The Roost: A Musical Nest Out On A Limb

The Roost Perches At The Outpost For Its Fourth Season

Mel Minter
4 min read
A Musical Nest Out on a Limb
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Hydrophonium: a tuned jar of water fitted with a submerged microphone. Described by its inventor, Danishta Rivero of Voicehandler, as an “electroacoustic percussion instrument,” this unusual device can be played in a number of ways. For example, it can be struck with a mallet, or bubbles can be blown into it through a straw. The resultant sounds are then processed through a variety of electronic effects.

You’re not likely to hear this eerily beautiful sound on the radio, nor will you see Rivero on “The Late Show” or find her work on the
Billboard Hot 100.

You can, however, catch her and other adventurous musicians on both familiar and bizarre instruments at the fourth annual installment of
The Roost, a concert series devoted to emergent music.

A Humble Series

For musicians such as Rivero, who operate outside of the normal commercial conduits, finding a congenial place to perform can present a challenge. Mark Weaver—a composer, tubaist and didgeridoo player—started the series specifically to provide a place where adventurous music can find its audience.

Operated on a shoestring budget, the series has stayed “humble,” as Weaver puts it. He’s kept costs to a bare minimum, paying musicians from the gate. It’s typically not much of a payday for them, especially if they’ve traveled in from another state, but Weaver notes that finding a receptive venue has made the economics acceptable for the players.

In each of its first three years, the series has nested in a different spot—The Filling Station, UNM’s ARTS Lab and The Projects. Along the way, it caught the ear of Outpost Executive Director Tom Guralnick, himself no stranger to adventure, having coaxed music from a vacuum cleaner hose fitted with a reed. Guralnick offered to copresent The Roost as part of the
Outpost’s annual Creative Soundspace Festival if he could secure funding. An NEA grant has made it possible and will pay the performers something more than lunch money.

A Series of Surprises

The Roost’s performers have included well-established figures on the emergent music scene, such as Vinny Golia and Janet Feder, and local luminaries like Mustafa Stefan Dill, Jefferson Voorhees and Christian Pincock.

Weaver notes that the series gives all these artists the freedom to explore new territory. “Some things are germinating. Some things are possibly happening for the first time at The Roost,” he says. A number of groups use the series to produce a new composition or to experiment with their approach. The quartet Slumgum, for example, will play in all the duo combinations that its members can form.

The 2012 series includes everything from free jazz to electronically manipulated pop. Whatever the style, one thing is pretty much certain: The music will stretch your ears and your imagination.

Jazzed: Schedule

August 5

Polarity Taskmasters

(Emily Hay, Brad Dutz and Motoko Honda)

Sublime derangements

August 12

Andrew Lamb Trio

(with Ben Wright and Dave Wayne)

Baptism via saxophone

August 19

RoMarkable Quartet

(Mark Whitecage, Rozanne Levine, Mary Rose and Joseph Salack)

Textured sonic divagations

August 26


(Jacob Felix Heule and Danishta Rivero)

Nontraditional ethereocarnal songs

September 2


(Matt Norman and Al Faaet)

Dynamic ear remodeling

September 9


(Jon Armstrong, Rory Cowal, David Tranchina and Trevor Anderies)

Mainstream jazz for extraterrestrials

September 16


(Sarah-Jane Moody and Jeremy Bleich)

Claude Debussy, James Joyce and Alanis Morissette meet at the circus …

September 23

Rich Halley 4

(with Michael Vlatkovich, Clyde Reed and Carson Halley)

Looking at the roots from the jazz tree’s upper branches
A Musical Nest Out on a Limb

Andrew Lamb

A Musical Nest Out on a Limb


A Musical Nest Out on a Limb


A Musical Nest Out on a Limb


A Musical Nest Out on a Limb


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