Dogma Dance Off - Oct 21, Cherry St. Tavern

A Night of Bob (Stagner) w/ Kenito Murray, The Heroes Are Horses, Jon Brumit - Nov 11, Barking Legs Theater

Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris - Nov 15, Barking Legs Theater

History Funhouse: The Wayne-O-Rama Story - through Dec 31, 2023

Wayne-O-Rama is now closed! It was open from Nov. 19, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. Designed by Emmy-winning artist Wayne White, it's a funhouse of Chattanooga history for all ages. Wayne-O-Rama is sponsored by See Rock City, Inc. and presented by The Shaking Ray Levi Society at the Tenn Arts space, with generous support from the Benwood Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the McKenzie Foundation.

Founded in 1986, the Shaking Ray Levi Society is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts education organization.

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The mission of the Shaking Ray Levi Society is to nurture and support music, film, and performance art that is challenging, non-traditional, and falls outside the mainstream, in order to help nourish the cultural growth of Chattanooga.

This is done by sponsoring shows by artists recognized on a national and international level, supporting original work by area musicians and filmmakers, and engaging the community through workshops and educational outreach programs.

"Only in our country are our children not receiving the benefits of the dynamic energies taking place in our culture and in the heritage of our culture and so, the work of the Shaking Ray Levi Society in my opinion is very important because they are seeking to provide an alternative to the marketplace dynamics." - composer, saxophonist and MacArthur fellowship recipient Anthony Braxton (video)

"SRLS is a very sound organization that has made a strong contribution to Chattanooga over the years" - Dr. Thomas Wolf, WolfBrown

The Srls is a funded agency of Allied Arts.


Past Events: 2014
Flying Fingers Productions and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Gold Sparkle Band


Friday, February 14, 2014, 8:00 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$10 door

We are proud to present a rare treat here in Chattanooga: one of only two 20-year reunion performances in the south by the legendary Atlanta/NYC jazz explosion GOLD SPARKLE BAND, which won over critics and audiences around the world throughout the '90s and '00s, praised by the likes of Pitchfork, The New Yorker and The New York Times for their expert musicianship and fiery performances.

The show at Barking Legs Theater, which is firmly establishing itself as the center of Chattanooga's jazz scene, features two sets: the first features the original sextet, while the second presents a "big band" version of the group, augmented with members of Atlanta's 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra and Chattanooga bassist Evan Lipson (of Normal Love and Psychotic Quartet).

"...a freewheeling mixture of haphazard heads, breakneck group interplay, and occasional lapses into inner-space...never less than viscerally engaging...they're firmly part of a lineage including [Ornette] Coleman, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and their heirs." - Pitchfork

With the Shaking Ray Levis:

Flying Fingers Productions and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Ghost Trees

, March 11, 2014, 9 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$5 door

The high-octane, suit-wearing blistering jazz duo GHOST TREES from Charlotte, NC, takes equal inspiration from punk and indie music as it does from revolutionary ‘60s free jazz. Its members – tenor saxophonist Brent Bagwell, who was called Charlotte’s most adventurous reedsman by Creative Loafing, and percussionist Seth Nanaa – have played in heavy touring vehicles such as INDIAN SUMMER, PYRAMID, and THE EASTERN SEABOARD, which has recorded for the legendary Italian jazz label Black Saint.

“...lean, melodic reveries and pithy outbursts as pungent as vintage Archie Shepp.” - Chicago Reader, on Ghost Trees
“The combination of saxophone and drums feels primal and immediate...truly intriguing and adventurous moments.” - Creative Loafing, on Ghost Trees

Flying Fingers Productions and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Jack Wright
Andrew Drury

, March 26, 2014, 9 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$10 door

Alto saxophonist Jack Wright is a sax titan with a career that spans five decades in the world of free improvisation.  With a command of the sax that is at the top of his field with a passionate, kinetic playing style and a huge sound vocabulary, he has been called “the most indispensable musician of his generation” and “the reference par excellence for all the generations who have followed.” (Jazzosphere).

Wright is one of a very small group of musicians in North America that has played improvised music exclusively since the 1970s.  Through years of near constant touring, often performing for audiences in cities and towns where improvised music had never before been heard, he came to be regarded as something of an underground legend.  He has deliberately eschewed the conventions and socio-aesthetic limitations of musical careerism to pursue his own vision. Although his de-professionalized approach sets him apart from most musicians at his level of accomplishment, his art has always grown, expanded, and synthesized new information. He is unquestionably an original and virtuosic saxophonist, a master improviser who is deeply lyrical, with humor never far away.

Percussionist Andrew Drury is a fearless music explorer of new materials and techniques, as a free-improv soloist, a self-taught composer and collaborator with some of the most adventurous and acclaimed improvisers in the world. A bold and inventive performer, Drury often performs using one drum, scraping the head with wood slivers and fingernails, manipulating drum head tension and harmonic patterns with bells and using the drum as a wind instrument. He has been called “a thoughtfully avant-garde drummer and composer” by The New York Times and an “outstanding jazz and experimental percussionist” by Time Out New York, and he has led hundreds of workshops around the world and composed pieces for dance performances and street theater.

“In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king” - Washington Post

Raw, visceral, urgent, his music demands to be heard” - The Wire, on Jack Wright

“The drums must be the oldest musical instrument of human kind, and no one has ever confronted it with a more unbounded, yet skilled, creativity than has Drury.” - David Yearsley, Counterpunch

David Greenberger
and Prime Lens

, March 29, 2014, 1:30 PM
Big Ears Festival
The Square Room
4 Market Square
Knoxville, TN 37902

David Greenberger and Prime Lens

David Greenberger and Prime Lens will present a live experience featuring The Duplex Planet publisher and NPR contributor narrating written pieces to the interpretive sounds of long time collaborator Bob Stagner, string bassist Evan Lipson and multi-instrumentalist Amanda Rose Cagle.

