Orthogonal Hustle Industries Unlimited, a new music series curated by Beacon multimedia artist James Keepnews, premieres with the ecstatic, amplified “doom jazz” improv of Premature Burial. Premature Burial features Peter Evans on piccolo trumpet, Matt Nelson on saxophone and effects and Dan Peck on tuba and effects.
The trio is distinctively accomplished, possessing one of the most inclusive resumes of any contemporary ensemble performing today, ranging from past work with Anthony Braxton to the innovative pop group tUnE-yArDs, from John Zorn to the Broadway musical Chicago, among countless others.
“(Premature Burial)’s combo of harsh noise gunk, metallic heft and aut-jazz skronk is carefully considered, at times even lyrical. It’s heavy and propulsive without a single drum in sight, brutal and imposing without having to spell it out for you. It’s also dynamic and varied in a way that much of this stuff is not.”
— Dustin Krcatovich, The Quietus
For their 2015 debut release The Conjuring, their record label wrote:
“New Atlantis Records is thrilled to present The Conjuring, the debut LP from Premature Burial. The unit takes it’s name from an Edgar Allen Poe story in which the narrator suffers from episodes of catalepsy and fears being buried alive. The reader is taken through various stages of paranoia, forced to imagine being trapped inside a coffin, paralyzed and unable to communicate their mortal predicament to the world of the living.
The title of the album is an homage to director James Wan’s 2013 film, The Conjuring, in which a family moves into a haunted house and is terrorized by an evil force that eventually takes possession of the mother. The private claustrophobia of coffin-death is traded for the collectivized fear of living in a cursed space, as feelings of helplessness and loathing are projected both outward and in.
It’s with this shared imagery that we arrive at the sound world of Premature Burial. Comprised of Peter Evans, Matt Nelson, and Dan Peck, all three members use varying degrees of amplification; Evans presses up against a close mic at times while Nelson and Peck have a full array of effects pedals at their disposal. Combining a vast dynamic spectrum and versatility of form, the resulting pieces range from the sound of softly scurrying rats to pitch-shifted loon-calls from Hell. The recording session took place in a church, the acoustics of which enhance the illusion of the sounds having multiple/unclear origins and supply an added dimension of unease to the standstill moments.
Houses and churches often serve as safe havens, beacons of hope. Yet once something sinister is allowed in, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get out. In contrast to H.P. Lovecraft’s haunted New England forests and Stephen King’s pagan burial grounds, the horror of Premature Burial’s The Conjuring is specifically that of a cursed interior space. Whereas the destruction emanating from the outside world exhibits a sort of timeless and ambivalent violence, the type of force occupying the inside of a space feels decidedly more insidious; more the deliberate actions of a sentient being, man-made. The church in which this album was recorded is in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a depressed Rust Belt town that in recent years has seen spikes in gang crime and unemployment. A broader definition of the word “haunted” could be applied to cities like these across the country, “ghost towns” where the progression of time and socio-economic development has seemed to creep backwards. The real darkness of Wilkes-Barre’s past still resonates within it’s interior spaces, and subtly exerts itself on this recording.”
Premature Burial will perform at Beacon Yoga, 464 Main St. in Beacon, NY on Thursday, April 14 at 8 PM. Admission will be $10 at the door. For more information, contact 212-353-6971.
Biographies of the artists:
Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improvisor/composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works to use the great music of the past as a springboard to forge new directions with his colleagues. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Quintet and the Zebulon trio. In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2003 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of several fully cooperative groups, such as Pulverize the Sound, Rocket Science, Premature Burial and is constantly experimenting and forming new configurations of players. Evans’ work as a band member extends to groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble and Wet Ink. He has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Artist Program and was a 2014 Artist-in-Residence at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY. He has presented and/or performed his music at many major international festivals and has toured his own groups extensively in Europe, Canada and the United States. In addition, he has played with such artists as Moppa Elliott’s terrorist bebop band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the hyperactive improvisation duo Sparks (with Tom Blancarte), a duo with trumpeter Nate Wooley, as well as a sustained interest in solo performance. Other collaborators include: John Zorn, Tyshawn Sorey, David Taylor, Steve Beresford, Okkyung Lee, Taylor Ho Bynum, Zach Hill, Jim Black, Evan Parker, Kevin Shea, Ned Rothenberg, Richard Barrett, Mark Gould, Weasel Walter, Matt Bauder, Luka Ivanovic and many others.
