Let us now praise generous podcasts, especially those featuring original, otherwise unavailable content. The Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, which is currently hosting monthly concerts, has two archival performances up in its newly launched podcast series. Both are time-warping ventures into tension and release, and into the more languorous realm of group improvisation.
A November 7, 2003, piece by Brenda Hutchinson, part of a performance by the Vorticella quartet, teams Hutchinson on electronically enabled “long tube” with multi-instrumentalist Krys Bobroski (notably French horn and glass harmonica), cellist Erin Espeland and percussionist Karen Stackpole (MP3). At the opening, Hutchinson can be heard explaining the use of triggers in her set up. The group engages in a kind of ensemble call’n’response, ranging from sinuous moments of amorphous chaos to exclamatory eruptions.
A March 9, 2001, piece teams Deep Listening guru and avant-accordion player Pauline Oliveros with koto player Shoko Hikage and trombonist Toyoji Tomita (calling themselves the Ghost Dance Trio) for nearly half an hour of beautifully sustained passages of throaty drones, mixed with excited periods of sympathetic interplay (MP3).
More on the Meridian Gallery at meridiangallery.org. Subscribe to the podcast here. The Gallery will host Carl Stone in a solo show on February 8 (“using freshly minted field recordings from Japan and Thailand”). Let’s hope it, too, results in a podcast.