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Blarvuster Reviewed in the April 2011 Wire Magazine

Matthew Welch – Blarvuster – Tzadik CD 8077

“Of all those bagpipe playing singer/composer/improvisors we know, Brooklyn based Matthew Welch is by far the greatest, and Blarvuster is a characteristic leap of the imagination. The opening ‘suite’, played by a sextet including guitarist Mary Halvorson, folds Celtic dance steps into Indonesian modes with a funk backbeat, and Welch’s hollering vocals makes you truly believe that whole Celto-Indo funk fusion tradition has been around for years.”

– Philip Clark, The Wire

Welch Music Update March 2011

Hello all of you little bo-peeps and fluffy bunnies of the world… long time no email spam!

Hope everyone’s New Year has been going spectacularly now that we approach spring so soon….

I recently got back from an incredible 2-week trip trip to Switzerland, where I did a solo bagpipe show (Moods in Zürich), 2 free-improv gigs with Swiss-based Marc Stucki (tenor sax), Andreas Schärer (voice), Marc Unternährer (tuba) (in Bern and Lucerne with me on pipes and alto sax). Marc Stucki and I performed at the US Embassy in Bern along with a string quartet made up of very fine string players in Bern (Simon Heggendorn, Mara Miribung, Magdelena Dmitrova and Niklaus Vogel) performing selections from my string quartet Siubhal Turnlar. This trip culminated in a performance of my music in the Jazzwerkstatt-Bern festival, which was a spectacular event and I was very delighted to perform a piping solo, have the string quartet performed and to conduct a chamber orchestra of Bern residents with Geneva-based improv-harpist Julie Campiche in a performance of my harp concerto Self/Non-Self and Luminosity in the Bardo.

Switzerland is now one of my favorite places in the world! An incredible time.

Blarvuster’s Tzadik release from late november continues to trickle out into the world, with positive feedback – upcoming with a review in the Wire next month that I’ll share with you later, or stay tuned to Blarvuster’s new website

http://www.blarvuster.com

but more immediately, two of my pieces are being performed in NYC this month, and Blarvuster will be performing up in Boston (davis sq). stay tuned for more Blarvuster shows and upcoming information about my double concerto for bagpipe, piano and percussion ensemble – to be played at Queens College and the Bang-on-a-Can Marathon this June!

Sunday, March 13 · 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Christopher Adler solo Khaen tour – performance of my Ulrikke

Flushnik Studios — 698 Flushing Avenue, #1 —- Brooklyn, NY 11206

Featuring Christopher Adler on solo khaen (Thai/Lao bamboo mouth organ) performing: Sidney Boquiren, angel music; Matthew Welch, Ulrikke; Christopher Burns, Triangulation; Christopher Adler, Telemetry Lock; David Loeb, The Maltese Plaza in Fog, and traditional khaen improvisations

also a premiere of a new improv by Sidney Marquez Boquiren (piano) and Bryan Teoh (electronics).

http://flushnik.com/

Wednesday, March 23, 7pm Emily Manzo plays my House of Asterion

The Music With a View Series, curated by Kathy Supove.  Emily Manzo’s collaboration with filmmaker and visual artist Paul Rowley continues as they perform my solo piano piece House of Asterion (with live projections).

They’ll also do an excerpt from John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano.  The evening also includes performances by Kevin Bourisquot and Aled Roberts.

@ The Flea Theater, 41 White Street (between Broadway and Church) NYC

March 24 8pm Blarvuster in Boston

Blarvuster with the Debo Band (9pm) @ Johhny D’s

17 Holland St — Davis Square — Somerville, MA

directly across from the Davis T-stop

http://www.johnnyds.com/

mw

Blarvuster featured on John Schaefer’s New Sounds on WNYC

Blarvuster was featured heavily on WNYC’s New Sounds with John Schaefer

PROGRAM #3146, Traditional Blend (First aired on 12/07/2010) — follow the link above!

Program notes:

Hear unexpected blends of traditional music on this edition of New Sounds. We’ll listen to selections from bagpiper/composer Matthew Welch’s band Blarvuster, an outfit that somehow pulls in Balinese/Indonesian gamelan, Celtic influences, minimalist licks, and a rock attitude to emerge with irresitible and unusual textures, both traditional and non.

Plus, we’ll hear from QQQ, a band who use the traditional Norwegian hardingfele (like a violin, but with twice as many strings and thinner wood.) Then there’s also music from Hemispheres, featuring vocals in the Persian tradition, along with music from Michael O’Neill, a Canadian bagpiper. His work that we’ll hear pulls in Australian digeridoo and percussion with those pipes. All that, and more.

CD Release Party and Free Concert at Zebulon December 8

“The ensemble’s border-busting music is original and catchy. . .Blarvuster is worth sticking around for.” – The New York Times

Chamber ensemble/rock band hybrid features Matthew Welch’s compositions & Welch on bagpipes, sax, voice.

