Konfrontationen 36 in Nickelsdorf, Austria

Konfrontationen 36 in Nickelsdorf, Austria

July 18, 2016

Written by:

Andrew Choate

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Day One: Pulse Hit

Our era prefers immediacy. We reward firsts. We expect instant reactions. After the 36th Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music, I wanted to sit on my memories and experiences and let them linger before writing anything. Almost a year later, as the 37th incarnation of the festival approaches, now is a good time to see how the music has lived within me for the many months following the festivities.

The festival is all about the people. The combination of the people playing music onstage and the people listening next to you and the people working all around to make it happen. Every time I go I convince a different assortment of close friends to come with me, and for the 2015 festival it was my girlfriend Chelsea and my fellow sandlapper Lauren.

The festival opened Thursday with the sound of meandering wind on grass tips, provided by Luc Ex Assemblé - the quartet of Ab Baars (tenor sax/ clarinet), Luc Ex (acoustic bass guitar), Hamid Drake (drums/ percussion) and Ingrid Laubrock (tenor sax). As a pre-existing band, they had song arrangements to choose from, and the second number was all rabbit-puckering funk: staccato horns + straight groove rhythm section. The juxtaposition of the two modes displayed in these two songs - minimal/pastoral and swinging/urban - reminded me of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and then every tune they played started gyrating with genres until it became clear that an emotional rendezvous with all the selves you think you are if the one that is thinking is not one becomes the reckoning of the day.

They went from angry and heaving to welcoming and loping to scattered and wild: improv within structures that wafted between rhythmic stapling and drifting bursts. Strumming an acoustic bass guitar adds a very different element into the sonic mix, and Luc worked that nuance with finesse: one single aggressive strum over the middle of the neck put an entire sequence of his actions in duo with Drake in context: the drums instantly fell like dominoes and the full band blasted off. Laubrock wooed some analog-synth style blips from her reed while Drake was using his fingers on the toms, then she took a sideways step closer to him and he picked up his sticks and smiled to a cymbal strike. The full band located a zone where reggae meets Jimmy Guiffre's trio and has a snarling punk attitude about it.

When there are a couple hundred people sitting quietly as the sun goes down behind the band and Drake makes a tap tap tap tap tap, it makes you say ooowoowoowoowoo thank you. Slow and sultry for the sake of the heat, Laubrock puckered out a good growl and Baars took his mouthpiece off, then a low bomb of a tone from Laubrock centered the quartet so Baars could flourish a finale.

The Italian free jazz quartet Mrafi led by Edoardo Maraffa (reeds) started with an instant barrage; my ears picked out the vibes played by Pasqale Mirra. The band rummaged around hard-blowing sax and rumbling rhythm section log-splitting into sudden spouts of synchronicity. I couldn't figure out what was compelling this music, in this time, especially when each player had such fine chops. When Antonio Borghini (doublebass) took a solo I had to catch my breath, the clarity and purpose of his tone was astonishing, but it got lost when wrapped around the frenetic lines of the band in full rumpus. Whenever they slowed down, they made room for invigorating moments: a sideways tenor tone, like a horizon glitch, pulled the rhythm section into swinging, happy play: overhead grapes falling in a naturally beautiful, pleasing tempo.

The last set of the night was a highlight of the festival (in a festival made of highlights). Beloved drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake played a duet with Austrian powerhouse pianist Sylvia Bruckner that brought tears to more than one set of eyes, and sweat to many palms. Not anxious sweat - galvanized sweat.

Classic Drake rim cracks, Bruckner wearing red and black, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat, a-yaw-hee! Bruckner's decision-making so crisp, inviting and invigorating. I felt like I was being squeezed in the softest cloth a baby can squeeze.

The first pause after the opening salvo in an improvised duet is when things are figured out, and this twosome went from "connected" to "inextricable" in that instant. No longer diplomatically cajoling each other, they stuffed the rest of the set with the kind of expectations and trickery that makes this music transcendent. Equally comfortable inside the piano's strings, Bruckner fully plucked and muted complex clusters of notes that Drake colored in with melodic cymbal-work. The delicacy, the promises. Bruckner straightening and loosening her back over the keys in a display of the physicality necessary to coax the right sounds at the right moments. Drake listened to her solo so intently, eyes closed, that he didn't even notice her prompt to join back in, so she paused, then stopped completely. He simply needed to listen, and couldn't stop listening to her.