Reaching the tenth anniversary of their Mayor of the Tennessee River (written and debuted in performance in 2001, then recorded and released on CD two years later), David Greenberger and The Shaking Ray Levis, Dennis Palmer and Bob Stagner, embarked on a new recording project after playing a festival together in 2011. Tramps That Go Think in the Night was created with an eye towards further live dates and touring. Sadly, that was not to be. Dennis Palmer died quietly in his sleep last year, succumbing to heart problems that had been shadowing him for a couple decades. During concerts in Chattanooga, honoring the memory of Palmer, Greenberger and Stagner realized it was important that they continue their collaborations, as it was Palmer who had drawn them together in the first place. For the performance they were joined by Evan Lipson and Amanda Rose Cagle, bringing a new ensemble into focus.

The three musicians are based in Chattanooga with Greenberger in upstate New York. They took their name from an anagram of the man who brought them all together (“and Prime Lens” = Dennis Palmer)

For two decades artist David Greenberger (best known for 32 years of his periodical, The Duplex Planet) has been exploring the ways in which music can be wedded to spoken monologues. His conversations with old people are the basis for the text he develops. He presents characters who still find pleasure in the company of others, and who open up, sometimes in very small ways, to someone taking an interest in them. This is Greenberger’s art: eschewing oral history, abstracting dialogues by shaping them into works that resonate with shared humanity. Over the years he has worked with a range of musical collaborators, among them Terry Adams (NRBQ), David Hidalgo & Louie Perez (Los Lobos), Glenn Jones, Chris Corsano, Robyn Hitchcock, Wreckless Eric, 3 Leg Torso, Paul Cebar, and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.

Bob Stagner is a percussionist, teacher, speaker and leader in arts advocacy for over 25 years. He co-founded the free improvisation duo, The Shaking Ray Levis, and the Shaking Ray Levi Society, an arts education organization that supports emerging artists in performance, art and film. He is the Southeast director of The Rhythmic Arts Project that provides music workshops for people with physical and mental disabilities. He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Derek Bailey, Rev. Howard Finster, Wayne White, Bob Dorough, Fred Frith, Min Tanaka, Amy Denio, Shelley Hirsch, and John Zorn.

Evan Lipson is a member of the trans/mutational art band Normal Love and WREST (with Jack Wright and Ben Bennett). Past ensembles include Satanized, Dynamite Club, HISSWIG, Psychotic Quartet, Femme Tops, Other Life Forms, and The Weasel Walter Trio. Lipson has performed throughout North America, as well as Brazil, Taiwan, and Japan. His music has been released on several imprints including SKiN GRAFT, UgEXPLODE, High Two, Public Eyesore, Badmaster, Caminante, New Atlantis, and Damage Rituals.

Amanda Rose Cagle studied Baroque strings and woodwinds at Case Western University and piano, double bass and clarinet at Hiram College. Returning to Chattanooga she began a study of modern improvisation with The Shaking Ray Levis. She has performed with the big band Sweet Georgia Sound, psychedelic jug band Big Kitty, poet-prophet Jack Rentfro and the Apocalypso Quartet, Ghanian drum and dance group Mawre & Co., polka partiers The Wurstbrats, rococo-horror trio Trigger Mortis, and speakeasy chanteuse Christabel.

ArtsBuild, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
An Evening with Tapes
(Dilating Nexus Series Part I)

, April 26, 2014, 7 PM

1080 Duncan Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$5 door

An Evening with Tapes

AN EVENING WITH TAPES is a magnetic night of chance exclusively utilizing tape as instrument, featuring a mixtape exchange (bring/take a mix), a cassette installation, tape DJs and unlikely soloists, duos, trios, and quartets presenting musical, visual, and performative sets using tape: reel-to-reel, audio cassette, videotape, adhesive, Elcaset, 8-track, 4-track, etc.

Catholic Guilt (St. Louis)
Harvest Team (Nashville)
Chris Davis (of The Cherry Blossoms, Nashville) & Bridget Venuti (a.k.a. Aether Jag) & Jeffrey Mitchell
Nows (Atlanta)
Wadsworth Longfellow & Color Graphics Array
Levi (a.k.a Secret Guilt) & Reed (a.k.a. Rurnt) & Australopithecine
Prophets & Kings & Cowan
Guest Room & EV MHIR
Ahkahshick Taper
Tim Hinck

An auxiliary event will be presented the day after AN EVENING WITH TAPES, featuring Catholic Guilt, Secret Guilt, Rurnt, Torschlusspanik, Baby Magic and Subconscious Colours at Sluggo's North (501 Cherokee Blvd., Chattanooga, TN, 37405) at 10 PM on April 27. Admission at the door is $5.

Flying Fingers Productions and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
The Moon
Evan Lipson

, May 26, 2014, 7:30 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$5 door

This Memorial Day concert will be preceded by a Chattanooga Improvisors Collective open jam session at 4 PM (free admission); dancers, musicians and anyone with an open mind can participate. Before the concert at 6 PM, there will be an outdoor potluck and barbecue; all ages are welcome.

The Moon

THE MOON is what happens when two first rate free-jazz musicians indulge their obsessions with late-60’s psychedelic sounds, noise-based improvisation and 20th-century classical abstraction. Adam Caine (guitar) and Federico Ughi (drums) are both veterans of the New York City jazz scene, both having led bands and released numerous albums on their own. The cohesive, highly dynamic sound of The Moon has developed
through extensive touring: they exhibit a willingness to ‘get in the van’ unusual for Brooklyn-based jazz groups. In 2013 they toured with New York free-jazz legend Daniel Carter as special guest, and in early 2014 they traveled to Tangier to play with masters of traditional Moroccan Gnawa music.

