David Moore is a musician and composer based in New York City. He has created music with various ensembles but devotes much of his time to Bing & Ruth, a project that grew out of an improve rehearsal in a practice room at The New School, a Manhattan home for jazz and contemporary music. Through a rotating cast of musicians and a limitless urge to create sound that pleases and inspires, Moore is quickly amassing an impressive discography of recorded compositions and collaborations.
“Tim Crabtree stumbled upon Bing & Ruth on a compilation that UK label Gizeh released,” said Backward Music’s Kyle Cunjak. “He showed it to me because he knew I loved minimalist piano music and we both reached out to see if they’d be willing to be a part of our Backward Music Vol.1 album. Surprisingly they were quite easygoing and offered us an exclusive, albeit short, song for the sampler as well as a couple tracks from their City Lake album.”
When the label’s first release finally surfaced, Cunjak vowed to convince the group to make the trek out to Eastern Canada for a series of performances, a dream that came true during the summer of 2013 thanks to the support of Halifax’s JazzEast. Bing & Ruth’s performance at The Music Room, along with sets from Joshua Van Tassel and Tim Crabtree were recorded and later released by the label.
“Last year Bing & Ruth released their second full-length on the US label RVNG and started getting the attention they deserved,” said Cunjak. “Thankfully the avant-garde OBEY Convention in Halifax was interested in bringing the band back and we worked with them and the experimental Re:Flux festival in Moncton to help bring the group back to the Maritimes.”
Grid City Magazine put five questions to Moore to get his spin on what avant-garde and experimental music means to him.
Do you consider avant-garde and what people refer to as “experimental” music to be the same thing?
I can’t say I really understand what either of those two descriptors are supposed to mean. I’m always had a bit of an issue with the term experimental music for many reasons – the main one being that I generally don’t see anything experimental about it. There is such a solid intention behind a lot of music one might define as “experimental”.
When some people think about avant-garde they immediately drum up thoughts of John Cage and his various noise (or silence) experiments but he died over 20 years ago and musicians are still pushing the limits. From your experience, how has the music evolved over the say, the last 10 years?
I think the music has evolved the same way it always has. People get older and the distillation of their influences and experiences continue providing forward momentum. There are plenty of people that get stuck in a certain time or way of doing things, but the artists who interest me most are the ones who are never quite satisfied – the ones who don’t let the established language dictate the thought.
What’s it like performing your music to new audiences in areas where such sounds may be less common or simply unheard?
I love it. I’m not trying to make heady music for serious people. My aim is to make something that touches me on a core level. A convenient side effect of this is that sometimes that allows it to reach other people – listeners who may not know anything about “avant-guard” or “experimental” music. If you are only trying to appease those who live in that world you are in danger of disappearing up your own asshole.
If you had to make an Intro to the Outside World playlist for introducing newcomers to avant-garde music, share 5 current artists/ensembles you feel should be included.
CW Stoneking – Mama Got the Blues
Port St. Willow – Hollow
Chihei Hatakeyama – Spilth
Willamette – portrait of a sleeping girl with radio
D’Angelo – 1000 Deaths