There are two shows coming up that I am very excited to be bringing to Richmond. First is the group Friends and Neighbors joining us all the way from Norway on Friday, September 2nd at Black Iris Gallery. Doors for the show open at 8:30pm and music starts right at 9pm. Tickets are $10
Quoting from their website: “Friends & Neighbors represents a new generation of bands from the Norwegian jazz-scene. The music can be described as energetic and melodic free jazz inspired by musicians like Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders and John Carter. On their debut album ”No Beat Policy”, Friends & Neighbors have created an authentic and acoustic atmosphere that refers back to the political roots of free jazz. Through original and strong compositions, this has resulted in a band sound with strong identity, crystal clear presence and personality.”
Being able to have an international jazz group playing in our city is a great thing…and I hope that you will come and support them and the music.
Find out more about them here: Friends and Neighbors
Also hear their most recent release on Clean Feed Records here: http://cleanfeed-records.com/product/hymn-for-a-hungry-nation/
The second show is the group Battle Trance led by the great saxophonist/composer Travis Laplante. This show will also be taking place at the Black Iris Gallery on Wednesday, September 7th (doors at 8:30pm music at 9pm. Tickets $10) Battle Trance’s new record “Blade of Love” was just released and it is a truly amazing record.
More on the group and the new record via their site:
“Blade of Love is the new album from tenor saxophone quartet Battle Trance. The follow-up to their widely acclaimed debut Palace of Wind (2014), Blade of Love is an elemental composition that aims to fulfill the tenor saxophone’s expansive potential as an ensemble instrument. Working within the intimate intersection of the human body/breath and the saxophone, Blade of Love is a spiritual and enigmatic work with a deep emotional resonance.
Since forming in 2012, the four saxophonists in Battle Trance (Travis Laplante, Patrick Breiner, Matt Nelson, Jeremy Viner) have spent hundreds of hours deepening their musical connection with each other, maturing as an ensemble through relentless touring everywhere from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Montreal to Vancouver, and most places in between.
The three movements of Blade of Love were composed by Battle Trance leader Travis Laplante and recorded by the group in a wooden room with soaring ceilings in the Vermont forest, after spending two years of rigorous rehearsals working to perfect the array of extended techniques, both virtuosic and primal, required to bring the challenging piece to life.
Blade of Love’s central focus is on the physical and spiritual intersection of the saxophone and the human body. The saxophone is one of the few instruments that literally enters the body of the person playing it, and Blade of Love is a medium for this sacred meeting place, with each member of Battle Trance using the saxophone as a vessel for the human spirit.
Singing has an inherent power, but that power is heightened in the context of Blade of Love. At times, the four players sing while exhaling through the saxophone tubes, using the instrument’s keys to shift the timbre of their voices. Laplante also integrates non-traditional mouth articulations, using the saxophone as a resonant chamber for these inventive sounds.”
You can purchase your copy of their new record at the show and also hear a sample of the music via the bandcamp page here: https://battletrance.bandcamp.com/album/blade-of-love
These two shows are just the most recent, in a long list of shows, that will pass through Richmond. I hope that you will come support the music and help to continue to make Richmond a destination for other musicians to stop at and share their music with us.
For both of these shows my group, the ScottClarkOther4tet, will be opening. For the show on September 2nd the 4tet will be playing music that we’ve been working on over the past few months, stemming from some of my early compositions. For the show on September 7th we will be performing the suite “Bury My Heart” from our most recent release on Clean Feed Records. This will be the first performance of the suite with guitarist Alan Parker, and I am very excited to share this music with you. If you haven’t already heard the record you can hear it here (https://cleanfeed-records.com/product/bury-my-heart/) and I will also have hard copies for sale at both shows.
As always, thank you for all of your support….
Join us for a special night of music, on Wednesday August 3rd, as we welcome the duo of Brooklyn’s Rick Parker and China’s Li Daiguo to Richmond for a great night of music at Balliceaux. The ScottClarkOther4tet will be opeing (featuring Cameron Ralston, Bob Miller, Alan Parker and Scott Clark).
Doors open at 9:30 and the show is free….
Balliceaux: 203 N. Lombardy St Richmond, VA 23220
Read more about Rick and Li below…they are touing in support of their new record and this is really something that you don’t want to miss. (you can hear a sample of what they do here…..https://youtu.be/yayQMF6LyeU)
ABOUT LI DAIGUO AND RICK PARKER
Sounds of the trombone, cello, pipa human voice and a variety of electronic remedies are conjured to form the psychoacoustic duo of Brooklyn’s Rick Parker and China’s Li Daiguo. “The sounds that the two create together are uncategorizable, a fluid blend of past and future, traditional and modern. They move from the ambient to the abstract, with folk-like acoustics colliding strangely with sci-fi electronics.” (Shaun Brady). With performances and recording sessions over the last 2 years in both NYC and Dali, a small city in southwest China, Parker and Li will release their debut record, Free World Music, on Brooklyn’s eleven2eleven record label in June 2016.
