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INSIDE OUT: VAX and Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas

Sunday January 21, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

$10 – $15

Second installment of INSIDE OUT: a new series of Jazz and Improvised Music!

Set I – VAX

Patrick Breiner – saxophone, clarinet
Liz Kosack – piano, synthesizer
Devin Gray – drums

Set II – Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas

Brandon Seabrook – electric guitar
Tony Malaby – tenor saxophone
Kenny Wollesen – drums and percussion
Jacob Sacks – piano
Eivind Opsvik – bass


if you delve into the twisted underbranches of the brooklyn historical society archive you can confront yourself with cisco bradley’s VAXterview. shoveling the dust off a couple other old blogs, you will sniff the persistent remnant vapors of evidence of past brilliance and you should see the look on our face.

and/but then there was berlin and 12 hour doppelkeks-fueled days with precious insanity licking at our blistering heels. you say i don’t know where i am and you are right and you are BIZ we’ll always have paris and you are covered in urine because you fell down the stairs and had a seizure again and eve risser takes you to l’hôpital and when you get back from the hospital you play a show in another basement and then get in a car and we all learn DOGON A.D. on the way from paris to dresden and archive one thousand jazz musician name puns.

everyone has construction, so you can imagine how VONE feels in this painful situation and he cuts his heart out with a blinding chainsaw solo. TRIX plays his slick licks and gets his shtick mixed in a xy conglomerate of saxophonapheliac satisfaction. if we were eating icecream, if we were eating copious amounts of ice cream on the corner before the gunshots, it was still after it was possible for V to read his poetry and for that to be simultaneous, gunfire, icecream, easterbunny. anyway our friends didn’t take it seriously. hi PAUL.

Eivind Opsvik

Born in Oslo, bassist and composer Eivind Opsvik was introduced to music at home. His father loved to play the saxophone and constantly spun records—everything from Ornette Coleman to Billie Holiday and The Beatles. An early memory features Eivind on drums, jamming out “A Hard Day’s Night” with his father. Later, a denim-clad rocker cousin lent him a bass guitar and the newfound ability of adding pitch to rhythm was a revelation. Opsvik spent the rest of his teens getting to know this instrument, as well as the double bass, while also experimenting with a 4-track tape recorder and pouring music into his head.

At the age of twenty, Opsvik began studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music, focusing on classical bass. By then, he was already an active participant in Oslo’s vibrant jazz scene, regularly playing with musicians like Paal Nilssen-Love, Christian Wallumrød, Bjørnar Andresen, and Håkon Kornstad; while also performing at festivals and clubs around Europe.

In 1998, Opsvik relocated to New York City, where he has thrived as a working musician, collaborating on projects with among others Anthony Braxton, Paul Motian, John Zorn, Nate Wooley, and Bill Frisell and performing in a wide range of venues like Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, Le Poisson Rouge and The Stone. At the Manhattan School of Music he studied jazz and met some of his closest musical brothers, including Loren Stillman, Jeff Davis, and Jacob Sacks. Building on the bonds and shared musical understanding that developed while at school, Eivind invited these players to help him fulfill his vision for the solo project, Overseas.

Opsvik has stated that “overseas” is a fitting way of describing his life—whether in New York or Norway, he is always an ocean’s distance from home. This deep loyalty towards friends and loved ones has, over time, been reflected in Overseas’ various lineups. The first record was realized with the help of long-term friendships that went back to Opsvik’s earliest days in New York. As he continued his journey through the city via late night gigs, Opsvik connected with other players—visionaries versed in noise improv, electronic, jazz, and classical—who, on subsequent Overseas records, were brought in to augment the lineup. Since 2005, the band has remained consistent, featuring Tony Malaby, Jacob Sacks, and Kenny Wollesen; in 2010, guitarist Brandon Seabrook also became a regular member. Over the years, they have played countless shows around New York City, as well as extensively toured Europe and the American east coast.

In addition to five Overseas albums and his extensive session work, Opsvik’s discography also includes four experimental chamber-pop records made in collaboration with songwriter Aaron Jennings (under the moniker of Opsvik & Jennings) and a multimedia project with photographer Michelle Arcila, which pairs tens songs with ten photographic prints. This project, titled A Thousand Ancestors, came out of Opsvik’s solo double bass performances, which sometimes featured projections of Arcila’s photographs. In recording these bass-centric pieces, he would layer bass with subtle overdubs of lap steel guitar, vintage keyboards, and drum machines, with Arcila’s prints displayed around the studio. The project proved to be an auspicious collaboration for the couple, who, as The New York Times put it, “share an aesthetic of haunting introspection, and the desire to seek out beauty in austerity.”

Other critics have described Opsvik’s work as “sonorous,” “like a waking dream,” and able “to transport the listener to another time and place, creating a cinematic experience…[like] the soundtrack to an imaginary film.” His Overseas records create “a world of unfolding soundscapes” that defy categorization; they have “a compositional complexity that suggests jazz, [but] also references a diverse and imaginative palette of genres and influences.” Opsvik’s jazz is “the slow burn, down-turned variety that still has plenty of beauty underneath all of its darker undertones.” But it’s not just jazz for jazz-heads. By tapping into the energy, groove, and directness of rock, Opsvik reach people who are afraid of jazz and think they have to “understand” it.



Sunday January 21, 2018
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
$10 – $15
Event Category:


Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217 United States


Brooklyn Conservatory of Music