The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Chris Corsano / Okkyung Lee / Bill Orcutt

8pm doors / 9pm music

Chris Corsano: drums
Okkyung Lee: cello
Bill Orcutt: guitar

First spellbound by freely improvised music in the mid-1990s after witnessing performances by TEST, William Parker, Cecil Taylor, and others, Chris Corsano began a long-standing, high-energy partnership with Paul Flaherty in 1998. A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop an expanded solo music of his own, incorporating sax reeds, violin strings and bows, pot lids, and other everyday household items into his drum kit. In February 2006 he released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, and Japan. He spent 2007 and '08 as the drummer on Björk's Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, and C. Spencer Yeh. Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, most notably a duo with Michael Flower, Rangda (with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and solo work, now revamped to include synthesizers and contact microphones in addition to his drum set and home-made acoustic instruments.

In addition to the those mentioned above, he's also worked with, among others: John Edwards (released by: Clean Feed/Dancing Wayang), Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City/Family Vineyard), Paul Dunmall (ESP-Disk), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Jandek (Corwood), Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand), MV&EE (Eclipse/Time-Lag), Vampire Belt (Open Mouth), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), and Wally Shoup (Leo/Columbia Japan).

 

Cellist Okkyung Lee uses her classical training as a springboard to incorporate jazz, sound art, traditional Korean music, noise and extended techniques in the creation of her own unique blend of music. Since moving to New York in 2000, she has performed and recorded with numerous artists such as Derek Bailey, Jaap Blonk, Nels Cline, Anthony Coleman, Mark Dresser, Shelley Hirsch, Susie Ibarra, Andrew Lampert, Raz Mesinai, Min Xiao-Fen, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris, Jim O'Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot, Marina Rosenfeld, Elliot Sharp, Saadet Turkoz and John Zorn to name a few. She is a member of TOT Trio with percussionist Tim Barnes and turntablist Toshio Kajiwara and of the improvisational duo, NoNo Twins, with dancer/choreographer Heather Kravas, and is involved in Vijay Iyer’s and Mike Ladd’s In What Language? and upcoming Still Life with Commentator projects and in Greg Tate's Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber, among many other groups. Okkyung’s debut album, Nihm (TZA 7715), a compilation of her compositions on the Tzadik label, has generated critical acclaim in the States and in Europe. Later in 2005 and early 2006, her music will result in a solo cello album on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label, a duo album with tape wizard Aki Onda on the Improvised Music from Japan label and a another duo with Christian Marclay on My Cat is an Alien label's split LP series. She has appeared at the International Festival Musique Actuelle Victoriaville (Canada,) Off New York! Concert Series (Germany,) San Francisco Jazz Festival, Taktlos Festival (Zurich and Basel,) La Biennale di Venezia, and Time Based Arts Festival (Portland.)

 

Born in Miami in the year of Cuban missile crisis and educated in Florida's finest institutions, Bill Orcutt is usually recognized as the co-founder of the band Harry Pussy. Formed in 1991 and featuring Orcutt on 4-string guitar—a practice carried over, developed, and refined from circumstantial adolescent experiments in working around absent strings—and Adris Hoyos on drums and vocals, with a second auxiliary guitarist added in in later years, the group's sound centered on its completely unhinged ferociousness. Within those furious eruptions, Harry Pussy drafted the blueprint—combining hardcore punk's brutish speed blended with the art school caterwaul of No Wave—for the next two decades of noise-rock. In five years, they toured of the US and Canada with the likes of Sonic Youth, Dead C, Charalambides and Pelt and produced over twenty different releases on record labels of varying degrees of accessibility, most regularly for the Philadelphia-based experimental music imprint, Siltbreeze.

Twenty years later, Bill Orcutt still only plays four strings, but now they are attached to a vintage acoustic Kay that has withstood enough damage and repair that it requires custom tuning to stay in one piece. Sometimes clanging and ominous, other times mournful and slight, strangely alienating, but simultaneously vulnerable and cathartic, his music is compared with equal frequency to avant-garde composers and rural bluesman.

In 2009, Bill's newly established Palilalia imprint released the "High Waisted" b/w "Big Ass Nails" single followed quickly by the first major statement of his resurgence, A New Way To Pay Old Debts. These initial transmissions provided the aesthetic foundation—unapologetically improvised, bare bones and situational—from which Orcutt's Kay's evolving sonic narrative continues to reveal itself in audible real-time.

2011 saw the release of Bill's most intense and varied full-length suite of music to date, How The Thing Sings (Edition Mego). The album maintains a clear connection to the guitarist's signature interrogation of his instrument up to this point, but also signals a new phase of cautiously employed conventional melody and song structure. With each recording and individual performance, Bill Orcutt continues to discover and invent a wholly unique sonic vernacular built around raw and tortured tone, ragged minimalism, and seemingly inexhaustible improvisational stamina.