by Leann Lo, MFA 1 student in CalArts’ Creative Writing Program
Renowned saxophone player Ulrich Krieger, faculty member of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, debuts his latest projects this weekend at the Automata performance space in Los Angeles’s Chinatown (founded in 2004 by artists Susan Simpson, a CalArts alumna, and School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser). Krieger performs the Universe series, on Friday and Saturday, and unveils the latest iteration of his experimental noise-metal band, Blood Oath, on Sunday.
Universe is a four-part series of experimental long-form saxophone solos; he presents two parts each night. From the program notes:
RAW:ReSpace (Universe, parts 1 & 2): electric saxophone
In ReSpace Krieger uses the saxophone as a controller, manipulating nuanced and quiet feedback to create lush ambient atmospheres. RAW [Desert Towns of Southern California] consists of five pieces, each bearing the name of a semi-ghost town in California. RAW explores quasi-electronic saxophone playing with live pedalboard processing. In its geologically sonic textures and eerie acid bath waves, RAW evokes the harsh extremes of Death Valley and post-industrial settlements under pressure.
Cosmos & Quantum (Universe, parts 3 & 4): acoustic saxophone
Cosmos is an aggressive saxophone solo without processing, which ventures outside the fringes of free jazz. Cosmos draws on musical forms of noise, metal and electronica, searching for new expressive possibilities for the instrument beyond the traditions of free improvisation, free jazz and the experimental avant-garde. Quantum is a quiet exploration of soft sounds which require amplification to be audible. Adapting these amplified microsounds, Krieger creates a previously unheard soundworld of the saxophone.
Joining Krieger in the Blood Oath performance on Sunday are Linda Lockwood (Music MFA 17) and Max Kutner (Music MFA 12) on guitar, Ness Morris on bass and Joshua Carro (Music MFA 13) on percussion. The band combines extreme metal and noise with the avant-garde.
Krieger studied saxophone, composition and electronic music at the UDK Berlin (University of the Arts) and the Manhattan School of Music New York. He’s performed with orchestras such as Berliner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Rundfunk-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ensemble Modern, Musikfabrik and with rock and avant-garde luminaries such as Lou Reed, Faust, Christian Marclay, PARTCH Ensemble and many others.
At CalArts, Krieger teaches composition, experimental sound practices and rock music at CalArts where he also explores the crossing of art music and avant-garde rock.