Tremble Trove Quartet: Davis-Brown-Raskin-Trammell

Sunday, December 3, 2023 — 4:00 PM
Tickets: $15 General, $10 Members & Students
Buy Tickets Online

Jon Raskin of the ROVA saxophone quartet joins the trio of Ben Davis, cello, Chris Brown, piano & electronics and Marshall Trammell for an afternoon of free improvisations. Davis, Brown and Trammell released the double-CD Tremble Trove on ArtifactRecordings last March and will be joined on their final Bay Area appearance of the year by the veteran saxophonist and improvisor Jon Raskin.

The quartet of internationally reknowned improvising composer/performers will play for the first time as a quartet. The musicians use a simple ensemble structures and themes to traverse two sets of freely improvised music without boundaries. The guiding aesthetic emphasizes the independence of each player’s music that through intensive listening and response is simultaneously interdependent with every other player’s music in real time, thus creating a community of mutual influence of all sounds. The music reveals this listen-response process-play, discovering the sound logic unique to this particular ensemble and time.

Marshall Trammell generates sustained percussive tones with continuous one hand rolls on earthy drums, bell and cymbals; playing his economical drum setup with both stick and hand he explores tonalities with intense drive and intricate complexity. Chris Brown plays both the keys and the strings of the piano, expanding a fully orchestral palate with carefully selected electronically manipulated passages, and opening up vast new soundscapes. Ben Davis searches out the infinite tonal and percussive qualities of the cello through the expressiveness of his bow and pizz: hitting, scrubbing, floating, forcing, while often employing micro-tonal tunings and richly noisy tone-colors.  Jon Raskin is a founding memberr in the world-reknowned ROVA Saxophone Quartet, specializing in baritone and alto saxophones, and supplementing his reed-playing with small percussion and electronic instruments.


Jon Raskin is a saxophonist, improviser, composer, and a founding member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet. He also has ongoing projects with the poet Carla Harryman, choreographer Shinichi Iova-Koga, Dilate Ensemble, and collaborated with Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Ava Mendoza, Liz Allbee, and has toured nationally and internationally. and

Ben Davis train in classical cello and composition at the Guildhall, London, then spent two years touring with Cardiff based Earthfall Dance, devising and performing the music for two shows. On returning to London he pursued his love of jazz and improvisation playing with Django Bates Delightful Precipice, Julian Joseph’s the Forum Project and the Mike Westbrook Big Band. Following gigs with Evan Parker, Louis Moholo, Vincent Courtois and Wadada Leo Smith, Ben developed a taste for a freer approach to improvisation consequently touring and recording extensively with Ingrid Laubrock, Simon Nabatov and his own group Basquiat Strings which collaborated with Ellery Eskerlin and was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize.

Chris Brown, composer, pianist, and electronic musician, makes music with self-designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. His compositions are designs for performances in which people bring to life the musical structures embedded in scores, instruments, and machines. Early pieces feature instruments he invented and built, including a prepared electric piano in the orchestral piece Alternating Currents (1983); and a digitally-controlled analog signal processor for the environmental piece Lava (1992). Talking Drum (1995-2000) was a MIDI network installation exploring polyrhythm, distance, and resonance in large architectural spaces. He is a founding member of the pioneering computer network band The HUB, which received the 2018 ZKM Giga-Hertz Prize for Electronic Music. Throughout his career he has composed solos for interactive electronics and acoustic instruments using self-authored software. Since 2005 he writes music in Just Intonation, also integrating rhythmic structures that parallel the proportions used in their tunings.

Marshall Trammell is a composer, archivist, sound installation designer, percussionist and self-styled Music Research Strategist. development. He performs with In Defense of Memory, with Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) & Carlos Santistevan (mestizo), White People Killed Them with Raven Chacon (Navajo) & John Dietrich (white), and with Aaron Turner (white) & Tashi Dorji (Bhutan). Known for past projects such as Mutual Aid Project, Black Spirituals, has worked with David Murray, Pauline Oliveros, India Cooke, Roscoe Mitchell, Joe MacPhee, Saul Williams, Lisa E. Harris, Genny LIm, Francis Wong, John Jang, Susan Alcorn, Daniel Carter, Ada Pinkston, Luke Stewart, Jamal Moore, Kade Twist, Bruce Ackely, Thurston Moore and others. Trammell has received support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Borealis Festival, Charlotte Street Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Southern Exposure, Intercultural Leadership Fellow (US: 2018-19), Western Front (Vancouver, BC), Pro Arts COMMONS, Prelinger Library , SF Contemporary Jewish Museum, Bergen Kunsthalle (Norway), and EastSide Arts Alliance.

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