“This is one of the best, most fully formed duo disks I’ve heard in recent memory.” - Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery), on The Moon

“When is a duo not simply a duo? When it’s The Moon, whose Good and Evil pushes the boundaries of form and timbre far enough to sound like several different ensembles. The juxtapositions are melodious, humorous and jarring by turn, but they’re also always intriguing.” - Mark Medwin (New York City Jazz Record)

“The music of the Moon can surge like molten lava or flow like a quiet stream. It’s a purist form of improvisation – noise-attuned but rooted in jazz fundamentals, abstract but built on the unusually sturdy bond between guitarist Adam Caine and drummer Federico Ughi. These two play free, while operating like an old-school working band.” - Hank Shteamer (of Time Out New York)

For the evening's second set, THE MOON will be joined by bassist Evan Lipson. Evan Lipson has operated as a musician since adolescence. He is currently active with David Greenberger and Prime Lens, Normal Love and Wrest. Past units include Satanized, Dynamite Club, Psychotic Quartet, and The Weasel Walter Trio. Lipson has performed throughout North America, as well as Brazil, Taiwan, and Japan. His music has been released on several imprints including SKiN GRAFT, UgEXPLODE, High Two, Public Eyesore, Badmaster, and New Atlantis. He currently resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he is scheming to actualize an all-in-one dystopian tiki lounge, performance space, mystical grotto, and occult ritual chamber.

ArtsBuild, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Lupton City Snake Show
(Dilating Nexus Series Part II)

, May 31, 2014, 7 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$5 door

LUPTON CITY SNAKE SHOW: A mercerized variety show that beams the limelight on esoteric expressions and hidden histories as imparted by raconteurs, mythologists, comedians, visionaries, musicians, hawkers, barkers, and Holy Fools.

Lupton City Snake Show

Bob Stagner is the only artist to have ever performed with both Dolly Parton and Derek Bailey. A founding member of the Shaking Ray Levi Society and one half of the legendary duo the Shaking Ray Levis, Stagner has been an undeniable force for radical thought, perpetual creativity, and total improvisation. Percussionist, educator, and community leader, evidence of Stagner's indelible impact can be found throughout Chattanooga, the Mid-South, and beyond.

The legendary Cherry Blossoms (Nashville) create the finest free folk music and spirit, transferring the sublime radiant bright energy they summon, leaving none unaffected by their unpolished majesty. Enchanting ethereal interweaving threads of rhythm and melody easy to adore, delivered confidently in stride or in amble by its unassuming body of believers, the figureheads John Allingham (vocals, guitars, harmonica, kazoo) and Peggy Snow (vocals, acoustic guitar, kalimba, spoons, kazoo, outdoor painter of doomed buildings), along with invertible inventive percussionist Chris Davis, and a rotating cast of naturals.

Jeff Zagers (Savannah): Performing at sundown, the magic kid smoothly navigates his full-length mazes with introverted determination, leading us by lantern through endless sectionals and segues; through the gateway points and ports of call. Sequenced surfaces are complicated by polished ravels of melody, harmony, noise, syncopation, plot-driven chord progressions, tone expression and color, electronic nerve, crime jazz scenery, mainstream minimalism, and a humble, vulnerable lyricism influenced by folk tradition and the Romantics. Sunset spectrum of sympathetic themes, ancient meditative innocence, mortal and supernatural, alienation, compassion, health and restlessness, crisp beauty and confinement.

Jenny Moon Tucker (Baltimore): An immovable musician and visual artist, rooted in teetering sound illusorily planted amidst chaos and order. Activating and accessing unseen states of mind through concept, technique, intuition, and mood, favoring the progression of flitting momentariness built upon the density of experience. Clustered patterns extract the streamers of subconscious depths. Tucker illuminates the discarded and deranges the traditional, as a soloist, or as a force in the collaborative setting (e.g. the transcendental improvisational group Twilight Memories of the Three Suns).

Pony Payroll Bones (Baltimore): Conductor of vibrational visions scarred on haunted hardwood in empty murk, rooms and foliage. Matthew Doyal Pony Payroll Bones Proctor leaves life in his artifacts-surges of electric on smeared canvas, vivid swirls of text, and red performance. His art is created, with focus command and urgency, in storms. It unearths the invisible nerves belonging to spirits in tunnels of possession and dirt. Strata of fluidity, lyricism, grace, torque, friction, fuzz, and further turns. Disparity lends dimension to arrangement; tumult ripples reflection. A spectral nonlinear history.

Zack Kouns (Ironton, OH): Zack Kouns is the renaissance man of Ironton. Insomnia, mania, momentum, vision, and inspiration fuel his inimitable outpourings. Dedicated and destined to fashion an infinite body of expression dealing with the ins and outs of existence, his multicolored mythology, expanded through music film prose comedy and other outlets as seen fit, is simultaneously cosmic and personal. Rituals, creations, meditations and lucid hallucinations on sorrow, merriment, hunger, lunacy, ecstasy, longing, despair, love, redemption, among other aspects of consciousness.

