Music Program

Thursday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m.

James Currie & Wooden Cities

Examples of Excess

James Currie, a prominent musicologist and University at Buffalo professor, will collaborate with Buffalo's dynamic and well-known new music ensemble, Wooden Cities, in a realization of his performance-art work, Examples of Excess.

Both tragic and comic at the same time, Examples of Excess explores the excesses (emotional, political, and sexual) that haunt the fringes of our seemingly normal, day-to-day professional activities. Although the piece was not composed with any particular political agenda in mind, it is nevertheless pervaded by a sense of the extraordinary instability of the world we now inhabit and the resultant fragility of the professional roles to which we must therefore strive to conform. Its drama is a seemingly quite mundane affair in which, before an on-stage audience, an academic music historian is introduced, gives a lecture, and then answers some questions. But at every moment excessive emotions, ranging from fury and euphoria to profound despair, explode into its framework. The result is an accumulating sequence of disturbing and hilarious crises in which even the distinction between the lecturer and the music he is supposedly discussing starts to collapse. Like a kid in a candy store, the piece voraciously consumes all and any available performance gestures or clichè́s so that at its conclusion all that is left is the pleasures that have been gained from the excesses of the performance itself. And perhaps in the world we presently live in, that is the only conclusion to be drawn.

James Currie is a writer and performer whose work has been concerned with articulating the points of interaction and dislocation between music, history, philosophy, and politics ... continue reading >>


Saturday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m.

$15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

Amirtha Kidambi's Elder Ones

Amirtha Kidambi (voice, harmonium, compositions)
Matt Nelson (soprano saxophone)
Brandon Lopez (contrabass)
Max Jaffe (drums)

Elder Ones is NYC-based quartet performing the compositions of vocalist Amirtha Kidambi (Seaven Teares/Elizabeth-Caroline Unit). Born in Buffalo, NY raised in the Bay Area and now based in Brooklyn, Kidambi's music lies nestled in a Venn diagram of musical spheres and communities around New York City. She and her collaborators saxophonist Matt Nelson (Battle Trance/Tune-Yards), bassist Brandon Lopez (Tongues, The Undermine Trio), and drummer Max Jaffe (JOBS, Unnatural Ways) have crossed paths in the DIY underbelly, in incestuous circles of free improvisers, and uncomfortable chairs in concert halls of angular new music. The instrumentalists chosen for this project draw from a wide variety of vocabularies from hip-hop to free improv, each bringing their own highly individual sound to the group. The quartet uses composed material and loose structures as a template for improvisation. Oscillating between worlds of modal Sufi-like circular grooves and free improvisation to jagged rhythmic precision and meditative drones, Thyagaraja, Coltrane or Stockhausen could be equally suspected as illegitimate fathers of their sound.

Amirtha's background in Hindu devotional singing or Bhajan, led her to use the Indian harmonium as accompaniment and compositional tool. Amirtha has been singing with the harmonium since a young age and has a deep connection to its timbre, intonation and mystical qualities ... continue reading >>

t: 716-854-1694
f: 716-854-1696

Tues.—Fri. 11-6
Sat. 11-2
Sun. & Mon. closed

from Sep. 16, 2016
through Oct. 28, 2016

Amy Greenan - Eric Magnuson - Brad Phillips - Betty Tompkins

Text has a long and storied history in art and has played a fulsome part of modern and contemporary art movements, where language has been occasionally deconstructed, broken into its formal/visual elements, and treated alternately and simultaneously as painterly and poetic gestures. Over time, we are made persistently aware that language and its constructs are a fluid mechanism, within which meanings change, evaporate, or re-emerge in new, unanticipated ways ...