Looking back and forward

Dear Friends,

Happy September to you.  This time of year tends to be filled with summer  shutting down and life revving up for the cold and all the activities swirling around it.  Kids go back to school, life resumes a  cold-world order and I do hope a relaxing summer sets a precedent for you to ride out the rest of the year.  Have I had a relaxing summer?  Absolutely not! Yet I feel so invigorated and grateful for the enriching summer that I had.   I’m using the remaining days to take in a dose to get me through this next period which  is chock full of  activities and its inherent stresses.  But more on that later in this note!  First I’d like to share just a bit about my summer and the riches procured because.


I had the honor  to perform at The Stone in NYC three times this summer as a bandleader.  First in July, Brandon Ross curated and asked the Fay Victor Ensemble to take part.  It wasn’t our best gig but the thrill of playing in here and directing the sound in my own way for the first time was exhilarating and the set the course for the two concerts to follow in August under Tyshawn Sorey’s curator-ship of the space.  First in August, the ExPosed Blues Duo (with guitarist Anders Nilsson) with Tomas Ulrich on cello. We did about 5 tunes in the space of an hour, stretching, chanting, wailing, screeching, straight-beseeching the blues and her cousins in this space…where you could hear a pin drop throughout.  So intense was this thing.  I’d been thinking about cello and the blues for a while and this union was a match made in purgatory, alongside Anders’ dirty guitar. We’ll work it again in October, close to Halloween when these sounds will resonate even more with the times. Perhaps you can join us and I’ll post something on the myspace page from the Stone gig at www.myspace.com/exposedbluesproject very, very soon.

The last concert at the Stone was with trombonist Roswell Rudd and Tyshawn Sorey, performing pieces of mine, Herbie Nichols and a snippet of a bigger project around haikus. Mind altering, life changing and challenging as hell, this was a meeting of the minds and a collaboration with space shifters and openers. I could breathe tons of air with the molecules left bare.  Space is the place.  Sun Ra said it and now I get it and I want more of THAT.

Moreover, I began curating a left-of-center vocal series at the Local 269 with Arts for Art, inc./RUCMA in August as well, that has already had some memorable performances.  This is a dream of mine to present vocalists doing original, experimental and distinct work in a venue that is open to this presentation.  The Evolving Voice Vocal Series is all about casting a spotlight on vocalists with idiosyncratic styles and on the more experimental side of the music.  Patricia Nicholson Parker and I are curating the series and we’re delighted to be involved in highlighting what we consider to be an under-served side of the scene. Keep up with the schedule at www.myspace.com/rucmanyc and rucma.org.  Questions, suggestions, booking for the series? Please get in touch at evolvingvoice@gmail.com. Coming this month on the Series:  Lisa Sokolov, Leena Conquest, Gina Leishman, Ellen Christi, Yoon Sun Choi and Dean Bowman!!

The FreeSong Suite

As I have been sneezing, and hinting at for the past couple months  – The  Fay Victor Ensemble is about to release our new record, The FreeSong Suite on September 22, 2009.  So excited about this record and presenting to the world the evolution of the FVE and our approach to creative vocal music that we think is as accessible as it is challenging. So interested in how folks will take the music and looking forward to lots of feedback and discussion about it too. Legendary and eminent guitarist Gary Lucas wrote the liner notes and mentions that the record is “…hypnotic in its flow, every song in the three sections of the suite a masterpiece of compressed story-telling…”. We’re celebrating on the first day of October at Roulette.

Fay Victor Ensemble CD Release “The FreeSong Suite”

FV-voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson-guitar, effects
Ken Filiano-bass, effects
Michael ‘TA’ Thompson-drums

Roulette 20 Greene Street
(between Canal and Grand Streets)
Reservations/Tickets: 212.219.8242
Admission: $15 Harvestworks & DTW members, Students, Under 30 & Seniors: $10
Roulette members / Location One members: FREE.

The FreeSong Suite is a recommended New Release in AAJ-NY
-Laurence Donahue-Greene, Managing Editor
September 2009 AAJ-NY

The FreeSong Suite Contest!

Now for some fun.  I’m giving away 3 copies of the FreeSong Suite!  How cool is that?
Here’s the deal:

The FreeSong Suite is divided into three parts or ‘rooms’.
Each room has a number; which are related to real things.
Take a stab at what they mean and if you come close, you’ll win a free copy of the FreeSong Suite!

Here are the room numbers:




All entries for consideration should send their guesses to ecru_sitges@yahoo.com By September 21st, 2009.

Moving Forward

I am happy to announce that my husband Jochem van Dijk has composed  a site specific piece in commemoration of Henry Hudson’s ride up the Hudson River. His pocket oratorio (with libretto by Gerhardus van Wilgen) will be performed by three decidedly non-Dutch but definitely immigrant vocalists: Kyoko Kitamura, Yoon Sun Choi and myself alongside Tomas Ulrich on cello.  This is an exciting development for the a cappela vocal quartet  (sans Jen Shyu, on tour in the Far East) to perform  in one of the most glorious spaces in the DIA Museum in Beacon, NY – the Chamberlain room of sculptures made of salvaged automobiles.

And on September 28th,  my great friend and saxophonist Oleg Kireyev is visiting New York City and he’ll join me at the 55Bar for the Early Set alongside Hill Greene and Dom Minasi.  I’m pulling out my standards for this one but we’ll veer off into strange places as well.

Lots more coming in October with the FreeSong Suite CD Release here in NYC and on October 4th in Philadelphia, PA  at the Rotunda. Tell your Philly friends to come down and say hello.
Stay tuned for news on that + upcoming tour news for 2010 to boot.

Happy September indeed!

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