Their unlikely collaboration began in 2014 with Parker’s visit to Li’s current hometown of Dali where they performed and recorded. Later that fall, Li travelled to NYC where they spent another day in the recording studio and performed concerts at Manhattan Inn and Trans-Pecos presented by Lucas Ligeti’s Pigeon Culture. Their performance in Philadelphia presented by Fire Museum was also named a 2014 Best Performance in Philadelphia by Ken Weiss in Cadence Magazine. In the summer of 2015, they were invited to take part in a week long composition residency at COART in Lijiang, China which culminated in a concert of the music they created together during that week.
Both musicians have shaped their own successful careers on their own. Li Daiguo is a major figure in the experimental traditional music world in China and abroad. The multi-instrumentalist has performed solo concerts on cello, pipa, throat singing and beat boxing at Paris Cite De La Musique, Sonic Protest Festival France, Culturescapes Arts Festival in Switzerland, World Sacred Spirits Festival in India as well as festivals all over China. He has also composed for the Guangzhou Modern Dance company, Guangzhou Ballet company, Nobu Khan Malaysian Butoh Dance festival and has released numerous recordings on his own.
Combining jazz, experimental, electronic and rock, Rick Parker casts a broad net with his trombone playing augmented by electronics and synthesizers. His music has been described as “an expressive new-breed fusion, informed by a few generations of downtown experimentation.” Nate Chinen, New York Times. He leads/co-leads several groups including: jazz quintet, the Rick Parker Collective; Little Worlds a trio dedicated to the performance of Bela Bartok’s Mikrokosmos and 9 Volt with Eyal Maoz. These groups have 5 releases on labels including OutNow Recordings, Fresh Sound New Talent and eleven2eleven. Parker has worked with a large cross section of notable musicians including Tim Berne, Mingus Big Band, Charli Persip, Frank Lacy, Ravish Momin’s Tarana, Super Hi-Fi, Tim Kuhl, Beninghove’s Hangmen, hip hop legends the Wu Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, DMC and mexican pop stars Ximena Sariñana and Natalia LaFourcade.
On February 24, the ScottClark4tet played at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of their Millennium Stage series. The concert was streamed live and is now on their website as part of their archive (which has an amazing selection of videos to watch!). I want to thank everyone that attended the concert that night and also thank you to everyone that watched online.
If you missed it, you can view the performance via this link http://www.kennedy-center.org/video/index/M6669
This performance was of our suite “Bury My Heart” and is available on our new record by the same name. You can purchase your copy on my site under the “music” tab (https://scottwclark.com/listen/) as well as on the Clean Feed Records website (https://cleanfeed-records.com/product/bury-my-heart/). It is also available on your favorite online music service (amazon, iTunes etc).
Thank you for all of your support….more soon
I am very excited to announce that the ScottClark4tet record, “Bury My Heart”, has been released on Clean Feed Records. As some of you may know, I have been working on this suite of music for quite some time and I am really looking forward to sharing this work with everyone. The music is inspired by my research into my own ancestry as well as certain events from Native American history.
ScottClark4tet: Bury My Heart
1) Broken Treaties
2) Wounded Knee
3) Little Crow’s War
4) Big Horn
5) Sand Creek
Scott Clark- drums
Featuring JC Kuhl -bass clarinet & Bryan Hooten- trombone on “Broken Treaties”
–Clean Feed Records
Some information on the songs and what inspired them.
It is estimated that there have been over 500 treaties entered into with Native Americans by the United States. It is also estimated that of those 500 treaties, nearly all of them were broken at some point in their history. Many times, the violation of these treaties led to most of the hostilities that erupted between Native Americans and the white settlers that the treaties were with.
On December 29, the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers under Big Foot, a Lakota Sioux chief, near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons. As that was happening, a fight broke out between an Indian and a U.S. soldier and a shot was fired, although it’s unclear from which side. A brutal massacre followed, in which it’s estimated 150 Indians were killed (some historians put this number at twice as high), nearly half of them women and children. The cavalry lost 25 men.
The conflict at Wounded Knee was originally referred to as a battle, but in reality it was a tragic and avoidable massacre. Surrounded by heavily armed troops, it’s unlikely that Big Foot’s band would have intentionally started a fight. Some historians speculate that the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry were deliberately taking revenge for the regiment’s defeat at Little Bighorn in 1876. Whatever the motives, the massacre ended the Ghost Dance movement and was the last major confrontation in America’s deadly war against the Plains Indians.
