Saturday, May 17th 2014

Griffen Theatre, Salem, MA


Isolde Touch aka Asha Sheshadri (San Diego, CA)

ISOLDE TOUCH is the project of Asha Sheshadri, a multimedia artist working out of Southern California and New England. Her live performance hinges on the relationship between sonic and visual, through experimentation with computer, voice and video synthesis; harsh rhythmic elements enshrouded in layers of lush counterpoint. Like lulling a ghost out of a machine, her work illuminates the intersections between the soft and abrasive, the naturally-occurring and machine-generated.


PAS Musique is a group out to create musical collages through the form of abstract sound. Their name refers metaphorically to those who have been aborted by society, because their point of view doesn’t fit in the constraints of “normal” society. The term also refers the negative form in French, metaphorically negating everything that is established to start from a new beginning. The viewpoint fuels our creativity to create our own world of beauty. Since our inception the band has been interested in making music from the fringes of perception, creating soundscapes that aren’t defined by any particular conventions or viewpoints. The aesthetic underpinnings are defined by the notion that music can be whatever the ear perceives. It’s a conception fueled by the love of life and art. It’s a desire for honest artistic self-expression. The compositions themselves are more akin to soundscapes than “songs” in the traditional sense. There are no clearly defined melodies, no structural landmarks that give you any sense of traditional anchor. This is not music making with any sense of or desire for commercial viability, but sonic sculptures in the mode of pure art.


Dave Scanlon is a composer guitarist living in Brooklyn, NY. He co-leads the avant garde rock band killer BOB and the hyper-jazz "downtown" trio Pet Bottle Ningen. As a soloist Dave Scanlon performs and writes music which ranges from "brutal" electric guitar music to freak-folk. He also plays guitar in the pop band Leverage Models.

BEN BENNETT (Columbus, OH) / JACK WRIGHT (Philadelphia, PA)

Described twenty years ago as an "undergrounder by design," Jack Wright is still happy to inhabit the vast territory below the radar of the professional music world. He travels with music (US and Europe) rather than tours, plays rather than performs, finds and chooses partners among those who have their eyes not on the prize but on the music-for-itself. This has been his way since 1979, and at 70 he is as firmly committed as ever to playing with little expectation of what might happen in a situation. Back in the 80s Davey Williams called him the "Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation," and he is still inspiring players outside the confines of post-music-school careerdom. Whenever he plays today, all that he has traversed is present, from fiery, breathless free jazz to reductionist breath-filled aestheticism. As he said in 1982, this is "A music of intense pleasure, polymorphous, naïve, risking itself for its own sake. This music is here for us and won't deceive our hopes if we give everything to it."

BEN BENNETT is an extraordinaire percussionist whose performances transcend the realm of sound to become profound, personal, artistic statements.

Two reviews:

"The crux of Bennett’s output is formed through his anomalous showmanship and in the resourceful nature of the instruments he tailors. If there is “value” to be found in his art, then these aspects surely make for a sensible starting point. Recycled objects and household items are transformed into contraptions assembled for a purpose unknown to the performer until the very moment he drags them before baffled onlookers, inserting them into an orifice or smashing them with an unrelated implement. Such instances of universal obscurity add to the queer web of noise that makes the resulting sound so riveting from the perspective of the audience." -Tiny Mixtapes

"It appears that he is psychically and physically communed with sound itself in a way that is unique in our modern electrified music world, and that gives him the ability to sonically both reflect and compete with the urban and industrial environment, even while standing in opposition to it." -Chuck Hoffman