Former private investigator and public defender, Tom Landis is one the last great raconteurs of the Mid-South. Competition gunslinger and archetypal Southern gentleman, Landis co-hosted "Outside Pleasures" with the late Dennis Palmer; a legendary Southern-fried surrealist guerrilla radio program that ran every Saturday from 1988-1995 on WUTC Jazz 88 at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. "Outside Pleasures" synthesized Lord Buckley style humor with pseudo-scientific and academic jargon in an fast-paced semi-improvised fashion. The program often featured live performances and interviews with some of the most innovative and adventurous artists from across the globe. Tom Landis is a pure anachronism and a hidden treasure of Chattanooga.

The Red Okra King is everyone's favorite oracular and elusive geodesic gnome. An astral being and protector of the Southern Appalachian dream world-- bridging the gap between the opposing forces of Santa Claus and Cthulu. This year, with the simultaneous aging/shrinking of Curly Shoulders, we have seen the emergence of Lovey Dovey; the latest proxy and ambassador of the Red Okra King. As any witness can attest to, each and every Red Okra King appearance is one that will not soon be forgotten. Step up to the rainbow wall and prepare yourself for a world of tattooed werewolves, baby-eating robots, and anthroposophical fairy-tales.

Hosted by Westwood Murray & the SY Boys.

Audio preview of the performers on Soundcloud.

Riverbend and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Annie Sellick and The Uptown Big Band

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 8 PM
Riverbend Festival
UNUM Stage (Hunter Museum of American Art)
10 Bluff View Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Annie Sellick

Chattanooga's own Shaking Ray Levi's genius-improvisation meets the rules and traditions of big band swing jazz with Nashville's newest, hottest chanteuse at the front of the stage.

Annie Sellick is a jazz vocalist known for her captivating stage presence. She sings the standards but always gives them her own twist, either musically or vocally. Her artistry lies in her "personal touch", which reaches non-jazz audiences, people of all ages and jazz audiences alike.

Flying Fingers Productions and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Ustad Shafaat Khan

, June 19, 2014, 7:30 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$15 advance/door

Ustad Shafaat Khan, world-renowned Indian classical musician, has enthralled audiences worldwide at concert halls, festivals and universities all over India, the U.S.A., Europe, China and Japan on the sitar and tabla with Sufi inspired compositions and a multi-cultural fusion of Eastern and Western music. He performed recently with Stevie Wonder at Bonnaroo and has shared a television concert with Ray Charles in Germany, and several of his CDs have been produced by the author and physician Deepak Chopra.

Virtuoso...astonishing individuality...Mr. Khan explored the rhythmic intricacies of percussive sound in a way that was both intellectual and poetic.” - The Washington Post

Absolutely superb” - The Times (London)

Maestro Khan

Khan’s musical heritage can be traced back to the 16th century to the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and he has distinguished himself by being the first known artist to attain simultaneous excellence in performing the sitar, surbahar and tabla. Khan is the son of the legendary sitar and surbahar Maestro Ustad Imrat Khan and nephew of the sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan, who was widely regarded as the greatest sitarist of his generation. In tabla, Khan is the foremost disciple of the widely respected Ustad Ibrahim Khan. Since debuting at the age of 11 at the King’s Lynn Festival opened by the Queen Mother, he has played for numerous dignitaries including presidents and prime ministers of various countries around the world, and through his music he has raised money for various charitable purposes including aid for flood victims, disabled children, battered women and tsunami victims. Khan was presented with the Professional Excellence Award for an outstanding musician, performer and teacher by the State of Pennsylvania.

Barking Legs Theater, known for presenting diverse, intimate performances, will host a rare concert for Chattanooga, featuring Ustad Shafaat Khan on sitar and tabla, with Alex Tewnion on keyboard and tabla and Paul Resato on acoustic guitar.

“Applause has never been a yardstick for success for Mr. Khan, the rising star in the world of classical music, but the thunderous ovation never ceased throughout his performance on the tabla and sitar at the Tagore Theatre here today.” - The Chandigarh Tribune (India).

ArtsBuild, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Random Gear Festival
(Dilating Nexus Series Part III)

, June 21, 2014, 4 PM (early show!)
Estate of Confusion
301 East Main St.

Chattanooga, TN 37408
$5 door

Curated by Ren Schofield (Providence, RI), the Random Gear Festival is a conceptual celebration of the excitement and spontaneity of avant sound in which performers are randomly assigned an assortment of non-traditional instruments and objects (not necessarily of any musical nature) and expected to improvise live for a duration of at least five minutes and up to fifteen. The results of this process will likely be varied, confounding, and questionable. Nothing will be proven.

Random Gear Festival

AETHER JAG (Chattanooga), a.k.a. Bridget Venuti, blends her musical inventions (home built sequencers, circuit-bent and rerouted riggings) with otherworldly vocals to coax compelling textural soundscapes.

ANN LAW & BRUCE KAPLAN (Chattanooga) are the Scenic City’s unstoppable power couple as owners of Barking Legs Theater, founders of CoPAC (Contemporary Performing Arts of Chattanooga) and formidable performers in the fields of non-traditional, improvised dance and music.


NOWS (Atlanta) brings the bleary-eyed racket of drones, sound collage and tape manipulation to sound-weary ears, with a blissful blend of noise, ambient soundscapes and pulsing flutters.

OUTMODE (Carrboro) offers a free-improv take on techno, creating electronic dance music for dead space. Simultaneously cold and revealing, Outmode moves the mind and body toward a mutated dance experience.

RAT BASTARD (Miami): Called “The King of Noise” by Vice Magazine, Rat Bastard (a.k.a. Frank Falestra) is one of the most infamous, polarizing and controversial artists in the world of noise who has been playing improvised music on guitar, bass and electric violin for over thirty years. He is a co-founder of the band To Live and Shave in L.A. and the founder of the confrontational and intense woman-driven group Laundry Room Squelchers. In 2003, Rat Bastard started the annual International Noise Conference in Miami, which has since been presented across the U.S.A. and in Toronto, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

REN SCHOFIELD of Container and Form a Log (Providence, RI)

STARDADDY DIXIE (formerly of Chicago)

SUBCONSCIOUS COLOURS (Chattanooga) is a one-man noise/drone project, creating sounds and moods that can vary widely from the ambient to the harsh, inspired by the functions/dysfunctions of the human mind.


