2020: Released on August 7, Birdsongs of a Necromancer is a digital-only album recorded during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. It is an attempt to create presence through absence, in spite of absence, to spite absence. The eight tracks are fully improvised, each featuring a different quartet of NC-based improvisers, with everyone recording their parts in their own homes. In a review in Indyweek, writer Chris Vitiello asserts "Quarantine itself can be said to be a fifth member of the ensemble." As a result, all the pieces sound very different from what they would have been had the artists been playing together in the same room at the same time.
2017: Dan Ruccia's new album "Scratch Slice Jag" was released in October 2017 by Out & Gone Music. It is a collaboration between violist Ruccia and trombonist Jeb Bishop. Recorded live at the Carrack Art Museum in Durham, North Carolina, in October 2016, Scratch Slice Jag is the natural outgrowth of the collaboration between Bishop and Ruccia. Drawing on the tradition of European free improvisation, new music, and employing myriad extended techniques, Bishop and Ruccia explore the outer reaches of their instruments, referencing everything from Luciano Berio and Ornette Coleman to Mat Maneri and Paul Rutherford. Scratch Slice Jag is a deeply engaging album that highlights what is possible when two like-minded improvisers come together to share their musical and personal relationship with an audience. (Condensed from the press release.)
2016: Dan Ruccia's chamber improvisation ensemble Cyanotype released its debut album Two Silent Schnauzers on Out and Gone Music on August 12, 2016. Led by violist and composer Ruccia, Cyanotype is an ever-shifting collective of improvisers who build complicated structures, melodies, and textures out of whatever personalities happen to be gathered. Fully improvised, Two Silent Schnauzers explores the timbral and sonic possibilities at play in the minds, bodies, and instruments of four improvisers who are attuned to deep listening, interaction, and risk taking.
Two Silent Schnauzers runs the gamut in colors, textures, moods, and atmospheres. Chris Eubank (cello), Laurent Estoppey (saxophones), Chris Robinson (baritone saxophone), and Ruccia (viola) draw on their classical training, background in free improvisation and new music, and extended techniques to create a dynamic and inventive soundscape in which new ideas are collectively taken up and explored. At times one might hear the echoes and refiguring of Bach, Hindemith, or James Tenney; at others Mat Maneri, Albert Ayler, or Evan Parker.