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Oren Ambarchi's Carpe Diem


Thu 1 Feb 2024

Oren Ambarchi's Carpe Diem


Oren Ambarchi guitar
Konrad Sprenger computer + motorised guitar
Sam Dunscombe bass clarinet
Jules Reidy 12-string guitar
Mike Majkowski acoustic bass
Will Guthrie drums

Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi presents his latest work Carpe Diem, a six-person ensemble dedicated to creating a dialogue between seemingly opposing musical styles: improvisation vs composition, order and rhythm vs the complexity and chaos of free jazz, and the rigour of contemporary classical vs the freedom and energy of pop idioms to name but a few.

The tensions and dialogue between these stylistic elements has been at the heart of Ambarchi’s practice for over 20 years of music making, and for the past 10 he has specifically been interested in long-form ensemble works that juxtapose rhythmic consistency with more abstract, textural sounds. The first of these, Knots, was released by Touch Records in 2012, eventually morphing into a live piece that was performed by the Krakow Sinfonietta (this performance was itself released as Live Knots on PAN Records). Since then, Ambarchi has continued to explore this terrain in works such as: Quixotism (Editions Mego, 2014, featuring Thomas Brinkmann, John Tilbury, and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra); Hubris (Editions Mego, 2016); Similar Angel (Editions Mego, 2019); Shebang (Drag City, 2022); and others. The most recent work is with Carpe Diem, which is the group line-up Ambarchi is currently most interested in exploring further, and while no recordings of this ensemble have yet been made they have already performed several times across Germany.

As Carpe Diem’s key mission is to develop music that resists easy categorisation, focussing on the hybridisation of several music styles and traditions, members come from a range of musical backgrounds. Oren Ambarchi himself is a celebrated guitarist who is equally comfortable performing the works of composers such as Alvin Lucier and Iancu Dumitrescu, as he is in the recording studio alongside Jim O’Rourke and Keiji Haino. Sam Dunscombe is a bass clarinetist and audio engineer who is internationally known as an expert in spectral music, having been awarded a doctorate from UC San Diego in 2018 with a dissertation focussing on the music of Horatiu Radulescu. Will Guthrie first gained international regard as a jazz musician, but has also worked extensively in dialogue with Indonesian gamelan music, contemporary classical percussion ensembles, and audio electronics. Jörg Hiller (operating under the name Konrad Sprenger) works at the intersection of minimalism and audio electronics, with his most recent focus being on the use of a computer-controlled multi-channel electric guitar, and has collaborated with composers such as Arnold Dreyblatt and Ellen Fullman. Mike Majkowski is a bass player who has collaborated with many of the most famous names in free jazz such as Peter Brötzmann, Marshall Allen, Satoko Fuji, Axel Dörner to name a few, as well as having worked extensively in the worlds of contemporary classical and Wandelweiser music. Jules Reidy is a guitarist whose distinctive work with the 12-string guitar covers a wide range of genres, from experimental electronica to jazz and folk music traditions, with record releases on labels including Editions Mego and Black Truffle.

Date:Thu 1 Feb 2024
Start time:8.30pm (Doors: 8pm)
Venue:Hall One
+ 10% booking fee.

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