Friday, March 19, 2010

EVENT: Sat, March 20th: Stan Mir and Jason Ajemian

Saturday, March 20th at 7PM
Brickbat Books:

Stan Mir & Jason Ajemian

Come celebrate the release of Stan Mir's most recent book of poetry, Song & Glass (Subito Press, 2010). Mir is also the author of The Lacustrine Suite (Pavement Saw Press, forthcoming) and Flight Patterns (JR Van Sant, 2009). Currently, he lives in Philadelphia and co-organizes the Chapter & Verse Reading Series with Ryan Eckes at Chapterhouse Cafe.

The event will begin around 7:00 PM with a short set of music by Jason Ajemian and members of the High Life, then Stan will give a short reading from the book, and finally there will be a slightly longer set from the band. Over the years, Ajemian has performed at numerous Ars Nova sponsored events in Philadelphia. Ajemian & the High Life will be heading out on tour the next night to support their new album Let Me Get That Digital (Sundmagi, 2010).

Stan Mir:

“Song and glass is the way I think of Stan Mir's poems anyway. So, it seems fitting that his collection is called SONG & GLASS in the first place. Stan Mir's poems are goddamn beautiful. And they are beautiful in the way glass is beautiful. And they are alive and beautiful in the same way glass is both alive and beautiful. And Stan Mir's poems are both alive and beautiful like the way glass horses ice-skating in December under the twinkling light is beautifully alive. And when you read Stan Mir's poems you come to see that all beautiful things are always alive. And when you read SONG & GLASS, you just might begin to realize that you are alive, too.”
—Dorothea Lasky

“Imagine a WPA today (why not?), and imagine it includes a Poetry Dept. And imagine Joe Ceravolo as head of the department handing out pencils one can see through, the way a kid can see through his forefinger the sun. Imagine a course called Staring out the Window that you can take for credit because it helps you to get out of your head and into the day. And imagine writing on the window all the particulars being out of your head allows you to see. Imagine the highest grade possible being song, in whatever key. And so it is that I see Stan Mir at the desk nearest the window staring at the democratic sticks, 40 oz. empties and styrofoam cups, all of which he converts into song that makes a difference for a change.”
—Michael Gizzi

Jason Ajemian:

Jason Ajemian has acquired a high profile in the improvised music scene over the years, performing with Rob Mazurek’s Mandarin Movie, Exploding Star Orchestra, and Chicago Underground Trio, Ken Vandermark’s Crisis Ensemble, and currently with Marc Ribot’s new group Sun Ship. Ajemian’s curiosity has ranged far and wide - he’s just as comfortable in the hushed, folksy setting of Born Heller, his duo with Josephine Foster, as he is in the majestic, breathing-based arrangements of his large ensemble Who Cares How Long You Sink. Given such a variety of musical interests, a detour like “From Beyond,” Ajemian’s backwards version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Into the Void’ for chamber ensemble, begins to seem like an obvious stop on this bassist’s journey from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to Chicago and his current home in New York City.

The High Life:

"Jason Ajemian and the HighLife is a home where the concepts behind all of this wonderful music can comfortably reside. Formed at the Harold Arts Residency in rural Ohio, Jason Ajemian and the HighLife features a carefully structured approach to improvisation that nevertheless leads to music that sounds immediate and effortless. Ajemian’s poems serve as signposts; the scores, created in the architectural drafting program AutoCAD, guide the musicians through musical hallways to unexpected locales. His blueprints dictate the flow and direction of the set, opening the performers up to visual and descriptive influences, leading them through a unique musical landscape of American folk forms, Native American chants, Canadian sea shanties, jazz expres- sive motion and balladry. The end result is this album, fearless and thoughtful, with free improvisations that follow a unique dreamlike logic." - Jacob Kart


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