Mar 31, 2023, 8pm

Still House Plants, David Rosenboom, Matana Roberts


Still House Plants’ Finlay Clark, David Kennedy, and Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach began to write music together during their second year at the Glasgow School of Art, later joining the eclectic scene surrounding the city’s Green Door Studio and undertaking a six-month residency at London’s Cafe OTO. Factor in a semester spent living with an emo band in Chicago and the intimate aggregation of the trio’s sound heterodoxy—an astonishing cohabitation of fractured R&B, wistful sensitivity, and harmolodic guitar—begins to show its strands. With punk autonomy, Still House Plants cite the cut-up affect of UK garage as the impetus for their sparse treatment of chords and words as samples; stuttered, fragmented, and permuted by living drums, guitar, and Hickie-Kallenach’s unmistakable husky voice. On their last release, Fast Edit (Blank Forms Editions, 2020), things sit on top of each other, fall over one another, or click into place, with hearts on sleeves and spirits in motion. As part of their long-awaited first tour of the United States, Still House Plants will play for two nights at 2220 Arts + Archives in Los Angeles, with Mark Lightcap and Judith Berkson on the 30th, and David Rosenboom and a special guest on the 31st.

An ever-evolving solo performance, The Infinity of Things that Don’t Exist is a continuously emerging sound world that draws upon its previous iterations and sonic histories to challenge the distinction between nature and artifice. Eschewing genre in favor of a boundless and generative mode of creation, David Rosenboom explores the dynamics of resonance and interaction as organizing principles, incorporating materials from past performances as well as field recordings and live play into this cumulative, improvisational process. In his performance, arrangements of analog sound modules are activated by acoustic inputs from various instruments and sound makers, while other instruments are prompted by algorithms. Parallel to this freeform sonic assemblage, a video, A Summary History of Humans in the World, projects the scene of a hand inscribing ink on parchment, the written text contemplating the challenges of human evolution and how humans respond to the nature of illusions.

Matana Roberts is an internationally renowned saxophonist, composer, band leader, sound experimentalist, and mixed-media practitioner whose work has forged new approaches to narrativity, history, community, and political expression within improvisatory musical structures. A past member of the Black Rock Coalition (BRC), they prefer the term "sound experimentalist" to the historically charged "jazz musician" to refer to their multidisciplinary work, which encompasses a plurality of mediums, formats, and traditions. Since 2006, Roberts has developed a visionary, multi-chapter work called Coin Coin, which weaves their own genealogy through fragments of African-American history to expose the mystical roots and channel the intuitive spirit-raising traditions of American creative expression. Their compositional approach, which they refer to as “panoramic sound quilting” employs collage-based graphic scores as the basis for a bricolage of work songs, lullabies, spirituals, poetry, electronics, and primal screams. They have served as Distinguished Guest Composer at the University Of Chicago, chair of the Music/Sound department at Bard MFA, and as Music and Sound fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program; have collaborated with Roscoe Mitchell, Jayne Cortez, Merce Cunningham, Jem Cohen, Rob Mazurek, Henry Grimes, Vijay Iyer, Nicole Mitchell, Pauline Oliveros, and others; and have been invited to lecture and teach extensively.

Accessibility note: the venue and screening space are on the ground floor and are wheelchair accessible. The bathrooms have grab bars, room for wheelchairs, and are non-gender-segregated. Please contact the venue at 213-277-1987 for more information.