Friday March 6th at the Red Room. Doors will open at 8:30, music begins at 9pm. $5-10+ all monies go to the performers.
A composed trio and an improvising quartet. 500 years of music technology represented.
Niccolo Seligmann Trio
Celebrate with Niccolo Seligmann, a 2020 Strathmore Artist in Residence, as he releases his upcoming solo album, Kinship (Split Log Productions), with a special trio performance of original compositions and improvisations. This performance, also featuring Loren Ludwig (early bowed strings & electronics) and fellow 2020 Strathmore Artist in Residence Lucas Ashby (percussion & electronics), combines historical string instruments with interactive electronic instruments, most of which Niccolo built himself in Max for Live. Bathe your ears in cascades of real harpsichord samples, played by drawing with fingers on an iPad. Eavesdrop on conversations between a Kazakh qyl-qobyz (overtone fiddle), an optical synth, and drum-triggered creaky-door-hinge samples. Watch from the edge of your seat as two violas da gamba alternate notes at lightning speed. Join Niccolo and friends to connect past and present with historical instruments, early 20th-c. recordings from the American Folklife Center archives, and laptop music.
Sarah Manly late of the Washington Chamber Orchestra and Mind on Fire and very present in sampled form in Horse Lord’s new opera plays trombone, David Serotte uses iOs technology or moves thoughtfully, or (I’m not sure what he might do), M.C. Schmidt synthesizes and CK Barlow live samples the other three.
Further biographical data about the trio:
Niccolo Seligmann brings together old instruments and new practices, uniting gut strings with lines of code. He performs on over twenty historical and traditional instruments from around the world, and designs his own software instruments. His upcoming album, Kinship, uses viola da gamba improvisation to express multispecies resistance to extractive capitalism. You can also hear him perform on viola da gamba, medieval fiddle, and more on the soundtracks of the PC game Civilization VI and the 2017 feature film Papillon. Niccolo is a 2020 Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore Music Center, as well as a member of ensembles Alkemie, The Broken Consort, Hesperus, Wherligig, and others. He has toured across North America and Europe, including performances at the Kennedy Center, in a bustling plaza in Nogales, Mexico, and inside a 2000-year-old Northern Californian redwood tree. Minerva: Times Change, a community opera Niccolo co-wrote with George Frideric Handel, premiered in 2019 in Richmond, VA. Niccolo coached the UCLA Early Music Ensemble from 2016-2018, and continues a bicoastal private teaching studio. He holds a degree in viola da gamba performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently apprentice to master luthier Ken Koons, and is learning how to grow food without chemical pesticides using strategic companion planting.
Brazilian-American multi-instrumentalist and composer Lucas Ashby’s musical resume stretches back to his early childhood. Born into a family of internationally touring musicians, Ashby brings to his projects a background in rhythms and melodies from South America, West Africa, India, Eastern Europe, American Jazz, & Hip Hop. For the last 15 years, the resulting mosaic of sounds and textures has served as the bedrock of the career Ashby has built as a sideman, performing for the last 9 years as percussionist with nationally-touring afrobeat-funk powerhouse Big Mean Sound Machine, as well as such internationally-renowned artists as Brazilian national treasure Ivan Lins, 14-time GRAMMY winner Paquito D’Rivera, and world-renowned vocal jazz quartet New York Voices (including appearing on their 2007 GRAMMY award-winning album A Day Like This), Brazilian guitar virtuosos Rogério Souza (Duo Violão Brasil) and Diego Figueiredo, and Ghanaian highlife master Osei Korankye. Lucas has also performed all over the US and around the world with his parents, Brazilian jazz vocalist Kenia and acclaimed trombonist and producer Jay Ashby (Paul Simon, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, & others). As one of the composers and organizers behind genre-bending 21st-century chamber ensemble Arco Belo, led by accordionist, pianist, and composer Simone Baron and featuring bass icon Mike Pope (Chick Corea, Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn), Ashby had the pleasure of debuting several compositions at the renowned Strathmore Mansion in May 2017. Arco Belo’s debut season continued with performances at renowned venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco CA, The Backroom Berkeley CA, and the Cotati Accordion Festival in Cotati CA, among others. Since moving to the Washington, DC region in 2014, Lucas frequently performs locally with a number of regional acts including Veronneau, Rose Moraes, Cissa Paz, Ethan Foote, Pablo Regis de Oliveira, and Marian McLaughlin, among others.
Loren Ludwig is a scholar/performer based in Baltimore, MD. He studied viola da gamba at Oberlin Conservatory and completed his Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Virginia in 2011. As a music historian, he researches what he terms “polyphonic intimacy,” the idea that music in the Western tradition is constructed to foster social relationships among its performers and listeners. Loren’s research on (and complete recordings of) the alchemical music of the 17th-century alchemist Michael Maier will be released online by the University of Virginia press in Fall 2020. As a viol player Loren performs widely as a soloist and chamber musician. He is a co-founder of LeStrange Viols and ACRONYM, a 17th century string band. Loren has served as musicology faculty at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Grinnell College, and the New Zealand School of Music and is currently the program coordinator for the program in Arts, Humanities, and Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.