August 16, 2013

Friday night live at Transistor:  Low Swans and TJ Borden & Zane Merritt. Sound by Jon Monteverde. 


Formerly The Johns, Low Swans essentially walks out of the 
rubble pile of that band and continues down the road. While The Johns hinted at styles and genres outside of their trusted brand of earnest roots-based indie rock, Low Swans is centered on exploring much more musical real estate and exploiting the flexibility of a fresh start. Building on the years of experiences, successes, and failures of leader Jon Scarpelli, Low Swans is part of the new movement of independent musicians who are in it for the love and the long.

For their Transistor set Low Swans were a duo: Jon Scarpelli on guitar and vocals; and Scott Simon on drums, vibes and keyboard. They played songs from Low Swans' last two releases (available from It was an experiment in many ways for Low Swans.

More info about the band and related projects at

Tyler Borden, known as T.J. to many, is a cellist comfortable in many different settings. He has performed in concert halls and basements, art galleries and theaters. Raisedn in Rochester, New York, he began classical training at age 6 and continued it first at Ithaca College and then the University at Buffalo. He has gone on to extend that training into the realms of modern experimental music -- composed, improvised and everywhere in between. His work has been performed at the Cleveland Institute of Art and can be heard in Guggenheim fellow Kasumi's film "Shockwaves." He has been seen on stage performing alongside Tony Conrad, Jack Wright, Thomas Helton, Cages and many more, and has shared bills with Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Jandek, Nate Young, Bill Nace, to name just a few. Visit Tyler Borden's website.

Currently a Ph.D. student at SUNY Buffalo (studying with David Felder on a Presidential Fellowship), guitarist Zane Merritt received his M.M. in composition from Butler University under Michael Schelle and James Aikman. He has performed in a variety of venues and recently performed his own work alongside pieces by Elliott Carter and Hifumi Shimoyama in Nagoya, Japan. He performs frequently as an improviser.

Visit Zane Merritt's website.

For their Transistor set Zane and T.J. performed "music that exploits the technical limits of their instruments and uses each musician's virtuosity to transcend traditional musical expectations through the fracturing and disintegrating of sonic norms. Rather then excel within the limited sound worlds provided by their classical training, they prefer to explore the fringes of technique, no matter how messy." Visit their Soundcloud page.

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.