Full Blast (Peter Brötzmann / Marino Pliakas / Michael Wertmüller) / John Wiese / Victoria Shen
Fri 08 May, 2020, 8pm
($25 – 20) All-Access
First Unitarian Congregational Society
Friday, May 8th, ISSUE returns to the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights to present an expansive program of liberated sound featuring Peter Brötzmann’s trio outfit Full Blast with Marino Pliakas & Michael Wertmüller, as well as new solo work by artist and composer John Wiese, and musician, visual artist, and instrument maker Victoria Shen.
Their first North American tour in almost a decade, Full Blast is known, out of all the projects Brötzmann is currently working on, as being the most consistent and the longest running. With the precise and dynamic Swiss rhythm section of Marino Pliakas (electric bass) and Michael Wertmüller (drums), the group is referred to by Brotzmann himself as simply “THE TRIO.” Full Blast frequently conjures the essence of Brötzmann’s landmark early free recording Machine Gun in its visceral intensity, while also, in the words of Tim Niland, being “far more than Peter Brötzmann with a rhythm section, [but] a fully functioning band that is a group of equals that play together as comrades.”
John Wiese presents the U.S. premiere of a new 8 channel composition commissioned by Ina/GRM. Known for his individual approach at the intersection of American noise and modern composition, Wiese’s artistic practice crosses many disciplines, but often shares conceptual similarities to musique concrète and is expressed through fixed recorded works, diffusions, performance, and installations. In 2016, Wiese was invited to perform at the Ina/GRM’s Présences Électronique Festival along with a residency at their multi-channel studio in the basement of Radio France.
ISSUE is also pleased to present Victoria Shen performing new solo work, following her collaborative performance of “Laminals II” last year with 2019 Artist-In-Residence Charmaine Lee. Shen’s music floods its location acting as a form of sculpture. Her music features analog modular synthesizers (Flower Electronics), contact microphones, and other self-built electronics. These instruments are designed to electronically create chaotic systems, systems which are highly sensitive to small changes in their initial parameters. The resulting music eschews conventions in harmony and rhythm in favor of the extreme textures and gestural tones.
An aggressive, emotive free jazz trio, Full Blast is another project of reedman Peter Brötzmann’s touring and recording configurations and includes the explosive rhythm section of Marino Pliakas on electric bass and Michael Wertmüller on drums. Wertmüller and Brötzmann toured with each other for years as a duo, and Wertmüller and Pliakas worked with each other frequently on various festival gigs, as well. The trio issued a debut album, the self-titled Full Blast, in 2006 on the German Jazzwerkstatt imprint, following it with Black Hole on Atavistic in 2009. Recently, they have released a series of records on TROST, including Sketches and Ballads (2011) also featuring Ken Vandermark and Dirk Rothbrus, Risc (2016), and Rio (2018). The group has toured consistently since fall of 2004, visiting the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Chile, Japan, China, UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Slovenia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, France, Spain, Serbia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, and Russia. They have also performed and many international contemporary jazz and new music festivals, concert halls, clubs, and venues worldwide.
John Wiese is an artist and composer living and working in Los Angeles and Cleveland. From his experiments with recording as a teenager, he has since gone on to work in the world of contemporary sound art and the international experimental community. His sounds can be completely serene and sublime while at the same time being as equally frenetic and irregular, a sign of the artist’s ability to adapt and utilize a wide palette to build captivating aural works. As a performer and recording artist, his expertise in composition, texture, and experimentation with sound confirm his reputation of being an original and innovative voice in experimental music.
Victoria Shen is a musician, visual artist, and instrument maker native to San Francisco and working out of New England. Shen’s sound practice is concerned with the spatiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. Shen’s multidisciplinary visual work operates within the space where science, technology, craft, and art history overlap. Shen has performed solo across North America, Japan, Mexico, and Europe as Victoria Shen and Evicshen and as half of the duo TRIM in North America and the UK. Some notable venues in which she has performed include Boston City Hall, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, ISSUE Project Room NY, DOMMUNE Tokyo, and Petreon Sculpture Park Cyprus. Shen has also been an artist in residence at Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm SE, WORM Rotterdam NL, Kurimanzutto New York US, and the Sound Laboratory of The Royal Danish Academy Copenhagen DK.