Thursday, May 22, 2014

Guitarist Joel Harrison Revisits his DC Roots with Two Record Release Shows!

Guitarist Joel Harrison Revisits His Roots Growing Up in Washington, D.C.

Harrison releases Mother Stump, a new album out May 27th
on DC/Silver Spring-based Cuneiform Records
plays two record release shows in the DC area with his Mother Stump Band!

Fri., May 30 - 9:00PM
Arlington, VA: Iota Cafe
(with the Anthony Pirog band)
2832 Wilson Blvd - 22201

Sat., May 31 - 8:00 PM
Baltimore, MD: Orion Sound
(with the Anthony Pirog band)
2903 Whittington Ave., Suite C -  21230

For more information or to set up an interview while Harrison is in D.C., email

Check out "John The Revelator" from Mother Stump:

Mother Stump Highlights Harrison’s Guitar Playing Originals and On Covers of Buddy Miller, Leonard Cohen, Al Kooper, Luther Vandross, Paul Motian, George Russell And More

Featuring Top NY-Based Sidemen Michael Bates (bass), Jeremy ‘Bean’ Clemons (drums) accompanying Joel Harrison

For many years, guitarist Joel Harrison claimed he had no roots. Growing up in Washington D.C., a place whose identity and values are always in drift, Harrison was convinced he had to “go out into the world with a shovel and plant something of my own,” he says in his liner notes to Mother Stump, his latest album on Silver Spring, MD-based Cuneiform Records, a fitting home for a record paying tribute to the artist’s DC-upbringing.

But as we often discover, time and distance have a way of putting things in perspective. Looking back, Harrison realized that Washington D.C. was, in fact, a town whose musical gravity overpowered whatever ephemeral political and cultural winds might blow. “I had to move away and get older to see those roots,” Harrison says. “You can hear them on this record.”

“Washington D.C. was quite a segregated place in the 1960s and ’70s, and yet the musicians were inclusive and open in their tastes,” Harrison recalls. A plethora of genres were represented around town. One could hear bluegrass by The Seldom Scene andThe Country Gentlemen, and soul, jazz, and funk by Roberta Flack, The Blackbyrds, Terry Plumeri, and Ron Holloway. Blues was a pervasive force represented by Roy Buchanan, The Nighthawks, and the legendary Powerhouse Blues Band that featured Tom Principato. On the folk scene were people like Jorma Kaukonen, Emmylou Harris, and John Fahey.

“I remember seeing psychedelic rock groups, maybe backed by a light show, at Pipeline Coffee House or at Fort Reno ― bands like Tractor, Tinsel'd Sin (with Paul Sears), Crank, Grits, or Grin (with Nils Lofgren). There were outliers like Root Boy Slim and Evan Johns, whom I jammed with before we started shaving.”

“On any given night there might be a redneck band from Southern Maryland, a hillbilly band from nearby West Virginia, or an infusion of urban blues and Philly soul. The people who affected me the most, welcomed it all into their guitar playing.”

When Harrison discovered local guitarist Danny Gatton, he became a quick devotee. “If I ever had an idol, it was he,” Harrison says. “I followed him around like a stray dog in the early and mid ’70s, sometimes placing a cassette recorder on a beer-stained table in one of the many low-rent bars he inhabited.” Gatton’s ability to incorporate many streams of American music, such as country, blues, jazz, rockabilly, and funk, would play an important role in Harrison’s own future development as a genre-crossing guitarist.

No matter what kind of music was heard in Harrison’s circle of musician friends, the common thread binding it all together was a passion for musical expression in all forms. “I remember jam sessions in my friend Henry's basement where we'd play for hours in some zone between rock, soul, jazz, and country ― not practiced enough yet to know enough about any single thing ― open, searching.”

Harrison began studying jazz with a guitarist named Bill Harris, who had a studio in the Northeast DC.  Jazz began to take hold of him, but true to his musical upbringing, he would continue to explore across genre lines.  “You'd want to play some bluegrass, learn some Cornell Dupree licks, pick up a slide for the Allman Brothers tunes, learn your bebop harmony, and then practice your Bach and Albeniz on a nylon string,” Harrison recalls. This was a time of important breakthroughs for the guitar, when the instrument was becoming a generative force in new jazz contexts.

“It was an amazing time in which to come of age musically. Minds were open, blueprints were being created, invention was everywhere, and yet strong tradition anchored the experimentation. You'd go way beyond the borders, but there was still that tangle of roots that stretched beneath and across the town,” Harrison says in his liners.

