Mat Maneri | Experimental Sound Studio | Experimental | Chicago Reader

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When: Mon., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. 2016

On The Transcendent Function (Clean Feed), his recent duo album with cellist Daniel Levin, violist Mat Maneri unleashes astringent microtonal sighs and groans as part of a gritty but eloquent dialogue of long tones, viscous double stops, and sensual arcs. The pair met at the New England Conservatory of Music around the turn of the century, when Levin was studying with Maneri’s father, Joe—a staunch advocate and deft practitioner of microtonalism—and they’ve worked together on and off ever since. The pair revel in the tones between the standard notes in the octave, blending sounds with palpable relish. But there’s no context where Maneri’s sound bristles with greater beauty and power than his rare solo performances. On his only recording in that format, 2001’s superb Trinity (ECM), he utterly reinvents free-jazz classics, transforming John Coltrane’s “Sun Ship” into a performance akin to dhrupad, the meditative Hindustani vocal tradition, and remaking Eric Dolphy’s “Iron Man” by glissing out the original’s wild intervallic leaps, turning them into a feast of turbulent smears and smudges that disguise the indelible melody. Still, the best material is his own, where lines unfurl like molasses dripping down the side of a jar, or move in fat, swerving double stops spiked with bracing harmonies, each utterance carrying the weight of an orchestra. The concert will be followed by a discussion between Maneri and Ken Vandermark.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10, $5 students and members

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