Wednesday, October 1 @ The
Kahn and Jon Mueller, HZL The Marvelous, 208 S. 40th St.
(between Walnut and Locust), Philadelphia, PA (map),
$5-10, 8pm. Sponsored by Bowerbird.
Using drums more
as resonators than as struck instruments, Kahn and
Mueller both use microphones, electronics, and feedback techniques to
slowly build complex textures until they fill a room. A
previous Philadelphia concert found the two working up a
fascinating, detailed, and tough wall of layered sound, rendering any
attempts to relate sounds to percussion sources useless. Simply
Local favorites HZL will give their first concert since May, 2007
(!). Their rare performances are justifiably highly-regarded and
have become, at this slow pace, something of events. The
group performs with the audience in the round and speakers surrounding
them, turning concerts into complex
collaborations with the acoustics and ambiences of a given room.
Don't wait until 2010 to see them again! Jason
Kahn (jump to bio)
"Memory dissolved, audio decayed and
in the process a wonderful sense
character is laid
Lawrence English, Transatlantic Weekly, 4.2007
restraint is what really
grabs me here, especially given the musicians’ youth.
There’s no flash,
no attempt to wow the listener, just a calm series of statements
the sounds unspool steadily but unhurriedly with a stream of activity
that’s surprisingly dense once you actually listen for it."
– Brian Olewnick, bagatellen.com
Kahn's work includes
sound installation, performance and composition. He was born in New
York in 1960, grew up in Los Angeles and relocated to Europe in 1990.
He currently lives in Zürich.
He has given concerts and exhibited sound installations throughout
Europe, North and South America, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Israel, Turkey,
Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
Kahn performs both solo and in collaborations, using percussion, analog
synthesizer or computer in different combinations.
He composes for electronics, acoustic instruments and environmental
recordings. For larger groups of directed improvsation he has devised a
system of graphical scores.
Kahn creates his sound installations for specific spaces. The focus of
these primarily non-visual works lies in the perception of a space
In 1997 Kahn founded the independent CD label "Cut," producing to date
twenty-five CD's, both of Kahn's own work and other artists.
Kahn's work bears some similarity with the late music of Morton
Feldman and Kahn often manage to do is suggest that what you’re hearing
listening to their compositions is a continuum: moment without
- Brian Marley, The Wire, 4.2006
A stunning sound art, uncategorizable by any standard.
- Darren Bergstein, e|i Magazine, 8.2007
The undemonstrative, non-cliched beauty of Kahn’s compositional touch
is his gentle
caress of the sensitised ear.
- Jon Dale, The Wire, 4.2007
Memory dissolved, audio decayed and in the process a wonderful sense of
- Lawrence English, Transatlantic Weekly, 4.2007
It takes only a few listenings before we can use Jason Kahn's music as
a source of
concentrated self-awareness, which indeed seems to be it's most evident
- Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, 3.2007
Mueller has been an active drummer and percussionist since the
Whether utilizing bombastic minimalism, dense interplay, or
electroacoustic practices, his approach focuses on a physical dialog
between situation and material. He has been featured on numerous
recordings and has performed throughout the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
He has performed/recorded with: Aranos, Keith Berry, Jarboe, Jason
Kahn, Asmus Tietchens, Jack Wright, Carol Genetti, Collections of
Colonies of Bees, Pele, Hal Rammel, Tetuzi Akiyama, Jim Schoenecker,
Bhob Rainey, Martijn Tellinga, Glenn Kotche, Werner Moebius, Steve
Nelson-Raney, Lionel Marchetti, Tatsuya Nakatani, Adam Sonderberg,
Thomas Gaudynski, Tim Catlin, Rhys Chatham, Matt Turner, Achim
Wollscheid, Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra, and many others.
In 1998, he started Crouton, an organization involved in releasing
sound and material in limited editions, hosting an online magazine,
distributing other labels releases, and hosting performance events.
Releases have included Lionel Marchetti, Asmus Tietchens, The Hafler
Trio, Jason Kahn, Richard Chartier, Achim Wollscheid, and many others.
Hosted performances have included Phill Niblock, Peter Brotzmann,
Olivia Block, Ken Vandermark, Konk Pack, and more.
“Mueller’s minimalist percussion raises hypnotic palettes of solid
color. He merges the human touch with the objects that he vibrates,
pops, scrapes, or taps.”
- Mark Corroto, All About Jazz
“Mueller goes straight to the core of drums’ pneumonic organism,
avoiding easy edulcoration to privilege spacing systems and sustained
transmutations, where snare drums become turbocharged in an itinerant
mass of resonant charms and the deep rumble of a sapiently treated (?)
bass drum (???) skin transforms itself into a hoarse monster of droning
majesty reigning in deafening volume.”
- Massimo Ricci, Touching
“Mueller has found a way to go beyond his free jazz past and take the
world of instrumental virtuosity into the 21st century.”
is Tim Albro and Jesse Kudler. The two have
played together since becoming friends at Wesleyan University around
the turn of the century, first working together in the large
electronic improvising ensemble Phil Collins. After graduating in
2002, Albro and Kudler didn't play together again until Winter 2005,
after Jesse's move to Philadelphia. Their interest in a more
restrained and spacious form of improvisation first found form in the
guitar trio G3 (with Ben Stanko). Where that group had them
playing guitars in a more or less conventional manner, HZL arose from a
more intense investigation into the use of electronics and
electro-acoustic means. Fall 2005 found Jesse moving again, to
West Philadelphia, and the two became close neighbors. A schedule
of record-listening sessions and concert attendance developed into a
more focused musical collaboration in
Winter 2005-2006, when proximity and available practice space allowed
the two to work on developing a duo language. Jesse resumed use
of his "regular" set-up of table-top guitar, synthesizer, contact mic,
various objects and devices, and sundry electronics. Tim began
working with a unique electronics rig that incorporated radio and an
archtop guitar prepared with surface-mounted speakers inside its
body. Small rooms and intensive listening led to the
configuration of a still-changing approach to performance, making ample
use of resonances, small sounds, and an awareness of the spaces
containing them. In 2006, HZL released its debut recording,
"Ayes," and embarked on a United States tour.
Albro and Kudler also perform regularly with the ensemble Benito
Cereno, and they work within smaller configurations of that group’s
members. Recent sound interests for both have included tapes,
microphones, radios and radio transmitters, and use of ambient sounds
and field recordings.