On Mother Stump, unlike some other of Harrison’s albums, the focus here is on his playing and not his writing and arranging. “It's a mixture of Luther Vandross, Buddy Miller, George Russell, a traditional spiritual, Paul Motian, Leonard Cohen, and in a couple of my pieces, a nod to those formative years, with six old guitars and two old amps.”

“It's a lot of history that I'm trying to make new again.”

Cuneiform Records 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Richard Pinhas in DC + NEW albums: MAY 2014

DC Music Friends;

On Sunday, June 1st, one of the major figures on the global experimental music scene – French guitarist & electronic musician Richard Pinhas – will perform at one of metropolitan Washington's most intimate venues: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in downtown Silver Spring. The music begins at 7:30pm; admission is $10. The concert is presented by Sonic Circuits, who organize an annual Festival of Experimental Music in DC. and an on-going concert series at Pyramid Atlantic. Opening acts will include DC artists Surak & Hawkins, and TL7041; a collaborative set with Pinhas, Surak and Hawkins will follow Pinhas' solo performance.

June 1 - Silver Spring, Maryland (Washington D.C.)
Sonic Circuits Presents
Richard Pinhas
with Surak & Hawkins and TL0741

Pyramid Atlantic
8230 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring. MD 20910
[DC Metro-Red Line-Silver Spring]
(301) 608-9101

The June 1st Richard Pinhas show in Silver Spring is an "all-ages" show; Pinhas' fans range from 20yr olds involved in electronic and noise music to progressive rockers more than twice that age. Pinhas, known as the "father of electronic music in France," first broke new ground in the 1970s by integrating electronics with rock music; his band Heldon is recognized as one of Industrial Music's precursors. The musician/philosopher (a Ph.d from the Sorbonne, Pinhas has published books on Gilles Deleuze) has remained ceaselessly innovative, releasing dozens of recordings over the years, most of them on Silver Spring-based Cuneiform Records. Most recently, he's been collaborating with Wolf Eyes and masters of Japan's noise scene. Pinhas will arrive in Silver Spring shortly after his world premiere performance with Merzbow, Keiji Haino and Tatsuya Yoshida at FIMAV 2014 (Festival International de Musique Actuelle), Canada's premiere festival of avant garde music. After visiting Silver Spring, he'll tour the US West Coast, and then head back to Europe for scheduled festival performances in France, England, Poland and beyond. His only live appearance in the DC metro area on June 1st is not to be missed!

On May 27th, 2014, Cuneiform will release two new duo recordings by Richard Pinhas. Welcome In the Void, by Richard Pinhas and Tatsuya Yoshida, is the second chapter in Pinhas' Devolution Trilogy, which began with 2013's Desolation Row, a sonic protest against the rise of neo-liberalism. His release with Oren Ambarchi, called Tikkun, can be seen as a response to (but is not part of) that trilogy. Devoted to healing our wounded world, it is dedicated to 'tikkun,' a concept in Jewish mystical writings from the Kabbalah.

We look forward to seeing you on June 1st in downtown Silver Spring, which is fast transforming into an epicenter for DC's experimental/avant music scene.

- cuneiform records


Release Date: 5/27/2014 - Genre: Rock / Electronic / Experimental Music
Format: CD+DVD / Digital Download
With Tikkun, Pinhas switches gears from Welcome...In The Void, using his collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi to take on new themes and sonic frontiers. Instead of focusing on the slow degredation of our society and faculties, Tikkun is almost a response to the devolution trilogy, and deals with repairing the world, the mind, and our emotions after they have been so brutally devastated by modernity and technology. The album is named after a main concept in the Ha Ari Kabbalah, ancient Jewish mystical writings, and Tikkun as both concept and music name previously appeared as a track on Pinhas' album Metatron. But this is the first time that Pinhas named an entire album after Tikkun, and he did so "because the concept of TIKKUN is IMMENSE, Very very Big and Important, not only in the original Kabbalah but in all the para-gnosis "jewish" theoretical concepts. It is about the spiritual creation of our world...a kind of parable.. TO REPAIR something deeply Broken is the POINT...and TIKKUN is the concept that this operation or this PROCESS can be named."

