All posts tagged experimental music

Podcast #11: Apache Violinist Laura Ortman

Laura Ortman is one of those rare artists who comprehends the limitations of her artistic output. That is not to say she is mediocre, quite the opposite. In  fact, she is an extraordinarily talented and prolific musician who has scored films, acted in some of them and gigged with notable Brooklyn bands The Dust Dive, Stars Like Fleas, and Family Dynamic. In 2008 she put together an all-indigenous orchestra (The Coast Orchestra) that played a live score to Edward Curtis’ silent film, In the Land of The Head Hunters. She collaborated with film maker Martha Colburn composing live music set to Colburn’s films. She has played in the most prestigious venues in New York City – the Museum of Modern Art, PS 1, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian – and, has even played the Pompidou in Paris. For all her many talents and collaborations she understands her dark and moody compositions probably won’t win her mainstream fans nor a major label recording contract. And this is the limitation to her artistic output? But little matter, she is most interested in broadening her own horizons. She just released Someday We’ll Be Together a collection of sparsely arranged tunes that were never released during her days with The Dust Dive.

I called her up in her Brooklyn flat to ask her about the latest release, her Southwestern mini-tour, why she continues to make music when there seems to be no financial gain and her forthcoming music video featuring the Navajo/Puerto Rican ballet dancer, Jock Soto.


Visit Laura Ortman on the Interwebs:

Myspace | Bandcamp

Podcast #8: Nick Reinhart, Tera Melos

I hate math. I’ve never been good at it and this has always caused me anxiety. So it makes sense that any band described as “Math Rock” or “Math Metal” is not going to grab my attention. Much like algebra, of which I fucked off and failed twice in high school and then once in college, I pretend this genre of rock doesn’t exist – until now.

According to Wikipedia Math Rock is a ‘rhythmically complex, guitar-based style of experimental rock that emerged in the late 1980s. It is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures (including irregular stopping and starting), angular melodies, and dissonant chords.”

Well, that sounds like almost every band in my iTunes, which now includes Tera Melos, a three piece experimental band whose brand of music is “characterized by quickly alternating rhythmic patterns, start-stop dynamics, improvisation, two-handed tapping on the guitar, extended open-ended bridges, and the use of effect pedals and samplers.” After years of DIY touring, self-releasing a few EPs, and changes in band structure (they used to be a four piece) they’ve landed on Sargent House Records where they recorded their first full length album, Patagonian Rats, to be released on September 7, 2010.

Since I am skeptical of anything written on Wikipedia, and the fact the Tera Melos Wikipedia page has recently undergone some changes, I thought it prudent to ask someone who might know what exactly is this Math Rock and does TM fit the genre. So I called Nick Reinhart, founding member/singer/guitarist, and asked him to explain. He did.

Visit Tera Melos on the Interwebs:

Official | Sargent House | Misadventures Blog

Curious about Math rock? Read the Wikipedia article: Math Rock