Sideshow is Matt Moran's one-ring circus for exploring, extrapolating, and interpreting songs by visionary American composer Charles Ives. The project has included longtime collaborators Theo Bleckmann, Mat Maneri, Adam Good, John Hollenbeck, and Oscar Noriega. CRI released "Songs of Charles Ives" as their first cd on their pioneering BlueShift label; the second Sideshow cd will be released soon on Diskonife.

Sideshow's debut CD on CRI/Blueshift

Buy the CD!

Sideshow's debut cd was released in April, 2001 on BlueShift.

"One of the 10 best cds of 2001"
-John Schaefer, "New Sounds" on WNYC.

"An elegant sleeper"
-JazzTimes, March 2002

Village Voice Best of NYC 1999
"Sideshow's repertoire consists of smart, rowdy, sneaky, bass-clarinet-guitar-vibraphone-percussion versions of Charles Ives' turn-of-the-century art songs; instead of vocals, they provide lyric sheets at their gigs. Transplanting America's gnarliest great composer to semi-improvisational topsoil is a weird idea, but it works shockingly well, and the group blurs the line between intellectual rigor and chaotic fun. Their first album, in the works now, should open some eyes in both the classical and new music worlds."

Sideshow is Matt Moran (vibraphone), Adam Good (guitar), Oscar Noriega (bass clarinet & alto saxophone), and John Hollenbeck (percussion). All compositions are by Charles Edward Ives (1874-1954)

Ives wrote many pieces for "theater orchestra" -- an ensemble he defined as whoever shows up. Each individual part or line has a tensile strength great enough to carry the music and listener along, regardless of whether everything written is heard, regardless of whether everything heard is exactly as written.

Ives also spoke of the power of "songs without words" -- music implying a text or meaning like a ghost of the original. "Vagueness can be an indication of nearness to perfect truth," he said; we find in that inspiration to explore the region where the defined and the undefined merge, where the disparate find union in the fact of co-existence.

This sonic flexibility, this telescoping of the universal within the personal, and the focused mood in every Ives song with or without words, are what inspire Sideshow to interpret these songs. As Ives says in the postlude of 114 Songs, "must a song always be a song?"

photo credit: Valerie Trucchia

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Download Sideshow press kit:

Press kit, musicians' biographies, photo
in PDF format (112 kb)

Photographs for print:
black & white high resolution (300dpi) photo in TIFF format:
PC file .zip (949 kb); Mac file .sea (747 kb).

full color high resolution (300 dpi) photo in TIFF format (zipped to 4.24 Mb): PC file .zip (4.24 Mb); Mac file .sea (3.97 Mb).

The Cage 3:36 (RealAudio)

Thoreau 6:35 (RealAudio)

The Cage 3:36
(2.5 Mb MP3)

Thoreau 6:35 (4.5 Mb MP3)

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