They started their next one with big clopping hoofs down low but quickly re-balanced into the mid-register and foraged their way into the subtlest version of "Epistrophy" I've heard, each taking turns with the melody and using the bones of the rhythm to prop up the most haunting and amusing portrait of why and how jazz lives.

It was hard to sleep after that, but Friday promised nine sets, so it was time to flex the eyelids.

The festival is all about the people. The combination of the people playing music onstage and the people listening next to you and the people working all around to make it happen.

Day Two: Punctilious Harbinger

Ahh, the Kleylehof. Six kilometers away, but a fully realized other world. In the dark and cold warehouse - so hot and bright outside, dark and cold was a total pleasure - doublebassist Mike Majkowski's solo began with him focussed on the edge of a string. Slowly building a world from the ground up, he punctuated the slight rufflings with the sudden drop of a long plumb-bob of bass into space. Low-frequency radar test. Running his finger all the way from the top of a string to the very bottom, tiny shakes of the wrist between each bob like a little fish wriggling before being hooked for bait. Bob and wriggle, bob and wriggle, suddenly I realised it was all a slow gearing-up for that wriggle-with-a-little-tempest-tossed-in.

It was like he was making one big wave, a wave just on the edge of breaking, forever, till a current comes in from underneath and unwrinkles the crest; it never breaks, just artfully subsides.

San Franciscan Bob Ostertag's solo was a video-game-controlled dark obtuse pinging - a tall bald man barefoot with a joystick. It felt limited, passive to the pre-existing structure: like a video game, he could only interact with what was already there, when what we all need is what's outside it. Tonally it was too thin, made of digital zoinks, a la the sound of cereal. If I didn't see him triggering every sound with a controller it would have still sounded video-gamey.

Dror Feiler's solo on reeds and electronics, in contrast, showed how the revolution isn't about technology, it's about humanity. Ten days before his performance he was in a prison in Israel, and not for the first time, since he continues to insist on the necessity of bringing food, medical supplies, and music to Gaza. To contextualize the political motivations of his music practice, he quoted d'Alembert: "If you want to keep the monarchy, don't change the form of opera." He muted a soprano saxophone and moved it like a snake charmer, entrancing through the rhythm of movement. A heavy wall of electronics buzzed underneath, but not too loudly - an actual background upon which to bend multiphonic snarls. Then he doubled up and added a sopranino, splicing his breath in two directions. "Music is castrated noise," he said later.

Philipp told me that Dror's set was intimidating, that he felt like he was in a plane that was crashing, but I felt encouraged by it, humbled too. And challenged. Challenged in the most inviting way, challenged to think and feel my actual thoughts and feelings, and to act on those. I was reminded that the integrity of the moment resides in the body; a witness and an agent.

The set was all about the relationship of the background to the foreground - the throbbing electronics and the human breath singing. I could feel the noise in my throat, making an elevator of vibration up and down my spine, electrodynamic shock on shock, how do equal halves not behave equally? Dror’s unaccompanied alto saxophone solo afterwards put the soul in context. Giant slicing electronic thrums came back with a tenor saxophone dirge. He ended this extraordinary set shaking a handful of bells while the electronics raged and he pointed the bell of that sopranino straight at the audience and belted a cluster of falling attacks.

The band Ashes kicked the evening off back at the Jazzgalerie, and gave that slow sundown a run for it's money. Richard Scott's squirty modular snythesizer danced over Steve Heather's always-on-point percussion. Julia Reidy's electric guitar swirled and swirled and snapped into place at every crucial moment while trombonist Hilary Jeffery gave signals to the band, leading them into a free jazz krautrock spiral, like early Kraftwerk learning how to garden with kitchen implements. One audience member yelled "YEEEAAAAHHHH" many times, and Jeffery echoed him with aggressive "grrrrrr"s through the trombone. The whole set was building, building, building, and just when it was going to climax, it chugged to a stop, a fantastic riveting breakdown.

