The Jazzcat

Tag: Strings and Serpents

Serpents and Strings with Andy Milne and Benoit Belbercq Sunday Oct 26th At REDCAT!

by on Oct.15, 2014, under Events

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 6.52.56 PMREDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts


Strings and Serpents 

Sunday Oct 26th @ 8:30pm

The jazz piano duo Andy Milne and Benoit Delbercq in a concert with Strings

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Plying rhythmic forms and sonic colors in a shared language of improvisation, jazz pianists Andy Milne and Benoît Delbecq (a.k.a. Crystal Magnets) partner with the Japanese koto duo TsuguKaji-KOTO, amid the swirling washes of Saki Murotani’s projected animation. Conceived and composed by Milne—founder of Dapp Theory and noted veteran of New York’s downtown jazz scene—the 75-minute epic draws on the myth of the Rainbow Serpent as it opens new multilayered dialogues between East and West, sight and sound.

Andy_Milne_WEBAs the piano duo Crystal Magnets, Milne and Delbecq are known for fluid melodies and percussive prepared-piano textures, while the twosome of Ai Kajigano and Tsugumi Yamamoto explore the vivid tones of the koto in original repertoire that connects the traditional with the contemporary.

Musically, the project explores a synthesis of Japanese and Western structures in terms of form, improvisational language, and rhythm. Seamlessly blending traditional and modern koto textures with the language of jazz and contemporary improvisation, the compositions explore a polymetric approach for prepared piano and koto, expanding the interaction of rhythmic forms and sonic colors between the music and the animation.

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Visually, Strings and Serpents features a 60-minute animated film based on the Rainbow Serpent mythology and employs 2-D and 3-D computer generated imagery (CGI), inspired by the music. A visual narrative unfolds without dialogue or subtitles, and projects a visual composition that experiments with color, shape, texture, light, and motion to enrich the relationship between the pianos and kotos.

Delbecq (Benoit)Crystal Magnets is a piano duo from two masters of contemporary improvisation, Canadian Andy Milne and Frenchman Benoît Delbecq. In 2007, they received the French-America Jazz Exchange commission from Chamber Music America to develop and record “Where is Pannonica?” Using the sonic landscape of the 5.0 surround sound format for inspiration, the music was composed in part to exploit the unique potential for placing specific compositional elements in distinct regions of the mix. The New York Times lauded the recording as a “strangely beautiful new album” from two “resourcefully contemporary pianists, both drawn to quixotic interrogations of harmony and timbre.”


Both Milne and Delbecq are recipients of the prestigious Civitella Fellowship and, individually, lead and compose for numerous projects, tour extensively throughout the world, and are highly regarded within the jazz and creative music communities of New York and Paris, respectively.

Toronto native Andy Milne is best-known for his six years in the ‘90s as keyboardist with alto saxophonist Steve Coleman’s different bands, as well as leading his own Dapp Theory combo since 1998. Milne’s recent and upcoming projects include experiments with small group improvising and composed orchestral music; collaborations with a fellow pianist, two kotoists, actors and a comedian. Plus his associates hail from the US, France, Japan … and even outer space.

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Milne draws inspiration from various forms of music, politics, philosophy, comedy, and science fiction. His musical influences include Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, Herbie Nichols, Bela Bartok, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. Considered one of the most important and respected voices in jazz today, Milne is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions, including the prestigious Civitella Fellowship in 2011.

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Milne has established himself as a distinctive voice at the heart of New York’s creative jazz scene, performing throughout the world in numerous settings, including collaborations with a range of artists including Ravi Coltrane, Carlos Ward, Carla Cook, Sekou Sundiata, Avery Brooks, Geri Allen, Dianne Reeves, Robin Eubanks, Red Mitchell, and Sonny Greenwich. His innovative rhythmic approach combined with his extensive harmonic lexicon place him at the forefront of young pianists poised to carry on the lineage of creative masters like Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 6.52.45 PM  Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 6.53.07 PM

Sunday, October 26 at 7:00pm
Tickets: $25 [$20 student/member]
Location: REDCAT | 631 West 2nd St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
For more information call the Box Office at 213-237-2800


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