The Stuff…

chapman stick, rhodes, drums
audio: ”The Stuff That Stuff Is Made Of” rehearsal
video: stock footage

I don’t know if the chicken or the egg came first, but being a MATH fan I became deeply excited listening to this performance.  Sounds like this is a rendition of the twelfth jam from the [InsertYourNameHere] sessions, titled ”Absolute Proof (The Stuff That Stuff Is Made Of),” in trio + chapman stick form.  During June 2007 Michael Schirmer and David Bodie joined forces with David “Wavis” Parker, PEACEBOMB’s Max Oleson, founding MATH members – 3’s Joey Eppard and Billy Riker – to jam at Dave Daw’s Darkworld Studio in Kingston, NY.  They let the tape roll and by the end of the session, Alana Orr (aka Orchid) showed up and graced the assembly with the magic of her bass shaping what’s now called, “We Were Optional.”  Riker sold some gear and in turn commissioned graphic design of a logo, album artwork and a concert flyer by Jesse Kinbarovsky of Eastside Creative.  The group printed up a limited amount of copies of the jams ([InsertYourNameHere]) arranging the tracks from the last jam to the first, as well as a handful of t-shirts and tank-tops.  They concluded the whole experience with a super fun semi-improv concert at Woodstock’s The Colony Cafe on June 22nd, 2007 featuring friends Kiss KissDr Manhattan, and Can’t Face The Falling.  Being 3’s merch master, Max sold the remaining copies at 3’s merch table during their tours with Scorpions and Porcupine Tree.

MATH was formed in 1996 as an instrumental improvisational outlet for Billy Riker (guitar), Joey Eppard (bass) and Ed Cercone (drums).  Their first session was recorded from a boombox to cassette.  The collective performed a few feel-good shows (graduation parties, summer parties and even a meditational gathering) throughout that year and the next.  In 2000 the trio got together to jam in a studio, this time utilizing Joey’s vocal prowess.  A month later they celebrated the music by performing an improv show in Woodstock (which was apparently recorded).  MATH didn’t return again until the magic of [InsertYourNameHere].

David Bodie has since joined Kayo Dot and drummed on the recently released record, Coyote.

I can’t find any info on what Mike Schirmer’s up to.  He has toured with Mercury Rev, Ani DiFranco, Sarah Lee and rocks with InPravda.

Michael Bernier will be performing with his chapman stick student, Tony Levin, in their band Stick Men, along with King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto in celebration of their Soup record release at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Sunday, May 9th.  The latest improv project, Gartdrumm/Orchid will be providing support.  The rest of this month Stick Men is scheduled to tour around the US & Canada.  They’re also heading out to Japan for a bunch of gigs in June.

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