Decisions, decisions

Excited strings, Swiss sound art and utter mayhem
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  September 10, 2008


Sometimes even when your cup runneth over, life still isn’t fair. Such is the case this Tuesday, September 16, when two excellent experimental-music shows collide. Here are your options in alphabetical order (as it happens, from A to Z). The illustrious minimalist ARNOLD DREYBLATT — student of La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier, and Pauline Oliveros — will perform with his Orchestra of Excited Strings at the Middle East upstairs. With his ringing overtones and intense, chugging rhythms, Dreyblatt’s take on minimalism is ecstatic and almost primally affecting at high volume.

But that same night, two young Swiss sound artists, ZIMOUN and PE LANG of the Leerraum label, will make their Boston debut at the Piano Craft Guild. Using vibrating motors, glass plates, and a variety of small objects, they’ll create atmospheric, architectural soundscapes. The two will perform both solo and duo sets (on a multi-channel system with visuals for extrasensory mesmerization), as well as a trio with local musician and Leerraum labelmate ASHER THAL-NIR.

Some nights, on the other hand, your choices are clear-cut. This Friday, September 12, if it’s sonic mayhem you’re after, look no farther than the NEW MONUMENTS show in downtown Boston. The New Monuments are a bona fide noise supergroup featuring C. Spencer Yeh of Burning Star Core, Ben Hall of Graveyards, and Don Dietrich of Borbetomagus. Also on the bill are local firebrands HEATHEN SHAME, cassette manipulator HOWARD STELZER, and the formidable duo of sound artist/reel-to-reel maestro JASON LESCALLEET and saxophonist BHOB RAINEY. This concert is under the radar, so for additional details, including the all-important location, e-mail, or click here.

ARNOLD DREYBLATT AND HIS ORCHESTRA OF EXCITED STRINGS + MEGAFAUN + MELISSA ST. PIERRE | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | September 16 @ 9 pm | $9 | 18+ | 617.864.EAST or | ZIMOUN + PE LANG + ASHER | Piano Craft Guild, 791 Tremont St, Boston | September 16 @ 8 pm | $7 |

Related: Solid gold, Boston music news: April 25, 2008, The Boston Horns, More more >
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