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NEW MONUMENTS TRIO
Don Dietrich – saxophones/electronics
Mark Morgan – guitar*
Ben Hall – drums
9 pm / 2 sets
*Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances, C Spencer Yeh will not be performing with New Monuments this evening, and has been replaced by Mark Morgan
New Monuments is the performance project of Don Dietrich (Borbetomagus), Ben Hall (Graveyards), and Mark Morgan (Sightings). The band came together initially at Arika’s Instal Fest, 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland, with David Keenan proposing a trio of himself, Dietrich, and Hall. As a U.S. tour came together, Keenan unfortunately couldn’t make the trip to the states. C Spencer Yeh graciously took his place. What was originally to be an acoustic Babi Music cover band became the electro-acoustic behemoth New Monuments and in its current formation is essentially a Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute Band.
New Monuments take their band name from an essay by Robert Smithson (a huge Hendrix fan) and share a common language for so-called “abstract sound” constructions, the members come from related, though diverse, musical backgrounds. With saxophone, guitar, and trapset, they attempt to soundtrack the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise ship constructed solely out of concrete. They have recorded for Important, Bocian, American Tapes, and most recently released New Earth on Nate Wooley’s Pleasure of the Text Records. C. Spencer Yeh is currently on performance sabbatical from the band.
Don Dietrich is one third of the hugely influential post-rock, post-Stockhausen group Borbetomagus. Dietrich along with childhood friend, saxophonist Jim Sauter, and then WKCR DJ cum guitarist Donald Miller, invented huge swaths of new improvisational forms. Borbeto as they are known quickly became the high water mark for a spectral, earth levitating sound with their earliest ‘fan” letter coming from Masami Akita bka Merzbow before he was even a musician. Dietrich has collaborated with Voice Crack, Peter Kowald, Sonic Youth, Frank Wright, Hijokaidan and recorded for PSF and Alchemy. He is a native of Nyack New York and recently released a duo, The Dietrichs, with his daughter, the cellist Camille Dietrich.
Ben Hall studied percussion with Jumma Santos and trapset and precognition with Milford Graves at Bennington College. Hall worked with Bill Dixon with whom he recorded and produced Dixon’s final small group recordings. A founder and principle composer in the 1/4 speed jazz unit Graveyards with John Olson (Wolf Eyes), Hall produced over 90 recordings with Graveyards frequently collaborating with Faruq Z. Bey, Nate Wooley, and Greg Kelley. Hall is currently a member of Nate Wooley’s Seven Storey Mountain and Joe Morris’s Raven Trio. He is a research fellow at the Center from the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College where he teaches legislative analysis around food policy and community.
Mark Morgan is most well known as the guitarist and singer in Sightings, the NYC avant rock band, which existed from 1998 to 2013. Sightings was sometimes accused of exploring the outer reaches of sound in a traditional three piece rock format by The Wire, Village Voice and Pitchfork among others. They released 10 Lps on Load, Ecstatic Peace, Fusetron and Dais in addition to 7″ singles. They extensively toured the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Morgan also collaborated with No Neck Blues Band member Pat Murano in Key of Shame which released two separate albums on Italian labels Planam and Holidays. Morgan’s most recent release is his first solo guitar record Department of Heraldry released on Bill Nace’s Open Mouth. Currently based in Michigan, Morgan also plays guitar with institutional Michigan based avant garde noise group Wolf Eyes.