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.