Flying Fingers Productions and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Judith Berkson
Brandon Seabrook
Evan Lipson
Bob Stagner

, June 24, 2014, 7:30 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$5 door

Judith Berkson and Brandon Seabrook

New York’s Best Guitarist of 2012” - The Village Voice, on Seabrook

“[Seabrook’s] performances aspire to a terrifying frenzy in which notes spill forth at an astonishing pace, oddball time signatures driving jagged meters...It’s hilarious. Then it’s shocking.” - Wall Street Journal

“ interesting arrival, particularly for admirers of eccentric singer-players, from Robert Wyatt to Annette Peacock” - The Guardian, on Berkson’s Oylam

This evening’s performance will feature three sets: solo sets from Berkson and Seabrook and a quartet set with bassist Evan Lipson (Normal Love, Wrest) and percussionist Bob Stagner (Shaking Ray Levis).

Judith Berkson is a Brooklyn-based soprano, pianist, composer, cantor and teacher of liturgical music who explores the possibilities for voice with keyboard accompaniment. She has composed and arranged music for the internationally acclaimed Kronos Quartet, and her albums, on Peacock and ECM Records, have been praised by publications including The New York Times. After a classical piano background, she was drawn to experimental composers as a teenager and attended the New England Conservatory to study voice. Her work incorporates jazz standards, Jewish cantorial music and Yiddish folk songs alongside her idiosyncratic pieces in her diverse repertoire.

The New York-based banjo/guitar shredder Brandon Seabrook has gained international attention from The Wire, NPR, The New York Times and many other media outlets for his genre-busting work, which treads a broad swath through contemporary underground music, dealing in everything from avant/punk-jazz to klezmer to collaborations with legends like Anthony Braxton and Elliott Sharp. His own vehicle, Seabrook Power Plant, has released two acclaimed albums that mix tweaked-out hardcore, art-rock improv and tech-metallic squelching, the first of which was called "one of the best" and "most baffling experimental releases of the year" by Time Out New York.

Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Man Forever

White Gregg

Buffalo Princess

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 10:00 PM
Sluggo's North
501 Cherokee Blvd.
Chattanooga, TN 37405
$7 door

“[Kid Millions of Man Forever] plays with a momentum and velocity that few can match and...a huge amount of soul.” - The Quietus

“It’s meditative but also pretty overwhelming...Mr. Colpitts knows how repetition can become a transformative, almost physical force.” - The New York Times, on Man Forever

Watching Man Forever from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Man Forever is an exploratory percussion project helmed by John Colpitts (a.k.a. Kid Millions), one of New York’s most versatile and critically lauded collaborators and a founding member of Oneida. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has hosted an impressive list of guest performers, and its 2014 album Ryonen features the U.S.’s premiere percussion ensemble So Percussion, creating music that is rhythmically seductive and instantly exciting while retaining the experimental legacy that Man Forever has cultivated.

The Chattanooga sax/guitar/bass/drums quartet Buffalo Princess performs what they call “ambient thrash metal,” confounding expectations with a potent, earth-shaking combination of twisted electric jazz and hard rock, with influences as diverse as Black Sabbath, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Sun Ra  and Joni Mitchell.

Monomath is a 3-piece Chattanooga outfit delivering a blend of syncopation, lyrical phrasings and polyrhythmic hustle. Mad scientist and guitarist/vocalist Gabe Barrett employs a variety of effects and looping pedals to slice open another dimension in sound, with hints of prog, math, post-hardcore and jazz. Fueled by the powerful, melodic bass lines of Brian Hennen and driven by the lush yet frenzied beats of Chris Lanza’s drums, Monomath is an uncontainable experiment.

White Gregg is Knoxville’s underground supergroup, featuring Jason Boardman and Eric Lee from Dark Logik and Double Muslims, Damion Huntoon and Tyler Mucklow from Woman, and vocalist Maggie Brannon of Daddy Don’t, Dirty Knees and Divorce. Brannon’s tense vocals fight with the outfit’s raucous sonic concoction with influences including Captain Beefheart, post-punk and no-wave music.

ArtsBuild, Human Conduct, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Breathing Artifacts
(Dilating Nexus Series Part IV)

Saturday, July 19, 2014, Doors open at 4 PM
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404

$5 door

Video and film screenings, live tapings, installations, projections, and live scores by choice directors, actors, cinematographers, musicians, and editors, featuring unpredictable narratives and abstractions rich in rhythm, color, humor, gesture, content, and texture.

Chrissy Jones (Carrboro) uses two-dimensional surface, sculpting with graphite or dissecting eye, to manifest fantasy, alterations of reality and slumber, riding alpha waves of technique. Reflection, deformation, filtration, theatrics, and appropriation play their role in the process. Manically meticulous and masterful, spontaneous or calculated, her work surrounds the spectator with finely formed worlds filled with mania, anxiety, humor, horror.

Carlos Gonzalez (Providence): Entrepreneur behind Wasp Video Roadhouse; magician of mutated mythologies (Russian Tsarlag, Slime Freak); raging-sea entertainer (Byron House, Hepatitis Youth); director of "home movies" (Bazic Street, Crystal Ball), the likes of which twist genre and morph vernacular. Carlos Gonzalez directs a demented "peanut gallery" of questionable characters and unusual archetypes: a carnival barker, a proprietor of a diner on the side of a lonely highway, a shady realtor, a heroine whose rise and fall are consequences of a suit, and more.

