The Lab

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

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Phillip Greenlief / Fred Frith / Rashaun Mitchell

8pm Doors / 8:30pm Performance
$15 General / Free for members
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Phillip Greenlief (saxophone), Fred Frith (guitar), and Rashaun Mitchell (dance) will create an embodied sound score. These improvisations will be recorded live and internationally distributed as a DVD on Relative Pitch Records, NYC.

“Much of my career has been built around exploring the sound possibilities of the saxophone as an improviser and composer. For the past six years, my duo with Fred Frith has been a key vehicle in this exploration, allowing us to answer a paradoxical question: how do we play what isn’t (what shouldn’t be) possible to play on our respective instruments? Frith’s developed vocabulary and pioneering extended technique forces me to simultaneously return to basics and reinvent my instrument. It isn't possible to "prepare" the saxophone as one would prepare a piano to bring out new sounds; I have to start with the known to achieve the unknown. This past winter, I was part of an evening-length, interdisciplinary series of performances with Mitchell, and our shared investigation of the relationship between improvisation and composition became clear. How do a dancer and musician - both exploring new possibilities in their practice - develop new ways of communicating to establish what might be eventual sources for composition?” – Phillip Greenlief

Since his emergence on the west coast in the late 1970s, saxophonist/composer PHILLIP GREENLIEF has achieved international critical acclaim for his recordings and performances with musicians and composers in the post-jazz continuum as well as new music innovators and virtuosic improvisers. He has performed and recorded with Fred Frith, Meredith Monk and They Might Be Giants; albums include That Overt Object of Desire with Joelle Leandre, and All At Once with FPR (Frank Gratkowski, Jon Raskin, Phillip Greenlief). Recent residencies have included Headlands Center for the Arts and from 2012 to 2014 he was the curator at Berkeley Arts, a home for progressive music. He is the recipient of a San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award. "The Bay Area's do-it-yourself ethos has produced a bevy of dazzlingly creative musicians, but few have put the philosophy to work as effectively as Phillip Greenlief." – Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle.

Though the point of reference for many remains the iconic band Henry Cow, which he co-founded in 1968 and which broke up more than 30 years ago, FRED FRITH has never really stood still for an instant. In bands such as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Tense Serenity, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Eye to Ear, and most recently Cosa Brava, he has always held true to his roots in rock and folk music, while exploring influences that range from the literary works of Eduardo Galeano to the art installations of Cornelia Parker. The release of Frith’s seminal Guitar Solos in 1974 enabled him to simultaneously carve out a place for himself in the international improvised music scene, not only as an acclaimed solo performer but in the company of artists as diverse as Han Bennink, Chris Cutler, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Evelyn Glennie, Ikue Mori, Louis Sclavis, Stevie Wishart, Wu Fei, Camel Zekri, John Zorn, and scores of others.

RASHAUN MITCHELL is a choreographer, performer and teacher living and working in NYC. He is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2012 NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. His work focuses on the creation of new vocabularies for dance performance, with a particular interest in creating poly-modal dance in response to complex and active spatial environments. It takes into account its surroundings as a vehicle for communicating particular metaphorical, inter-textual, and sense-based aspects of dance and performance. His choreography has been presented by MOMA/PS1, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Baryshnikov Arts Center, REDCAT, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, La Mama Moves Festival, Mount Tremper Arts, Skirball Center at NYU, the Museum of Arts and Design, and at numerous site-specific venues and universities.

This program is generously supported by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Musi Musical Grant Program.