You Are Here
Thu May 10 2007
Photograph: Brian White
If NYC’s experimental-music scene seems like a daunting labyrinth, you couldn’t hope for a better guide than saxist-composer Sam Hillmer. Appropriately, his latest project, You Are Here—a monthlong installation by Trouble, his collaboration with artist Laura Paris—is an actual maze, one that hosts a variety of progressive luminaries. Heard regularly in head-spinning groups such as Zs and Moth, Hillmer is a formidable artist who combines contemporary classical, art rock and free improv. But beyond these accomplishments, he’s an invaluable unifying force in the local avant-garde.
During the past decade, Hillmer has cofounded two boundary-smashing booking entities, Wet Ink and B-Keepers. The latter crew’s sadly defunct From B to Z night at Cake Shop accomplished the herculean task of casting experimental music as the ideal party soundtrack, via postshow dance marathons, stripteases and unfussily eclectic booking that embraced advanced chamber music, doom metal, electronic improv and much more. You Are Here promises to build on this credo of serious fun: Showgoers enter the maze in search of the billed artists, but they’ll also encounter a “guerrilla open bar” and immersive multimedia artwork. The musicians themselves will embrace the environment, offering mobile performances and other variations on their usual acts. Among the slew of highlights are appearances by incendiary punk-jazz quartet Little Women (Saturday 12), visionary avant-pop singer Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors (Monday 14), tech-metal virtuoso Colin Marston (May 24) and plenty of Hillmer’s own projects. — Hank Shteamer