The trio Watussi (Ingrid Schmoliner on prepared piano and voice, Joachim Badenhorst on reeds, Pascal Niggenkemper on doublebass) followed this rocking buildup with a subtle set that vented a lot of what was in the air. Just like the church bells that rang moments before the set began, the piano rang with single prepared tones to start this set. Niggenkemper stuck a clip-light to his bass. It looked like an extra ear - an ear that shouts, because he used it to produce raspy metallic waves. The band graduated into heavy dark thunderclouds, and I considered how saxophones float. Badenhorst started on tenor, where he sounded like he had a piece of bread stuck to the top of his mouth, and he was trying to use the vibrations of the reed to loosen it, and by that I mean I loved the focussed anxiety of his tone. He switched to bass-clarinet, sometimes with no mouthpiece, and secured a line of generous introspective grandeur that he was willing to share with everyone, and within which all were blessed.

Because of where I was sitting, I could see pieces of whatever Schmoliner had used to prepare the piano fall down and rest on the strings, then get hit by a string and pop back up. She also had a pile of chopsticks laid across the top register of keys and at one point inserted one perpendicularly into the strings and slowly rubbed it up, giving off the softest glow. Pushing the stick down made a sound like a reedist's tongue-pop throbbing on wood. She sang the last song, and it was soft, and it was right.

John Butcher (reeds) joined the string trio of Harald Kimmig (violin), Daniel Studer (doublebass) and Alfred Zimmerlin (cello) for a set that was all focus. An obvious comparison is Anthony Braxton's 1979 record with the Robert Schumann string quartet, but where that record rather playfully toyed with a contrast of styles, this performance dug into density.

Butcher's playing has taken the stereotype of British "insect music" and pushed it as far as it can go, to the level of the microscopic, the molecular. And this string trio is so equally virtuosically adept that speed was absolutely independent of density: fast or slow had no bearing on the stampede of musical ideas developed. The sun was finally all the way down, and the heatwave we were all living through parted. Quiet exhaustion set the table for intense concentration. While it would be easy to dismiss this kind of music as overly intellectual, the truth is that, yes, you do have to be smart to play it, but the deeper truth is how it is viscerally affecting. The music radically changes mood, mindset, habit. This set and this combination of players onstage represent the best of what happens at the Konfrontationen: thoughtfulness multiplied exponentially, existentially grounding.

After Nina de Heney's (doublebass) performance in Wels the previous year with Christine Sehnaoui, I was eagerly anticipating her set with Mariam Wallentin (voice, percussion) and Lisa Ullén (prepared piano) in a new trio called Nuiversum. A little bit unexpectedly, they were performing songs. I love the tunes Wallentin writes and performs with her husband Andreas Werliin in Wildbirds & Peacedrums, but something undercut the intensity these three were striving for. It might have been the length of the songs, which were short, around five minutes each, but maybe they needed to be REALLY short, or maybe they needed room to develop. Whatever it was, I couldn't find the groove.

Some of the lyrics mentioned shame, some of the lyrics mentioned mercy. I sat near Ullén's piano, and I got a great feel for the timbral agility of her contributions to the mix. I was struggling with the set so I changed seats to see if anything would shift, and when I did I really lost the subtlety of what she was doing without gaining any additional listening insights. I went back to my original seat so I could hear Ullén better. I loved her sound, I loved de Heney's sound, I loved Wallentin's voice, but the structure of these songs wasn't compelling, and somehow it all added up to less than the individual parts.

By now it's night, dark night, and to keep listening right you need something with volume, flair and precision. Bring on Lotto: Mike Majkowski on doublebass, Lukasz Rychlicki on electric guitar, Pawel Szpura on percussion. Knowing Majkowski in more subtle contexts, I focussed my ears on him to begin. He brought a heavy commitment to rage onstage, a sunstruck debt to lavish the night with striations of pulsing color. Then I focussed on Szpura, who attacked the drums like a woodpecker does a tree: blast blast feed, blast blast feed. Once I had the tectonics of the rhythm section in mind I could really hear the guitar - as subtle as poison seeping through your veins, enlivening your nerves just enough to send them into shock. They rocked. I rolled. Free jazz prog rock heavy metal dance music. Rhythm and melody in an interstellar tumble blur. The kind of band every teenage couple wants at their wedding but they're so crazy in love they're eloping to Vegas. Everyone in the audience should have been dancing.

Now it's really nighttime. About three in the morning. And the next set is in a few hours, at sunrise. What to do? Take a nap and get back up? After the previous eight sets already heard that day, it's unlikely my body would accept that short amount of rest and relent to rise. So we stayed up. And in the field behind the Jazzgalerie, Hamid Drake and Pasqale Mirra set up for their duo of sun percussion and vibes/percussion.

