gloom in the womb
A very exciting project that has come to exist over the past year or so is Gloom in the Womb, my improvisational duo with bassist Betsy Soukup. This past June, we presented at the International Society of Improvised Music Conference in New York City, and this October, we will be performing in the 18th annual Edgefest in Ann Arbor. We finally have some video to show you, the waiting public, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to pen a post.
I also occasionally have the great privilege of side-manning it with Betsy to perform her songs, in a somewhat atypical band arrangement, but one that we find quite effective. Here are a few of her songs, performed with Chris Sies on the drums.
Zach Herchen, a fellow Bang-on-a-Can-er, wrote this brief recap article for NewMusicBox!
In the video below, I can be seen in many snippets, including playing some brake drums for David Lang's cheating,lying,stealing, and in the impromptu sing-along at the end with our guerilla-style indie band, Compartment Building, and many in between.
The fantastic Madison-based label Mine All Mine Records, in collaboration with Grimmusik, is releasing a compilation this week of ambient and experimental music. I've contributed a track, and it's an honor to be included. The release features tracks from many stellar musicians, including Thollem McDonas,CJ Boyd, Brothers Grimm,Pat Reinholz, and many, many more.
The album will be streamed live TOMORROW at MIDNIGHT on Gross Time.
There's an album release show on Friday night in Madison, that's going to be amazing.
In other news, Kirsten Carey has released the second of the four videos we shot from her Ulysses Project last month. We spent three days in the studio this past weekend recording the entire album, and I'm excited to say that it's going to be totally kickass.
If you haven't yet donated to her Kickstarter to ensure completion of the album and reserve your copy, DO IT!!!!
The stellar guitarist/composer Kirsten Carey has written a set of pieces based on James Joyce's monstrous novel, Ulysses. I'm happy to be playing in the band for the project, which will be recording this coming weekend!
She will be releasing 4 videos that we recorded last month over the next 4 weeks. Here is the first one:
The next 4 weeks is also the duration of her Kickstarter campaign to fund the making of the album. I would encourage/implore anyone reading this to donate, because it sure is good to be a part of projects that actually have a chance of coming to fruition! This is a really great set of free-jazz inflected tunes.
Check it out!
Devin Drobka, drums
Amanda Schoofs, voice
Ben Willis, bass
Finally had a chance to edit some video of this performance together:
I still have a couple Soft Alarm t-shirts. If anybody wants one, give me a holler!
I failed to post this here a few months ago, but here is a very short film I made with my Thad Curious partner, Ryan Epp:
sympathy swimmers reunion
Sympathy Swimmers has a couple of performances lined up in March! I'm looking forward to performing with this group again.
Eric Sheffield; guitar, electronics
Anna Weisling; live video
Jeff Herriott; electronics
Ben Willis; bass
March 16th, 2012: Canterbury House, Ann Arbor, MI, 8:00p
March 17th, 2012: UM Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, MI, EMM Festival
Here's Anna, Eric, and me performing our piece, exit crafting:
Glacier has just released our first album, MONOLITHIC. We've been sitting on these recordings for a long time--actually, it's the recording of our very first performance, from May of last year--and have just now decided to release them. We feel that we've continued to develop as a band, but we're still proud of these recordings and want to share them with you people. Plus, we have whole pile of recordings we've made since, so we needed to get these out there so we can start working on the next thing.
A nice video was taken at our release show on Saturday:
Hello from Memphis! I'm here now at the Folk Alliance International Conference, the penultimate stop on the midwest tour with Anna Vogelzang. I've been meeting some excellent people and hearing some excellent music. For example and example.
Weather Duo is Anna's backup band for this tour, and we've been having a great time. We are, however, excited to return to Madison to get back to work on various things--a Weather Duo multimedia project, our Lovely Socialite album release.. all sorts of fun.
Looking back to look forward, here's a video from last month's (first ever) Broom Street Session, a new monthly acoustic music series:
This last weekend, Bookless was held at the old Madison Central Library. The building has been emptied for future deconstruction/construction of a new library, and in a feat of absolute brilliance, the library was transformed into a modern art museum for a night. Over 100 Madison artists had exhibitions and installations, and local musicians and performers transformed the place into the event of the year. It was amazing! Lovely Socialite played, and with the help of Conor Fury-King, put together this video, which features the artwork, crowds, and our live performance:
Full audio of our performance is available for stream/download here!
I send emails occasionally about upcoming performances. They're very cordial.
mine, all mine! records
Surrounded by Reality