Unsettling business

Kevin Frenette and Ricardo Donoso sound off
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  October 16, 2008

Kevin Frenette
Union Square’s lovely, low-key OPEN SOUND experimental-music series plays host to a quartet led by local guitarist KEVIN FRENETTE this Saturday. Frenette’s playing is warm yet cerebral, and his music lies in the middleground between avant jazz and free improvisation. It centers on texture, timbre, and exceptionally intricate interplay among the various musicians — not for nothing was his excellent 2007 debut CD on Fuller Street Music titled Connections. For this concert, he’ll work with keyboard player JAMES ROHR, percussionist CURT NEWTON, and bassist RYAN MCGUIRE. 

RICARDO DONOSO is best known as the man behind the SEMATA PRODUCTIONS label and the COUP D’ÉTAT series at the Piano Factory. This week he’s playing a pair of shows: an opening set at Open Sound as one half of an electronics-and-guitar duo with long-time collaborator NATHAN AHLERS; and a headlining solo show at Inman Square’s Outpost 186 on Wednesday. Although trained as a percussionist, Donoso has been experimenting with electronics since high school. The results run the gamut from the brutal to the sublime. “I’ve been focused on working with feedback systems, granular synthesis, and location recordings manipulated in real time,” he says of his current work. “The music shifts from dreamy ambiance to dark and heavy drones, all with an unsettling feel to it.”

THE KEVIN FRENETTE 4 + KAREN LANGLIE/ROB BYRD + RICARDO DONOSO/NATHAN AHLERS | Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square, Somerville | October 18 at 8 pm | $7 | RICARDO DONOSO + CHARLIE KOHLHASE ENSEMBLE | Outpost 186, 186-1/2 Hampshire St, Cambridge | October 22 at 8 pm | $5-10

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