The Whale

Saturday, July 23rd 4:00pm at Crashbox

The Whale began in the late 90’s in Austin, TX, as a saxophone/drums duo rooted in experimental jazz with a punk rock aesthetic. Performances soon evolved into a rotating cast of guest musicians ranging from upright bass players to guitarists and saxophonists.

The original idea behind the music was to remove set lists or prepared tunes and play completely improvised music. Since, their music has taken on a more composed approach, as heard on the 2018 debut Sweetheart and upcoming 2022 release Sweetheart 2. Past members and guests of The Whale include Craig Johnson, Adam Jones (Bill Callahan), Andrew Bergmann, Justin Carney, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Farad Ibrahimovic, Dylan Ilseng, and Daniel Durham.

The Whale are avant-garde practitioners who bring a love of all things modern jazz to their live sets of both poignant, composed pieces and roaring improvisations. The duo performed at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2018 and 2019 and have been mainstays at the Jazz for the Masses dayparty at the annual SXSW Music Festival since 2011. A resident of San Antonio, TX for over 25 years and originally from McAllen TX, saxophonist and Chef Eddie Vasquez seasons his original and highly energetic playing with the sound of many brilliant artists who came before him, like Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley, and John Zorn. Vasquez also shares a love for punk rock and heavy metal.

Drummer Kory Cook moved to San Antonio, TX in 2010 from Austin, TX via Portland, OR. For over a decade, Cook held down the drum throne in S.A.’s own Sons of Hercules, and he brings that rock-n-roll attitude to the heartfelt, sonic wash of The Whale. Cook has performed with artists ranging from Eugene Chadbourne, Todd Snider, Roky Erickson, and Okkervil River to New Orleans’ own Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Cook is currently Music Director and Chief Announcer at Jazz 91.7 FM KRTU in San Antonio, TX.

Kory met Eddie at a local jam where the saxophonist blew a blistering solo that came to a screeching halt when the bandleader pushed Vasquez out the door for blowing out too many notes. That’s when Cook knew he wanted to make music with Vasquez.

Mishi Bloom

Saturday, July 23rd 2:00pm at Crashbox

M Sanchez
Artist Name: Mishi Bloom
Instruments/Sounds: Synth, Vocals, and Field Recordings
Current Location: Austin, Texas
Project Name: Sojourner in Three Parts

Demon Bear

Sunday, July 24th 5:00pm at Crashbox

Demon Bear is an instrumental Austin-based project from Phillip McJunkins, a veteran pedal steel player and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with artists including Milton Mapes, Mice & Rifles, and Moving Panoramas. Demon Bear’s music exists in the haunted spaces between atmospheric ghost country and melodic shoegaze metal, driven by pedal steel guitar. The first Demon Bear album “Primitive” was released in 2016; the follow-up “Artifacts” arrived in early 2022.

Wang Ziyu with James Tabata

Friday, July 22nd 8:30pm at Crashbox

WANG Ziyu is a composer currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona. She was born in Tianjin, China. She is interested in transcultural influences in music, musical metaphors, and portrait doodling, and her works have been performed at the Nief-Norf Summer Festival (Knoxville, TN), and the SPLICE Festival (Kalamazoo, MI), as well as in Italy and China. Her works feature acoustic instruments and ensembles, as well as electronics and multimedia. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Music Composition at Arizona State University, and she teaches music theory and composition. Before studying composition, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and was a Formula Student racer.

In this presentation she will be joined by James Tabata performing her piece ‘A Monkey Reaching for the Moon’ (2021)

Crystal Voyager

Saturday, July 23rd 5:00pm at Crashbox

Crystal Voyager is an Austin electronic artist who’s music can be somewhat described as “psychedelic alien wave.” She started using the name Crystal Voyager since 2013 and as her vibe continues to transform , some of her bigger vocal influences are The Knife, Cocteau twins, Prince Rama, and Panda Bear, and her bigger beats/synths influences are Daniel Avery, Telepath, New Order, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and 808 State. In 2019 Crystal Voyager began a once a month synth show called “Eclectic Electro” and Vision System would do the light show for each event. They began a few video projects together which you can find on the YouTube and Vimeo links below. They continue to perform together and look forward to their next video project.    

Paul’s links : https://vimeo.com/visionsystem/ | @vision_system
Ellie’s links : YouTube| Instagram

The Lombo Combo

Friday, July 22nd 7:40pm at Crashbox

The Lombo Combo is a percussion ensemble under the direction of Nick Lombard. Using pre-recorded loops controlled by a percussion sample pad, the project features 5 additional percussionists including Danny Mee, Adam Sharp, Cassie Baker, Alan Lauer, and Mike Sharp. Taking heavy influence from exotica music, static and repetitive melodies drive the pieces in sharp contrast to a freewheeling array of auxiliary percussion that can transform the context of the tunes measure to measure. Bells! Whistles! Pops! Sizzles! A single note can be chopped to bits with a well-placed tom pattern. A cowbell is just a cowbell until it is fed through a synthesizer. The most syncopated arpeggio can melt into a droney sheet under the malleted wash of a deep dark ride cymbal. Natural reverb is the wind at our backs. Maple, mahogany, brass, bronze and steel are the sails dragging us ever forward to the dusky echoey horizon.

Atlas Maior and special guests

Sunday, July 24th 8:00pm at Crashbox

Atlas Maior creates original music that combines elements of Progressive Jazz, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Indian music traditions. For NMASS 2022, their live performance will be based on concepts and musical approaches they employed while making new album Hadal (slated for release, fall 2022) and 2014’s Palindrome, exploring different methods of improvisation and cosmologies of sound. Many of these exercises utilized themes of symmetries in sound through different instrumental arrangements. This performance features special guest Indrajit Banerjee (sitar) along with Joshua Thomson (alto saxophone, flutes), Josh Peters (oud), Gary Calhoun James (bass), and Aaron Parks (drums).

