PSIRENS | ALIVE Album Release Concert

Please note: form & concept will ask for a $5-$25 donation at the door in support of the featured performers and the gallery.

PSIRENS performs with Grisha Grivchenia & Mikey Chavez, with special guests Jessie Deluxe & Long Distance Transmission.

“In my mind, it’s become ‘the impossible album,’” says Paris Mancini, known professionally as PSIRENS, of her new project. As its title indicates, ALIVE (Matron Records) was supposed to be a live album. “I really focused on writing these simple, raw and true songs, just the bare bones,” the Santa Fe musician explains. “So it made sense to try to record them with a full band.” When she attempted to schedule a Santa Fe recording session with a number of far-flung musicians, things got a little too complicated. In lieu of bringing a band together, Mancini traveled across the nation to record with each of her accompanists. The result is a 12-track album of stripped-down, jazz-inflected songs that will debut at form & concept on Friday, May 11 from 6 to 9 pm. The ALIVE Album Release Concert is presented by Matron Records, and will feature the first-ever live performance of the new album.

Learn more about PSIRENS.

 Psirens Album Release Show- Matron Records- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Album Credits

Matron Records

All songs written by Paris Mancini/PSIRENS

Vocals, Looper, Bass guitar- Paris Mancini (Everywhere)

Piano- Grisha Krivchenia (San Juan Island, WA)

Harp- Matthew Tutsky (Boise, ID)

Drums- Mikey Chavez and Will Dyer (Santa Fe, NM)

Cello- Jake Saunders (Boise, ID)

Recorded by Dave Badstubner, Will Dyer, Broke MC and Julian Fox

Engineered/mixed and mastered by Will Dyer (Hills Audio), spring 2018.

THIS FRIDAY: PSIRENS Album Release Concert

Paris Mancini- Psirens- Alive Album Release Concert- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“In my mind, it’s become ‘the impossible album,’” says Paris Mancini, known professionally as PSIRENS, of her new project. As its title indicates, ALIVE (Matron Records) was supposed to be a live album. “I really focused on writing these simple, raw and true songs, just the bare bones,” the Santa Fe musician explains. “So it made sense to try to record them with a full band.”

When she attempted to schedule a Santa Fe recording session with a number of far-flung musicians, things got a little too complicated. In lieu of bringing a band together, Mancini traveled across the nation to record with each of her accompanists. The result is a 12-track album of stripped-down, jazz-inflected songs that will debut at form & concept on Friday, May 11 from 6 to 9 pm. The ALIVE Album Release Concert is presented by Matron Records, and will feature the first-ever live performance of the new album.

As PSIRENS, Mancini has built a reputation for her inventive use of layering and loops. She bends vocals and instrumentals into interlinking Möbius strips, building atmospheric compositions that draw the listener into vast electroacoustic landscapes. “It’s easy to pull someone in with a lot of layers, something they can get lost in because it’s a forest of notes,” Mancini says.

For ALIVE, she made a daring shift, pairing live vocals with acoustic instrumentation and subtler looping. “I tried to give what I could for the song’s benefit—and nothing else,” she says. “It’s kind of terrifying, because it really pushes my lyrics to the forefront. For the most part, you hear every word.”

Mancini wrote all of the songs on ALIVE, and contributed vocals, looping and bass guitar. Last summer she traveled to the San Juan Islands in Washington State to record with pianist Grisha Krivchenia on his off-the-grid property. “I would wake up with the sun, hop in the pond to wake up, and we’d record first thing in the morning,” Mancini recalls. “It gave the album this freshness, whereas the rest of the PSIRENS albums are darker and murkier.”

Later, she swung through Boise, Idaho for sessions with harpist Matthew Tutsky and cellist Jake Saunders. In her sometime home of New York City, she recorded additional vocals. Back in Santa Fe, she worked with sound engineer Will Dyer to weave it all together. “It sounds like we’re all in the same room, which is so hard to do,” Mancini says. “It has this jazz-like quality to it that’s really special.”

For the ALIVE Album Release Concert, Mancini will perform among sculptural set pieces of her own creation. The task of uniting all of her collaborators still eludes Mancini, but Krivchenia will accompany her on piano live from the San Juan Islands. CDs of ALIVE will be available for the first time, along with other PSIRENS merchandise. “What’s funny is that it isn’t really a live album, but I had to fight so hard for its existence,” says Mancini. “So it is remarkable that it is alive.”

Hear Paris Mancini and Eliza Lutz discuss the making of ALIVE on the inaugural Matron Records “MatronPod” podcast, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook. form & concept will ask for a $5 to $25 donation at the door, in support of the artists and the gallery.

