logo gen12 gen07 gen11 gen06 gen09 gen08
home catalog news contact otwo

MEJA C3R 008


Michael Evans (acoustic / electronic percussion)
Jeff Arnal (acoustic percussion)

Track Listing

1. hand me down
2. fear active
3. revivify
4. two hats are better than one
5. transvection
6. west shokan slumber
7. labrador labyrinth
8. snafu
9. a perculiar presentiment
10. opening
11. with a hint of…
12. a maze of transparencies
13. drifting w-peer
14. treeman suite

Format: CD
Release date: 2006
Cover art: Jackie 82 - Hector G. Romer

Recorded at the Make Believe Ballrom by Tom Mark
June 9, 10, 2004 in West Shokan, NY

MEJA is available online

• In Europe at Oaksmus
• in NYC at Downtown Music Gallery

Approaching their instruments with extended techniques and unorthodox sound generating methods, this duo investigates the fluidity of rhythm and pulse with floating structures inspired by many musical and sound traditions including: the blues, electronic, improvisational / free jazz, percussion music of the world, noise and time travel.

MEJA live on WFMU:


Selected Press

"This is the first album from Michael Evans and Jeff Arnal, a duo of amazing percussionists from the NYC improv scene. Over the course of fourteen tracks, Evans and Arnal display their skill as players and their intuition as improvisers. Such movement! Such vivacity! We're not snowing ya -- this is a fantastic record that you'll want to hear again and again!" C3R

"Eschewing bombast and grandstanding, percussionist Michael Evans and Jeff Arnal are sympathetically matched in their sensibilities, creating settings that are not lacking for traditional melodics and harmonics because they fully understand the musical reach of their drums. Born of improvisation sessions, the diversity on these fourteen pieces is striking. A full album experience has been created smartly sequencing the pieces to create a dramatic arc that celebrates warmth, surprise and adventure. They jump happily into skittering density, as on the busy precision of "Fear Active" and the elliptical "opening." They lock horns on hi-hats (the cheekily titled "two hats are better than one") and wood blocks ("Drifting W-Peer"). There are also moments of open-ended expansiveness ("With a Hint of...") and even lightly comedic portraiture ("Labrador Labyrinth"). Two drummers create one full and balanced meal. David Greenberger, Signal to Noise

"…the great drumming that's presented by Evans and Arnal in MEJA reminded me a lot of those happy times, such are the fantasy, the brisk joyfulness, the incredible variety of techniques and sources that these men apply in their music, in almost a full hour of genreless percussive delight. No wonder that these players have been active on many fronts of the improvisation warfare, including working with dancers and actors, as this music is an experience of gestural freedom that we can elaborate over or simply enjoy as it is, conscious of the fact that we're in front of serious artistic value from every point of view. Structures and functions subside to unpredictable sketches, colours and timbral weights, the whole continuously shifting in total absence of complications - even if this is far from being an easy listen. Everything that Evans and Arnal play seems to be in logical correlation, whatever the form. Very, very nice." Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

Artist Bios

MICHAEL EVANS is an improvising drummer /percussionist / multi-instrumentalist and composer whose work investigates and embraces the collision of sound and theatrics. As well as being a drumset player, his work with unusual sound sources includes found objects, homemade instruments, the theremin and various digital and analog electronics. He has worked with a wide variety of musicians, performance artists, dancers and comedians including Ron Anderson, Jeff Arnal, Audio Artists, Claire Barratt, Jac Berrocal, James Chance, Combustible Edison, Lol Coxhill, Don Carlos Garcia, EasSide Percussion, Roger Ely (the Devil's Chaueffeur), Nicolas Dumit Estevez, Fast Forward(Gobo), Michael Gira (Angels of Light, Swans), Gilbert Godfried, God is my Co-Pilot, Alexander Hacke(Einsturzende Neubauten), Susan Hefner, Steve Horowitz's Code Ensemble, Jarboe (Swans), Skip LaPlante, Lary Seven, Neil Leonard, Aimee Mann, Karen Mantler, Maxime De La Rochefoucauld, Gordon Monahan, Eric Mingus, Evan Parker, William Parker, Gino Robair, David Simons, Moe Staiano, Toronto Dance Theatre, Stephen Vitiello, Jason Willet and Peter Zummo. He was selected for a composers' fellowship to Music/ Omi 2001, part of the International Music Colony at the Art Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, N.Y. Other recent activities include participation in Baltimore's 2003 High Zero Festival; an impromptu performance series (October 2003) entitled "Purgatory", presented by Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten) in Berlin, Germany; and Birmingham Alabama's Improv Festival, produced by LaDonna Smith. He is an ongoing member of the groups: Yvette Perez's Birdbrain, Peter Zummo's Eastern Orbit, EasSide Percussion (with James Pugliese and Christine Bard), Music for Homemade Instruments: directed by Skip LaPlante, Gobo (duo w/ Fast Forward) and composes music for Susan Hefner and Dancers.

“Percussionist JEFF ARNAL’s balletic sense of time and imaginative deployment of colour have combined into a highly original concept." (The Wire) Arnal frequently performs and collaborates with a wide range of musicians and choreographers in the U.S. and Europe. Recent performances include: Ausland (Berlin), deSingel (Antwerp), German Nordwestradio (Bremen), Hallwalls (Buffalo NY), Music at the Anthology (NYC) & Music Gallery (Toronto). He has received grants and fellowships from ASCAP, Brooklyn Arts Council, Meet the Composer and Art Omi International. His music can be heard on a number of independent record labels, including Transit (Clean Feed 2009 & 2005), Dog Day with Aaron Dugan (C3R 2007), Rogue States with Gordon Beeferman (Generate 2006), MEJA with Michael Evans (C3R 2006) and with Dietrich Eichmann (Broken Research 2007 & Leo 2004). Arnal holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Music Composition and Filmmaking from the University of Maryland and an MFA in Music from Bennington College.



Photo: MEJA with Kenta Nagai at FFMUP, Princeton University 2009