A sunrise is always special. At this time of year, in this part of the world, it's a slow rise starting from a firm glow: pink and red and orange. The vibes gave off a sense of percolation, nurturing every blade of grass in the field from the soil up. Drake singing and playing hand percussion with that soft ever-brightening glow of light ascending around us. Lying down and looking straight up into the sky or standing and looking out at the long horizon of farmland in the distance, spiderwebs of rhythm biting your mind to attention.

Words can be great friends, and bring you closer––to friends, to music, to life. At other times they're superfluous, and get in the way. Touch that grass and hear those vibrations and see those colors in the sky.

Day Three: Practiced Heart

I couldn't get to the Kleylehof to see the afternoon concerts on Saturday as other duties at the Jazzgalerie required my attention, but I did get the chance to see Ventil, one of the bands that played, a week later in Vienna. I couldn't have had a better time listening and thinking while dancing and drinking. The band is Peter Kutin (guitar, electronics), Flo Kindlinger (guitar, bass synthesizer), Michael Lahner (synthesizer), Katherina Ernst (drums) and Conny Zenk (visuals). The visuals add flickering black and white smears of imaginary topographic landscapes to the bed of rock and roll techno the band produces. Ernst's drumming I continue to find delightfully and hypnotically tribal. The amplified sounds swirl and bend around her. If you don't go to a concert prepared to give yourself to the music you'll never hear anything. I gave this band rapturous ears and they gave back total enfolding oasis.

With the sun's heavy beams that we saw gently kiss the clouds way earlier in the morning still hanging in the air, All Change (Eddie Prévost on drums, percussion; Tom Chant on tenor and soprano saxophone; John Edwards on doublebass) took the stage at the Jazzgalerie. This is the jazzier side of Prévost, where he hits the cymbal in the most traditional possible way but his touch is so light, studied and exact it looks like a dance between longtime lovers. Edwards attacks every physical aspect of the doublebass when he plays, so when he plays a traditional walking bass line it sounds like a very dangerous walk along a cliff's edge. Going after the top of the fretboard sounded like suddenly inserted circuit-bent voodoo. Kudos. I had never heard Chant before but I loved his tone: vitally raw, like freshly flayed skin.

The duet between Tobias Delius (tenor sax) and Michiel Scheen (piano) was a major highlight. Scheen built castle-like chords with wonderful minuets and adornments like fresh flowers in every window. They played truly delicate improvisations to accompany those complicated moments in life, like trying to figure out how to apologize for something, which means it has to be brought back up, when the slight is so minor but both sides are craving resolution. Delius made gorgeous melodic decisions like a comforting hand on your back that may or may not be sliding down to more personal regions. Scheen's coordinated piano clusters produced light brooding if such a thing is possible and a deep tenor ballad was like a hot air balloon ride where the wind changes direction and now you're in Zaire and the people in the basket with you aren't the same ones who got in.

A short and slow starlight finale encore featured a low-end piano rumble like a shelf of glasses shaking during the first tremors of an earthquake, Delius' tone so friendly and inviting you know it's safe. He has so much fun playing that you have to while listening.

Then I had a glass of white wine and a sandwich. Sten Sandell (voice, piano) is one of my favorite musicians in the world and he was playing in the next quintet with Phil Wachsmann (violin, electronics), Nate Wooley (trumpet), Floros Floridis (clarinet, saxophones) and Paul Lytton (drums, percussion). Finger-rolls down the side of the piano? Yes. Dark dampened-and-puckered bass register warbles? Mmmhhmm. Tuvan vocal zzeee-zzooo kablooie? Mais oui.

The first piece the band played went everywhere you expect and want such a gifted quintet of musicians to go; you just hope you can keep up. After a spiky little duo between Wooley and Floridis, a caterwaul of searing volume lunged up and I thought about how meat is seared at a very high heat in a very short amount of time in order to effect the Maillard reaction, after which the temperature is lowered and the vast quantity of newly created flavor compounds can settle in the food.

