ed Blackwell, Bill Laswell, Steve Williamson, and Bill Dixon.

He is featured on Vijay Iyer's 2017 ECM album, Far From Over."

-Wikipedia (

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"Sarah Bernstein is a New York-based composer and violinist whose work incorporates vocals, electronics, improvisation and original text. She is known for her fiery multidisciplinary performances, and has garnered international acclaim for her distinctive recordings. She leads bands, performs solo, and collaborates with artists in avant-jazz, chamber music, experimental pop and noise. Nominated in the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll for the past five years, Bernstein is a recognized innovator in forward-thinking jazz. Her approach merges post-tonal and polyrhythmic melody with sonic exploration and raw emotion. In addition to live performance, Bernstein's music is featured on radio programs, podcasts, and film scores. She is originally from San Francisco, CA."

-Sarah Bernstein Website (

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"Stuart Popejoy is a bassist, keyboardist, composer and software developer, leader of the avant-riffmetal trio Bassoon, and collaborator in highly original projects such as Sugarlife , the Sarah Bernstein Quartet , and the electric improvisation trio Iron Dog . 2017 sees the release of the CD "Pleonid" on Leo Records. Stuart composed for and toured with Harvey Milk on their Special Wishes release, and works with stellar NYC musicians including Mick Barr, Kid Millions, Chris Cochrane, Brandon Seabrook, Kevin Shea, Ron Anderson, and Brian Chase. A native of Albuquerque New Mexico, Stuart lives in Brooklyn, NY."

-Stuart Popejoy Website (

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Stan Zenkov: "Based in New York, S. Zenkoff plays clarinets and saxophones, draws and paints.

Current interest is in the mysteries and transformative properties of the human perception of sound, various approaches to composition, and especially in the creation of spontaneous music: collaborating with various improvisers, and experimental musicians, and also playing solo clarinet and saxophone concerts.

As a visual artist, S. Zenkoff has been drawing from life and the imagination from a very young age. A large output of work is on paper in india ink, watercolor, acrylic and/or gouache for the immediacy of the media. He also makes paintings on canvas and wood using acrylic paints, and oil paints."

-Stan Zenkov Website (

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Track Listing:


