Formations Series for New & Improvised Music—June 20, 2024

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Formations Series for New & Improvised Music—June 20, 2024

By Woodland Pattern

Formations Series for New and Improvised Music presents Feral Kid Theory with another performer to be announced.

Set 1—Feral Kid Theory is an instrumental ensemble playing third-stream jazz mixed with ambient, noise, and various folk music. The ensemble consists of Kelly Popko and Nick Verbos from Milwaukee experimental music collective Fundamentals, with various guest musicians. In addition to Fundamentals, Kelly has played with New Millennium Chamber Orchestra, the Marquette String Quartet, and a variety of college and youth ensembles. In addition to Fundamentals, Nick has played with Funkopolis/Closed Captioned, Make No Mistake, and performs solo under the name Amphibient.

Set 2—Eli Smith is an experimental musician based in Milwaukee, WI, whose work explores tape collage, drone/ambient music, noise music, jazz, and free improvisation. He will present two new pieces of music for Formations: sound collage/guitar adaptations of two jazz standards, ‘Con Alma’ by Dizzy Gillespie and ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ by Billie Holiday.

Smith’s adaptations of these songs stretch their sonic and temporal fabrics nearly beyond the point of recognition, expanding 4-5 minute songs into 20-minute long meditations that reflect a reverence for the original songs and their composers/performers while transforming them into something wholly different altogether. Guitar and piano are smeared by tape manipulation into spectral masses of sound, chords, and melodies dissolve into tape collage experiments and re-emerge in warped forms; the blues are cast as something metaphysical - a continually emergent spirit.

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