release date: 03.06.2022 on Astral Spirits Records
The debut LP from RedGreenBlue posits a mesmeric, minimalist extension of Chicago’s groove-based improvised music tradition. Over the course of two introverted, side-long pieces, the band patiently crafts hypnotic—yet still dynamic—sonic spaces using languid pulsations, careful shifts in colour, and occasional bursts of virtuosic urgency. It’s music that hovers between worlds,
unfurling a foundation of almost ambient weightlessness that’s infected with audible spontaneity and given breadth through rhythm. The expansive result intimates connections to the most atmospheric corners of Miles Davis’ electric catalogue, hints at Terry Riley’s trance-inducing drones, makes oblique references to dub, and even nods in the direction of Town and Country’s DIY chamber music. Yet, all the while it inhabits its very own aesthetic space—a gravity-defying blend of the ethereal and the earthbound that draws the ear in slowly and subliminally.
he quartet of Paul Giallorenzo (synthesizer, pump organ, electronics), Charlie Kirchen (bass), Ryan Packard (drums, electronics) and Ben LaMar Gay (cornet and electronics) first assembled in spring 2017 for a four-week residency at the Burlington, a beloved a hub for exploratory music in Chicago’s Logan Square. The End and the Beginning was conceived and workshopped in the first half of the following year and was later recorded live at the Hungry Brain, another notable Chicago venue in July 2018. With half of its membership leaving Chicago—not to mention the active performance schedule that each member keeps—the group has since started operating more as a rotating collective than a fixed ensemble.
Improviser, composer, producer, and sound designer Paul Giallorenzo employs an array of keyboard instruments and electronics within a practice that spans many exploratory styles from jazz to electronic abstraction. He collaborates with a cast of prominent musicians in outfits such as the Paul Giallorenzo Trio (on piano, alongside Joshua Abrams and Mikel Patrick Avery), GitGO (on piano, with Mars Williams, Jeb Bishop, Quin Kirchner and Anton Hatwich), Hearts and Minds (on electric piano and synth with Jason Stein and Chad Taylor) and SOTOL, and electronics-heavy duo with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. His work has been published on celebrated imprints such as Delmark Records, LeoRecords, and previously on Astral Spirits. Elmore Magazine praised the Paul Giallorenzo Trio’s record Flow as “an album of bewildering intricacy, melodic intrigue and cool intimacy.”
Charlie Kirchen‘s work and interests encompass a similarly vast range. Rapidly establishing himself in Chicago’s close-knit jazz and experimental music community since his arrival in 2010, he went on to lead the Charlie Kirchen Quartet (Flood Music) with NickMazzarella, Dave Miller and Devin Drobka while lending his unique voice as a bassist to other groups such as The Flake (Amalgam Music), Rooms Trio, The Few, Sfyria Trio (Astral Spirits), and the Emerson Hunton Quintet. Kirchen since relocated to New York City, where he’s pursuing a PhD from Columbia in music theory. Kirchen is noted for an analytical framework that draws upon various strains of critical theory to address everything from improvised music to popular forms, and from jazz to extensions of classical music.
Ryan Packard currently divides his time between Stockholm, Sweden and Chicago while nurturing an eclectic career that embraces composition, performance and sound art. His compositional output has been performed by Fonema Consort, Ensemble Chartreuse, L Collective, Seth Parker Woods, The Morton Feldman Chamber Players and the AndPlay Duo. He exists seamlessly between the worlds of composed and improvised musics and has collaborated with artists like Nelly Agassi, Annea Lockwood, Nate Wooley, ZRL (Lia Kohl and Zachary Good), Finn Loxbo, Brandon Lopez, Dave Rempis, Jasper Stadhouders, John McCowen, Magnus Granberg, Peter Ablinger, JulioEstrada, Kunshu Shim, Gerhard Stäbler, and many others. Peter Margasak once praised his aforementioned trio ZRL in the Chicago Reader,stating that its members “belong to a new strain of Chicago musicians who operate so authoritatively in disparate settings that it’s diffcult todescribe them in terms of genre—they’re interested in exploration, wherever it may take them,” continuing to hail their self-titled cassette release as “exquisitely considered.” Ryan is also active in producing shows within the Stockholm experimental music scene and has been on the FRIM (Föreningen För Fri Improviserad Musik) board since fall of 2019.
Acclaimed composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay has carved out a singular voice as a solo artist while maintaining an enviably diverse collaborative profle. He has worked with the likes of Bottle Tree, Jeff Parker, Makaya McCraven, Natural Information Society, Nicole Mitchell, Circuit Des Yeux, Jaimie Branch, and the Notwist, while contributing to the ongoing legacy of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music). Gay’s defantly unclassifable album Open Arms to Open Us (2021, Nonesuch/International Anthem) was touted by Pitchfork as “a remarkable piece of musical pathfnding, sprawling in its ambition and surprisingly precise in its attack.” and appeared in best-of-2021 coverage from the Wire, and Bandcamp.
RedGreenBlue will launch The End and The Beginning on June 2nd at vital Chicago venue Constellation. This project is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as wellas a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts
The End (feat. Ben LaMar Gay)
Paul Giallorenzo — synthesizer, pump organ, electronics
Charlie Kirchen — bass
Ryan Packard — drums, electronics
Ben LaMar Gay — cornet, electronics (side B)
Recorded at The Hungry Brain, Chicago, July 1st, 2018 by David
Zuchowski. Mixed and Mastered by: Dan Pierson. Art & Layout
by: Dylan Marcus McConnell/ Tiny Little Hammers.