1. Bayard 4:25

2. Rain 4:32

3. Excavation 2:25

4. Zinc 4:03

5. Talking 5:32


1. Unceded 1:38

2. Moon 7:16

3. Ceremony 10:46

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Improvised Music
Improvised Rock
Rock and Related
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
Guitarists, &c.
Percussion & Drums
Parkins, Zeena
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Laubrock, Ingrid
Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt (Music For Chamber Orchestra And Small Ensemble) [2 CDs]
The 2nd orchestral album from saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, two very different but complementary sets of compositions using electronics in mostly acoustic settings: the 1st with the larger EOS Chamber Orchestra and guests including Cory Smythe, Tom Rainey, & Sam Pluta; the 2nd a smaller group of Laubrock, Smythe & Pluta + guests Adam Motlock, Josh Modney, and Zeena Parkins.
Bernstein, Sarah
(577 Records)
Recorded in the studio as an urgent response to the latent unease in the time of pandemic and political dissent, NY poet, violinist, composer and improviser Sarah Bernstein uses washes of distorted violin, ecstatic vocalizations, and poetic spoken word, an expression of immediacy and tension between extremes, a personal and articulate set of observational expressions.
Parkins, Zeena / Jeff Kolar
(Two Rooms Records)
Commissioned by choreographer Jennifer Monson, the collaboration of Downtown NY electric harpist and sound artist Zeena Parkins and Chicago sound artist Jeff Kolar explore the intersection of acoustic phenonema against electronic, synthetic & radio sounds, inspired by the timing of natural phenomena like ocean currents and daylight emergence; fascinating.
Astroturf Noise (Harmet / Nagano / Swanson / Martin / Bernstein)
Astroturf Noise [VINYL]
(577 Records)
Astroturf Noise is Sam Day Harmet on mandolin, Sana Nagano on violin, Zach Swanson on bass, Billy Martin on percussion, and Sarah Bernstein on violin, living at the intersection of American folk & roots music and free improvisation, using effects and sonic additions in an unusual mix that the quintet makes completely natural and all their own.
Rosenthal, Dean
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)
American composer Dean Rosenthal's influential performance piece written in 2012 and performed more than 40 times throughout the world, a site-specific piece for any outside body of water with any number of performers, using stones to create percussive sounds in the water, here in five live performances from Newfoundland to New York to Wilbraham, MA (the composer's hometown).
Astroturf Noise (Harmet / Nagano / Swanson / Martin / Bernstein)
Astroturf Noise
(577 Records)
Astroturf Noise is Sam Day Harmet on mandolin, Sana Nagano on violin, Zach Swanson on bass, Billy Martin on percussion, and Sarah Bernstein on violin, living at the intersection of American folk & roots music and free improvisation, using effects and sonic additions in an unusual mix that the quintet makes completely natural and all their own.
Kid Millions / Sarah Bernstein
Broken Fall (VINYL)
(577 Records)
Pulling inspiration from disparate influences such as early liturgical music, Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Milford Graves, and composers Morton Feldman and Lou Harrison, Kid Millions and Sarah Bernstein create a cyclical form of spontaneous thematic music through powerful electronics, wild vocalizations, and unrelenting drum textures.
Sharp, Elliott / Zeena Parkins
(Les Disques Victo)
Braxton, Anthony
Trillium J [4 CDs + Blu Ray]
(Braxton House/Firehouse 12 Records)
A multimedia box set of Anthony Braxton's opera work "Trillium J", containing live performance video on Blu-ray disc of a 2014 performance at Roulette in NY, and studio recording on 4-CD set, with 12 vocalists, 12 instrumental soloists and a full orchestra.
Braxton, Anthony
Trillium J [4 CDs + Blu Ray]
(New Braxton House)
Newly Distributed in 2021: A multimedia box set of Anthony Braxton's opera work "Trillium J", containing live performance video on Blu-ray disc of a 2014 performance at Roulette in NY, and studio recording on 4-CD set, with 12 vocalists, 12 instrumental soloists and a full orchestra.
Musique Action #4 (Marclay / Jauniaux / Minton / Yoshihide / Parkins / Weston / Vatcher / Luc Ex)
Madame Luckerniddle - Tribute to Tom Cora
The fourth of a collection dedicated to the French Musique Action Festival, here in a tribute to Tom Cora recorded in 1998 with Catherine Jauniaux, Phil Minton, Zeena Parkins, Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Veryan Weston, &c. &c.
Braxton, Anthony and the Tri-Centric Orchestra
Trillium E [4 CDs]
(New Braxton House)
Newly Distributed in 2021: Trillium E is the first-ever studio recording of an Anthony Braxton opera, a deluxe 4-disc set of this surreal and witty installment in Braxton's ongoing Trillium cycle, and includes a booklet with libretto, photos, and critical essays.
Skeleton Crew
Learn to Talk and Country of Blinds [2 CDs]
(Recommended Records)
Frith, Fred
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire (Graphic Scores 1986-96)(2CDs)
RESTOCKED: Fred Frith's 1999 box set, presenting a large, flexible ensemble project using marked photographs and rules as scores while Frith directs and conducts as well as performing; permanent members are Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins, otherwise the balance of the 44 strong ensemble changes; recordings here are taken from 5 concerts, including the first in 1992 at AngelicA.
Parkins, Zeena (Parkins / Parkins / Parkins / Cochrane / Mori / Shea)
Ursa's Door
(Les Disques Victo)
Other Recommended Releases:
Paul, Ashley / Jeffrey Alexander
Between The Surface And Tomorrow [VINYL 7'' w/DOWNLOAD]
(Astral Editions)
Once roommates in Rhode Island, guitarist Jeffrey Alexander of The Heavy Lidders, now living in Philadelphia, and guitarist/vocalist Ashley Paul, now living in London, come together again for a 3-song 7" release of idiosyncratic and informed free-form songs and instrumentals performed with a saxophone, clarinet, prepared guitar, prepared percussion, moog & electric piano.
Plays A Word For Wind [CASSETTE]
(Astral Editions)
Recorded inside and using the resonance of a large grain silo at the Tablelands Center for Bio-Regional Art in Texas, the trio of vocalist Christina Carter (Charalambides), guitarist Andrew Weathers and bassist David Menestres recorded this haunting, swirling, long-form improvisation, a complement to their Waveform Alphabet release Plays a Word for Sun.
Orcutt, Bill
Jump On It [VINYL]
Ten years having passed since his last solo acoustic guitar album, Bill Orcutt's new release focuses on a more lyrical, relaxed and reflective side to his playing, in ten succinct pieces recorded in the spring and summer of 2002 at San Francisco's community focal point for and member of Intersection for The Arts, The Living Room.

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Missing Heads
(Magaibutsu Limited)
A live performance in Koenji, Tokyo at the club Jirokichi in 2022 from the prog-oriented instrumental improvising power rock trio of Mitsuru Tabata on guitar, Kazuhide Yamaji on guitar and Tatsuya Yoshida on drums, Tabata & Yoshida providing vocal emphasis through the nine brisk and highly interactive tracks of great energy, psychedelic overtone and impressive technical skill.

The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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