The band returned to our atmosphere and Sandell played the top of the piano with the same movements as if his fingers were on the keys; Wooley scraped the side of his trumpet with a metal sheet. There are a lot of rabbits in Sweden and fifteen of them live in Sandell's fingers. He has a technique where he pushes a piano key halfway down and this gives such a different shape to the sound that a cloud condenses over Newfoundland. Lytton rubbed the bass drum in significant orb envelopment as he and Floridis' bass clarinet mingled. Sandell whistled and coughed and a cacophonous rumble dissolved with uncanny grace into the nearby woods as a bristling slice of Wachsmann's violin appeared. Wachsmann's electronics are pleasantly light-hearted, and I like that you can't see how he controls them since he uses his feet.

The quintet played one more piece and I can't remember anything about it because the first one was so ideal.

The Sudo Quartet with Joëlle Léandre on doublebass, Sebi Tramontana on trombone, Carlos Zingaro on violin, and Paul Lovens on drums was a hotly anticipated set, as every inch of space around the Jazzgalerie became full. When they started playing, everything and everyone stopped to listen. Lovens started riding his hi-hat and Tramontana smiled and followed with a jubilant exclamation via his trombone. Léandre launched into some moody electro arco and Zingaro countered with a small sequence of whiplash snips.

Léandre vocalized throughout the set and the stillness of the audience gave those vocalics the sense of an incantation. Tramontana smiled so much. His colleagues would do something and he'd look at them and smile. He'd listen and smile. He'd play something and smile. During a string duo he smiled back and forth at Zingaro, Léandre and himself. Lovens added a two-handed flamenco march rhythm that somehow perfectly accented the feeling of an elegy with operatic swells.

Tramontana only played when he felt absolutely compelled, and he was silent for the finish as Paul crashed a cymbal, Zingaro scratched his violin and Léandre let her bow fall with a plop to the ground.

The last set of the night brings excitement and relief. And another sandwich and another beer. The Lisbon Berlin Trio of Luís Lopes on electric guitar, Robert Landfermann on doublebass and Christian Lillinger on drums began with a genuinely scary and threatening growl of bass. A strange bass it was, some sort of upright acoustic doublebass made of metal.

That growl set the stage for the ferocity they were going to bring us for the next hour. Blazing alacrity and blaring ragged lines had me again wanting people up out of their seats and moving. Unfortunately for some ears, folks walked out of this concert, seemingly indignified after the drummer knocked his cymbal stand over and didn't care about picking it up. Well, he had other things he was doing. Like kicking ass! He was insanely tight, the intensity of the multiplicity of rhythms he was kicking out accompanied by off-kilter fills and blistered attacks. An incessantly spooky set that got under my skin and squirmed; I'm probably still pregnant.

Day Four: Patience Harbor

The last day of the festival and the temperature continued to rise. It was hot. Real hot. And sticky and steamy and contagiously fuming. So we had to go to church. The fact that the Jazzgalerie is next door to a church shouldn't be a surprise; the surprise is how rarely we get to worship in a place that feels so welcoming.

The set by Dror Feiler (electronics, reeds, lectern, organ pipe) and Philipp Quehenberger (church organ) inside the Evangelische Kirche was one of those rare confluences of sound and space and time that redeem. Feiler had unscrewed one of the pipes from the organ and brought it to the center of the room. It was about five feet long and he blew into it like he was playing a didgeridoo. Then he dragged the lectern from one side of the altar to the other so it rubbed and squeaked against the floor. Presence felt.

Frame established, he proceeded with deep squeaks from his reeds and Quehenberger made circular knots with the tubular wind of the organ. Feiler cry-singing with his saxophone while Quehenberger smartly circles round. No need to directly interact, this was two simultaneous actions embellishing each other.

The tone of Quehenberger's organ was watery pastels mixed with burnt oranges and lemons, the salve of a question best left unanswered.

Feiler's contrabass clarinet came out, softening the edges of the hard wooden benches we were all sitting on. He played the kind of profoundly joyous alto saxophone solo that can only be played if you know the other side of that emotion. Dror put the saxophone down, dragged the squeaking lectern across the altar once more; aimed the loose pipe at us like it was a missile launcher, but put his mouth to it and made music instead.

