Sound and Vision: Jeremy Kannapell on the New Music Circle's 54th Year

Caboladies perform at White Flag Projects on Friday, January 18 - Jeremy Kannapell
Jeremy Kannapell
Caboladies perform at White Flag Projects on Friday, January 18

Stemming back to its foundation in 1959, the St. Louis-based New Music Circle has moved forward as torchbearer in the curation of both regional and international innovators of avant-garde music. Embracing everything from modular synthesis and experimental turntablism to free improvisation and tape manipulation, the NMC extinguishes derogatory blanket labels such as "noise" and "free jazz;" offering unique performances nothing short of sublime. Responsible for bringing acts like Tony Conrad, Morton Subotnick, The Golden Quartet, and Keith Fullerton Whitman to St. Louis over the years, the NMC continues to push boundaries across the sonic spectrum with efforts by the organization and their Program Coordinator, Jeremy Kannapell. This season the NMC has teamed up with like-minded venues like the Luminary Center for the Arts, Contemporary Art Museum, and White Flag Projects to present St. Louis spectators with performances from a quintet led by NYC pianist Kris Davis, a trio led by Danish improv saxophonist Lotte Anker, and the introduction of a film program curated by the Los Angeles-based art-film archive, Center For Visual Music.

See also: -The New Music Circle Showcase Celebrates the end of the 2011-2012 Season -After 52 years, the New Music Circle Still Lives Up to its Name -New Music Circle Challenges St. Louis Audiences with an Imaginative, Innovative Concert Series

This Friday marks the first concert of the 2013 portion of the NMC's 54th season with a special performance from electronic duo, Caboladies accompanied with visuals from artist Robert Beatty at White Flag Projects. Since 2006, the Lexington/Chicago duo comprised of Chris Bush and Eric Lanham have created a compelling study of panning sound and texture through their collaborative efforts and in solo work as Flower Man and Carl Calm, respectively. Through command of synthesizers and samplers, Caboladies exhibit a powerful yet subtle diligence in the world of abstract sound, leading the NMC's program as some the youngest performers this season.

In tandem with Friday's performance at White Flag Projects, the NMC and Apop Records team up to present a collaboration between Beatty and bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Grand Ulena) on Thursday for a free live in-store event at 7:30pm. Serving as a founding member of noise stalwarts Hair Police, Beatty is no stranger to the world of experimental sound, having collaborated with acts like Burning Star Core and created solo output as Three Legged Race.

As always, the NMC will close out the 2013 portion of its season with a celebration and local showcase at the William A. Kerr Foundation. Leading the event is local chamber music ensemble, Trinity Piano Trio, who will be interpreting and performing works by Sun Ra in conjunction with what would be the late jazz composer's 99th birthday.

In anticipation of the Caboladies performance at White Flag Projects on Friday, January 18 we caught up with Kannapell to discuss the NMC's 54th year, the importance of appropriate venues, and the integration of "visual music" into their concert schedule.

Josh Levi: What events are you most excited to experience this season?

Jeremy Kannapell: Musicians like Marina Rosenfeld and Caboladies are approaching mediums like turntables and electronics from a different angle than you usually see in action. Same for figures like Kris Davis, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Lotte Anker, who are approaching instruments and composition in a really intuitive, extended manner ... so from even just a programming standpoint, putting together a season with a span and variety in backgrounds and approaches is exciting.Then, hearing actual material these artists perform and communicate live is, in itself, a whole other level of excitement, and because of this span and variety in artistic vision, each concert presents a totally different learning experience, both in terms of what it takes to make it happen but also the ideas these artists are bringing to the table.