If one defines artistry as a simple expression of artistic ability, the surface is barely scratched in terms of what motivates passion for that expression. If artistry is defined as a discipline of being—as a way to find one’s pathway to self-realization and come to terms with one’s own humanity—then you’ve defined the day-to-day practice of sonic sensory clarinetist and vocalist Beth Fleenor…. read the full interview by Paul Rauch here: https://www.earshot.org/project/beth-fleenor-the-discipline-of-being/
Special thanks to Nada Mucho for featuring Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band on their list of “41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2018” – many great things on this list, check it out!
“Each song by Crystal Beth & The Boom Boom Band is so different that it’s difficult to describe their sound, but I will give it a shot. The five-piece group makes multi-instrumental psychedelic jam rock with a sense of humor. Singer/songwriter Crystal Beth’s (Beth Fleenor) vocal chords seeming possessed by a different and equally talented spirit on each song. Always shocking. Always odd. Never boring.” (Tim Basaraba)
We are absolutely delighted to be included in the esteemed compilation Ball of Wax 50. This release always features a brilliant range of music, and we are honored to be included alongside such individually unique and fabulous songwriters.
About our track they write, “Beth Fleenor – aka Crystal Beth – is an undeniable, unstoppable musical force, and one of Seattle’s treasures. She uses her voice and clarinet – not to mention the deep connections she forms with her collaborators – to channel strange, disturbing, and beautiful sounds into existence from beyond most of our imaginings. “Battle Cry” has no words that would be recognized in any language, but words would be needless ornament here. The band’s joyful, stomping skronk and Beth’s chants and shrieks bypass the language centers of the brain and drill directly into the deepest, primal folds, beckoning you to surrender to sound, to find peace and clarity through a modicum of musical insanity.”
“Throughout history, we have used the term “Mother Earth” to draw connections between the life-giving power of woman and the world, recognizing both as a source of life, love, and nourishment, both literally and figuratively.
And yet, throughout history we have also abused, neglected, and exploited both woman and the earth. We have inflicted countless physical, political, social, and symbolic injustices upon them, stripping them of their strength, power, and personal value again and again.
That is the premise behind Seattle-based dancer and choreographer Karin Stevens’ newest work, titled (re)MOVE: Back Toward Again the (re)TURN Facing. It is a 70-minute dance featuring music by three Seattle composers: Wayne Horvitz, Michael Owcharuk, and Nate Omdal. The work premieres this weekend with three performances at Velocity Dance Center on Capitol Hill.”
Full of turbulent exchanges, (re) MOVE: (re) TURN pulls from thousands of years of scientific, philosophical and spiritual writing on connections between women and the earth. Within the expansive and driving string quartet movements, including Owcharuk’s Upward Spiral, written specifically for Karin Stevens Dance with support from 4Culture and Horvitz’s, These Hills of Glory for string quartet and improvising soloist, winner of a 2008 NEA American Masterpieces Award, five female dancers weave patterns of separation and alliance, drawing connections between our bodies and the lands we inhabit. Chinese Five Element theory, mythical and mystical stories of the divine female and the current denigration of the female voice inform the choreography. This unfolding, evening-length collaboration evokes ancient and forgotten truths as a call to action. Can a loving change be recovered?
Violinists Paris Hurley and Alex Guy, violist Heather Bentley, cellist Maria Scherer Wilson, bassist Nate Omdal, clarinetist Beth Fleenor, drummer Isaac Joseph Boyle and pianist Michael Owcharuk perform alongside the dancers.
A very special thanks to photographer Steve Korn for inviting me to the studio and including me in his “Leading Questions” interview project. I feel like Steve’s images really capture the nature of the sonic & interpersonal work I’ve been exploring with the blindfold, and I appreciate his gift of that moment.
The Sam Boshnack Quintet is featured in this summer mixtape from Nancy Guppy and Art Zone – and in other news, the Quintet was reviewed live at the Olympia Experimental Music Festival:
“The quintet is much more in a traditional jazz vein than previous acts tonight, but not so tradition-bound that they fall out of the experimental realm. The next tune is a new original with Nellie Bly as Samantha’s inspiration…. tons of tension and dark tones, which is how she intetended it to be, I imagine… excellent vocal weave in the middle of the tune over a bass strum and some wonderful electronic keyboard. Every tune, including this 3rd one, is full of intricate surprises and refreshing nuances – just BURSTING with energy. Truly one of the best live jazz performances I’ve seen in the last 20 years.” (Dick Metcalf / Improvijazzation Nation) > Read More
ZERO-G PRESENTS @ THE ROYAL ROOM
The Royal Room ● 5000 Rainier Ave. S, Seattle ● 8-11 p.m. ● donation ● All ages until 10 p.m., then 21+
Zero-G Concerts is excited to present yet another evening of adventurous instrumental music at The Royal Room featuring three exciting original genre-bending ensembles:
RIK WRIGHT’S FUNDAMENTAL FORCES (8:00 p.m.)
Guitarist Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces is an innovative collective of modern progressive jazz players who are known for their genre-bending performances – world beat one minute, rock the next, a touch of jam band and back to the core of jazz. Fundamental Forces blends forward thinking arrangements with grooves that allure at every turn. That allure has propelled them all the way to #1 on the CMJ Jazz charts. Fundamental Forces line-up for this evening features Rik Wright (guitar), Geoff Harper (bass), Greg Campbell (drums) and special guest Greg Sinibaldi (saxophone).
SAMANTHA BOSHNACK QUINTET (9:00 p.m.)
Sam Boshnack is quickly gaining acclaim as a composer, her “open voicings, jaunty tempos and buoyant timbral mixes have a friendly monster feel that achieve a bittersweet and elegiac mood of orchestral grandeur” (Downbeat). A classic jazz instrumentation that does anything but standard music, the Quintet packs a power punch. Boshnack’s primary small ensemble as a leader, this band thrashes and bounds through tightly woven twists, tunnels and cliffs with the deftness and precision of a chamber ensemble and weight of a rock band. The Sam Boshnack Quintet features Sam Boshnack (trumpet/voice), Beth Fleenor (clarinets/voice), Alex Chadsey (piano), Isaac Castillo (bass), and Max Wood (drums).
MICHAEL OWCHARUK QUARTET (10:00 p.m.)
Michael Owcharuk is a very talented and entertaining pianist who has collaborated with almost all of the leading figures in our productive and accomplished jazz scene. His work pairs an experimental edge with a strong sense of swing, and is sure to perk up the ears of eager listeners. Michael’s quartet performs original, widely-influenced tunes by Michael and other Seattle composers. Featuring Kate Olson (saxophone), Nate Omdal (bass), and Jacques Willis (drums).
In November 2014, as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival, Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band premiered Liberation Ritual 1 – over an hour of continuous music intended as a release ritual. Fleenor composed the work as part of a month-long residency at the Millay Colony of the Arts in Austerlitz, NY, with support from Artist Trust.
The Seattle Times writes: “Best known as a superb jazz clarinetist — she brought both her B flat and bass — she primarily sang with Crystal Beth, offering fare perhaps best described as world music from an imaginary planet — or at least one recently visited by Yoko Ono. Shrieking and stuttering over long, modal vamps and jagged punk rhythms, Fleenor offered a nonstop hour of new material she called “scenic overpasses” in a “liberation ritual.” Overall, it was quite compelling and magical, though it could do with a little editing.” (Paul DeBarros)