Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Rubin Hohlbein // Thelonious Dumptruck

This Sunday, we’re excited to have not one but TWO opening acts. Come hear Rubin Hohlbein, now a music student at NEC, who began coming to Racer Sessions while in high school, as well as local free jazz rapscallions, Thelonious Dumptruck, headed by Mike Gebhart, currently studying music at University of Washington.

From Rubin Hohlbein:

Hello. I am Rubin. I am a trumpet player. I grew up in Seattle, but now I go to school at NEC in Boston. An aspect of music that I have become much more interested in this past year is texture. Within a group of musicians, each person has a unique voice. The texture of the music is how the voices are combined to make up the complete group sound. One way to think about texture is monophonic music—one voice alone—versus music with two or more voices, the most understandable being homophony, polyphony, and heterophony. 

In western music, the most common texture is homophony, where there is one melody that stands out, and the other voices provide harmonic support for that melody. When a harmonic instrument plays chords along with a melody it is considered homophonic. In contrast, polyphonic music is where multiple voices are playing melodic lines that are independent of each other, though they may be related rhythmically, tonally, or in some way. Polyphony is characteristic of contrapuntal music, and I have noticed that free improvisations are often polyphonic. Another type of texture is heterophony, in which multiple voices are playing the same melodic line but in different ways and variations. 

A simple idea that changed the way I view texture is contrapuntal motion. When you combine two melodic lines, there are only 4 ways for the voices to move relative to each other. There is parallel motion, in which two voices move in the same direction at the same interval apart; similar motion, in which two voices move in the same direction with changing intervals in between; contrary motion, two voices moving in opposite directions; and oblique motion, one voice stays on the same note while the other moves. There is also a possibility of call and response between two voices. 

Really every type of texture is possible in free improvisation, and one piece of music can contain various different textures. I am asking musicians to be aware of, and focus on how their individual voice relates to the voices around them, and how that combines to make an overall texture. Does one voice have the melody, or is it pure polyphony? I ask musicians in their improvisations to listen to the other players, and really think about how the motion of their voice relates to what you are doing. Whether you go up when they go down, or you play a melody while they play chords, or two musicians use the same rhythms.

From Thelonious Dumptruck:

Born the fourth of four, on the fourth day of the year, john j haven had always felt the call of the four stringed rock and roll guitar.  Thus, in fifth grade he took his first instrument (the old timey bass) and learned two scales in the hopes of one day becoming a rock and roll icon (and did!). Three years later he learned his third scale and realized the notes outside of any scale compliment the notes within. Four years later he became the third member in the popular noise group Thelonious Dumptruck and after two drunken rap battles, and a miscommunication in dates, formed his fifth group The Loneliest ****truck. What will ensue will be the first recreation of such events as presented by two of three of Thelonious Dumptruck.  Please don’t be mad, but I broke the lamp.

Track 1 -- Thelonious Dumptruck - Mike Gebhart (drums) & John Jeffrey Haven (bass)

Track 2 & 3 -- Rubin Hohlbein - Fiona Gurney (guitar) & Caroline Kuhn (voice),


Jam 1 - Thomas Capmbell (Drums), Austin Larkin (Violin), Aaron Othiem (Synth/ Keyboard)

Jam 2 - John Harrison (Drums), John Jeffrey Haven (Bass), Daniel (Keys/ Synth)

Jam 3 - Dio Jean Baptiste (Drums), Luke Bergman (Bass), Madam Coco (Voice), Andrew Olmstead (Synth),

Jam 4 - Nick (Mathuzula) Rogstad (Trombone), Mike Gebhart (Drums), Rubin Hohlbein (Trumpet)

Jam 5 - Chris Icasiano ( Drums), Mat Montgomery (Trumpet), Gianni Aranoff (Sax)

Jam 6- Daniel Webbon (Drums), Brennan Carter (Trumpet) Aaron Othiem (Synth/ Keys)

Jam 7 - Daniel Salka (Keys/ Synth) , Austin Larkin (Bass), Thomas Campbell (Drums), DioJean-Baptiste (Voice), Fiona Gurney (Bird Call)

Jam 8 - Mike Gebhart (Voice / M.C.), John Jefferey Haven Voice, M.C. & Bass), John Harrison (Keys / Synth), Dio jean-Baptiste (Drums)

Jam 9 - Daniel Webbon (Drums), Rubin Hohlbein (Trumpet), Caroline Kuhn (Voice), Gianni Aranoff (Sax)

Jam 10 - Luke Bergman (Bass), Chris Icasiano (Drums), Austin Larkin (Violin), Aaron Otheim (Keys/ Synth)