In the infectiously ecstatic fervor of Blarvuster‘s music, Scottish bagpipes, Balinese gamelan, minimalism, improvisation and rock converge in a labyrinthine, multi-textural sound. Blarvuster will be performing the Mosaic of Iridescence (2010) at a CD Release Party and free Concert to be held at Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue in Brooklyn, NY on December 8th, 2010 at 8pm. Also on the bill will be Ches Smith and the David Crowell Ensemble. For more information, call 718 218 6934 or visit www.zebuloncafeconcert.com.

Led by Matthew Welch, Blarvuster [Listen to 3 sample tracks] has been a mainstay at New York venues including John Zorn’s The Stone, Issue Project Room, Zebulon, and The Cornelia Street Cafe and has delivered commanding commissioned performances at The Kitchen, MOMA’s PS1, Roulette, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (EMPAC), and The Western Front (Vancouver). Blarvuster, whose self-titled debut CD was released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label (11/2010), presents a completely unique form of music played with extreme virtuosity and sensitivity by a stellar line-up of some of the brightest young musicians in New York.

Matthew Welch is an exciting young composer, saxophonist and virtuoso piper who has discovered the hidden nexus of the Celtic and Balinese musical traditions. Matt’s second CD for Tzadik presents two exciting new projects: a beautifully orchestrated opera expanding on the language of minimalism with honesty and originality, and his dynamic touring band Blarvuster, which blends the complex skirls and rhythmic subtleties of the Highland pipes with a vibrant rock sensibility. Featuring the best out of yet another new generation of downtown musicians, this is lush and exotic new music from a fresh new compositional explorer.

Hailed by Time Out New York as “a composer possessed of both rich imagination and the skill to bring his fancies to life,” Matthew Welch is the director and composer for Blarvuster. Welch has worked with Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Julia Wolfe and John Zorn and has also recorded for the Mode, and Cantaloupe labels to name a few. Welch’s previous Tzadik release, Dream Tigers (2005) made both of Time Out New York’s top 10 Classical and non-classical album lists for 2005, adding to the eager anticipation of this year’s release.

Band members include: Leah Paul (flutes), who has worked with TV on the Radio, The Dirty Projectors, and Anthony Braxton and leads her own pop-band The Bridesmaids. Karen Waltuch (viola) has worked with Wilco, Beth Orton, The Walkmen, Jim O’Rourke, Tammy Wynette, and The Roulette Sisters. Mary Halvorson (guitar) is a veteran of the Anthony Braxton Trio and Anthony Braxton 12tet, and the leader of The Mary Halvorson Trio and Quintet. Ian Riggs (bass) has worked with Howard Fishman, Ethan Lipton, One Ring Zero, Hilary Hawke, Likeness to Lily, and The Lonesome Trio. Tomas Fujiwara (drums) leads his quintet Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, and works in a duo with Taylor Ho Bynum and the collective quartet The Thirteenth Assembly.

Photo by Michael Weintrob.

Matthew Welch’s CD BLARVUSTER to be be released on the Tzadik label 11/23/10

Chamber ensemble/rock band hybrid features Matthew Welch’s compositions & Welch on bagpipes, sax, voice.

In the infectiously ecstatic fervor of Blarvuster’s music, Scottish bagpipes, Balinese gamelan, minimalism, improvisation and rock converge in a labyrinthine, multi-textural sound. Blarvuster has been a mainstay at New York venues including John Zorn’s The Stone, Issue Project Room, Zebulon, and The Cornelia Street Cafe and has delivered commanding commissioned performances at The Kitchen, MOMA’s PS1, Roulette, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (EMPAC), and The Western Front (Vancouver). Blarvuster, whose self-titled debut CD will be released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label (11/2010), presents a completely unique form of music played with extreme virtuosity and sensitivity by a stellar line-up of some of the brightest young musicians in New York.

Matthew Welch, hailed by Time Out New York as “a composer possessed of both rich imagination and the skill to bring his fancies to life,” is the director and composer for Blarvuster. Welch, who fronts Blarvuster as a virtuoso bagpiper, saxophonist and vocalist, has worked with Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Julia Wolfe and John Zorn and has recorded for the Tzadik, Mode, and Cantaloupe labels to name a few. Welch’s previous Tzadik release, Dream Tigers (2005) made both of Time Out New York’s top 10 Classical and non-classical album lists for 2005, adding to the eager anticipation of this year’s release.

Leah Paul (flutes) has worked with TV on the Radio, The Dirty Projectors, and Anthony Braxton and leads her own pop-band The Bridesmaids. Karen Waltuch (viola) has worked with Wilco, Beth Orton, The Walkmen, Jim O’Rourke, Tammy Wynette, and The Roulette Sisters. Mary Halvorson (guitar) is a veteran of the Anthony Braxton Trio and Anthony Braxton 12tet, and the leader of The Mary Halvorson Trio and Quintet. Ian Riggs (bass) has worked with Howard Fishman, Ethan Lipton, One Ring Zero, Hilary Hawke, Likeness to Lily, and The Lonesome Trio. Tomas Fujiwara (drums) leads his quintet Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, and works in a duo with Taylor Ho Bynum and the collective quartet The Thirteenth Assembly.