Frank Rosaly, a drummer and composer currently living in Chicago, is a staple of the Free Music and Free Jazz scenes. Currently active in many projects throughout Chicago, as well as New York and in Europe, Rosaly has been navigating a fine line between the vibrant improvised music, indie-rock, experimental and jazz communities for the past decade. He contributes much of his time to performing with groups too numerous to mention in full, but have included Matana Robert's Chicago Project, Rob Mazurek's Mandarin Movie, The Rempis Percussion Quartet, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten Quintet, Jeff Parker/Nels Cline Quartet, Josh Abrams Remindring, Fred Lonberg-Holm's Valentine Trio, and performances with the likes of Ken Vandermark, Michael Zerang, Von Freeman, Peter Brotzmann, Anthony Coleman, and many, many others. While not attending to his national and international touring demands, Rosaly organizes the Ratchet Series, a weekly showcase of creative music at the Skylark in Chicago, and dedicates himself to his own compositions.
Milkwork is the resulting work of one of Rosaly's solo drum ventures. Milkwork explores the process of free-improvisation with both acoustic and electronically manipulated percussion instruments to produce a wild and gorgeous panoply of sound. Rosaly has developed a personal and often visceral method and approach to drumming, whereby motion is the primary element to the creation of sound. Deliberate gestures that may or may not produce sounds often leads to surprising, exciting and raw discoveries both for the listener and for the performer. Though a large component of Milkwork is created through improvisation, the music is constructed using many compositional concepts such as the Song Form, Minimalist techniques (ala La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley), and 'additive' or layering processes often heard in modern electronic music. Milkwork also draws inspiration from the likes of percussionists Milford Graves, Tony Buck and Billy Higgins. Using contact microphones, oscillators, effects pedals and analog synthesizers along side an acoustic drum set up, Milkwork navigates a wide sonic palette: Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Jazz and non-idiomatic grooves using unconventional techniques, dense Free-Jazz vocabulary, heavy drones and feedback, as well as a soft, subtle percussive language that evokes a varied and colorful performance. Like a pointillist painting, Milkwork utilizes seemingly spare elements of music that result into a melodious whole.
Milkwork is to be released in a limited edition vinyl version as a split release between Rosaly's own Molk Records, and Chicago-based Contraphonic, Inc. This will be Rosaly's second release for Contrpahonic, having teamed up with the label to produce Little Hell Vol I., Apathy of a Cow: Chicago's Little Hell, the first installment in the Contraphonic Chicago Sound Series. A tour of venues and universities is to follow immediately upon Milkwork's release, and will continue into the coming year, as Rosaly's touring schedule allows.
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