MASS Gallery
507 Calles Street Suite 108
Austin, TX 78702

MASS is happy to be hosting our friends COTFG and the New York based chamber ensemble Till by Turning.  Ensemble member Emily Manzo (piano) has previously performed in Austin as part of Jace Clayton’s Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner and as one-half of the duo Christy and Emily, but this is the first time with full quartet of Amy Cimini (viola), Erica Dicker (violin), Katherine Young (bassoon). We couldn’t be more pleased about COTFG’s choice to use our space for the Austin debut of this ensemble of talented performers!

The evening’s performance will also feature an improvisational performance for flute, darbukah, viola, voice and percussion by Lila Divine Play (Julie Slim-Nassif, Stephanie Britten Phillips, and Seetha Shivaswamy) a presentation of Thomas Echols’ project Man, Woman, Friend, Computer, Austin-based composer and performer Marcus M. Rubio’s electronic collage project More Eaze and closing out the night with the ambient ensemble Future Museums and the intense vocal gymnastics of Asukubus. COTFG will be accepting a $5.00 donation at the door. 

Till by Turning is the collective effort of Amy CiminiErica DickerEmily Manzo, and Katherine Young — four creative performers who work as composers, educators, scholars, songwriters, and improvisers. Till by Turning performs new chamber music by established and emerging artists, including original compositions, songs, and arrangements written by the ensemble members. Till by Turning also develops creative educational programs linked to this repertoire. The quartet met while studying instrumental performance at Oberlin Conservatory. Inspired in part by a unique instrumentation (violin, viola, bassoon, and piano), the first concert was a program of music by Sofia Gubaidulina.  Since then, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered music by Jessica Pavone, Aaron Siegel, Jason Cady, Jim Altieri, Matt Marble, Sabrina Schroeder, Alex Ness, Jordan McLean, among others. Repertoire also includes pieces by Morton Feldman, Olivier Messiaen, Ornette Coleman, Harold Meltzer, Faust, James Tenney, and Christian Wolff.

Julie Slim (Voice, Darbukah) is an Austin ­based Lebanese American multilingual jazz vocalist known for her vocal versatility, singing in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and other languages. Backed by multifaceted musicians Shawn Ellison (keyboard), Phil Spencer (bass), Shirley Johnson (accordion) and Joe McCreary (drums), she envisions her band, RendezVous, as a fusion of the constantly expanding musical influences in her life. Julie’s warm vocals transport her audience to a different time and place, reinterpreting standards from the 1920’s to 1960’s in a variety of latin and jazz rhythms. In addition to two previously released CD’s with RendezVous, Julie recently released her latest full length CD, “Promenade Sentimentale”, an emotional journey through the many phases of love. Julie performs around Austin and the surrounding areas, and enjoys collaborating with several Austin world music bands, such as Atlas Maior, Oliver Rajamani & the Mondsee Orchestra, Indimaj, 1001 Nights Orchestra, and the UT Middle Eastern Ensemble, Bereket. 

Stephanie Britten Phillips (Viola, Percussion, Voice) is a composer, improvisation specialist, and violist. She facilitates workshops in creative music making and improvisation for people of all ages and abilities. She particularly loves to help (often terrified) classically trained musicians to find and release their individual creative voice. Her Improv Orchestra workshops are sourced from her lifelong exploration of improvisation in music and interdisciplinary arts and focus on helping participants to bridge the gap between technical training and creative self-expression. She has found that this process builds confidence, releases tension, and allows musicians to diversify their skills. She has presented her unique improvising program at numerous universities, camps and conferences across Texas, the U.S. and Canada. Recent presentations have included the McGill School of Music in Montreal, the international conference of the Applied Improvisation Network, and numerous presentations and performances for the annual International Society of Improvising Musicians (ISIM) Conferences.

Seetha Shivaswamy (Flute, Percussion, Voice)
performs as a soloist and chamber musician in concerts throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. She has toured the USA with Global Rhythms World Music Ensemble, performed as a guest flutist with the Orquesta Sinfonica in Monterrey, Mexico, and performed a solo flute recital at the Hong Kong City Centre.

Thomas Echols / Man, Woman, Friend, Computer  is the means by which Thomas Echols makes music when he is not performing various works from the classical guitar repertoire. Simple songs unfold into meandering compositions, analog synth fetishism, conspiracy pop, polyrhythmic laments, somnambulist visions, and process music. Classically-trained Tom was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band Devotchka.

More Eaze is the project of composer/multi-instrumentalist Marcus M. Rubio. The project focuses on collage based work and the destruction of song forms. Recordings and performances often feature a set of stylistically disparate pieces stitched together through complex tonal/timbral relationships that constantly challenge exactly what the music actually “is”. For example, it’s not uncommon to hear American primitive guitar, chopped and screwed r & b/rap, lush synth drones, and deconstructed pop melodies throughout the course of a More Eaze album or even in just one song! In 2015, More Eaze released several albums for Kendra Steiner Editions, Full Spectrum, and Already Dead Tapes. More Eaze has worked collaboratively with artists such as Seth Graham, Amulets, and Andrew Weathers and shared bills with Gary Wilson, John Wiese, Chris Corsano, and Circuit des Yeux amongst others.

Future Museums is serious about harmonizing with the frequency of ceaseless, infinite Earth; chasing strings of desire to the farthest corners of the continent; exploring the introspective engagement with the self that comes after showerless days at a campsite on the side of the highway… Like that moment in a science fiction movie when someone is put into a vat of liquid, but is still able to breath, Future Museums preserve and sustain that same sort of unbelievable, life-affirming lax-luxury that lightens the load of any stressful encounter.” -Tiny Mixtapes

Asukubus, From Dallas, Tx, featuring vocalists Wyatt Rosser, Sarah Ruth, and Aaron Gonzalez is a haunting Avant-Garde performance piece that has been best described as primal scream therapy/psychedelic head noise. Inspired by the likes of Meredith Monk, Scott Walker, and Diamanda Galás, Asukubus focuses on the voice as the primary instrument. Conceptually the performance is an exorcism of masculine toxicity, abuse, and power through a ritualistic display of feminine divinity and power.

Church of the Friendly Ghost (COTFG) is a mostly volunteer-run arts organization supporting creative expression and counter-culture community. Established in the fall of 2003, we have presented over one thousand events to date including concerts, art exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and other adventurous cultural activities.

MASS is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.