The Ticket That Exploded now on sale!

Ticket_CD_CoverSongwriter Grant Hart (Hüsker Dü, Nova Mob) has released my opera The Ticket That Exploded on his label Con D’Or.  The record is now available here on my website and elsewhere.

The amazing ensemble includes:
Nick Hallett, Ted Hearne, Megan Schubert, Anne Rhodes, Steve Dalachinsky, Ryan Opperman – voicesTaylor Levine, Ty Citerman – guitars
John O’Brien, Andrew Drury, Vinnie Sperazza – percussion
Mike McGinnis, Justin Wood, Douglas Detrick, Sam Kulik, Jay Rozen – winds/brass
Julianne Carney, Nathan Bontrager – strings
Denman Maroney – piano
Nicholas DeMaison – conductor

Featuring graphic design and stunning visuals from Jason Ponce (all taken from his live digital video manipulations from the premiere in 2011), and excellent mastering from Phillip White, the whole package is a masterwork.


On Saturday March 21, Grant Hart and the Anagram Ensemble will share an evening at The Cake Shop to celebrate this monumental release.  Grant will perform solo, and The Anagram Ensemble will perform selections from The Ticket That Exploded.  See you there!

Hypercolor debut now out on Tzadik Records!


January 2015 saw the release on Tzadik Records of the debut record by my trio Hypercolor, with Lukas Ligeti (drums), Eyal Maoz (guitar), and myself on bass. John Zorn’s description of the band is spot-on:  “A crazy collaborative jazz-rock unit out of the new generation of Downtown improvisers, Hypercolor is a bizarre trio that blends Beefheart, Sonny Sharrock and ’80s punk with contemporary classical orchestral textures, spastic world music rhythms and noise improvisation.”

The music is already getting a lot of attention – New York Times called us “A full-tilt jazz-rock band”, and Time Out New York called us “loopily unhinged punk-minded fusion”. Plus tons of great press from Brooklyn Rail, All About Jazz, the NYC Jazz Record, and other locations.

December concert announced!

ACOUSTIC FRONTIERS presents: Robert Dick Quartet w/ Steve Swell, James
Ilgenfritz, Lou Grassi
Wednesday December 3, 8:15
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow
Coriolis Cacophonous: Jonah Rosenberg, Sam Kulik, James Ilgenfritz,
Federico Ughi
PLUS: Dan Blake: The Homework Trio w/ Richie Barshay, Jorge Roeder
Thursday December 4, 8pm
Firehouse Space, 246 Frost St. Brooklyn,

Marco Cappelli / James Ilgenfritz Duo
Saturady December 6, 6pm

James Ilgenfritz Trio: w/ Steve Swell, George Spanos
Carl Testa w/ James Ilgenfritz
Jack Wright / Zach Darrup / Joe Hertenstein
Sunday December 14
Ze Couch Series, 27 Arion Pl #416, Brooklyn

John Dikeman / Onno Govaert / Joe McPhee / William Parker
Barker Trio: Andrew Barker /  Michael Foster / James Ilgenfritz
Monday December 15 8pm
Jack Space, 505 1/2 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn

James Ilgenfritz Anagram Ensemble: Pauline Kim Harris / Kevin Norton /
Brian Chase / David Bloom
RIBS: Dave Ballou / Jason Robinson / James Ilgenfritz / George Schuller
Friday December 19, 8PM
Brooklyn Conservatory Of Music

Colonic Youth CD Release Concert: Dan Blake / Philip White / James
Ilgenfritz / Kevin Shea
Monday December 22, 8pm
Trans Pecos, 915 Wyckoff Ave, Bushwick

Video footage from The Ticket That Exploded

Multimedia artist Jason Ponce and I are working to create a DVD of our 2011 collaboration The Ticket That Exploded: An Ongoing Opera. We spent a number of days at the end of 2012 editing this footage–  a first draft of what will be the opening 10 minutes of a DVD that is around 50-60 minutes total.

Premiered at Issue Project Room while I was Artist in Resident in 2011,  and based on William S. Burrloughs’ 1962 novel of the same name, The Ticket That Exploded takes all its text directly from the novel. I wrote the libretto and composed the music, which was then exquisitely interpreted by some of the greatest musicians in the New York area. Jason Ponce collected a massive array of bizarre visual materials and innovative digital processing programs to perform the visual component of this work live onstage at the premiere.

This video assembles excerpts of live performance footage with Jason Ponce’s direct video art.  We hope that you can enjoy this material while work is being completed on the full DVD release of this opera, which is due in 2014.

Everything Starts With An Accident

By this time tomorrow the parasaggital meningioma resting behind my skull will have been removed.  I am scheduled for operation tomorrow at noon, and I am working right now to make sure that I am properly prepared mentally, physically, spiritually, and otherwise.


I’ve been asking myself how best to prepare for something like this, and I’ve  been eager to start sharing thoughts here.  With no clear idea where to start, I turned to these images.  I have so much to say about these images and this topic, but for the moment I want to let the visuals speak for themselves.

Posts to this blog will start coming regularly tomorrow, mostly for the sake of keeping folks updated on my status, though ultimately I am finding I have a lot of other thoughts and images (visual and otherwise) that I am looking forward to sharing.


Thank you for your time, your attention, your support.


New Website

This is the new website for James Ilgenfritz. Have a look around…