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Russ Gershon: Time Traveler, Four Million Years Later

By Published: February 21, 2011
AAJ: What's coming up for you and the Either/Orchestra?

RG: We have the second 25th anniversary concert in New York on February 11 at Le Poisson Rouge, a modern multimedia venue in the same space that used to house the historic Village Gate. We played there in 1988, after our first tour. In March we have a couple of dates with Mahmoud Ahmed, the great Ethiopian singer whom we've worked on and off with for the last few years. We've been recording those gigs as we go, and if we do a good job on these shows we may have a whole live album in the can with him. In 2010 I got a commission from Chamber Music America to write some music for the Either/Orchestra, and it's nice to have that vote of confidence. Now I have to get busy and finish it! The music has explicitly Ethiopian influences in it. There's another big project in the works with another Ethiopian singer called Teshome Mitiku. We have a grant application in to fund us to write enough music for a full concert and premiere the music in Boston, New York, Washington and Addis Ababa. He hasn't been back home since he left the country in '70 at the point of a gun, so it'll be a big deal for him as an expatriate who was a big star there in the '60s to return 40 years later with ten pan-American sidekicks. I also have an album's worth of my original compositions done, and it's a question of finding the time to record them.

AAJ: Will you be recording the 25th anniversary concerts?

RG: Both concerts are being extensively documented on multitrack recording and also on video, too. After the first concert, I knew that we have something that's worth producing into a DVD or CD. The work just goes on and on. Looking back on it, so much is founded upon the human relationships. Everybody has enjoyed playing together and having an adventure together, and nobody ever wants to end that.

Selected Discography

Either Orchestra, Mood Music for Time Travelers (Accurate Records, 2010)
Mahmoud Ahmed & Either/Orchestra, Ethiogroove (Buda Musique, 2007)
Either/Orchestra, Live in Addis (Buda Musique, 2005)
Either/Orchestra, Neo- Modernism (Accurate Records, 2004)
Either/Orchestra, Afro- Cubism (Accurate Records, 2002)
Either/Orchestra, More Beautiful than Death (Accurate Records, 2000)
Either/Orchestra, Across the Omniverse (Accurate Records, 1996)
Either/Orchestra, The Brunt (Accurate Records, 1994)
Either/Orchestra, The Calculus of Pleasure (Accurate Records, 1992)
Either/Orchestra, The Half-Life of Desire (Accurate Records, 1990)
Either/Orchestra, Radium (Accurate Records, 1988)
Either/Orchestra, Dial "E" for Either/Orchestra (Accurate Records, 1987)

Photo Credits

Pages 1, 2, 6, 9: Courtesy of Russ Gershon
Russ Gershon
Russ Gershon
sax, tenor

Pages 3: Eric Antoniou
Page 4: Phil Stiles

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