The Fire Museum is proud to present and evening with SUSAN ALCORN & ANNA ROBERTS-GEVALT DUO. One of the world’s premiere musical innovators on her instrument, Baltimore-based Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. Known among steel guitarists for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Alcorn first paid her dues in Texas country & western bands. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music (Messiaen, Varèse, Penderecki), the deep listening of Pauline Oliveros, Astor Piazzolla’s nuevo tango, free jazz, and world musics (Indian raags, South American songs, and gamelan orchestra). Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression. The UK Guardian describes her music as “beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from pulse and conventional harmony.” Susan, along with Joe McPhee was recently awarded the first ever Instant Award in Improvised Music. Anna Roberts-Gevalt is a multi disciplinary artist working in Brooklyn, moving outwards from her immersion in folk music. Following an ethnomusicology degree at Wesleyan University, she spent the last decade studying with masters of traditional fiddle and banjo music in Kentucky and Virginia. For the last seven years, she has been creative director of a traditional ballad-based collaboration with Virginia singer Elizabeth LaPrelle, Anna & Elizabeth. They conduct creative research in archives, and reworking the old songs and texts through multi-media performances with song, sound, illustration and story. They have collaborated with Jim White, Susan Alcorn, and Irish composer Linda Buckley, tour the US and UK extensively, including the Newport Folk Festival, Big Ears, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, and have their Carnegie Hall debut this fall. Smithsonian Folkways released their third record The Invisible Comes to Us, which Anna co-produced and was heralded by the New Yorker as “a radical expansion of what folk songs are supposed to do.” She currently serves as a guest curator of traditional music at the Big Ears Music Festival in Knoxville; has been a fellow at The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Berea College Traditional Music Archive, Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation; teaches fiddle and banjo across the country.
KYLE PRESS: Kyle Press performs improvised, amplified, and effected soundscapes of multiphonics and overtones on vocals and saxophones. As a member of bands such as Impressionist, Space Whale Orchestra, The Love Club, and OhBree he has released more than a dozen albums of original material, shared the stage with big names from the Sun Ra Arkestra to Akron/Family, and toured up and down the East Coast. All the while, something quieter and more mysterious had been gestating in his brain. That something is finally ready to emerge, in the form of an eponymous solo project. Funneling his vocals and saxophones (and plenty of extended techniques) through effects pedals and an amplifier, the emergent music is a cross between the serenity of ambient / noise / drone and and the barely controlled chaos of way out free-jazz and improvisation. The debut album of this material, tentatively titled Overtones, Drones, and Saxophones, is slated for a 2019 release on Philadelphia’s No Rent Records. Stay tuned and keep your eyes and ears out for live performances in the meantime!
THIS PROJECT WAS SUPPORTED BY A GRANT FROM PENN TREATY SPECIAL SERVICES DISTRICT