Learn more on the event page.

Performance: Young Masters | NMSA

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New Mexico School for the Arts will soon break ground on renovations for their new Railyard location, and they’re wasting no time injecting fresh creative energy into the arts district. It starts with a special performance series at form & concept, showcasing outstanding student musicians, creative writers and poets of NMSA. Attend the first performance on Thursday, March 1 at 5 pm, and mark your calendar for Young Masters performances the first Thursday of each month. Stay tuned for the line-up of the first performance, hosted by NMSA faculty members Kurt Isaacson and Hakim Bellamy.

Performance: Tara Khozein & Rhonda Taylor

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The gallery will ask for a sliding scale donation of $5-$25 in support of the artists.

When it comes to musical genres, Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor hold nothing sacred. “When you start getting into nitty gritty definitions, it just gets so messy,” says Khozein. “I’m a big fan of the metal solution to this problem, which is just thousands of subgenres. Every band has their own genre.” That could certainly be true of Khozein and Taylor’s latest collaboration. Their two-part improvisational performance, taking place in Las Cruces and Santa Fe, alchemically melds instrumentals, vocals and gestures. Until a new genre is born, it can only be described as daringly contemporary. THE TARA AND RHONDA SHOW! Fully Clothed and Highly Introverted begins with a December 8 performance at Doña Ana Arts Council in Las Cruces, and continues at form & concept in Santa Fe on December 16 at 7 pm.

Gamelan Encantada: In Honor of Lou

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Admission is $15 ($25 for preferred seating for the film screening). Tickets are available at the door (credit card only).

West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever.

This autumn, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NM. In Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. The event is Saturday, December 2 from 4 to 6 pm at form & concept, with a $15 to $25 suggested donation. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.

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Gamelan Encantada: In Honor of Lou

Lou Harrison Portrait- Composer- Gamelan Encantada- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

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West Coast composer Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday party has been a yearlong, global affair. The Harrison House in Joshua Tree, California live streamed a 24-hour celebration, Bill Alves and Brett Campbell published a sweeping new biography, and renowned musicians have played tribute concerts from New York City to San Francisco. Harrison passed away in 2003 at age 85, but his influence as a composer, instrument builder, environmentalist, pacifist and gay rights activist is as resonant as ever.

This Saturday, the party rolls into Santa Fe at an event presented by Albuquerque percussion ensemble Gamelan Encantada and LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Equality NM. In Honor of Lou features a concert of Harrison’s works for gamelan instruments, along with a screening of the biographical film Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create. The event is Saturday, December 2 from 4 to 6 pm at form & concept, with a $15 to $25 suggested donation. All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality NM.

“Lou was at the forefront of so many progressive causes, socially, culturally and politically,” says Jenny DeBouzek, director of Gamelan Encantada. “By partnering with Equality NM, we’re weaving together two of his lifelong passions at this gathering: music and LGBTQ activism.” Founded in 1991, Gamelan Encantada is a contemporary percussion ensemble with roots in the gong/metallophone orchestras of Southeast Asia, specifically those of Central Java in Indonesia. DeBouzek, who has taught gamelan technique, theory and composition at Santa Fe University of Art and Design for the past decade, knew Harrison in the 1980’s when she was a member of several new music groups in Berkeley. She also performed in and worked on the film that will be screened at the event.

Gamelan Encantada- Gamelan Percussion Ensemble- Albuquerque New Mexico- Form and Concept Gallery

Harrison was a contemporary and colleague of such notables as John Cage, Henry Cowell, Harry Partch, Alan Hovaness and Virgil Thomson. He was instrumental in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation the music of all cultures, especially those of the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia. He was also an outspoken advocate for gay rights, an ardent pacifist and environmentalist, and a beloved teacher and friend to many young musicians and composers.

Together with his life partner Bill Colvig, Harrison was also responsible for building a number of innovative instruments, as well as reviving an interest in ancient and unusual tuning systems. While teaching at various colleges in Northern California, he studied traditional gamelan in Berkeley with Javanese master K.R.T. Wasitodipuro and also worked with gamelan composer and teacher Jody Diamond, and it was this influence that inspired him to create some of the works that will be performed at In Honor of Lou.

“Nearly 15 years after Harrison’s death, he’s still inspiring the world to push the envelope,” says Frank Rose, form & concept Gallery Director. “We felt an instant connection with his transdisciplinary approach to everything he accomplished. The world may have changed since his death, but there’s enduring wisdom to the way he approached humanity’s most profound questions and challenges.”

