When: Thu., Dec. 19, 9:30 p.m. 2013
This has been a good year for free improvisation in the Triangle. Legendary trombonist Jeb Bishop has landed in the area, and improviser Eugene Chadbourne hosted a month-long residency at Neptune's last summer. But the highlight of this tiny yet vibrant scene has been the collective Polyorchard, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this week. The ensemble may be young, but it includes longstanding improvisers in its ranks—Bishop, bassist (and Polyorchard founder) David Menestres, cellist Chris Eubank, composer and violist Dan Ruccia, only by way of example.
Polyorchard has taken many forms, from intimate, unamplified string trio to a cacophonous group featuring Japanese noise pioneer Merzbow. Their music is often severe but always intriguing, conceived fully in the moment. There are no rehearsals nor any pre-performance planning; Menestres and company just show up and play, responding to one another's sounds in real time.A bonus is the recent addition of eclectic vocalist Sara Bloo, who creates magical effects by singing into bowls (yes, bowls). Experimental banjo player Baby Copperhead and Tegucigalpan, a new solo project from Waumiss and Kingsbury Manx member Clarque Blomquist, are also on the bill. —William Robin