Jason Lescalleet (Maine): The sound world of Maine musician Jason Lescalleet occupies a space between noise, contemporary composition, and minimal electronics. Using decidedly primitive tactics and equipment (e.g. antiquated reel-to-reel recorders, damaged tape, etc.), his work focuses on extreme frequencies and microscopic audio detail. At Breathing Artifacts, Lescalleet will present a live performance along with a screening of Trophy Tape (2014, 37 min.) featuring music from his acclaimed album Songs About Nothing and videos by: Aaron Dilloway (Oberlin), Ellen Frances (NYC), Annie Feldmeier Adams (Chicago), Justin Meyers (Minneapolis), Antony Milton (New Zealand), C. Spencer Yeh (NYC), Olivia Block (Chicago), Adel Souto (NYC), Neil Young Cloaca (Turner Falls), Todd Deal (Worcester), Jubal Brown (Toronto), Heidi Alasuvanto (NYC/Finland) and Robert Beatty (Lexington).

Chad Eivins (St. Louis): Director of controversial children's program, Gluey Guni Basement Show. Live editor / manipulator / documentarian of performances in St. Louis, employing spy cams and other heavy duty surveillance equipment. Brain-bending installations. 3-D music videos. A / V collaborator with modular madman Kevin Harris. Former co-creator of puppet public access show, an archive of classic noise rock performances. Melds and saturates the abstract, spontaneous, hyperactive, and the low-brow. Chad likes to watch.

Tom Boram (Baltimore): "boil ten Ceylon-grown cinnamon sticks in as much water as you like. let it reduce until it is a thick, dark red syrup-like puddle. drink this. now you can feel what i feel, see what i see, hear what i hear, smell what i smell, but not what i taste."

Maralie Armstrong (Providence): Pitch-perfect, devastating voice (Humanbeast). Composer, informed by Nō robes ("Cause the Flower to Bloom While Portraying Old Age"). Drummer in punk rager BLOODHUFF. Creator of fantastic music videos such as "Kraft Durch Freude" by Lazy Magnet and "Vixen" by Profligate.

Cube (Oakland) is Adam Keith: solo musician, eccentric guitarist, photographer, illustrator, playwright / stage director and video artist.

Bernard Herman (NYC) presents...a Skype set. Bernard Herman's solo sounds and performances are eerie, the masks peel one by one, alienation, paranoia, psychosis, obsession, corruption and unrequited love.

Jonathan Mikkelsen (Amsterdam) is one-half of one of the finest and most resourceful improv dance duos Laser Poodle. Based in Amsterdam since 2007, Mikkelsen works as a multimedia artist, creating installations, websites and animations. He has exhibited widely, usually in alternative spaces including the highly missed Amsterdam independent artist run space Outpost – evicted in 2013 – whilst also frequently touring Europe with his independent solo music project, Sleek Mink. Mikkelsen also produces music videos, most recently for Ren Schofield’s solo project Container and his single ‘Dripping.'

LSDV (Boston): Language, Sex, Drugs, and Violence. Audio and video synced and fragmented, trails of video color and blur. Shredding and hacking the kitchen sink. Hitting the "dream" note through video alteration and sonic manipulation. A jog through the distorted memory banks. Welcome to the subconscious butcher shop.

Tanz Praxis (Hudson) is an upstate NY based music/choreography/film group featuring LN Foster (Wall Wymn, Drums Like Machine Guns) and C. Lavender. Both members have extensive dance backgrounds from childhood and wish to merge the worlds of experimental sound and movement through film and performance. Tanz Praxis exists to mourn and rebuild from a post-apocalyptic world.

Michael Barker (Philadelphia) is the audio/visual artist behind the solo project Embarker and collaborator with past / present groups such as Sharks With Wings, The George Steeltoe Ensemble and Hatchers. Mb uses a variety of electronics, modular synthesizer, homemade instruments, voice and processed audio from found videos that are often projected as an accompaniment to his electro acoustic improvisations and compositions. He has been a resident at the Experimental TV Center and STEIM.

Zack Kouns (OH) is the renaissance man of Ironton. Insomnia, mania, momentum, vision, and inspiration fuel his inimitable outpourings. Dedicated and destined to fashion an infinite body of expression dealing with the ins and outs of existence, his multicolored mythology, expanded through music film prose comedy and other outlets as seen fit, is simultaneously cosmic and personal. Rituals, creations, meditations and lucid hallucinations on sorrow, merriment, hunger, lunacy, ecstasy, longing, despair, love, redemption, among other aspects of consciousness.

JC Loco (Montreal): Hitting the streets, staying inquisitive, staying hydrated, getting near the big questions, throwing up, pushing the big names like Drainolith and Aaron Carter.

Mandy & Val TV (Providence): Mandy & Val (Unicorn Hard-On, Laundry Room Squelchers) talk shop that ought to go viral. Advice, insight, and interviews occur, in-between sips of beer and cocktails, in a no-budget studio setting. Expect a new episode from the enterprise of MVTV.

Segaworms (Chattanooga): Harsh noise, power electronics, lo-fi breakcore, bit crunched mayhem, digital drone, all influenced by the insect universe, viruses, fungus, excretions, toxic waste or general decay.

Asher Love (Chattanooga)

Wadsworth Longfellow (Chattanooga)

Rick Weaver (Chattanooga): Multi-instrumentalist and experimental video artist Rick Weaver creates warped cinema, like a Lynchian smear of discomfort, beautiful in its controlled chaos. Weaver will present his latest music video "Key Conduction" for musician Jeff Zagers.

