Greetings, fans of the Avant!
This Sunday, we are excited to be hosting Jason McGill at the Racer Sessions. Jason is a frequent attendee and dear friend of ours. We normally see him on the stage with an alto saxophone, but he has promised us a guitar set! We're very excited to see what he offers up during his set.
This is also our first of two shows at the Woodland Theatre in Phinney! We'll be there this weekend (12/3), and next weekend for the Table & Chairs Holiday Party! If you've never been there before, the address is 608 NW 65th St, Seattle, WA 98117 - the same building as Jigsaw Records.
Jason has written a wonderful bio and blog for us below - if you'd like to learn more about what to expect at the session this week, read on! We'll see you at the Woodland Theatre this Sunday at 8pm.
"The 2017 incarnation of Jason M. McGill (b.1972, RI, USA) composes, improvises, and performs in and around Seattle, WA. He first began to explore disgruntled solo "noise guitar" in his various New England bedrooms in the early 1980s, and went on to play guitar and bass in hardcore/punk/artcore bands in the early 90's SF Bay Area. Reaching for his younger brother's alto saxophone in the year 1992, Jason began a long process of finding individualized voices and visions for this particular instrument, primarily in freely improvised contexts. Moving back to Providence, RI in the late 90's, he developed the improvised conducting system for large ensemble known as Stream Orchestra, studied Javanese gamelan with modern master I.M. Harjito for five years, and inaugurated his longest running group, Barnacled. During this time he also recorded and toured internationally with Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores, collaborated with sage musicians across the generations (from Brian Chippendale to Damo Suzuki) and scored music for original dance, film, multimedia performance art, and live comedy performances.
"After Barnacled released several albums, including "Charles" on the legendary ESP-Disk' label, life took extremely difficult turns, and personal circumstances pulled Jason away from creative practice and performance altogether for several years. While he can now often be found improvising on alto saxophone in expansive collaborations with other Seattle musicians, his primary musical focus these days harkens back to his very beginnings: solo guitar pieces, worked out in his bedroom at night. The point of these works is very direct - to calm the mind and provide a sense of consistency in the face of serious PTSD. These purposefully internal, oversimple, slow-moving pieces are intended to directly induce a type of conscious, restful parasympathetic nervous system response. While this music does successfully achieve this goal for the performer, the listener's experience is anyone's guess. Nevertheless, the music demands itself. In the words of Albert Ayler, music is the healing force of the universe; in those of Sun Ra, cosmic tones for mental therapy.
The collective intention for the improvised session to follow should center on questions of inclusivity and allowing truth to show itself in the moment."