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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Ken Vandermark on Catalytic Sound, a Virtual Festival, and Making Music in a Pandemic

Interview with Ken Vandermark. Photo (C) Cristina Marx/Photomusix

By Paul Acquaro and Stef Gijssels

There is hardly a more hardworking musician as Chicago-based, and world renowned, woodwind player and composer Ken Vandermark. Just in the past few months he has released a large band recording, ENTR'ACTS' Soigne Ta Droite, as well as one with a new quartet, Open Border with percussionist Hamid Drake and two European colleagues,  Luigi Ceccarelli on electronics and Gianni Trovalusci on flutes (review to come). In addition, he has begin releasing individual recordings that will add up to a new Consequent Duos collection (see the review of vol 1). He is also a leading figure in the music consortium Catalytic Sound, which acts as a distributor, organizer, fund raiser, label, and club house with nice benefits for its members. 

Catalytic Sound Festival

The Catalytic Sound Festival 2020 is a virtual festival hosted in conjunction with Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio. The festival is this coming weekend, Friday, July 10th, through Sunday, July 12th, with sets featuring an tantalizing roster of collective artists with both US and European time-zone friendly sets.

The concerts can be enjoyed by all, with suggested donations. For more information check out Catalytic Sound's website or Experimental Sound Studio's page.

Making Music in a Pandemic 

Vandermark also discusses the ways that he and his colleagues are trying to make the virtual experience more than a 'standard' webcast, and then gets into life as a working artist before, during, and after the pandemic. In fact, after getting onto the topic of streaming, we talk about Catalytic Sounds' next venture - which is indeed a streaming service. Vandermark is thoughtful not only about music, but about the state of the world and what can be done about it. He discusses the consortium's efforts to make it possible to earn a living as an experimental musician, and how they try to actively support the change they want to see. 

All this and more ... enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the Catalytic Sound website and festival.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding, thank you. also nice to put faces on two of my fav FJB writers.

I am in Chicago, actually a suburb that is 40 miles away. no music here at all. I have done sessions at ESS, like the place.So this sounds like exactly what I need to get involved in.

Tom Burris said...

Bravo! Great interview!