Nick Dunston: Atlantic Extraction/The Floor is Lava! @ Roulette, New York [30 January]

Nick Dunston: Atlantic Extraction/The Floor is Lava!

20:00 - 22:00

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509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11217
In his first Van Lier Fellow performance, composer/bassist Nick Dunston presents his quintet, Atlantic Extraction, completed by Louna Dekker-Vargas on flutes, Ledah Finck on violin, Tal Yahalom on guitar, and Stephen Boegehold on drums. Each musician in the group brings their own complex vocabulary, with influences ranging from Free Jazz, to No wave, to 20th century western classical, to Appalachian folk music. Improvisation is not simply just featured or woven into the compositions; it makes up the very fabric and structures of the forms themselves. Balancing urgency with patience, familiarity with discomfort, and taking full advantage of it’s unconventional instrumentation, it can be difficult to pin down Atlantic Extraction’s sound, and yet, even more difficult to resist it’s gravitational pull.

The evening also includes the world premiere of The Floor is Lava!, which gets its name from the game that many of us have played as children. A guiding principle for composer’s body of work is to completely indulge in the imagination, with the same level of obsession, devotion, and playfulness that we usually only seem so willing to partake in as adolescents. This idea is embodied in this work written for five double basses, also pointing towards Dunston’s high regard for asymmetry and extremity. Featuring the diverse talents of Kanoa Mendenhall, Almog Sharvit, Eva Lawitts, and Lisa Hoppe, The Floor is Lava! is fully realized by bassists who consistently access parts of the imagination that are all too often neglected.

Atlantic Extraction:
Louna Dekker-Vargas, flute alto Flute, piccolo
Ledah Finck, violin, viola
Tal Yahalom, guitar
Nick Dunston, bass, compositions
Stephen Boegehold, drums

The Floor is Lava!
Kanoa Mendenhall, bass
Almog Sharvit, bass
Eva Lawitts, bass
Lisa Hoppe, bass
Nick Dunston, bass, Compositions

Nick Dunston is a Brooklyn-based composer, bassist, and scholar. His performances have spanned a variety of venues and festivals across countries in North America and Europe. While not tethered to any one community, his work often finds itself in between the spaces of jazz, Black American music, 20th century western classical music, experimental music, No wave, and in many cases, cross-disciplinary collaborations. He’s performed professionally with artists such as Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Marc Ribot, Imani Uzuri, Anthony Coleman, Amirtha Kidambi, Dave Douglas, Matt Wilson, Jeff Lederer, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Darius Jones, and more. As a composer, he’s written for and collaborated for a wide range of artists, from solo instrumentalists, to his own bands, to chamber orchestras, performance artists. He’s been commissioned by entities such as the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, the Joffrey Ballet School, The Witches, violist Joanna Mattrey, the ESMAE Jazz and Chamber Orchestras, and more. His currently leads two bands: “Atlantic Extraction” and “Truffle Pig”, and is a co-leader of “Feral Children” (with Noah Becker and Lesley Mok) and “Aurelia Trio” (with Theo Walentiny and Connor Parks). As a writer, he’s contributed monthly to Hot House jazz magazine since 2016.

Louna Dekker-Vargas is a flutist, improviser, composer and curator. This summer she was invited as an artist to participate at Banff Centre for Arts’ Jazz and Ensemble Evolution music programs. Her chamber work “Ah” had its US premiere with the Mind on Fire collective in Baltimore in fall 2018. She is co- founder and flutist of The Witches, an experimental and contemporary duo of flute & violin. She was co-founder and flutist of Trio Jinx which played in chamber music festivals across the U.S. including EPPM and the Sitka Chamber Music Festival. She is also a regular flutist sub for the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

Ledah Finck is a violinist, violist, improviser, and composer residing in Baltimore, Maryland. A passionate performer, creator, and curator of contemporary classical and experimental music, she is an active and founding member of duo The Witches, the Bergamot String Quartet, and Earspace Ensemble.

Born in Israel and based in New York City since 2014, guitarist/composer Tal Yahalom has been exploring and fusing the worlds of hard bop, alternative rock, free improvisation and impressionistic classical music. Looking to expand the sonic and textural vocabulary of the guitar, he pursues unconventional, creative ways of instrumental playing-both acoustically and through a flexible array of effects. He is drawn to the elusive balance between composition and improvisation, clarity and mystery, the subtle and the intense.

Stephen Boegehold is a drummer and composer based in New York City. In addition to being a dedicated collaborator focusing on improvised music, he also leads his own quartet, Ganglion. Stephen has self-released three albums: “A Telling of Death” (2016), “Shared Realities” (2017), and “Way of Dreams” (2017).

Kanoa Mendenhall is a bassist, cellist, and radio programmer currently residing in New York City. Born in Japan, Kanoa grew up in Monterey, California and was raised by two musician parents, regularly listening to jazz, enka, and classical music. By age 13 she was performing in the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas. Kanoa currently is an undergrad at Columbia University, where she is studying Japanese traditional arts and music. She has performed with musicians such as Cecil McBee, Bruce Forman, Allison Miller, Ron Carter, Antonio Hart, and Roy McCurdy.

After years of exploring and absorbing art in a wide variety of media, bassist Almog Sharvit possesses his own personal and compelling style, both in performance and composition. Born and raised in Israel and based in Brooklyn, Almog grew up playing the cello, electric bass, and double bass. You can find his playing and writing currently in KADAWA, Sharvit’s Coralition, and I.M., as well as other collaborations around the globe.

Eva Lawitts is a bass player, producer, and writer from Brooklyn, NY. She is the co-founder of the bands Stimmerman, Three Body Problem, Sister Helen, and Fuck Squad, all of which combine elements of improvisation, post-rock, and psychedelia in varying capacities. She has been the touring and/or recording bass player for Princess Nokia, Vagabon, Rotem Sivan, Chris Oceanator, and many others, and currently spends most of her time producing and recording other people’s albums at Wonderpark Studio, the recording studio in Gowanus she founded in 2017 with longtime collaborator Chris Krasnow.

Lisa Hoppe is a double bassist, composer, improvisor, band-leader and educator. Her musical works contain a variety of genres and non-genres: Ranging between modern chamber music, free improvisation and avant-garde electro, she is always striving to put the melodic qualities of the double bass into contemporary context. She studied bass and composition in Bremen (GER) and Bern (CH) and currently divides her time between Brooklyn, New York City, and Hamburg, Germany.
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