Tri-Centric Presenting Series Spotlight: Steve Lehman

photo by Willie Davis

Tri-Centric Presenting Series Spotlight: Steve Lehman
(email interview with Kyoko Kitamura)

In the Tri-Centric Presenting Series, featured musicians are asked to bring in their own projects. One of the most respected and forward-thinking artists on the scene today, Steve Lehman has a long-standing association with Anthony Braxton and is a member of his 12+1tet. Here, he talks about the trio he will be presenting at Roulette on Sept.25th with Jonathan Finlayson and James Hurt, the software they will be incorporating, and what it means to be in the Tri-Centric Presenting Series.

 

KK: What will you be presenting on 9/25?

SL: The pieces that we’ll do will basically function as a series of structured improvisations. If all goes well, each piece will provide a unique perspective on what we do as as trio.

KK: Will all three of the performers be using electronics?

SL: Yes, we’ll all be using electronics. My own set up makes use of Spear, Ableton Live, and Max/MSP. James has been doing a lot of sound design with self-contained, no input set ups , and Jonathan will be focusing on Spear. They’ll be a lot of live processing, though almost none of it will draw from the acoustic sounds of the saxophone, trumpet and piano.

KK: About the musicians.

SL: I’ve been working closely with Jonathan Finlayson since 2005. He has such a personal voice as both a composer and an instrumentalist. And I’ve never seen him come across a musical situation that he wasn’t able to internalize and transform. Same for James Hurt — one of my favorite pianists in New York. James is just unbelievably gifted. And, to be honest, I can’t think of anyone else from his generation who’s done as much in as many different areas. He accompanied Abbey Lincoln, he was a Blue Note recording artist, he’s an exceptional percussionist, and he’s also developed a really personal language in the domain of electronic music and sound design.

KK: This performance is presented within the context of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation. Anthony encourages everyone to take risks. Does this affect your choice of presentation at all? I guess what I’m asking is, how is it different from you presenting your regular groups?

SL: Absolutely. This concert represents new territory for all three of us in many ways, and we’re really excited about it. I’m also hoping that it will be an opportunity to create some new connections amongst various musical communities. James and Jonathan are two of my favorite musicians and creative thinkers in NYC. And I’m excited to have another opportunity to share their music with the Tri-Centric community of engaged listeners and musicians.

KK: Upcoming events for you which you’d like to mention.

SL: After this concert, I come right back to Roulette on September 30th to perform one of Braxton’s Ghost Trance pieces with the Wet Ink contemporary music ensemble. It’s a double-bill with Evan Parker’s Electroacoustic Ensemble, featuring people like Peter Evans and George Lewis, so it should be a really special night. After that, I have a couple of short U.S. tour with my trio and with my octet…should be fun!

KK: Thank you. We look forward to the performance!

Performance details:
Wednesday Sept. 25th 8PM
Roulette 509 Atlantic Avenue at 3rd Av, Brooklyn, NY map
$20 general admission, $15 Roulette members/TCF members/seniors/students
Tickets and more info: http://roulette.org/events/tri-centric-presenting-2/

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