Shaking Ray Levi Society Presents Changing Lives Since 1979 On July 7

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Borbetomagus
Borbetomagus

The Shaking Ray Levi Society will present Changing Lives Since 1979:  Jack Wright, Evan Lipson and "Borbetomagus: A Pollock of Sound" documentary film. The event is Friday, July 7, 8 p.m. at Wayne-O-Rama, 1800 Rossville Ave. , #108.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 at the door and include the music concert and film screening.

Review for the evening: 

"Changing Lives Since 1979": This is the slogan of the pioneering dual-sax/guitar trio Borbetomagus, which has challenged audiences for nearly four decades and garnered fans (including the likes of Sonic Youth, who employed them on its album Murray Street) with its no-holds-barred approach. The group has created some of the most raw and urgent music ever made, sometimes using the trademark "bells together" technique where the two saxophonists place their sax bells together and blow air into each others' lungs through their instruments. 

Nineteen seventy-nine is also the year that Jack Wright returned to the instrument of his youth - the saxophone - after an academic career at Temple University and activist politics. Since then, he has exclusively performed free improvisation, which is improvising without any genre in mind, and earned his reputation as the "Johnny Appleseed of Improvised Music" (bestowed upon him by Davey Williams, one of the three founding fathers of American Free Improv Guitar) with his unbounded creativity to make wild and expressive sounds. 

This one-of-a-kind evening is a testament to visceral, uncompromising music-making that is pushed to its extremes, with a concert featuring Jack Wright with the iconoclastic bassist Evan Lipson, along with a special screening of the eye-and-ear-opening documentary Borbetomagus: A Pollock of Sound from director Jef Mertens. 

Alto and soprano saxophonist Jack Wright is a sax titan with a career that spans five decades in the world of free improvisation. He has a command of the sax that is at the top of his field with a passionate, kinetic playing style and a huge sound vocabulary.

In the fifties Jack Wright was a soprano choir boy and marching band saxophonist, in the early sixties a washtub bassist and college kid, in the late sixties and seventies a university lecturer in history, a revolutionist and community organizer. He is accused of impersonating pigs, ducks and human blowhards, but lately has been remembering the proper use of the saxophone - to support the tottering universe. His roots are in Philly, where he owns a house for wayward improvisers. Jack plays with everyone but performs and tours only with the finest, which usually means the most obscure, from Europe and the US. He and his partners are among the few true believers in absolutely free, unrestrained, unstructured, unselfconscious improvisation, played at soberingly high levels of musicianship.  For more on Jack Wright, visit his website.

Evan Lipson has operated as a musician since adolescence—intuitively seeking the liminal zones in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. He is currently active with Roughhousing and may or may not have some degree of involvement or affiliation with an organization known as Meinschaft. Recently, he has scored several films as well as written music for a new collaboration with Duplex Planet creator David Greenberger and Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levis. Past units include Normal Love, Satanized, Wrest, Dynamite Club, Femme Tops, Psychotic Quartet, and the Weasel Walter Trio. Lipson's music has been released on a number of imprints including SKiN GRAFT, UgEXPLODE, High Two, Public Eyesore, Badmaster, Caminante, New Atlantis, and Damage Rituals.  For more on Evan Lipson, visit his website

Borbetomagus: A Pollock of Sound is the first feature-length documentary about the legendary improv / noise group Borbetomagus. Filmmaker Jef Mertens brings a raw, urgent, and unpolished vision focusing on a band that has spent almost four decades defining and redefining not just their music, but the boundaries of music itself. Band members Don Dietrich, Donald Miller, and Jim Sauter tell their story with the help of artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers that include noted critic Byron Coley, drummer Chris Corsano, guitarist Thurston Moore, groundbreaking Japanese noise unit Hijokaidan, and Switzerland's masters of "cracked electronics," Voice Crack. Includes never-before-seen archival footage, amazing photographic finds, and previously unreleased recordings.  For more on the documentary visit the website.

Jack Wright, left, and Evan Lipson
Jack Wright, left, and Evan Lipson

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