(*history.com staff http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/wounded-knee)
On August 17, 1862, one young Dakota with a hunting party of three others killed five settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, although in Abraham Lincoln’s second annual address, he noted that not less than 800 men, women, and children had died.Over the next several months, continued battles pitting the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands. By late December 1862, soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hanged on December 26, 1862, in the largest one-day execution in American history. In April 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations.
(*Wikipedia contributors. “Dakota War of 1862.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)
The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also called Custer’s Last Stand, marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The demise of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.
(*history.com staff http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/battle-of-the-little-bighorn)
At dawn on November 29, 1864, approximately 675 U.S. volunteer soldiers commanded by Colonel John M. Chivington attacked a village of about 700 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. Using small arms and howitzer fire, the troops drove the people out of their camp. While many managed to escape the initial onslaught, others, particularly non-combatant women, children, and the elderly fled into and up the bottom of the dry stream bed. The soldiers followed, shooting at them as they struggled through the sandy earth. At a point several hundred yards above the village, the women and children frantically excavated pits and trenches along either side of the streambed to protect themselves. Some adult men attempted to hold back the Army with whatever weapons they had managed to retrieve from the camp, and at several places along Sand Creek the soldiers shot the people from opposite banks and brought forward the howitzers to blast them from their improvised defenses. Over the course of eight hours the troops killed around 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people composed mostly of women, children, and the elderly. During the afternoon and following day, the soldiers wandered over the field committing atrocities on the dead before departing the scene on December 1 to resume campaigning.
(National Park Service http://www.nps.gov/sand/historyculture/index.htm)
Much of what we consider the “history” of Native Americans is still being felt to this day. There are still fights over land rights at Wounded Knee, there are still people fighting to have the United States honor treaties that were entered into many years ago, there are still conflicts about how the upcoming Sand Creek Massacre anniversary is being portrayed and there still remains fallout over the Dakota Wars and their aftermath. There are still many conflicts and issues that exist on reservations today including extreme poverty, illness, little or no access to health care etc. However, despite what would at first appear to be all negative stories, there are many hopeful ones as well. Native culture remains vibrant and efforts to bring back native languages are spreading throughout the country. There are many tribes that are continuing efforts to reclaim land that was lost and more awareness is being spread to the modern day reality of many Native Americans. It’s important to remember the past and see how it informs our present. It’s also important to see the beauty that exists in Native American culture and to help focus on the positives that do exist today.
I am excited to announce that on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, the ScottClark4tet, will be premiering a new work that I have written called “Bury My Heart”. I have been writing and researching this piece for quite some time and I look forward to debuting it at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“Bury My Heart” comes from a journey of self-discovery into my own ancestry and the profound impact that reading and studying the history of Native Americans has had on my life. Many years ago I began researching my family’s Native American ancestry and the history of the many tribes of North America. The way I viewed life and nature had always intrigued me; and when I began to discover my own Native American background, those views led me to intensify my research.
One of the first books that opened my eyes to these events in the history of Native Americans was Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. (Subsequent books that had profound impacts on me included The Sand Creek Massacre by Stan Hoig, The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers, and Trail of Tears by John Ehle and many others). The events described in these books sent me on a path of discovery and research that has inspired the songs contained in this suite of music.
Of all the events described in these books, the one that has had the biggest impact on me is the Sand Creek Massacre, in which a village of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho were attacked and over 100 men, women and children were killed. November 29, 2014 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. We are premiering this music, at VCU, as a remembrance of one of the most tragic days in American history. The history of so many Native American tribes goes completely untaught in our society. One of my hopes is that through this music, and the stories behind the music, I can do a small part to reach others who will be inspired to look further into the histories, and present-day realities, of so many tribes in North America.
I hope that you will be able to join us for this night of music…and we look forward to sharing the music with you.
Thursday October 30th, 2014
Admission is Free and open to the public
Vlahcevic Concert Hall,
W. E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts
922 Park Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2004
you can see a small preview of the music from our performance on Virginia This Morning via the link below
also on 10/29 you can hear an interview and performance of some of the music from the suite on WCVE FM 88.9 NPR starting at 7pm. (http://ideastations.org/radio)
This concert is co-sponsored by VCU Jazz (http://arts.vcu.edu/music/events/) and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (<www.omsa.vcu.edu>) in anticipation of Native American History Month (November) and of the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre (November 29).
The ScottClark4tet is:
thank you for your support….
I’m very excited to be going into the studio this week to record some music that my band (ScottClark4tet) and I have been working on for quite some time now. The music was inspired in part by some of the events described in Dee Brown’s book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” as well as many other books describing the history of Native Americans, and their dealings with white settlers and politicians. This music has been a great source of inspiration to me, and the musicians in the band have really made this music come to life over the past few months. I am really looking forward to recording this music and I am planning for debut of the suite sometime this November.