Indrajit Banerjee:

Sitarist Indrajit Banerjee is one of the leading exponents of the Maihar Gharana. He was born in a musical family, unique due to the large number of accomplished artists in Hindustani Classical Music. Some of these family members include his guru, Pandit Kartick Kumar (Sitar), Pandit Barun Kumar Pal (Hamsa Veena), Niladri Kumar (Sitar), Partho Das (Sitar), Aparna Roy (Surbahar). He got inspiration from his sitarist mother, Manju Banerjee, who was a disciple of late Nikhil Banerjee, and afterwards, Santosh Banerjee. Indrajit’s training began with his maternal grandfather, Bankim Kumar Pal, who was the disciple of Inayat Khan, and Birendra Kishore Roy Chowdhuri (Kochi Babu). He then took training under Pandit Manilal Nag of Bishnupur Gharana. Later on, he took intensive training from his uncle, Pandit Kartick Kumar, who is a senior disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar. All of this training developed a strong foundation for Indrajit’s music, and creative individuality. Indrajit has a special touch on Sitar combined with technical virtuosity and sensitivity.

Indrajit takes a special interest in teaching, he has some outstanding students and a following across the world in this regard. Presently he teaches in Rhythm and Raag (an Institute for Indian Performing Arts) in Chicago (www.rhythmandraag.org) for the spring and fall semesters and summer in Samhati (France) and in Kolkata India. His highly acclaimed instructional DVD’s are distributed worldwide.

Roberto Paolo Riggio:

Atash’s musical director Roberto Paolo Riggio crosses many boundaries as a violinist and composer, immersing himself in musical languages of the world while developing his own unique voice.  Mentors and influences include Simon Shaheen, Pandit Ram Narayan, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Francois Rabbath, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and Marcel Khalife.  He has toured with international stars such as Youssou N’Dour, Fathy Salama, Fairuz, Kazem Al-Saher and the Gypsy All-Stars (family of Gipsy Kings) and has collaborated with cutting edge composers such as Aashish Khan, Eyvind Kang, Kai Eckhardt, Fareed Haque, Bassam Saba and Fared Shafinury.  He is a founding member of the National Arab Orchestra under Michael Ibrahim, has guest-directed “Bereket” (the University of Texas Middle Eastern Ensemble), is first violinist and string arranger for Oliver Rajamani’s Mondsee Orchestra and has founded various groups, including the East Austin Youth Orchestra and the Austin Global Orchestra.  Roberto also works as a producer, and composes symphonic and chamber works that cut across genres and styles.–

Atlas Maior:

Atlas Maior creates original music that combines elements of Progressive Jazz, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Indian music traditions.  Band members Joshua Thomson (alto saxophone, flutes) & Josh Peters (oud, lavta) create a unique sound that balances intimate moments of sincerity with powerful melodies and incendiary rhythmic passages, bolstered by a top-notch rhythm section, Atlas Maior writes original melodies exploring maqamat (Middle Eastern modal system) and harmonic progressions found in American jazz. The group composes with a wide variety of rhythms and incorporates traditional instruments including the Indian tablas, Middle Eastern dumbek, & Peruvian cajón.  

As an ensemble, Atlas Maior has released 5 studio albums, most recently RIPTIDE, voted a 2019 Top 100 Austin release by The Austin Chronicle. The group has garnered positive reviews and media placement from Public Radio International (PRI The World), New York Daily Music, Jazz Journal U.K., Medium,  Afropop Worldwide, KUTX Austin’s NPR Affiliate, All About Jazz, Tokyo Jazz Site, Song Lines, UTNE Reader, Glide Magazine, Earmilk, Midwest Review, and more. Atlas Maior has toured internationally in France, Spain, and Turkey, and has received hometown recognition as 2019 Creative Ambassadors to the City of Austin. Other accolades include placement in the Marrakech Biennale 5 in 2014 (Marrakech, Morocco), and recipient of the City of Austin’s Proclamation: March 27th, 2014 as “Atlas Maior Day” by Austin’ City Council.  

The group has opened for internationally acclaimed artists Kaki King, Vieux Farka Touré, Tal National, and have performed at music festivals including SXSW, Austin Days (Angers, FR), Pueblos Blancos (Andalusia), Wobeonfest, Art Outside, and the City of Austin’s F1 Fan Fest. Atlas Maior has collaborated with a host of talented musicians in Angers, Austin, Barcelona, Istanbul, and from around the world, including Lou Lou Ghelichkhani of Thievery Corporation, Raquy Danziger, Ali Pervez Mehdi, Fared Shafinury, Indrajit Banerjee, Alán Chehab Quartet, The University of Texas at Austin Middle East Ensemble Bereket, The Austin Global Orchestra and many more.

The Plane of Immanence (app) workshop with Thomas Echols

Saturday, July 23rd 12:00pm -2:00pm at Crashbox

This app is best thought of as a kind of simulation of remembering, forgetting, reconstructing, and reimagining the sonic details of lived experience.

To prepare for your experience at our workshop, please download the app at this link and experiment with it at home so that you will be ready to demonstrate and experiment with the group in the workshop session.

Thomas Echols‘ work is an amalgam of classical, modernist, and pop music forays. Accepted at age 16 into the College of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he went on to earn a Master’s of Music from the University of Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California, and was a prizewinner in the Portland International Guitar Competition and the Donald Miller Concerto Competition.