March 15, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011: John Butcher (London; saxophones) and Gino Robair (San Francisco; percussion) at WorkSound (sliding scale – $5-15)

Plus members of Golden Retriever, Why I Must Be Careful, Oregon Painting Society, Dragging an Ox Through Water and more.

The Creative Music Guild is proud to present an evening of new music by world-class improvising musicians John Butcher (London; saxophones) and Gino Robair (San Francisco; percussion).

The Butcher/Robair duo is an established partnership of master musicians. These veteran improvisors play wildly creative music that runs the gamut from ecstatic to deadly serious, from contemplative to caustic. Butcher and Robair are visionaries in the innovative techniques and sheer musicality they bring to their instruments.

“In the hands of London improvisor John Butcher, the saxophone can sound like anything, from a peice of hollowed out brass baubled with pads and valves to a hermetically sealed feedback system, a minature sound enviroment teeming with ever-evolving note forms, or a huge echo chamber inflicting dub scale damage on every breath.” – Wire

“Robair is an enormously talented percussionist, with a thorough-going musicality and an instinct for the unexpected.” – The Penguin Guide to Jazz

For this Portland performance, the audience will be treated to a stunning duo set by Butcher and Robair followed by a second set in which Butcher and Robair will lead an ensemble of notable Portland musicians including Matt Carlson & Jonathan Sielaff (Golden Retriever), Brian Mumford (Dragging an Ox Through Water), Mary Sutton, Dr. John C. Savage, John Niekrasz (Why I Must Be Careful), and Ben Kates (Thicket).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 John Butcher / Gino Robair Duo + Portland Ensemble

WorkSound 820 SE Alder, Portland, Oregon


Sliding scale $5-$15


John Butcher’s work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked saxophone pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.

Originally a physicist, he left academia in 1982, and has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Gerry Hemingway, The EX, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, John Edwards, Toshimaru Nakamura, Eddie Prevost, John Russell, John Tilbury, Christian Marclay, Paal Nilssen-Love, Phil Minton and Steve Beresford.

He is well known as a soloist, recently exploring unusual site-specific acoustics, and has released seven CDs of solo saxophone music.

He has toured and broadcast in Europe, Japan, North America and Australia, and was featured, playing solo, in the BBC TV programme Date with an Artist.

His compositions include pieces for Polwechsel, the Australian Elision Ensemble, the American Rova Saxophone Quartet, Futurist Intonarumori and “somethingtobesaid” for the John Butcher Group.

Recent projects include Thermal with EX guitarist Andy Moor & Thomas Lehn, and the wind trio The Contest of Pleasures with Axel Dörner and Xavier Charles.

He values playing in occasional encounters – ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris’ London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with Otomo Yoshihide, Kevin Drumm, Fred Frith, Duck Baker, Matthew Shipp and Akio Suzuki.

Gino Robair is a San Francisco Bay Area-based percussionist and composer who has performed and recorded with Anthony Braxton, Tom Waits, John Zorn, John Butcher, LaDonna Smith, Otomo Yoshihide, Eugene Chadbourne, Nina Hagen, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and the Club Foot Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and Pink Mountain.

Check out Gino Robair’s opera, I, Norton, which is based on the life of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

Gino Robair “holds the listener captive as he oscillates between the accidental and the intentional; between the tiniest, most delicate noise and a torrential outpouring of sound.” -San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Robair has taken the notion of open-ended improv to its logical endgame; milking maximum-impact rhythms from the most unlikely sources.” – Jazziz