In 2011 Peter Evans founded his recording label More is More Records which has released several highly acclaimed albums. The focus so far has been on PE’s own music, but as the market for recorded music continues to flourish, releases by others maybe be expected in near future.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Matt Nelson has been playing the saxophone since his days at El Carmelo Elementary School. He left the sunshine of California for the flurries and wintry mix of Northeastern Ohio, where he attended Oberlin College and Conservatory to study with Gary Bartz and Paul Cohen, among others. After graduating he moved back to the Bay Area and became an active member of the experimental/jazz/noise scene in Oakland and San Francisco. It was in the Bay Area that he began playing with tUnE-yArDs. After recording on the acclaimed album WHOKILL, he spent a large portion of 2010-2012 on tour with the band.
In 2010 Matt began to split his time between the Bay Area and Brooklyn, where he now resides full-time. Since relocating to New York he’s begun playing regular solo shows, as well as in the band Battle Trance, who will be releasing their debut record in August 2014 on New Amsterdam Records and NNA Tapes. He can also be heard playing with Brooklyn-based bands Skeletons, Zongo Junction, and Timosaurus. Over the past couple years he’s had the pleasure of performing with amazing musicians like Ava Mendoza, Peter Evans, Weasel Walter, Ben Goldberg, Dan Peck, Tom Rainey, Michael Coleman, Sam Ospovat, Bill McHenry, Tim Dahl, Nick Podgurski, and many others. His debut solo record, Lower Bottoms, was released in 2014.
Dan Peck is a tubist currently living and working in New York City. Since his move there in 2005, he has been active as a soloist, improviser, and sideman in a wide variety of settings. Dan’s current interests are in experimental music and improvisation, and he has performed at many of New York City’s most respected venues for creative music including The Stone, Roulette, and Issue Project Room. Dan has collaborated with many New York artists, including Tony Malaby, Nate Wooley, Michael Attias, Ben Gerstein, Tom Rainey, Peter Evans, Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, and Matthew Welch. Recent projects include recordings with Tony Malaby’s Novela (Clean Feed), Harris Eisenstadt’s Canada Day Octet (482 Music), and Jeff Newell’s New Trad Band. Dan will also be on a forthcoming Anthony Braxton release, featuring music from the Falling River Series in small ensembles from Wesleyan University.
Dan currently leads a trio comprised of himself, Tom Blancarte (bass) and Brian Osborne (percussion). The group plays a mix of freely improvised music and his compositions, some of which are influenced by music of the Doom Metal genre. Their debut LP, “Acid Soil”, is out on the Heat Retention Records label. In March of 2011, the Trio completed a 9 day tour of the Midwest/East Coast.
Equally at home in more traditional jazz settings, Dan plays in the old-timey jazz band Grandpa Musselman and His Syncopators. The Syncopators appear frequently at high society events in and around New York City, and in 2007 took part in the Jazz at Aspen Festival, directed by bassist Christian McBride.
Dan also plays a lot of contemporary music. He has premiered solo tuba works at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Merkin Hall, and The Stone. In 2009, Dan was featured as part of Kagel Nacht, a celebration of the music of composer Mauricio Kagel, in which he performed two of Kagel’s solo works, Atem and Mirum. As an orchestral performer, Dan has played under great conductors such as James Levine and Herbert Blomstedt, and has worked personally with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann and Alvin Lucier. Dan is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, and has also worked with the American Composers Orchestra, Signal Ensemble, New York City Ballet, New World Symphony, and the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra. Dan recently recorded a DVD of Iannis Xenakis’ chamber music for Mode Records, with the International Contemporary Ensemble and percussionist Steven Schick conducting.
Currently, Dan plays on the Broadway musical Chicago, and is adjunct-faculty at New Jersey City University.