Fire Over Heaven is a monthly music series guest curated at Outpost by sound artist and improviser Che Chen.

The first program in the series will take place on January 26, 2017, 7-10PM with performances from:

8:00pm: Das Audit
8:45pm: Owen Gardner (of Horse Lords)
9:30pm: Che Chen & Amirtha Kidambi (mems. 75$Bill & Elder Ones)

$10 suggested donation
Music will start promptly at 8pm.

Future Fire Over Heaven events will take place on February 16 (Gospel of Mars/Anais Maviel/Reps), March 16 (Bruce McClure/Max Eilbacher), and April 20 (TBA).

Owen Gardner‘s work in composition and improvisation is informed in equal measure by his involvement in Baltimore’s musical underground and by his study of Medieval European and certain non-Western musics, aiding in the development of an ever-widening sonic and emotional language. Toward this end, he has worked almost exclusively in Just Intonation, applied primarily to cello and modified electric guitar, since 2006. He has been a member of the Red Room Collective since 2009. Owen has worked in a wide variety of collaborative contexts, being or having been a founding member of Horse Lords, Black Vatican and Teeth Mountain and a performing member of Matmos and Second Nature, among other projects.

Das Audit is a New York-based instrumental ensemble formed in 2014 currently comprised of Eve Essex (alto sax/flutes) and Craig Kalpakjian (guitar). Using both improvisation and compositional structures, the group combines noise and drone-oriented passages with melodic patterns and harmonic exchanges. Motivated by physical and formal properties of sound, they draw on a wide range of references including minimalism, krautrock, and classical music. The group has appeared in a variety of configurations, frequently as a quartet with percussionist John Anderson, and also with guests including original Can vocalist Malcolm Mooney and cellist Leila Bourdreuil. Recent appearances in New York include SculptureCenter, Greene Naftali, Pioneer Works, and MoMA PS1 Printshop, among others. They are based out of Ridgewood venue The Sump, where members also organize regular shows.

Improvising duo of vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and multi-instrumentalist Che Chen, who will be playing a specially tuned just intonation electric organ for this performance. Amirtha Kidambi has been turning heads and dropping jaws recently leading her band, Elder Ones, but has also lent her voice to the music of Robert Ashley, Darius Jones and countless other projects. Che Chen is the guitarist in 75 Dollar Bill, who have a been an unrelenting live presence in New York since the band’s inception in 2012. While playing in some other ongoing configurations together, including a “deep listening” quartet with Daniel Carter and Sue Garner and a trio with Robbie Lee, the idea of a duo started to seem somewhat inevitable. Amirtha and Che have stepped out in this formation only once before and this’ll be the first time with the organ, so it’ll be a first-time trio of sorts…forays into spontaneous improvisation and pure sound.

Amirtha Kidambi is invested in the performance, investigation and exploration of creative musics, ranging from Carnatic vocal, free improvisation, experimental art rock and new music. As a bandleader with Elder Ones and as soloist, collaborator and ensemble member in groups such as, the early Renaissance inspired dark folk band Seaven Teares, the homemade analog percussion and visuals group Ashcan Orchestra, and vocal quartet Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, Amirtha has performed in a variety of venues from DIY spaces to concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Issue Project Room, Silent Barn, Whitney Museum, Le Poisson Rouge and The Kitchen. In collaboration with Charlie Looker, the band Seaven Teares released their debut album Power Ballads in 2013 on Northern Spy Records. Recent projects include Apollo’s Accidental Answer a chamber opera with the Pat Spadine’s Ashcan Orchestra, the premiere of AACM founder and legendary composer/pianist Muhal Richard Abrams’ Dialogue Social, and The Oversoul Manual by Darius Jones, premiered at Roulette followed by a Carnegie Hall debut and releasing an album on Aum Fidelity in October 2014. She recently premiered Ben Vida’s work Slipping Control for voice and electronics with Tyondai Braxton at the Borderline Festival in Athens, Greece. Amirtha is fortunate to have had the great honor of working with the late composer Robert Ashley since 2011 in That Morning Thing and premiered WWW III (Just the Highlights). Amirtha and the Varispeed ensemble also premiered his final opera CRASH in the 2014 Whitney Biennial with a Spring 2015 performance run at Roulette. Amirtha is grateful to have been one of the 2014-2015 recipients of the Roulette Emerging Artist Commission with funds from The Jerome Foundation. With support from the commission, Amirtha will record and release a forthcoming album with Elder Ones in the Spring of 2016.

For the most part a self-taught musician, Che Chen uses guitars, violins, keyboards, saxophones, tape recorders and other musical and “non-musical” objects as a means to explore improvisation, tuning, folk forms, perceptual phenomena and the physical properties of sound. Since 2012 Chen has been most active playing guitar in the band 75 Dollar Bill. While principally a duo with percussionist Rick Brown, 75 Dollar Bill’s modal, polyrhythmic music often manifests itself in expanded lineups varying in size from small ensemble to 25-piece marching band. In 2013 he traveled to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania where he received a 2 week crash course in the Moorish modal system from Jeich Ould Chigaly, an experience that would indelibly alter his approach to the guitar. He is an active improviser in NYC with collaborations with David Watson, a quartet with Daniel Carter, Amirtha Kidambi & Sue Garner, and many other projects ongoing. In the mid-2000s he was a member of the band, True Primes, and currently runs the Black Pollen Press label.