Jon Rose (violin, electronics), Bob Ostertag (electronics) and Gerry Hemingway (drums) got the evening back at the Jazzgalerie underway with a skittery display of electroacoustic swivel and groove. Rose's pedals and electronics made him sound like a string section rather than a single player, all the better to balance the sweeping patterns Hemingway was laying down. I liked Ostertag's playing in this first piece better than his solo a couple days before as the element of group interaction seemed to encourage a more curious, less knowing foray into the electronic realm. Barefoot and wireless, he triggered telephone rings and swishy bottom-of-drink sloshy sips. Rivulets of strained vocals punctured the flow in staccato bursts when Rose picked the violin like a guitar. Hemingway sang inaudibly to himself like a little kid when no one's watching, flailing his body in every direction in an effective temper tantrum.

During the second number they played an unfortunate divide between acoustic and electronic instruments became apparent. Rose and Hemingway used a range of dynamics available to them, doing basic things like changing the volume level when musically necessary, but Ostertag couldn't react quickly enough because he simply wasn't as physically involved with his instrument. Electronics don't have to be that limiting - Thomas Lehn, Lionel Marchetti, Tamara Wilhelm and many others don't have this problem - but when Rose and Hemingway were truly swinging, Ostertag could only accent their activity, not participating with full panache.

DJ Illvibe (turntables) started his duo with Paul Lovens (drums) demonstrating the physicality of his relationship with his electronic instrument: he tapped the turntables to generate a thumping beat. He went directly to the turntables and sped things up, but Lovens charged in even faster and Illvibe smartly slowed things down to a pace that he could better manage. Lovens is such a smart listener that this must have been a difficult challenge for Illvibe: he'd start a beat but Lovens would hear it and finish it before Illvibe could drop it. This combination was a real challenge for Lovens as well because he had only one person to play off of, and that person could only sort-of-react in real time. Good responses left jagged abysses because the timing wasn't perfect. This duo was the most successful when Illvibe focussed on creating a series of repeating melodic tones that Lovens could accentuate. A wah-wah guitar sample met the silky jellyfish threads of Lovens' diaphanous touch with the sticks, sneeze zipped.

The finale of the festival was none other than the Globe Unity Orchestra, a full fifty years after their first concert, albeit in a fittingly modified configuration:

Alexander von Schlippenbach - leader, piano
Henrik Walsdorff - reeds
Gerd Dudek - reeds
Fredrik Ljungkvist - reeds
Rudi Mahall - bass clarinet
Axel Dörner - trumpet
Jean-Luc Cappozzo - trumpet
Johannes Bauer - trombone
Christof Thewes - trombone
Paul Lovens - drums
Paul Lytton - drums

The absence of bass had the longtime drummers absolutely ON TOP of each other: rolling over each other's beats and accents and fills, squeezing rhythm into every nook of space. Brass equally balanced against reeds, drummers on either side of the stage, Schlippenbach's piano sound right in the middle of it all. Big swarms of reeds, big bursts of brass.

As I type this now, almost a year after the fact, I keep thinking about Johannes Bauer, who passed over to the other side a couple months ago, and whose boisterous tenderness onstage and off now colors my memory of this concert - mostly in light yellow (because of his shirts) and deep pink (because of his lips). Phil Minton's Feral Choir will perform a memorial to him in the church next door at this year's festival, and I look forward to lending my voice to that song.

With eleven people onstage improvising it's inevitable that smaller bands form within the group sound and get a chance to air out some fresh possibilities. I particularly enjoyed a trio between Lytton, Ljungkvist and Schlippenbach, the alto saxophone crystallizing the lacy lines from the piano. Cappozzo took a solo and Lovens repeated the same cymbal tone for minutes; the second someone else echoed it he stopped. During the following succession of solos a crazy oblong woof emerged and Dörner turned his head 90 degrees to see who and what did it. It was Mahall. When Dörner took his solo - breathy, slow, powerful - it ignited torpedo accents from a trio of Lytton, Lovens and Schlippenbach, then Dudek entered on a deep tenor saxophone wail.

So much happened with so many musicians during this set and during this festival that when it ended with Lovens gently striking a cymbal with his fist to finish I knew it was just the beat to frame the long silent downbeat until the next year's festival starts.

About the Author

Andrew Choate

Andrew Choate is the author of author of several books including "Stingray Clapping" and "Learning". He is the curator of The Unwrinkled Ear concert series in Los Angeles and "the world's foremost bollard photographer", according to Slate.

@Unwrinkled_Ear andrewchoate.us
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