Pinhas worked in duo with Oren Ambarchi to bring the album Tikkun to life. Ambarchi, a truly international musician, was born 1969 in an Iraqi Jewish family in Australia. He began his music career in free jazz percussion before focusing on experimental guitar skills, working with to drone band Sunn O))), Burial Chamber Trio, and countless other music collaborations. For Tikkun, Pinhas and Ambarchi worked together in Paris, recording several studio sessions and two live public performances. The result is a double-disc release featuring a CD of studio recordings and a live performance DVD. Mixed in Paris and Australia, it also includes contributions by other longstanding collaborators, including Joe Talia, Masami Akita (Merzbow), Eric Borelva and Pinhas' son, Duncan Pinhas. Tikkun is a staggeringly powerful work, perhaps musically closest to Pinhas' early recordings with his band Heldon. The cover art, designed by French ilustrator Yann Legendre, is also reminiscent of Pinhas' Heldon days. Legendre also designed the cover art for Welcome in the Void, for Desolation Row, and all of Pinhas' recent albums, beginning with Metatron. Pinhas notes that he and Legendre "will work together again...of course! He is very brilliant." Pinhas' collaboration with Ambarchi is also ongoing, and the two look forward to releasing other recordings.

"Yoshida and Oren are great musicians and great men...they are fundamentally IN THE MUSIC."
- Richard Pinhas

If you'd like to share music from this release with your readers/listeners, please feel free to use the following track:
"Washington, D.C. - T4V1" [excerpt] (mp3 download) - stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube


Tikkun' Album/DVD Teaser Video:




cd yoshida


Release Date: 5/27/2014 - Genre: Rock / Electronic / Experimental Music
Format: CD / Digital Download

On Welcome In The Void, Richard Pinhas again pushes sonic and compositional boundaries, this time in a very special collaboration with the legendary Yoshida Tatsuya, "the indisputable master drummer of the Japanese underground." Yoshida is one of the most important musicians of the Japanese experimental music scene for the last 35 years, spearheading at least a half dozen of that country's most important and best known experimental groups, including Ruins, Koenji Hyakkei and Korekyojinn. Teaming up for their first duo recording, Pinhas and Tatsuya push each others' creative limits to make something that even for the experimental master Pinhas, is a new experience: a single, 64-minute, all-instrumental track consisting solely of guitar, percussion and electronics. The spontaneity, intensity, and sheer force of the music created by the duo is a marvel. The Pinhas/Tatsuya collaboration is an ongoing one, and the duo has plans to tour and record more material in Japan in the near future.

Welcome In The Void
is the second album in Pinhas' Devolution Trilogy, concerned with mankind's ideological and physical devolution at the hands of our modern socio-politcal world and technology. For the past several years, Pinhas the musician/philosopher has given thought to, in his words, the "Devolution of mankind, civilization, Capitalism's devolution, and mainly devolution of [human/biolgical] faculties related to the rise of machines". He describes Welcome in the Void as "a kind of journey, not more into the being but into the Void - the nothingness that is now the "center" or the absence-of-center of our societies." The first album in Pinhas' Devolution Trilogy was 2013's Desolation Row, a sonic protest against the rise of neoliberalism, the global economic cricis and rising social unrest.

If you'd like to share music from this release with your readers/listeners, please feel free to use the following track:
"Part One - Intro"
(mp3 download) - stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube



Richard Pinhas
European and North American
May-August 2014
May 16
Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada - FIMAV (Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville - World Premiere Performance: Richard Pinhas with Japanese noise masters Keiji Haino, Merzbow, and Tatsuya Yoshida

May 23, 24
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - THE REFRAIN: ELECTRONIC MUSIC AFTER PINHAS & DELEUZE (WITH RICHARD PINHAS) - Richard Pinhas will guest lecture at The Global Center for Advanced Studies, find more information here.

May 29
Oakland, California, USA - White Horse Bar - Richard Pinhas Band (Richard Pinhas, William Winant, Noel V. Harmonson and Utrillo Kushner) with Pod Blotz

May 30
San Francisco, California, USA - Steven Wolf Fine Arts - Richard Pinhas (solo) with Matt Baldwin (solo)

June 1
Silver Spring, Maryland (Washington D.C.) - Sonic Circuits Presents - Pyramid Atlantic, 8230 Georgia Avenue [DC Metro-Red Line-Silver Spring] - Richard Pinhas (solo) with Surak & Hawkins and TL0741

June 7
St. Etienne, France - Festival des Musiques Innovatrices 2014 - Musée de la Mine St. Etienne

July 7
Marseille, France - Festival MIMI 2014- Richard Pinhas & Etienne JAUMET - Hôpital Caroline - Iles du Frioul - Gorlickie Cultural Centre, Beskid Niski, in Gorlice

July 19
Gorlice, Poland - Ambient Festival

July 30
London, England - Corsica Studio - 4/5 Elephant Road

August 31
London, England - Baba Yaga's Hut Presents: Raw Power - The Dome Tufnell Park, London - Richard Pinhas (solo) with Acid Mother's Temple, Akdk, & dozens more...