AVA and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Davey Williams: Solo Gig book reading and guitar performance
with special guests Evan Lipson and Bob Stagner

July 25, 2014, 7:30 PM
Association for Visual Arts (AVA)
30 Frazier Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37405
$10 door ($8 for ages 25 and under)

Davey Williams is one of the most unique musical figures to have ever come from the state of Alabama. Considered one of the "three founding fathers of American free improvisational guitar" (along with Henry Kaiser and Eugene Chadbourne), he is the only person to ever successfully - and honestly - bridge the gap between the disparate worlds of Robert Johnson and Sun Ra. As a 19-year-old protege of the late Delta and Chicago blues master Johnny Shines (himself a protege of Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf), Davey mastered the slide steel stylings of his teacher and expounded on the form by taking the blues in directions few knew it could go or dare try. Dubbing his style "convulsive blues," he has quietly blown minds around the world through his unique deployment of old-school form and new school technique.

Williams was a key member of the Raudelunas art collective, a co-founder of independent record label Trans Museq, and an important architect of the unholy sound of Alabama's Rev. Fred Lane. Along with his longtime musical partner/foil LaDonna Smith, he has played on stages around the globe and collaborated with the likes of John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Andrea Centazzo, Tom Cora, Jim Staley, Gustavo Matamoros, Roger Turner, Anne LeBaron, The Shaking Ray Levis, Col. Bruce Hampton, Oteil Burbridge, Gunter Christmann, and Mark Kramer. As a member of the trailblazing avant-jazz/funk band Curlew, he was one of the most respected players on the "Downtown" music scene that revolved around the Knitting Factory in New York City in the late-80's and early-90's, and added insanely inventive guitar lines to that band's impressive body of work.

At this Chattanooga appearance, Williams will perform on electric guitar and draw from his recent book Solo Gig: Essential Curiosities in Musical Free Improvisation, which is both humorous and enlightening. Williams will then be joined by bassist Evan Lipson (Wrest, Normal Love) and percussionist Bob Stagner (The Shaking Ray Levis) for a trio set.

ArtsBuild, Human Conduct, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
The Dilating Nexus Series

April 26: An Evening with Tapes at Artifact Gallery, 1080 Duncan Ave.
May 31: Lupton City Snake Show at Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.
June 21: Random Gear Festival at Estate of Confusion, 301 East Main St.
July 19: Breathing Artifacts at Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.
August 30: Soul in a Box at Mark Making, 2510 North Chamberlain Ave.

The DILATING NEXUS is a monthly series of non-conventional events and ritualized social experiments housed in a variety of “total environments” throughout Chattanooga, Tennessee. The five-month series aims to stimulate rarefied, esoteric, and unknown actions within the region, while honoring and highlighting cutting-edge work that is already in existence. Each of the events is presented as a provocation to galvanize marginalized performers and artists from all disciplines, pushing them into unforeseen situations and inspiring them to respond in genuinely spontaneous, creative, and resourceful ways.

Typically, festivals present professional or esteemed artists who are expected to represent their individual skills, but for the Dilating Nexus series, the emphasis is less on the individual and more on the collective. Furthermore, by approaching each event in a non-hierarchical manner, both seasoned and emerging artists are presented on equal footing, forming new and unexpected collaborations, with a mixture of local and national performers.

Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Jessica Pavone
Dark Tips
Orthodox Hell

, August 18, 2014, 8 PM

1080 Duncan Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$7 door

Jessica Pavone / Dark Tips

Composer, violist and violinist Jessica Pavone has performed in countless improvisation, avant jazz, experimental, folk, soul, and chamber ensembles since moving to NYC in 2000. She currently plays with Normal Love, in a duo with guitarist Mary Halvorson, with Anthony Braxton’s ensembles and as a solo violist. As a composer, The New York Times described her music as “distinct and beguiling...its core is steely, and its execution clear.” Pavone’s recent works for solo viola and voice stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. She combines her long tone rituals with delay, understated melodies and sparse lyrical content while continuously experimenting with new forms. She has been praised by numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, Time Out New York, Cadence, All About Jazz and Chicago Reader, and her music has been released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, Thirsty Ear, Porter, Skirl and Peacock Recordings.

Dark Tips is the new duo of Jessica Pavone and Raquel Bell, conjuring advice from the underworld with original compositions for processed viola, analog organ and voice. Vocalist Raquel Bell is a visual artist and multi-instrumentalist, known for her striking vocals in the bands Normal Love and Mesiko, and she has extensive experience in live theatrical sound design on projects such as Harry Partch’s Oedipus Rex and the Hamlet adaptation Crawling Between Heaven and Earth with music featuring Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

Opening the evening are two Chattanooga acts driven by uncompromising female artists. Orthodox Hell is a musical outlet for some awkward obsessions, including but not limited to: religious extremism, shortwave broadcasting, and organized crime. Provocative and disquieting, Pukelust offers a digital diary with graphic splendor and the exhaustive misery of complete emptiness.

ArtsBuild, Human Conduct, Secret Weave and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Soul in a Box
(Dilating Nexus Series Part V)

, August 30, 2014, 7 PM
Mark Making
2510 North Chamberlain Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37406
$5-10 door (sliding scale)

Soul In a Box

On the evening of February 15th 2013, Chattanooga lost its greatest artist, musician, storyteller, improviser, educator, and cultural/mystical icon DENNIS J. PALMER (of the Shaking Ray Levis and Shaking Ray Levi Society). Upon his passing, among his numerous musical instruments, an RC-30 LoopStation was discovered by Palmer's lifelong artistic collaborator and friend Bob Stagner. This small box contained over an hours worth of concise sound loops that Palmer created to use in an upcoming Shaking Ray Levis performance.

