San Diego State University professor of music composition and computer music Joseph Waters is bringing his New West Emerging Arts and Music Organization (NWEAMO) to New York on Dec. 7 for a program at Brooklyn’s ShapeShifter Lab performance space—one of three gigs he’ll be participating in during his NYC stay.
“They’ve asked me to curate an evening,” says Waters, who’s bringing his genre-busting group Swarmius, consisting of Todd Riewoldt on alto sax,, Michael Couper on soprano sax, Andrew Kreysa on vibes–and Waters directing via gesturing and laptop.
Swarmius has been described as Western classical meets Tin Pan Alley, trance, hip-hop, gypsy, Santeria, house, jazz and klezmer via fluidly blending electronics and world-class virtuosic acoustic performance.
“Besides us, there will be five bands,” says Waters, the others a diverse group of Brooklyn artists in experimental pop group Trouble With Kittens, electronic artist/compsoer Roarke Menzies, pianist Peripateticus, experimental composer/percussionist David Linton and percussion/electronic/vocal performance artist duo Ohmslice. Swarmius will be joined on a few pieces during its set by New York-based pianist Geoffrey Burleson.
“I think it’s going to be a great gig,” declares Waters, whose NWEAMO is a San Diego-based support and service organization for artists of all disciplines, dedicated to promoting cross-cultural collaboration and a place for artists as “the barometers, periscopes, harbingers and mine canaries of a healthy functioning culture.” It stages an annual festival in San Diego, at which Swarmius performs.
In addition to the NWEAMO NYC show at ShapeShifter Lab, Waters has two other Swarmius appearances in town.
On Dec. 6, he and the band are part of local New York contemporary music presenting organization Composers Concordance’s MultiBand festival at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, specifically, its Bands of Gypsies program. As the name suggests, it’s inspired by the Jimi Hendrix album recorded at the Fillmore East in 1970.
“I wrote an insane etude for solo alto sax based on ‘Purple Haze,’” says Waters. “It’s called ‘Purple Alto.’”
And on Dec. 9, also as part of the MultiBand festival, Swarmius will play a salon concert at painter-composer-pianist Mark Kostabi’s Upper East Side space Kostabi World Uptown, with Kostabi opening.
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