On November 29th of this year, there will be a remembrance of the Sand Creek Massacre (one of the main events that inspired this music and spawned much of my personal study on the subject). It is described by the National Parks Service as “…one of the most emotionally charged and controversial events in American history, a tragedy reflective of its time and place.”
More from the National Parks Service website about Sand Creek (http://www.nps.gov/sand/historyculture/index.htm)
“At dawn on November 29, 1864, approximately 675 U.S. volunteer soldiers commanded by Colonel John M. Chivington attacked a village of about 700 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. Using small arms and howitzer fire, the troops drove the people out of their camp. While many managed to escape the initial onslaught, others, particularly noncombatant women, children, and the elderly fled into and up the bottom of the dry stream bed. The soldiers followed, shooting at them as they struggled through the sandy earth. At a point several hundred yards above the village, the women and children frantically excavated pits and trenches along either side of the streambed to protect themselves. Some adult men attempted to hold back the Army with whatever weapons they had managed to retrieve from the camp, and at several places along Sand Creek the soldiers shot the people from opposite banks and brought forward the howitzers to blast them from their improvised defenses. Over the course of eight hours the troops killed around 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people composed mostly of women, children, and the elderly. During the afternoon and following day, the soldiers wandered over the field committing atrocities on the dead before departing the scene on December 1 to resume campaigning.
Since the barbarism of November 29, the Sand Creek Massacre maintains its station as one of the most emotionally charged and controversial events in American history, a tragedy reflective of its time and place. The background of the Sand Creek Massacre lay in a whirlwind of events and issues registered by the ongoing Civil War in the East and West; the overreactions by whites on the frontier to the 1862-63 Dakota uprising in Minnesota and its aftermath; the status of the various bands of Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians relative to each other as well as other plains tribes; the constant undercurrent of threatened Confederate incursions; and the existing state of politics in Colorado including the intrigues of individual politicians in that territory. Perhaps most important, the seeds of the Sand Creek Massacre lay in the presence of two historically discordant cultures within a geographical area that both coveted for disparate reasons, an avoidable situation that resulted in tragedy.”
This music and these events don’t just exist in a vacuum. Many of these topics still are being dealt with today. From the debate over the Washington Redskins team name (http://cnn.it/1vtPsZQ) (also, read the comment section to see more) to History Colorado’s (the Colorado Historical Society) dealing with the upcoming remembrance of the Sand Creek Massacre (http://bit.ly/1kivPyK) or to all of the many events happening in and around the Native American community (http://bit.ly/1sLRAYA) there is a lot going on right now. I don’t claim to be an expert on all of the inner workings of what is happening now, or what has happened in the past. I have however been deeply affected by what I have learned and how it informs my own life. Through my research and through this music, I hope to share a part of my dealings with these subjects with as many people as I can. I also know that this is just the beginning of a lifelong search for more knowledge and understanding.
I am very grateful to Spacebomb Studios for allowing us to record in their great studio and specifically to Trey Pollard, Matthew E. White, Pinson Chanselle, Cameron Ralston and the rest of the Spacebomb family for helping me to realize this recording. I look forward to sharing this music with as many people as possible and as soon as possible. Most importantly, I can not thank the guys in the band (Cameron Ralston, Bob Miller and Jason Scott) enough for being so giving of their time over the past few years….and also to everyone along the way for all of your support. THANK YOU!!
For years I’ve been studying Native American history….and that studying has been slowly taking over my life. When you study the history of a people (and a country), there are a lot of things you learn, some good and some bad, but it informs how you view the world today.
One of the events that I’ve been studying, with a great passion, has been an event that took place on this day November 29th 1864…The Sand Creek Massacre.
A village of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were attacked not far from Denver, Colorado and between 70-160 men, women and children were killed and their bodies mutilated. The events leading up to, and following, the massacre are too many, and too complex, for a short blog post. All I can hope for is that on this day we take a second and reflect on what took place long ago and yet still has lasting affects to this day.
Here are some links to some things that you can read right now if you are interested:
Indian Country Today
And here are some great books that will go more in depth into what exactly took place:
The Sand Creek Massacre by Stan Hoig
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Black Kettle The Cheyenne Chief Who Sought Peace but Found War by Thom Hatch
A Misplaced Massacre Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek by Ari Kelman
I’ve been working on a suite of music inspired by this event, and many others, that I have studied over the past few years. I look forward to being able to share this music with everyone and I hope that what I’ve learned, and tried to process through music, will inspire others to try to understand the complicated history that we live with everyday.
thank you for all of the support…..