Jonah Parzen-Johnson (US) + Spoelstra (Leiden)
Jonah Parzen-Johnson, a resident of Brooklyn NY, plays music for solo baritone saxophone and analogue synthesizer. With a unique combination of analogue synthesizer components placed on the floor in front of him, Parzen-Johnson uses his feet to weave square and sawtooth waves into a solid and flexible starting point for folk-inspired saxophone melodies, and expressive multi-phonics and circular breathing passages. Every element is performed and recorded live, solo, without any looping, overdubbing or recorded samples. His third full length solo album, I Try To Remember Where I Come From (Clean Feed) was described as, haunted by abstraction but guided by a compassionate pulse, (New York Times).
A Chicago native, Parzen-Johnsons circular breathing, multi-phonics and inclusively experimental style owe a debt to the Chicago saxophone legacy, but a devotion to a “vocal” approach sees his work breach new territory for the instrument.
A proponent of “Extreme Songwriting” Leiden’s Spoelstra brings “far-fetched mutations of noise rock, avant-garde and electronics made live on the spot by one person, a guitar, a synthesizer, samplers and effect pedals”. What Spoelstra does is radical in many ways and certainly a menace for the average dancefloor, but Spoelstra firmly believes there is no reason to let abrasive riffs, loose strings, stumbling patterns, rural outbursts and tearjerk twists stand in the way of a good song unless it feels good.