Gamelan Encantada- Gamelan Percussion Ensemble- Albuquerque New Mexico- Form and Concept Gallery

Equality NM’s ethos is closely aligned with Harrison’s. The nonprofit organization envisions a world in which oppression is obsolete and all aspects of identity are honored. EQNM works to create a reality of equity, full access, and sustainable wellness for members of the LGBTQ community in New Mexico. Initiatives include outreach and education, family law resource center, policy advocacy at both state and local levels, and partnering with the business community and with other nonprofits to ensure fairness and equality for all New Mexicans.

Admission is $15 ($25 for preferred seating for the film screening). Tickets are also available at the door (credit card only).

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Learn more about this event.

TONIGHT: InterPlanetary Party!

InterPlanetary Project- Santa Fe Institute- David Bowie Costume Party- Form and Concept Gallery

Creative Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Institute join forces tonight to host the InterPlanetary Ziggy Stardust Costume Party at form & concept. Stop by the gallery from 5-7 pm for cosmic cocktails by Santa Fe Spirits, space-themed snacks, screenings of David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth and much more. We’re challenging Santa Fe to help us unofficially set the Guinness World Record for biggest David Bowie costume party, so come dressed as any version of Bowie for a chance to win fun raffle prizes.

The celebration is part of a larger event series organized by SFI’s InterPlanetary Project and featuring a constellation of local arts organizations. Patricia Lenihan of Santa Fe New Mexican covers the Oct. 13-17 happenings:

Although Earthlings can’t visit Mars quite yet, the Santa Fe Institute’s October InterPlanetary series may convince many to update their passports to infinity and beyond. Events are directed at those who would engage today’s problems by imagining tomorrow’s challenges, according to SFI. 

The series, which runs from Friday, Oct. 13, to Tuesday, Oct. 17, is offered in anticipation of a June 2018 InterPlanetary Festival in the Railyard that will showcase innovation and technology and, it is hoped, attract space enthusiasts from around the world. Participants at that time will experience concerts, discussions around InterPlanetary topics, art installations, gaming, sci-fi film showcases, cosplay, food, drink, and more.

But for now, SFI collaborates with community partners to stage events that include a film festival, an invitation to the refurbished SITE Santa Fe’s Future Shock exhibit, and presentations at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

Read the full article here, and make sure to RSVP for our InterPlanetary party!

Image: Pasatiempo.

ppoacher ppoacher Album Release Concert

Matron Records presents

ppoacher ppoacher & the Concrete Dragonfly

$5 suggested donation.

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Caitlin Brothers’ debut solo album, ppoacher ppoacher & the Concrete Dragonfly, takes the form of a sonic fairytale bathed in light and shadow. When Brothers set out to record the album with her label, Matron Records, she knew that a run-of-the-mill recording studio wouldn’t cut it. Instead, she sought out the Dwan Light Sanctuary in Las Vegas, New Mexico to create a spellbinding live recording. The venue’s floor-to-ceiling prisms perfectly matched the soundscape Brothers conjures across 7 intimate tracks. The album’s ethereal acoustics will find their echo in form & concept’s atrium at a special album release concert for ppoacher ppoacher & the Concrete Dragonfly on Friday, July 14, 6-9 pm. The show features Brothers, who performs under the moniker ppoacher ppoacher, along with Seal Eggs and Leticia Gonzales.

Brothers is a SFUAD graduate and all-around accomplished musician with such eclectic projects under her belt as Storming the Beaches with Logos In Hand, Loretta’s Got A Stargun and Bedlambs. As both a multi-instrumentalist and accomplished vocalist, Brothers’ highly distinct songwriting style is marked by congenial contrasts: passionate & playful, calculated & relaxed, approachable & quirky. Through this push-and-pull of dynamic delights, ppoacher ppoacher highlights Brother’s multifarious talents through well-crafted and intimate songs on harp and banjo that make the listener cry and laugh in equal measure. ppoacher ppoacher & the Concrete Dragonfly showcases her heartfelt and eclectic style.

ppoacher ppoacher & the Concrete Dragonfly was recorded live by Dave Badstubner, James Lutz, Nicholas Quintero and Taressa Martinez, mixed by Dave Badstubner and mastered by Will Dyar of Hills Audio in Santa Fe, NM. Album art, illustration and design by Eliza Lutz. The album release show at form & concept features performances from ppoacher ppoacher, Seal Eggs (vocal and harp loops creating slowly unfolding ambient textures, from Colorado Springs, CO) and Leticia Gonzales (local musician and poet performing old New Mexican and Balkan folk songs and original poetry). form & concept will ask for a $5 donation at the door in support of Matron Records and the featured performers. 

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Learn more about Matron Records.