Friday, March 18, 2011

Acute Archive Fever Fever

Some recordings of me and Eric Chenaux. Acoustic guitar/dobro improvised duets from the late 1990s, recorded live at the Music Gallery. The real stuff.

More Archive Fever

Some solo improvised music from March 2000. Eleven years ago? What the?

Archive Fever, Volume One

In anticipation of early senility, I have been posting some older music online at the wonderful

The first batch includes a set with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Colligan from early January at the Empty Bottle. I recently rediscovered the CDs of this performance, an especially poignant occasion as they were made by the saintly Malachi Ritscher, who killed himself in a dramatic fashion in protest against the atrocities of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I did not know him, but was impressed by his kindness and dedication to documenting the music he loved when we met on the night of this performance. Rest in peace.

The music is pretty interesting, and it was a privilege and honor to play with these musicians. Happened a few other times; hope it might happen again.

Here are the links:

Monday, February 19, 2007


Kurt Newman is a guitarist and improvisor. A native of Toronto, Canada, Newman moved to Austin, Texas several years ago, and has recently relocated to Santa Barbara, California. Over the past decade, Newman has focused his creative energies on non-idiomatic improvisation, and continues to work on refining his voice as an improvisor. Among his collaborators: (Europe) John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, Thomas Lehn, Roger Turner, Jaap Blonk; (Japan) Tetuzi Akiyama; (USA) Kyle Bruckmann, Chris Cogburn, Dave Dove, Nick Hennies, Henry Kaiser, Fred Lonberg-Holm; (Canada): Mike Gennaro, Eric Chenaux, John Oswald, Michael Snow, Mauro Savo, Sam Shalabi, Alexandre St-Onge. Kurt has also worked in the field of musical education, co-conducting a weekly improvisation workshop in Austin with percussionist Chris Cogburn, and in collaborations with movement artists-- in particular, Canadian dancer Aimee Dawn Robinson, clown Aaron Tucker (in the trio Perruque, also with Cogburn), and the Austin-based Improvisation Movement Project. Newman has been in a number of bands: Sackville, Picastro, Wrist Error, Marmots, Golden Melody Awards, and Weird Weeds.

In addition to improvising and recording a solo album,
Newman's current projects also include The Long Telegram, a reductionist shred-metal band, with drummer Nick Hennies, and Daphnomancy, an improvised music and text project with poet Michelle Detorie.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Very nice NAFTA review in Paris Transatlantic: thanks DW!

Whoa... this review just came out in Paris Transatlantic-- very complimentary and nice! I miss playing and hanging out with Chris and Juan a lot. I have highlighted the parts about the guitar playing in rust, the traditional color of narcissism.
Ten Pounds To The Sound
Calling your group after an international trade agreement might sound like an odd idea (and it's a bugger of a job trying to get any info on Google as a result), but makes sense when it's a trio consisting of a Canadian, an American and a Mexican: respectively Kurt Newman, guitar, Chris Cogburn, percussion and Juan Garcia, bass. I'm not sure whether there should be one of those pesky little encircled "R"s indicating Registered Trade Mark (or whatever it means) after the name of the group, but as I never add one after Deep Listening and make a point of forgetting the "TM" after Bill Dixon I'm not going to make any exceptions here. Newman hails from Toronto, but until recently was based in Austin Texas, home not only to percussionist Cogburn but to a dynamic and refreshingly dogma-free improvised music scene. Garcia met Cogburn and fellow Texas improv prime mover Dave Dove when he moved to Houston from Monterrey, Mexico at the age of 17. His meaty bass makes a fine foundation for the music to build upon. Cogburn is as good at hitting his instruments as he is at bowing and rubbing them, and Newman's guitar playing is splendid, at times sounding like a koto, at times like Django Reinhardt beamed down to jam with late 90s Polwechsel. If you can't imagine what that could possibly sound like you ought to check it out for yourself. If you can't find one of the elegant hand-stitched CDRs (limited edition of 100), it seems the music is available for download at and there's also a video of this July 2006 concert at Okay Mountain for you to check out at–DW

Monday, August 14, 2006

Toronto Solo

Live at the tranzac club... great night with the draperies... what a joy to play solo music for most of the people who taught me all of the important things i learned about music during my years in toronto, which was when i learned all of the important things i learned about music: eric chenaux, martin arnold, stephen parkinson, aimee dawn robinson, doug tielli, ryan driver... whoa. so nice to see old friends.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Aaron Tucker Is The World's Best Improvisor

Omigod, I am reeling with glee... Chris Cogburn has just posted some video of our erstwhile and future trio Perruque, which featured CC on percussion, yours truly on guitar, and Aaron Tucker on clown/movement. We did a number of performances, each of which was more fried and transcendent than the last. Aaron moved away a few months after the project started, but I am 1000% positive that we will perform again many more times in the coming years.

These videos makes me deliriously happy. The ones above document a performance at the Red Door venue in Austin, Texas from 2003, I think. Below is a film of a set at the Hyde Park Theatre, from winter 2004.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Audio from Horne/Newman Duo and Fun and Games Quartet

Thanks to the intrepid efforts of Charlie Alvarado and Clifford Allen, I was able to do a couple of consecutive farewell appearances on their KVRX show "Close Enough for Jazz" in July. There is a link to two hot little excerpts here... the duo with Jonathan Horne features the young master on archtop acoustic and the old codger on electrical archtop guitars; Fun and Games is a quartet featuring Jonathan, again on acoustic archtop guitar, Chris Cogburn on selected percussion, Nick Hennies on snare, and yours truly on electrical archtop guitar.

Many thanks to Oguz Erdin, a great recording engineer who generously gave of his time and expertise to record this music!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

NAFTA at Okay Mountain

Awesome videos, Michelle! Thanks so much.