For the fifth and final installment of the DILATING NEXUS series, we have hand-selected some of the most forward-looking artists from Chattanooga and beyond to make use of Palmer's unreleased samples as the sonic source material for their work. Local visual artists of equal caliber have also been summoned to create works that are inspired by and/or make use of Palmer’s unique visual world. Their images will be projected simultaneously in conjunction with each performance. Each participant has been deeply affected/impacted by Palmer's personal vision, legacy, and friendship in various ways.

A "brand-new-never-been-HEARD-before" message from Palmer himself will also be transmitted at the conclusion of the evening.

AETHER JAG (Baltimore)
FRANK PAHL (Detroit)
NOWS (Atlanta)
RICK WEAVER (Baltimore)


Apothecary and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:
Tim Barnes
Evan Lipson

Tim Barnes, Evan Lipson

, October 16, 2014, 7:30 PM
744 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403
$7-10 door (sliding scale), free for UTC students

Tim Barnes is an internationally-known percussionist, electronic musician, and recording producer/engineer who has played and recorded with Sonic Youth, Wilco, Body/Head, Jim O’Rourke, Silver Jews, Neil Michael Hagerty and the Howling Hex, The Tower Recordings, The For Carnation, and MV+EE, as well as being featured in countless multiple other settings, from free-improvisation to full-on rock and roll. Among the numerous recordings on which he can be heard are the Grammy Award-winning Wilco album A Ghost Is Born, American Water by Silver Jews and a live album with Sonic Youth. He is the Artistic Director of the performance space Dreamland in Louisville, Kentucky, and also runs the newly-revived Quakebasket record label (best known for its mid-1990s archival releases of solo work by Angus MacLise, poet and original drummer for the Velvet Underground). A California native, Tim moved to Louisville, KY in 2007 from his longtime musical base, New York City. His latest album, Matterings, a collaboration with sound artist Jeph Jerman, will be released on Erstwhile Records in early 2015.

Evan Lipson (b. 1981) has operated as a musician since adolescence—intuitively seeking the liminal and aberrant zones in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. His formative experiences were primarily rooted in extreme rock, modernist composition, outsider pop, soundtracks, noise and improvised music. Lipson is currently a bassist with Normal Love and WREST. Recently, he has composed music for several films as well as a new collaboration with David Greenberger, Amanda Cagle, and Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levis. Past units include Satanized, Dynamite Club, Psychotic Quartet, Femme Tops and the Weasel Walter Trio. Lipson has performed throughout North America, as well as Brazil, Taiwan and Japan. His music has been released on several imprints including SKiN GRAFT, UgEXPLODE, High Two, Public Eyesore, Badmaster, Caminante, New Atlantis and Damage Rituals. Lipson co-ran Secret Weave, a presenting organization for all things anomalous, iconoclastic and incredibly strange in Chattanooga, TN from 2013-2014. He is currently scheming to actualize an all-in-one dystopian tiki lounge, performance space, mystical grotto and occult ritual chamber and has concocted over 40 original faux-tropical cocktails since 2013.

Apothecary is a contemporary arts project space supported by the Art Department at UT Chattanooga.

Jill Burton
Wade Matthews
Evan Lipson

, December 16, 2014, 7:30 PM
Mark Making
2510 North Chamberlain Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37406
$7-10 door (sliding scale)

Jill Burton, Wade Matthews

I never heard anything like it. It was emotional...passionate.
- Miami New Times, on Jill Burton

“[It] shows Matthews’ commitment to spontaneity, excitement, genuine
experimentation, risk-taking
- The Sound Projector, on Matthews’ Early Summer

JILL BURTON is an American improviser, extended vocalist, dancer, performance artist and energy worker. Noted as one of the great foundation improvisers of America, she is also known for incorporating spiritual healing with improvised performance. Active in the American improv scene since the early 1970s, she has lived and worked all over the country, including a ten-year stint in the 1980s as part of the downtown East Village experimental arts community, and six years in Sitka, Alaska, where she worked with Tlingit storytellers providing musical accompaniment for their healing stories. Burton is unusual for a musician in that her work is ephemeral, in-the-moment, and therefore recordings of her work are rare. She has collaborated with many notable experimental musicians and dancers, including LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams, Jane Scarpantoni, Judy Dunaway, David First, Rain Worthington, Gino Robair, Jack Wright and Scott Walton.

WADE MATTHEWS is a French-born American musician currently living in Madrid, Spain who has astounded audiences on five continents on the international improv scene with his unique combination of field recordings with electronic synthesis. Matthews completed a doctoral dissertation at Columbia University on improvisation guided by electronic sounds, and after rethinking the sonic possibilities of the bass clarinet and alto flute, he innovatively tweaked a virtual synthesizer to allow very rapid control of sound parameters for solo playing and dialog with others. Matthews has performed and given lectures at venues and universities around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The National Center for the Arts (Mexico City), The Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), The American University of Beirut, The Paris Conservatory and many others.

EVAN LIPSON has operated as a musician since adolescence—intuitively seeking the liminal and aberrant zones in which intellect and instinct, history and myth and creative and destructive force intersect. His formative experiences were primarily rooted in extreme rock, modernist composition, outsider pop, soundtracks, noise and improvised music. Lipson is currently a bassist with Normal Love and WREST. Recently, he has composed music for several films as well as a new collaboration with David Greenberger, Amanda Cagle and Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levis. Past units include Satanized, Dynamite Club, Psychotic Quartet, Femme Tops and the Weasel Walter Trio.

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